One ad campaign that resonates with me surprisingly comes from a bank. HSBC’s “Point of View” airport campaign is impactful, open-ended and sometimes humorous. The creative is unexpected and a strong example of a powerful voice, free of industry jargon that stands out from the hum of the marketplace.
Mormons and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, or LDS - not to be confused with LSD(!) - have been on my my radar screen lately. It has nothing to do with HBO's popular drama Big Love or Mitt Romney's failed presidential campaign. Rather, LDS has embarked on a brand image campaign which, upon a closer look, is much more than a polished, high-gloss initiative aimed at a younger generation of potential disciples. In fact, it is both a timely move for a marketplace in search of answers and a bold competitive move among religious institutions.
If you have a powerful singing voice you should sing. If you have a mediocre singing voice, you should sing and dance. In the business world, Zappos.com has serious pipes. The unorthodox retailer quickly climbed the customer service charts and stands alongside Nordstrom, Ritz-Carlton and USAA, companies long known for exemplary service. But despite legitimate talent and personality, Zappos choked recently when making the jump to advertising. Their first ad from Mullen, featuring puppets reenacting unusual customer calls, dials up the showmanship and distracts from their unique voice. As a result, Zappos misses some big notes and never quite connects with the audience.
After years of disappointing design, quality and performance, GAP seems tapped into the American cultural pulse once again. The company's holiday advertising campaign announces that the country is "Ready for Holiday Cheer." Like many retailers, GAP is spending more and launching earlier this year, including a major Vanity Fair insert and back cover. Whether these efforts end up translating to sales, of course, remains to be seen. Still, the campaign does more than any other to date to declare a shift in attitude. Consumers will decide for themselves to celebrate in ways "modest" or "all out," but either way, GAP gives permission "to liberate" from the dark clouds of the past 18 months. A holiday declaration of independence -- "This holiday, it's up to us" -- makes the empowerment message abundantly clear: Yes, Virginia, there is an American spirit of hope, even joy, that will not be silenced. The recession is over.
The advertising industry makes claims we are in an era of lean-machined responsiveness. Yet, all I see is the short term, rigid and rationalised.
But could the brand have done more with it? Could it have been given that kinetic potential?
You often hear of the lengthy approval processes required to get a campaign underway. That’s not always the case anymore.
Many political candidates and their campaigns have embraced Twitter, but when they've come calling about advertising there, Twitter has not reciprocated. Twitter has only recently begun rolling out its paid products for advertisers, gradually opening services like Promoted Tweets and Promoted Trends to big brands including Starbucks, Disney, and American Express. But despite the growing emphasis on Twitter for driving fundraising efforts and pushing out campaign messages, political advertisers aren’t exactly welcome - at least during this heated midterm election season. Even if Twitter does begin accepting political ad dollars, a lack of targeting capabilities could prevent campaigns from flocking to Twitter ads.
Cosmopolitan magazine, Hearst Magazines’ popular publication for young women, is harnessing the power of social media for its first global, digital advertising campaign. The main focus of the campaign — which will be introduced in New York on Thursday on a billboard in Times Square and at a reception for advertisers, media buyers and press — is a video that simulates a photo shoot for a new Cosmopolitan ad campaign. Using Facebook Connect, viewers of the video can download their own photographs and those of their friends, which pop up in the video as it progresses; the viewers are depicted as the stars of the campaign.
If you have ever tried to market your product or idea to every single person on the Internet, you know that this tactic simply does not work. Mass marketing might work for products that every household or person may need at one point in their lives, but it will not work if you are marketing a very specific product, idea or service that only a select group of people will use. To reach a defined, targeted audience that will be the most likely to buy your products, read your information or utilize your services, niche marketing needs to be implemented.
A campaign from a big brokerage firm that borrows formats from reality television is getting under way on Wednesday, but do not look for it on TV. Rather, the campaign, from the TD Ameritrade Holding Corporation, will be only online, in another example of the growing popularity among marketers of what are known as Web series, or webisodes. The show, called “The Invested Life,” pairs consumers in various life stages with independent financial advisers — not TD Ameritrade employees — who coach them on subjects like retirement, taxes, real estate, managing debt, saving for college and, of course, investing.
It's one thing to watch a YouTube video on a smartphone, or perhaps even a clip from a television sitcom. In a new advertising campaign, Sprint wants to show off the capabilities of its newest phone when it comes to showcasing movies and other mobile entertainment. In a new advertising campaign for the Samsung Epic 4G, Sprint has launched "Epic Mini Movies," a series of short films that take the stereotypical moments from several movie genres to highlight the phone's capabilities. The tongue-in-cheek satires, which are being shown on TV as well as on a Sprint microsite go over the top when spoofing the genres.
When discussing Groupon, it's quite clear: the group buying business model is financially viable. For Groupon. What's less clear: whether Groupon's business model is financially viable for businesses. One of the reasons it's not clear is that many -- if not most -- of the local business owners who have tried Groupon don't publicly reveal detailed results of their Groupon campaigns.
Pepsi is so happy with its "Refresh Project" social media marketing campaign that it has renewed funding for 2011 and will expand it to the rest of the world. This year it will give away $20 million to the good works projects that win the most supportive votes from consumers, representing "true democratization of the philanthropic process," according to a company spokesman. I say it's really dumb, and not just slightly dishonest.
Intrigued by the willingness of millions of consumers to pay real money for things that do not exist, some large companies are testing whether they can raise awareness of their brands — and sell more actual goods — by creating and offering their own pretend merchandise. Volvo Cars of North America, the clothing retailer H&M and MTV Networks are among the diverse brands entering the market for virtual goods — the make-believe items offered on social-networking games, smartphone apps or fantasy Internet sites.
Before BP could stem the oil gusher at the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico, it unleashed $100 million in ad spending, largely on network TV, to stem the damage to its image. But it also started spending heavily where it had never spent much before: buying ads in Google's search results. How much did BP spend on search? In two months, BP went from spending very little on search advertising -- about $57,000 a month -- to becoming one of Google's top advertisers, dropping nearly $3.6 million in the month of June alone, according to an internal Google document obtained by Advertising Age. That pushed BP into the upper echelon of search advertisers, in a league with Expedia, which spent at least $5.9 million in June, Amazon, which spent at least $5.8 million, and eBay, which spent at least $4.2 million.
With brawny athletes wearing its sleek, sweat-absorbing apparel in hard-charging situations, the sportswear maker Under Armour became the brand of choice for young men in their teens and 20s. Now the company is aiming to win over a new audience — active young women. “Women’s apparel some day will be larger than our men’s apparel business, which is our goal,” predicted Kevin A. Plank, a former college football player who founded Under Armour 14 years ago. The Baltimore company’s new television and digital campaign for women from ages 13 to 24 features several athletes, the most famous being Lindsey Vonn, the Olympic-winning Alpine skier, undertaking rigorous, even grueling, workouts — strained muscles, sweat and all.
Back when the first towns were so small that every resident and half the itinerant traders passing through were on a first-name basis, advertising a professional service meant little more than walking into the village pub and introducing yourself to the innkeeper. Chances are, you would have gotten to the next stage--in part because you were the only lawyer, accountant or land surveyor in town. These days few potential buyers will even take a meeting unless you've found a way to tell them who you are before you walk in the door. Which means something has to open that door for you. Then and only then can your professionalism, empathy, experience and ability to demonstrate a clear value proposition come into play. That's why I'm a big believer in advertising.
When Rilla Delorier assumed the post of chief marketing officer of SunTrust Bank in 2008, the banking crisis presented her with an opportunity -- to position SunTrust as a beacon in the storm, through new advertising from Mullen that launched in October of that year with the tagline, "Live Solid. Bank Solid." "The campaign launched based on research that we were doing with clients at the time that showed that people were waking up to living within their means," said Ms. Delorier, who previously was director-marketing for the bank's wealth-management business. "We went from concept to launch in six weeks."
Ladies, if you have ever wanted to wear strappy stilettos with your favorite football jersey, you are in luck. This fall, the National Football League will begin an advertising campaign encouraging you to do just that. The campaign, called “N.F.L. Women’s Apparel, Fit For You,” takes an approach to marketing clothing that is meant to be both fashionable and sporty. And while jerseys and T-shirts for women have been available on Web sites like nflshop.com and in catalogs, this is the first time the league has dedicated a campaign to apparel for women.
Recent breakthroughs in neuroscience confirm what we marketers know in our guts, but sometimes forget in the day-to-day rush of preparing the next ad campaign launch. Namely, everybody feels (emotions) before they think (rational decision), and without generating the appropriate emotional response, no ad campaign can succeed.
I think that's the same model in commercials for Cialis (left) and Plavix (right). Aside from the obvious hilarity of promoting a drug that causes hearts to palpitate and then one that calms them, I think she illustrates some of what's wrong with advertising. We know the spots aren’t real, of course. When the model and her model husband discover the urge to procreate while painting the walls in their model living room, the set morphs into an outdoor setting so they can instead sit down and lecture us about our, er, heads exploding and other risks from taking Cialis. The Plavix spot has the model getting chased by a hospital gurney, and then she happily fills out paperwork. The ads are clearly fantasies. Can make-believe messengers deliver real truths?
Nissan Motor Co.'s announcement of a new feature that will diffuse Vitamin C while you drive has inspired the headline "A car that moisturizes your skin!" in newspapers and blogs around the world. The Japanese automaker is introducing improvements to future models designed to create a more comfortable in-car environment that reduces stress and fatigue.
The fact that Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce, the new agency on “Mad Men,” has landed the Pond’s cold cream account is not the only ad news to come out of “Mad Men” this week. AMC, the cable channel that presents the series about the ad industry — and America — in the 1960s has made a deal with a giant marketer, Unilever, for a season-long sponsorship agreement. The agreement, for undisclosed terms, is centered on six commercials being created in the “Mad Men” vein for six Unilever products. Brands like BMW, Canada Dry and Clorox have previously tailored commercials for the show, but this is believed to be the first deal to involve multiple products from the same marketer.
I am watching the reinvigoration of the Buick Regal name with some interest. This is a brand name that is being essentially relaunched to reach a younger demographic, with a heavy focus on the 35-40 age group, moving away from the traditional Buick target market, usually double that age bracket. There are two ads: Autobahn and Discover Beauty that essentially position the car as an American BMW, since much is being made of the car's German engineering.
In a video on the Web site for Edge shave gel, EdgeShaveZone.com, the comedian John Caparulo explains what irritates him about pickup basketball games. The video, and about six others that will be added episodically through September, is featured on what the brand is calling the Edge Anti-Irritation Zone, an online campaign that makes light of everyday irritations to highlight how the product helps prevent shaving irritation.
NEXT week the cable channel G4 will morph into 4G. In a letter-swapping promotion for Sprint Nextel’s next-generation wireless Internet service, the name of the channel will change for seven days, affecting all its logos and shows. The campaign begins Monday. “We think it has some unique abilities to break through the clutter in the marketplace and help Sprint promote its service,” Neal Tiles, the president of G4, said in a telephone interview. He added, “How often do you get to change the name of the network for an extended period of time?” No, nothing is sacred now, not even a television channel’s name.
Old Spice has made history, dominating YouTube last week with 8 of the 11 most-watched videos on Friday and racking up tens of millions of views. Its "Smell Like a Man" campaign, in which its spokesmodel quickly shot mostly unscripted and hilariously funny replies to nearly 200 online inquiries (including some from famous people). It prompted numerous copycat videos and got covered by just about every news outlet in America. Now what?
Pepsi is engaging in a bit of war re-enactment, remaking a well-known comparative commercial, but with a twist, replacing Coke and Pepsi with the sugarless versions Coke Zero and Pepsi Max. The new spot, by the TBWA/Chiat/Day division of TBWA Worldwide and directed again by Mr. Pytka, uses the same setup, except this time the drivers drink Coke Zero and Pepsi Max, and the song is “Why Can’t We Be Friends?” by War.
Domino’s last week introduced an industry first: A transparent pizza. The chain, working with Crispin Porter + Bogusky, attempted to one-up competitors on the authenticity front by announcing that all the photographs of its pizza that will appear in ads will from now on be devoid of “fancy food artistry” or “fancy touch-ups.”
Allstate Insurance is running a campaign in which the threats of trees falling on cars, teens nicking car bumpers, and pets trashing upholstery are portrayed by a character named "Mayhem." I think it's scary good advertising. The actor, Dean Winters, is wonderfully smarmy. He was hilariously memorable as Tina Fey's self-adoring idiot ex-boyfriend on "30 Rock," and in these spots he cheerfully promises mayhem on dark roads and in crowded parking lots. He's perfect because he's sinister in the same way that stripes threaten to clash with plaid. I get the point but I'm not scared. Which is why the critics' complaints that the spots resort to fear mongering are plain wrong. Mayhem's mischief is an expression of reality; fate (or chance) is capricious, and that's why there's such a thing as insurance in the first place. So these ads manage to tell the truth, which is 1) an immense accomplishment for the category, and 2) directionally illustrative of what other advertisers should do.
In the second meta fast food campaign to launch this week, Chipotle Mexican Grill is running ads explaining why it isn’t running the usual fast food ads.
During Dan Aho’s vacation to the Florida Gulf Coast, he slurped seawater, spirited off shells from an old lady and destroyed a sand castle in progress, often snug in the most horrifying of tourist tog — the dreaded red Speedo. He would seem to be giving visitors to the Sunshine State a bad name, except that his goal is actually to bring more of them here. He is the star, after all, of the most ambitious and humorous effort yet to keep Florida’s tourism empire alive despite the oil spill in the northern Gulf of Mexico.
