Category Archives: Advertising

Branding Microsoft via Seinfeld’s “show about nothing”

Branding Microsoft via Seinfeld’s “show about nothing”

I can’t figure it out.

I was schooled in three types of advertising: product, corporate identity and direct response. I’ve performed all three as a copywriter for a very diverse set of clients, from IBM and Hewlett-Packard to Accolade Interiors and Conestoga Trading Company.

But there’s something wrong with the latest Microsoft campaign: It doesn’t fit in any accepted category. That’s OK if you’re bold enough and genius enough to know the basics and build upon them with innovative approaches. Continue reading Branding Microsoft via Seinfeld’s “show about nothing”

Is advertising dead? Not the good stuff.

This headline caught my attention the other day: Advertising Is Dead, Long Live Packaging. It was an article from Brandchannel by Ted Mininni.

Advertising dead as a Do Do?But the reason for this blog is to give a different slant on the idea that [tag-tec]advertising[/tag-tec] is dead.

Certainly Ted’s not alone in voicing this trend. Al and Laura Ries wrote a book named The Fall of Advertising & The Rise of PR in 2002. The great interest in “experiential marketing” has gained attention and greater slices of the marketing budget for many companies. And, of course there’s the Internet and the second generation of web marketing, i.e., Social Marketing 2.

Yes, there are nay-sayers galore, and I must admit to being one of them. I deplore advertising for creativity’s sake. I’d say fully a third of the commercials on TV are irrelevant and often incoherent.

The commercials I admire consistently, as a class, are [tag-tec]info-commercials[/tag-tec]. Continue reading Is advertising dead? Not the good stuff.

Corporate identity advertising: mostly biased platitudes?

Beating your corporate identity drumI read a trade article yesterday about a company that was beginning, in their words, “a branding campaign” by sponsoring a supplement in a major newspaper.

It sounded a lot like a campaign type we used to call “Corporate identity advertising”. As an agency rep, we encouraged clients to do corporate identity campaigns. It was good for them and for the agency – we got to place these ads in Fortune, Forbes and Business Week, so we got agency recognition as well as pretty large commissions.

Today, I say every ad a client places is part of a branding campaign. Continue reading Corporate identity advertising: mostly biased platitudes?

E*Trade and Budweiser enhance their brands this Super Bowl

Everybody Loves a BabyAnother Super Bowl has come and gone. And like many a marketing and branding blogger, I have some observations about the commercials.

First, there was too much “creativity” and not enough substance.

I’ll let others try to rationalize or make sense of the special effects and slurred words and innuendos and risqué goings-on. As usual there were the stupid “consumers” trying to steal one another’s attention, girl friend or beers. I just don’t relate to those kind of customers – and I don’t think age has a thing to do with it. Continue reading E*Trade and Budweiser enhance their brands this Super Bowl

Relevancy or Novelty: which is more effective?

IBM small business ad from the mid-1960’sThis headline from PW World’s Business Center caught my eye and made me chuckle.

IBM Targets Small Businesses.

Why? Because over forty years ago I worked on the IBM Data Processing Division account while at Marstellar Advertising.

What goes around comes around.

We were charged with promoting IBM’s then-unique idea of appealing to smaller businesses. Their plan then, as now I suspect, was to capture data processing customers at the very beginning and then grow with them. As the IBM systems helped them grow, the systems themselves would also grow. Continue reading Relevancy or Novelty: which is more effective?

No one sells you branding.

I got a phone call today from a guy wanting to sell me “audio impressions” on web blogs. Only that’s not what he said.

He was told by the medium’s management that five-second audio pronouncements of a slogan was “branding”. He wanted to help me brand my business by selling me ad impressions. Continue reading No one sells you branding.