Piotr Jakubowski – Mind over Marketing

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly #4
January 28, 2009, 10:00 am
Filed under: advertising, marketing | Tags: , , , , , ,

The Good – Cisco – Human Network

Revamping a classic, Cisco hit the nail on the head with this one. The Human Network spots have been around for a while, showcasing the way Cisco technology can shrink this global network that our business world has developed (my favorite was the skateboard spot). Adjusting the lyrics to “I Will Survive”, the spot praises the company’s breakthrough technology that allows the human network to grow even closer without breaking the bank. And the song seems fitting for this economy – with Cisco technology, companies can cut costs on travel by bringing people together through video conferencing. The execution of the lyrics wouldn’t exactly make Mrs. Gaynor proud, but the concept and spot are both fantastic.


The Bad – Yoplait – Richard Simmons

In all honesty, Yoplait’s advertising over the past few years hasn’t been that bad, especially with increased pressure from Dannon and other yogurts that have risen from the organic craze. And with shows like “The Biggest Loser” on TV, many of these yogurt companies have been embracing a healthy lifestyle – diet, exercise and a balance in life. Two things that fail to impress about this spot are Richard Simmons and the ladies’ disregarding him. Everyone knows that Richard Simmons is exceptionally boisterous and flamboyant, but his acting in this spot takes it over the edge. The ladies disregarding his advice about exercise makes it seem that Yoplait Light is the answer to losing weight. But one can see through shows like “The Biggest Loser” that it is the balance of all three – diet, exercise and life – that is the real answer to developing and maintaining physical fitness. Or is Yoplait Light the Hydroxycut of yoghurt (which still only works with exercise)?


The Ugly – Palm Centro – Claus

Slightly dated as it came out right before Christmas, I still wanted to shed some light on the fact that this spot is terrible. The concept is simple, Santa is old, gets a Palm Centro and all of a sudden sheds his beard, a few hundred pounds and can outdrive Happy Gilmore on the golf course. Santa Claus, a mysterious being to many children worldwide is just that – Santa Claus. He will always have a large belly, an unbelievably bushy beard and a voracious appetite for milk and cookies. And no technology company can try to convince me otherwise. That being said, the character who plays “Claus”, Santa 2.0, looks awkward, goofy and has an annoying grin/smile that he can’t wipe off his face. I’m sure the Palm Centro has its perks and benefits that rival the iPhone, but don’t try to convince people by ruining a childhood memory.



Feel free to leave your own comments! 


A Different Kind of Chocolate
January 27, 2009, 10:51 am
Filed under: advertising, marketing | Tags: , , , ,

Another contribution to Respinning The Web. Check it out:

What does a gorilla, airport trucks and dancing eyebrows have in common?

Apparently chocolate.

Glass and a Half Full Productions has been masterminded by Fallon in London and is a faux-production house that makes spots showcasing Cadbury’s Milk Chocolate (which happens to be one of my favorite too). The stars of these shorts aren’t the bars of chocolate themselves – they only appear at the end, but the quirky subjects seemingly pulled out of the air by the creative team at Fallon….

Check out the rest of the post:

Respinning The Web – A Different Kind of Chocolate

Just a Second
January 23, 2009, 12:00 pm
Filed under: advertising, marketing | Tags: , , , ,

Having changed their AOR in the last few years, Miller High Life is back on track with some interesting creative. The agency continued to center the brand’s advertising around Wendell Middlebrooks, the roly-poly outspoken MHL delivery man and in my opinion a great personality for the brand. Some previous spots had Wendell walking into a club-suite at a football game and taking the High Life away because it’s drinkers did not appreciate it or teaching some tailgaters that it’s not cool to make turkey burgers.

The Big Game, just over a week away, is the pinnacle of the advertising industry. With prices for a 30 second spot hitting $3 million and the economy heading south, many companies are looking to other alternatives. Instead of competing with companies like Coca Cola and Anheuser Busch (which bought has exclusive rights to the national beer spots), Miller High Life created a series of blinks – ads that you WILL miss if you blink because they are one second long.

The idea was created with the thought that Miller High Life identifies with value. Why would a brand that emphasizes value pay $3 million for a spot? Why not buy a spot with just enough time to say one thing (Smart did this in Germany with radio ads a few years ago).

This is a smart move for the brand as the strategy stays true to its values and identity. By buying 1 second placements in targeted spot markets, they are still covering 60% of the 95 million viewers while paying a fraction of the price. Wendell Middlebrooks, the image that brings personality to the table, is set to do a great job in bringing attention to the brand in such a short time span. Finally, people watching the Super Bowl are already drinking beer. By creating this idea and promoting it before the game, the brand does a great job of reminding people what they SHOULD be drinking while they’re watching the Clydesdales parade across the screen.

This is definitely one of the campaigns to look forward to at this year’s Super Bowl. 

Just don’t blink.

Check out www.1secondad.com for some of the “rejected” spots. My favorite has to be the one where the director yells action and cut before Wendell can say anything.

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly #3
January 21, 2009, 12:00 pm
Filed under: advertising, marketing | Tags: , , , , ,

The Good – Ford F-150

Despite the fact that almost all car manufacturers in the US lack an identity, the Ford F-150 has managed to carve out a name for itself in the vehicle industry. And there’s oh, almost 30 straight years of being the best-selling vehicle in America to back that up. That being said, the “Built Ford Tough” campaigns recently haven’t disappointed. Slightly longer with more copy, the spot effectively uses typography and moving objects to captivate the attention span of even the smallest child. A great reminder of the fact that the F-150 has captivated the American people for almost 30 years, the spot does a fantastic job of embracing new techniques and technology to continue the brand’s reign. 

