Sunday, April 25, 2010

My Second Test for IMC

Act I. The Campaign

In attempting to market District 9 to American audiences, Sony Pictures had a difficult task. There were no big stars in the film, save for the producer-attachment of Lord of the Rings trilogy director Peter Jackson. Though the Sci-Fi element and the aliens that come with the genre intrigue people, the extraterrestrials in the film were grotesque-looking, labeled as “prawns” throughout the movie. District 9 was not based on a series of novels by a Philip Dick or a H.G. Wells; nor was the film shot and released in 3-D, an element of today’s movie market that contributed to a 10% year-over-year increase in domestic box office receipts, according to the MPAA. So, why did the movie end up grossing, according to Box Office Mojo, $115.6 million domestically? Sure the Oscar®-nominated product itself was a great film, but there had to be some strong marketing that generated buzz for its August 14, 2009 opening weekend. Let me take you through Sony’s campaign.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Schwepped off Your Feet: Selling Tonic Water with a Love Story Gone Viral

Another class assignment, this time for Integrated Marketing Communications. Basically, the class is just Seth's version of account planning without the brevity. Anyway, the title of the post says it all. Check out (under the fold) the beautiful vid and read the brilliant words that follow.

Though the piece I will be referring to for the next few paragraphs is not a US-based advertisement, it does provide for a strong example of the direction in which branded entertainment is going. And how effective it can be. When I think of branded entertainment, I think of the old sponsorship days when the announcer yelled, “‘This Game Show’ brought to you by ‘This Conglomerate’.” Now, branded entertainment seems to be, “let’s let some really creative people (you know, not us) make something that will go viral (how hard can it be?) and stamp our name on it.” Seems lame, right? Well, in this example, Schweppes (part of Coca Cola) tried its best not to seem like the big, evil company making money off of someone else’s art.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Review of Super Bowl Ads 2010

Not even going to give it a fancy title; no links to my stupid jokes/references. Did this for class; felt good (or, at least, not bad) to be reviewing spots again. It is easy to tell which embedded vids go with which reviews. Enjoy.

Although Brett Favre has been known to make a little fun of himself for television commercials (see some recent Sears Blue Crew spots), his futuristic turn in this piece does provide him with some comedic dialogue as well as an unintentional reference to his impending non-decision concerning his return to the recently disheartened Vikings. The semi-coincidence of 2010 become 2020 (a potentially great year for geometricians) in ten years being compared to Hyundai’s ten-year warranty makes for a nice a-ha moment. What’s creative about the piece is that it took some courage to say, “Look, the ‘Brett Favre is old and can’t make decisions’ joke is totally staid, but we can do this well enough and make it relevant enough to entertain the masses.” The MVP trophy hologram was a nice touch too.

I may be a little biased having seen this spot and others like it a couple of months ago but I still love it. It asks the audience to read! Wow. In a time where CGI reigns supreme and a mediocre story can be overcome by amazing visuals (Here’s looking at you, James Cameron.), Google tells a delightful story that compels the audience’s involvement. They didn’t throw a novel up on the screen. They gave you bullet points in the form of the search suggestions that took you through a simple story that could have been trite or sentimental but hit you right in the heart with the final ‘cribs’ search. Amidst the men in underwear, pseudo-controversies, and year(s)-old Internet viral references, Google demonstrated a much classier form of familiarity.

The above spots are really the only ones I actually liked. But this spot from the normally over-juvenile Bud Light comes across as dumb in a smart way with jokes that make sense in context. With punchlines from “environmentally responsible” to “there’s Bud Light in the fridge made of Bud Light” to the showering girlfriend in the “window,” it’s slightly less juvenile than the Bud Light spots we’re used to. It also created a unique setting; you wouldn’t be surprised if you saw the Bud Light house in future spots. Lastly, the spot has energy, an attribute that recent Bud Light spots, advertising in general, and the Colts in the fourth quarter lacked.

Looking at the rankings of these 2010 Super Bowl ads, this one is ranking near the top in every one. I don’t understand the hype but I do believe that there is a smart enough message coupled with a nice performance from an elderly stateswoman. And despite the obligatory tackle-crunch sounds that are louder than the sounds in the actual game, the spot doesn’t go overboard in the way that all post-Janet Super Bowl spots (and all comedy movies for that matter) have gone overboard. It keeps it light enough so that you are waiting for the switch that happens once the Betty-man takes a bite of the candy. The crunch-tackle of Abe Vigoda’s ghost was a little much but the spot managed to maintain a light-ish tone that separated it from the rest of the pack.

I actually don’t really like this one that much. I was once during the E*TRADE “Baby Girlfriend,” Denny’s “Chicken Warning,” and Volkswagen’s “Punch Dub” spots (below). But this piece had an element that none of the other Super Bowl spots had: post-Bowl viral potential. And as simple as a concept as that is, NONE of the other advertisers reached the conclusion that the most sexually enthralling woman on the planet in the bathtub in a commercial would bring massive online video searches. Maybe it was because Fox couldn’t bring big box office success with Jennifer’s Body, but for thirty seconds I think she can get the job done. Considering that this year’s slew of Bowl spots didn’t quite knock it out of the park, a piece that makes it to online afterlife seems remarkable. And at least a little creative.

