Friday, December 27, 2013

You can still reach rich people on tv -- you just need to know where to look.


Over the past few years data has been released showing that television is becoming an increasingly downscale medium.   Here is a blog I wrote about the topic back in 2009.  

http://pjlehrer.blogspot.com/2009/12/is-tv-becoming-downscale-medium.html

When you think about it, it make a lot of sense.  Since most wealthy people work full time how could they possibly devote 7-8 hours a day to watching tv?  And then there's the fact that the richer you are the more likely you are to read, so these folks are spending their mornings with The Wall Street Journal.

But, as it turns out, there is a television network that is the ideal place to reach people with household incomes of $100,000+.  Any guesses?  The answer is HGTV.  In the third quarter of 2013, HGTV was the most watched cable network for this target -- during prime time, daytime and weekends.  (Johnson, 2013)

I suppose I should have guessed when I read that Hillary Clinton said her favorite show was "Love It or List It."  I'm not so keen on that one.  But, whenever we're bored my husband will say -- "Let's watch some people buy houses."  So we too are part of the trend.  What about you?



Johnson, K. (2103, November 8)  Canada Has Its Close-Up.  Wall Street Journal.  pM3

Friday, December 20, 2013

So why isn't the FTC doing something about vitamin and supplement advertising?


According to their website the mission of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC for short) is "to prevent business practices that are anticompetitive or deceptive or unfair to consumers..."  Really?  You could have fooled me. 

On December 16, 2013, the Annals of Internal Medicine published an editorial accompanied by two original studies and a review of existing research entitled "Enough is Enough: Stop Wasting Money on Vitamin and Mineral Supplements."  Why?  Because they don't work.  (Forbes, 2013)

This is hardly new news.  Evidence has been mounting for years.  In 2009, the Wall Street Journal published Jennifer Corbett Dooren's article "Vitamins Fail to Reduce Health Risks for Women," detailing the results of what was then the largest multivitamin study in postmenopausal women conducted to date.  The results of the NIH sponsored study were published in the Feb. 9 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine, and they showed taking vitamins and supplements resulted in  "no meaningful benefit."  (Dooren, 2009)

In 2011, Peter Murray writing for SingularityHUB published an article entitled "Studies consistently fail to show benefits of dietary supplements -- experts think it's time to reevaluate," which discussed several studies (Iowa Woman's Health and SELECT) which actually showed increased mortality and prostate cancer for those who took vitamins/supplements versus those who didn't.  (Murray, 2011)

And then there's my personal favorite, posted by Alice on her wholegrainalice  blog in September 2011 entitled "Vitamin Pills Don't Work," which lists, with references, all of the studies published which not only failed to show positive effects for vitamins but also unearthed some negative ones.  (Alice, 2011)

As far as I know the only study to date that has showed a positive result was the 2012 Centrum study of multi-vitamins on healthy 50+ male doctors.  And given the selectivity of the participants included in the study, I think their advertising should carry a  legal disclaimer  -- which of course it doesn't.   (Rabin, 2012)

But that doesn't begin to compare with the hundreds of false ads we see daily for these products.  Ads that lead to $30 billion in sales in 2011.  Even while the public continues to get sicker.  What's the point of funding government agencies to protect consumers when they are clearly not doing anything of the kind?

The FDA says it doesn't regulate vitamins and supplements because they are not drugs.  Really?  If people are taking them to prevent disease and increase longevity then it sounds like they are drugs to me.  But hey,  I'm an advertising maven so I say it's time for the FTC to step in where the FDA has let us down and protect the public from these false claims.  Isn't that what they're supposed to be doing?


http://www.ftc.gov/about-ftc

Forbes, T. (2013, December 17)  Journal Recommends 'None-A-Day' Multivitamins. mediapost.com.  Retrieved December 17, 2013, from, http://www.mediapost.com/publications/article/215706/journal-recommends-none-a-day-multivitamins.html

Dooren, J. (2009, February 10)  Vitamins Fail to Reduce Health Risks for Women.  wsj.com.  Retrieved February 10, 2009, from http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB123423307340266303

