Friday, September 28, 2012

The launch of iPhone 5 made me want to buy a Samsung Galaxy S III. How about you?

While Walt Mossberg of the Wall Street Journal, who is usually my go to guy for electronics advice, found much to like about the new iPhone 5, it was Jessica Vascellaro’s article about features the iPhone 5 lacks that other smart phones already have that got my attention.  (Vascellaro, 2012)

Then I saw this ad, which Samsung cleverly ran during the week the iPhone 5 launched. 

Since people were camping out around Manhattan it struck a chord.  And interestingly, the ad snagged 13.2 million views online, making it number one for the week.  (Russell, 2012)

I’m not sure that I would ever use touch to share, but I did come away with the impression that Samsung was the superior phone. What about you?  Did you buy an iPhone last week?  Or did you check out the Samsung Galaxy instead?

Vascellaro, J. (2012, September 13)  Is Apple’s iPhone Boring?  Retrieved September 27, 2012, from

Russell, M. (2012, September 26)  How Samsung Upstaged Apple During the Launch of iPhone 5.  Retrieved September 27, 2012, from

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Oh so that’s why I don’t get those Sonic ads.

While I always discuss with my students the fact that men and women do not think alike to explain why it is difficult to effectively address both genders in a campaign, I didn’t really have a handle on what those differences are.

Well according to a new study from Nielsen, men and women differ dramatically in what they consider to be funny.  Men like slapstick, edgy and sarcastic humor, while women like an off-beat approach that isn’t mean spirited.  They also found that men like normal guys in exaggerated situations in their commercials while women prefer happy situations that incorporate someone like them.  (Goetzl, 2012)

For years I have been watching the Sonic commercials and wondering how their customers could relate to ads that portray them as idiots.  Now I realize that I was looking at them from a female perspective when they were clearly designed for men.  No wonder I didn’t get it.  But on the other hand 58% of the chain’s customers are women.  Is it a coincidence that sales declined in 2009 and 2010?  (Smith, 2011)

And now that they have rebounded, why has Sonic decided to revive that campaign?  I do not think that their female customers will be amused.


Goetzl, D. (2012, September 14).  Humor In Ads: Laughs Fall Along Gender Lines.  Retrieved September 20, 2012, from

Smith, D. (2011, August)  A Sonic Rebound.  Retrieved September 20, 2012, from

Thursday, September 13, 2012

You mean that skin cream won’t make me look 10 years younger?

Cosmetics and skin cream companies have long sold hope in a bottle.  And while I have recently found myself pondering whether or not anti-aging creams work, and if so how, I just couldn’t bring myself to believe that they really did.

Now after years of ignoring cosmetic claims, probably because they thought we were all smart enough to realize using these products was not going to turn us into supermodels, the FDA has fired a warning shot at Lancome.  Apparently they have gone a step too far with claims like “boosts the activity of genes and stimulates the production of youth proteins,” which the agency perceives to be a drug claim.  (Forbes, 2012)

Well.  It’s a start.  Last year the U.K. banned a couple of L’Oreal ads featuring Julia Roberts and Christy Turlington for overuse of photoshop retouching.  And before that, there was the mascara ad featuring Eva Longoria wearing false eyelashes.  It certainly made me wonder why the U.S. wasn’t taking a closer look at these ads. (Gibson, 2011)

But let’s take a moment to consider how sad is it that even these extraordinary women need help to look the way they do in the media.  I think it’s time to take another look at Dove’s Evolution ad, and pay a little more attention to misleading beauty product claims.  Don’t you?

Forbes, T. (2012, September 12)  FDA Crackdown On Lancome Claims Signals Shift.  Retrieved September 12, 2012, from

Gibson, M. (2011, July 28)  U.K. Bans Two Retouched Makeup Ads For Being ‘Misleading’.  Retrieved September 12, 2012, from

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Will launching Cherry Noir vodka using Pinterest and Instagram be successful?

Last week an article ran in discussing the fact that 61% of advertising and marketing execs are not interested in using Pinterest. (Loechner, 2012)  That doesn’t surprise me at all.  Taking risks on new media is scary, particularly when marketers are still struggling to find the formula for success on Facebook.

So kudos to Grey Goose for giving it a shot.  Based on its name -- Cherry Noir --  I would guess that the new brand is targeted to experimental Gen Y’s.  So, the use of Pinterest and Instagram seems appropriate from a media perspective.   

The heart of the campaign is the weekly release of a two-minute imagery heavy “Hotel Noir” video.  Instagram photographers were commissioned to release photos inspired by the video theme, and it appears that the accompanying Pinterest board will also be populated by professionals.  But, users are being encouraged to participate as well.  (Lukovitz, 2012)

That makes this a very trendy launch.  But will it be successful? 


Loechner, J. (2012, August 31)  Pinterest Interest.  Retrieved September 6, 2012, from

Lukovitz, K. (2012, September 6) Grey Goose Employs Instagram, Pinterest For Launch.  Retrieved September 6, 2012, from