Best Evarrr!!!!!: PSA Edition

Via Adrants, and as Steve says, one of the most beautiful commercials ever. Watch it:

If that doesn't just smack you in the face with its combination of loveliness/family-heartfelt-ness, you do not have a soul. This spot should feel totally sentimental, contrived, shallow, and time-consuming. Instead, it delivers with superb visuals, great acting, gorgeous cinematography, and, most importantly, a message worth remembering. I may never unbuckle a friend's belt while riding shotgun ever again. Oh, and this is the best PSA ever. If I'm wrong, let me know.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Seriously, That's Not Cool: NBC's the Office Edition

During the summer, I posted this vid (which is nearing 32 million views) featuring dancing and made this post on Chris Brown's temporary benefit from the video's popularity. Now it looks like The Office featuring Steve Carell and bunch of other unfunny people (well, Wilson and Helms are okay) has tried to steal the Kheinz's thunder with their version of the wedding dance below.

Okay, The Office people; seriously, that's not cool. You are getting a bunch of promo for your new season from people who are real and more creative. It's okay to do parody and it's okay to do homage. But straight rip-offs are not cool.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Really Important News: Lie Detector Edition

Don't laugh. This is seriously important news. In fact it's so important that it's my first post since college started. Via AdFreak, I have learned that Tony Stewart, also a member of the Old Spice team, will be taking a lie detector test on October 20th that will finally and forever prove that he is a Whopper lover. The site is just a goofy page though you are able to submit questions at the end of the month. Now, we all know that polygraphs are Bullshit! but this still should be intriguing because it will be broadcast Starbury style. The new spot below shows Tony trying to help Erik Estrada and Carrot Top with endorsement deals.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Meaningful Announcements: Start Of Senior Year Edition

So, maybe I'm making excuses; maybe I'm getting lazy; and maybe I'm not performing up to the standards to which I should accustom myself. But, you know what? It's senior year (classes begin tomorrow) and, despite my skepticism and rebelliousness, I do attend class, work part time, and engage in a couple of social functions. So I'm probably not going to be posting unless I find something really worth reviewing. At this point, I'm going for quality over quantity (no more of these ones with the pussy magnet); I'll probably also be working on other blogging skills like posting links and using multiple authors. For today, I'll leave you with a bunch of Durex print and outdoor ads (this tv spot was big a few weeks ago) that could have been another lazy Who's Doing Better installment. Here's a good one:

At this point, there's nothing more to say other than what Ferris said on that fateful day:

"You killed the car."

Saturday, August 29, 2009

What The Hell Do Pizza, Brownies, And Dog-Eating Have To Do With Each Other?

Well, it all adds up to a bit of racism and a lot of publicity notice for New Zealands' Hell Pizza. The operation has been responsible for many instances of controversial marketing like those described in the original article and this anti-Bush billboard. The company seems to be willing to piss anybody off to get some widespread promo so I'm not sure why this piece that pokes fun at the culinary practices of some Tongans (I initially thought it was a Filipino thing but I guess there aren't any in NZ) has people up in arms. The statement reads, "at least our brownie won't eat your pet dog." It's one of the silliest pieces of copywriting I've ever seen; it just seems like another goofy statement referencing cultural differences.

Giving this piece credit for bringing on the hate is like believing that Bill Donahue speaks for all Catholics. You are giving it too much credit when it is only a dumb idea with lazy execution. However, I will give it a 'good' rating because of all the attention its getting. I guess by that method Paris is a dope celebrity.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Is Cannibalism Part Of This Good Breakfast?

Yes, and it's cute and it sells Cinnamon Toast Crunch boxes. Though I'm more of a Frosted Flakes and Apple Jacks kind of cat (both are drug references by the way), I have to say that this piece called "Pieces-Gone" and campaign, which has been going on for a while, from the General Mills' brand and McCann Erickson are strong in cuteness and message; I'm not a big fan of the old spots that lied to kids in a different way. The ingredients for the cereal are as follows: cinnamon, sugar, and crunch. The sugar sparkles, the cinnamon-laced toast crumbles, and the breakfast looks good enough to cause bad health.

My six-year-old niece approved of this spot just seconds ago, certifiably pushing it from 'good' to 'dope.' You have to wonder, though, if this could increase instances of accidental cannibalism by stoners; nothing worse than biting off the hand that holds the joint.

Really Important News: Coronary Disruptor Edition

Every now and then, products come out that are either certifiably despotic or hilariously inappropriate. And some just set you back a couple of decades as does this new "sandwich" (called the Double Down) from the always health-conscious KFC. It consists of two slices of bacon, melted swiss and pepper Jack cheeses, and the secret “Colonel’s sauce” sandwiched between two fried chicken fillets; see a spot here. It's not quite 'The Luther,' but it's damn close.

Though people have bitched about this kind of thing, I've got to admire KFC for being so bold though it's not nearly as cool as when I heard about this (I pray it's still happening).

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Is Brett Favre Ever Going To Make Up His Mind?

Well, he did for a small decision, but he just can't seem to find the right HD television. In this new spot for Sears and its Blue Electronics Crew, the ancient quarterback just can't decide which TV he wants. A store employee mentions that there are "some guys out there who agonize about making decisions" and Father Time replies, "those guys drive me crazy." The portion ends with Favre still unsure (sequel?) and a couple of the product attributes that differentiate Sears from Best Buy or Walmart (you know, where you are more likely to shop). Despite all of that, the spot is presented in good fun with Favre taking soft shots at himself and Sears touting their strengths in the electronics department.

The piece ran during preseason games this past weekend. The Vikings better hope that Favre is careful and doesn't get a concussion opening the box. (See 5:25 to find out where I stole that joke from.)
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