>Articles by " Kate"
Happy Valentines Day everybody! A warm wish goes to all those who are stuck with blowing snow, ice or winter weather. Blizzards should be confined to the Dairy Queen, don’t ya think? Hang in there. That little groundhog says it’s just a few more weeks then spring will spring.
While they battle the ice in NYC, there’s also news from WCBS. Getting the Director title is JOANNA BRAHIM who handled communications and public relations at the flagship. She was Manager. Also VANESSA KENON HUNT has a promotion to talk about. She’s the new Public Affairs Manager. Speaking of public affairs…WCBS anchor lady DANA TYLER is dating musician PHIL COLLINS. Perhaps he can do some kind of really eye-catching PSA, eh? Get some great PR out of it?
I can’t find the info, but it seems I told you that LAURA MASSE has been upped to EVP from Sr. VP of Marketing at the Hallmark Channels, which Wall Street calls Crown Media Holdings. Well, I like the Hallmark monikers better. Laura gets to be bi-coastal, with offices in LA and NYC. She’s got a kicker resume, having worked in marketing at AMC and Discovery. She’s a PROMAX Brand Builder from 04, too. Are you sure I didn’t tell you about her already?
Knoxville-based Scripps Networks, the folks who bring us HGTV and DIY and Food and Fine Living…they promoted PATTY LUMPKIN to Sr. VP of Affiliate Marketing. Patty has been with Scripps for several years, having come over from VP of Marketing at Time Warner Cable in Greensboro, NC. Congrats Patty!
Got a new item to share? Send it along to firstname.lastname@example.org and you’ll be seeing it on this blog and in the Marketing IdeaNet. Can’t wait to hear from you!
Hold this in mind: “Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.” ~ Rumi
A lot of you are reading this while snow is falling outside your window. Or maybe you have an icing event (which for the life of me makes me think of everybody in town putting frosting on a cake). All the while your weather guru is telling everybody not to drive. How about some hot news from the Southwest? Word in from Tucson about promotions. CSD STEVE HARRIS has upped one and added another at his ABC affil desert shop. First, Graphic Designer ROBERT VILLELAS has been promoted to Art Director. Robert is a native Tucsonan who has worked for KGUN for over thirteen years, thus proving that 13 can be a lucky number indeed. Also KELLI SCHNEIDER is singing in the creative choir as the new Promotion Writer/Producer. She also has been around the “Old Pueblo” a few years, having previous worked for KOLD and a short stint a KGUN a few years back directing newscasts.
Yesterday, BRAD MOSES rose from marketing to GMship, and today comes word of another such ascension. JANE WADE, who has marketed such stations as WFLA in Tampa, WLKY in Louisville and WKRN in Nashville, is headed to her first Boss Chair. She’ll be the new GM at ABC affil WISN in Milwaukee, taking the place of FRANK BIANCUZZO. Frank, you might remember, has a background in marketing and promotions and well. Kudos to Gannett in their realization that such great talent is cooking up creative ways to lead.
Nice story on CBS Boston CSD WENDY MCMAHON in TV NEWSDAY. Good read for branding and promo types as it details how she redefined and polished and changed, etc, the station in Beantown.
Blow your socks off editing on that new Sopranos promo that ran on Sunday night. Wow. I would point this out to youngun’s who want to see examples of editing that works. This isn’t ‘flip it, spin it, put it in a box’ for the sake of movement. This is editing that moves the story along and intrigues the viewer. As a fan, I can’t WAIT for Tony & Co to return.
Hold this in mind: “You look good. No, you look better than good. You look like a weatherman.” ~ Hank Hill
It’s February, and I have a nasty, rotten cold. Every February when I don’t live in Florida this happens. Hmmm. Well, the good news is that all I have to suffer with is a silly cold. Not the tons of snow that have fallen in update NY, eh? So unless you see snow outside your second floor window this am, life has gotta be good.
And it just got better for BRAD MOSES. Promo marketing master Moses (and that was, indeed, fun to write – say it out loud a few times in a row) is headed to one of the great historic cities in the country – Savannah. Georgia’s seaside jewel will be his new home, and his new job will be as General Manager of WSAV TV. Brad will move up from Media General’s WFLA in Tampa St. Pete and take the #1 seat at the NBC station for coastal Georgia. He’ll also leave behind his marketing title, which I believe was Director of Marketing. Mr. Moses has worked at WLS in Chicago as well as WTVG in Toledo. Seems like he’s been on a missile-like upward projectile, for sure. Most sincere congrats, Brad. You will love the combination of history and environmental progression that is Savannah.
Starz Media has promoted JONATHAN TAYLOR to VP/Media Relations at their Burbank HQ. Good job. He’ll be getting his directions from TOM SOUTHWICK, who is SVP of CorpComm at the same Starz.
Think about this: “The harvest I reap is measured by the attitudes I cultivate.” ~ Iyanla Vanzant
Hope you aren’t one of those folks who are buried in snow. Sure, 8 feet of snow would keep you inside, allowing you enough time to catch up with Well Dunne! and who’s doing what. But the kind of snow they have in upstate NY is, well, too much. Holy cow. Good luck, kids. I hear the white stuff hasn’t stopped yet. There’s more on the way.
Out in Vegas, where snow usually isn’t an issue, CHARLES MCCARYII is hard at writing and producing at KVBC, the NBC affil. Charles hails from Chicago but has been in LV for 12 years, during which time he climbed the ladder in the biz. From intern at a local radio station to editor at FOX and then on to KVBC. Now, Charles is getting his creative honed under CSD DALE WYMAN. Talk about a great mentor! The Sunbelt Communications station will no doubt be seeing some exciting work. Good to hear!
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios has a new VP of worldwide television marketing. Named to this powerful slot is FAYE WALKER, who had been at The Tennis Channel as head of marketing. Ms. Faye bounced to the tennis slot from being VP of marketing and promotions at GSN, which used to be the Game Show Channel. Well, it actually still IS the Game Show Channel, but they don’t call it that any more. Hey, you know what I mean. Move along.
