Browsing the archives for the ads tag.

Hitting the target… Dash Wallets & Atlas Shrugged


It’s worth mentioning… You don’t see creative packaging or promotions that are truly creative these days.  We see a lot of organizations (brands) trying to accomplish this, but few stand out and it’s usually not the little guy.  Of course, which demographic you’re in will likely affect the opinion here.

Controversy about Ayn Rand and objectivism aside, the third installment of Atlas Shrugged is promoting and hitting its target market in big ways.  I’d have to assume their primary target market is college students, with a secondary made up of people like myself that read Rand in college and haven’t gotten her and those seemingly logical ideas out of our heads yet.

Anyway, I’ll be honest and say I’ve only clicked on two ads in Facebook.  Considering how much time I spend on the site for myself and marketing for Pro QC, this is surprising.  Sure, they are usually targeted but it’s not a place where I’m looking to buy products or hear about other people’s stories using those products.  But… I couldn’t resist the Subaru ad sporting the new line of v-neck t-shirts and bright pink keychains.  I clicked, purchased and wear those with pride.  If a company can get me to pay to market for them, that’s a win. The second was the promotion for the latest Atlas Shrugged production.  They were offering to send free post-it notes that said “Who is John Galt?” Again, I clicked fast and within a few days received several mini pads of post-its that look like this:


The real assessment of success will be whether or not people distribute them.  Yes, in fact I did send a pack along to an individual that I continue to engage in debate about this subject.  I also left a few on the tables in the College of Business at USF.  🙂

As a sucker for packaging, I will add that the Kickstarter wallet project we supported finally came to a conclusion today when the actual wallet finally arrived.  While the quality of the product is excellent and met all expectations, the packaging was equally impressive.  It nailed the target market perfectly. Nice job Dash Wallets.

photo (2)

On the back of the envelope, the Dr. Seuss quote was a nice touch:

“Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple.”

From a CSR perspective, the card that came inside the wallet made me feel all warm and fuzzy.  It talks about the wallet being made from one piece of leather to reduce excess material and it even thanks me for supporting their “little wallet company.”

I’ll sound off with one of my favorite Ayn Rand quotes:

The question isn’t who is going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me.” 

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Super Bowl 2012 – Ad props & nots


I always feel a little awkward where Super Bowl ads are concerned.  I believe it was a Mashable article that referred to advertising during the big game as relating to zeitgeist, which kind of has me a little concerned.  I shouldn’t feel like the oddball for disliking personified animals or talking babies.  But, to say that talking monkeys and such is a reflection of our culture kind of worries me.

My personal props this year go out to Chevy, Budweiser and Honda, which would probably really surprise my friends.  Chevy played on some serious PR with the direct attack against Ford.  I also thought that “Stunt Anthem” was pretty cool too. As for Budweiser with the “Eternal Optimism” spot, it made me smile.  I don’t know… it seemed genuine and it’s something we may just need to get out of this learned helplessness rut we’re in. The bleak depictions of industry demise kind of bums me out… Failure of the auto industry to compete effectively in the global market shouldn’t make me feel bad.  It should make them want to get off their butts and actually listen to their markets instead of dictating what consumers want… that only works for Apple.

Oh, I totally dig Honda’s “Matthew’s Day Off” campaign… They couldn’t have tapped into their target market any better, and I’m left wondering how many people younger than me have seen Ferris Bueller’s Day Off?

My personal nots go out to the majority of animal ads and the GoDaddy spots.  I mentioned the animal distain before, but I just think GoDaddy is full of themselves to stick with the same stuff and remain in-house for development.  Their ads are nothing better than amateur, and I’m not even judging based on how much they suck for supporting SOPA (opposed later for obvious reasons).

As for the Volkswagon spots, I thought combining the dieting dog with the Star Wars cantina was a little too fragmented. It just didn’t transition well, and it was too obvious they were trying to keep up the momentum from last year.  It wasn’t terrible, but it failed to meet my expectations.  One prop for that spot would be their choice of car to include (Red Beetle) and the many snapshots of the logo.  People will likely remember whose ad it is this time.  Anyone remember their Fahrvergnügen campaign?

