Dear Advertiser,

Just a Little Friendly Advice

Getting Together for a Good Cause March 27, 2008

Filed under: Keep It Up,Love, KR — K @ 2:09 pm

Dear Al Gore,

Your rock. I just read about the ad campaign for your not-for-profit The Alliance for Climate Protection that is slated to begin next week. Now we all know that PSAs tend to be A) boring or B) trying a bit too hard to be edgy. However, what I just read about your campaign literally brought a smile to my face. Let’s have a read at the clip from the 60 minutes article:

Some of the ads will feature unlikely alliances to drive home the message that people of all stripes are concerned about global warming. These include the Rev. Al Sharpton and the Rev. Pat Robertson, Toby Keith and the Dixie Chicks, and Nancy Pelosi and Newt Gingrich.

This is absolute brillance. I would like to shake the person who came up with this strategy’s hand. Hell, I might even bear hug him or her. Among the pairings, that of Toby Keith and the Dixie Chicks is astounding. For those who don’t remember, they had a long battle over opinions on Bush that at one point involved shirts reading “FUTK”. As divisive as politics have been along party lines these days, this campaign will give strong evidence that global warming that transcends politics.

All the Best,



Superior Marketing Tactics March 23, 2008

Filed under: Love, KR — K @ 9:41 am
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Dear Axe and BodMan,

You have a lot in common, primarily that you are nearly the exact same product  – both manly-scented deoderizing body sprays. There are 2 major differences:

1. BodMan has been around a heck of a lot longer (in the US, it seems – see Post Script)

2. Axe (known as Lynx across the pond) is hugely successful; BodMan is not. (Side Note: Tag Body Spray has attempted to piggy back on Axe’s strategy but has not been nearly successful due to the fact that it’s a lame imitation.)

Now why the difference between Axe and BodMan? Simply marketing.

You can watch a BodMan ad here.

If you didn’t check it out, here is the description: Sweaty men playing football, dated up-tempo music, woman saying “Hot bod, I want your bod” and an image of cheapo-looking, clear containers filled with a concotion that looks radioactive. It’s cheesy and unappealing to men. Sure it plays on women being attracted to men, but the execution is horrific.  For a description that illustrates my point, read the post by Stinger97 on this forum. (These ads were running in 2007, think about that.) 

Guys probably got Bod Man only when their well-meaning mothers stuck it in their stockings to give them a sly reminder to freshen up.

On the other hand, Axe stormed onto the seen with controversial ads that appealed to men’s basic instincts – getting laid. And if smelling good is what it takes, men will cover themselves in Axe. (Trust me, I know more than a few.) I had a friend who initially thought Axe was lame, but the advertising was edgy enough to grab the interest of some women as well and pretty soon he was going through a can a week.

Additionally, Axe has gotten extremely creative. There have been entire programs that are, quite simply, Axe ads. They’ve aired both on Spike TV and MTV (Game Killers). Spike TV aired  “Exposing the Order of the Serpentine,” an alleged 30 minute news-doc about how a secret cult of men who, I guess, worshipped snakes and got laid by beautiful women. This was, of course, an extended ad for Axe’s Snakepeel Body Wash. Some people might find it a bit sleazy, but the content could be considered actually entertaining, which is where Axe always scores big. Sure it’s a little risque at times, but that it what Axe is going for and the audience eats it up. At times, it is even artsy. Check out this Lynx (Axe in England) ad:



It Comes to This *Sigh* March 11, 2008

Dear Dominos,

I have written about fine print in pharmaceutical and financial advertising – both industries where one would expect fine print – and now I write about fine print advertising regarding…wait for it…pizza delivery. Even though the commercials tell me that I’ve got thirty minutes and it’s stupid entertaining characters show me all of the stupid funny things I could do during those thirty minutes, it turns out I could have a lot more time to do said things. That’s because, right before the announcer engergetically tells me “You Got 30 Mintues” (shouldn’t it be “You’ve Got 30 Minutes”?) there is some fine print at the bottom of the screen that tells me otherwise. It appears around 7 seconds. Let’s have a watch…

In case you didn’t feel like squinting that hard to read it, it says:

Because safety is a priority, “You Got 30 Minutes” is not a guarantee, but an estimate.

So, basically, the tagline is a lie. I understand that safety is a priority, but just like in the case of Celebrex, maybe you should switch up your strategy. I know that “You/You’ve Got More Than Thirty Minutes” isn’t very catchy, so maybe you should stick to advertising your disgusting delicious product instead of your inability to hire Nascar wannabes as drivers.