Murray, P. (2011, October 31)  Studies consistently fail to show benefits of dietary supplements -- experts think it's time to reevaluate.  singularityHUB.com.  Retrieved October 31, 2011, from
http://singularityhub.com/2011/10/31/studies-consistently-fail-to-show-benefits-of-dietary-supplements-%E2%80%93-experts-think-its-time-to-reevaluate/

Rabin, R. (2012, October 22)  Curbing the Enthusiasm on Daily Multivitamins.  nytimes.com.  Retrieved October 22, 2012, from http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/10/22/curbing-the-enthusiasm-on-daily-multivitamins/?_r=0


Friday, December 13, 2013

Can limited edition caps with a charitable angle convince people to buy Speedo bathing suits online?


As a former competitive synchronized swimmer, I am not sure if I am considered one of the two million performance swimmers in the US, or one of the 21 million fitness swimmers, but either way, I am a Speedo loyalist.  They earned my loyalty by producing superior longer lasting suits, and I still go through three or four each year.  Therefore it didn't surprise me when the other swim suit makers conceded the performance market to Speedo a few years ago.  It also doesn't surprise me that they rarely advertise since having Michael Phelps and Natalie Coughlin wear your suits during the Olympics basically says it all.

But, Speedo has apparently decided to try to connect with casual water enthusiasts and they are doing it by combining two big Gen Y trends -- limited editions and charitable connections.  Specifically five swimmers have partnered with artists and their favorite charities to design the caps.  Videos describing the process have been posted online and all the typical social media has been employed.  (Mahoney, 2013)


Based on everything I know about the target, the campaign might increase Gen Y sales.  But the goal that struck me as unrealistic was that the company hopes that this will help them to increase e-commerce sales.  Hmm.  This is not a product that lends itself to online sales.  The different styles fit differently so I find I need to try them on before I buy.  I imagine that a casual buyer would be even more reluctant to take a chance.  Net, net, I am not sure that any advertising can achieve this goal and hope that Speedo is realistic about their ability to do so.  Meanwhile though I'll let you know if I see any of the caps at NYU's pool.



Mahoney, S. (2013, December 10)  In Social Splash, Speedo Connects Artists With Athletes.  mediapost.com.  Retrieved December 12, 2013, from http://www.mediapost.com/publications/article/215161/in-social-splash-speedo-connects-artists-with-ath.html?edition=67798

Friday, December 6, 2013

I hate to be trendy, but I am suffering from tech burnout.


According to a new report from JWTIntelligence, a top trend for 2014 is "rage against the machine."  (McClellan, 2013)  I don't know about you, but I am really feeling it.  For some strange reason it seems like all of my electronics are dying at once.  Some were quite old -- like my 32-bit 2007 HP computer.  But, it doesn't change the fact that I have spent hours installing new machines and downloading software. 

Of course it's not the same version of software that I had before so there has been some tedious relearning involved and the discovery that some of the changes Microsoft made in PowerPoint have hampered my ability to create my yearly calendar.  I can't imagine why they would reduce functionality if not to get me to buy yet more software.  Maybe they should change the name of the company to Scrooge.    

Then there's the fact that my new computers have decided to form a network without even asking me.  I have no idea what's going on or why.  And, I am afraid to mess with it for fear that I will end up erasing files.

Which brings me to my biggest peeve of all.  I was lucky enough to be one of the 38 million people whose Adobe account information was hacked.  They sent me a curt email, barely apologizing and casually suggesting that I change all my passwords.  Really?  It took me hours!  And, I haven't even bought anything from them in years.  When I went on their site to delete my account, there was no way to do it!!!  The only option was to join a line for a live operator.  An hour later I gave up.  So I have settled for corrupting all my information on their site so the next time it gets stolen it won't matter. 

But I have also begun to close all as many of my online accounts as I can and am rethinking all of my online purchasing.  So all those vendors that I have abandoned can thank Adobe for losing my business just in time for the holidays.  In fact, I sincerely hope that they do.