DC’s STEVE HOUK is a man of many talents. Besides all the marketing creative gems he’s known for at W*USA, he’s also a musician. Yep, the lead singer of a band is called Second Wind. If you’re in the downtown Fairfax Virginia area on Wednesday, Feb 21, stop by the Firehouse Grill after 9 pm and take a listen. Don’t know where the Firehouse Grill is? Easy – it’s across from the old library building on University. And Steve will be the one holding the mic, looking adorable.
Think about this today: “It takes a deep commitment to change and an even deeper commitment to grow.” ~ Ralph Ellison
We’ve got our final group of Super Bowl impressions. And are they ever on target. Of all the spots in the game, I remember the Dalmation on the beer truck and the Toyota pulling and stopping power. Now, on to the group:
LEC COBLE, Director of Marketing for KOLD News 13 Tucson, AZ.
Sierra Mist, funny, memorable and product prominent in all spots.
Career Builder, themes most employees relate too: fleeing seminars, battling for promotion and job evaluations. Set a feeling and their product offered hope.
Fed Ex, Moon Office proved once again “wherever you are FedEx is there”. Music cue up as ship entered made FedEx the hero. Humorous end made it memorable.
HHR Chevy/Men Dancing, favorite among women. Quote from many “A women’s worstnightmare come to life”. Don’t know if it will help sales.
Best movie commercial, Wild Hogs probably fit the audience perfectly (men 40ish) and hit way too close to home (Harley Wide Glide in my garage).
Significant impression, Coke and Frito-Lay. Acknowledged black history month and the significance of the game. Coke did a better job of branding.
Best series, Bud Light: Auction Wedding, Fist Bump, Hitchhikers, and English Class. Memorable, Water Cooler talk, shot of product filling glass was very tempting and made me thirsty.
Best spot to sell their service, Blockbuster cartoon family. Easy to understand, repeated attributes more than once. I know their point of difference over NetFlix.
Best looking spot, Coke play off of Grand Theft Auto video game and sort of touched back to their old “Buy the World a Coke/Peaceful Harmony” spots of years ago.
Favorite, Doritos Car Crash Spot. Memorable. Water Cooler Talk. Product prominent. Know their attributes.
From KELLY DONNELL, Director of Creative Services, WVUE, New Orleans.
“I only saw two talking animal spots this Super Bowl so it was a good year. Here are my top 5 picks and the worst of the day.
1. Emerald Nuts: Any spot that re-launches Robert Goulet’s career and encourages snacking on the job gets my vote. Combing a goblin-like character with a washed up lounge singer made this spot weirdly fascinating. I saw the Google banner ads for Emerald Nuts earlier in the day and was primed to watch their spot.
2. Fed EX / Ground: I liked this spot because it addresses a real marketing problem: the product’s name sounds slow. The spot includes an office full of characters that look or act just like their names. The gags were funny, the message stuck with me, and I suspect this spot was good medicine for the product’s name problem.
3. Toyota Tundra / See Saw & Steel Door: A pick-up truck doing death-defying stunts on giant steel sets in the desert. What makes these spots different from other truck spots? …Danger! and isn’t that more interesting than mullet-rock anthems? I hope they work fire and snakes into their next commercial.
4. Career Builder.com: If your job has become a scene from The Lord of the Flies it’s time to move on. The chaos at the jungle office was a great way to suggest a career gone feral, and I predict this spot will prompt many people to enter the job market. (What a coincidence that you’re checking Graeme’s newsletter today.)
5. Bud Light / Slapping: Why do all men love the three stooges? Because seeing someone slapped is hilarious. Monday morning I drove by a bus stop and saw two schoolboys stage slapping each other. I think they were imitating this commercial, too bad they were too young to drink.
6. Worst Spot of the Day / CBS News with Katie Couric: All that talk about telling what’s right with America is code for News for people who don’t like News. Do we get a spoonful of sugar with every story about Iraq ? Katie Couric doesn’t deserve to be cast as a cheerleader. I’ll keep getting my cynical News from Keith Olbermann.
From PAUL GAULK, Vice president of Marketing for Media General Broadcast Group.
“Overall the Super Bowl spots did not live up to the game on the field, maybe for the first time in many years. There were no great surprises or gee-wiz moments. This might be due to all the attention these spots get these days, but enough analysis… what were my favorites?
“I would have to say that my favorite one that has stayed with me is the Bud Light Hitchhiker ad. It had the best acting and funniest pay off with the hitchhiker with an ax being afraid of a hitchhiker with a chainsaw. That’s brand devotion to pick those two guys up on a dark night.
“The one spot that was just as disturbing as the Snickers commercial but more interesting and not quite as predictable was the Chevy HHR ad. This was the one with the men surrounding the new Chevy HHR on the street including one old man who should not be taking his shirt off. The music (It’s Getting’ Hot in Here) and the directing made this spot pretty fun.
“If you want a spot with real user benefit in it, go back and look at the Toyota Ramp ad. While it’s not too crazy, it shows how Japan is setting its sites on winning the truck buyers of American. They are not doing it with wacky ads or corny songs from John Melencamp. This spot is from a series of ads they have been running targeting the truck buyer. They are focused on what truck buyers want (probably researched based) and how Toyota is delivering. It’s just good marketing from Madison Avenue we all should follow.
“The best spot saw in Movie Theater first goes the Coke Videogame ad. It’s just a great ad, which would have done better with me if I had not seen it before the game. But it just leaves you with such a good feeling, which is the goal of the spot and the campaign.
“The best spot from CBS… no doubt it was the shock of David Letterman and Oprah together!!! It was very memorable and so Letterman. And the worst from CBS!!! Could you believe the boring spot from Katie Couric. We discussed this at work on Monday. It didn’t do anything to help Kate out at all. She is known as the “soft” entertainment reporter from the Today Show. So what do they sell? The CBS Evening News has good news stories from across American. I just can’t wait to tune in for that!!! We expect more from Katie and CBS.
