Friday, August 29, 2008

. . . not as I do

So we’re trying to work up a promotion for a client and we’re thinking that if you buy one of their products, you can qualify for a drawing and maybe win a big prize. No can do, says state law in Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania and Delaware.

So they modified it. Still, no can do in Virginia or Maryland.

Apparently (and my guess is that everybody on the planet but us knew this) it’s illegal to have anything where there is an element of chance and you have to buy something to participate and there is a prize if you win. Consideration, chance and prize. No good. Baaaaad. Evil. Something the state has to protect us against.

Unless, of course, it’s a state-run lottery, Keno or slot machines.

I saw an article not long ago about offshore gambling and one guy compared betting on a football game to buying a lottery ticket. Bet on a football game straight up and you have a 50/50 chance of winning. Buy a lottery ticket and your chances are 1 in a zillion and not only did the state pay for the promotion with your tax dollars, but also it will tax you on whatever you win.

It’s against the law to have a simple contest to encourage someone to do legitimate business with you, but it’s perfectly OK to have state-run games of chance, like all the unemployed guys at the convenience store downstairs from our office squander their limited money on all day long.

Don’t you just love the government? So logical. Such common sense.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The worst restaurant marketing idea. Ever.

According to Hotels Magazine online, the Oulton Hall hotel in Leeds, Yorkshire (U.K.) is going to start "weighing children and charging fat ones more for Sunday lunch."


Children weighing five stone (whatever the hell THAT is) will be charged five pounds, while children weighing 10 stone (whatever that hell THAT is too) will be charged 10 pounds. A hotel spokesman said this was the General Manager's idea. People who don't like it, he said (and I'm quoting here) "should get a life and stop being so miserable." That's the guy I want running MY public relations for sure.

By the way, here at Nasuti + Hinkle, we've raised our rates for people who are more than seven feet tall, wear a hat size smaller than 4 and weigh in at more than 22 stone.

Whatever the hell THAT is.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The last one out the door

Ilene Lundy was the youngest of our interns this summer (a rising junior at Maryland Institute College of Art), the only one in the creative department and the only neighbor who has ever been with us. We're pretty glad her parents didn't settle in, say, Rockville.

None of us will soon forget the bright pink disco-shirt she brought in and modeled when we had Show-and-Tell.

We'll see her again at semester break.

Ya gotta have friends

A few years ago while I was in Key West, I treated myself to a new tattoo. In the waiting room (it was either at Goldie's or Paradise, I can't remember which) there was a big sign: “Welcome to your new addiction!”

I think that’s kind of what they ought to have when you sign up for Facebook. Because it seems like some folks get addicted to it. One friend told me Facebook could easily be a time-eater. I can see that.

We’ve long since established that I’m not very hip at all. So it was only Sunday that I signed up on Facebook. I did it in response to a invitation from a friend of mine who had created her own page, and I had to join to be one of her “friends”. And since then, I’ve received friend invitations from people I know as well as people I don’t know but who are people who know people I know and somehow on Facebook they know who we both know. I think.

And they all seem so busy. Adding friends, joining networks, and telling the world what is going on in their life at any given moment.

Like one friend who indicated that he was “thinking about chicken”. Or the woman who knows somebody I know and told us all that she thinks that Dunkin’ Donuts has really improved their bagels.

Good to know. In both cases.

I need to understand social marketing better than I do, so I’ll probably yutz around on the thing, and maybe I’ll even do a profile and join some networks or something.

But if there is anything a guy with a short attention span like me doesn’t need, it’s another distraction right here at my fingertips.

Come to think of it, “Fingertips” was Steve Wonder’s first big hit. I wonder if he has a Facebook page? And I wonder if he will be my friend?

Friday, August 22, 2008

It's better with the volume on

But then everybody knows you're just screwing around.

No matter. Puma has a pretty cool little game that lets you "race" Usain Bolt in the 100 meters. You press the arrow keys as fast as you can.

Here's where it's cool.

Because he's a video of a real person running and you're using your fingers, the image you see is him racing a "Thing"-like hand. You know, like in the Addams Family?

Anyway, it's kind of fun. Do it here. Choose "Race Bolt" in the upper right.

This is some pretty smart stuff, I think

I'm not sure what country this was done in, but I found it on the I Have an Idea site. The back -- typically unused -- part of the billboard is part of the execution.

Since it's a public service kinda thing, I'll bet they got it for cheap or free too.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

I'm sorry, but this is just ridiculous

Found this on copyranter this morning.

I'm usually a fan of Brazilian advertising, but not this one. What -- exactly -- is it supposed to be telling me?

I wonder if they've seen it in Omaha?

There is so much that I don't understand

And one thing is how often there seems to be an inverse relationship between how much people want to charge for their product or service and how much they are willing to spend to entice people to do business with them. I'm not sure why this happens, but I've run across it more than just a few times.

(For some reason it reminds me of something a relative said to me one time when she and her husband John were going to a fund-raising gala: "I'm going to Saks and buying a beautiful new dress and Johnny is going to rent the cheapest tuxedo he can find!" Maybe it relates and maybe it doesn't, but still, it did pop into my mind. Uninvited, unannounced and unhindered.)

This tendency to underspend is, I suppose, a subset or a close friend, or at least in the same category with the previously-discussed “how much people will spend making improvements to their business and how little they are willing to spend to tell anybody.”

Very few things sell themselves, near as I can tell.

Monday, August 18, 2008

295 Flatbush Avenue, Brooklyn, NY

Last week we lost Alex The Intern. This week, we say farewell to Franny Manan.

Franny and Alex managed to IM (each other), talk (to each other) and get loads of work done. All at the same time.

However, one has to wonder about a girl (Franny) who has spent three full years at the University of Maryland and admits that she has “no idea” who Gary Williams is.

Even so, it was fun having her around.

Had your "WTF?" moment yet today?

Well, if not, here you go.

These are ads for Wrangler jeans, produced by FFL-Paris. Women hunted or some damn thing. I found them on Adrants.

And here's a link to an equally bizarro video. Beautiful. Well-produced. But um, well . . .

One ad blog called these "overconceptualized bad advertising." Another went with "pretentious, overproduced." Well put, both of you.

I'm sorry, but I have absolutely, positively, no idea what they are trying to tell us about Wrangler jeans.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Apropos of nothing at all

For some reason -- maybe it's because Karen has been gone all week -- I woke up this morning with a need to share:

My three favorite cartoon characters are Woody Woodpecker, Yosemite Sam and Daffy Duck. The reason for the first one is easy to figure out. As for why I like Sam and Daffy, I couldn't begin to tell you. I just do. Maybe it has something to do with their personal style.

In any case, now you know. Use this information wisely.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Meanwhile, everybody over 28 is running in terror to Pierre, South Dakota

Ok, so call me an old man. A snob. A non-member of the target audience who just doesn't know what's cool anymore. Fine.

But this is a stupid ad.

Maybe Omaha has become some kind of mecca for the "Whoa, Dude!" crowd, but it's a little hard to believe. And if that guy in the picture doesn't turn you off to the whole place, the copy in the faux text message (1 of 27 for some reason) does. "Dude! Omaha rocks!"

It just comes across to me as trying too hard. And it doesn't work. The thing is, if you have to say you're cool -- and say it so urgently -- then perhaps you aren't.

Then again, I'll bet the guy in the picture would rather drive carpet tacks into his gums than sit next to a geezer like me in a bar.

But it's still a terrible ad.