McClellan, S. (2013, December 5)  Consumers Are Becoming Fed Up With Technology And Change.  mediapost.com.  Retrieved December 6, 2013, from,  http://www.mediapost.com/publications/article/214914/consumers-are-becoming-fed-up-with-technology-and.html?edition=67632

Friday, November 22, 2013

I think Spice Islands may be on to something.


The spice manufacturer is returning to television for the holiday season with a message about their high quality standards, which includes distributing their products in glass bottles.  (Lukovitz, 2013)

If ever there was a campaign targeted to an educated audience this is it.  I cringed last month when I read about the FDA report which said that 12% of US spice imports are contaminated with bug parts, rodent hairs, and most disconcertedly salmonella.  (Christensen, 2013)

And, I switched to glass and threw out all my plastic in 2008, when the studies about the harmful effects of BPA’s in plastic were released. (Parker-Pope, 2008)

While I reminded myself when I read the report about the spices that I usually consume only fresh herbs and spices from local organic farmer markets and my own roof garden, I did take a moment to consider what I would do if I couldn’t find a particular spice through those sources, and had no easy answer.  Well now I do.  And just in time for my holiday turkey.  Sounds like a winning strategy to me.   



Lukovitz, K. (2013, November 19) Spice Islands Returns To TV Advertising.  mediapost.com. Retrieved November 22, 2013, from http://www.mediapost.com/publications/article/213772/spice-islands-returns-to-tv-advertising.html?edition=67075


Christensen, J. (2013, October 31) What’s in your spices?  Bug parts and rat hair.  cnn.com.  Retrieved November 22, 2013, from http://www.cnn.com/2013/10/31/health/bugs-in-spices/


Parker-Pope, T. (2008, April 22) A Hard Plastic Is Raising Hard Questions.  nytimes.com. Retrieved November 22, 2013, from http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/22/health/22well.html?_r=0

Friday, November 15, 2013

Can a recipe-centric website turn us all into bakers?


Duncan Hines has redesigned its website to place an emphasis on user generated recipes and an easy to use search function that allows people to search across categories such as a particular holiday, color or ingredient.  The goal is to provide both inspiration and an opportunity for baker recognition. 

So far the results have been impressive, with time spent on the site up by 50%.  And, while sales results have not been shared, the company says popular recipes for fruit fillings are inspiring new uses for the products. (Lukovitz, 2013). 

When I worked in the category, I told my clients it was all about the recipes.  So what do you think?  Are you inspired to take out the mixing bowl?


Lukovitz, K. (2013, November 14) Duncan Hines Site Breaks The CPG Mold.  mediapost.com.  Retrieved November 15, 2013, from http://www.mediapost.com/publications/article/213500/duncan-hines-site-breaks-the-cpg-mold.html?edition=66930

Friday, November 8, 2013

Will sponsoring the US Ski and Snowboard Association help Goodyear sell more tires?


Goodyear Tires are now the “official tires” of the US Ski Team, US Snowboarding and US Freeskiing.  Goodyear GM Gary Melliere says it’s a natural fit because both partners excel at performance in challenging winter weather.  (Greenberg, 2013)

Interesting.  Since tire sales pick up starting in late third quarter, the timing is certainly right.  But what do you think?  Will this sponsorship be effective? 



Greenberg, K. (2013, November 5) Goodyear Straps On Skis with USSA.  mediapost.com.  Retrieved November 8, 2013, from http://www.mediapost.com/publications/article/212786/goodyear-straps-on-skis-with-ussa.html

Friday, November 1, 2013

Will Big Bird be able to convince kids to eat their veggies?


In support of First Lady Michele Obama’s “Let’s Move” initiative, the Sesame Street Workshop agreed to waive its licensing fees for two years and allow its characters to be used for in-store signage and labels on fruit and produce items, as part of a partnership with the Produce Marketing Association (PMA) and Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA).  (Lukovitz, 2013)

The most recent successful effort targeting children was the Bird’s Eye’s Gen Veg campaign, also in partnership with the PHA, which featured a tie-in with iCarly and an invitation for kids to create their own veggie combinations.  The result?  A two-month increase in sales while the campaign ran and plans to continue the effort for two more years with a budget of $4 million.  In addition to new advertising, the program will also include the introduction of new products based on the recipes submitted by the kids.  (Wayne, 2013)

Here’s the blog I wrote about that effort.