Florida has begun a national advertising campaign to protect its fun-in-the-sun image from the sludge and stink of the oil spill — spending almost as much in June (about $9.5 million) as the state usually spends in a year. State officials describe it as a necessity: tourism is Florida’s largest industry, employing one million people and bringing in $60 billion a year. The goal, they say, is to show off what the state still has to offer.
Infiniti from the very beginning has had a difficult time establishing a brand identity and finding a way to execute it in communications. Introduced in 1989, Infiniti was Nissan's response to the introductions of the other Japanese luxury marques; Acura and Lexus. The original Q45 was a sporty performance alternative to the Lexus. Unfortunately, the brand got off to a rough start when it introduced the car and brand with the infamous "rocks and trees" campaign created by its agency Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos.
Undeterred by criticism of a new TV commercial featuring its leader, BP PLC is pressing ahead with a major ad campaign—in an effort to rescue its badly damaged image—as torrents of oil continue to spew into the Gulf of Mexico. "We are preparing a series of ads to air over the next days and weeks," said Andrew Gowers, a spokesman for the British oil company. President Barack Obama blasted the company on Friday for reportedly spending $50 million on television advertising as the company scrambles to fix its leaking well.
Gap Inc. is searching for "a creative partner for our holiday 2010 campaign," according to Advertising Age. In the spirit of helping the brand’s managers with their decision, I hereby offer up some straight and very dim suggestions.
For many men, spending a day shopping is akin to having one's gums scraped. But The Men's Wearhouse wants to demonstrate the understanding it has for its target with a new campaign asserting the store is "A place where men belong."
I was stopped in my tracks this morning when I read the paper and saw this truly awful ad from Accenture. Dear oh dear. Not that "elephants can dance too" metaphor, or surf as it is in this case. So deja vu. So crap. Really. It made me think what a mess Accenture's communication is in since it knee-jerked into firing Tiger Woods, who it has used since 2003.
Procter & Gamble's Pantene is making a comeback with a new campaign from Grey that suggests consumers "Put it to the test." The beauty brand, which now offers products customized by hair type, named the winner of its first "Reality Hair Star Contest" with a live TV ad broadcast Tuesday on NBC's season finale of The Biggest Loser: Couples.
Kraft is looking to spice up the lunchtime sandwich with a new celebrity-backed campaign for its line of flavored mayonnaises. The effort for the Sandwich Shop brand, which kicked off with a 60-second spot during last night's American Idol finale, stars HGTV Design Star judges Candice Olson, Genevieve Gorder and Vern Yip. TV spots, dubbed Tastemakers,” are set up in a makeover reality show format.
Kraft Foods wants grown-ups to get the blues in the night, and in the afternoon and at snack time, too. The “blues” in this instance are the familiar blue boxes of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese Dinner, a product that Kraft has long sold to adults as a meal to make for children. In a new campaign — the first work on the brand from a new creative agency — Kraft tells adults that its macaroni and cheese has, to quote ads for Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes, the taste adults have grown to love.
American Airlines will debut two TV spots over the Memorial Day weekend that pay tribute to military service members, veterans and their families. Created by Dallas-based TM Advertising, American's advertising agency of record, the new 30-second commercials were filmed on location at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, one of Dallas-based American's hubs. "Thank You" tells the story of a traveling solider who begins his journey with American Airlines.
Diaper ads typically are earnest, fawning over babies and remaining steadfastly euphemistic about function, typically pouring blue liquid into diapers to demonstrate absorbency. But a couple of years ago Huggies shifted directions with another JWT spot: a father slips into a bedroom during a party to change the diaper of his baby boy, who, lying on the bed and smiling, suddenly produces a geyserlike stream that splatters the ceiling. “We’re moving away from the saccharine and getting into a little more reality and humor,” said Richie Glickman, a JWT creative director who worked on that spot and the latest one. While it is, in the most literal sense, potty humor, Mr. Glickman said such ads resonated with parents at a deeper level.
Domino's Pizza's recent sales surge is one compelling reminder of the power of a clear benefit appeal and intelligent execution, as opposed to advertising that entertains but falls short on results, in the opinion of at least one marketing consultant.
Chrysler is prepping the launch of a corporate branding TV campaign it hopes will help repair its image in the minds of consumers -- and it's hired a new agency, Interpublic Group of Cos.' Gotham, for the project.
Now another airline, JetBlue, is introducing a marketing initiative that seeks to convince consumers how much better traveling on JetBlue can be. The campaign is scheduled to begin on Monday as a video-rich online effort — JetBlue is calling it a digital brand experience — whose Web address is meant to say it all: experience.jetblue.com. (It will also be reachable by visiting the JetBlue Web site, jetblue.com, and clicking on “experience.”) The initiative, by a digital agency in New York named Firstborn, is an example of what is known as experiential marketing, which aims to bring brands to life in tangible ways that eschew traditional advertising tactics like television commercials.
Starbucks today (Tuesday) kicked off a new campaign for its Frappuccino brand, touting “however-you-want-it” blended iced drinks. Dubbed "Express Your Love!," the campaign comes as Starbucks tries to grow sales of its priciest drinks, such as the Frappuccino. (The coffee chain recently announced Frappuccino-inspired products, including ice creams and the Vanilla Frappuccino Light drink.)
PepsiCo Inc. is launching a new ad campaign during Friday night's NBA playoffs meant to boost its struggling Gatorade business by getting athletes to gulp its iconic sports drink before, during, and after the game. The campaign, promoting the Purchase, N.Y., food and beverage giant's new lineup of "G Series" drinks for athletes, aims to demonstrate that Gatorade isn't just a sports drink that replaces nutrients sweated out during the game, but a system with three steps: a carbohydrate-loaded "Prime" concentrated liquid before play; the traditional "Perform" sports drink during; and a light, protein-rich "Recover" drink after.
After more than a year of consumer research and agency brainstorming, McDonald's global chief marketing officer unveiled an updated take on its iconic, 7-year-old "I'm Lovin' It" campaign today before an audience of 15,000 franchisees, marketers and suppliers.
With two weeks to go before the British general election, the media seems to have gone politically bonkers. You can’t turn a page or switch on the TV without an immediate update on the upcoming election. Marketers are not exempt from all this either. We suddenly seem obsessed with the different marketing strategies being applied by the three major political parties. The Lib Dems have gone guerrilla. Labour is relying on user-generated content. And the Tories are using traditional, above-the-line media.
New ad campaigns suggest marketers are eager to shake off the gloom of tough economic times--and they hope consumers will do the same. While some economists aren't sure the tough times are history, advertisers don't seem to care. Companies are rolling out carefree ads that use humor, colorful images and upbeat language to get consumers to lighten up--and open up their wallets.
Once you define your goals and know what success looks like, the next step is defining your customer profiles then search for them online. For starters, you should at least know the age demographic, income level or occupation. After you know who your typical customer looks like, you need to find where they are online and what they’re talking about to get a step closer to engage them. This is where you should be looking at using some free online tools to help you gather useful data. Let’s look at using a combination of Google and Twitter to find your customers.
AT&T is undertaking an ambitious rebranding effort under the banner "Rethink Possible" that includes a redesign that updates its trademark logo. The new theme attempts to position AT&T as a lifestyle company and elevate it from the recent ad sniping with rival Verizon. "Rethink Possible" will inform all advertising from the country's fourth-largest spender going forward.
Watch out, Sam Adams. Take a back seat, Most Interesting Man in the World. There's a new beer mascot in town: Keith Stone. MillerCoors brand Keystone Light is introducing a new spokescharacter, Keith Stone, in a national advertising campaign targeting young males. The character, a Jack Black-esque hero, is meant to embody the brand's "Always Smooth" positioning.
The previous campaign for Weight Watchers featured a furry critter that tempted dieters with high-calorie foods. Now, the company has decided to get real: its new campaign will star the actress and singer Jennifer Hudson, who will talk about what she has experienced in her quest to lose weight.
Just in time for this year’s mid-term Congressional elections in November the US Supreme Court opened the financial floodgates by overturning campaign finance rules that prevented corporations from spending at will to oppose or support political candidates. Two of the biggest likely beneficiaries of these new more liberal (not in the political sense) spending rules will undoubtedly be Google and Facebook, although they stood to benefit regardless as more and more political ad dollars flow into search and online display.
The new ad campaign for Coca-Cola's Vitaminwater hints at a use for enhanced waters and sports drinks that is part of conventional wisdom among many college students and young professionals: hangover relief. The ads debuted during the NCAA March Madness basketball tournament, and are part of Coke's effort to revitalize the brand, which it bought for $4.1 billion in 2007. After a decade of fast growth, Vitaminwater's sales volume slipped 22% last year, according to Beverage Digest, as price-conscious consumers traded down to tap water and, in some cases, sodas.
Samuel Adams Boston Lager marketer Boston Beer Co. is pushing an unusual selling point in new ads: Its own insignificance. In a spot titled "Growing Up Small" from the brewery's longtime agency, Octopus, it sets out to dispel the notion that it accounts for a significant portion of U.S. beer sales, asking drinkers in a series of documentary-style interviews how big they think Sam Adams' share is. Twenty-five percent, guesses one. Huge, says another. At that point, the brand's actual market share flashes across the screen: 0.9%.
Geico outguns it by more than double when it comes to auto insurance ad spending. Progressive outspends it by nearly 40%. And Allstate matches its outlays on auto-insurance ads. Yet State Farm -- the country's leading auto insurer -- gained market share last year despite raising its rates and dwelling as a distant third in ad spending in the category. When rival Allstate raised rates, its policy sales declined, but after State Farm did the same, its share actually advanced due to a small increase (less than 1%) in policies sold during a down market.
For years, the question “Got milk?” was actually asking consumers “Got enough milk?” — reminding them to drink milk by comically exaggerating the perils of running out. Now the “Got milk?” campaign is taking the opposite tack, by comically exaggerating the perils of never running out. The twist on the campaign, which began appearing this week, is from Goodby, Silverstein & Partners in San Francisco, the Omnicom Group agency that created “Got milk?” in 1993 for the California Milk Processor Board. The slogan is familiar beyond that state because it is licensed by the California milk board for nationwide milk campaigns that feature people sporting milk mustaches and are sponsored by national milk processors and dairy farmers.
Don't act too surprised if, some time in the next year, you meet someone who explains that their business card isn't just a card; it's an augmented reality business card. You can see a collection and, at visualcard.me, you can even design your own, by adding a special marker to your card, which, once put in front of a webcam linked to the internet, will show not only your contact details but also a video or sound clip. Or pretty much anything you want. It's not just business cards.
If you’re a soccer fan, you’ll understand. If you’re not, well, suffice to say that Europeans (Italians, especially) are (in general) crazy about soccer. So when Heineken staged a fake classical music concert at the same time of a crucial Real Madrid vs. AC Milan game on October 21st, there was no chance that any real soccer fan would be there…except if their girlfriends, professors and bosses convinced them (by all means necessary) to attend. What happens next is sheer hilarity, and a nice example of a high-budget guerrilla marketing campaign from Heineken. Suffice to say that over 1100 soccer fans got swindled, 1.5 million people saw their reactions on live TV, and Heineken received 5 million visitors to the site devoted to the event, and a great deal of news coverage for their troubles.
In the battle to win over consumers during difficult economic times, marketers are sending their employees to the front lines. The trend seems to be accelerating. Last week, Zappos introduced a new pitch with puppets fronting actual recordings of employee customer service calls. Last month, Lowe’s launched a campaign with store associates advising cash-strapped DIY consumers. Those campaigns come after several others celebrating the rank and file. Over the past year or so, Southwest Airlines, Ford, Domino’s, Bank of America, General Electric, Exxon Mobile and Verizon have featured staffers or actors playing them.
Amway, the privately owned global direct sales company, known for its network of salespeople who sell vitamins, beauty products and other household staples door-to-door, is launching an estimated $25 million ad campaign that pitches its "positivity." Two 30-second TV commercials, created by Omnicom Group unit Element 79, portray Amway as a benevolent company that creates jobs for those in need, makes eco-friendly and good-for-you products and improves communities. "We help people build better lives, build their own businesses, and together, build better communities," a voiceover says in one spot that breaks Monday.
In addition to creating a digital extension to Diesel's national "Be Stupid" campaign, which broke earlier this year, the AOR will be responsible for a number of social media aspects for Diesel, including a mix of blogger relations. Iced Media will monitor Diesel's social media programs daily using IcedMetrix, a proprietary measurement tool that enables clients to track social media referred sales.
In need of an image makeover after an aggressive acquisition spree, Hewlett-Packard is launching its first corporate advertising campaign in more than five years. The company, which consumers know primarily for its printers, says it is seeking to recast itself as a broader technology concern with a campaign featuring, among others, rapper Dr. Dre and stand-up comedian Rhys Darby, star of the HBO series "Flight of the Conchords." A person familiar with the matter estimated that the eight-week campaign will cost $40 million.
Zappos has launched a new campaign centered around the notion of “delivering happiness”, a value that the company strives for by delivering customer service worthy of a “wow”, its No. 1 core value. Zappos uses the spots to celebrate their customer service reps – known internally as their customer loyalty team, and emphasizes the notion that they are a brand “powered by service” and “happy to help. 24/7.” The first spot in the campaign features Zappos puppets portraying a customer and a customer service rep helping her with her question – based on an actual Zappos customer call.
A popular new reality series on CBS, “Undercover Boss,” shows senior managers working incognito as everyday employees. As for employees who are not secretly C.E.O.’s, they have champions, too, in marketers that are devoting ad campaigns to workers. The latest marketer to join the trend is Zappos, the online retailer that was recently bought by Amazon. In a campaign scheduled to begin on Monday, Zappos will celebrate its customer service representatives, whom the company refers to as the customer loyalty team. The intent is to demonstrate to potential customers — and remind current ones — how the employees make it easy to order or return merchandise, either on Zappos.com or by calling a toll-free number.
