Showing posts from December, 2009

SAAB, Venerable Swedish Brand, Dies at GM's Hand

Don't you hate mornings where you wake up to learn from the New York Times that yet another intrinsic part of your youth has died?

with a narrow, though loyal, customer base focused on Sweden, Britain and the American Northeast, Saab has proved too small to lure the world’s big automakers, many of which are seeking tie-ups to increase economies of scale.

For me, learning that SAAB would be closed by the feckless GM demons who became their master left a big hole in my heart. Why? Because a 1972 SAAB Model 96 was the first car I ever bought with my own money. It was my first automobile-based personal brand statement. I was a budding iconoclast, and could think of no better way to show that to the world than to drive around in this funny looking foreign car.

The ignition on floor. The handle under the dashboard that you could pull out so the car would freewheel at highway speeds, settling the car into an eerie quiet as the motor shut down to idle, and the little upside-down bathtub th…

Swiss Perfection

Here's a nice ad I came across for Swiss tourism:

The self-deprecating humor is good, something of an antidote to all the bad press the country has been getting lately as a result of the shameful minaret ban.

Yelling "Tiger" in a Crowded Theater

The sponsors are stampeding for the exits. The agency execs are fleeing from their private boxes, glasses of scotch left behind by the frenzied departures.

From today's New York Times:
Accenture is the first of Mr. Woods’s many sponsors to withdraw its support completely. Gillette has said that it would remove its Woods-related advertising for now and other sponsors, like AT&TPepsiCo and Nike, have said they will wait to see when and how Mr. Woods returns to golf before making any permanent decisions. EA Sports, which has a line of best-selling Tiger Woods video games, is also standing by the golf star.
In response to Accenture’s announcement, Mark Steinberg, Mr. Woods’s agent, said, “We are disappointed but respect their decision.”
Accenture’s decision is another example of how risky it can be for corporations to base their marketing efforts on individual celebrities in an age when blogs, camera phones and the digital footprint left by the celebrities themselves can quickly e…

Even Online, it's Location Location Location

Dean Donaldson writes in AdAge Digital about how that old-school marketing maxim - Location, Location, Location - still holds true, even in the new frontier of online advertising:

Historically, we create ads in an assortment of shapes and sizes and stick them everywhere, only to find ourselves surprised when the same creative generates a range of results across many environments. It's relatively obvious, actually: Surely the impact of a piece of creative that works effectively in one in environment will differ -- sometimes radically -- when placed in another.

This article has a great set of guidelines for where you should try and place your online ads, depending on what you want the viewer to do.

I'd Watch Forever if They Made it Last that Long

We've seen a lot of innovation around ad length in the past couple of years, from Miller's 1-second mini-spots to this three-minute adventure from Chanel.

I have to say, give me a good story with compelling visuals, like Chanel has done, and I'll watch forever. Perhaps Miller is best left doing those fivers, because I can't imagine they could ever come up with material to sell cheap beer that could ever compare to this:

Imagine, an ad so compelling I willingly replayed it several times over. That's the power of creativity.

Advertising will Unchain Us from Our Desks

In Ad Age today:

Paul Leys, director of Ignition Factory East at Omnicom Group's OMD, said agencies and marketers alike have gotten a lot of mileage out of what's happened in the smartphone sector and believes e-reader will soon be offering up the same opportunities. "The platform is showing a lot of innovation for the print industry -- how you can read magazines and how social can be integrated," he said. "Just imagine being able to read GQ and see someone else on the other side of the country reading the same article at the same time and being able talk to them about it. Suddenly there's a different social aspect being added to e-readers. We don't know exactly what this aspect will be yet, but we are excited as there continues to be innovation in the platform."

I have long believed that some sort of flexible, portable, and highly useful eReader would eventually come about, and with it a revolution in how we lived and worked. I've always imagined…

Don't Anger the Ad Gods

From the Lede in the NY Times:

Last year, when Roger Federer failed to win a medal at the Beijing Olympics, I asked in a blog post whether he, along with Tiger Woods and Thierry Henry, may somehow have offended the gods of sport by appearing together in [a] television ad for Gillette...

As I noted in a previous post, the real problem is marketers who rely on the "gods" of sports to represent their brands, and who are always surprised when these gods and their hubris end up damaging the brand. 

When will Gillette realize that what they need is some ne'er-do-wrong gecko, caveman, bunny, or duck to represent their product, instead of a real human being with only the temporary veneer of god-dom?

Sigh. Never.

One of Our Most Successful Brands Seen on TV

I'm always glad to see one of the brands we help create do well. In this case, it's our client, RoliRoti, who came to us eight years ago as "Swiss Chicken." The WESSLING Group did a total rebrand, from the new name (think Rolling Rotisserie) to the logo, website, and brand strategy. RoliRoti founder Thomas Odermatt was featured on View from the Bay recently, where he was called "the Grandfather of Gourmet Street Food."

Wow. Does that make me the "Grandfather of Gourmet Street Food Branding?"

You can see the video featuring Thomas and RoliRoti here:

His part is about 2/3 of the way through.

Twitter's Ghosts

From AdAge today:

Twitter is not dead, but nobody really cares that I put milk on my cereal this morning.

Taddy Hall, of Meteor, suggests that while still a revolutionary tool, Twitter's value is declining because the value of your followers is declining, too:

The currency in Twitter is followers. Fine, but one of the essential attributes of currency is that it is either intrinsically valuable (gold) or a proxy for value (greenbacks). And what we have with Twitter is a currency (followers) of little or no value -- intrinsic or implied.

What we have all realized is that the best way for me to get you to follow me -- more "currency" for me -- is for me to follow you. I scratch your back and you scratch mine. That neither of us pays any attention to the other's tweets is a trifling concern.

My advice for businesses using Twitter: Make your tweets relevant and useful. Link back to a relevant page on your website or an equally relevant blog post. Don't tweet everything…

Don't Put a Tiger in Your Tank

As I saw Tiger Woods in an online ad for Accenture the other day, I couldn't help but think "Why the hell didn't they pull that as soon as they heard the news?" 
From AdAge:

The squeaky clean image of golf's greatest player and the sports world's most lucrative endorser took a hit over Thanksgiving weekend -- no pun intended. Mr. Woods was involved in a single-car accident, but the timing, the circumstances, the aftermath and the ever-churning rumor mill quite possibly have endangered his own brand and his estimated nine-figure annual endorsement deals with several blue-chip companies.
"I think this incident ultimately will have a negative effect on the Tiger Woods brand," said sports marketing expert Robert Tuchman, exec VP of New York-based sports and entertainment marketing company Premiere Global Sports. "Regardless of the facts, there are brand marketers who might pass at looking at him now. I think as this situation unfolds and how he handle…