Monday, July 27, 2009

Ahhhhh... The Summer MUST Reads from The AdGuy

What I love about the summer is the time I get away from the daily grind, not that I am ever faced with a "grind"... but I get the "ME" time I miss.

"ME" time usually consists of me spending a little more time with two sons and my wonderful wife, who still lets me be a big kid and get away with more then anybody should be able to. No I won't give details, but she will be considered for sainthood.

Reading is a must for anyone who has the dream or desire of working in this crazy business and this summer my "ME" time has been occupied with reading six (6) new books, but two of these titles have been nothing short of "outstanding" reads and will likely have a massive influence on what I will bring to mine and other program class lectures this fall.

My thoughts are not really reviews in as much points of interest that make both titles "MUST" for all students of advertising and those are running the wheels of communication who better catch-up quick.

BRAND NEW WORD by Max Lenderman

We live in a "brand" new world, where marketing is taking on incredible new forms. I simply reflect upon my 30 years off roaming around the "AdWorld" and I am amazed at the change.

To reach a "million" viewers for a specific spot you spent millions on placement.... today those millions can be reached in seconds and at the fraction of the cost, plus if you have something that's unique then those millions will get your message out even more people. That's what makes this book such a great read.

How is this business changing, and how do you need to adapt to that change? It's not a guide. It might be having you asking more questions then it will ever provide the answers. "Brand New World" looks at branding in a globalized world and where the next hot brands might originate from.

Drawing from over two years of extensive travel and research, award-inning creative director Max Lenderman has created an unique and easy read about groundbreaking marketing strategies and business models that every "adlander" or CMO needs to become familiar with or get left behind.

And this is especially true in the hyper-developing "BRIC" countries: Brazil, Russia, India and China. There has been unimaginable economic growth in these nations and this is revolutionizing marketing across the planet.

Max Lenderman is Executive Creative Director at GMR Marketing LLC. His clients include ING Direct, McDonald’s, Pepsi and VISA. A founding member of the International Experiential Marketing Association and this is his second business book. His first, "Experience The Message", was excellent (NOTE: it was shortlisted for the 2006 Canadian Business Book of the Year).

To review a some pages and samples of the book go to HarperCollins.

You can follow and learn more about Max Lenderman at

Free: The Future Of A Radical Price by Chris Anderson

Chris Anderson is a guru of the information age. At least that what ever Google hit explained.

He served as editor of, Wired, the voice of the digital world. Mr. Anderson has written about how digital technology and how it has made the world a better place.

Free is another examination of how digital technology is changing life and business, through the spread of what the book's subtitle describes as "a radical price" - zero.

Businesses based on offering free stuff aren't new - broadcast television and radio, for instance, entertain viewers and listeners for free in return for their attention - but there's certainly more free stuff around than there used to be.

“Free” stuff is spreading because of one fundamental difference between the bricks-and-mortar world (which Anderson calls the world of atoms) and the digital world (which Anderson calls the world of bits). In the world of atoms, each item is expensive to produce and distribute; in the world of bits, it costs close to nothing. This has all sorts of consequences.
Pricing models become more and more variable as the world has become increasingly digital. Copying costs almost nothing, so piracy mushrooms. People can create stories, songs and movies and distribute them to other people, gratis. The collapsing costs of production and distribution are both benefiting consumers and killing companies. Take Wikipedia, for instance, it offers the world, the universe and everything in detail to anybody with an internet connection, while destroying the encyclopedia business.
File-sharing has brought costless pleasure to millions while threatening the existence of record companies. Piracy has introduced millions of Chinese to the joys of Hollywood films while making it virtually impossible to sell music, software or recorded music in the country.

The costs associated with the growing online economy are trending toward zero at an incredible rate.

Never in the course of human history have the primary inputs to an industrial economy fallen in price so fast and for so long. Just think that in 1961, a single transistor cost $10; now Intel's latest chip has two billion transistors and sells for $300 (or 0.000015 cents per transistor--effectively too cheap to price). The traditional economics of scarcity just don't apply to bandwidth, processing power, and hard-drive storage.Ahhhhhh... The summer read, I have a few short weeks left before it's back to the pulpit (grind).
"Free", goes beyond a marketing gimmick or a cross-subsidy. Mr. Anderson also points to the growth of the reputation economy; explains different models for unleashing the power of "Free" and shows how to compete when your competitors are giving away what you're trying to sell.

Once again it's not a guide, simply a "you need to know before it's too late".

As I make my way through "Free", I find myself wondering where will the high cost of post secondary education fit into this future. Yes, I am a little frightened to Google "Free Creative Advertising Education". Then again...

Microsoft to Open Retails Stores... Does It Look Familiar?

I am hoping this is just a typical "Onion" type piece. But no it's not satire, it's real and it's coming... real soon.

So word has been around for a few months now that Microsoft is going to open "retail" stores... with an enlarging product line, and why not?