Can’t be thankful enough for the great input on SuperBowl spots. Today, we continue. Yes, we’ll be getting back o the “who got what job, etc”, but not this week. Go pour yourself a cup of coffee and enjoy what your colleagues have to say. PS- tomorrow we get the scoop from Media General’s PAUL GAULKE, KOLD’s LEC COBLE and from down in New Orleans, KELLY DONNELL. Let’s kick off with one of my favorite, most insightful people on the planet:
From DIANA RICHARDSON, Mkt./Promo Survivor of Stations Too Numerous To Mention:
“OK, let’s hear it for the animals, and not the human kind, they were too beastly…I mean, ripping off chest hair for Snickers Candy Bars??? Keep your candy…I’ll vote for beer.
“My #1 Choice…Budweiser’s Faux Dalmatian, yes! I’ll adopt that dog, buy the beer, buy Bud stock! Then get the dog to replace David Spade in “Rules of Engagement”.
“#2 Choice…. Blockbuster’s mouse, rabbit and hamster (I think) hi-jinks…got the biggest laugh of the evening with my focus group (1 guy and 3 women) but then the guy couldn’t remember the product 5 seconds later.
“#3 Choice Taco Bell Taquitos “Talking Lions”…good copy, well done.
“In the people category, tho, applause to those who came up with the idea of the “Letterman/Oprah” spot.
“And for show promotion, the CBS show Promotion machine was a bigger juggernaut than the Colts. What do you suppose the retail dollar value was of all those promotion avails? And how many of the local affils do you suppose opened avails (other than Ids) for their own products? Here in Orlando WKMG had 1- 30” for a news series next week. Do we know CBS is the home of CSI? Survival? Katie Couric? Yes. A kazillion GRPs to beat the message home.
“As to all the testosterone and technology, it’s a blur that doesn’t sell to my gender or demo. And there’s a lot to be said about “Keeping It Simple”…for those of us who long for more Mean Joe Greens and a wide-eyed kid, or a chorus of flower children on a hillside singing a song you could not get out of your head….”I want to teach the world to sing…in perfect harmony….” For that I’d buy Coca Cola or their stock.”
From fair-weather Bears fan DIANE HANNES, VP, Creative Services, WMAQ-TV, Chicago:
“So everybody wants to work in marketing, eh? Well, there’s Super Bowl proof this year that it’s still lucrative. As far as funny spots, Anheuser-Busch sets the gold standard and they didn’t disappoint. My personal favorites were the “Reception,” where the groomsmen were so desperate for a Bud Light that the best man hired an auctioneer to move the ceremony along, and Bud Light “Hitchhiker/Ax man” perfect for the demo, made me laugh out loud. Yes, these were “chick spots” but Bud covered the full demo gamut with their face-slapping, rock throwing entries.
“I liked the Doritos “Crash the Super Bowl” challenge winner too. A beer budget spot worthy of the big time. No announce, bold graphics, targeted message really broke through the clutter and worked well even on mute.
“Sentimental favorites: Black History themed spots from Coke and Frito Lay.
“Best Kept Secret: Dave Letterman and Oprah…further proof why everybody wants to work in marketing!”
DAVID HERSHEY, Director of Creative Services at CBS 11/TXA 21 Dallas-Fort Worth calls his wrap-up: Super Bowl Ads Prove ‘Everything Old is New Again!’
“Modern TV advertising seems to go through different phases with the passing of each Super Bowl. Several years ago, during the dot-com boom, we were bombarded with quirky ‘what the heck was that’ ads for many companies that no longer even exist. Then, came the ‘animals-as-human’ phase for pitching everything from beer to insurance (wouldn’t you love to see the Budweiser Frogs put a hurtin’ on the AFLAC duck?). This year, some of those same techniques found their way into Super Bowl 41. And, I have to admit, I yawned through most of them. However, there were a couple of not-so-new trends that seemed to re-emerge from this year’s crop of super-ads. I like to think of them as ‘old school’ ads. They may not be the most flashy, but they did a really good job of selling their product.
“One ‘old school’ technique to come back this year was the ‘product test.’ Like the old days where those Ginsu knives cut through the tin can, some advertisers this year couldn’t wait to show how their products ‘pass the test.’ Toyota ran a series of ads for their Tundra series truck. The first ad literally showed an extreme testing track for speed and braking. The second ad showed the Tundra hauling 10,000 pounds up a huge inclined ramp, then back down the other side to show effective braking. I noted this ad because it actually made my wife (who could care less about a pick-up truck) say ‘whoa.’ The next product test was actually targeting women. Of all advertisers, Revlon caught my eye when they ran a proof-of product ad featuring Sheryl Crow. The spot showed the pop singer being convinced to use their hair-color product for an entire tour. Of course, her hair looked great the entire time. And, in another ad (which may have only been seen regionally here in Dallas), Lexus decided to drop a car from a plane; while another Lexus had to travel the same distance on land before the airborne reached impact. Of course, it did and we were shown to believe a Lexus is faster than gravity. Good visuals, proving strong points about the product. As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words.
“This was also the year advertisers apparently decided to fire their big-time ad agencies and let average, everyday people generate their creative. Several ads for Doritos were done this way…one of them showing a guy crashing into an airbag of his Doritos. And, an ad for Chevy featured near-naked men washing a new car driven by a group of women. It proclaimed it was a ‘college ad contest winner.’ Even the NFL got into the act. The Gods of Football executed a season-long campaign asking ordinary folks to pitch the concept for their big Super Bowl ad. The winning concept came from a guy in New Hampshire who thought it would be wildly creative to show fans from other non-super bowl teams sadly saying goodbye to their season. One problem; I distinctly remember this being the concept of a series of spots promoting the World Series/post-season on Fox this past year. All in all, the ‘amateur ads’ gave those of us in the ad business renewed optimism. None of them seemed to break through the clutter in the big game. Let’s hope the season-long contest promotion is where the advertisers really reached their potential customers.