But, back to Big Bird and his pals.  What do you think?  Will this partnership be a success as well?



Lukovitz, K. (2013, October 31)  Sesame Workshop To Help Market Fruit, Veggies To Kids.  mediapost.com.  Retrieved October 31, 2013, from http://www.mediapost.com/publications/article/212478/sesame-workshop-to-help-market-fruit-veggies-to-k.html?edition=66372

Wayne, A. (2013, March 7)  Birds Eye Vegetable Sales Mark Progress in Obesity Fight.  Bloomberg.com.  Retrieved October 31, 2013, from

Friday, October 25, 2013

Will you pay $35 to advertise Coke on your t-shirt?


Coke, which is currently under attack by the LGBT community for its support of the Sochi Olympics and various health organizations for its role in the obesity crisis has apparently decided the solution is to sell a high-end Coke vintage fashion line.

According to the company Coke branded merchandise generates more than $1 billion in retail sales annually.  And it is bought mostly by consumers outside of the U.S.  With t-shirt prices from $35 - $50, and jackets costing $1,650 they certainly are pricing these items as a luxury item.  But to what end?  (Heine, 2013)

In the long run, Coke needs to sell more beverages to make money.  Will branded clothing help?  Or is it simply another distraction from their core mission?  What do you think?


Heine, C. (2013, October 23)  Coke Debuts High-End Fashion Line Inspired by Old Branded Clothing.  adweek.com.  Retrieved October 23, 2013, from  http://www.adweek.com/news/advertising-branding/coke-debuts-high-end-fashion-line-inspired-old-branded-clothing-153327

Friday, October 18, 2013

Will a new app make you want to do your holiday shopping at Macy’s?


Macy’s has announced that they are positioning their new mobile app as a digital personal assistant for holiday shoppers.  It will help them view Black Friday specials, create customized shopping lists, and navigate the stores. Of course the lists can be edited and shared with friends.

QR codes are out – downloads were disappointing.  But a new technology will allow people to view product videos by just waving their smart phones in front of a billboard. 

The emphasis, as always, will be on deals, only now they will be delivered via mobile.  And stand by for more emails.  (Tode, 2013)

So what do you think?  Will this strategy work?  I have to admit I never had trouble finding my way around the store until they replaced the easy to read signs they had with a lousy 3D floor plan that may work with apps, but doesn’t do much for me.  It makes me wonder how many Macy’s customers are really using mobile apps.  How about you?


Tode, C. (2013, October 16)  Macy’s makes app linchpin in Black Friday shopping experience.  mobilecommercedaily.com.  Retrieved October 17, 2013, from 
http://www.mobilecommercedaily.com/macy%E2%80%99s-makes-app-linchpin-in-black-friday-shopping-experience

Friday, October 11, 2013

Will New Yorkers even notice?


NY is definitely the land of the weird.  Man in his underwear – must be the Naked Cowboy.  People talking to themselves – oh wait that happens everywhere now. 

But these past few weeks a couple of interesting promotions are making even jaded New Yorkers take a second look.  First there was a promotion for the new movie version of Carrie.  When a standard coffee shop argument turned telekinetic, even the most oblivious smartphone users reacted.  Here is the video that was distributed and run by various news outlets.


And this weekend, you may find a Star Trek character delivering your groceries.  GE has partnered with Star Trek to promote their “Brilliant Machines” with this commercial. 


For the local promo they have partnered with TaskRabbit to rebrand deliverers as TrekRabbits.  Post a task under $35 between 10/10 and 10/13 and you may find yourself randomly selected for a warp speed delivery. 

Hmm.  Sounds like fun, but will it really help GE sell stuff?  Or will New Yorkers assume that the characters are in town for ComicCon?  Likewise will viewers of the ‘sNice video go to see Carrie?  Will you?


