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OMFG: Responsible or not?

For the uninitiated: OMG = “Oh my God.” OMFG = The same, plus a strategically placed F-bomb. First time I saw these ads, I wanted to write about it here, but I couldn’t seem to find the CW’s justification for taking “OMG,”—a phrase that already puts some people on edge—and plusing it with the “F” […]

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Archie Bunker as pitchman? Almost.

Would you like someone that makes “tasteless jokes about sex, AIDS, religion and bodily functions, purposely offending just about every group of people you could name” to represent your product? How about a character that have “been criticized for everything from anti-Semitism and sexism to homophobia and overall disgustingness?” Sounds like Archie Bunker, the bombastic […]

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History’s worst viral campaign, or best?

Above are two of four videos that were uploaded to YouTube two weeks ago proving that the radiation from cell phones is strong enough to actually pop corn. Or not. As it turns out, it’s a hoax—a viral marketing ploy by Cardo Systems, a maker of cell phone earpieces and headsets. They’ve gained worldwide attention […]

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Drug company advertising: Responsible or not?

Every time I hear an ad for a medication on television, I think of the adage, If the disease doesn’t kill you, the cure will. After all, “the side effects might include. . .” list is usually so long and filled with so many undesirable things it would make anyone cringe. I don’t like hearing […]

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Responsible or not? Unilever

I’ve mentioned Dove’s Campaign for Real Beauty that encourages self esteem for young girls. It’s smart, it zags when everyone else is zigging, and as the father of young daughter it makes me want to stand up and cheer. But of course, Responsible Marketing is never black and white. Dove’s parent company, Unilever, has been […]

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Responsible or not? Marketing to tweens and teens

Katja White, an eight-year-old cheerleader with her arms full of free products she received from marketers at a national cheerleading competition at the Anaheim Convention Center last month. Want to reach a customer that communicates at hyper speed about your product? Want a loyal customer for life? Target cheerleaders, football players and other popular teens […]

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Responsible or not? Absolut re-maps North America

Absolut Vodka of Sweden created a bit of uproar recently by re-mapping North America to include most of the American southwest as part of Mexico. Although the ad was only run in Mexico and was meant to be taken tongue-in-cheek, U.S. consumers threatened boycott and Absulut apologized and yanked the ad. Our immigration problems are […]

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Responsible or not? Using sex to sell recyling

Eko-Kom wants to encourage recycling. And sex sells. So why not use sex to sell recycling? Nothing indecent here, but the sexual overtones aren’t muted, either. So what do you think? Responsible Marketing or not? Comment below to weigh in. . . . Inspiration for this post came from @adrants on Twitter

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Responsible or not? Apple, Inc.

Image from Wired Magazine I was interviewed by MacNews last week for their article The iPhone and Social Networks: Fast Friends? Read it and you might think I’m an Apple fanboy. I’m not. Apple has introduced some game-changing, highly usable, extremely cool products. But the company has a less than sterling reputation regarding the way […]

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Responsible or not? Bayer Corporation

For generations, Bayer has been a household name in America. Today, the company has over 106,000 employees working in 150 countries in healthcare, crop science, business services, technology and more. The company’s slogan: “Science for a Better Life.” Here’s a description of some of Bayer’s social initiatives from their corporate website: We support both schoolchildren […]

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Responsible or not? Advertising that distracts

As a marketer, I get frustrated when I see poor targeting, flat creative, lack of personalization, and any number of things one might find wrong when armchair quarterbacking someone else’s work. If I had a nickel for every time I’ve caught myself saying, “If only they could have…” But I also get frustrated as a […]

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Smokes that Al Gore would love?

Are you a green smoker? Not green from emphysema, but green as in environmentally responsible. A little about Natural American Spirit Organic Cigarettes: We grow our premium natural tobacco in a responsible, sustainable way through our earth-friendly and organic growing programs. We also strive to reduce our footprint on the earth by using recycled materials […]

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Liberty Filmore, Cart Whisperer

Liberty Filmore can’t understand it: You know, I don’t know what it is in a person…make ’em just…up and abandon a perfectly good shopping cart. You see, Filmore is a cart whisperer. He cares. And because he cares, he spends his time searching for abandoned carts and then helping find their way back home. With […]

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Not interested in Blow? Try Meth instead.

The response to my post regarding Blow Energy Drink yesterday was a hearty two thumbs down. So, I can only imagine what you might think of Meth Coffee. From their homepage: Dear Agent, I am dispatching to you a sample of smooth and highly seismological coffee bean substance. Try this new flammable specimen, but distribute […]

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Update: Lipitor ads featuring Jarvik stunt double pulled

In Lipitor Pitchman Jarvik Rows Into the Sunset, The Wall Street Journal reports that after pressure from Congress, Pfizer is yanking their ads featuring Dr. Robert Jarvik rowing on a pristine lake, when in fact, a stunt double was used. Here’s my post from February 8th, Advertising stunt double lands Pfizer in the congressional crosshairs.

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Responsible or not? Blow Energy Drink Mix

Energy drink marketing is kinda like soda pop marketing — on steroids. And taurine. And caffeine. All at once. Energy drinks are mostly geared toward thrill-seeking youth looking for a coffee alternative…a legal high. The packaging is aggressive–even dangerous–with monsters, aliens, skateboards, crocodiles, rattlesnakes and other creatures meant to make the customer feel just a […]

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Responsible or not? PETA’s campaign against KFC

It really doesn’t matter how you feel about PETA, you have to admire their marketing chutzpah. Here’s a summary of their campaign: Clearly, this was meant to agitate and it worked for me – I hopped right over to the Kentucky Fried Cruelty website to see what they had to say. The site leverages KFC’s […]

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SHIPOOPI! When bad ain’t so bad.

“Remember to honk when you drive by Vern Fonk.” If you live in Washington or Oregon you probably never thought you’d see that phrase here. Because while Vern Fonk offers commercial insurance, it’s known for its bargain basement advertising targeting tough-to-insure drivers—mostly on cable, often at night. Their brand is low budget in all ways. […]

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Advertising stunt double lands Pfizer in the congressional crosshairs

I’m not a big fan of celebrity endorsements, mostly because they seldom work. But having the the inventor of the Jarvik artificial heart endorse Pfizer’s cholesterol drug Lipitor does. After all, if it’s good enough for the the guy that invented the artificial heart, it should be good enough for me, right? The New York […]

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SalesGenie Super Bowl advertising: Better or worse?

Last year, was selected by just about everyone with a heartbeat for having the least creative, cheesiest Super Bowl in like, forever. For your review: Yipes. That ad barely belonged on television, let alone the Super Bowl. But SalesGenie wasn’t in it for the branding, they were in it to drive their own sales, […]

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