Misguided Business Metaphors
Richard Conniff at the Smithsonian Magazine
explains why all those business metaphors involving lemmings, weasels, ostriches, lions and 800-pound gorillas are wrong.
"I once worked on a TV documentary about lowland gorillas; on an average day the dramatic episodes consisted of the alpha male passing gas, picking his nose and yawning. Then he did the same things, the other way around. Over and over. This is probably not the image a hard-charging executive wants to present to the public."
Cola Wars: Museum of Beverage Containers and Advertising
From the collection of The Museum of Beverage Containers and Advertising in Tennessee
Russian Agency Streamlines Product Placement in Books
Russian marcom agency Fabula works with some of the country's best-selling pulp-fiction and sci-fi authors on product placement deals. The company's site
(in Russian) provides a publishing calendar for each of some 20 authors on its roster, profiles the books' target audiences, and outlines the range of advertising opportunities, from featuring a product packshot on the cover and using the brand in the book's title to developing entire plots around the product and introducing new brand-related characters.
The agency offers direct in-book advertising on dust cover, wrappers and special bookmarks, as well as inclusion of product samplers and full-page color inserts. The list of books ranges from Byron to Murakami. The agency has worked with such clients as Schwarzkopf and Schering-Plough.
Writers Guild of America
that pushes for limits on product placement has launched a Subservient Donald
website as part of a larger campaign
. The Donald dances, shows off pantyhose he's wearing, and sells paper towels.
Town Changes Name In Exchange for Free Satellite TV
"Back in the 1950s, Hot Springs, N.M., was renamed Truth or Consequences, N.M., after a popular quiz show. During the dot-com boom of 2000, Halfway, Ore., agreed to become Half.com for a year.
This week, Clark, Texas, morphed into DISH in exchange for a decade of free satellite television from the DISH Network for the town's 55 homes. Residents in Santa, Idaho, meanwhile, are weighing the pros and cons of changing to Secretsanta.com, Idaho.
Across the nation, small communities are being courted by large corporations who say renaming a town provides a marketing buzz that can't be bought in television ads. Though some worry about corporate America's increasing influence in local government, many towns seem eager to accept."
-- ABC News
Drawing Logos from Memory
Here's "an attempt
to evaluate the actual power of brands by making Austrian people draw a total of twelve logos (nine international, three typically European) from memory, 25 people per brand."
Blogs Encourage Ad Critique
"In a departure from mainstream media, blogs often encourage readers to critique their advertisements, providing a direct link for comments that are routed to the advertiser. Shawn Gold, VP-sales and marketing at Weblogs Inc., said the feature proves useful to marketers who were debating whether or not to start their own blogs."
-- Ad Age
Focus Groups Under Fire
"Exasperation with focus groups, while not universal, is growing as companies look for better ways to get inside consumers' heads, often assisted by new technology and the Internet. The dissatisfaction and the proliferation of new research approaches has been escalating so rapidly that the ad industry's main trade group has been spurred to conduct the first widespread study of testing methods since the 1950s."
-- Business Week
Not specifically related to Branding Culture, but one of our current graduate students (me, in this case) has a new article on Slate.com
, considering how Apple's decision to sell broadcast content on-demand might change the face of network television.