Piotr Jakubowski – Mind over Marketing

Imported from Detroit
February 24, 2011, 12:30 am
Filed under: advertising, marketing | Tags: , , , , , ,

The SuperBowl has come and gone. The celebrations are over (almost), the foam fingers have been put away, and the fans have already started waiting for the start of the next season.

One of the most disappointing things about the Superbowl this year (other than the utterly disgraceful halftime show) was the lineup of commercials. At $3 million for 30 seconds, you’d think that the likes of Budweiser, Pepsi, Kia and the others would put together something truly memorable. The only thing memorable about those commercials, is how uninspiring they were – if that was the goal, mission accomplished.

A spot that really stood out from the others, by far, was the Chrysler commercial. With the issues faced by both the automaker and the city of Detroit, the last few years have been interesting in the Chrysler family. The arrival of the Fiat group and their cronies, namely Sergio Marchionne (CEO of Fiat & Chrysler Group) and Olivier Francois (CEO of Chrysler brand) brought with it immense change, including trimming the lineup of cars down to 3 – the 200, 300 and Town & Country.

The narration, the story, the familiar Eminem tune, all tie emotion into the Chrysler brand. The car is not the hero in the commercial, the brand is. At 120 seconds ($12 million!), talk about an impression.

The gloves are back on, and Chrysler is ready to play.

Imported from Detroit.



Do you “Like” that water slide?
August 26, 2010, 6:00 am
Filed under: advertising, marketing | Tags: , , , , ,

Over the last few months we’ve seen a lot of action with new technologies. QR codes are quite the rage, Augmented Reality is developing and 3D TV/Programming is beginning to gain traction as well. Regardless of what technology we have been exploring, one way or another it is probably helping tighten the gap between reality and the web.

In a recent market test, Coca Cola used RFID tags at their Coca-Cola Village Amusement Park in Israel to tie real-life activities to Facebook. Think Foursquare on steroids. Park-goers were given RFID bracelets which included their Facebook profile information, which they used to check in at locations and “Like” attractions. The RFID receivers at the attractions would then update either the Village Amusement Park’s or the user’s Facebook pages with the appropriate information. In real-time.

Even cooler – when a park photographer takes a photo, the RFID bracelets can be used to “tag” the photo automatically.

According to project statistics, there were more than 35,000 updates a day by the 650 attendees participating in the event. Wildly successful among the demographic, it will be interesting to see where this application of technology can go.

Great to see Coca-Cola exploring new territories while blurring online/offline activities. And finally, to the Publicis agency E-dologic – thumbs up. (site in Hebrew)

32 Nations. One Language.

The World Game. Football. The 2010 FIFA World Cup is in full steam, and as we head into the final set of group matches, many of us have had a chance to see the football related commercials tens, even hundreds of times.

Now just like with Cause Marketing, sponsoring a sports event, or any other event for that matter, also comes with the question of how well do the brands align. Over the last few weeks we have seen the staples of World Cup commercials:

  1. Budweiser
  2. Nike
  3. Adidas
  4. Pepsi
  5. Coca Cola
  6. ESPN
  7. Hyundai

So let’s take a second to look at these:

Budweiser – D-

To be perfectly honest – slightly original. But boring. Would love to see Budweiser’s official mediaplan (cause if they are only buying adspace in the US then this could fly), but judging by the fact that they are the official sponsor of the World Cup, their ads are probably showing worldwide. And people worldwide are groaning.

Talk about originality. The same commercial redone 3 times. World Cup 2006, World Cup 2010 and Superbowls in the past. Really Budweiser? You’d think that with a total audience of 26 billion people, you’d try a little harder. See below.

Nike – A+

Everything that every other commercial does not have. It is fun. It connects with the fan. It shows the stigma and the standard to which each player is held. It shows the emotion. Debuting during the Champions League final this year, Nike hit this one out of the park again. Fantastic buzz-worthy presence for a company that has been muscled out of the World Cup by the other guys, Adidas. 16 Million Views online within the last month on the NikeSoccer channel alone can’t be wrong. Great work W+K Amsterdam.