Diet Coke will make an appearance at this year's Oscars. A new 60-second spot for the soft-drink brand will debut during the awards ceremony on Sunday, March 7. The spot is part of an ongoing campaign called “Stay Extraordinary," and "celebrates the achievements of the next generation of Diet Coke drinkers," per the brand, which is owned by The Coca-Cola Co., Atlanta. It will initially air during the Academy Awards, and two additional 30-second spots will be introduced next week during American Idol.
Cottonelle, Kimberly-Clark's toilet tissue brand, will take to the Academy Awards broadcast to announce the winner of its "Great Debate" campaign that featured a national poll asking consumers whether toilet paper should be hung so that it rolls over or under. The ads conclude the campaign, but launch something new, as well. The brand will run a pair of ads during the Academy Awards on Sunday that announce which roll orientation Americans prefer and introduce a new product enhancement.
Ford has tapped 40 people to participate in the second phase of its Fiesta Movement campaign, a social-media effort begun last year to drive awareness of the U.S. version of the Ford Fiesta compact car, which goes on sale this summer. While the first program had participants blogging about their experiences with the car for a series of assignments from Ford Motor, the second program -- involving 20 teams of two agents each -- will have participants developing local-market activity around the car.
As the first project in its new GeoBranding Center, the CMO Council (CMOC) is partnering with South Africa to measure the impacts of the country's branding efforts and co-sponsor a crowd-sourcing advertising contest leading up to the FIFA World Cup tournament this summer. The council is forming the GeoBranding Center as a global knowledge resource center dedicated to the marketing of countries, destinations, places of origin, attractions, venues and locations. Geobranding experts and marketers will be invited to contribute insights, opinions, case studies and best practices, and a series of research initiatives will explore the impact of campaigns using B-to-C and B-to-B digital and traditional advertising and marketing campaigns. The center's microsite will launch March 15.
The bar in “Cheers” was supposedly where everybody knew your name. A leading home-improvement retailer plans to present itself as the place where everybody knows which type of washer you need, which type of insect is infesting your garden or which shade of purple a teenage girl can paint her room without driving her mother crazy.
The dairy industry interrupts its regularly scheduled "milk moustache" campaign to bring you an ad in support of First Lady Michelle Obama's "Let's Move!" program to combat childhood obesity. "We share the concern that childhood obesity is a problem in the U.S., and the world," Julia Kadison, vice president of marketing for the Milk Processors Education Program (Milk PEP), tells Marketing Daily. "We want to emphasize milk as part of the solution."
BMW has just launched what the Woodcliff Lake, N.J.-based company says is its biggest brand campaign to date, and maybe the first that puts as much focus on the drivers and their pleasure in driving as the cars themselves. It's part of a big-media strategy the company is doing to raise its profile worldwide with a more emotional, optimistic voice. Jack Pitney, VP of marketing for BMW, takes Marketing Daily for a drive.
Almost 75 years ago, the fashion editor Diana Vreeland began captivating, puzzling and amusing a Depression-weary nation with a column in Harper’s Bazaar magazine called “Why Don’t You ... ” She offered suggestions that were breezy — “Why don’t you tie black tulle bows on your wrists?” — or profligate — “Why don’t you turn your old ermine coat into a bathrobe?” Now, during times deemed almost as hard as those, Saks Fifth Avenue is introducing a campaign inspired by Ms. Vreeland’s maxims, although more grounded in the practical. The campaign, which carries the theme “Think about ... ,” includes print and online advertisements, catalogs, signs in stores, e-mail marketing, events, direct mail and social media like Facebook.
GM's Chevy brand is sporting a very different look in ads that just launched during the Winter Olympics: Vignettes featuring families and friends in Chevy cars. The latest television commercials for Chevy's Equinox, Malibu, and Traverse models drop spokesperson Howie Long in favor of "very human, intimate, family moments – those that often happen in the enclosed environment of the family car – to capture the spirit of Chevy," says Bob Moore, chief creative officer of the agency that created the ads. The previous tagline, "The American revolution," is also gone.
The raucous, party-hardy image of rum is not for the rum distillers of Puerto Rico. They are taking another tack in a campaign that is now under way. The campaign, which carries the theme “A reflection of who you are,” has a tone that is intended to be more sophisticated and upscale. The ads are aimed at younger urban professionals who look forward to other parts of the day besides happy hour.
Procter & Gamble, the consumer goods company behind products such as Tide and Pampers, hopes the Olympics will help it score with penny-pinching shoppers. The Cincinnati company rolled out a $10-million ad campaign Monday, integrating corporate and brand messaging, to win over consumers watching the 2010 Winter Games. The goal? To convince shoppers to buy its premium products. TV and Web ads, themed "Thanks, Mom," announce P&G's efforts to subsidize travel costs for every mother of a Team USA athlete.
Dunkin’ Donuts hopes to convince energy drink consumers to get their daily jolts of caffeine from its iced java. A new ad campaign suggests energy drink fans should “kick the can” and drink freshly brewed Dunkin’ iced coffee instead of “mass-produced” energy drinks. The TV commercial depicts two young men watching a hoop game at a gym, one with a Dunkin’ iced coffee and the other with an energy drink in a thin can resembling that of market leader Red Bull. The iced coffee drinker lifts up his cup and says, “This was made just for me.”
With Americans tightening their belts, BMW AG is parking "the ultimate driving machine" in the garage, at least for a while. The auto maker for years has promoted the power and performance of its cars using that slogan, one of the longest-running and most well-known in the auto industry. But now the company is switching gears. On Friday, it was launching an advertising campaign that focuses on the joy the company says comes from owning its vehicles and suggests BMWs are safe for mothers and children. One print ad uses the tagline "Joy is Maternal"—a departure from past promotions that touted horsepower, handling and acceleration.
Procter & Gamble is feeling generous at this year's Olympic Winter Games. The packaged goods maker is sending Team USA's mothers to Vancouver to watch their children compete, as part of a program called "Thanks, Mom." The program, announced today (Thursday), will defray the cost of travel and accommodations, allowing moms to support the athletes in person during the Games. P&G is also running a campaign, which celebrates the special people in the lives of Team USA's members. (Since forming an alliance with the U.S. Olympic Committee last summer, the company has tapped several Team USA athletes to star in its Olympics-focused marketing. Among the athletes are snowboarder Lindsey Jacobellis, speed skater Apolo Ohno, and skier Lindsey Vonn.)
Coca-Cola is giving its Facebook fans an advance look at its twin Super Bowl commercials, and also using the social media platform to put its "Open Happiness" theme into action by enabling users to trigger charitable donations and pass "virtual gifts" on to friends. Starting now, each virtual Coca-Cola gift and commercial sneak-peek triggers a $1 donation by Coca-Cola to Boys & Girls Clubs of America. Gift recipients receive a special Coke bottle image that is displayed on their Facebook page and newsfeed to feed the viral gift-giving dynamic.
A national effort to encourage businesses to employ workers with disabilities is not your father’s hire the handicapped campaign. One difference is that the new ads are paid rather than pro bono, with an estimated budget of $4 million for the first two quarters of 2010. The ads will appear on television, in print, online and outdoors; there is also a sponsorship deal with NPR. The ads are being financed largely by agencies in 30 states that provide employment services as well as health and human services to their citizens who are disabled. The agencies have set a goal of raising $10 million for the campaign’s budget for the full year.
With every new day, the phrase "I'm just not the target demographic" seems to be more relevant for me. Earlier this week I saw a couple of striking posters that caught my eye. They were bold, typographic and used hot colors. That was the good part. Then I read the message: SMART LISTENS TO THE HEAD. STUPID LISTENS TO THE HEART. BE STUPID. This is a new ad campaign from Diesel fashions. Their pitch is that smart is cold, intellectual, and cautious, and has only one good idea. Stupid is exciting, hot, emotional full of possibility, and has "balls." The logic seemed pretty weak.
Anheuser-Busch InBev NV will shelve its Bud Light "Drinkability" slogan during the Super Bowl in a bid to resuscitate the beer's sales with funnier commercials. It's even considering benching its famous Clydesdale horses during the game. Anheuser, the world's largest brewer by revenue, has bought five minutes of commercial time during the Feb. 7 football spectacular. It is expected to air several Bud Light ads with a newly created tagline, "Here we go." The line is meant to show that Bud Light is a "catalyst for a good time," says Keith Levy, Anheuser-Busch's vice president for marketing.
Bank of America Merrill Lynch is launching a $20 million marketing campaign focusing on retirement planning. Themed "help2retire______" (read "help2retire blank"), the campaign encourages individuals to "fill in the blank" by identifying aspects of their working and financial lives that they want to put an end to and to focus on what matters most when planning for and during their retirement years.
Republican Scott Brown's victory over Martha Coakley in the Massachusetts special election last week makes President Barack Obama an unimpressive zero for three. Since taking office, each time he's tried to help a Democrat secure an election victory -- the gubernatorial races in New Jersey and Virginia being the other two instances -- he has come up empty. It's a pretty stunning turnabout for the man named Ad Age's Marketer of the Year in 2008, when his masterful campaign infected a nation with a fever for change and the Democratic party rode his coattails to the kind of majorities in the House and Senate that all but guaranteed approval of key party policies. Now, undoubtedly, Brand Obama is tarnished. Some political analysts and consultants believe he fell victim to a common marketer mistake: being too slow to react to a new environment.
Oscar Meyer, which has two of the most famous advertising jingles, is pushing them to the side as it introduces its biggest campaign to date. After more than 125 years in existence, the brand is spending more than $50 million on its first campaign to extend across all of its meaty products: bacon, hot dogs, premade sandwiches, bologna and sliced packaged meats. The brand wanted to emphasize its name beyond just a few well-known products, said Sean Marks, director for marketing at Oscar Mayer, a division of Kraft Foods.
On Dec. 13, Accenture decided to end its six-year sponsorship of Tiger Woods. The next day, Roxanne Taylor, the global consulting firm's chief marketing officer, presented the concept for a new ad campaign to Chief Executive Bill Green. Amid salacious headlines about the golf superstar's alleged extramarital affairs, the new campaign, based on an idea Accenture's ad agency already had on hand, was put on a fast track. It would replace images of Mr. Woods with a lineup of animals pictured in ways designed to jibe with Accenture's longstanding slogan: "High Performance. Delivered."
Jackson Hewitt Tax Service is launching a fully integrated national ad campaign that focuses on the upside of filing a tax return. The creative highlights the joy that refund-receiving taxpayers feel when they get that "big check" and includes the tagline: "Get every dollar you deserve." Included are TV, radio, print, online, out-of-home, direct mail and in-store during multi-week flights between January and April. With tax preparation kiosks in over 1,800 Walmart stores throughout the country this tax season, the campaign also ties in the company's new, exclusive relationship with Walmart.
OK, I have to add my two cents to the prediction business and label what I think might be an emergent, if not important trend for brands and marketers in our nascent new decade: we're going to see the return of paid commercial speech. Yup. I don't know what we'll call it yet -- whether advertising, marketing, or something new altogether -- but it'll be a stark contrast to the Conversational School that has dominated the, re, conversation about marketing for the past few years. It'll probably have little use for the term "content" and revert instead to older, more descriptive terms, like "information" and "messages that actually matter to someone." And my bet is that it'll possess qualities that have proven utterly ellusive to the most celebrated marketing campaigns of the 2000s.
Geico today broke a new campaign dubbed "Rhetorical Questions," which is the latest of at least four other concurrent campaigns for the auto insurance provider. The new effort, via The Martin Agency, spotlights the savings car owners get when they switch to Geico insurance. The four spots, however, don't feature any of the company's mascots like the Gecko, the Cavemen, or Kash. Instead, Geico tapped actor Mike McGlone (from The Brothers McMullen) to play a reporter who asks rhetorical questions, such as: "Does Elmer Fudd have trouble with the letter R?" and "Did The Waltons take way too long to say goodnight?"
Looks like Yahoo is the latest marketer to jump on the resurging "Random acts of kindness" bandwagon, announcing a year-end giving campaign called "You in?" This month, both Clinique and Macy's asked people to commit these random acts on behalf of their brands. And in recent months, Cosmopolitan partnered with Estee Lauder for its Cosmo Karma project, and Servus Credit Union, a Canadian bank, handed out $200,000 in $10 increments to finance small good deeds. Experts expect to see more marketers work the "Random Acts" thinking, a phrase that last soared in popularity in the mid-'90s, into their cause-related efforts.
First, Justin Timberlake brought sexy back. Now, Dockers will try to bring khaki back.One could, of course, make the case that Mr. Timberlake’s task was far easier because sexy never really went very far. By contrast, although Dockers remains a popular and successful brand in the category of men’s casual pants, its long-term health is in question because many younger men associate Dockers with its heyday of casual Fridays and the 1990s.
International Business Machines and a handful of other major marketers, including casino operator Harrah's Entertainment and software giant Microsoft, are experimenting with developing ad campaigns based in part on what consumers are chatting about on the Web. For decades, advertisers have relied heavily on sometimes-dated consumer surveys and focus groups to provide grist for their ads. Now, some are using new technologies to scan the Web for key words to find out what consumers are—and aren't—saying about their brands.
Nikon is taking a cue from the popularity of Twitter by using the microblogging service as a launchpad for a new promotion. Yesterday, actor Ashton Kutcher kicked off the campaign by tweeting his involvement in the Nikon Film Festival, a user-generated content contest for people to submit "a day through your lens" video for the chance to win $100,000. Kutcher, who has 3.9 million followers on the service, posted a link to his own submission, a short film documenting a day he spent in Africa with his actress-wife Demi Moore.
