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December 2009

"What the devil is this?"

It's so rare these days to see great direct marketing copy. So that when you do see it, it stops you in your tracks. Which is why I had to share this print ad that appeared in USA Weekend for Cushman's Honeybell Oranges.  From a headline that grabs you "What the devil is this"  to a sub head that intrigues "Then Ed bit into one and the plot thickened...", this is fantastic craft. 

The plot thickens...

"One evening in 1945, Ed Cushman and his family were waiting for a truckload of grapefruit.  When it finally arrived, there on the back of the truck - with the grapefruit - were 20 bushels of the strangest looking , fiery-orange , bell-shaped oranges anyone had ever seen."  "Ed took one look and said, "What the devil is this?", When everyone had peeled and tried one, the consensus was that these were the sweetest oranges in the world.  "Sweet as honey" someone said.  And Cushman HoneyBells were born." 
this outstanding copy.


Lessons Learned:

1. Tell a great story, create a sense of mythology around the product
2. Create interest and intrigue
3. Include a testimonial
4. Create a sense of urgency and a strong call to action

   12-23-2009 11-44-05 AM

Turn the Tub Around

"Turn the Tub Around" from "I Can't Believe It's Not Butter" is the latest attempt by an advertiser to do something viral.  Viral is probably the right word as to me it is more like a disease.

What passes for a good idea these days is completely confounding.  Just watch this video from "I Can't Believe It's Not Butter" and judge for yourself.  It artfully combines disco, a jingle and a supermarket aisle into something indescribable.  Definitely another candidate for the "what were they thinking" awards.

Now if I could only get this song out of my head.

Funny Commercials?

In an act of desperation, and a latent desire to see what was up with the advertising industry, I watched "America's Funniest Commercials" 2009 edition on TBS.....I shouldn't have.  The advertising industry used to be filled with really smart people.  Brilliant strategists, skilled humorists, great managers.  Now juxtapose this image with the funniest commercial of the year for Hardee's whose claim to fame is the ability to say a-hole.    No offense to the current crop of Ad professionals, but the industry really needs to step up its game, before it is game over.

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Gap Christmas Advertising 2009 - Best of the Season

The GAP logo.Image via Wikipedia

Congratulations to the Gap for putting together a fun, energetic holiday advertising campaign.  The spot featuring the young girls who "love their comfy sweaters" couldn't be more charming, and true to the age targeted.  Kudos to the Gap and the creative team that produced this spot and others that are featured in the campaign.

At a time when advertising from other retailers such as Target abandons the brand in desperation for some sames, the Gap's effort is refreshing.

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Emotiional Advertising - Positive and Negative Emotions

A message needs to be emotionally important in order to be assimilated into the consciousness of the consumer.  There are 7 major positive and negative emotions that can be selected as an envelope for a rational advertising message:

Positive Emotions:

1. Desire
2. Faith
3. Love
4. Sex
5. Enthusiasm
6. Romance
7. Hope

Negative Emotions:

1. Fear
2. Jealousy
3. Hatred
4. Revenge
5. Greed
6. Superstition
7. Anger

Source: Napoleon Hill

Target Advertising is Off Target

Target Springfield, VAImage by j.reed via Flickr

Target advertising as "jumped the shark." What happened?  Target , the leader in the "use television for positioning" and use print for promotion has abandoned their historical position in favor of obtuse, unclear and unlikeable advertising.

In a television spot that promotes thrifty spending, a husband and wife are at odds after she spends money on a new flat screen television, while the budget conscious economically concerned husband looks on is disbelief.  The point I think is "don't worry about it, because great gifts are less expensive at target, so go ahead behind your husband's back and spend away." 

Now why this is better than Target's cool high quality gifts at accessible prices positioning eludes me.  Beyond not even being able to understand the point of their new campaign, it is made even worse by its inconsistency with Target's historical brand positioning.

I get that the marketing and advertising team is under pressure to perform and generate sales.  I also get that they need to produce advertising that is cool and interesting.  What I don't get is this campaign.

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