Monday, November 30, 2009

These are pretty cool.

From Mother, London, comes these spots for Schweppes, mixing old Life-Magazine type prints ads with live action -- or something.

Whatever it is, however they did it, I like it.

Found on Ad Freak.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Click picture for interesting reading.

(Is this the laziest post I've ever done, or what?)

Everybody says goodbye sooner or later.

But I think how you do it says a lot about you.

Like everybody who owns a business, I've had to fire people. You have to do it face-to-face. Like an adult. It's part of being grown-up.

So what is it with clients who tire of you, hate you, discover you're a hopeless hack of an agency, can't afford you or otherwise decide to end the relationship but can't seem to bring themselves to do it with any manners or class?

I can think of two in the last four years who simply stopped talking to us. You know, the way you did in junior high when you wanted to signal to someone that you were no longer in "like" with them?

One of them just let us wake up one Monday morning and see ads we had not done running in the paper. The other gave us some bogus (and pretty stupid) line about needing us to send him a document stating that he retained the copyrights to all the work we'd done for him. He said his "accountant" (WTF?) wanted it.

That was when we knew he was planning to end the relationship. We asked him flat-out if we'd lost his confidence and he felt he needed to make a change and he just as flat-out lied to us. "Oh no," he said. "We're very happy. This is just a formality." And then, when he got his letter, we pretty much never heard from him again. Except for his stalling and dragging out paying our last invoice.

Check that, he did have his son and number one flunky call us and ask us to send him some artwork they needed that we had already sent them but they had apparently lost or messed up somehow. Naturally, we never responded.

We still don't know we he dumped us.

You know what? We know we're going to lose clients. It's part of the business. It hurts usually, but as they say, you start to lose a client the minute you get them. And almost every client you get used to be someone else's, so what goes around comes around. I mean come on. We're all adults here.

I just don't understand why people can't be grown-up about the split. Here's something I think is true about us and most people I know in this business. Hire us and we're going to work hard for you and we're going to be honest and responsive and do our best. Pretty much all we ask in return is that you pay your bills on time and show us some professional respect. If we're doing something wrong, either tell us what it is and let us fix it, or tell us face-to-face that we're fired. That's not so hard to understand, is it?

Exactly why it occurred to be to write about this the day after Thanksgiving I couldn't begin to tell you. But I love the illustration I came up with to go with it.

Don't you?

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Bet you didn't know they surfed in Chile.

Well, they do.

This, from I Believe in Advertising proves it.

Cool idea. Floor graphics on escalators and moving sidewalks. By Y&R Santiago for "Demolition", an extreme sports magazine.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Is it just me? I don't think so. Is it? Is it just me?

Well maybe it is just me.

But it does seem like people who write those "Oh my god if you don't dive into social media or electronic media your world will come to an end because nothing else works!" articles usually work for a company that sells social media or electronic media or social or electronic media consulting.

Have you ever noticed that people who work at the dry cleaners always think everything you bring in ought to be dry cleaned?

And the salesman or woman from every newspaper, magazine, radio station or cable provider knows for absolute certain that nothing else will work as well as (pick one) their newspaper, magazine, radio station or cable outlet?

Personally, I think the best advice comes from someone who doesn't have an axe to grind, or as they might say in Kentucky, a dog in that fight. I'm just saying consider the source. But that's just me, and anybody who knows me knows that I can only type with two fingers and have to look at the keyboard while I do it.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

OK, there's good news and bad news here

The good news is that this is very clever.

The bad news, obviously, is that it's for a nose-hair trimmer.

For Panasonic by Saatchi and Saatchi Indonesia. Via Ads of The World.

Friday, November 20, 2009

"Neesh" and "Oh-MAHjj"

Stop it!

It's niche and homage for Christ's sake.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Karen calls it the "new balance"

But if I'd used their logo, I'd probably get sued. Or at least y'all would misunderstand the content of this post.

Nevertheless, let's forge ahead.

I just Googled "ad agencies" and "Maryland" - 308,000 hits -- all kinds of stuff in there.

Then I Googled "ad agencies" and "Bethesda" ('cause, that's where we are) - 12,600 hits, and Bethesda ain't that big.

Then I did "Nasuti & Hinkle" - 21,000 hits -- just about all of them about us. At least as far as the oopty pages I checked are concerned.

What's my point? My point is that I'd much rather have people go on the Internet and look for us than just look for an agency in Maryland. That's Yellow Pages stuff. OK, so Google is not exactly like the Yellow Pages, but when it comes to homogenizing whatever the hell it is that might otherwise set you apart, there's nothing on earth quite like the power of a good, old-fashioned organic web search. Hell, for that matter, a paid search does a pretty good job of reducing everybody down to a common denominator too.

Now, I may be old and stupid (albeit exceptionally good-looking my sisters tell me), but I do recognize the power of the Internet as a marketing tool. Jeeze, I'm not that dumb. Anybody in business today who doesn't include the web and social media into their marketing plans is ignoring the potential of some incredibly effective marketing tools.

That said, things like web pages, banner ads, PPC, SEO and social media have to be part of a strategic plan, part of an overall marketing strategy. Depending entirely on any part of the Internet is a lot like depending strictly on the Yellow Pages in the old days. Not very smart.

That is, unless you've got nothing at all going for you that you want anybody to know about. No promise to customers, no point of departure, no reason for anybody to do business with you. No brand.

But that's not the case, is it?

Marketing communications today is all about the (wait for it . . . ) new balance of marketing tools and communications vehicles.