Until August, Honda had been reticent about using social media platforms in a big way. The company had a MySpace page for the Element, and started dabbling in Facebook with the Fit compact car and, more recently, the Insight hybrid. Then, this year, Honda told its agency, Santa Monica, Calif.-based RPA, that it needed a plan to talk about Honda's core values but on a tight budget. Thus began the Facebook-centric "Everybody Knows Somebody Who Loves a Honda" effort launched in August without ad support. Last month, the Torrance, Calif., automaker added traditional media directing consumers to Facebook. Ads show real Honda owners talking about themselves and their cars in sliding pane-like frames that go from one owner to the next. Each owner is somehow connected to the previous one.
You wouldn't immediately suspect that Yelp's iPhone app might be a gift bestowed upon us by a benevolent superhero from the future. Load it up and the program's in its Clark Kent garb -- a useful-enough guide to local restaurants, bars, and merchants. Then you notice a button labeled monocle in the right-hand corner. Hit it and the screen displays a live feed from the phone's camera, showing exactly what's in front of you -- with one big difference. Aim the camera at a local storefront and Yelp superimposes a star rating on the image. Use Monocle in a hot neighborhood, for instance, and point it at every restaurant for a quick appraisal of the best food in the area. Yelp's app is one of the first "augmented reality," or AR, programs to debut on the iPhone, and though it can be handy, it's most useful as a sign of what's to come.
The Kayak.com travel search engine is hoping to "flip" from a well-kept secret among frequent travelers to a tool used by mainstream travelers every day. After discovering earlier this year that 68% of consumers who use online travel sites had never heard of Kayak, the company decided to focus on marketing. This week, Kayak is launching its first national advertising campaign on TV, online and outdoors, created by its new agency of record, Goodby, Silverstein & Partners in San Francisco. The creative features the tagline: "Search one and done," a device that resembles the traditional destination/time flip display boards once found in train stations and airports around the world, and a new logo based on this "flippy" device.
It took 30 years of playing guitar in Grand Central Terminal and on New York City streets, but Luke Ryan finally landed a corporate sponsor. Mr. Ryan, 58, usually plays a couple of mornings a week at Grand Central, making him a fixture there, whether commuters notice or not. On Thursday, Mr. Ryan had set up his microphone and speakers in front of where the Times Square shuttles scoot in and out, and there were near constant lines of people heading in both directions. Some people glanced at the source of the sound, some even tugged at their pockets as they passed as though retrieving a dollar, but no one dropped in any change.
FedEx has begun a global ad campaign touting its reliability and expertise in helping consumers navigate a fast-changing economic landscape, a move that comes as the package shipping industry faces weaker sales brought on by the recession. FedEx and its competitor -- UPS, the world's largest package shipper -- have battled recent earnings slumps as tight-fisted consumers and businesses cut back on spending. The former reported an earnings drop of 53 percent for its most recent quarter, while UPS saw a 43 percent quarterly decrease.
Unilever is turning on the cyber charm in Asia with a burst of social-media activities for brands like Pond's, Lux and Comfort. One effort in China, an experiment to use bloggers in a blind test of Pond's Age Miracle moisturizer, will become a regional marketing strategy for the skin-care brand.
It wasn't long ago that a fashion magazine reader could flip through the pages of Vogue and Elle to find advertisements from high-end French brand Lacoste. Not anymore. The company known for its crocodile logo and polo shirts is ditching print ads and switching to a completely digital tactic in America. Lacoste spends $12 million a year on marketing in the U.S., according to TNS Media Intelligence, and all of that will go online. The change rolls out Thursday with the launch of a new Web site, from New York agency Euro RSCG, that lets shoppers build their own Lacoste wardrobes and share with friends on social networking sites.
Activision expands its blockbuster Guitar Hero franchise this week with the release of DJ Hero, a game that lets users play DJ with a turntable and more than 100 songs. Crispin Porter + Bogusky targets music fans and gamers with TV and online ads that highlight the player experience and tout the title's exclusive tracks. A TV spot breaking this week shows gamers on stage controlling the performances of Jay-Z and Eminem. Online, banner ads allow folks to create their own mixes.
Some advertisers, including some of our clients, have started to reallocate branding funds from offline marketing efforts to paid search. Why search?
People don't get to choose their mothers -- at least until now, thanks to Kleenex. The Kimberly-Clark Corp. brand is offering mass-customized mothering to a nation gripped by H1N1 angst via GetMommed.com, where visitors can choose from among eight moms either directly or via Facebook-style quizzes. The unusual effort is the centerpiece of the iconic brand's cold and flu season marketing campaign this year.
Kodak, this week, will hit the airwaves with its first new brand campaign since 2005. Beginning Oct. 31, the imaging giant will tell consumers “It’s Time to Smile” through a series of TV and Web ads. The campaign aims to focus on the moments and relationships that define people’s lives.
Bank of America, one of the seven leading financial institutions to be affected by the government-imposed salary cuts, is breaking a new campaign today (Monday), aimed at rebuilding consumer trust. The new $40 million ad effort excludes financial lingo and other esoteric banking terms unknown to consumers. Instead, the bank, which earlier this month broke a campaign for its Merrill Lynch Wealth Management group, is using a series of spots with “simple, clear and direct” messaging to repair its relationship with consumers, BofA executives said. The goal of the campaign is to present the bank’s different products, and then show how they can help, the bank said.
Volkswagen of America is launching the newest-generation GTI exclusively on an iPhone app, a cost-efficient approach the automaker said is a first for the industry. How cost efficient? When the marketer introduced the GTI in 2006, it spent $60 million on a big-budget blitz with lots of network TV. By comparison, an executive familiar with the matter estimates the annual budget for mobile AOR services is $500,000. And while an iPhone-only strategy may seem limiting, consider this: In September, Apple reported there are more than 50 million iPhone and iPod touch customers worldwide. By comparison, CBS' "NCIS," the most-watched show for week ending Oct. 18, reached 21 million viewers and commands an average price of $130,000 for a single 30-second spot.
Can social media sell cars? Ford Motors seems to think so. Fresh off the Ford Fiesta Movement, the American car maker is announcing another social media initiative designed to once again combine the passionate voices of happy Ford owners with the distribution opportunities made available through social media channels. Fusion 41, part of the Ford Drive One campaign, is a brand new challenge and campaign seeking 8 passionate 2010 Ford Fusion or Fusion Hybrid owners with an active social media presence.
Whatever rumors were brewing a few months ago that Apple would break its exclusivity with AT&T and take its iPhone to other carriers, it's a good bet they can be put to bed for now. Less than two weeks after Verizon Wireless aired a TV commercial that takes aim at AT&T's network service, it's now going straight for the iPhone. The teaser campaign, which plugs the new Android device and debuted Saturday night during the playoff game between the New York Yankees and the Los Angeles Angels, is, however, causing some head-scratching.
To help address all that before the 2010 Olympics, the committee has been sponsoring a global campaign carrying the theme “The Best of Us.” The campaign, by Cole & Weber United in Seattle, part of the United unit of WPP, enters a second phase on Wednesday with the introduction of what the committee is calling The Best of Us Challenge. Young people ages 12 to 19 will be invited to create video clips in an effort known as consumer-generated or user-generated content. The clips are to show them responding to challenges from athletes like the beach volleyball player Natalie Cook, the pole vaulter Yelena Isinbayeva, the snowboarder Lindsey Jacobellis, the gymnast Shawn Johnson, the tennis player Rafael Nadal, the swimmer Michael Phelps and the skier Lindsey Vonn.
7Up is feeling bubbly about its prospects. This week the original lemon-lime soft drink is launching its first new ad push in more than three years. A pomegranate line extension is on deck for later this year, and a package facelift is in store for 2010. TV ads breaking this week featuring Every body Loves Raymond star Brad Garrett emphasize that 7Up is “Ridiculously bubbly.” The theme behind the new campaign is that a sip of soda can make the biggest grumps happy-go-lucky.
Irish rockers U2 will step on stage tomorrow in Tampa, Florida, helped by BlackBerry’s sponsorship of their world tour in a deal no record company could offer. Research In Motion Ltd.’s “BlackBerry Loves U2” advertising campaign is part of a trend where brands are stepping into the breach as plummeting sales shrink music labels’ marketing budgets. Once reluctant to be seen as selling out to corporate sponsors, artists are keen to sign up.
If the ad campaigns on this week's viral video chart look familiar, they should: They've all been here before. In fact, many of them have been on the chart for a long time. The longest-running campaign, Cadbury's "Eyebrow Dance," is celebrating its 26th week on the chart and the second-longest, T-Mobile "Dance" is marking its 25th week. Microsoft's "Project Natal," meanwhile, is on for its 18th week in a row. Evian's "Rollerbabies" is on for the 13th straight week. Only three videos are new enough to be celebrating their second week in a row: Microsoft's Windows "Launch Party" video, Trend Micro's "Fearless Web" spot and MoveOn.org's "Protect Insurance Agencies" campaign. As you can imagine, it's quite a feat to add enough growth week after week to continue to maintain a presence.
Drawing on dusty history lessons to reach a youth market is always dicey. But Levi's thinks its latest twist on the "Go Forth" campaign -- an interactive scavenger hunt that combines its 19th-century street cred with online-gamer allure -- will help young men connect with the denim giant in a whole new way. The game's debut, the company says, is the latest iteration of its "Go Forth" campaign, launched back in June and inspired by the wilder works of Walt Whitman. And it comes just weeks after the San Francisco-based company announced another way to pursue the young and vaguely poetic, sponsoring the Berkeley Repertory Theatre's premiere of "American Idiot," the stage version of the Green Day album.
A year after the brand played a major role in a meltdown that prompted a federal bailout and a worldwide economic downturn, Merrill Lynch and its bull are back, with a $20 million campaign offering consumers “help.” Bank of America, Merrill Lynch’s new owner, is launching the campaign, themed “help2,” to reintroduce its newly acquired Merrill Lynch Wealth Management group. The latter is BofA’s brokerage and wealth management division, which it purchased as part of its rescue of Merrill Lynch last September. Print,TV and online ads feature the classic Merrill bull—a mascot that was first introduced in 1974. The target: affluent Americans. Research, however, showed that their goals differed depending on age, which is why the campaign addresses different notions of help, said Claire Huang, head of marketing for BofA’s global wealth management, global banking and global markets units.
Looking to build on the success of Bud Light Lime, Anheuser-Busch this week is breaking an estimated $30 million campaign for Bud Light Golden Wheat, which also attempts to expand light beer drinkers’ palates. The brewer, which started running teaser spots for the release a few weeks ago, will promote Golden Wheat on TV (sports, late night and several entertainment cable networks), the Web and in various lifestyle magazines. The outlay for the launch is roughly on par with what A-B spent introducing Lime last year. (In another signal that the launch has similar importance, the green room on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon, which had been previously sponsored by Bud Light Lime, will be painted orange to match Golden Wheat’s hue.)
While many marketers have issued a "made in America" call to action to rouse consumers into buying their goods, those efforts have historically failed to move the sales needle. But Florida's Natural is betting shoppers do care about domestic origins when it comes to orange juice. The brand is pouring its entire fourth-quarter ad budget, which last year accounted for almost half of its annual marketing spending, into a campaign that focuses on a "Read the Label" message, taking bigger brands such as Simply Orange and Tropicana to task for importing juice from Brazil. Florida's Natural is produced by a co-op of citrus growers in Florida.
It's time for online marketers to forgo click-through rates for a better measure of success, according to new data from comScore in conjunction with media agency Starcom USA and behavioral targeting firm Tacoda. Indeed, the number of people who click on display ads in a month has fallen, from 32% of Web users in July 2007 to only 16% in March 2009. Worse still, an even smaller core of consumers -- representing just 8% of the Internet user base -- accounts for the vast majority, or 85%, of all clicks.
General Motors Corp. said it wasn't going to do corporate ads -- and then it put Chairman Ed Whitacre in its multiple-model "May the Best Car Win" campaign. The automaker also said it was going to create distinctive advertising for its four remaining vehicle brands, Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet and GMC -- but tell that to subscribers of Newsweek and BusinessWeek.
In a current print advertisement for the Chubb Group of Insurance Companies, a woman stands in a verdant field, a picnic basket at her side, and shakes open a red sheet to spread on the grass. What she does not see in the background is an agitated bull galloping toward her. “Who insures you doesn’t matter,” reads the copy. “Until it does.” The theme carries through in a series of print ads — by the Levinson Tractenberg Group (formally the Levinson Group) of New York — where other moments of quietude are about to go awry. In one, a man fishes in a canoe on a river, unaware that he has drifted perilously close to a waterfall; in another, a golfer lines up a putt, oblivious to the enormous alligator behind him. For Chubb, which aims at the affluent, this is the first time it has loosened its bow tie and taken a humorous approach.
Samsung’s latest commercial makes viewers feel that the New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning might just land in their laps. Then he throws the football and it spirals across the screen, through the playing field and several TV screens and past cheering fans on their sofas. That is all intended to bring the intensity and passion of the game to viewers and sell Samsung LED televisions. The company, which is in its fifth season in a partnership with the National Football League, has overhauled its “That’s How I See It” campaign to include action sequences and bold graphics.
Chili's Grill & Bar, battered by the recession and a crowd of rivals, is trying to remake its image by revamping some of its most-popular menu items and reviving an old ad campaign. The moves are part of a strategy shift at the chain, a unit of Brinker International Inc. that has posted declining same-store sales for the past four quarters. Like a lot of restaurants during boom times, Chili's grew by opening new outlets, but the recession has forced it to reconsider its formula.
