January 31, 2008

Should they remain standing or sit on the floor?

Saw this sign at the White Plains Post Office.

January 30, 2008

Can we talk?

As part of his “Use New Marketing To Prove New Marketing” initiative, Joseph Jaffe sent me a copy of his new book, Join The Conversation, in exchange for a review. So here it is:
First off, I have to say that Joseph Jaffe writes like he talks. I’ll leave it to you to decide if that’s a good thing.

The book strives to make the case for engaging consumers in a give-and-take instead of continuing to foist one-way message on them. But it’s not a self-promotional, new marketing love-fest (at least not entirely.) Joseph points out the challenges and pitfalls of the experimentation he recommends, even as he shouts warnings about the dangers of doing nothing.
Join the Conversation feels like it’s written to people on the client side, but it’s worthwhile for agency folks as well. Especially creatives. I believe it’s up to us to use these new tools to craft even more compelling work. (But if you didn’t go to business school, you may want to skim a few pages every time you see a chart.)
So any marketing professional that wants to have a job in five years (or convincingly spew the latest buzzwords now) should read it.

In keeping with Jaffe’s spirit, I’m going to send my copy to the first person that emails me and agrees to write a review on their blog.
Or you can just buy it here.

How do you squeeze more out of User Generated Content?

Another example of "Packvertising."

Pretty smart of Heinz to use their ketchup packets to promote their UGC "Top This TV Challenge." Which was evidentially successful enough the first time around to bring it back for Take 2.

January 29, 2008

Does your ad make people want to stop, look and listen?

Target is promoting their exclusive release of John Legend’s new album with a subway poster that plays a greeting and music from the artist.

I saw two of them at different stops along the 1 line. A woman plugged in after me and a few people walking past stopped to see what was going on.

(Pepsi has used this technique in the past.)

January 28, 2008

Was it like this during 'Nam?

Copyranter recently ranted about the stenciled Rambo posters plastered everywhere. What caught my eye is that there was real graffiti on the ad that he pictured. And over half of the same ads I saw over the weekend did too.

And here’s a link to an even more creative response.

Protesting the war is passé. Besides, it’s so much easier to protest the style of a poster promoting a movie about war!

So is this a genuine protest against the commercial appropriation of the techniques of street art? Or do some people just enjoy defacing ads?

January 26, 2008

Yes Mini, it certainly is.

I'm not the only one who can't wait for the season premiere of LOST this Thursday.

You can see more words of wisdom from this Mini Cooper billboard here.

January 25, 2008

What would you do if you got a different job?

I enjoy being a copywriter. But I only became one because no one would pay me to sit on a beach and write bad poetry. I can’t imagine doing anything else, but plenty of people have made the leap to other occupations.
So if you want a little inspiration to daydream after a tough day, I’ve compiled this list of former copywriters.
Aidan Higgins
Allen Ginsberg
Alan Parker
Alec Guinness
Alastair Crompton
Ameena Meer
Andrea Helman
Anne McCaffrey
Arthur Slade
Augusten Burroughs
Barbara Joosse
Betty Birney
Betty Londergan
Bob Newhart
Bob Raczka
Bryce Courtenay
Carolyn Slaughter
Cambria Gordon
Catherine Woolley
Chloë Rayban
Clive Cussler
Dashiell Hammett
Dave Thomas
Don DeLillo
Don Novello
Dorothy L. Sayers
Earl Carter
Eleanora E. Tate
Ellen Kennedy
Ellen Meiste
Elmore Leonard
F. Scott Fitzgerald
Fay Weldon
Franc Roddam
Frederick Barthelme
Gary Comer
Helen Gurley Brown
Hugh Hefner
Indra Sinha
James Patterson
Jennifer Holm
Joan Aiken
John Crowley
John Flanagan
John William Bierhorst
John Griffith Bowen
John Hughes
Joseph Heller
Joyce Kay Sweeney
Kes Gray
Kristin Hunter Lattany
Kurt Vonnegut
Laurence Kasdan
Lew Welch
Lilian Jackson Braun
Linda Hutchison
Lori Oliva
Matt Beaumont
Michelle McKinney Hammond
Molly Lamken Cone
Nick Earls
Ogden Nash
Oscar Hijuelos
Peter Carey
Pegi Deitz Shea
Philip Ardagh
Philip Kerr
Pnina Moed-Kass
Richard Condon
Rick Moranis
Robert Elmer
Robin Friedman
Rosemary Hayes
Russell Hoban
Sandra Fenichel Asher
Salman Rushdie
Sherwood Anderson
Steve Dildarian
Steven Pressfield
Terry Gilliam
Theodor Seuss Geisel
Thom Jones
Thomas Burn
Tim Kazurinsky
Todd Strasser
Tom Burrell
Trudy Ludwig
Vashti Farrer
William Trevor
Zane Radcliffe

