at the intersection of brands, media and culture

Posts Tagged ‘advertising’

Nike Keeps Sticking in my Head

In Brands, communications, marketing on July 23, 2008 at 4:13 pm

This stuff is amazing and it is sticking to the inside of my head like Brown Eyed Girl at a kareoke bar.

Creative Juice Squeezed Fresh

In Uncategorized on July 3, 2008 at 12:11 pm

Debbie Millman makes me laugh…

Taking the World in Stride

In advertising, Consumers, marketing, strategy on June 25, 2008 at 2:57 pm

Still looking at the backstory for all of this between client meetings and calls but… this is fun! Looks like Stride Gum underwrote a 39 country trip in exchange for some fun viral video and solid street cred. We’ll be seeing more of this type of unproduced work in the future as budgets are axed and clients look for ways to cut through the clutter. Frankly, I’m not even going to try to hide my jealousy, I want some of that action!

hat tip: laughingsquid

WaMu: Please Fire Your Copywriters

In advertising, Branding, Brands, communications, Consumers, marketing, strategy on June 14, 2008 at 7:49 am


Originally uploaded by distillerymedia

Dear WaMu,

There are a few issues with rebranding that I’d like to bring to your attention. First of all, there is little that you can do to distract people from the fact that your stock and business are in the toilet. In these situations most companies take the predictable approach of working to reaffirm their commitment to their consumers and to regenerate trust. You, dear WaMu, have decided to go in a different direction.

You’ve tried to brand what you are calling a “Whoo hoo!” moment. What they heck is a “Whoo hoo!” moment?! It continues to make me believe that you are opening a line of red-light massage parlors and yet, it seems as though they are just banks.

I get the fact that you are a nicer bank. One that historically has given really big loans to people that didn’t necessarily deserve them. That was really nice of you even though it doesn’t seem to have worked out so well. And even if that isn’t quite what you were getting at here, you have to remember that you are a freakin’ bank! Unless your ATMs add zeros to my account you probably aren’t going to elicit a Whoo hoo from me.

This strikes me as the result of a bad focus group laddering exercise where someone says they want a bank that makes them feel happy. The moderator asks, ‘what does happy feel like?’ and they say ‘joy.’ The moderator probes, ‘what does joy feel like?’ Eventually someone says “Whoo hoo!” and WaMu starts printing posters.

And don’t even get me started on the stupidity of spending money to put arrows right outside the bank. It’s as if you’ve discovered a segment of mouth breathers who only stare straight at the ground when they walk and didn’t notice that they were right next to a WaMu. If this is how spend your own money in a crisis I’m not sure it’s the safest place for my money.

Watch With Your Hands In the Air

In Brands, communications, marketing, strategy on June 4, 2008 at 8:35 am

Beautiful work for the Zurich Chamber Orchestra by Euro RSCG.

hat tip VSL

Who Wants A Hug? Get Your Hugs Here!

In advertising, Brands, communications, Consumers, marketing, strategy on June 3, 2008 at 10:24 am

hat tip to the crazy kids of Chicago at Coudal

On the Spot: Start Doing a Marketplace Audit PLEASE

In advertising, Branding, Brands, communications, marketing, strategy on May 21, 2008 at 9:19 am

All apologies, I’ve been a bit busy with some big changes that I’ll fill you in on later along with new original content. In the meanwhile, I’m still being surprised by commercials that look almost identical to others in the market. So much so that you could simply super on a logo and voice over to have the same spot. I know that it’s becoming at bit like ‘you thought we wouldn’t notice‘ around here but new, distilled content is coming soon. Promise.

The new offender is BNP Paribas as seen on CNN during the election coverage last night.

and the original, very creative ad by The Ladders

Walk of The Shamefully Good

In advertising, Branding, Brands, communications, Consumers, marketing, strategy on May 19, 2008 at 10:18 am

Nice new work from AMP positioning themselves as the energy drink for the other half of the day.  BUT, to the same audience that got all f-ed up the night before.  Really good.

Agency is BBDO until someone tells me otherwise..

Obama Controversy Proves There is No Local Marketing Anymore

In advertising, Branding, Brands, communications, Consumers, marketing, strategy on April 13, 2008 at 11:31 pm

jesus & walther

Originally uploaded by chaos & career

Much ado is being made by national media about local marketing as of late. First it was Absolut’s campaign in Mexico that depicted the country owning half of America ‘in an Absolut world.’ National media (okay, Fox News) decried it as an assault on our sovereignty and folks started calling for a boycott of the brand all the while missing the point that no one really wants to live in Fresno and we might just want to give it back.

Then came the Obama fracas about how bitter Americans turn to guns and religion and rant about foreign trade deals. And despite his likely correctness on the issue, it isn’t something that one would want to come out and say as Pennsylvania and Indiana gear up for their primaries. Unless of course you were in San Francisco giving a campaign fundraising speech that was closed to the media. Because in San Francisco people are likely to agree with you.

Both of these cases point to the new difficulties of local marketing and delivering messages based upon segmented consumer sentiment. In the local markets where both those messages ran, it signaled clear strategic intent to align with the feelings of the market. But when those messages become national, or global as they are tending to do, they wreak havoc. This is especially relevant for advertisers who use digital media and broadcast to the “world wide” web.

Answers are short on how to move forward. Alienating national audiences is a road to disaster and but marketers (conventional and political) can’t ignore the need to connect to local constituencies in relevant ways. For local brands, creating controversy can be a way to get noticed following a strategy of “who cares that people are talking about you as long as they are talking” since local brands tend to suffer most from lack of awareness. For substantial brands like Absolut and Obama, more care needs to be paid to how local messages will play out in the national media… since as of late there is no such thing as local anymore.

Get Out of the Room!

In advertising, Branding, communications, Consumers, marketing on April 13, 2008 at 2:24 am


Originally uploaded by distillerymedia

There is something nice, predictable, and safe about focus group rooms. The anonymity provided by double-sided mirrors, the predictability of recruits and the comfort of peanut M&M’s. But when the results are nice, predictable, and safe, is it time to try something else?

Now, I know I’ve defended focus groups in the past but it’s sort of like defending why you left the dishes unwashed. Unable to apologize for woeful negligence you double down your defense. And I’ll stick to the fact that focus groups are very useful for testing, for understanding if your message is getting through and for talking to large numbers of people quickly and reliably. But for inspiration and creation whether for products or positioning, nothing beats experience.

I’ve been on a global journey of sorts for a large but daring client who had an appetite for (and a budget that required) a new approach. For less money than traditional focus groups I’ve been diving headlong into the cultures and scenes of Shanghai and now Moscow. While it would have been a lot easier and less time consuming to sit people down in a Moscow focus group room to talk about nightlife, daylife and everything in between, there is nothing like bellying up to the bar, touching the stage at a live show, playing streetball with locals or conducting live interviews at a skatepark to learn about what is going on, how people feel and how to tap into those emotions.

So next time you really want to understand your audience, don’t just bring them into a room or do an in-home. Move with them and among them to understand not just where they are and what they’ve accumulated in their life, but where they are headed.

This picture was taken at around 2am in the Moscow club 16 Tons.