McDaniel, M. (2013, October 7)  Customers Freak Out as Viral Video Unleashes 'Carrie' in a Coffee Shop.  movies.yahoo.com.  Retrieved October 10, 2013, from  http://movies.yahoo.com/blogs/movie-talk/viral-video-unleashes-carrie-coffee-shop-155157580.html


Golembewski, V. (2013, October 10)  Live Long & Prosper With Trekkie-Delivered Groceries.  refinery29.com.  Retrieved October 10, 2013, from  http://www.refinery29.com/2013/10/55134/task-rabbit-star-trek-delivery?utm_source=feed&utm_medium=rss

Friday, October 4, 2013

Do you care about the heritage and provenance of your olive oil?


Filippo Berio is launching its largest-ever ad campaign to ride the wave of increasing olive oil consumption in the U.S. (Up 6% yearly over the past two decades.) According to its research, consumers crave historical information about how Filippo established his brand.  Yes, there really is a Filippo, and the television commercial will take us back to 1867 to meet him, while the new bottle design will feature his photo and signature; a move the company says increases trustworthiness. (Lukovitz, 2013)

So what do you think?  Is this an effective strategy?  Will it make consumers want to buy Filippo Berio Olive Oil?  Does it make you want to?


Lukovitz, K. ( 2013, October 2)  Filippo Berio Launches Largest-Ever Ad Campaign.  mediapost.com.  Retrieved October 4, 2013, from  http://www.mediapost.com/publications/article/210500/filippo-berio-launches-largest-ever-ad-campaign.html?edition=65342#axzz2gWowHAvq

Friday, September 27, 2013

Will a pretzel bacon cheeseburger promoted by Nick Lachey convince more Gen Y’s to eat at Wendy’s?


Recently the fast-food companies started to realize that Gen Y (19-33 year-olds) prefers fast-food casual chains (e.g. Subway) over them.  In an effort to attract this important demo, Wendy’s created the pretzel bacon cheeseburger.  And then they engaged Nick Lachey to help sell it through social media.  (Morrison, 2013)

They are hoping that consumers will see the item as a “craft” burger, and of course it includes everyone’s favorite food du jour – bacon.  The campaign revolves around consumer tweets, which are incorporated into songs, preformed by Mr. Lachey and Second City members which are then posted on Facebook and YouTube.  (Russell, 2013)

Here’s the launch song which was done as a live feed from the Wendy’s on 34th Street in case you missed it.




So what do you think?  Is this going to draw Gen Y into the chain?


Morrison, M. (2013, July 8)  Wendy’s Signs Nick Lachey to Foist Its Pretzel Bacon Cheeseburger on the World.  adage.com.  Retrieved September 26, 2013, from http://adage.com/article/news/wendy-s-nick-lachey-serenade-pretzel-bacon-burger/242982/


Russell, K. (2013, July 8) Wendy’s Believes This pretzel Bacon Cheeseburger Will bring In The Millennials.  businessinsider.com.  Retrieved September 26, 2013, from http://www.businessinsider.com/wendys-betting-on-pretzel-cheeseburger-2013-7

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Why I chose Samsung and Sprint – Hint: It was all about the advertising


After years of resistance, I finally caved and decided it was time to get a smart phone.  I had already decided on a Samsung Galaxy thanks to the brilliant campaign the company ran during the launch of the iPhone 5. 

Here’s the tv ad, and the blog I wrote about it, in case you missed it.  As you can see the feedback from my class was very positive and subsequent sales results indicated that the campaign was indeed very successful. 




As far as the service went, I have tried Sprint, AT&T and Verizon over the years and haven’t noticed any appreciable difference between them.  So, when I saw the new “Unlimited for Life” ad from Sprint, I was intrigued.  Why?  Because I hate all this technology stuff!  How’s that for a consumer insight?  And the idea of taking this decision off my plate once and for all is so appealing that I said: “Sign me up.”  Here’s the ad in case you missed it.  Stand by for sales results.




Thursday, September 12, 2013

If you ask me, Chipotle’s new ad is depressing.


