Product Placement on Stamps
"The Adidas management must have been very pleased when they saw the new sheet of Dutch reduced-fare stamps. Stamp no. 20 features a little boy on a sleigh wearing shoes with the famous Adidas logo: three vertical, slanting stripes."
--Stamps in Europe
More about advertising on stamps in Advertising Lab
Wal-Mart Love Poem
A reader sent Ad Rants
this Wal-Mart love poem:
Hurry, Hurry .....Dont delay,
rush to Walmart buy today.
Have a baby? Need a crib?
They have blue to match the bib.
Change the oil in the Car.
Dont forget the roofing tar.
Take the battery for exchange,
buy that handy outdoor range.
Give the gift that lasts forever!
Diamond rings, aren't they clever?
Milk, Bread and for a treat,
sample turkey deli meat.
> read the rest of the poem
Parents Fight Cereal Cross-Promos
"A crackdown on the use of children's cartoon characters to market food products is needed, says a watchdog. A survey by Which? found 77% of 2,000 people believed using characters like Shrek and Scooby Doo on packs made it hard for parents to say no to children.
Among the culprits named by the report was Nestlé's Golden Nuggets carrying a picture of Disney's Incredibles, which contains an extremely high amount of sugar."
Repackaging "Smarties" Seems Dumb to Brits
Nestle, the maker of Smarties has announced it is to ditch the colourful chocolates' tube-shaped packet in favor of a six-sided pack. Smarties have been sold in a cylinder-shaped packet since the sweets were first launched by Rowntree's of York in 1937.
The Brits are not amused. "I've always loved to pop the plastic lid and see how far it goes! They always have to ruin somebody's fun. Shame on them!" writes one.
Power of Celebrity Endorsements On Decline
yesterday ran an article on the decline of power of celebrity endorsement
as the airwaves (and minds) grow oversaturated:
"It used to be so simple: a superstar allowed their gorgeous face to be put on a product and the world said, "That's nice, I'll buy one."
But not any more. We have had enough. The automatic association between a famous face and a successful product is over. Shoppers are bored with endorsement and actually finding fame a turn-off when it comes to buying a fish slice or a pair of jeans. "
Mattel To Equip Barbie with Nokia Phone
"Mattel will soon start selling cell phones alongside the Barbie My Scene toy line. The new Barbie-brand phones aren't toys at all, but real phones. Mattel expects them to appeal to 8- to 14-year-old girls and will offer them in all stores that carry Barbies. Mattel and Single Touch are offering the Nokia 3587i phone, which features a full-color screen and voice dialing. It also lights up when a call comes in. It's just the latest digital entertainment move by Mattel. On Feb. 17, at the American International Toy Fair in New York City, it unveiled a slew of gadgets, including a handheld entertainment system that allows kids to create their own minimovies out of video clips."
--Business Week via BrandNoise
The Flip Side of DIY Ads
Besides the silver lining, each cloud also has its dark side. While many marketers are excited about the rise of home-brewed ads
produced by "friends of brands" - product consumers "loyal beyond reason" - others are facing the question of what to do with brand subversion. A couple of weeks ago, Volkwagen had to distance itself from a suicide bomber video
circulating on the web. It was Abercrombie & Fitch's turn today to issue a denial
, when numerous blogs reported on a series of Nazi-themed posters
noticed in San Francisco.
The Life of Miss McDonald
Last week on AdRants
, we read about a LiveJournal of a girl from the Philippines who dresses in Ronald McDonald outfit and posts weekly pictures of herself goind around her daily business. Fascinated crowds flocked to her site
and very soon the bandwidth for the pics got all used up. Today, some of the pictures were back.
Barbie Gotta Blog
These days even Barbie writes her own blog
. To be sure, it's more of a navel-gazing than punditry variety, with entries like:
"We have a fab room and a canopy band! We're close to the beach! And we are bringing our pets!" Of someone of her age
, one would expect more depth, perhaps, but let's not be too demanding.
Busted: Hollywood Stars In Japanese Ads
is a huge collection featuring Hollywood stars who do commercials in Japan - like Bill Murray's character in "Lost in Translation" - "thinking visibility there won't over expose them here" (AdRants
). As Russel Crow said in a recent GQ interview, "And on one level, people go: 'Well, more fault to you, mate, because there's free money to be handed out."
Pictured above: Kevin Costner in a coffee commercial
found some behind-the-scenes details and pics
on the Dtuch nun-operated Streetvertising initiative
(reported last fall by the Guardian
) that gives homeless people warm jackets and lets businesses advertise on homeless people.
Fleet Center's Naming Rights on eBay
Delaware North Companies, owner and operator of Boston's FleetCenter, is selling naming rights for the building on eBay
. The winning bidders will get to name the building for one day (five different days are up for grabs). The entire package includes:
- 'YourCenter' exposure on in-arena Jumbotron and LED 360o
- Front-page exposure on arena website (www.fleetcenter.com), one of the most highly trafficked entertainment sites in New England. 'YourCenter' will be online for 24-hours beginning at 9:00 a.m. EST of your day.
- 'YourCenter' announced on the FleetCenter's phone line & on-hold script.
- A press release distributed to local and national media announcing your naming rights agreement.
- A framed photo collage commemorating 'YourCenter,' including a ticket issued from your Box Office and an official certificate will be shipped to you at a later date.
- Plus a special surprise gift package.