Oh, I’d be amiss if I didn’t mention the Coke ads.  Sure, Pepsi’s wasn’t anything special and it would have been much better without Regis, but I’ll never understand what polar bears have to do with drinking flavored high-fructose corn syrup (which I love so much). Really, what is the link there? I’m a big fan of many of Coke’s other ads, but just not the polar bear ones.

Either way, it’s been real… I still have no clue how to play football, but I can say for certain that the commercials have had me excited for weeks. Still, no competition to “1984” out there yet… Apple is still holding that title and going strong.

PS: Note to Samsung regarding “Thing Called Love”… The millions of people with iPhones are laughing at you.

Check out all of the ads on the AdBlitz YouTube channel.

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Top 10 commercials of all time (US)…


Students often ask me what my favorite commercials are during promotion discussions.  They’re never surprised by the top 2, but I had never really thought about a comprehensive list…. so, I did… and, here they are:

(1) “1984” – Apple

I dare anyone argue that this commercial changed the entire way we market products.

(2) “Think Different” – Apple

Hell yes… “Here’s to the crazy ones” – This commercial sums up everything that makes humanity great!

(3) “Sienna Family” – Toyota (Swagger Wagon)

This campaign figured out how to make driving a minivan not seem so lame.

(4) “I’d Like to Buy the World a Coke” – Coca-Cola

I want to live in a world like this… minus the high-fructose corn syrup.

(5) “Nike Courage” – Nike

I’m not an athlete, but I sure do feel like one after seeing this commercial… They’re giving me a good “feeling” so I don’t have to bothered by something so menial as shoes.

(6) “Cooper & Castle Hills” – Castle Hills Realty

They got me… It blew my mind that this was all marketing.

(7) “Back to the Start” – Chipotle

I can’t help but respect that they really went all out on creativity here and got the power of Willie Nelson’s voice behind a bold move in the right direction where sustainability is concerned.  They took a big risk budgeting this… it certainly doesn’t hit their mainstream market.

(8) “Star Wars Cantina 2010” – Adidas

This is one of the only times I’ve actually thought celebrity associations work… it’s both entertaining and fits well with the overall campaign.

(9) “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like” – Old Spice

This was the first time I ever really noticed such a successful cross-over between social media and external media.  It also did a great job at rebranding.

(10) “ShamWow” – ShamWow

“The Germans always make good stuff….” – Come on, I think this guy could sell anything.

I also reached out to others and asked what some of their favorites are.  A large majority of people referenced Geico and Jack Links Sasquatch campaigns.  I was surprised I didn’t see more references to Coca-Cola commercials, but I think we’re so stuck thinking about panda bears that we’ve forgotten how progressive they were way back when.

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Props to Chipotle & Willie Nelson…


Found this and just thought it was pretty darn cool… Great message, passive promotion… and, come on… Willie Nelson…

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Tata Group is awesome…


The latest View From the Q post included a series of videos from an interview with Dr. J.J. Irani, who was “in the C-Suite of Tata Sons, based in India, as the Managing Director of Tata Steel for nearly a decade, and then on the Board.” Having just watched the video series and then digging around a little about Tata, I’m just so impressed at what a powerhouse of business Tata Group is and how they are such a living example of best corporate practices.  I really am! I had heard of Tata Motors and Tata Global Beverage, of course, but I had no idea how much more there was.

The Tata Group turns out to be “one of India’s oldest, largest and most respected business conglomerates.”  Spread out over seven business sectors, I can’t say I’ve seen many companies so well diversified and positioned. With a history dating back before liberalisation, it’s just impressive to see such an inspired organization.  From all accounts I can see, they actually “walk the walk.”

While I enjoyed all four videos, there were two key points that Dr. Irani communicated with both passion and sincerity.

“Quality of management systems is the DNA of the organization.”

“Corporate social responsibility is not a cost… it is always an investment.”

I think the biggest hesitation in talking to Pro QC prospects regarding the importance of top-down, unified quality efforts, is simply convincing them that it’s an investment and not a cost.  I truly believe that to be true and also reiterate this to my students.

If every organization centered their organizations around these two value propositions, we would eliminate the issues we face today and ensure sustainable prosperity.

Check out all four videos… My favorite was this one:

“Big Q” is where it’s at!

Oh, there’s also a must-see Ad Gallery… 

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