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Hometown Hookups Season: Looks that Seal the Deal

David Oligvy once said You can’t bore people into buying your product. I’m wondering if he would have approved of this email from Generation Y clothier JackThreads. Like many apparel retailers they send a daily email with limited time offers. Mostly these go unnoticed, but not this particular piece.             […]

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Profanity in Advertising — What the @#$! do we care?

Profanity in advertising—is it REALLY needed in order to stand out in the all the marketing clutter? Are we becoming immune to it? A recent article on Talentzoo puts it this way: …times change, and we’re slowly breaking down our cultural norms and resistance to expletives. Consider the following ads: For as long as I can […]

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Holy Shift: Creepy George will “Fix your transmission”

Oh, this ad for Arlen Transmission is so bad in so many ways – but like a car accident, I can’t take my eyes off it. It’s got the tackiness and female objectification of the Beacon Plumbing’s ‘fix my pipes’ lady: . . . with a little touch of the classic Vern Fonk “Shipoopi” – […]

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Dove Real Beauty Sketches: Responsible Marketing, I think.

If you haven’t already seen this “Dove Real Beauty Sketches” clip that everyone is posting on Facebook, take a gander: Dove once again pulls through in this touching video about how women view themselves in such poor light compared to how others see them. It is sad how women are especially critical of every mole, […]

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Should a 23-year-old run your social media?

Late last week, Hollis Thomases wrote an inflammatory post on Inc. titled “11 Reasons a 23-Year-Old Shouldn’t Run Your Social Media.” The post, obviously, outlines specific reasons why the youth of today are ill-equipped to handle valuable online communities and messaging. I might be a bit sensitive because, you know, I am one of these youngsters who […]

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So tasty: Schweddy Balls Ice Cream

Ben and Jerry’s has announced a new limited edition batch of ice cream, “Schweddy Balls.” For the uninitiated, here’s the SNL skit it’s based upon: It’s funny. Really, really funny. Surely some people will be offended, right? Of course. Some people will are offended when you say “darn,” too. I’d argue “Schweddy Balls” is responsible. […]

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Lumpy mail. Love it or hate it?

You’ve received them before—an unsolicited package that has something in that you just have to open. Because of it’s lumpy nature, this form of direct marketing is called “lumpy mail.” Sometimes there’s something interesting but usually it’s just trash and trinkets. Still, it grabbed your attention and you opened the package, right? Response rates for […]

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El Pollo Loco adds heat to KFC challenge

One way or the other, you probably heard about KFC last week. If you didn’t see one of their ads for their new Kentucky Grilled Chicken (the largest ad blitz in KFC history) you probably heard about the Oprah catastrophy. KFC was caught off guard when a promotion for a free two-piece meal featuring its […]

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Rude, crude and funny ads: Love ’em or hate ’em?

We all love to laugh, and when we find something genuinely funny, we love to share it. But humor is subjective and what’s funny to some is offensive to others. Case in point: One of the following ads was banned, the other wasn’t. View this video on YouTube View this video on YouTube I’ll admit, […]

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Facebook disables BK’s Whopper Sacrifice app

Facebook “helps you connect and share with the people in your life.” But as anyone that has used the service knows, sometimes those connections can become, well, tenuous. Enter Burger King, who last week saw this as not a problem, but an opportunity to help Facebook users cull the unworthy using an un-friend app at […]

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Comparitive advertising: Love it or hate it?

You’ve probably noticed there’s a lot more comparative advertising being done lately. Miller Lite v. Bud Light, Whopper v. Big Mac, Campbells v. Progresso and Dunkin’ Donuts (or McDonalds) v. Starbucks all immediately come to mind. Of course, the poster child for comparative advertising is Mac v. PC: View Mac v. PC on YouTube Is […]

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The JCPenney Doghouse: Love it or hate it?

When I was a boy, a trip to JCPenney for school clothes was like a trip to hell. Their clothing was so—Penneys, and though I was able to persuade my parents to let me shop where the cool kids shopped when I got older, I still avoid the store today. I can’t tell you what […]

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Love it or hate it? “Kiss my Astra”

Do you want to Kiss my Astra? I didn’t think so. But Saturn’s new campaign asks you to do just that, then share it with the world. Join Saturn’s Ning-powered ImSaturn social network, then upload a picture of you kissing a Saturn Astra and you could win one. Is “Kiss my Astra,” just a low-brow […]

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Love it or hate it: Jawbone viral video campaign

Surely you are familiar with Jawbone, the makers of the excellent noise-canceling Bluetooth headsets for mobile phones. The product really is amazing. I love mine. But I don’t love their attempt at creating buzz. I’d rate the first video PG-13. Two women are sitting in a pub having a casual conversation when a rugby team […]

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Viral video: A little mystery goes a long way

In the last week, the above video has been viewed 444,117 times on YouTube. Question is, what is it? I did some sleuthing for you. If you go to the video’s YouTube page, you would find a link that takes you to a splash page: Click on the splash page and you’ll find another page […]

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Love it or hate it? Heineken’s “Share the Good”

With the title “Share the Good,” Heineken’s new campaign sounds promising. But it’s not about Katrina relief, reducing the company’s carbon footprint or feeding hungry children. Nope. It’s all about the beer, and sharing your Heineken with a stranger. While the ad is visually interesting and the art direction is quite good, something isn’t quite […]

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Easter Bunny hogtied, candy stolen. Story at 11.

Rest assured, I understand no bunnies were harmed during the photo shoot for this ad. This is from the following ad for Shaw’s Candies of San Francisco: + enlarge The other ads in the campaign include X-rays of teeth and a belt from folks that couldn’t resist their chocolates. Kind of makes me think of […]

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Love it or hate it: The Thomas Kinkade marketing machine

  My partner, Bill Boyd, ABC, sent me an email I thought blogworthy. Here it is: Patrick, I spent time with two brands over the holidays. One carefully guards every aspect of its interactions with the public. This company can demand (and get) premium prices. There’s never any discounting, and no products that don’t convey […]

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Santa: Love him or hate him?

  Do you love Santa? Or do you hate him for his role in the commercialization of Christmas? I’m torn. I’ve played Santa for our neighbors’ kids the last three years. I don’t have his beard or build, but the suit works. Their kids haven’t realized it’s me, and though I have to sneak away […]

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