Much Ado About Nothing

June 25, 2008

One of the twitter feeds that I follow is the UK based Brand Republic (@BrandRepublic).

A few days back, I noticed that Heinz was receiving a lot of flack in London for a same-sex kiss in a commercial. They received (at that point) 187 complaints. By now it is over 200 complaints, and Heinz pulled the commercial, 2 weeks into a 5 week run.

If you read the article, Brand Republic makes a big deal to show that the commercial was not broadcast when children are watching because the product is either high in fat, salt or sugar content.

Now, a pro-gays right group is threatening to boycott Heinz, for pulling the advert.

http://link.brightcove.com/services/link/bcpid1600158116/bctid1624825714

If you actually watch the clip, (which is clever, by the way), you would see that the ad itself is anything but gay. It supports a straight lifestyle, hence the children referring to the chef as “Mum”. It was simply a joke to show that if you prepare food with this mustard, you will be bringing a Brooklynese influence into your kitchen. The two characters are not playing gay roles, in fact, they are playing stereotypically straight roles. The children and the husband “don’t even see the man” they just see their mother/wife. 

It is an amusing advert that should have enraged the gay community more than the straight community in the first place.

In Shakespeare’s time, all the actors on stage were men, many of whom filled female roles. In those times, if a woman would have played a woman’s role, these same knee-jerk British reactionaries would have revolted in the streets. 

But Heinz should have never given in to 200 individuals, and offended thousands of people in the process. That’s just bad PR.

 

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Unique “Unique Selling Point”

May 21, 2008

On my twitter feed from @ppgmkt I received a series of really cool ads today that really redefine the concept of a USP (unique selling point).

In the attached series, for Maktub Beverages Delivery (in Brazil), the advertisers (141/Soho Square) played on the concept of bottles in transit.
Maktub Castaway
and
Maktub Cocktail

The “talkbacks” on the latter on the website Ads of the World are negative, but I have to disagree. These are not just two cases of an individual with a bottle, they are people with intent of getting the bottles from point A to point B. (True, in the Molotov Cocktail, that distance is just a few meters…)
The agency apparently took time to think creatively of the most far-fetched, yet commonly known cases of bottle delivery.

If I could just “nitpick” about one thing: the copy in the ad doesn’t fit the concept. They are not advertising “Drinks for every occasion”, they are advertising “Transport of the Drink Bottles”. I wouldn’t use the term bottles in the copy, but maybe something like “offering a wide variety of transport options” and then in the specific ones: Also by water (for the castaway), or Also by air (for the terrorist).

sources:
http://adsoftheworld.com/media/print/maktub_beverages_delivery_castaway
http://adsoftheworld.com/media/print/maktub_beverages_delivery_cocktail

Adidas Spray Painting Viral

May 19, 2008

I believe that videos should give something, and only then will they take off.
That something can be sheer entertainment, education, or information. But something.

Then, i saw on this clip on @chrisbrogan twitter feed, and then on his blog (http://www.chrisbrogan.com/viral-advertising-how-it-will-really-work/):

adidas.

Where Nike may tell you to push yourself to whatever *you* can do, Reebok makes you into a big machine, and And1 makes you into a large faceless basketball player, Adidas “celebrates originality”. They show, in this video, how a spray artist had to teach himself what methods work, and what doesn’t. It wasn’t handed to him on a silver platter. The companies that create the paints work together with the artists to give them what they want. While the artist may not be the most eloquent in his speech, his hands do all the all the talking.

According to Adidas, not everyone is an athlete. But everyone can be original.

Honesty and Advertising

May 19, 2008

I really like the visuals in the new ad campaign by Motivate Publishing (agency: Tonic Communications, UAE)

Here are two of the ads:

Motivate Publishing Found

and 

Motivate Publishing Hit

While I like the simplicity in the visuals, and appreciate the need for openness and honesty in the publishing community, the copy in the ad doesn’t seem to be very good. I had to read it a few times to figure out what the line about being auditing was talking about. Specifically, the phrase “or registered for audit by the BPA”. 

But the problem is that there isn’t much connection between the two sorts of honesty.

For a publishing company, I would have done a play on words, on their books being opened. (Our readers open our books, and the BPA does too…) Something like that… 

So – visual – good,

connection to actual product – not as good.

 

(sources: http://adsoftheworld.com/media/print/motivate_publishing_found
and http://adsoftheworld.com/media/print/motivate_publishing_hit )

 

Learning about Social Advertising from Twitter

May 15, 2008

Twitter has provided me with an amazing (free) education, that has only cost me time (lots of it at that…)

I have found really useful articles on SMR (Social Media Releases), as well as helps me keep in step with the creativity of the others. (For the former, see Brian Solis’ Definitive Guide to Social Media.) http://www.briansolis.com/2008/02/definitive-guide-to-social-media.html

Regarding the latter, I would have never come across an amazing video made by LastMinute.com.

While it is an excellent example of a viral video, it is a genius example as well of using a publicity stunt as a launching-off point for a viral campaign. They were able to show the audience that it wants to be entertained and enjoys comedic musical theater. In 6 hours, the video has garnered over 2000 hits (from 3000 to 5000).

The only problem that I have with the campaign, is that only 1 blog wrote about it — one from Brazil, and that is the single largest link to the video — at time of writing – only 158.

While ingenious — it has the opportunity to be huge, but it is not being marketed well enough. Yet.

I had another advertisement that caused me to smirk. While it is a print ad, I feel that it hits home to its target audience. The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland is attempting to show people that the Church is of the people. At first glance, it utilizes humor to convey the morals and openness of its membership, and I think that it is done in a very honest way. But when I looked at it again and I read the copy again, I realized that in a weird twist, the t-shirt (in the eyes of the church) is not funny, the ad educates about the way that they actually think.

Honesty and education in advertising, who would have thought?

Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland - What would Jesus do?