“Of course, there were plenty of the ‘Make Me Laugh, Maybe I’ll Remember You’ ad techniques. Bud Light has a patent on this. And, their ads this year were clever as usually, especially the Best Man whom hires and auctioneer to perform the wedding ceremony. Then there was the one that showed how the fist-bump evolves into a face-slap for guys.. And, of course, the couple that picks up an Axe-murderer/hitchhiker because he’s got Bud Light. But, some other ads weren’t as effective using this technique, like the Sierra Mist spots featuring a guy that does a ‘beard comb-over’ and a Karate class. I’m really not sure what they were going for with either, but I’m sure somebody somewhere thought they would be funny. Garmin’s one ad showed an everyday guy turning into a superhero (ala Ultraman) to do battle with a ‘map monster.’ Editors note- Since Ultraman was one of the coolest shows I ever watched as a kid, I’ll have to endorse this ad in a completely biased and unfair manner. However, Careerbuilder’s ‘survive the workweek ads’ were only mildly funny, but at least supported their marketing premise for finding you a new job. These ‘make me laugh’ spots are a sure way to get buzz around the watercooler…and if they sold beer there too, maybe they’d be a success. This ‘make me laugh’ technique can be very effective for creative that’s actually funny and consistent. Those that try for the one-time prat-fall seem to fail miserably.
“Of course, some of the grand-daddy advertisers showed up in force to evoke emotion from us. Budweiser and Coke are world-famous for this (who could forget the cute Polar Bears who drink Coke?). That’s the place I thought Bud’s Dalmatian/dog ad was going. A stray dog eventually realizes he can pass for an adored Dalmatian after he’s splashed with mud. He then takes his place in a parade on the Budweiser fire wagon but then gives the real Dalmatian a CGI-generated wink…as if to say, ‘hey, when you don’t get what you want, cheat!’ For me, it ruined the moment…whatever the moment was supposed to be. Coke also spent the entire night trying to convince us there’s a better slogan than ‘It’s the Real Thing.’ Now, it seems they want us to embrace ‘The Coke Side of Life’ as a slogan. Their ads featured everything from an old man’s last attempts at living an exciting life to a video-game-looking ad telling us to ‘spread the love.’ Both were only mildly effective at making me want to grab a Coke. And, I still think they should just admit ‘it’s the real thing’ should be their permanent slogan, like it or not! These ads were generally well done, but none of them evoked the kind of buzz as in years past.
“One other important note about this year’s crop of spots. There were some pretty big advertisers who were visibly absent at this year’s game (either that, or I completely missed them in my DVR!) Among the no-shows were Apple, Microsoft, AFLAC, McDonald’s and Pepsi (unless you count the fact they sponsored the half-time show featuring Prince). And even super-ad giant Fed-Ex only had one ad that I saw featuring a moon colony trying to send packages back to Earth.
“CBS also ran a lot of promotion for everything from CSI to the Grammy’s. But I thought the most magic moment for them was the simple: 10 spot showing David Letterman in his Colts jersey snuggling up on the couch with Oprah and her Bear’s jersey…purely brilliant.
“Overall, I came away from this year’s game with renewed optimism in our industry.
Amateurs will finally realize what we do isn’t that easy! And, I also took away some solid reminders that will help me become a better ad professional.
“First, it’s easier for viewers to trust the brand that’s not afraid to really show you/or talk directly about their product. Right before the game began, Ford actually showed us every single part of their new Super-duty truck coming together.
“Secondly, viewers tend to be wary of the ad that tries to do everything BUT show you the product (I’m still not sure what the heck godaddy.com will do to make my life better…but I don’t trust them!).
“All in all, it was a mildly entertaining crop of super ads this year. But just like in the good-old-days, the real excitement wasn’t during the commercial breaks in Super Bowl 41, it was on the field!
So this SuperBowl was the #2 most watched. One of the male football fans who watched the game with me kept excitedly saying that the rain made it a real game…that there wasn’t that fake feeling on the field. The elements made it a real sports struggle. Interesting point. He also maintains that NO football should be played in covered stadiums, but that’s not the point of why you’re here. With all that’s been written and aired, encompassing what appears to be all forms of media, I honestly believe that the Promotion folks who have been so generous about their time and professional assessments – those are the real GoTo folks when it comes to creative assessment. So we continue with insightful assessments from all over the country. And we’ve got more coming tomorrow, so you won’t want to miss DAVID HERSHEY from KTVT in DFW and PAUL GAULKE of Media General, among others!
From SULTAN MIRZA, Promotion Producer at CBS5 in San Francisco, CA:
Some might say the ball game is filler to the highly anticipated, star-studded, animal-speaking, humor-charged Super Bowl of commercials. So, who fumbled and who scored big? Thumbs up to the “Bud Light – Hitchhiker” spot. It pulled me in and told a story with a nice comedic payoff. I also loved the highly produced Coke spots, “Love” & “Assembly Line”. Nice graphics and a classy finish. The “Bud Light: Gorillas” and the “Blockbuster: Mouse” commercials were laugh-out-loud funny. And a well-deserved honorable mention to Doritos for a catchy user-generated commercial. Consider this, the “Doritos: Crash the Super Bowl” commercial cost about $12 bucks to make, the cost of four bags of chips. Now that’s food for thought!
From down San Diego way, what was The Studio at Kilby Pond’s owner RONN KILBY’s thoughts on the spots?
“My take on this year’s offerings: Overall, not that stellar. Many were impressive, most were uninspiring. But there were a few that stood out for me.
“The one that wins the “Wish I’d Thought of That” award is the Sprint “Connectile Dysfunction” spot. Perfectly produced parody of the “E.D.” commercials, and it works great for the product. Slick and memorable.
“Coke got me with their Black History Month spot. Clean and simple, With crisp copy, they tastefully marked Black History milestones, ending with a reference to the historic significance of the two black coaches in the day’s game.