With the consumption of traditional media in decline, the entire marketing industry is focused on social media. Whether you work in PR, advertising, consulting, digital, customer service or promotions, you are trying to figure out how to have a presence in social media. We’d like to offer another opinion. It’s one thing to just show up, but its quite another to truly have something interesting to say, to share, to invoke thought, to pique interest, to provide tangible value. With this in mind, the point isn’t about having a presence in social media, but having an actual purpose.
You can buy a crossover SUV, or you can buy a Mini Cooper -- they have the same fuel-efficiency mileage. That's the message General Motors Co. is sending in a TV campaign for the 2010 GMC Terrain that's part of the automaker's "May the Best Car Win" push. The four-cylinder model, which has a direct-injected Ecotec engine and six-speed automatic transmission, is EPA-rated at a segment-leading 32 miles to the gallon on the highway.
Infusium 23, a brand Procter & Gamble cast off earlier this year, is getting restyled by its new owner, Helen of Troy. That company, best known for its hair care appliances, is breaking a campaign hyping the brand as “The One.” The push is the first the 85-year-old brand has gotten in years. P&G spent just $600,000 promoting Infusium 23 in 2008, excluding online, per Nielsen. Helen of Troy, which makes Revlon hair dryers and Dr. Scholl’s foot spas, bought the brand in March.
In the five months following Tim Armstrong's appointment as chief executive of AOL, the former Google executive has announced his plan to turn the subscription-based Internet provider into an online media and advertising giant. The first order of business was building content. Then he worked on creating a more powerful advertising network. Now the focus is marketing the company, which is trying to shed its image as a tired, unfocused Internet behemoth.
In the latest ad for Ketel One, a group of Rat Pack wannabes hoist their glasses as a narrator celebrates a return to "when men were men." New creative for Chivas Regal urges men to live by a "code" of chivalry. And 1800 Tequila has an actor best known for playing a mobster all but calling Patron a phony little priss. Spirits marketing has certainly come a long way from "Sex and the City" and its signature pink cocktails. And, amid a recession, challenger brands are attempting to paint their rivals as relics of a freer-spending, less-sensible time.
"Intel Inside" was the first, and arguably the best, "ingredient" branding to come out of Madison Avenue. And thanks to that campaign everyone knows that Intel chips are inside computers. But the success of that ad push, which made its debut in 1991, created an image of Intel as a staid chipmaker.
With the economic downturn kindling a longing for less volatile eras, many companies have turned to nostalgia marketing. Examples are Volkswagen, featuring a 1964 Beetle in advertisements, General Mills, selling Cheerios and other cereals in retro boxes, and Nationwide Insurance, resurrecting its “Nationwide is on your side” catchphrase. Now a charity is about to test if that approach to consumer goods also applies to good deeds. The American Lung Association is introducing a campaign for its century-old Christmas Seals fund-raiser that weaves vintage Christmas Seal images into contemporary advertisements.
In an attempt to solidify its standing with influential sneaker bloggers, New Balance Lifestyle has launched a campaign around a limited release—just 480—of the company's 574 Clips running shoe. The campaign, the first from Mother since winning the New Balance Lifestyle account last August (BBDO, New York, handles the brand's other work), includes a Polaroid in each of the 480 shoes with a 5-digit code on the back that buyers can use to "claim" their shoe online. The individual attention is meant to underscore the unusual, all-American lineage of the shoes: Each are composed of leftover material clippings in New Balance's Lawrence, Mass., factory, (hence "Clips.")
Here’s a piece of advance information from the Michelin guide for New York City 2010: 18 new stars will be awarded to restaurants. Michelin is rigorously tight-lipped about the information in its guides until they arrive in stores, and requires similar discretion from its reviewers, who are anonymous. But in this Facebook era, when privacy and anonymity seem like vestiges of a bygone time, Michelin is making itself a bit more accessible as it prepares for the New York guide’s fifth edition, scheduled to be in stores on Oct. 6, and San Francisco’s fourth edition, scheduled for Oct. 20.
Outdoor footwear and apparel company Timberland has launched a multifaceted campaign that includes a TV ad by London shop Leagas Delaney that casts a trail runner as "bait" for wolves, a wild boar and a hungry bear. Along with the pulse-pounding, cinematic spot, the effort from the client also features iPhone and Blackberry applications and games; interactive billboards; Hulu videos; sidewalk graffiti; customizable Pandora radio stations; and a Harvard Square subway station takeover in Cambridge, Mass., not far from the client's Stratham, N.H., headquarters.
Yahoo! is searching for a better image. Eager to remind Internet users and marketers that Yahoo! is a powerhouse brand, the company next week plans to kick off a marketing blitz that is likely to include TV, online and print ads. It will discuss the campaign next Tuesday during Advertising Week in New York City. Yahoo! aims to remind marketers that, while it's not the No. 1 populated site, it still grabs 578 million unique visitors per month. The goal: to gain a bigger share of the estimated $21 billion that will be spent this year on display ads.
In an effort to win back the trust of American consumers, General Motors has started offering a 60-day "Satisfaction Guarantee" to eligible buyers of new Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac vehicles. The new promotion, part of GM’s "May the Best Car Win" campaign, fronted by the company’s new chairman Ed Whitacre, allows customers to return a vehicle to their dealer between 31 and 60 days of purchase and receive a refund. The program runs from Sept. 14 through Nov. 30, although the company left open the possibility it may be extended. In a conference call, Bob Lutz, GM vice chairman, marketing and communications, did not reveal the level of marketing support behind the effort. However, he said that on an index basis the auto company is matching spending levels of its closest competitor in the U.S., Toyota, and will out-spend the Japanese company in this current initiative.
Federated Media Publishing is rolling out Ad Stamp, a new option for marketers that combines two of the industry's largest ad units with a companion banner piping and social media content. The FM network now offers a large "pushdown" ad -- rolled out recently by members of the Online Publishers Association -- at the top of Web pages that expands to 970-by-418 pixels before collapsing to 970-by-60. On the right side of pages, FM will place a 300-by-600 "tower." FM, which runs campaigns on top blogs like Boing Boing, has added a social touch to the package with a 300-by-250 pixel "conversationalist" placement at the bottom of pages to pull in brand-related feeds that can include blog posts, Tweets and options for friending the advertised products and services on Facebook or following them on Twitter.
When Jack Taylor founded Enterprise Rent-A-Car in St. Louis back in 1957, he started out with a fleet of only seven cars. Now, withmore than 1 million cars and revenue in the neighborhood of $13 million, Enterprise is one of the largest car-rental companies in the U.S. Two years ago the company purchased Vanguard Car Rental, the parent company of National and Alamo. "For the first time in our history we had become an operator of multiple brands within the same category," said Patrick Farrell, VP-marketing and communications for Enterprise. And with that came a search for a new company name.
Another liquor brand is arriving on television, bearing barrels filled with Irish whiskey — and Irish blarney. Jameson, sold by Pernod Ricard, will join a lengthening list of distilled spirits to use television as an advertising medium in the United States. Since 1996, when networks and stations began changing decades-old policies against accepting liquor commercials, big brands like Bacardi, Jack Daniel’s and Smirnoff have added video to their marketing tactics along with ads in print, online, outdoors and in stores. Now, smaller brands like Jameson are going on TV, too. One reason is that more television outlets have started to take liquor spots, among them local stations owned by CBS and NBC.
Ford is into the eighth month of its Fiesta Movement social-media program to promote the eponymous car from Europe by letting 100 young social-media-savvy Americans drive the vehicles for several months. Each month, Ford has been assigning tasks to the "Agents" involving lots of driving and just as much blogging, Twittering, YouTubing and Flickring. This month, they will be sent to do things likely to generate more attention than what they have previously done, including training with U.S. Navy SEALS, learning to cook with insects, and going hiking in the Rockies.
Walgreens is introducing a campaign with a new slogan, "There’s a way,” today (Tuesday). The effort—by agencies Downtown Partners, Chicago; Digitas and Arc Worldwide—seeks to position the drugstore chain as a one-stop shopping destination and healthcare provider for consumers. Walgreens CMO Kim Feil (pictured left) said the campaign stemmed from consumer research, which found that many shoppers see the drugstore as a community resource, but yet, the company wasn’t communicating as such. In the past, Walgreens was much more focused on marketing all of its businesses separately, Feil told Brandweek in a recent interview. The drugstore chain is moving toward its new messaging with a TV spot, breaking today, which centers on the importance of flu shots, especially in the wake of heightened concern over the H1N1 virus. Walgreens, which spent $174 million on advertising last year, excluding online, per Nielsen, said the ad is one of many to come. Future efforts will also incorporate the tagline, “There’s a way,” to show how Walgreens can be a resource in consumers’ lives.
Optimisim at magazines is rare these days, but Glamour is introducing an advertising campaign bursting with lollipops, hearts and balloons. Glamour’s own outlook isn’t quite as sunny: in the first half of this year, though its circulation rose slightly, its single-copy sales fell and its ad pages were down 20 percent. So Glamour is trying to get advertisers’ attention by pitching its readers as sunny, cheery, all-American nice girls.
Burger King is putting its celebrity endorsement to the test in a new ad campaign featuring Nascar driver Tony Stewart. Stewart, current point-leader for Nascar Sprint Cup Series and avowed fan of Burger King's Whopper, will have his enthusiasm put to a polygraph test in a series of BK commercials and an online Webcast. The first spot in the campaign features Stewart as a teacher instructing other celebrities how to properly endorse products. Students like comedian Carrot Top and CHiPs star Erik Estrada listen attentively as Stewart offers wisdom such as "only endorse things you believe in."
Kraft Foods is introducing a new campaign behind its Philadelphia cream cheese, playing up the emotional connections consumers feel with the brand. New ads show the various uses for cream cheese, and use the word "pheeling" (a combination of “Philly” and “feeling”) to describe a happy state of mind. One spot, breaking next Monday, reinforces this theme by showing a boy spreading cream cheese on a bagel for his mother, a husband and wife indulging in an evening snack of strawberries and cream cheese, and a girl helping her grandmother prepare dessert for the family. In each instance, the people smile and laugh together because of moments created by Philadelphia cream cheese.
When TV watchers turn on the tube this fall, they'll see a new Samsung commercial that shows girls--and a gorilla--holding cameras in front of their faces, doing what everyone seems to be doing these days: taking pictures of themselves. Samsung Electronics is spending some $50 million on a year-long ad blitz to promote its new DualView cameras that give consumers an easy way to take self portraits--they have a display screen in the front and one in the back.
Megan Duckett started Sew What, a company that makes curtains for big-stage theatres and performers, in 1992. This year the Compton, Calif., company will pull in about $5 million in revenue. Duckett believes she found her calling in draperies. Dell hopes she has another talent: inspiring other entrepreneurs to use its business products and services. In Dell's new "Take Your Own Path" advertising campaign, Duckett is featured as one of several small business owners whose personal tales are supposed to inspire potential customers to use Dell. Print and Web ads prominently display Duckett and other entrepreneurs, including Lonely Planet guidebook founder Tony Wheeler.
American Express is rolling out a major new campaign for its charge card that urges consumers to take responsibility for their spending. The tagline: "Don't Take Changes. Take Charge." The ad campaign broke Tuesday with full-page print ads in major newspapers. It is the first for its basic charge card since 2002. The print ads, part of a campaign that will include TV commercials and radio promotions, features a wallet with a sad face, until you turn the ad upside down. "Why welcome risk into your life?" asks one print ad. "The Charge Card can make a big difference," the ad says.
New York State has shelved the idea of a tax on sugary sodas and juice drinks. But New York City’s public health officials opened a new front in their struggle against high-calorie beverages on Monday, unveiling an ad campaign that depicts globs of human fat gushing from a soda bottle. “Are you pouring on the pounds?” asks the ad, which urges viewers to consider water, seltzer or low-fat milk instead, and warns: “Don’t drink yourself fat.”
A campaign for a popular liqueur is playing up its French roots and the quintessentially French feeling of joie de vivre in an effort aimed at perking up sales. The campaign, getting under way next week, will invite drinkers to live “La vie Grand Marnier,” as in the brand of Cognac and orange liqueur sold by the Marnier-Lapostolle Group of France. Needless to say, the Grand Marnier vie, er, life is about fun and frolic, with a cup-runneth-over spirit embodied by an abundance of the liqueur splashing out of the confines of its glasses.
To the list of great copy writers in advertising, add an unlikely name: Gary Gilmore. Mr. Gilmore, the notorious spree-killer, uttered the words “Let’s do it” just before a firing squad executed him in Utah in 1977. Years later, the phrase became the inspiration for Nike’s “Just Do It” campaign.
Gap is making a huge push to reclaim the cool branding space with its 1969 Premium Jeans line. This has the theme "Born to fit": am I the only one who immediately thinks of Bruce Springsteen's "Born to Run" and the cover to "Born in the USA," which, alongside the Rolling Stones' "Sticky Fingers" must be the last word in iconic denim rock album art? 2009 marks Gap's 40th year in business and they are celebrating by moving away from TV advertising and instead touting their new web site (borntofit.com) and "many nontraditional elements which include a Facebook page, video clips, a realistic online fashion show on a virtual catwalk and an application for the iPhone called the StyleMixer."
The British say “Mind the gap,” but in this country it has been a while since shoppers minded what Gap was selling. The Gap division of Gap Inc. was struggling even before the recession, which has persuaded consumers to cut back significantly on clothing purchases.
We’ve written previously about the reverse trend of internet memes inspiring honest-to-goodness books, but it appears that the web’s influence on real life as reflected in popular media knows no bounds following news that five of New York Magazine’s most prolific commenters have made the unprecedented leap from peanut gallery to professional.
Gary Koepke, co-founder and executive creative director at Modernista, loves that you're creeped out by his ads for Sprint's Palm Pre. In the past few weeks, the Boston-based ad shop's TV spots have been unsettling potential consumers. The campaign features actress Tamara Hope speaking directly to the camera in near-robotic tones and sharing strange observations about traffic lights, jugglers and reincarnation.
