Super Bowl Ads: A Brief Post-Mortem

(Reading Time: 3 minutes)

So the results are in:

  • According to the USA Today Ad Meter – a survey of 288 volunteers in Portland, OR, and McLean, VA – the most-liked Super Bowl ad was the Doritos “crystal ball” spot.  Next up were the Budweiser “circus horse romance” and “Clydesdale plays fetch” spots.
  • According to Nielsen IAG, the most-liked ad was Bud’s “fetch” spot.  After this, two Doritos spots: “crunch causes things to happen” and “crystal ball.”

BrandSniper: Whopper Virgins

(Reading Time: 2 minutes)

Here we go again: More big marketing without a big idea.

By now you’ve probably seen the TV ads for the Whopper Virgins concept. The premise: In a taste test with indigenous people from the most remote corners of the globe – people with no prior knowledge of the existence of the fast-food giants – who wins, Burger King or McDonald’s?

The TV spots attempt to drive visits to the website. Once there, you’ll find copy like this: Continue reading “BrandSniper: Whopper Virgins”

Microsoft, Seinfeld & Gates: Less Than the Sum of the Parts

(Reading Time: 2 minutes)

Let’s say you’re Microsoft.

Your nemesis, Apple, has been running a highly visible and effective campaign in which your brand is personified as a clueless dolt.

Your product-performance shortcomings (and there are many) have been systematically exposed and attacked.

As a result, Apple’s share is growing, particularly with younger users, which does not bode well for your future.

What do you do?

Try this: Launch a new campaign featuring Jerry Seinfeld and Bill Gates, in which Seinfeld helps Gates shop for shoes in a cheesy mall store, and then asks Gates if computers could be made to taste like cake. Continue reading “Microsoft, Seinfeld & Gates: Less Than the Sum of the Parts”

What Were They Thinking?

(Reading Time: 4 minutes)

The world is crawling with bad branding practices. They lurch stupidly across the countryside, inciting consumer cynicism, bombarding the citizenry with meaningless messages, wasting scarce dollars and even scarcer time.

For the most part, these misguided marketing moves are created and perpetuated by people paid handsomely for what they do. But what were they thinking? What was on the minds behind such products as Oil-Free Oil of Olay, Low-Salt Mr. Salty Pretzels and Rust-Oleum for Wood?

Here are a few examples of bad branding practices that I find nettling: Continue reading “What Were They Thinking?”

Agencies, Get the Clients You Deserve

(Reading Time: 3 minutes)

An earlier post, “Clients, Get the Agency You Deserve,” was a guide for clients looking to get the best possible work from their agencies. This time, I surveyed friends and colleagues on the client side, asking them to tell me about the best agency relationships they’ve had.

So agencies, marketing vendors and suppliers of all stripes, listen up – here’s what clients want. Continue reading “Agencies, Get the Clients You Deserve”