December 22, 2007

Holiday Greetings

Hope everyone enjoys their vacation. See ya after New Years.

December 20, 2007

What does she really want for Christmas?

It’s no surprise that A Diamond Is Forever is making a holiday push.

But positioning diamonds against electronics is an interesting tack.

They also have a few new lines out in their more traditional style:

This last line feels a bit too cynical for the campaign,

but at least it's different than the old "buy a rock and get laid" promise.

December 18, 2007

Do you wish you came up with this?

Police in a California town are pulling over good drivers to reward them with $5 Starbucks giftcards.

(This photo was actually taken in San Francisco and I found the AP story on boing boing..)
Police Reward Good Drivers With Coffee
RANCHO CORDOVA, Calif. (AP) — Happy holidays. Now pull over to the side of the road.
Motorists may be in for a surprise if they spot flashing red lights in their rearview mirrors in this Sacramento suburb during the holiday season.
Police are stopping law-abiding motorists and rewarding their good driving with $5 Starbucks gift cards.
A traffic officer came up with the idea to "promote the holiday spirit and enhance goodwill between the traffic unit and the motoring public," police Sgt. Tim Curran said.
Local businesses donated money to buy the gift cards.
"They raised a substantial amount of money," Curran said. "They'll be pulling over a lot of people."

It doesn’t sound like Starbucks had anything to do with this, but I bet someone is considering expanding it. (Although readers at The Consumerist don’t like the idea.)
Besides, Maxwell House did a much nicer job of doing good deeds recently.

December 13, 2007

Promotions from the future!

The Sprint store on the ground floor of the Flat Iron building had a few people on Segways handing out flyers this morning.
It's only a matter of time until we finally get some jetpacks.

December 12, 2007

Happy Hanukkah

Let’s celebrate the last day of the festival of lights with this ad from Oops wines.

December 10, 2007

What’s the ROI of nightmares?

I actually dropped the latest issue of Wired when I turned the page and saw this Pioneer ad:

You can see the entire TV campaign here, but don’t blame me if you wake up screaming tonight.

December 6, 2007

What would happen if the people took over your brand?

Mountain Dew created an online adventure to let the masses create a new flavor and its packaging. Evidentially, has been running for awhile, but I just saw this poster.

December 5, 2007

What's your favorite December holiday?

Dewar’s Scotch has found something to celebrate that can help take the edge off the rest of the season.

They did a nice job on requisite microsite, and are holding celebrations across the country. They were also smart enough to involve the blogging bartender who originated the idea.

December 3, 2007

Hope they get a big response

My fiancée used to work for Big Brothers Big Sisters in Dallas, so this interesting use of a print ad really caught my eye. It encourages people with camera phones to spread the message virally.

The execution may be a little clunky, but kudos for trying something new.

November 30, 2007

Are visual solutions better than copy driven ads?

It's a loaded question, but I believe words and images working together are more powerful than either alone.

click to enlarge
I couldn’t help but take a second look at this Qwest ad.

November 29, 2007

Anne’s Ad Attic feels your pain

If you're having a bad day, check out this early advertorial for preparation H and realize it could be worse.

From the Nov. 1972 issue of Family Circle
This is the latest gem from Anne’s Ad Attic, home of vintage ads pulled from a stack of old magazines I inherited from my Grandma. (She actually kept them in the guest room, but that doesn’t lend itself to alliteration.)

November 27, 2007

Is your brand a force for good?

Two of my many vices are coffee and puns, so I love this idea from Maxwell House. They gave away subway passes "on the house."

Nice way to start the morning.
The url on the back is, which redirects to the Maxwell House homepage. This is where I think they’re missing a big opportunity.

Why not encourage consumers to do other good deeds or make a charitable donation?
“Brew Some Good” has the power to become a true rally cry for the brand instead of just another tagline.
AdLand pointed out they also paid fares at toll roads.

November 21, 2007

What are you doing after Thanksgiving?

Have you noticed how retailers are embracing the term “Black Friday” in place of “After Thanksgiving Sale” this year?

It may be catchy, but Black Friday also sounds pretty sinister.
And the folks at Adbusters think it’s downright evil. So they’re promoting Buy Nothing Day to call attention to the effects that overconsumption has on our society and the planet.

Instead of fighting the crowds, I'll be spending time with family and leftovers.

November 20, 2007

Yummy design

Had dinner at Breeze on 9th between 45th and 46th. Cool looking place and good Pad Thai, but I loved their menus which are glued to old records and cd & dvd cases.