On another note, isn’t it strange that none of the players in the commercial have performed well? Perhaps the Gillette curse is now on Nike? Ronaldinho failed to make the squad, Rooney has been non-existent, Cristiano Ronaldo has had a 1.5 year goal drought, Ribery has been silent, Drogba has been ok (given that they are in the Group of Death).

Adidas – B

Someone at the Adidas camp really must have wanted to hang out with George Lucas for the weekend or something. Slightly strange – though this focus on Classics rather than the Soccer division.

Which brings us to “The Quest”

Excellent proof that being a zero does not mean you can’t be a hero. Reminiscent of the Eric Cantona days at Nike as “The Boss” Zinedine Zidane makes a cameo as the Jedi Knight looking over the players. Fast, furious, plenty of effects and action, the spot focuses more about the players and their quest, rather than the emotions and connections the ones watching may feel. Still a good spot, but just lacks the connection of the Nike ad.

Pepsi – B+

Out of all of the commercials out there, the Pepsi ones really, truly embrace the fact that this is the first sporting event of this caliber to be held in Africa (the World Cup at least). It is truly remarkable that despite much criticism, disbelief and downright discouragement that South Africa has managed to pull off such a great sporting event.

Now back to the spots. Players such as Arshavin, Drogba, Henry, Lampard and Messi show up in Africa, put on some locally designed shirts (Check out the logo placement) and play football with the locals for a Pepsi. Truly endearing, fun and representative of the warmth with which the African people have welcomed the event, these spots are loaded with emotion and tongue-in-cheek humor that Pepsi is known for. The aspirational music and the general atmosphere may actually be a better commercial to visit Africa. Kudos to the logos being displayed throughout the entire spots.

For more check out the Pepsi Football Channel.

Coca-Cola – B+

You know, I’ve been a Coca-Cola loyalist for years, but their spots may be not as good as Pepsi’s. That being said, I’ve had the chance to meet Roger Milla before, which gives it the extra “+”. The main spot covers the history of celebration. The song encourages unification, and waving flags – a celebration of the fact that this is an event that brings everyone together for 30 days. 32 Nations. One Language. With the focus on Roger Milla, who in 1990 put viewers of the World Cup in Italy on their toes, the spot speaks in Coca-Cola’s voice and gets the message across – Coca-Cola unifies us. The team of players skipping like little girls just doesn’t get old. Great focus on Africa, while keeping to the brand’s voice and message.


The main ESPN commercial hits home really hard about what the World Cup is truly about – Unity. “The one month where everyone in the world agrees on one thing”. Wow. Just watch it for yourself.

The rest of ESPN – B

The rest of the spots focus on promoting the event and feature some fantastic photography from past events, as well as a few more emotional ads focusing on the history of South Africa.

Also, a cute Sportscenter commercial:

Hyundai – C

To be honest some of these spots were kind of strange. The first tries to connect loyalty to a fan who has died and is decked out in his gear at the funeral. Why would there be any kinds of death in a commercial for cars?

The second spot covers loyalty by a family naming their children after the entire 1966 England national team which won the World Cup. Not sure if this is a global commercial, but I’m quite positive that the only people who truly remember/care about the 1966 England victory in the World Cup is the British. Now with 40 million British people watching the World Cup (perhaps less if England is eliminated) out of an estimated billion or so, seems like this spot is slightly misplaced. Especially since it is running in America, a country where many individuals wouldn’t be able to name the full starting lineup of their own World Cup 2010 team, let alone care about what happened in 1966.

To be honest was expecting better from a company that is trying to redefine itself on a global scale.

Dodge – A

A special commercial created specifically for the England vs. US game. This commercial cannot be anymore brilliant than this. The British are scared away by Americans riding up in Dodge Challengers. Classic. Remembered. Catering to the tastes of the American people – you should have heard the roars of the crowds at the bars when this was going on.

And just for fun, a few more spots:

From 2006 – but still funny

Dawn – Effective Cause Marketing

So by now everyone has heard of what is going on in the Gulf of Mexico.

BP. Oil. Craziness.

