Tag Archives: advertising

Ads without Beauty Shots – Are You Serious?

Cornflake Girl

Perhaps I am an idealist.  Maybe just a traditionalist.  But I like a beauty shot to go with my quick-witted copy and eye-catching headline.  That said, imagine my surprise when I learned that Kellogg’s newest ad campaign lacked both image shots and brand logos.  That’s right – these ads don’t show the product that they are promoting or even a glimpse of its logo.

So just what is Kellogg’s doing?  They are selling emotions and the vision of lifestyle.

Selling emotions and lifestyles aren’t unfamiliar concepts Continue reading

Pepsi Pulls Out of Super Bowl – So What?

Green Bay Packers v Arizona Cardinals - Wild Card RoundPepsi’s decision to not advertise during the upcoming Super Bowl may have come as a surprise to many.  Especially with the buzz these ads generate and water cooler conversations they occupy in the days following the game.

Instead of Super Bowl ads, Pepsi will be sinking its dollars into cause-based social media, investing $20 million into its Refresh Project, which helps people improve their communities through a variety of projects, funded by Pepsi, according to a report by DMNews. Continue reading

Social Media:Adverting v. PR — Round 1

DTeicher-This is my first, and long overdue, post for PRBC. Though I’m technically not in public relations anymore, the time I spent in the field has irrevocably molded my view of social media and helped me develop the skill set with which I operate today. But I’ve since moved to advertising and I find it amazing how publicists and ad execs hold such varied perspectives of how to operate within the social space on behalf of brands. I used to advocate that PR was the industry to spearhead social media initiatives. But I was admittedly biased. In  fact, I think the key to effectively establishing a brand as a powerful social entity is to take what each industry offers to the space and somehow unify the various approaches. Continue reading

Who, ME? Yes. You!

Yes. Yes, you.
I think we can all understand there is a certain element of me to social ME-dia. There is also the ME generation. Hi! Member 1,276,024 of the ME Generation reporting for duty. PR, Marketing and Ad folks have caught on and are milking this self-centeredness like nobody’s business. And I in no way claim myself an expert in this arena and am aware this sort of targeting has been happening for quite some time. But go with me here… Continue reading

Your Copy Sucks: We Can’t Click That, Yo

Cup of coffeeInstead of my usual harsh judgment (my hammer of knowledge, if you will), this week I bring you a question. It’s an issue on which I’ve been waffling for some time.

Backstory: Remember a few weeks ago, when Starbucks released their new instant coffee? Well, now Nestle’s Taster’s Choice would like to remind you that they’ve been making instant coffee way before that young Turk ever came into the java-slinging world. Here in New York, and in several other cities, Nestle street teams have been handing out little envelopes filled with all sorts of Taster’s Choice instant coffee packets. Copy on these envelopes calls out the Starbucks instant brand as a lot of needless hype.
Continue reading

Madison Avenue Goes Back to the Future

Laney Cohen HeadshotThe Wall Street Journal recently reported on NBC’s allowing marketers to tack products on their programs promoting a cause, health or social issue, citing Campbell Soup as an upcoming sponsor for Today Show health segments in November and February.

This got me thinking – is advertising blurring the space between product placement and advertising? A throwback to days of yore? Continue reading

Your Copy Sucks: Thanks for nothing, Dexter ads

I love TV. I love it so much that I harshly judge people based on their viewing habits. I’ve ended relationships because of disagreements over which Iron Chef series is better (original, duh). So I take TV very seriously.

I also watch a lot of TV online or via Netflix because, you know, geek. I finished Dexter season two months ago and was really looking forward to starting season three, which just came out on DVD. This is all background information for my griping.

My point is, I walk outside my office one afternoon and I see this noise:

2009-09-01 21.38.40

Y’all in NYC have probably seen these promos for Dexter season four all over. It’s in the subway and on buses and, I dunno, stuck to the backs of the doors in women’s rooms.

And it pisses me off because it’s like a giant spoiler that’s following me everywhere!

“Teej,” say the unfortunate people who must listen to me whine about this, “it’s not that big of a spoiler. I mean, it’s just Dexter holding a kid. Could mean anything.”

To those unfortunates I say: LOOK AT THE COPY.

2009-09-01 21.38.40

Here’s my dramatic reenactment of how this ad campaign came about. Imagine a room full of modern day Mad Men wannabes: Diet Coke instead of scotch, mint gum instead of cigarettes, you get the picture. And GO:

“We can just have the picture of Dexter and the baby. Good image.”