There are a lot of options out there. So go play with a few of them.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

I think these are terrific spots

We're doing some pro-bono work for the Washington Humane Society and most people who know me know I like dogs better than people, but still . . .

these are pretty good. For Companion Animal Placement by Suburban Advertising in New York. They are not new. The most recent one (the naked guy) came out in '96 -- along with a wonderful print ad featuring a very bad cross-dresser I am looking for. Check that. A wonderful print ad I am looking for that features a very bad cross-dresser. I am not looking for a bad cross-dresser.

I found these on YouTube.

You can see one of the print executions in the 1996 (#37) CA Advertising Annual.


Thursday, November 12, 2009

OK, now,THIS is a new approach.

The Volkswagen GTI is so fast you will piss your pants.

I suppose in Bejing, China, home of BIG Advertising who did these ads, that's a good thing. The copy (in Chinese, natch) reads: "It will go fast."

Pretty clever, huh? Huh? Get it? Huh? Do ya? Huh? Go fast? Get it? Huh?

Via copyranter.

(Upon close inspection, the guy is wearing Levi's 501's. Not sure why that's significant, but there it is.)

This has nothing to do with advertising, but it needs to be said.

And I'll only say it this once.

The whole idea of signaling for a turn is to let people know what you intend to do. Therefore, there is no freaking value whatsoever to anybody in waiting to flip on your signal until you are already actually making the turn, is there?


And while we're marginally on the subject, are Karen and I the only ones who have noticed that the worst drivers on the planet are either usually in a mini-van or a Volvo?

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


Ok, so you've been talking to a new-business prospect and they tell you they want to keep talking to see what you can do for them, but they have just conceived a campaign internally that they like pretty much.

Eventually you see it. And it's awful.

What do you do?

Do you take the "if this is what they think is good, I can't help them" approach and drop it?

Do you consider it an opportunity to show them what you'd do instead and assume they will recognize the difference?

If you talk to them again and they ask you what you think, what do you tell them? How honest can you be? I mean somebody would have approved it.

Are you just being an arrogant ass? I mean clearly somebody likes it.

Is the education curve too steep or does it present an opportunity?

Just wondering.

This works a couple of ways, I think

The target -- people who want to use Wi-Fi wherever they may be -- get it immediately.

Others probably think it's an ad for french fries.

Either way I love it.

By DDB Sydney (Australia) via I Believe in Advertising.

Monday, November 9, 2009

I'm not picking on the Washington Post. Not exactly.

It's just that they have given me such a great WTF? example of Strangeness in Marketing.

Let's start at the beginning. Newspapers are losing readers and subscribers. This is an unfortunate thing, but a true thing. One would hope that newspapers would want to stem the flow of departures.

As in incent subscribers to stay subscribers, yes? You would think so.

So then it makes a whole bunch of no sense to me for them to continue to develop special pricing programs for new subscribers only. We've been paying like $53 a quarter for daily and weekly delivery of the Post. But they recently had an offer that was for something like $41 for six months for new subscribers only. (Or subscribers who have not subscribed for 30 days.)

And the day after that promotion expired, they came out with an even better one

If there was ever an example of an organization giving the finger to existing customers, this is it. In order to keep subscribers, why not offer some sort of great pricing package after 2 or 3 years of ongoing subscribing? Even if just for a year. Or offer Sundays free for six months as a token of gratitude to loyal customers and an incentive to keep them that way. Something that says "thanks for your business."

The Post isn't the only company that does this kind of bone-headed thing. Cell carriers and credit card companies do it too. And it seems like the emphasis on new customers encourages us all to keep hopping around, starting and stopping things and changing banks, cell phone companies, credit cards and the like. Wouldn't retaining customers be a better business strategy?

It just seems basic to me that if you're losing customers or subscribers, somewhere in your marketing plan there ought to be as much emphasis on keeping them as getting new ones.

But what do I know? I thought the Beatles would never catch on.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Is "doofi" the plural of "doofus"?

OK, some people probably find Rhett and Link funny, but now their commercials are stupid. At least this one is.

Now, I'm guessing this is supposed to be satire or something. Or what they think is satire. Well, I mean, obviously it's supposed to be something other than serious. But still, this is the kind of dog-doo that makes people think anybody who can slap something up on YouTube can make a commercial.

Would you buy furniture from the Red House based on this? Really? Are you kidding me?

I say we get a bunch together to head down to wherever in North Carolina these un-funny clowns are based and rub 'em out. Who's with me?

Yankees win. Rest of world mourns.

Sorry, but it's just hard to root for these guys . . .

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Ooops . . .

This apparently ran in Philly papers yesterday -- before Game Five was played.

In any case, the Yankees were up 3-1 at the time anyway.

Found on AdFreak.

("That's just positive thinking," says Karen.)

Please read this before you cut that budget

Like everybody else in our business, we've heard a lot from clients and prospects about cutting or eliminating advertising budgets.

Now, advertising is not a panacea by any stretch (please be impressed that I spelled that right -- whether it is the correct usage here or not is another question). But it can certainly help if properly applied.

Just ask Kellogg's who, according to this piece in Ad Age, credits a 17% increase in ad spending for increased earnings. I especially wish the guy who told me yesterday that he would really like to take his organization's entire marketing budget and just hire three more salesmen would read it.

Here is part of what the CEO said:

"Our commitment to investing in advertising continues to be a key to our business model and to achieving our goals. Rather than take advantage of lower rates to reduce the cost of our advertising investment, we see this as a great opportunity to increase our investment and build even stronger brands in the future. Higher spend combined with media deflation and a push on efficiency is driving a significant increase in advertising pressure."

Just a little food for thought while you're working on that 2010 budget.