It’s no wonder given the success of Chipotle’s first ad that they would try to repeat the effort.  But to my mind the new film, "The Scarecrow," created by Moonbot and featuring Fiona Apple is such a downer it doesn’t make me want to buy anything.  The animation is gorgeous, and the song is haunting.  But the factory scene reminds me of “Soylent Greens,” which doesn’t exactly stimulate my appetite. 

It’s too bad, because the previous commercial, “Back to the Start” actually persuaded me to eat at Chipotle for the first time ever.  I liked the food and would eat there again, but not after seeing this commercial. 

Apparently, it’s all about the game, which is being touted as a free arcade-style game for the iPhone and iPad.  But what about those of us who don’t play games and have a Samsung?  Maybe they think we’ll eat more if we are depressed.  Come to think of it, they may be right.

Here’s the commercial if you missed it.






Nudd, T. (2013, September 12, 2013) Ad of the Day: Chipotle Makes Magic Yet Again With Fiona Apple and a Dark Animated Film.  adweek.com. Retrieved September 12, 2013, from http://www.adweek.com/news/advertising-branding/ad-day-chipotle-makes-magic-again-fiona-apple-and-dark-animated-film-152380

Thursday, September 5, 2013

NFL nail polish? Sounds like a great idea to me.


I once painted my nails, fingers and toes, navy blue with a white stripe – my swim team colors.  So when I read that Cover Girl was partnering with the NFL to offer nail polish for its 32 teams, I could only think – What took you so long?

Given that 44% of NFL fans are now female, and NFL merchandise bought by women increased by 125% versus year ago in January 2012, I would say the time has come. (Greenberg, 2013)

P&G is going all out for the launch, which will include “fanicures” and “mobile manicure stations” at games, “NFL Style Lounges” at stadiums offering NFL gear and sessions with a stylist, and a Pinterest contest for the best football finger nails.

I say – pass the Gang Green shade please!




Greenberg, K. (2013, September 4)  Covergirl Manicures NFL Team Colors.  mediapost.com.  retrieved September 4, 2013, from  http://www.mediapost.com/publications/article/208423/covergirl-manicures-nfl-team-colors.html#axzz2dxlH3jKZ


Thursday, August 29, 2013

I’m not sure that I want healthy eating tips from an elevator.


Captivate Network, the folks who deliver video to your work elevators and lobbies, have just announced a new partnership with SparksRecipes.  As a result you will soon be seeing recipes and healthy eating tips as you ride the elevator to your floor.  (Sass, 2013)

I’ll admit that I occasionally glance over to see the weather or read a business headline, but recipes?  I don’t think so.  There’s a time and a place for everything and for food edit, that’s not it.



Sass, E. (2013, August 27)  Captivate Taps SparkRecipes For Food Content. mediapost.com.  Retrieved August 28, 2013, from http://www.mediapost.com/publications/article/207912/captivate-taps-sparkrecipes-for-food-content.html?edition=63916#axzz2d59WVyUJ

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Cloudy with a chance of shampoo ads


Have you checked the weather today?  If you did, The Weather Channel knows what you want to buy.  As the company’s Chairman and CEO, David Kenny points out “people generally check the weather because they’re planning to do something.”  And now that the checking is being done on mobile devices they have been able to piece together patterns that allow advertisers to target their best prospects very precisely.  (Rosman, 2013)

For instance, thanks to this data, Pantene was able to place ads for a new anti-frizz shampoo next to weather reports indicating that it would be a humid day.  Wow.  And a bit of digging has indicated that sales for Michaels Stores crafting materials surge when the forecast calls for rain three days in advance, so they are considering sponsoring long range forecasts.  Hmm.  Maybe Xanax should consider that option too.  Clearly the possibilities are endless.  Color me intrigued. 



Rosman, K. (2013, August 15)  Shopping Up A Storm.  The Wall Street Journal.  pD1

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Note to NAD about Coors Light – Really?


The National Advertising Divison (NAD) of the Advertising Self-Regulatory Council has referred Miller Coor’s ad claims for Coor’s Light to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for review.  The claims in question are: “the world’s most refreshing can,” “beer on the inside, science on the outside,” and “smoother, more refreshing pour.” 