Well, according to a PowerPoint presentation leaked last Thursday, it's going to make the Apple Store look downright boring.

The "secret" plans for the stores have been leaked on-line... LOL, since when have we stopped believing in the "LEAKED" line. Please!

Microsoft's confirmed it has hired a former Apple retail executive to help with its store openings. George Blankenship, was a GAP executive before joining Apple, and was in charge of finding the prime locations that Apple picks for its retail stores. His work with Apple goes back to the start of the decade when Apple kicked off its retail endeavor.

Blankenship will be working for Microsoft as a consultant, not as an employee.

Representatives from Microsoft have told that some of the stores will be close to existing Apple retail locations, hinting that it isn't afraid to battle Apple head-on.

The Microsoft "flagship" stores will take hte best elements from the Apple Store, Sony Style and other "flagship" stores. The primary focus will be to showcase Windows 7, Xbox, PCTV (Windows Media Center) Surface and Windows Mobile.

See the details from Fast Company and Gizmodo.

Tell me if the plans look familiar? Does this have look of a certain "Fruit" based computer vendor? Okay, Apple owns this concept.

My father taught me early in life; "You can't polish shit, but you can put a bow on it, but in the end it's still shit".

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

FedEx Shakes Things Up

FedEx will be watched closely starting this week when it launches its first Web-video advertising campaign, five three-minute films that feature the actor Fred Willard.

While some notable viral online campaigns, like Burger King’s famous “subservient chicken,” have aimed to be entertaining enough to find huge audiences but which talked little if at all about products, the FedEx videos are "tongue-in-cheek infomercials" that extol FedEx’s services.

In the videos, Mr. Willard — whose credits include roles in mockumentaries like “Best in Show,” “A Mighty Wind,” and “For Your Consideration” — hosts infomercials called “1-2-3 Succeed!” with a studio audience, also filled by actors.

The spots tend toward rapid-fire sight gags and surreal humor, as when Mr. Willard is promoting FedEx’s package-tracking service and asks, “Who likes to track things?” As the camera pans the audience, it lingers on a man applauding who is dressed in a beaver cap and fringed frontiersman costume.

In a segment highlighting FedEx Office (formerly FedEx Kinko’s), Mr. Willard asks, “What’s the one thing every business wants to be known for?”

“Dinosaurs!” shouts one audience member. “Ponies!” shouts another. And another: “Nitrogen!"

My favorite spot is "FedEx - International Shipping". I love the guy in the front row in the German Leatherhosen. LMAO!!!

As for the making a "
notable viral online campaign", not so sure... yes there is "funny" here... but will there a "million hits or wide-spread" pass along in the same vain as Crispin Porter + Bogusky achieved with BK's various "Whooper Virgin" or "Freak Out"... hmmmmm, time will tell.

FedEx - A Bit of History

FedEx has been make great ads since its 1981 spot, by Ally & Gargano, (NOTE: topped New York magazine’s list last year of “most memorable” ads of the last four decades) that featured the fast-talking actor John Moschitta Jr. delivering alliterative lines — “Peter, you did a bang up job. I’m putting you in charge of Pittsburgh, Peter. I know it’s perfect, Peter; that’s why I picked Pittsburgh.” (See Video)

For the last 20 years by BBDO Worldwide, New York, has been the lead agency and helped pioneer office humor in ads, and often had their premieres during the Super Bowl. So when the company announced that after 18 years it would forgo advertising during the last Super Bowl, because it could not justify the expense during the downturn, the news resonated.

“That hurt the Super Bowl much more than any other advertiser, because FedEx is a market leader,” said Jerry Della Femina, who is chief executive of Della Femina Rothschild Jeary & Partners and has worked on Madison Avenue since the early 1960s. “Look, you never bet against Federal Express, because they’re smart, and when they’re doing something, it’s well thought out.”
Steve Pacheco, director of advertising at FedEx, said the new infomercial campa
ign reflected FedEx’s acknowledgment of the growing sentiment that “lunchtime is the new prime time,” meaning that the multitudes who watch videos online while chomping sandwiches in cubicles rival those wielding remote controls at night.

“We’re still very involved in television, especially with all our sports and sponsorship support,” Mr. Pacheco said. “But digital advertising and communication is taking a bigger role in the overall plan, because we try to scale our media plan to be where our customers are.”

While FedEx is not pulling the plug on television, a return to the Super Bowl, which this year cost $3 million for a 30-second spot, is an open question.

“We’re going to take it day by day,” Mr. Pacheco said about future Super Bowls.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Ray-Ban Never Hide Campaign

This was just sent to me... the campaign has helped promote Ray-Ban sunglasses, and Ray-Ban created a series of viral videos called Never Hide Films. With 18 videos posted to date, sone have seen multi-million views, and a few four-digit failures, so it’s an interesting look at what works well as an online viral video, and what doesn’t. The most recent post was shot completely in the "Never Hide Films Video Booth" during the 2009 SXSW Music Festival in Austin, TX.