“Another Coke ad gets my “Special Effects” and art direction awards – “Happiness Factory” blew me away with technique and style. But when the coke bottle meets the end of it’s incredible journey (tumbling out of the coke machine), I got a bonus grin.
“Best promo goes to Letterman. Dave snuggling with Oprah on the sofa watching the big game was for my money one of the most surreal moments on TV.
“But the “Cutting Through the Clutter” award goes to a spot you probably didn’t see. It was a local spot in a local break, for a San Diego company called Jobing.com (I think they also have an office in Phoenix, so you may have seen it there as well). It started off as all their spots do, an attractive gal addressing the camera. 4 seconds in, it looks like a technical train wreck. Bars, then tape glitches, then the SLATE. I literally went “WOW” as I imagined people getting fired, the “make good” of the year – I mean WOW. Then after about 20 seconds of this, a white screen with type says “Your Career is Important to Us.” (dissolve) “This Commercial is Not.” (dissolve) Jobing.com. You can see it here: http://www.box.net/public/static/zqaj9eaxoc.wmv “
Meanwhile, in DC which is a city known for taking their football, and media, very seriously, we get this great report from STEVE HOUK, Director of Marketing at W*USA, a CBS affil who ran the game.
“Overall a pretty lackluster batch of spots this year in my opinion, but perhaps that makes the really good ones stand out even more.
1. Snickers spot with the two guys “kissing”…very funny and memorable, plus you remember what it’s for (the key) considering that’s why they kissed! Unforgettable. My chest hair hurt after watching it.
2. Loved the K-Fed Nationwide spot! If he didn’t poke fun at himself it would have been a bust, but very funny payoff by virtue of his self-deprecation.
3. Sierra Mist’s Beard Comb Over Man: I still can’t get that guy out of my head with his hair, short shorts and roller skates. Their Judo spot was not funny to me.
4. The consumer-submitted Doritos spots were very good. I especially loved the Checkout Lady one, excellent casting, and you remember what it’s for with her crunching on chips throughout. The Driving one was well done too.
5. Chevrolet Car Wash: a freshman in college submitted it and hit a home run.
6. Budweiser Fire Dog: Very cute. Well produced and again, memorable. Animals always sell the product if the spot’s conceived well. I want that dog!!
7. Bud Light: Did not like the Rock Paper Scissors or the Slapping one, but the Hitchhiker was very funny. “He’s got an ax!”
8. Letterman/Oprah tease was fantastic: unexpected and full of their “history.”
9. Goulet and Emerald Nuts? Staying with their bizarre themes; I loved him on the ceiling at the end. Can’t go wrong with Goulet and his “weirdness.”
10. Careerbuilder.com’s Jungle Office spots: I bet they spent a ton of money on those and they were a bit much. Pretty extravagantly done, but again, kind of exhausting.
11. We produced a very funny, campy spot for our main news talent that was a take off of the old NFL Films stuff that aired right after the 2nd quarter that I thought cut through the mix, although it was preceded by a minute of CBS promos which I didn’t know about, and I was dying at home waiting for it! You can see it on our website: www.wusa9.com
From DALE WYMAN, Director, Creative Services & Production at KVBC in Las Vegas: “I’m always preaching to my promotions peeps to “don’t lose the message in the production!” Apparently, national advertisers have NOT attended the Dale Wyman School of advertising etiquette. Too much production and not enough sell. Overall, I have to say I was disappointed. I probably was expecting too much.
Okay, off my soapbox.
Here are my top spots…
1. Bud Light hit the mark with (in order) “Reception (The Auctioneer),” “Rock, Paper, Scissors,” “But He Has Bud Light! (The Axe Man)” “Fist Bump (Face Slap),” “Class Mencia,” and “Great Apes.” All funny – all had viewer benefit.
2. A close second for me was Blockbusters “Plug in the Mouse.” Funny, clever, and a good sell.
3. “Snickers.” Memorable.
Missed the boat, and the sell…
1. “CareerBuilder.com.” Over-produced. Not memorable.
2. “GoDaddy.com.” …Although Marketing can be that fun!
3. “Doritos.” Too many messages. I wasn’t humored. (I have a feeling I’m getting booed on this one.)
4. “Coke.” I expected more.
5. “Budweiser.” The sad little puppy didn’t do it for me (even though one of our producers worked on the editing.)
6. “Orange County Choppers.” (Bet you don’t even remember.)
1. “Sprint – Connectile Dysfunction.”
2. “Fed Ex – Moon Office.”
3. “E*Trade – Bank Robbery.” Caught me off-guard.
With all the news out there this morning, like JEFF ZUCKER thisclose to being named head of NBC, and LEE HUNT sliding into the head seat at PROMAX/BDA, the focus is on those Super Bowl spots that many of us had anticipated. If you’re reading this, you are THE experts on how to create, write, produce and art direct messages that hit a goal and reach a consumer. Have you ever sat down and added up the number of spots you do in a month, a year, your career? You’ll plotz, as they say, it’s so many. Well, with those kinds of notches on your creative belt, you’re the GoTo authority on what spots were worth the $2.6 million in last night’s game. All this week, we’ll be featuring your assessments. Let’s start with the first one, arriving in the InBox moments after the game concluded.
From RUSS NELLIGAN, Creative Services Director of ABC affil WCVB in Boston:
“There were sloppy plays, missteps and more than a few fumbles. Yes sports fans, Super Bowl advertisers put in one of the worst performances in years.
Careerbuilder.com set expectations high by creating a teaser campaign announcing the end of their monkey spots. The monkeys had the last laugh. While Careerbuilder.com vastly upped their production value, they were unable to match the primates for memorable spots and message.
CBS booted big time with some very weak spots for Katie Couric. “We hear a lot about what’s wrong with America,” Katie coos, “Watch this week and we’ll give you good stories.” Great opportunity to move the needle on Katie’s show is completely squandered.