Apparently these claims imply that the Coor’s Light can is technologically superior to others and therefore provides more refreshing beer.  Really?  I thought it was all meaningless gibberish.  And MillerCoors has declined to provide substantiation because they too consider the claims to be puffery. (Bachman, 2013)

But, what I want to know is why either organization is wasting their time on something like this when they should be looking at the health claims being made by unhealthy foods which are fueling the obesity crisis. 



Bachman, K. (2013, August 13)  MillerCoors Rebuffs Ad Industry Review of Coors Light Claims.  adweek.com.  Retrieved August 14, 2013 from,  http://www.adweek.com/news/advertising-branding/millercoors-rebuffs-ad-industry-review-coors-light-claims-151826

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Feminine Hygiene Products Gone Wild


For as long as I can remember, marketing for feminine hygiene products has been pretty dull and unmemorable, not to mention the fact that it all seems to be the same.  But just when you thought that it was impossible to bring creativity to the category, two clever marketers have proven that nothing could be further from the truth.

First up was Bodyform, a UK maxipad maker.  It started with a Facebook rant by a Brit accusing the company of false advertising.  Richard Neill pointed out that the happy women portrayed in the company’s ads bore little resemblance to the possessed little girl from The Exorcist that his girlfriend becomes each month.  The company decided to respond with a humorous YouTube video apologizing for their use of metaphorical imagery and falsehoods in their advertising. 

I’m still not sure if Richard and his letter were real, but the exchange was hilarious.  And while I don’t have a handle on how sales have responded, the effort did win a gold Cyber Lion at Cannes this year and my class said they would be willing to give the product a try.

Here’s a link to an article that includes both the letter and the video.  (Nudd, 2012)

And here’s just the video.



Next up is was Hello Flo with its introductory video “The Camp Gyno.”  It’s beyond funny.  And I have to admit it brings back many memories of my camp days.  And no, I was not the camp gyno – but I remember her well.  Posted on July 28th, as of today the spot has over 5 million views.  We’ll have to wait and see if sales follow. 

In the meantime, if you haven’t seen the video you can check it out now.



And once you finish laughing you can ask yourself, why don’t the big guys do ads like these?



Nudd, T.  (2012, October 16)  See Maxipad Maker Bodyform’s Brilliant Reply to a Man’s  Facebook Rant.  adweek.com.  Retrieved June 26, 2013 from http://www.adweek.com/adfreak/maxipad-brand-goes-blood-brilliant-reply-facebook-rant-144500



Dobrow, L. (2013, August 1)  “The Camp Gyno” Brilliantly Introduces Hello Flo Brand To Women.  mediapost.com.  Retrieved August 1, 2013, from http://www.mediapost.com/publications/article/205918/the-camp-gyno-brilliantly-introduces-hello-flo-b.html#axzz2bPNkoFTz

Thursday, August 1, 2013

This Cheerios Ad Made Me Cry.


I have to admit that I totally missed the controversy about the recent Cheerios ad.  I also missed the fact that it featured a biracial couple despite having seen it many times.  I guess that’s what happens when you spend your life in Manhattan where you can hear 12 different languages being spoken when you walk down the street, and couples of every conceivable combination are easily observed.





But this new ad, made me cry.  How about you?





Thursday, July 25, 2013

Will wearing Alter Ego apparel turn you into a superhero?


Under Armour in partnership with DC Entertainment has announced the introduction of a new line of apparel and footwear called Alter Ego.  The line is an expansion of previously released limited-edition items .  (Janoff, 2013)

So what do you think?  Can buying a t-shirt make you feel like Superman?  And, will you buy one?



Janoff, B. (2013, July 18)  Under Armour, DC Entertainment Enlist Superman, Batman, Flash For Game Plan.  nysports.journalism.com.  Retrieved July 24, 2013, from http://nysportsjournalism.squarespace.com/under-armour-has-super-plans-7/

Thursday, July 18, 2013

If you learn what can be made from your recycled plastic, will you recycle more?


The Ad Council and Keep America Beautiful have teamed up to do a campaign urging consumers to recycle more.  The strategy is to explain what recycled goods can become, e.g. plastic benches and sports arenas.