Reckitt Benckiser. The maker of Lysol and Mucinex in the U.S. today (Wednesday) reported a 20 percent increase in second quarter sales to 1.9 billion pounds ($3.1 billion); profits were up 31 percent to 310 million pounds ($507.5 million). The increase, the company claims, was fueled by innovation and marketing investments behind its 17 global “power brands.” Reckitt has unleashed new product extensions like Spray ‘N Wash Bright & White, Resolve Deep Clean Powder and concentrated versions of its fabric care brand, Woolite. Rob de Groot, executive vp of North America and Australia, said there is a lot of room for growth. (Reckitt is a $40 billion company, compared to P&G at $83.5 billion.) The company has an opportunity to increase its presence in the U.S.—such as with the rebranding of Electrasol to Finish, and growing the Mucinex brand, which has only tapped into 25 percent of the U.S. population.
This could be a make-or-break summer for Six Flags. And in the current economic environment, families will likely sacrifice thrill-ride screams for savings. So why, in the face of such serious challenges, would Six Flags respond by rolling out an ad campaign featuring a widely mocked character that the company's own chairman once said is "misguided" and "weakens the brand"?
Can an ad campaign turn bottled water into the new tobacco? Taking a cue from antitobacco campaigns, Tappening, a group opposed to bottled water on environmental grounds, has introduced a campaign called “Lying in Advertising,” that positions bottled water companies as spreading corporate untruths.
This could very well be the most complicated era in the history of buttons—you can hit the panic button, press the pause button, use the reset or fast-forward button, push somebody’s buttons or start a war with the touch of a button. Weren’t buttons supposed to make the world a simpler place? Staples thinks so. That’s why the office supplies retailer is proud to celebrate the fifth anniversary of its “Easy Button” branding strategy.
Trees look taller, according to Gillette, when the underbrush has been cleared. Unruly growth can become neat and trim, promises Schick, “with just a flip of a handle, whatever your style.” The latest marketing efforts from these two personal-hygiene Goliaths make it appear as if they had turned their attention to the gardening business. But it’s manscaping, not landscaping, that Gillette is selling, while Schick is flogging the new Quattro TrimStyle for Women razor. You don’t need a Ph.D. in semiotics to understand the imagery. Body defoliation is the game, where barer is better and hair is a four-letter word.
Following a complaint from Apple, Microsoft has quietly tweaked at least one of the ads in its "Laptop Hunters" campaign to reflect its rival's lower pricing on its Mac notebooks.
Starbucks Coffee Co. appears to be coming out of freefall -- thanks, in part, to marketing by McDonald's. In a third-quarter-earnings call this afternoon, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz credited margin improvements, cost savings and attention brought to the category by its rival's big-budget McCafe launch with helping to improve Starbucks' same-store sales. The chain's same-store sales fell 6% during its fiscal third quarter in the U.S., but that still bests the prior quarter, when same-store sales were down 8%.
FedEx has been something of an advertising bellwether. So when the company announced that after 18 years it would forgo advertising during the last Super Bowl, because it could not justify the expense during the downturn, the news resonated. The company is certain to be watched closely Monday, then, as it unveils its first Web-video advertising campaign, five three-minute films that feature the actor Fred Willard.
"He lives vicariously through himself." "The police often question him just because they find him interesting." And he can drive an expensive imported beer brand to double-digit sales gains during a recession that's forced many of its competitors into steep declines.
Late last month, American Airlines launched a social media campaign to register 10,000 New York area "friends" on Facebook. I think the program evidenced a number of neat ideas, though ultimately revealed the limitations of social media as currently defined.
Soapboxes predate blogs as one of the earliest forms of self-expression, but HSBC is making the platform hot once again in the latest extension of its ad campaign. “The world’s local bank” will ask consumers to step on a soapbox and speak their thoughts at an experiential event this Thursday in New York’s Madison Square Park.
I've got to know Andy Knowles of design agency JKR quite well through workshop we've run together on renovating the core. I've seen his presentation on the power of design 5-6 times, and yet I still love watching him passionately promote the power of what he calls "brand charisma." This is all about identifying, and then amplifying, your brand's visual essence. JKR are putting their money where their mouth is with a super press advertising campaign.
Marketers looking to leverage Twitter beware: The company will only let you rig the system so much, as one brand recently discovered. Moonfruit, a U.K.-based company that offers free Web site building tools, saw a great opportunity to raise brand awareness on Twitter. The company last week kicked off a sweepstakes, giving away 10 MacBook Pro computers to Twitter users that include the #moonfruit tag in their tweets. (The sweepstakes ended on July 7.) The campaign worked, maybe too well. The hashtag #moonfruit was Twitter's top trending topic for several days, with more than 250 tweets a minute.
Macy's, F. A. O. Schwarz and Saks Fifth Avenue are not the only retail landmarks of New York City: there is also the Duane Reade drugstore chain. With 253 stores in and around New York, Duane Reade is a near-ubiquitous presence in the city, as its former slogan, “Everywhere you go, Duane Reade,” put it.
Marketers have always been fond of coining words, the better to stand out amid the cacophony and clutter. There are myriad made-up names for products, like Kodak, Xerox and Q-Tip, not to mention advertising slogans proclaiming that Cocoa Krispies cereal is “cocolossal,” Mr. Salty pretzels are “crisplier” and 7Up is the “uncola.”
Recent news stories about Social Media being bigger than email as well as the recent beta release of Google Wave have made marketers rethink their email strategies, but should we really be moving our email efforts to social media? And if not, should they be kept apart, or can they truly work in unison?
Generation Y. Generation O (for Obama). Millennials. Echo boomers. Call them what you will, the tens of millions of Americans in their teens and 20s compose a market as hard for advertisers to figure out as it is alluring and lucrative.
Someone once described the concept of trying to have it both ways as like brushing your teeth while eating a candy bar. Substitute “snack chip” for the treat in that sentence and you’ve a good idea of the strategy behind a campaign for a new entry into a growing category that could be called junkless junk food.
Orbitz, the discount travel Web site, is sending an important advertising assignment on a cross-country trip — and a principal reason is the same one that computer users visit orbitz.com: to try to save money.
Talk to Sally Grimes and you'll quickly realize that to her, the Sharpie is more than just another marker. "It's about self-expression," she says, it's about art, creativity. And she is hoping the brand's new campaign gets that point across.
Google Apps partnered with Virgin America to launch a unique campaign where they invited people taking Virgin America flights all day, as well as those sitting on computers at home or work to participate in an online scavenger hunt for clues to answer questions they would pose at you on a website called "Day In The Clouds." The scavenger hunt offered questions requiring you to use many different Google apps and online tools to find the answers, and integrated with Virgin America both for some questions as well as by offering free WiFi to any passenger on one of their flights today.
Remember early Jib Jab cartoons where you’d manually upload your own photo and that of your friends? Now, it’s much easier with just a few clicks to Facebook Connect. Last week, I had dinner with Chris Pan (linkedin, twitter), Head of Brand Solutions at Facebook, who pointed me to a new social interactive marketing advertisement for a video game called “Prototype”. Upon accessing the site, Prototype Experience, (try it for yourself) you’ll be prompted to login with your Facebook account. After a rather lengthy loading period (it’s worth it, hang tight) you’ll watch a short teaser trailer.
Travelers at the Liverpool Street Station in London were surprised one morning last January when several hundred of their fellow commuters, instead of scurrying toward the 11:15 train to Southend-on-Sea, started dancing to the sounds of Lulu’s “Shout.” A day and a half later the routine, captured by hidden cameras, showed up during a break in the reality television show “Celebrity Big Brother.” The seemingly spontaneous performance turned out to have been an advertising stunt for T-Mobile, a wireless telephone network that used it for a campaign built around the slogan “Life’s for Sharing.”
There's neither a talking gecko or cavemen to be found in a new campaign from auto insurance company GEICO. The effort also offers a different message. Instead of focusing on savings, the new campaign touts GEICO service. And instead of reptiles, it has talking trees, car bumpers and other inanimate objects to elaborate the message that the company has a 97% positive satisfaction rating among customers.
Car companies like Hyundai and Ford have been showing solidarity with consumers recently, running ads promising that the companies will help them should they lose their jobs. Mercedes-Benz USA is trying a different way to get customers to buy cars as it introduces its updated E-Class Series.
Best Buy is picking up market share, thanks in part to the demise of rival Circuit City. But the electronics giant also has a formidable competitor in Walmart, which has been revamping its electronics departments and stocking more-sophisticated products. Now Best Buy is battling back with a spot that calls out Walmart by name.
Normally, Charles Schwab would be taking a hiatus from advertising during the summer months, but the current economic climate and a recent uptick in business have prompted a new flight of executions.
Sun Chips is a case study in the making of what can happen when a marketer thinks outside the box, or in this case, the bag. Sun Chips have long been positioned as a slightly healthier alternative, with less salt, fat and other naughty stuff. Most every snack brand tries to make this same claim. So how do you stand out? By deciding to ignore the conventions of typical snack food marketing.
The moon may not be in the seventh house. And only an astrologer knows for sure if Jupiter has aligned with Mars. But it seems like the dawning of the age of Aquarius on Madison Avenue, as images and sounds from the 1960s become increasingly popular in advertising.
Digital media and branded content largely have been seen as strategies for mature markets where TV advertising faces its greatest threats from media fragmentation and DVRs. But Unilever has found that such programs work in India and China as well as the U.S., and is making them increasingly common in global campaigns, even in developing markets.
The "Made in America" claim is one that's traditionally attracted little interest from American consumers accustomed to purchasing items produced in distant lands. But with unemployment on the rise and the bankruptcy of manufacturing icons General Motors and Chrysler, New Balance is banking on a shift in consumer awareness of and preference for American-made goods.
Trident is giving recession-addled consumers something new to chew on: “A little piece of happy.” As the economy forces consumers to downshift their materialism a bit, a TV and online push for the brand, launching this month, focuses on small moments of happiness delivered by the brand.
Twenty-five million births a year make India a fertile market for BabyCenter. But until recently the Johnson & Johnson-owned company reached fewer than 5% of Indian parents -- its scope limited by the country's low internet penetration. Its solution: the phone. India's mobile-subscriber base jumped almost 50% in the past year to reach 38% of the country's population. But it wasn't as simple as creating a mobile app or WAP site. Due to low mobile-web access and, in some areas, literacy, BabyCenter opted for an old-school approach: a "voice portal," whereby Indian moms call a local number to hear audio versions of the site's newsletters and other due-date-specific information. The undertaking is indicative of the challenges media companies and marketers face when trying to package a global mission into local experiences.
Beginning July 1, the largest advertiser in the world will integrate all brand functions at the corporate level. That means Marc Pritchard will add design and PR to his control and the moniker of global brand-building officer to his title. Here Mr. Pritchard talks about how Procter & Gamble organizes itself globally and what it asks of its agencies.
Faced with consumers cutting back on purchases and stiff competition from McDonald’s McCafe, Starbucks today (Wednesday) launched an ad campaign touting its newly earned accolade in Zagat’s 2009 Fast Food survey: “No. 1 Best Coffee.”
The ultimate emblem of how social media has seeped into mainstream marketing may be Kentucky Fried Chicken's use of MySpace to find the face of its newest product. The company is looking for a doppelganger of Colonel Sanders, or someone who can demonstrate other reasons that s/he should be tapped to serve as the face of the new Kentucky Grilled Chicken (KGC).
The word bailout has gone from descriptive to derogatory. In a multimillion-dollar marketing campaign introduced Tuesday, FedEx objected to legislation that would make it easier to unionize the company by accusing its rival, United Parcel Service, of taking a government bailout.
Nescafe has found something new to roast: Starbucks. The premium-java chain is launching a nationwide offensive into the instant-coffee market this fall, and Nestle is quick to point out the considerable price difference between it and Nescafe.
Engine Eddie is an animated character who encourages consumers to take better care of their lawns by offering them the chance to send “EddieGrams” to friends and neighbors. The messages can be personalized to enable the senders to talk up the condition of their lawns -- or suggest that someone else’s lawn needs some help.
Southwest Airlines has launched a new ad campaign encouraging customers to travel despite the current economic recession.
On one hand Unilever see mothers as mentors of their daughters - as we see here in this snap from a Dove soap website. On the other hand Unilever see mothers as sexual collaborators with their daughters and their boyfriends - as we see here in this ad from the guys at Axe.
Busch Entertainment Corp., a subsidiary of Anheuser-Busch InBev, is unveiling a social-media brand campaign today that playfully raises awareness for its theme parks, which include SeaWorld and Busch Gardens. The cross-platform effort comes just in time for summer, the entertainment company's biggest season. Ad Age spoke with Exec VP-CMO Joe Couceiro, who has been at the company for 28 years, about the new campaign and its branded app, Worlds of Discovery Photo Adventure, which he said he considers "one of our more creative efforts."
Recently, we’ve covered a variety of social media campaigns that utilize Facebook Pages as their primary marketing vehicle. However, Buddy Media continues to push what they call app-vertisements – essentially applications for Facebook that let users interact around a given brand.
Coors Light has enjoyed fourteen consecutive quarters of sales growth but back in 2003 that brand was tanking. What turned it around so dramatically? On the surface it appeared to be a simple new marketing strategy focused on the refreshing nature of cold beer. But what really drove the success was a disciplined approach to the management of creative ideas and insights inside the company.
Can General Motors make up for decades of mistakes and misfires in a minute? That is the ambitious goal of a 60-second commercial to begin running on television on Wednesday. The spot is already available on a Web site (gmreinvention.com) and on YouTube.