If you know of any others, leave a comment and I’ll add them to the list.

January 24, 2008

Are you preying on your customers’ fear or their stupidity?

Saw these at CVS.

Repackaging your product to meet a new demand seems like a pretty smart idea.
Unless anybody notices that you’re selling 7 bags for $1.49 and just down the aisle, they can get 20 for $2.99.

That’s 21 cents versus 15 cents per bag.
You could make the argument that the convenience of your new packaging makes the lives of consumers easier.
But who are you kidding?
Printing an airplane on a plastic bag doesn’t make it worth a 29% price increase.

January 23, 2008

Who's looking for them?

When I first lived in NYC for a few months back in 2000, I was surprised by people complaining about how “cleaned up” the city had become. Looks like New Yorkers’ nostalgia for the city’s gritty side is as strong as ever.

Spotted this board for The Village Voice at Delancey and Bowery.

January 22, 2008

How can you reduce advertising clutter?

Here’s another wild posting of a simple sticker. Seems someone got fed up with looking at ads in their Midtown neighborhood.

And it actually worked.

January 21, 2008

How do you sell to someone who doesn’t like being sold to?

Big marketers everywhere are trying to create the authenticity that seems to come naturally to indie brands. The magic formula seems to be one part honesty and one part irony.
For example, streetwear designer, Eriffs is taking a simple and direct approach to advertise their shirts, hoodies and hats.

Spotted this row of stickers off Delancey St.

January 18, 2008

Well, isn't advertising all about grabbing eyeballs?

This Pioneer ad started it. Now it's official.
The latest disturbing trend in advertising is the creepy eye visual.

At least it’s not as bad as the many, many, many different ads going ”down there.”

January 17, 2008

Or am I just paranoid?

And the remaining 27% don't believe the statistics they see in ads.

January 16, 2008

Are you keeping your New Year’s resolutions?

I've decided to start mine in February after all the gym ads disappear.
Equinox's racy "What's Your After?" campaign has already been heavily covered.

So I'm presenting this New York Sports Club ad as a contrast.

What works better, creating fantasy or poking fun of reality?

January 15, 2008

Crispin keeps doing the classics

First they reinvented the customer testimonial with Whopper Freakout.
Now Burger King has revitalized the competitive product demo.

Gotta love a nod to the Trix Rabbit.

January 14, 2008

Will it play in Peoria?

Customizing a campaign for different locales is tough. Sprint seems to be doing it as well as anybody.

Saw this one in Boston:

Miami's version has the line "Our signal is way caliente."

January 11, 2008

Do you miss good TV?

Then check out Psych tonight on USA networks. It's a fun show about a fake psychic detective. Good writing and chemistry between the cast.

I like the line on this poster, "All the law. None of the order."

January 10, 2008

Can I get those in a sack with a big dollar sign on it?

This headline for a Boston bank is a bit of a stretch.

I'd love it if someone actually requested their bonus in nickels.

January 8, 2008

Does this bus stop at the black diamond slope?

I spent New Year's in Boston, where I spotted this bus stop bench turned into a ski lift to promote vacations in Vermont.

January 4, 2008

How to look good freezing

AdRants reported yesterday that women wearing bathrobes hit the streets of NYC to promote Carson Kressley’s new show on Lifetime called How to look good naked.
This morning, they’re at it again. There’s no actual flesh on display because it is 22 DEGREES outside.

January 3, 2008

More holiday leftovers

Saw this table tent in the food court of the Westchester Mall.
Good media placement to reach holiday shoppers.