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Remember the Good Ol’ Days?

I did a bit of dabbling on YouTube and found some fantastic old commercials. Most of them are from the age of innocence and naiveté. Back when smoking was sexy and endorsed by everybody. Who would have thought that having a creepy Ronald McDonald, waterskiing while smoking, or having Barney Rubble smoking would be a logical commercial?!  Check out the Windows 1.0 Steve Ballmer ad. It makes them seem like a start-up doomed to fail.I wonder if those guys in MadMen came up with these? Boy has society come a long way. Now it seems weird to see an ad or commercial for cigarettes. How the times have changed. Thankfully for the better.

5 Products that make you say What the?!

Here is a compilation of REAL products that make you wonder what was going through the minds of the “inventors”.

Imagine being the agency that get these products to create advertising for. Yikes. The best part of these products is watching the infomercials for them. The complete discomfort of the user prior to their purchase is priceless. Who knew that blankets can be such a hassle! I had no idea that using an ordinary mop was so difficult and confusing! Frustrations abound!!

I know that somehow, the Snuggie has been successful. But modifying it for dogs, c’mon. I love the video (here), especially the part where the whole family is at the ball game and giving high-fives. I’m sure they get invited to the neighbourhood BBQ’s. Great for college? Sure, but you will find yourself awfully lonely on a Friday night if caught wearing this thing!

The other products are no better. Take Shuffles. The video shows the horror of having to use a mop like the old days. Now cleaning can be fun! All I foresee is someone trying to figure skate with these and twisting an ankle doing a triple sow cow.

It is amazing the though process of some people. There is an abundance of the weird products out there. Stay tuned for more. Do you have any that you have come across?

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Facebook is being sneaky again. Tsk. Tsk.

42-16217443Working in an agency I am a bit on the fence about the latest backlash that Facebook has been getting. I had been given the heads-up that Facebook has now put together a new “Facebook Ads” feature. The site states:

“Facebook occasionally pairs advertisements with relevant social actions from a user’s friends to create Facebook Ads. Facebook Ads make advertisements more interesting and more tailored to you and your friends. These respect all privacy rules.”

The issue I am struggling with is: It’s great to be able to tailor advertising as specific as possible, while on the flip side, how much collection of personal information is too much? Is it made even more suspicious because the opt out option nicely tucked away? It’s under: Settings > Privacy Settings > Facebook Ads > Appearance-None. Definitely not a section I visit regularly.

So what is your take? Will you allow the ads or opt out?

CGI is so passé.

After all the struggles over the last few years to recreate uber-hyper realistic CGI it appears that a backlash has begun. Take Coldplay’s latest music video. A marvel to say the least. It takes simple chalk drawing interaction to the Nth level. Sure it is using CGI, but it is as far from photo realistic as possible. I can’t wait to see how others spin this idea into something equally as cool. Check out the link below. Sorry, they took down the YouTube version.

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Advertising is wicked sick.

3265635573_85bbc9ccd1Working in an ad agency, I am a firm believer that advertising works. I found this great video that is a reinforcement of the claim. It goes to show that great copywriting is worth its weight in gold.

Two Aussies flip a BMX bike on eBay for a 500% profit. Who wouldn’t want to be the proud owner of the “Wicked Sick” bike? Take a look at the video. It is a bit long, but the description they post is so funny. Besides having success on eBay, they also got a bit of buzz on some other social media sites. Not bad for an experiment.

PS. I was never good at bunny-hops.

Is Advertising the 7th circle of Hell?

devilWhen I tell people I am in advertising I get drastically different responses. Half are in total awe—they think I draw pretty pictures while sipping RedBull and playing foosball—while the other half look at me with such disdain you would think I said I was a used-car salesman. (NO OFFENCE TO OUR CAR SALESMEN CLIENTS AT CARSONS!)

It is with the latter group that I have a problem. They feel that we make people purchase goods that they don’t need while others even blame the demise of the economy on us over promising product benefits and credit security.

We are not sellers, we are helpers and influencers. Companies create products that they feel contribute to people’s lifestyle. We assist by focusing these useful products to like-minded individuals. Enough said. That is not to say that everybody is an angel. Morals and Values come in to play as well.  Not every agency sells handguns to toddlers. That’s why agencies align themselves with clients who share similar values.

Yes we are influencers, but ultimately the buyers make the decision to purchase. We can only do so much. Surely others have had the same types interactions? Anybody have a good story? Now pass me a RedBull.

Calvin Klein can get you laid

The latest controversial billboard for Calvin Klein has people talking. The gigantic ad—located in Manhattan—“ shows a young woman lying on top of a man, while kissing another man. All three models are topless. Another male model reclines on the floor with his jeans unbuttoned.” – Marketing Magazine.

They say that any publicity is good publicity, but at what stage does it just turn into negative backlash?

People say that sex sells, but CK has me wanting to buy a Playboy rather than jeans. Plus I am sure that I will not get into one of these scenarios if I was wearing these jeans, nor would I look as good…

What do you think? Hot or Not? Does anybody have a cigarette??

Calvin Klein BIllboard

Are Twitter and Facebook doomed?

mushroom-cloud-hbI have found a great article about the foreseeable doom of Facebook, Twitter, and any other freebee social media sites. At what point is it no longer practical to offer free services (bandwidth, storage, personnel) for free with out a business plan to ensure some sort of income? Venture capitalists who back these sites like to make money, at what point to they decide that they have spent enough in these investments and bail out? AdAge has a full article on this here.

A Credit Suisse report estimates that YouTube lost almost half a billion dollars (yes, that is $500 million). That is a lot of missed opportunities. But it is as not as cut and dry as just blasting sites with advertising. Facebook has been having more success than the rest. There was minimal backlash for ruining the innocence of the site. Now things are fine, and Facebook is getting some income. How will Twitter fare? When will YouTube get their ducks in a row?

Can these social media sites get it together enough to make a profit and not lose all their followers in the process?

Alright! SuperBowl 43!! Who’s playing?

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A lot of people are aware that NFL Superbowl 43 is right around the corner. Based on a non-government funded survey, 33.85% of my closest friends will be watching the Superbowl just for the American commercials. Most of them don’t even know a thing about football, let alone who is playing.

What does this mean? In a world of the looming death of TV commercials—thanks to PVR—it is surprising how much a hot commodity Superbowl ads are. It means that it pays to advertise, no matter the price.

Some 97.5 million people tuned into the game last year, reports the Nielsen Company. That is some great face time with a whack of people.

According to a NBC spokesman, as of Jan. 12, a whopping 90% of the 67 slated openings have been purchased. Not bad for a country wrack with economic turmoil. This year a 30 second spot will run you $3 million. That is a lot of zeros. But it is paying off for the folks that can find the funds. A few more interesting stats to note (based on Nielson information):

•    Collectively, Super Bowl 2008 advertisers saw a 24 percent increase in Web traffic after the big game last year.

•    Super Bowl ads in the last three years generated an average of 31% higher break-through and 93% higher likeability, compared to the typical ad on television

•    After last year’s halftime performance by Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, Billboard reported that the band’s catalog album “Greatest Hits” made a 196% jump in weekly sales.

•    Super Bowl commercials placed on YouTube received over 6 millions views in two days.

For a complete breakdown of what the Superbowl really means, jump to: http://www.nielsen.com/media/2009/pr_090123.html

So enough stats, let’s hope the game is going to be exciting as the commercials. And pass the nachos.