The brand I get asked most about -- and the one, frankly, I worry most about -- is Starbucks. Is it simply the poster child for two decades of "trading up" that we're now trading off? Is it doomed to die a tortuous public death by a thousand cuts, as McDonald's, Dunkin Donuts and anyone else with the ability to sell coffee for a buck slices and dices its share? And what's with that earnest, honest print ad campaign? Does anybody read that kind of stuff anymore?
Justine Ezarik might not be a household name, but the 25-year-old has a cable TV-size audience. The only difference: Ezarik's audience is on YouTube, Facebook and Twitter.
Advertising almost always wants to be upbeat, the better to jolly consumers into, well, consuming. So it is startling to see a spate of campaigns invoking some of the most downbeat times America has ever endured: the desperate decade that began when the stock market crashed in 1929 and continued through the Great Depression.
As publications continue to struggle or fold because of dwindling advertising revenues, one is thriving by selling not just ad space, but entire marketing campaigns.
Most appeals to donate blood treat the subject as if it was a matter of life and death -- and, often, to be sure, it is. But a new campaign is taking a different tack, on the theory that a light-hearted approach may attract more donors.
Copenhagen’s clever new campaign has a huge range. Open Copenhagen is designed to transcend and reinforce promotional efforts for tourism, business, events, investments, and more. Previously, each rogue group boosted their similar programs independently without any coordinated brand to tie it all together. OPEN COPENHAGEN arrives at a time when the city’s northern european neighbor cities have launched similarly rhetorical proposals to would-be visitors — I AMSTERDAM deploys a similar wordplay.
Have you seen Starbucks new campaign? The one designed to remind you of the "Starbucks story?" From the announcement video to the ads themselves, Starbucks is making the first mistake of modern advertising - they're telling you when they should be showing you.
The image ad from Bessemer Trust reads "Why Should You Believe Anything We Say?" followed by a handful of paragraphs that explain why. Well, I don't.
How do you create edgy, prize-winning work like Burger King's "Whopper Virgins," "Sponge Bob Square Butts" and "Kingon Nipple Pinch"? For Crispin Porter + Bogusky -- agency of the year at 50th anniversary CLIO Awards -- the key is being willing to take risks and stay edgy over the long haul. "We have to keep creating social currency. If we don't, we'll die," said BK CMO Russ Klein, in response to a query about the brand's propensity to court controversy with its frequently polarizing style of advertising. "You have to have the stomach for taking risks. We don't go out of our way to offend people. We do go out of our way to create tension.
The Snickers bar has a new sibling, and it's a girl. She's sexual, uninhibited — and only 85 calories. The "Fling" is the first new chocolate bar Mars has introduced in more than 20 years.
Burger King is trying to throw more raw meat on the grill by redirecting marketing funds normally spent by franchisees, and using it to run more corporate branding. We're talking $25 million next year, and $40 million every year through 2022. Its National Franchise Association, which represents the vast majority of those franchisees, has filed two lawsuits to stop it. As I possess friend of the Whopper status, I'd like to submit a brief in support of the complaints.
The latest Laptop Hunters ad in the famous series features pre-law student Lauren and her mom, Sue. They are looking for speed, portability and battery life, and a few opportunities to slap down Macs.
With all the commotion about Pepsi's recent makeover of its brand, you would think a new, fully global effort would try to strip out its old logo from every nook and cranny of the globe. Think again.
In its biggest campaign yet for its biggest franchise, Electronic Arts is making The Sims video game a little more sociable.
Here's proof-positive that more shoppers must seriously want to know where their food comes from: Frito-Lay, the world's biggest snack-food maker, is getting into the locally-made act. On Tuesday, Frito-Lay will unveil an unlikely marketing strategy for its Lay's brand chips that focuses on the 80 "local" farmers from 27 states who grow the potatoes used to make its chips. In a new world of better-for-you food concerns, it's not about chips being fun to eat. It's about chips being local.
Kool-Aid is honing in on its pitch against soda as an affordable drink with a new campaign breaking today, which shows the Kool-Aid mascot outrunning a liter of cola.
Chipotle Mexican Grill, looking to tout its wide variety of menu items and ingredients, has launched a fresh advertising campaign along with an interactive component called “My Chipotle.” A multimedia blitz in nine major Chipotle regions is at the crux of the campaign, which also includes a microsite, Mychiptole.com, and an invitation for consumers to provide audio and video recordings of their own burrito creations.
With sales of hybrid vehicles sinking, a green-advertising battle is erupting between Toyota Motor's new Prius and Honda Motor's new Insight. Beginning today, Toyota, the world's largest auto maker, is rolling out a major U.S. ad push for its 2010 Prius, the third generation of the world's top-selling hybrid vehicle. The car hits dealerships in the coming weeks.
Aflac will debut a 30-second TV spot this weekend cross-promoting Disney-Pixar's first 3-D film, Up. This marks the first commercial to feature the insurance company's newly introduced tagline, "We've got you under our wing." Pixar handled the animation for the spot, which features characters from the film.
General Electric Co. launched its "Healthymagination" initiative Thursday in hopes of building a thematic presence in health care on par with its four-year-old "Ecomagination" campaign around environmental concerns. "Health care needs new solutions," said Jeff Immelt, GE's chairman and chief executive. "We must innovate with smarter processes and technologies that help doctors and hospitals deliver better health care to more people at a lower cost."
Ad agencies usually hang on their clients’ every directive. But when Intel was developing its biggest advertising campaign in years, it handed a carefully thought-out brief to the ad agency Venables Bell & Partners, which said Intel’s idea — to talk about the company’s role in everyday life — was, in a word, bad. Intel’s notion was, “we’re so important to your everyday life. Imagine a world without Intel. Your lights would go out. The world would stop revolving,” said Deborah Conrad, vice president and general manager of Intel’s corporate marketing group. “Venables Bell said, ‘You got that wrong.’ ”
Today a new chapter in branding and naming comes to life. McDonald's will "drop the mother of all campaigns on you... that will be not so much viral as bubonic." We're talking about a $100 million cross platform campaign to tout their new McCafé coffee brand and send Starbucks into branding history. This McBlitz will be their biggest push since their introduction of breakfast items in the 70s.
Unilever is taking a seat at the table with Time Inc.’s “Dinner Tonight.” The food giant will advertise seven of its brands across the publisher’s popular franchise which runs monthly in Cooking Light and daily at MyRecipes.com. The strategy is indicative of Unilever’s new approach in dealing with media partners. Like many in the packaged goods arena, Unilever has been challenging key publishing partners to take campaigns beyond their magazines.
Despite years of mulling marketing life after TV, most big package-goods brands still make it the centerpiece of their plans. But Kimberly-Clark Corp.'s Huggies and Procter & Gamble Co.'s Old Spice, brands that generally have relied mostly on TV, are going TV-free for some current and coming initiatives.
Ah, Mother's Day. The time of year when we thank our mothers for birthing and subsequently raising us by applying googly eyes to popsicle sticks or buying the flower arrangement that's on special. It's no wonder some moms feel a little under-appreciated. Well, Kodak feels their pain and is offering to pick up the slack by raising awareness about the serious condition known as Lackus Appreciatus.
As fears of swine flu spread, companies ranging from soap and hand-sanitizer manufacturers to makers of designer face masks are ramping up their marketing efforts, mostly pitching prevention messages starring their products.
Woodfield Mall, a shopping monolith to the west of Chicago, has launched a new branding campaign via its web site and print ads (I saw mine in the Chicago Tribune's Sunday magazine), to tell would-be shoppers something unique and motivational: The mall has stores! Yup. I know it's big, and the strategy probably took lots of work, and cost loads of moolah. You don't just fall out of bed with this kind of idea, you know. The campaign is centered on six imaginary shoppers, each named and artistically rendered in funky drawings, who come with their own backstories, and lists of stores they like to visit.
Starbucks, the coffee company that built its business on word-of-mouth recommendations, is to reveal “a long term, multi-million dollar” advertising campaign in the US, as it seeks to combat perceptions that its products are over-priced. Howard Schultz, chief executive, said the campaign would “define the fact of what's true and what’s not”.
It's sad to watch the newspaper dinosaurs thrash in the marketplace's tar pits, but the Boston Globe's latest branding campaign is destined to become fossilized before the gunk dries.
A new campaign from Post Shredded Wheat promotes the product's lack of change as a virtue, turning the trend toward enhanced, "super ingredient" food and beverage products on its head.
Volvo is promoting the Twitter feed for the 2010 Volvo XC60 crossover vehicle through the biggest ad placement YouTube has run to date.
Ben Bernanke became Federal Reserve chairman intent on making the central bank less personality-driven than it was under Alan Greenspan and Paul Volcker. But as he confronts an economic crisis that has pushed the Fed to shatter precedent and lend trillions of dollars, Mr. Bernanke is waging a public-relations offensive that casts him in the starring role.
Controversy bubbling up from Burger King's Whopper advertising has finally gotten a little too hot for the marketer. The fast feeder has agreed to revise a campaign created by Crispin Porter & Bogusky and airing in Europe for the Texican Whopper, after a Mexican diplomat called it offensive to Mexicans and damaging to the country's image.
For 25 years, Microsoft held unquestioned dominance in the personal computer business. But last year the maker of the Windows operating system started to look like a weary, vulnerable champ. Fueled by iPhone-mania and the iconic "I'm a Mac" TV ads, Apple was nearing a double-digit share of the PC market. At the same time, a new generation of sub-$500 "netbooks" that ran on the free Linux operating system was taking off. Now, Microsoft has launched a determined counteroffensive.
Australasian alcohol company Lion Nathan recently launched their 6 Beers of Separation campaign for their beer, Tooheys Extra Dry. The competition offered young people a chance to meet the person they found most inspiring, attempting to demonstrate the concept of ‘6 degrees of separation’.
Too many companies are approaching social media as a tool to generate buzz, instead of as a way to connect with their customers.
Madison Avenue has come a long way. Since the emergence of modern advertising in the 1920s, defined by the shift from text-based to visual advertising and the use of psychologically sophisticated messages, ads began to resonate powerfully with consumers. Madison Avenue represented the new and the modern (until the emergence of social networks and media), and ads helped consumers figure out what they needed to live a certain lifestyle. Consumers were eager to embrace the cultural authority of Madison Avenue. But by the late 1950s, they were feeling differently.
After years of being defined by Apple, Microsoft is fighting back and somewhat surprisingly, landing some punches. The company’s latest round of ads featuring real consumers named Lauren and Giampalo trying to buy laptops for less than $1,000 and $1,500, respectively, seems to have struck a chord.
Auto makers must boost fuel economy under new government regulations, and a sure way to do that is promote small cars. But that poses a challenge for Detroit: How can the Big Three battle back in a market segment dominated by foreign rivals such as Toyota and Honda?
Sprint Nextel is benching its CEO as pitchman in favor of hipper advertising. The Overland Park, Kan., telecom company is kicking off a new campaign Monday that highlights all the mobile Internet and data services that cellphone users can access on its network.
Sturdy old Sears might seem a bit tone deaf when it comes to fashion, but when it comes to recession, it's speaking a language consumers understand.
Microsoft's new Lauren is a tech-savvy engineer with a complicated, foreign name, tasked with finding a laptop that'll address his needs for under $1,500. You'll never guess what this Microsoft-paid probable-actor decided to buy.
Forget about thinking outside the box — or inside it, for that matter. Nissan Motor is betting an estimated $20 million during the worst automotive sales slump in a generation that a spirited campaign can get drivers to forgo the box for the cube.
Can Microsoft market its way out of the search basement? Probably not, but it's going to try, entrusting roster agency JWT to craft a campaign for its new search engine, alternately dubbed Kumo or Project Kiev or Live Search, depending on who's talking about it.
The battle for the minds, and throats, of consumers who drink lower-calorie beverages is intensifying as a leading brand enters the category. Glacéau Vitaminwater, sold by a unit of the Coca-Cola Company, is bringing out on Thursday a low-calorie line called Vitaminwater10. The number refers to the calories in each eight-ounce serving and compares with 50 calories in an eight-ounce serving of the regular varieties of Vitaminwater.
If it worked once, why not again? That seems to be the thinking behind another promotional stunt from Denny's. The fast-casual restaurant is asking its faithful to bring a friend who could use a free meal, positioning the freebie as a "random act of kindness" it "hopes will spread across the country."
Insurance provider Liberty Mutual launched an ad campaign centered on the tagline: “Responsibility. What’s Your Policy?” The new TV spots are in the form of short films focused on a "typical" American family facing important decisions.
AT&T is addressing the economic gloom head on with a campaign that references the current hard times, but notes that the country has emerged from stronger from similar trials in the past.
Coke has launched a new iteration of its "Destapa La Felicidad" ("Open Happiness") Hispanic-market campaign. The new effort, bearing the tag "Destapa Tus Sueños" or "Unleash Your Dreams," includes new point-of-sale, shopper experiences, consumer promotions, television, radio, print and out-of-home advertising, and mobile, digital and music components.
Quick service chicken chain Popeyes has introduced a campaign featuring a feisty, truth-talking character, as part of its continued strategy of using real people in ads.
Kodak has just announced its new "Print and Prosper" marketing campaign, and I think it's utterly brilliant branding. The premise is simple: Kodak printers use cheaper ink without sacrificing quality, so they cost less to use. As most everyone knows, at least viscerally, cartridges are the not-so-secret whammy that lets HP, Lexmark, Brother, and the other manufacturers push down the hardware cost..and then recoup everything, and more, through ink usage over time.
Kimberly-Clark's Depend brand is rolling out the first gender-specific underwear in the $1.2 billion adult care category with the largest single ad push in the history of the brand.