It’s an interesting approach and since few people actually bother to recycle (and the amounts go down by age) it’s probably time to start getting the recycling message out there.  But, is this the best approach?  Will people find it motivating?  Do you?

Here’s a link to one of the commercials in the campaign.



And here’s a link to a blog from 2011 about some research that suggests an alternative approach.



Forbes, T. (2013, July 17)  Ad Council, Keep America Beautiful Recycle Their Cause.  mediapost.com.  Retrieved July 17, 2013 from, http://www.mediapost.com/publications/article/204693/ad-council-keep-america-beautiful-recycle-their-c.html#axzz2ZL3rMO8Q

Thursday, July 11, 2013

What TV shows do you like? It depends what type of Gen Y you are.


A new study from Horizon Media and Fizziology has identified four different segments within the Gen Y demographic and has identified tv media habits for each.

The largest group, at 32%, is the “Confident Connecteds.”   They are knowledgeable, sociable and hardworking.  They like to watch Dateline, Ellen, American Idol and CSI.

Next we have the Indie Dreamers (25%) who are ambitious, creative and individualistic.  They like to watch Glee and Big Bang Theory.

The “Creatures of Comfort” (also 25%) want the simple life, are unmotivated, and easygoing.  They watch Vampire Diaries and Downton Abbey.

That leaves the “Youthful Pursuits,” (18%) who are image-seekers, live for now and embrace youth.  They like Pretty Little Liars, and Vampire Diaries too.

So what about you?  Do you fit into one of these four segments?  Do you watch the same tv shows the others do?


Friedman, W.  (2013, July 8)  Millennial Groups Favor Specific TV Shows.  mediapost.com.  Retrieved July 10, 2013, from  http://www.mediapost.com/publications/article/204015/millennial-groups-favor-specific-tv.html?edition=61991#axzz2YeOzhXba


Thursday, July 4, 2013

What will you do for free burritos?


Chipotle has announced a promotion for their 20th anniversary.  They call it a treasure hunt.  To me it sounds like a quiz. 

Here’s how it works.  Starting on July 13, Chipotle will post a puzzle on its Adventurrito.com.  Puzzles will be posted for 19 days, and will incorporate Chipotle history and its brand mission.  For those that aren’t experts on all things Chipotle, hints will be available by texting the receipt code from a visit to the restaurant.  Players must solve all 19 puzzles to be entered in the final puzzle.  Along the way, 20 people a day will receive free burritos for a year, while the grand prize winner will receive them for 20 years.  (Lukovitz, 2013)

It all sounds very complicated to me.  And I can’t imagine that it will interest anyone other than true fans.  What do you think?  Will you participate?


Lukovitz, K. (2013, July 1)  Chipotle Celebrates 20th With Treasure Hunt.  mediapost.com.  Retrieved July 3, 2013, from  http://www.mediapost.com/publications/article/203624/chipotle-celebrates-20th-with-treasure-hunt.html?edition=61771#axzz2Y5kekrzE


Thursday, June 27, 2013

Will co-branded food trucks make you want to switch your cable provider?


In what has to be one of the most interesting media ideas I have heard of lately, Time Warner Cable is augmenting their sponsorship of Major League Baseball’s All-Star game with ballpark themed food trucks.  The trucks will offer foods linked to specific MLB cities, so the “Taste of Kansas City” truck will offer BBQ pulled pork sandwiches, while the “Taste of Miami” will have fried fish sandwiches.  The trucks will appear all over New York City – the host of this year’s game – and profits will be donated to charity. (Goetzl, 2013)

The only discernable link to TWC is the fact that TWC is the WiFi sponsor of MLB All-Star week and the trucks will offer a surrounding hotspot.  Is this enough?  Will this campaign help sell Time Warner Cable to the New York market?



Goetzl, D. (2013, June 24)  TWC Uses Food Trucks For All-Star Promotion.  mediapost.com.  Retrieved June 26, 2023, from  http://www.mediapost.com/publications/article/203221/twc-uses-food-trucks-for-all-star-promotion.html#axzz2XM5rwB6j