Eaten Alive March 3, 2008

Filed under: Keep It Up,Love, KR,TV — K @ 3:06 am
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Dear Wachovia / AG Edwards,

I have known for a bit that AG Edwards had been folded into Wachovia, but I had forgotten, and the commercial I saw to night delivered me what I have to admit was a very nice reminder. Unfortunately, I cannot find the video. (Shame on you, Wachovia. youTUBE these things!) As I have mentioned before, I have had a great deal of respect for AG Edwards advertising stragtegy, and I have always enjoyed Wachovia’s ads (though I have not mentioned this).

The adverisement tonight, which I shall entitle “With” (hell, that may even be the real title) was quite pleasant. It had fantastic narration, charming visuals, and at the very end my beloved egg rolled right into the Wachovia logo. I positively love advertisements that provide me with an enchanting and memorable experience and this was certainly one of those. Well done.

All the best,



WTF March 2, 2008

Filed under: Really?! — K @ 1:16 am
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Dear Sales Genie,

I saw one of your commercials tonight that I have seen before, but this time something struck me. Sales Genie? Wasn’t that the company who ran the distasteful, racially stereotypical ads during the Super Bowl? No way, I thought. This sweet little bead-stringing girl in the somewhat cheesy, rather low-budget but not at all offensive ad I was watching could not be produced by the same company who created those juvenile spots. Could they? I checked my Super Bowl live blog and there they were – the Indian spot during the 5:45 CST break and the pandas during the 7:31 break.

Did they fire the agency who produced the Super Bowl commercials and decide to re-air the old ones instead of hiring a new agency? (Perhaps they could not afford one.) Do they plan on continuing to run these two vastly different campaigns simaltaneously? (Doubtful, because I haven’t seen the cartoon ads since the Super Bowl.)

Either way, both campaigns completely suck – but for extremely different reasons. The original is painfully lame and the Super Bowl ads are just repugnant. If you can afford it, hire a new agency and stay away from overly-adorable little children who are negelected by their overworked parents living a life without Sales Genie and racially insenstive cartoons.

Flabbergastedly Yours,



Dear Candidates, March 1, 2008

Dear Candidates,

Although I typically stick to traditional advertising, I am going to take a brief forray into campaign strategy – signage. As you may or may not know (I’m going to guess all that campaigning has gotten in the way of reading this blog), I am all about keeping things consistent. In this realm, one candidate succeeds, and the other does not.

Even when the message is slightly different, the fonts and colors on Obama’s supporters’ signs are the same. He uses a nearly identical placard on the front of the podium when he speaks and nearly everyone is holding an “Obama ’08” sign or a sign that says “Change we Can Believe In” on one side, and “Stand for Change” on the other. This consistency allows Obama to drive home his message with even the most casual observer.

And then we have Clinton. This post was inspired by noticing the changing signage at every event. Everything from placards on her podiums to the signs punctuating the audience to the banners hanging behind her change with each rally. They include (but are not limited to):

  • Solutions for America
  • Clinton Country
  • Hillary (Which could not look more different than Clinton Country – if “Hillary” were made by a fourth grade teacher who dabbles in calligraphy, “Clinton Country” was made by one of her students)
  • Rebuilding the Road to the Middle Class
  • And they all look dramatically different. And I don’t think it’s much of a stretch to say that this simple element (signs, placards, and banners) is actually a microcosm of their campaigns as a whole.

    Good Luck on the Trail,



    Maybe You Should Stick to Print

    Filed under: Love, KR,Really?!,TV — K @ 3:58 pm
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    Dear Celebrex,

    After the whole Vioxx fiasco, I understand that you have to be very clear with consumers about how your product just may kill them. That being said, I don’t think an entire commercial of fine print is the way to go. While most ads show happy people feeling better with a blurb about horrific side effects towards the end, your entire animated ad is nothing but over two minutes (YES, OVER TWO MINUTES) of explaining the multitude of risks. Let’s have a watch:

    I don’t have arthritis, so I don’t know how bad it sucks, but all of those side effects (like dying) sound a whole lot worse.

    The laundry list of things to worry about includes:

  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • “Skin reactions” (that’s a wee bit vague, if you ask me)
  • Stomach and intestine problems including bleeding and ulcers
  • Indigestion
  • Abdominal pain
  • Nausea
  • Not to mention, it’s incredibly boring. Your best bets are to A) hire a new media planner and B) maybe lay off the advertising until something fresh has come out of R&D.



    PS – I’m not saying you should hide the risks (see: Vioxx), but what I am saying is that a product with so many risks may need to rethink advertising until it is a bit safer.

    PPS – I’m still not entirely sure this isn’t some sort of punishment from the FTC. That’s actually the best explanation I can come up with for this trainwreck…