Tag Archives: commercials

Super Bowl Advertising – It’s Halftime in America, Do You Feel Lucky?

Who won the Brand Bowl for you?

Ever since Apple’s “1984” commercial launched the Macintosh, the Super Bowl has been as much about commercials as football. And at an average cost of $3.5 million for 30 seconds of airtime, the price reflects the great expectations of both the audience and advertisers.

The Nielsen Co. reported a record 111.3 million viewers watched the 2012 game, narrowly topping last year’s Super Bowl TV audience of 111 million.

Four major product categories dominate the big spenders, according to Daily Finance: “automotive, film, food, including snacks and fast food, and beverages. Four of the top 10 Super Bowl advertisers are auto companies. Another four are food and beverage manufacturers. Three movie studios are in the top 25.”

One of the most talked and tweeted about commercials of the 2012 Super Bowl of Advertising was the automotive spot narrated by Clint Eastwood.

 

Unlike other advertisers who released previews on YouTube, Chrysler played it close to the vest, airing their spot only after Madonna’s unpaid halftime commercial (let’s be honest: she’s promoting a new single, album, tour and a movie).

Immediately after the spot aired, the Twitterverse was all… a-twitter. Some people got a lump in their throat. Others got heartburn.

Ostensibly promoting GM brands (Ram/Dodge/Jeep/Chrysler), it ended with the tag line “Imported from Detroit” just like last year’s commercial, which featured rapper Eminem, a native of the Motor City.

But people seem to differ on the whole point of it. Was the actor trying to promote American-made cars, give the country a pep talk, or re-elect President Obama? Or perhaps all of the above? Continue reading

Political Attack Ads – How Effective Are They?

Vote For Pedro - One of the better signs seen at the Jon Stewart "Rally To Restore Sanity And/Or Fear"

Hello, Voters!

Is the Old Spice campaign still effective? Joe Miller of Alaska thinks so. Miller, the Republican candidate for Senate in Alaska, is still fending off his rival, incumbent Lisa Murkowski, whom he defeated in the primary. Not content to simply fade away, Murkowski is trying to hang onto her seat by running a write-in campaign as an Independent.

Combining equal parts humor and attack, Miller’s commercial is currently polling well in the Wall Street Journal survey of effective attack ads. One commenter to the YouTube channel thought it outdid the original: “This is even better than the Old Spice commercial…”

If you’re not already overwhelmed by the onslaught of mostly negative political ads, check out the selections  chosen by the Journal and vote on which ones you think are most effective. It’s your civic duty.

By tomorrow it should be pretty obvious which spots worked best.

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Axe vs Old Spice vs Grover – Smells Like a Monster

Axe stakes its claim as "Canada's #1 Men's Deodorant" with a billboard that reads: "For men who'd rather be with a woman than on a horse."

Smells like…

Competition! Old Spice has been on the receiving end of a few potshots lately, which is to be expected after being on a roll (or on a horse) for a while.

To start with, the company’s shirtless spokesman, Isaiah Mustafa, went moonlighting away from his regular gig as The Man Your Man Could Smell Like for Old Spice. He did basically the same shtick for someone else, but on the other side of the world and without all the props. Maybe he just needed a break from the bathroom. He went all the way to Australia to disrobe for… Continue reading

Up In Smoke: Vintage Cigarette Ads

"Do You Inhale?" never worked as a pick-up line for sea captains. But Lucky Strike wants you to think "how important it is to be certain your cigarette smoke is pure and clean."

Smoke ‘em if you got ‘em

Just for kicks (’cause kicks just keep getting harder to find), let’s return to those carefree days before smoking was banned from bars and beaches and the public airwaves. Back when LS/MFT stood for “Luck Strike Means Fine Tobacco” and ABC meant “Always Buy Chesterfields.”

Hard as it is to imagine now, cigarette advertising used to be everywhere. Thirty years ago, who would’ve imagined that vintage cigarette ads would become expensive collectibles? All manner of cigarette ads used to feature a galaxy of movie and sports stars (including a future president) puffing away, enjoying pure smoking satisfaction.

A whole series could be written on Leo Burnett’s iconic Marlboro campaign alone, but for now let’s just take a few puffs and savor a sampling of tobacco campaigns of yore. Alternately poignant and pathetic, cool and comical, they’re like a window back in time. Back when smoking was KOOL. Continue reading

The Most Effective Political Ads Ever

Today's negative political ads began with a countdown from LBJ's 1964 "Daisy" ad. "10, 9, 8 ..."

This being a midterm election year, it’s hard to escape political ads. They’re everywhere—filling the airwaves, clogging your mail box, and littering the streets and sidewalks.

But are they effective?

They’re mostly awful. A bunch of misleading mudslinging. Personally, I can’t reach the remote fast enough to mute or fast forward through them. But one exception this year has been the refreshing, albeit Quixotic, campaign of blogger Mickey Kaus in his run for Senator Boxer’s seat in California. (Perhaps the reason Mickey’s ads weren’t annoying was because he couldn’t afford to carpet-bomb the airwaves.)

After blogging about advertising as propaganda, this seemed like a good time to revisit what are arguably the most effective political ads—both negative and positive—of any year. Continue reading

RIP Gary Coleman and Dennis Hopper, Reluctant Ad Pitchmen

A tale of two celebrity spokesmen.

Gary Coleman for CashCall: “No one else would lend me money, not even my relatives.” Funny or sad?

Some people think stars die in threes. If so, it’s often tough to figure out when to start and stop counting. Not this time.

The demise on consecutive days of Gary Coleman, 42, and Dennis Hopper, 74, has left many people expecting a third celebrity death is imminent. The two actors became stars at early ages, then ad pitchmen later in life.

Dennis Hopper looks up 'retirement' in a spot for Ameriprise. Would you take financial advice from an aging alcoholic anarchist?

Coincidentally, in their roles as celebrity endorsers both offered financial advice. But whether either star was effective as a corporate spokesperson is debatable.

Continue reading

The Most Interesting Campaign in the World?

“The Aztec calendar has his Cinco de Mayo party chiseled in.”

Break out the cerveza! What better way to celebrate Cinco de Mayo than with a good Mexican beer? That, and a good Mexican beer ad campaign.

Few advertising campaigns are universally loved. Because if there aren’t a few haters, it’s usually an indication your ads are not standing out enough. But I have yet to meet the person that doesn’t at least get a chuckle out of “The Most Interesting Man in the World” campaign for Dos Equis. Hard to believe it’s been running since 2006.

People hang on his every word, even the prepositions. Continue reading

Why "Love Hate Advertising"?

Can you be both embarrassed and proud to be in advertising?

I think that’s what I am.

Here’s a quote I’ve sometimes used to justify my choice of career:

“If I were starting life over again, I am inclined to think that I would go into the advertising business in preference to almost any other. The general raising of standards of modern civilization among all groups of people during the past half-century would have been impossible without that spreading of the knowledge of higher standards by means of advertising.” — Franklin Delano Roosevelt

FDR manages to make advertising sound almost noble and uplifting. Continue reading