“Do you think people will take it the wrong way? We don’t want people thinking he’s going to kill the baby.”

“Yeah, we definitely don’t want people to think he’s going to kill the baby.”

“Can’t have baby-killing.”

“Nope. No baby-killing. Can’t have that.”

“We need some copy that explains that he’s not going to hurt the baby.”

“Oh, how about ‘This is Dexter’s baby that he had in season three that TJ Dietderich hasn’t seen yet because it just came out on DVD’? Good?”

“Yeah, but ‘World’s Most Killer Dad’ is snappier.”

“Cut! Print! We’re done here.”

End scene.

It’s not like this baby was a secret; I’m told there was a special behind-the-scenes episode about this plot line. But I had gone to great lengths to avoid those things. Copy, on the surface, seems to have very little to do with my spoilery anger. But allow me to make an incredibly far reach.

I believe that all copy, even ad copy, should consider its audience. Not its intended audience, not its target demo, but every single person who’s going to be looking at it. Obviously the ad dudes considered the people who might be offended by the image of the baby with a serial killer (oh, spoiler alert, if you haven’t seen season one: Dexter is a serial killer). Why not also consider the people who would be offended by spoilers? Why not just let that image and the show logo speak for itself? Why the annoying little pun that destroys all the mystery?

Who is this ad for? All the people who are caught up on the show and already know about the baby? All the people who are only vaguely familiar with the premise of the show and love babies? What about me in the middle ground, yo? Where’s my Dexter ad?

baby-hatin’ Teej.

[reus id=”1″]

Mobile Technology: The Next PR/MarComm Frontier?

In the grand scheme of things, our constant, seemingly never-ending discussions and Twittering and blogging about the evolution of PR/marketing/advertising and how cool social media is will eventually die down, and we will get back to our normal—albeit now drastically altered (hopefully for the better)—professional and personal lives.

So rather than talk about what is currently going on in the social media landscape (look, a new Twitter app came out . . . and another!), I’d like to actually think about what we *might* be talking about a year, two years, or five years from now. Specifically, mobile technology and just how big of an impact it’s going to have on our lives, particularly in the PR world.

Look around you; the damn things are everywhere. You can even take a cell phone into a delivery room now and tweet while giving birth! Crazy, I know. But that’s just it: The effect mobile technology is going to have on communicators in terms of how we get messages across to key influencers, and how we engage the public, will be enormous. Far bigger than what is currently going on in the social media landscape. We’re talking about a technology that is now in the hands of more than 82 percent (250 million) of Americans and approximately 50 percent of the world!

But it gets even better: A recent MediaWeek study showed that 1 in every 7 minutes of media consumption is now done through mobile technology. Think about that for a minute: That great op-ed you wrote for your client that’s read on an iPhone now by the most tech-savvy around us? Give it five years. Everyone in your community is going to be instantly reading it on their smartphones, tweeting it back out to their followers (if Twitter still exits in five years . . . .), and sending it all over their social media network(s) to audiences you could have never even dreamed of.

Or even cooler, the fact that very soon (as in, it’s in its infancy now in the U.S.), marketers will have the ability to embed special 2-D barcodes into posters, shirts, billboards, practically anything, and someone with a mobile phone can take a picture of it and get all kinds of cool promos, buy movie tickets, or even get train times sent directly to their phone. Don’t believe me? Check out this piece from The Economist for a view into the not-too-distant future.

So what does that mean for you, the PR guy, the marketer, or ad man who is desperately trying to keep up with the current changes? Well, I hate to tell you, but it’s only going to build from here. And that’s actually a good thing. Because while the last five years in our business has seen a rapid growth and movement toward expanding from traditional services and offerings, opportunities are going to continue to arise that will keep us busy—and hopefully—excited for many years to come.

I envision a future in the PR world where certainly ideas like the social media news release, Wikis, and other mobile-friendly formats will become even more prevalent, as brands quickly realize that there are far more efficient and cheaper ways to reach their targeted consumers than the traditional giant, static billboard on the side of the road.

Where do you think the PR, marketing, and advertising industries are moving? Are the technologies and ideas I noted above going to be part of this movement, or are these just flash-in-the-pan ideas? Let me know!

[reus id=”1″]