November 19, 2007

When is an ad not an ad?

I’m a fan of ads that use fake ads pretending to advertise something else. Here’s another example from the New York Lottery:

November 16, 2007

A Meatball Sundae from Anne’s Ad Attic

Was Seth Godin inspired by this old Chef Boyardee
Spaghetti & Meat Balls ad?

From the Dec. 1972 issue of Woman's Day
This is the latest gem from Anne’s Ad Attic, home of vintage ads pulled from a stack of old magazines I inherited from my Grandma.
(She actually kept them in the guest room, but that doesn’t lend itself to alliteration.)

November 15, 2007

Where do you learn how to be a good parent?

Another ad from the Pittsburgh airport. The copy reads,
"The school janitor knows where your kid’s locker is. Do You?
Know about your kid’s school. Know your kid."

It’s sad that the PTA has to advertise to convince parents to be more involved in the lives of their kids. But it's worth a try.

November 14, 2007

Good ad placement

Saw this at the Pittsburgh airport above a baggage claim conveyor belt.

November 13, 2007

Best "out of order" sign ever

Went to Pittsburgh last weekend and had a Roethlis-burger at Peppi's before the Browns/Steelers game.
They were out of Dr. Pepper:

"Sorry, no house calls."

November 8, 2007

Which pop culture car would you drive?

I've wanted a VW beetle ever since my Aunt took us to see the Herbie movies at the drive-in. Playing a dvd in the backseat just wouldn't be the same, but this Sony in-car dvd ad captures some of the magic.

My only quibble is the fast food signage. An imaginary restaurant would have been better than the Wendy’s look-alike. But the rest of the campaign gets everything right. Thanks to Shedwa for pointing it out.

November 7, 2007

Anne’s Ad Attic

Welcome to a new feature at AskACopywriter, Anne’s Ad Attic, home of vintage ads from a stack of old magazines I inherited from my Grandma. (She actually kept them in the guest room, but that doesn’t lend itself to alliteration.)

Let’s start with a copy heavy Vantage cigarette ad that speaks for itself.

From the Nov. 1972 issue of Family Circle

November 6, 2007

Will hot women have trouble getting paid to have their picture taken now?

Target is holding the “world's first virtual fashion show” in Grand Central today. Holograms of clothes will work the runway without models, so they're billing it as The Model-less Fashion Show.

Here's designer Isaac Mizrahi giving an enthusiastic interview:

And here he is shooting me a look:

They seemed to be gearing up for a large amount of press coverage.
I believe this is designer Keanan Duffy:

You can receive video by texting “modelless” to 827438 (Target) or just wait for them to post something at YouTube and their facebook group.
The actual show starts at noon today and repeats until midnight. So I'll check it out on my way home and post a few more pics tonight.
UPDATE: Turns out the actual show wasn't much different than what I saw in the morning during the media set up:

November 5, 2007

Is this the American Dream?

Spotted this contradictory placement of two ads on the F train.

I guess it doesn't matter if you win a lawsuit or the lottery, as long as you don't have to work for your millions.

October 31, 2007

Is there anything scarier than singing wieners?

If you’re looking for a little Halloween fun, check out The Halloweenies from American Greetings.

Happy Halloween everyone.

October 29, 2007

Tune In Monday

I usually leave music recommendations to Paul at hee-haw marketing.
But if you enjoy catchy synth pop beats and fun lyrics, check out Cynsin from Austin. Or just go ahead and download their album.

I’m sure it’s only a matter of time before you see them on Adtunes.

October 28, 2007

How’s your eyesight?

Don’t know if Art Foco Otica or Bausch & Lomb ran this concept first. But I wish I could find a higher res image of either one.

October 26, 2007

Remember what finding your first job felt like?

My alma mater, Portfolio Center, held a Portfolio Review today at the Center for Architecture at 536 LaGuardia Place. Saw lots of great design and some smart thinking.

I should have posted it about this earlier in the week, but you can swing by before 7. And if any of the grads I met follow up, I'll post a link to their work here:
Theresa Budnik - writer
John Freeman - writer
Sarah McClure - designer
Craig Moyer - writer
Manoj Swearingen - art director
Tanya Frank - designer
Stephanie Richardson - photographer

October 25, 2007

Is this thing on?

Everyone loves a funny ad, but it’s even harder to pull off when the product you're selling is comedy.

The Gotham Comedy Club is worth checking out. I saw Jim Gaffigan of Sierra Mist fame do a funny set there a few weeks ago.