GoDaddy was weak. Sierra Mist was miserable. And can anyone tell me about a company called Garmin? (It was the monster movie genre spot selling GPS… just brutal.)
There were a few bright spots too. Bud Lite turned out a decent crop of spots. “Language Class”, “Slap”, “Auction Wedding” and “Rock vs. Paper” were very nice, but not earth shattering. Doritos spots were okay. Letterman on the couch with Oprah was nearly my favorite and at five seconds, clearly the most efficiently delivered message.
My Super Bowl winning spot comes down to two well-produced, well branded spots: Toyota and E-trade. Toyota made an arresting spot, demonstrating Tundra’s acceleration and stopping power, with an amazing heart-stopping ride on a test track from hell. E-Trade effectively showed what can be done with one finger. “Cheer your team, save Holland, make a trade and tell your broker what you think of him”. In my estimation, Toyota wins the commercial Super Bowl in a squeaker.”
Moving to the West Coast, we hear from CHAD MALLAM, Writer-Producer-Editor for Universal Television in Los Angeles:
“Only a handful of good spots this year. Here’s my favorites…
1) Doritos – Live the flavor.
Definitely my favorite spot…not only was it done for $12.79, but the concept was great for the product. Laughing out loud at this one…
Very funny…another great concept, but I don’t remember what was being sold. Insurance?
3) Blockbuster – total access.
Clever way to sell Blockbuster online, and pretty funny too. But not sure how animated rodents relate to renting movies…the spot made me laugh, but the message was weak.
4) Letterman & Oprah ID
Well played. Great job from the Network.
5) Taco Bell
All I know is there is some new Carne Asada thing at Taco Bell…loved the script on this one. Great sell by the lions, and quite memorable.
And then the bad, downright ugly commercials.
1) Sierra Mist.
All around poorly executed. Too much concept with no relationship to the product.
Not sure why everyone was singing, or what they were singing about…but it didn’t make any sense.
3) Garment GPS
This was hard to watch…a giant evil map? Power ranger style super hero? Thought this was overly produced with gratuitous special effects that didn’t sell the benefit of having this GPS device over any of the others on the market.”
RANDAL GAGE, the Creative Services Director of ABC affil KOCO in Oklahoma City was with friends and sent this:
“At our party the consensus was disappointment – no real breakout spots – but there were a few nice moments. Fed Ex’s Mr. Turkeyneck got big laughs. Dave and Oprah was the best from the network. The NFL’s Hard to Say Good-bye captured the season ending fan pathos of “wait till next year” and had great fun with Brett Favre’s looming retirement.”
More tomorrow, so come on back.
Pop Quiz. Take out your brains. Ready? OK, what city is called “the Queen City of the Ozarks”? If you answered Springfield, MO, then you give yourself a gold star. Springfield is also known as Brad Pitt’s hometown, which has absolutely nothing to do with the news from S-town. DAN McGRANE has taken the job of Marketing Director of the Schurz Communications NBC affil there, KYTV. “It’s colder here than there,” Dan laughed when he said he had come to the Midwest from Boston’s WCVB, where he was an editor producer. CVB is, of course, the Hearst-owned ABC affil in Bean Town. The Midwest isn’t alien territory to Dan – he’s from Lime Springs, Iowa. Gonna have to MapQuest that one. I’ll bet ABC’s WTVD CSD CURTIS MILES knows where that is…he’s an Iowa guy himself. While we’re still in Iowa, Dan has also worked at WHO in Des Moines. Thanks for all the info and congrats!
The Lippin Group is welcoming back LES EISNER. No, I have yet to find out if he’s related to MICHAEL EISNER, the famous “Mousketeer”. Les is going to be in the LA Lippin Group office as Executive Vice President, reporting to owner DICK LIPPIN directly. Les’ background reads like a phone book he’s done so much and he comes over from being VP Media Relations from Twentieth Television.
Groundhog Day today. The wee beastie will either see a shadow or not. My question remains the same, year after year…why don’t guarantee an early spring and ask the groundhog down in Boca Raton about it? Huh?
Super Bowl column…spots spots spots…Monday…be here!
Think about this: “I love movies. At Blockbuster. That smell of candy and carpet. It turns me on.” ~ Christopher Moltisanti
Trying to find out why the blog was not available Feb 1 in the AM. Will let you know.
I’ve waxed poetic about the Land of Enchantment. If you’ve read MARKETING MOVERS you’d remember hearing me tell of their crystal clear air, their breathtaking vistas and art…Oy, the art. Everywhere you look, you see art. You don’t even have to be in a gallery. Albuquerque is the largest city in enchanting New Mexico and we have news from The Duke City, as it is known. Over at the Acme TV stations, KASY and KWBQ, CHRIS ILLER, the new CSD, has been fronting all their creative efforts for a bit. A Californian who was raised in Orlando, Chris has worked in Dayton. Sorry my notes were not good enough to know which station…I was driving while talking with Chris. He came out west from his lovely Orlando where he was involved in their morning show “The Daily Buzz”. He just promoted CHRIS DILLON to the commercial producer slot. Mr. Chris is a local guy who had been in Master Control. Enjoy your locale, guys.
Not that long ago I told you about KENT REES had been tapped as VP Creative Director On-Air at The Independent Film Channel. Well, he must be awfully good, ‘cause he got promoted again. He’s now VP of Marketing at IFC. Way to go!
Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movie Channel has upped PAM SLAY to SVP, network program publicity. She’s been with them for four years as VP Publicity at the Hallmark Channel.
From the What Were They Thinking Department: That bomb hoax in Boston yesterday…the one that shut down bridges, highways and a portion of the Charles River and got the bomb squad suited up and on point. WELL, turns out that they weren’t bombs at all. They were marketing materials – promo items for an upcoming Cartoon Network show. Guerilla marketing firm Interference Inc out of NYC carried out the concept. (here’s a link to a Q&A with their head honcho: http://www.atnewyork.com/news/article.php/808381. The fine folks in Boston were not amused. The Governor was downright pissed. One of the words used in describing how it all went down was ‘livid’. The price tag around half a mil. As of this AM, they’ve arrested two poor schmucks hired to place the boxes. This is the second major misstep that Cartoon has made that I know of and all I can say is What Were They Thinking? Didn’t ANYBODY over there think this might not be a good idea? Maybe they subscribe to the “any publicity is good publicity” school of marketing. I’m sure I will be reporting on a new job at their place very soon, or if I’m not, I should be.
