Monthly Archives: February 2011

Something Bought

Normally, I don’t like watching ads.  I hate the local commercial where the car dealer’s blond daughter talks about why you should buy a Chevy from her dad. But there are some commercials that I want to watch. Like the Old Spice commercials or the Doritos commercial. Funny thing is though, I never bought an Old Spice product or a bag of Doritos after watching these commercials. First of all, I’m not a man, nor do I shop for a man, so buying an Old Spice deodorant wouldn’t make sense. Seondly, I don’t like Doritos that much. Seeing a commercial doesn’t change my view about the taste. So what does convince me to buy something; what was the last thing I bought something because of an ad?

It was the year 2010 and I don’t remember the month. News of a young man named Antoine Dodson was becoming a popular viral hit. A local news station reported on a young woman being a victim of an attempted rapist whose brother Dodson saved her. Soon after the news broke, a popular youtube channel called “Autotune the News” decided to turn the clip into a song. It became a national hit. Dodson was interviewed by several news stations like NBC and CBS, while the “Bed Intruder” song rose to the top 50 songs on iTunes. Many youtubers were doing spoofs of  Dodson’s first news interview. But some people decided to use his popularity to promote products.

When I saw Dodson’s ad, in the form of a youtube video, for a Sex Offender Tracker App, I was intrigued. The commercial was funny and used revised, comedic lines from Dodson’s news interview. The app had credibility because who else is most notorious for saving girls from sex offenders? I also wanted to buy the app because it would be a funny story to tell my friends. “Hey, guess what I just bought. Yeah, I bought an Antoine Dodson approved sex offender app!” Not to mention the app was only $1.99.


John Gerzema: The post-crisis consumer

Recession weeds out the weak. Consumers are more picky with their money. They don’t want to blindly put their money into something that they don’t fully believe in or find immoral. Companies that suck, might not be around for too long.

In John Gerzema’s video at the TED conference, he talked about how people are saving more than before and how far into debt our country is. But a recession can also mean an opportunity. Society is changing the way they do things. There are now cow-pullings, which is locals getting together to buy local, organic meat in bulk. America is becoming a consumer based society where the consumer is calling the shots.

It is in out of the fire that great things are born, and this recession is certainly brining some heat. Instead of buyer beware, it’s business beware. Customers are shopping smart and selectively. They can choose who they want to support, especially with the help of review websites.

Wexley School for Girls

No, Wexley is not an actual school for girls, but Wexley School for Girls is an ad agency, if you can describe it as that. Wexley is far from traditional. Tired of old generic, billboard ads, a lot of their promotions are guerilla style advertising. And it seems to be working.

One of their campaigns was to promote a lesser known ski resort. Rather than going out and buying out ad space, Wexley decided to hire actors in ski outfits and put snow in a down town area in Texas. Their stunt not only drew attention from pedestrians but it got media coverage as well.

I love their style of advertising. It reminds me of my days in the Fine Arts department where they encouraged rule breaking and taking a risk. My art teachers would often rave about pasting unauthorized artwork on local businesses and bridges.  Illegal but it was spreading the word of art. Wexley is an example of passionate individuals who challenge themselves and the old way of doing things.

Widen & Kennedy & Old Spice

Widen & Kennedy is a small ad agency in Portland, Ore. is bringing some competition. They are highly creative and innovative, and are unconventional. Their clients include Nike, Chrysler, P&G, and more.

Advertising Age recently interviewed the agency and calling Widen & Kennedy the Creative Agency of the Year. The agency has had a lot of successful and controversial ads. One of their most notorious ads involves the Old Spice viral videos, “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like.” Recently, the Old Spice youtube channel hit #1 subscribed channel.  Their video’s are almost at 2 billion views and it’s “body-wash sales are up 50%.”

One thing interesting about the agency is that they try to get rid of the notion of separate departments. They tried to get rid of the “idea of working on one finite ad campaign after another.” Instead of having different groups of people work on the same project at different times, they have one team to work on projects together.

I like how this company functions but I especially love their Old Spice commercials.  I think what they are doing works.  They’re unconventional and they’re getting hired by big clients and they’re not located in New York.

The Social Life of Ford

Ford Motor Company has a thriving social life. Online. This is mainly due to Scott Monty who is the global digital communications chief.  He is on Fast Company‘s Influence Project and  ranks 43. Fast Company recently interviewed him on how he conducts Ford’s advertising.

Monty’s idea of advertising seems to be combining the new medium with the old. He tries to connect with people through social media rather than just tweeting all the time. Monty’s goal is to “humanize Ford.”  His advertising is based on the idea that individuals trust other individuals and not large corporations.

I think what Monty is doing is relevant and successful.  One of the ads he’s done is take videos submitted by regular people showing what they love about their ford.  The ad has gone on TV but also on youtube.  This way, people can always see the commercial even when it’s not on the air.

One of the ads Ford’s done was a commercial on how to survive a zombie attack.  It’s unconventional, not very funny, but creative.  It’s something that will help Ford become part of the viral world.  Monty is improving people’s views of Ford by engaging with them.

The Future of Advertising

Ever since the popularization of the Internet, Advertising has changed drastically. But that doesn’t mean that the people involved in advertising have. There seems to be a great divide between those who have embraced digital advertising, and those who have not. It seems to be a case of the old having a hard time adapting to the new.

Fast Company’s article “The Future of Advertising” relayed how many seasoned advertisers are in fear of losing their job. The article mentioned of a Swedish company called Hyper Islands, known for making creative digital media, opening a New York school. Most of the attendants are  middle aged individuals who have been working in the industry for 10 years.

One part of the article that struck me was in one of their meetings, almost half of the students didn’t know what twitter was. That came as a shock to me. How can an advertiser afford not to know what twitter is? Do they even know that in blogging, there is one space between sentences and not two? Today, society is extremely segmented and traditional advertising isn’t always the answer. What used to work, is no longer effective.

For me, though, this news is rather encouraging.  I don’t have a lot of experience making high-end TV commercials or magazine ads, but I do spend a lot of time on the Internet.  I tweet avidly, facebook, have several tumblr sites, blog, follow youtubers, and more.  I love and adapt to new things.  Change is good, especially technological improvements.  I hope that as I get older, I will be able to keep adapting to change.

Laughter is the Best Medicine

In an effort to regain my health, I have decided to cure myself with humor.  Besides, they say there is no real medicinal cure for the common cold.  And yes, I just youtube’d “people laughing at other people laughing.”