Fan Sites for Ad Stars to Drive Brand Message?
"Your eyes, that smile, they way you unscrew that bottle of Pepsi... you're so hot. I love you. Please marry me. I'll buy you all the Pepsi in the world. And maybe an iPod too."
Another blog set up by a fan of a TV ad star
, a girl from the iTunes commercial shown during the SuperBowl. A similar site was set up late last year by a fan of the Blonde Old Navy Girl
. Can it be that this blog is a fake, though? Fake or not, it stays firmly on the message:
"I used to like Coke more than Pepsi. Until i found out she
drank Pepsi. I love Pepsi now. Because Pepsi Girl drinks it.
(thanks to AdRants
Product Displacement: Don't Pay - Don't Play
"Product placement gurus and network and production executives have been facing the question of what to do about items and logos that have not paid to participate--whether to block them out or ignore them, thereby giving a product free advertising.
Currently, some are talking about using the services of companies like Princeton Video Image--a Lawrenceville, N.J. production house that often digitally inserts advertising into live sports events--to do the same for reality shows. The company has recently been hired to digitally insert products into old episodes of "Friends," which is enjoying high ratings in syndication."
New Advertising Format: Mini Series
"Nissan, together with TBWA have developed a 24-minute ad. This film is going to be broken up into 24 one-minute segments and shown as ads on programs like Fox's 24. Can you imagine if there were options for everything from 5 second to 5 minute commercials in prime-time and everything in-between? It would make advertising viewing a lot more interesting and perhaps stop people reaching for their fast forward buttons on their PVRs."
Rise of Amateur Ads
"Never mind those $4 million-per-minute Super Bowl commercials honed by ad agency all-stars and approved by corporate chiefs. In an industry built around buzz, the ads humming loudest today are often unauthorized.
"The marketing community for many years has built its business model on control," says Steve Rubel, a vice president at New York public-relations firm CooperKatz who also writes a blog called micropersuasion.com. "[But] it's very hard to control the message these days."
"There is a clash between the emerging networked culture and the industrial mass culture that we've lived with for the past several decades," says David Bollier, author of a new book, "Brand Name Bullies," and cofounder of Public Knowledge, an advocacy group that represents the public's stake in copyright, technology, and Internet issues.
Mr. Bollier sees a changing social context for ads, one that offers a greater role for consumers "rather than one-way blasts of marketing muscle."
--Christian Science Monitor
Consumer-Created Video Ads Boost Converse Sales (AdAge, free reg. required)
McDonald's Culture Shock
Apparently, McDonald's didn't realize something everyone else did, namely that the "I'd hit it" slogan adorning a banner ad means "I fancy it sexually" in the language of its target audience, and that the slogan sounds somewhat strange in the context of hamburger advertising. Not surprisingly (and in the case of McDonald's, inevitably), parodies followed.
The spoof ads courtesy of i-mockery.com
. More here
Notion of Foreigness in Product Naming
for a UPenn class in language and popular culture that discusses the use of foreign languages by marketers to create an image of unique foreigness.
Quote: "Probably the most important product-naming strategy is foreign branding
, a concept from advertising, meaning the technique of giving a product a 'foreign' name or brand in order to increase its desirability or 'perceived value'. (Some of the researchers refer to this kind of symbolic, abstract value as hedonic (think "hedonism") because consumers seem to think it gives them some kind of pleasure or satisfaction which they value (and are therefore willing to pay more for), even if the actual quality of the product is the same as another one, e.g. a domestic one.)"
Friends of Brands
Nowhere as big as iPod's, 3M Post-it notes too have a fan club
. Some other brands with very vocal consumer friends are:
Disney Comics as Gum Wrappers
There was a happy time when my only encounters with capitalism and comics (used interchangeably) were these bubble gum wrappers featuring Disney characters. I still keep my collection in between pages of the Communist Manifesto, and recently I came across a gallery of scans
(site in Russian) that rekindled the warm memories. The Donald gum was made by a Dutch company called Maple Leaf
and was perhaps the first to be imported in the Union around 1985. Also warmly remembered are Turkish-speaking Spiderman
, a Turkish gum wrapper hero born in 1974.
A gum-wrapper comics collection (mainly Bazooka Joe)
The Candy Wrapper Museum
Report: Brands in Songs
"In the two years from January 2003 to December 2004 Agenda Inc. tracked all the mentions of brands in the lyrics of the Billboard Top 20 singles chart.
While American Brandstand never claimed to be a scientific measurement of brands, it has emerged as a strong barometer of the role of brands among an influential group of aspirational consumers. The brands that emerge as winners are those that are relevant in a crucial taste-shaping area." --Agenda Inc
The 2004 report is in.
(Thanks to cute history
The eBay ad bidding bonanza continues to evolve in new directions after SnoreStop placed a winning bid
of $37,375 on the offer to brand a forehead. You can now brand a pregnant womb
(from the outside, that is) or a surfer's butt crack
, or sponsor a Florida wedding with 300 guests in attendance. Just think of all the opportunities for product placement, not to mention a bride-sponsor dance. As the said ad-savvy bride put it in her post, "If 300 people attend a wedding that has banners and hand outs or free samples they are going to think it's the craziest thing they have ever seen. Then they will tell everyone that they know about the crazy wedding they went too." At $500 (the starting bid), this has a higher cost-per-click than many Google words. You get an invitation to the event, too. Go bid.
Human Bodies As Billboards