SuperBowl countdown. I have no dog in this year’s fight, but will be hard at work watching those commercials. As will a phalanx of creatives coast to coast who will share their opinions starting Monday at this very blog site. You won’t want to miss it!
Think about this: The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity. ~ Ellen Parr
Down in H-town, aka Houston, as in Texas, my old Art Director and favorite guy DOUGLAS KARABASZ has a new hire to announce. Slipping into the role of Graphic Designer is CHRIS KENNEDY. Yep, he’s a Texan from Corpus Christi. If you haven’t traveled to Corpus, you are indeed missing a beach paradise. Oh, wait…not too many of you now. It would ruin the “out of the way, sandy “ feeling that Corpus is noted for. Sorry I mentioned this travel destination. Back to Chris. He’s come 14 miles to KPRC, the NBC affil owned by Post Newsweek, from Belo’s CBS affil KHOU where he was an Electronic Graphic Operator. He’s been in Houston about 8 years plus, and before that he worked at KBMT in Beaumont. You’d be amazed at how many people know people from Beaumont. It’s kinda like the Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon of cities. We might want to start a new game. Congrats on the new gig, Chris. You’ll love working for DK.
Know about BermanBraun? You will! It’s the newest venture between Gail Berman and Lloyd Braun. Of course you know them. Gail left her President of Paramount Pix job and Lloyd left his Yahoo job..lots of ink and pixels about those exits. Well, they’re teaming up to produce TV Programs, movies and Internet entertainment. They’ve got their eyes on producing plays and video games on down the line, too. The list of shows these two have helped along is amazing: The Sopranos, American Idol, 24, Lost, Malcom in the Middle…it goes on and on. They’re looking for a studio in which to set up their offices, but don’t look for them at ABC or Paramount. More as this develops. How exciting…!!
Think about this: “There is no security on this earth, there is only opportunity.” ~ General Douglas MacArthur
Well, the Super Bowl frenzy is in full gear. What better way to segue to our news from Indianapolis. Yep, home of the Colts, who’ll be taking the field down in Miami against the Bears. That last part was for the non-football types amongst you. Back to Indy, where KURT TOVEY is the new Creative Service Director for FOX affiliate WXIN, owned by Tribune. Kurt is new to the CSD slot, but is a 20-year veteran of the station. Way back when, he began in their production department where he spent 10 years doing commercials. Then, over the next 10 years, he handled production and ops and finally segued to the creative services world. When DICK GOGGIN left, Kurt stepped in and the rest, as they say, is why Well Dunne! does this blog. Yes, Kurt is a huge fan of the Colts and is 100% sure they will take the Super Bowl title. He’s also from Vero Beach, Florida and gets to visit the white sands at least twice a year. Perfect.
Big congrats to former promo guy FRANK BIANCUZZO, who has been GMing the Hearst station up in Milwaukee, WISN, the ABC affil. Frank is headed back to NYC where he’ll be a Sr. VP as well as Group Head of the 26 stations Hearst TV group, sharing the oversight with PHIL STOLZ. Well Dunne!
A great talent has passed. BOB CARROLL, JR died in LA over the weekend. Mr. Carroll might not be a household name, but for those of us who love writing comedy, Mr. Carroll is the tiptop of the pyramid. He was the creator and writer for the I LOVE LUCY Show, which I consider the best ever to grace the small screen. And NO, I won’t be returning any Seinfeld fan email comments about it. Bob and his partner, Madeline Davis (who teaches at UCLA) wrote ALL the shows, with a little assist after year four. It was a goal to meet and talk with him. It would have been great. Luckily, his humor will be with us for a long, long time.
Think about this: “At the height of laughter, the universe is flung into a kaleidoscope of new possibilities.” ~Jean Houston
I’ve been doing waaaay to much tracking ya’ll down, folks. I know: first it was the holidays, then it was that January slump, and now that February ratings thing. I understand. Doesn’t leave a lot of room for hiring and then announcing, but its happening. SO, for those who have made changes from the first of the year, and you know who you are, send your news to my email and we’ll get this column as full as ever. email@example.com will work.
Hey, did you hear about the guy, scientist, up in Durham NC who has come up with a caffeinated donut? Yep, according to what I read, one donut will pack the wake-up punch of two cups of coffee. No word on whether the sprinkles will affect that. Bagels with caffeine are also going to become available. This is bad news for everyone in the TV biz who keeps an eye on his or her scales.
Think about this:” As a child my family’s menu consisted of two choices: take it or leave it.” ~ Buddy Hackett
After a little bit of promoing over at WBTV, CBS affil in Charlotte owned by Liberty Insurance (which means GREAT benefits, eh), DAN CUPAK is now haunting the halls at Belo’s NBC affil WCNC in the same city. Creatively, of course. At one point, he was working in the creative environs of WOWT in Omaha. That’s all I know, so that’s all I can tell ya.
Buena Vista TV (BVTV) has given BARBARA WARREN the boot upward, promoting her to be VP of Publicity. She’s been with the company for quite some time, since 1994 I hear. Some of you might have crossed paths with her when she was focusing on getting good press for REGIS & KELLY. Congrats – love it when great work is recognized.
Watching CSI last night – had a scene wherein a “local Vegas” newscast was shown. Great plot point, but wrong call letters. How come the fine producers of CSI aren’t using KLAS, CBS affil out in the aforementioned LV? Makes a lot of sense to take a VERY highly rated show and help promote their excellent outlet in the city. Just askin’.