The Bad – Geico Chinese Restaurant

Already sporting a platoon of mascots/characters, Geico throws another one onto the table – Kash. A stack of cash with googly eyes that kindergarteners stick on their artistic creations, the spot features a female on a date at a seedy Chinese restaurant (great place for a date, huh?) “shamelessly flirting” with Kash. I can’t say I’m a fan of the awkward silence while Kash is on screen, and I don’t really know if Geico needs another character to represent its brand as the Gecko, Cavemen and Rusty Wallace’s cousin have been quite successful on their own. What saves this spot in my mind is the waiter’s acting and accent – his role cracks me up every time.

The Ugly – Pizza Pops

I thought I’d seen some pretty terrible spots in the last few weeks and this one is definitely up there. I really don’t know what brand of crack the creative team was smoking when executing this concept, but it must have been potent. Hailing from Canada, these Pizza Pops spots are an abject failure at making a food product look appetizing. In an attempt to emphasize that these Pizza things are stuffed with large amounts of, well, stuff, a series of spots show the after effects of an exploding pastry. As funny as getting struck by lightning may be, the orange splatter looks like the culmination of a marathon drinking session and the mascot licking the kid’s arm just puts a cherry on top of this terrible sundae.



Thoughts? Comments? Bash away!

Three’s A Charm
January 20, 2009, 12:06 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

This post was a contribution to the new Respinning The Web, an online marketing and technology blog.

With the development of the internet and YouTube, one area of online advertising has been exploding. Viral. Through the use of technology and the explosion of online video, many companies have jumped on top of the concept, creating viral campaigns that bring attention to the products while staying just below the radar (in most cases).

Viral marketing, based on word of mouth and an extremely high pass along rate has been around for years, but the rise in internet use has created an even more efficient platform for sharing videos and other things online. One of the companies that has embraced this the quickest is…


To continue, check out Respinning The Web – Three’s A Charm

Take It To The Next Level – TV Ads Online
January 16, 2009, 12:00 pm
Filed under: advertising, learning, marketing

Maybe I haven’t been in the industry long enough to understand this and after a brief discussion with none other than boguskyrection,  I’ve decided that this question has bothered me for a long time:

Why don’t advertisers make their TV spots available online?

Having worked at a few different agencies, I’ve seen the amount of money, blood, sweat and tears going into the process of making each and every spot great (or not). With the production costs in the hundreds of thousands (sometimes more) and mediabuys hitting the millions, you’d think that these companies would take an extra step putting their things online.

Here’s a few reasons why:

  1. Passability – As we see with the explosion of sites like YouTube and Facebook, people love to share links with each other, especially video clips. An available link/URL online would allow people to pass the ad around to others, putting the message in front of all eyes multiple times. One thing that is not recorded in magazine statistics is pass-along rate – why not make an effort to make things available for this to happen online?
  2. Repetition – Each time a video online is watched, an impression is made. Everytime it is passed around, the same thing happens. The only difference is that the video is now being watched on the consumer’s time. Also, if it’s passed around between friends, it gains slightly more credibility in that it doesn’t seem forced on to viewers. If I watched an ad on TV yesterday that I liked, I can send it to 10 of my friends who might not have been watching IronChef at the same time yesterday. Ten extra impressions at zero cost.
  3. Cost  – Adding an extra page to a company website or adding an account on YouTube is free. Although it’s not as simple to track the ROI (although there are ways), it costs almost nothing to make these clips available online.

The one thing I could think of that would stand in the way of this is copyright law, specifically rights to the songs in the clip or image rights for the actors/actresses in it. Not only is this a variable cost (copyright law isn’t set in stone and can be changed to reflect the changing times), but doesn’t an advertiser buy the rights to a song or image rights anyway – regardless of whether the spot is on air? And what if the spot goes off air, wouldn’t all the extra impressions be worth it?

What do you think?

I leave you with a clip that I CAN pass around because it has been made available online by its company.


Pssst. Here are the stats for all you ROI junkies
“The Next Level” – 626,729

Nikesoccer Channel
Videos Watched: 1,279
Subscribers: 11,127
Channel Views: 1,172,184)


The Good, The Bad and The Ugly #2
January 14, 2009, 12:00 pm
Filed under: advertising, marketing | Tags: , ,

The Good – Dominoes Sandwich

Vodpod videos no longer available.

This one popped onto TV the other day. In the words of Matt over at Boguskyrection, the simplicity of CP+B’s strategy in their last few campaigns is refreshing. Instead of a simple comparison like you see in other spots, they take it to the next level (just like the Whopper Virgins). The man is twice as smart as the child (with the sneaky reference to the intelligence of people who choose Subway) and the choir is twice as loud. Personally I have not tried a Dominoes sub, but let’s just hope that the product lives up to the message. 


The Bad – Zicam 

Currently running on a variety of channels, it seems that Zicam has a great project. The execution of the spot is slightly iffy. Nothing is wrong with the way the commercial is shot, but with the special effects. The green that the woman turns to represent the taste that regular medication leaves is too obvious, and slightly gross. What gets me is the extremely unnatural smile she has at the end of the spot. Is she really enjoying the taste of Zicam induced orange juice, or is something else pushing her buttons?


The Ugly – Saved by Zero

This definitely has to be up there with the Casio ads mentioned last week. In the wake of the economic slowdown and car manufacturers slashing interest rates, many agencies scrambled to throw something together for these car companies. With S&S as the AOR, you’d think they’d put a little more effort, creativity and professionalism into these. Not only is the looped song annoying, the spot looks like it was put together in literally a few days. Not to say that anything is wrong with Toyota, they make a great product. It’s a shame that the promotional material doesn’t live up to this.


What are your thoughts? Comments?

If you have any ads you’d like featured, send them my way.