100 People/1 Minute. Cool beat. They call it freestyle... hmmmmm! Beatbox yes, FreeStyle no!

You can download a free MP3 of the film's soundtrack at the YouTube NeverHide page

Beats + edits by Squeak E. Clean & Rossangeles.

Print Ad Credits:

Advertising Agency: Cutwater, USA
Art Director: Kele Dobrinski

Copywriter: Noah Phillips

Monday, July 13, 2009

Coca-Cola Creatures of Summer Fun

As summer does the endless fun.

Check the site out for endless fun as you use your keyboard numbers to add to the soundtrack created by Mother London and ElectroPop artist Calvin Harris.


Tim Hortons Hit the Big Apple Fritter!

Tim Hortons must love New York City. At least that's what corporate line. The NYC logo will even specify what it is, of course: a 'coffee and bake shop'!

Truth be told... a Dunkin' Donut franchise holder got into a mess with his agreement and contract with DD corporate and as a settlement, he gets to keep the site locations he owned but was striped of the franchise name and the bakeries.

Between Friday night and dawn on Monday, the Riese Organization intends to convert 13 Dunkin’ Donuts stores into the city’s first Tim Hortons restaurants, including early-morning, high-traffic shops like the one in Pennsylvania Station and New York Stock Exchange.

The conversion comes after a decade of contention between Riese and Dunkin’ Donuts that peaked after The New York Post published a photo of a mouse munching on a doughnut in a shop operated by Riese on 46th Street at Fifth Avenue. The chain sued Riese, and the sides eventually agreed that the relationship would end this week in what Dunkin’ Donuts called a “disenfranchisement.”

The high cost of rent in Manhattan made it impossible to earn an acceptable profit from Dunkin’ Donuts, Mr. Riese said.

The switch may surprise regular customers of the shops, said Dennis Riese, chief executive of the Riese Organization.

Canadian tourists and immigrants like Jaye Landon, who said “Wow” when she heard the news, may be the surest customers for the Tim Hortons.

“It’s hard to be a Canadian and not love Tim’s,” said Ms. Landon, an Ottawa native who has lived in New York for 20 years but still has a Tim Hortons coffee mug in her kitchen. “When you’re crossing the prairie and going through bear-infested territory, Tim’s is your friend.”

But not all Canadian expatriates will be rushing in for boxes of Timbits bite-size doughnuts. Naomi Campbell, an artist who grew up near Montreal and lives in Brooklyn, said the allure of Tim Hortons — and doughnuts of all kinds — eluded her. “I tend to lean more toward the croissant type of breakfast foods,” she said.

To find your TimFix in NYC see this link:

Monday, July 6, 2009

Jennifer Wells Returns to The Toronto Star

Jennifer Wells, who has been covering the "Ad Buzz" for The Globe and Mail for more than a year, returned to The Toronto Star today.

You've been likely following her at "AdHocracy", the blog attached to her weekly "Persuasion" page in Friday's Report on Business section.

Wells has been at the Star as a feature writer and then columnist.

"We're thrilled she has decided to rejoin the best writing team in Canada," said Michael Cooke, the Star's editor. "Welcome home, Jennifer!"

Before working at the Star, Wells worked for Maclean's Magazine, Report on Business Magazine and the Financial Times.

She has authored two books, one of which won the National Business Book Award.

Jennifer was a good friend of the program, a kind source and was a supporter of all things advertising... it was my pleasure supporting and working with her during her time at the Globe.

Personally, I am wishing you all the best Jennifer in the future.

Scary Smart Idea... but will they get it.

This came to me by one of my grads. He recalled the frequent conversations and debates of "will anyone other than us get it?" This campaign is for Mercedes-Benz for "Brake Assist Plus". The basic concept is built around the "Extra braking force when you need it".

My thoughts always turn to "if you need to be there to explain it... it don't work".
But really this is super simple.


Advertising Agency: BBDO Proximity Singapore
Executive Creative Director: Jagdish Ramakrishnan
Copywriter: William Mathovani
Art Directors: Andrian Pranata, Ivan Hady Wibowo
Photographer: Sebastian Siah, Shooting Gallery

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Mad Men Returns for Season Three

Okay, a small personal passion and vice... Mad Men retruns finally. US cable network AMC has announced that it will be premiering the third season of Mad Men on Sun., Aug. 16 at 10PM ET. I am looking for details if AMC Canada will offer it at the same time.

The premiere will be presented with limited commercial interruptions.

Leading up to the new season will be a Season 2 marathon starting Monday Aug. 10, from 7AM to 8PM. Sadly, bad timing for me, I will spending my time on beach that day in Ocean City New Jersey at the shore house... pray for rain? Nah, the DVD of season tow will be released July 14th.

Side note, if you are new to Mad Men, the pilot episode from Season 1, "Smoke Gets in Your

Eyes," can be viewed online at

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