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Archive for October, 2009

• The man on the street is a frickin’ liar

October 12, 2009 2 comments
No, really. She does all her makeup herself. And its all Cover Girl (well, at least till the end of her contract with them)..

No, really. She does all her makeup herself, and only uses Cover Girl. ("Nothing covers bruises like Cover Girl.")

I must have been around eight years old when I saw a Candid Camera spot that taught me almost everything I needed to know about “man on the street” testimonials.

It involved a restaurant owner asking his customers what they thought about a new brand of coffee. The catch? Each cup of coffee had several heaping teaspoons of mustard added. The camera, of course, was hidden, but the ketchup bottle, which he waved conspicuously in front of their faces, had a thick cord running out the bottom. The customers, then, were led to believe they were being “secretly” interviewed for a commercial.

They waxed poetic. It was the best coffee they’d ever tasted. This was the way coffee was supposed to taste. And so on. Of course, what the camera caught (that their words were meant to hide) were the expressions of shuddering disgust. The most amusing was one customer who was asked if he’d like another cup. His face showed pure horror, even as his mouth said, “I’d love one.” Read more…

Categories: campaign analysis

• Product business vs. marketing business

October 11, 2009 2 comments
Note -- this is not one of my twins who plays bagpipes in China.

Note -- this is not one of my twins who plays bagpipes in China.

I just talked to my twins on the phone.

I don’t hear from them too often, and see them even less, because for the past three years they’ve been earning their living by playing bagpipes in China.

That’s right. Bagpipes. China. Earning a living.

During our conversation, John (or was it Aragorn) mentioned the difference between “product business” and “marketing business.”

“Marketing business is based mostly on your marketing efforts,” he said. “Product business is based mostly on your product.”

Of course, all business requires some degree of each, but I could see his point.

To illustrate it, he compared Starbucks with Tim Horton’s. Read more…

Categories: crisis in ad-land

• Told you so

Just a quick note:

From WARC:

NEW YORK: The “green” messages of many major advertisers in the US are failing to resonate with consumers, despite the fact an increasing number of Americans are placing a heightened emphasis on environmental issues, a new study has found. (US brands see green messages fall flat.)

Well, duh! With everything from light bulbs to bathroom tissue promoting themselves as the latest word in “green,” the message is bound to get muddied. I pointed that out in Prius Gets It Right — With the Help of a Contrarian:

The purpose [of the Prius ad] is solely to promote the brand as being eco-friendly — a feature which, in the present market of eco-friendly cleaners, bathroom tissue, light bulbs, and drain cleaners, is becoming less and less of a distinction.

What with the present obsession with Word of Mouth (WOM), social networking, and promotion of “green” it’s a wonder any ads manage to sell a single product these days.