Interestingly enough, Dawn dish soap has previously foraged into responsible marketing in the form of promoting the fact that its dish soap is used to clean off some of the wildlife that has been affected by oil. Dawn would donate money from every bottle purchased to help a cause – the classic concept that has already been championed by brands like Toms and GAP.

So here’s some questions to ask – is cause marketing another attempt to try and build brand equity? Maybe. Are companies jumping on the bandwagon simply to be another me-too? Definitely. Does it always work? Not really.

In this case, however, the campaign works wonders.

Is this spot brilliant? Maybe.

Heartbreaker? Definitely.

Rather than simply slapping on a cause such as supporting Susan G. Komen or Livestrong, the marketers at Dawn had actively chosen to support a cause which utilized their product as well.

Given the turn of events that have happened recently, it would be interesting to see how Dawn sales have been affected.

Now before you say anything, the discussion isn’t centered around exploiting a natural disaster – but using it to educate consumers that Dawn is a responsible brand. Great way to build equity. And with the whole situation in the Gulf, consumers will now be able to associate Dawn with the cleanup effort – that the brand they bought has helped clean the slick.

Will people think twice in the dish soap aisle? You bet.

Let’s just hope that the dawnsaveswildlife.com cause can last for longer than the $500,000 that is the ceiling of the campaign.

Starting Fresh
June 1, 2010, 11:02 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

New years are an opportunity of new beginnings.

Now before commenting about the fact that the new year was 6 months ago, June 16th will be the start of the new year for this place.

Check back then for updates!


What Goes Around Comes Around

what-goes-around-rifle-posterAs technology races forward, we are constantly looking for new, cutting edge ways to pass messages along to the consumer. It seems that nowadays, if you’re not online, mobile or viral, then you are lagging behind the pack.

There are still, however, plenty of opportunities in our advertising world to break out and push the limits with what is available around us. And without the big budgets that some of the larger advertisers are packing. This includes non-profits, for which many shops do pro-bono work.

A campaign that has made headlines in the ad world (and award shows) is a recent outdoor series from Big Ant International, a boutique shop in New York City started in 2006 by SVA grads. With an impressive client list to their name, the shop has managed to really blow one out of the park with the recent “What Goes Around Comes Around” posters.

Designed as posters that wrap around concrete poles, the brilliance behind the concept is its simplicity. The continuous image speaks larger than most words, and the included copy solidifies the message, hammering home the point that like a circle, a war sees no end.

Brilliant work from a group of talented professionals. The judges at the Clios and D&AD awards thought so too. 

Check these out:


Where Amazing Happens…
June 10, 2009, 10:00 am
Filed under: advertising, marketing | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

nba_finals_2009_logoEvery year the National Basketball Association treats us to a fantastic show to kick off the rest of summer, the NBA Playoffs. And as they bump shoulders with the hundreds of other shows on TV, the NBA and its partners (Nike and Kia to name a couple) have bombarded the airwaves with promotions for the coveted NBA Finals. Though the Kobe vs. Lebron puppet ones start edging towards the borderline annoying (too bad the Cavs dropped out) and the movie spots are just terrible, the most memorable commercials were created by the NBA itself.

“Where Amazing Happens” was a campaign that lead up to the start of the NBA Playoffs, with clips from various games from the season were played in slow motion in black and white. Players such as LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Yao Ming and Dwight Howard are showcased in this collection of NBA’s future Hall of Famers.

With the Playoffs beginning, the NBA decided to take this campaign to the next level with its series of spots highlighting “Amazing Playoff Moments”, hitting home to the history that the NBA has developed and to appeal to the generation that saw those moments unravel. I never saw Larry Bird’s steal, Magic Johnson’s hook or Dr. J’s reverse layup (I did see Kobe to Shaq’s alley oop), but with the status that those players currently hold at the Naismith Hall of Fame it truly represents something amazing. The way these spots are shot truly set the emotion for the event, as they blend from empty stands, to a full crowd, to an empty court – symbolizing that this is now a memory in all our minds.

As we watch history unfold in the Magic – Lakers finals series, here’s some moments from the past from players who have made history.

What is interesting is that Dr. J’s video has the least number of views – could that be indicating the end of an era?