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• 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

• 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.

• A guerrilla campaign that may not work — but is certainly welcome

Stop! That duck isnt an approved Talk Talk agent!

Stop! That duck isn't an approved Talk Talk agent!

In Britain, Talk Talk is engaging in a reverse pickpocketing scheme. In a move intended to show that companies can put money back into the pockets of consumers, as well as taking it out, the mobile phone and broadband provider has sent out 20 “putpockets” into the streets of London  where they will slip five pound or 20 pound notes into the pockets and purses of unsuspecting people. “With so many scams out there, Britons have become very sceptical of companies giving money away,” said TalkTalk’s Mark Schmid. “We have turned to put-pocketing to give something back. Whilst unconventional, we don’t think anyone is going to mind finding a crisp £20 in their pocket.” Read more…

• Prius gets it right — with the help of a contrarian

flintstonescar.jpg image by tikibird27

I guess some people just care more about the environment than others.

A few days ago we looked at the Prius commercial, “Futurewow,” in which a Prius drives the streets of the city while onlookers whistle a tune whose message suggests that we’ve got plenty enough nature and don’t need any more. (Prius ad says, “Enough with nature, already!)

Now I’m happy to report a spot that gets it right.

The new commercial, created for the NorCal Dealers Association by the Hoffman/Lewis agency, follows their previous “Yes” campaign, which focuses on the high percentage of Prius owners who say they would buy it again. In the new spot, which strikes me as more powerful, people speak about its special features. Rather than promoting the vehicle solely through a message about the advantages to the environment, such as Saatchi’s “Harmony” ads in which the landscape turns green as the car passes by, the Hoffman/Lewis spot promotes it by means of a message about the advantages to the owner. Read more…

Categories: campaign analysis

• Ikea continues to play hide and seek with consumers

While no longer committing vandalism, Ikea still continues to hide from consumers.

On August 9, I wrote about Ikea’s interesting but flawed and illegal attempts to jump on the guerrilla advertising bandwagon (Ikea’s advertising guerrilla ordered to clean up after itself). In it I told how Zig, Ikea’s advertising agency in Canada, cleverly promoted Ikea’s new catalogue and contest through television commercials and urban vandalism. The campaign offered a difficult-to-remember URL, without ever mentioning the company, the catalogue, nor the contest. The only time Ikea’s name came up was through the news media as they reported on the complaints being lodged against Ikea by city officials and small business owners. Read more…

• New Prius ads say, “Enough with nature, already!”

Industrial air pollution

Prius believes we need more of these. Plus love.

Considering that Prius has positioned itself as a “green” vehicle, friendly to nature and a favoured son (daughter?) of the goddess Gaia, it’s puzzling that their new ads should be so antagonistic towards nature.

The new campaign, created by Saatchi & Saatchi, Toronto, features a Prius driving around while awe-struck bystanders whistle the venerable Burt Bacharach and Hal David song, “What the World Needs Now.” Read more…

• Ikea’s advertising guerrilla ordered to clean up after itself

Guerrilla advertising: a form of advertising which skilfully keeps the consumer unaware of what product or service is being advertised.

No, thats gorilla advertising -- were talking about guerilla advertising

No, that's "gorilla" advertising -- not "guerrilla" advertising

I’m sure by now that everyone in the industry has heard about the magnificent gaffe pulled by the good folks at Ikea. Still, it’s so delightfully idiotic, brain-dead, and outright stupid that a recap is almost mandatory.

Anonymous TV spots

In order to promote the publication of their new catalogue, Ikea’s creative agency, Zig, launched a “guerrilla” advertising campaign called Any Place Can Be Beautiful. The television spot shows an unmarked cardboard box sitting on a sidewalk. After a moment, hundreds of pieces of yellow paper, which look like Post It notes, erupt from the box and form a square on the ground around it. At the bottom of the screen appears a URL (www.anyspacecanbebeautiful.com). Although there is no indication of its purpose, the URL links to a contest in which people can upload photos of rooms they would like to have beautified. Visitors vote on the photos, and the winner receives a $15,000 remodelling by Ikea. (I’d link to a Youtube video of the ad, but there doesn’t appear to be one — a surprising oversight for a well-run viral campaign.) Read more…