Eastman Kodak is stepping up the aggressiveness of its marketing as it tries to jump-start its ink-jet-printer business and revive its beleaguered brand. Beginning this week, the 103-year-old company is rolling out a new ad campaign for the business that taps into consumers' frustration with the high price of printer ink. Its slogan: "Print and Prosper."
Decades after the end of the radio and television serial “One Man’s Family,” Liberty Mutual will offer its own version in a campaign tailored to contemporary times.
Once again Microsoft’s ad strategy is off-base. Their newest ad criticizes Apple for being expensive by “documenting” one woman’s quest to find a laptop that meets her needs for under $1000.
Frustrated that consumers have been slow to realize it handles more than shipping, the UPS Store created a cardboard world to help it, um, get outside the box.
Amid the economic downturn, marketers in categories as diverse as cars, personal computers, fast food, soft drinks, beer and insurance have touted their relative value to boost sales. Add greeting cards to that list.
Mars is prepping its first new candy brand since Twix nearly 20 years ago: a low-calorie chocolate bar dubbed "Fling," aimed at women.
By now you've probably seen Microsoft's latest ad featuring Lauren, a woman who claims to be neither cool nor rich enough for a MacBook. Well Lauren, one of our readers has a gift for you. Mitch Gewirtz of Michigan would like to give you his 17-inch PowerBook. For free.
Panasonic's Toughbook laptops have carved out a niche among people who use computers under the most trying circumstances -- think utility linemen, the military, construction workers -- but in this age of belt-tightening, marketing executives with the brand are thinking the brand's durability message may play to a wider audience.
It has worked for Carl's Jr., and now sister CKE chain Hardee's is going for the erotic angle to sell burgers.
With the recession as its backdrop, Microsoft has finally jumped on the value-messaging bandwagon in a new ad, a 60-second spot dubbed "Laptop Hunters" that will break tonight during the NCAA "March Madness" basketball tournament.
In a campaign that would have made George Carlin proud, Snapple's upcoming ads will riff off the word stuff. The brand, which has long claimed to be “Made from the best stuff on Earth,” is now promoting the fact that its “stuff” has gotten better.
Seeking to revive a crunchy stalwart, cereal maker Post Foods is launching a new ad campaign for Grape Nuts that is aimed at men.
Boston Market is determined to appeal to the appetites of fast-casual diners—many of whom have lapsed from the category—with a little bit of humor in these gloomy times. The restaurant chain has kicked off a campaign, via new lead agency Fallon, highlighting the just-introduced Crispy Country Chicken in a series of funny TV spots.
Don't be surprised if you see Col. Sanders out filling potholes. In an unusual cause-marketing push, KFC is tackling the pothole problem in Louisville, Ky. in exchange for stamping the fresh pavement with "Re-freshed by KFC," a chalky stencil likely to fade away in the next downpour.
Geico draws inspiration from YouTube in its latest campaign that pairs viral video stars with its popular ad icons like the Gecko.
Stella Artois has taken a cue from the remix culture being perpetrated on the internet in their new campaign for their 4% lager, creating three Triple Filtered film trailers that re-imagine contemporary Hollywood through the lens of Nouvelle Vague cinema.
People love their pets almost as much as (and sometimes more than) they love their children. But there are only a few places where people can have the viral fun of, say, an "Elf Yourself," that's geared specifically for the four-legged members of the family.
Remind.org has launched the Tweet to Remind campaign, encouraging Twitter users to support injured U.S. service members as they return home from Iraq and Afghanistan. The campaign for social change aims to ease the challenges military families face as they attempt to integrate back into communities.
Clorox has added some pizzazz to its Disinfecting Wipes by packaging them in decorative canisters that are meant to look more like an accessory than a cleaning product. The canisters are now appearing in Macy's window displays in major metropolitan cities, including New York, Chicago and San Francisco. It's all part of the company's strategy to promote "stylish disinfecting."
Beer giant MillerCoors, seeking to revive its flagging Miller Lite after a string of marketing missteps, is spending more than $100 million on a new campaign that features redesigned cans and bottles and new ads centered on the brand's familiar theme: "Tastes Great."
Back in February, JetBlue ran some print ads poking fun at auto-industry execs and other bigwigs who might want to rethink flying their private jets to Washington. The ads were well-received, and now they've expanded the campaign online with The CEO's Guide to Jetting, which unfortunately only contains three amusing videos: the one above, plus these two others.
Microsoft and its partners are reaping big rewards from the $300 million Windows marketing campaign. That's my conclusion after reviewing February U.S. retail PC sales data released by NPD on March 16. Apple's steep U.S. retail sales declines continued in February, comparatively worse than January's already dismal showing. Meanwhile, Windows PC sales continued their recent year-over-year growth rally.
For the first time since the financial difficulties of General Motors began threatening the company’s existence, a G. M. division will run advertising that addresses the effects of the precarious situation.
Sears says it is rolling out a new marketing campaign, themed "Sears. Life. Well Spent," which it hopes will sell shoppers on the money-saving possibilities of both its proprietary and national brands.
Microsoft’s latest viral video, which uses the creative theme “Pretending to work,” was actually created by a group of workaholic freelancers who did it on the weekends.
Selling car insurance isn’t supposed to be a laugh riot, but somehow Geico makes consumers laugh again and again. It’s latest effort ad effort, created by the Martin Agency and starring “Kash," debuted in December. However the character continues gain more and more fans, according to Geico CMO Ted Ward. Ward spoke with Brandweek’s Kenneth Hein about why this stack of money with cookie monster eyes has drawn such a following.
Today, Farmers Insurance is launching a new campaign of specially produced informational spots over V-me, the two-year-old, public TV-backed Spanish-language TV network.
Beleaguered dealers frustrated with General Motors Corp. for sitting quietly on the sidelines are clamoring for a national ad campaign to counteract the daily drumbeat of negative news about whether the company will go belly up.
The National Basketball Association is launching a new campaign promoting the playoffs, which start April 18, and the finals--which begin in June--with the theme "Where Will Amazing Happen This Year?"
Ford has launched new programs to get the word out about the top-selling pickup truck in the U.S., and best-selling vehicle in the country for 27 years. There is both a new TV spot touting the safety features of the truck and an extension of the Dearborn, Mich. automaker's ongoing promotional relationship with country star Toby Keith.
The souring economy has shifted the advertising spotlight from higher-end, premium-priced products to less flashy, mass-market offerings that do not require buyers to cash in their 201(k)’s, as in the retirement accounts formerly known as 401(k)’s. That is particularly true in the automotive category, in which brands known for sensible pricing — Hyundai, Kia, Subaru — have recently been outperforming more expensive competitors. So the timing may be right for a hybrid car with a suggested retail price starting under $20,000 — the first in the American market in that price range.
Ford Motor Co.'s campaign for its redone 2010 Ford Fusion new hybrid model is aimed at people who aren't in the market to buy a car -- at least not today.
Visa is set to begin a $140 million ad campaign that seeks to persuade consumers from New York to New Delhi that cash isn't king. Starting this week, the world's biggest payments network is dumping its three-year-old "Life Takes Visa" slogan in favor of "More People Go with Visa." The company, which is rolling out its first unified ad campaign outside the U.S., says the new tagline will work better in foreign markets.
Arby's is launching new sandwiches to appeal to those who are looking around for a burger-esque experience without the fried, greasy beef between the bread. The new "Roastburger" sandwiches aren't burgers, per se, but sandwiches comprising thin-sliced roast beef. The company, in interactive and TV spots, is touting the new sandwiches as "burgers done better."
Is your dog a Fifi or a Fido? Fallon's first work for Alpo takes puppy love back to basics with an online and outdoor campaign that implores owners: "Quick, Get that dog some Alpo."
One of the most memorable, and parodied, of current infomercials is for the Snuggie, a blanket with sleeves whose users resemble converts to a cozy cult. While four million have sold since Snuggle began advertising in October, it turns out that the Snuggie is actually an imitator. The Slanket, another blanket with sleeves, predates the Snuggie by more than two years.
The Knorr brand has had a hard time of late, as it is associated with dry packet soup and sauces, out of line with the trends to fresher food. However, investment in core product innovation, linked with a clever creative campaign, looks to be paying off with improved brand and business results.
The quicker picker-upper is getting a pick-me-up. This week, Bounty paper towels, made by Procter & Gamble, plans to unveil an ad campaign designed to reflect what P&G says is today's more cavalier attitude toward household messes.
In unveiling its newest marketing campaign, Tommy Hilfiger is doing more of what it has always done: Invoking young, glamorous, affluent Americans with that classic cool. This time, they're looking more like movie stars than ever, as they lounge on expensive cars, sunbathe at the pool, and bask in palm-tree-studded sunsets. Either these folks missed the memo that, at the moment, America represents job loss, recession, and a cratering economy, or the company is hoping its lifestyle fantasy image will have more appeal than the latest downer headlines.
Kentucky Fried Chicken has launched a new campaign that promotes both the chain's continuing practice of cooking Original Recipe chicken on premises and a new "Unbeatable Feast" dinner deal.
For the first time in nearly a century, Lindsay Olives is redesigning its identity under the "Savor Olive Life" banner, introducing new products and launching a marketing campaign as well as new packaging and a Web site.
E*Trade Financial's popular talking baby will not only return to the Super Bowl this year, he's coming back with friends--baby pals as seen in commercial outtakes as well as adult buddies through a new Facebook page and Twitter followers.
A new television program to support Procter & Gamble's "My Black is Beautiful" advertising campaign is under development by P&G and BET Networks and will launch by early March.
I have a question for you: With the current state of things, right at this very moment, which one of the following would you choose? What you’re looking at is a campaign (a quick hit in awareness and sales) and a movement (long-term, sustainable growth). Because of what’s currently going on in the world right now, your answer may be different from what it was a year ago. Or maybe not.
Starbucks' campaign to promote volunteerism (and store traffic) got a huge bump today from no less than Oprah Winfrey -- and by extension, Barack Obama.
Heineken Premium Light's last ad theme was "Share the Good." Its new one might better be described as "share the tagline."
In a social media effort that is part of its new "Refresh Everything" campaign, Pepsi is making use of an application that lets users upload their own videos directly through an ad banner.
As anyone with a fluid ounce of sense should have realized, G is Gatorade, as envisioned by its new agency, TBWA, Los Angeles. Apparently, though, plenty of viewers were stymied.
Starbucks is launching a major marketing initiative called "I'm in" next week tied to the inauguration and rooted in community service. The push will encourage latte lovers to visit soup kitchens, read to the blind or otherwise commit to give back. Details of the supporting ad buy are still sketchy, although broadcast TV will be the lynchpin.
Coca-Cola is preparing to unveil a new global ad campaign with the tagline "Open Happiness."
Video games are now an essential part of American family life. According to the Entertainment Software Association, 65% of American households play console or computer-based video games. And with this increased prevalence are increasing concerns--and possibly disagreements--about what would be a "healthy" amount of gaming for kids.
Coca-Cola North America CMO Katie Bayne stars in a new campaign breaking this week for Microsoft that makes the case to businesses that the right software can help them do their jobs better.
Ikea's got Obama fever. Taking example from other large brands—including Ben & Jerry's and Hewlett-Packard—the Swedish home products retailer today kicked off an out-of-home ad campaign called "Embrace Change '09" that honors President-elect Barack Obama.
There are 11.1 million unemployed people in the United States, and the unemployment rate is at a 16-year high. Those are bleak numbers. But as it tries to appeal to job seekers in a new advertising campaign, Monster Worldwide, the parent company of the employment Web site Monster, decided to use a humorous touch. calling embedded video jsp brightcove player begins hasEmbeddedPlayer promo include for articles
Getting through the Christmas online marketing rush is tougher than getting to a cash register today. And getting the attention of somewhat jaded, media-savvy young digital denizens is tougher yet. Palm, Inc. seems to have pulled off this trick - and in a short timeframe - with a Facebook campaign for its Centro smartphone that combines on-page applications and user applications that are producing some pretty impressive viral results.
Every time he does something as president-elect that could be construed as presidential, Barack Obama has been saying, “We only have one president at a time.” But Mr. Obama will soon be doing something before his inauguration that has long been the province of presidents: appearing in a public service campaign.
THIS time of year, advertising is filled with religious imagery. But typically, little of it is actually sponsored by religious organizations. That is starting to change as churches seek to take advantage of the seasonal opportunity to communicate with prospective members.
Two months after the release of the "Unbutton Your Beast" viral campaign, Levi Strauss & Co. has debuted yet another in-your-face effort. Four hundred taxicabs whizzing through the streets of the Big Apple have started carrying outdoor media displays for Levi's 501 jeans.
Curious about PepsiCo's first big campaign post-BBDO? Well, here's a clue: Generation Optimistic. Influencing the final campaign, which involves a brand overhaul including repackaging with smiley-face-type logos, is a survey of consumers commissioned by Pepsi and conducted by StrategyOne last month.
Burger King's "Whopper Virgins" are going viral, just as the fast feeder intended. But while the cheeky camapign has yet to take off, early numbers and engagement with the videos is promising, according to an online tracking group.
Barack Obama is headed to the White House on Jan. 20, but taking the massive email list his campaign used as a fund-raising force probably isn't in the cards, according to a campaign official. One posssible reason: if the White House employs it, it would then become the property of the federal government and would be accessible to future administrations.
Amid projections that it won't see improved same-store sales until 2009, the coffee chain today launches a full-scale holiday promotion with Project Red including TV ads from new agency BBDO themed, "It's more than coffee."
Country second. Political expediency first. Strategic rigor about 18th. My friends, what a terrible campaign.
Two critical assumptions turned D.C. conventional wisdom on its head and helped provide Obama with a major strategic advantage over McCain. Here's how.