Think about this: “In the solitude of your mind are the answers to all your questions about life. You must take the time to ask and listen.” ~ Bawa Mahaiyaddeen
When most folks are sitting in Chicago in February, looking out their windows and seeing the dark, gray, coldness the Second City is famous for in mid-winter, they dream of packing up and heading for some Florida sunshine. The Tampa Bay area is a favorite choice of Midwesterners seeking sun and fun. Well, one such Tampa resident is doing the reverse. PETER GEORGE is heading north from his gig as Promotions Manager at Hearst’s Tampa indie, WMOR – destination Chicago. He’ll arrive just in time for all the Super Bowl fun, which, ironically, will be played in Florida. Peter is a Philly guy who began his career as a photog in State College PA, WTAJ. He then went into promotions at nearby WGAL in Lancaster before heading to WJZ in Baltimore. That’s when he got an offer at Orlando’s WRDQ/WFTV, part of the COX station array. So where is he headed in the Windy City? I was getting there – don’t be so cranky. He’s taken the slot of Promotion Manager at FOX owned WPWR, aka MyTV 50. His last day in Tampa is Friday. Great to hear about this, Peter (one of my all time favorite names, btw) and you MUST check in with your new contact info when you get to your new office. Congrats!
Speaking of Super Bowl, you won’t want to miss the Special “Super Super Bowl” columns that will follow the game: America’s best venue for commercials, and football. I’ve asked a great group of some of the most talented folks in the biz to comment on what spots they love, and even hate, and they’ll be sharing them with ya’ll the days following the game. Stay tuned.
OMG…what is up with coyotes in LA!?! True- the LA TIMES had a story about it. In Hancock Park and near bouts. This is NOT the boonies, for those who aren’t familiar with LA. Word from the Miracle Mile is that it isn’t a coyote at all…it’s just somebody’s collies run wild met up with some diva homeowners. Don’t you just LOVE LA???
Think about this: “I like these cold, gray winter days. Days like these let you savor a bad mood.” ~ Bill Watterson
Anybody see the excellent article in the New York Times yesterday? Called “Tapping The Stuff Dreams Are Made Of”, the story focuses on the two marketing pushes going on for ABC Network’s Oscar telecast. In case you were under a rock on a deserted island, the Oscar noms were announced yesterday. MIKE BENSON, the ABC creative honcho who is also PROMAX chair, was part of the coverage and told about the internally created campaign featuring ELLEN DEGERERIS. TWBA/Chiat/Day, the big agency, is doing the campaign for the Academy. The ABC on-air ideas sound great and I can’t wait to see them!. Check out the story at the NYT online site, after you register. Worth the time, for sure.
Meanwhile, today’s PAGE SIX has RACHAEL RAY’s PR guy as part of a very “Page Six” kinda of story. CHARLIE DOUGIELLO, who’s Director of Publicity for Rachael’s popular show, defends his star from a nasty, alcohol-inspired item. Good news is that everybody will read Charlie’s quotes. Bad news is that PAGE SIX has gotten sleazier and sleazier and we all need to stop reading it.
Deep Focus, the promo marketing company that was behind the HBO SOPRANO’S online work, named CHRISTIAN BORGES as senior director, publicity. Borges was previously at 5W Public Relations, where he spearheaded the Evian Water account. Rats, I don’t know if he’s going to be in their Venice office or the one in NYC. Probably both.
London based Big Fish, the branding marketing folks, named MATT BAXTER to vice president multi-platform marketing. Most recently, Baxter was a supervising producer with MTV News, where he served as the most senior staff member of the MTV News and Documentaries west coast operation.
Think about this: “There is a soul force in the universe, which, if we permit it, will flow through us and produce miraculous results.” ~ Mahatma Gandhi
You all know that High Point, North Carolina is the furniture capital of the world. Of course you do because you read this blog. Well, the FOX affiliate there has some news of its own, and it has nothing to do with furniture. But then I bet you know that as well. JEFF FABRIZIO is back. Yep, the creative writer producer has returned to FOX’s WGHP after a year and a half sojourn at the Time Warner operation in Greensboro, NC, which is just a few miles down the road. Jeff is reporting to brand new CSD TIM TAYLOR, who shares something with his w/p: motorcycles. While Mr. Taylor is a sports bike fan, riding a silver Kawasaki, Mr. Fabrizio is a Harley man. I hear they both ride to work when weather permits, which sadly means that hasn’t been a factor the last few weeks. Thanks guys. Keep in touch!
Wuz up wid dat…snow in Phoenix? On palm trees? How did the Phoenix folks do in that kind of mess? Inquiring minds…
Think about this: “I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” ~ Michael Jordan
Cleveland, home of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, is having a renaissance. I’ve seen it myself. Old warehouses are being reinvented, turning into theatres. Restaurants and coffee houses. And a baseball stadium. All in parts of Cleveland that, at one time, didn’t make the society pages. No wonder CHRIS FOREMAN didn’t want to leave. Mr. Chris is now writing and producing at ABC affil WEWS in the aforementioned C-town. He had been over at the NBC affil before the switch, but now calls the Scripps Howard locale home. I believe he might originally be from Buffalo, but don’t hold me to that. I was in the car, writing down the info at about 65 miles an hour. Do NOT do this at home, kids. And thanks to the talented CSD DAN COYLE for the info. Dan, btw, is still on the lookout for a talented promo person. Give him a ring if you’re interested.
Today is supposed to be the saddest day of the year. Just in case you need an excuse to get that vente latte, with the whipped cream.
If you don’t like hearing me complain, stop now. Somebody, PLEASE explain that creepy, downright disturbing Orville Redenbacher popcorn commercial. You know the one I’m talking about. It stars Orville himself. Only problem is Orville is dead. Gone. No longer living. Kaput. He made his transition on September 19, 1995. Doing the math, Mr. R hasn’t been amongst the living for the last 11+ years. Yes, the man was a fun brand and a cute spokesman. But that was only while he was ALIVE. Using the computer to attempt to make him live again is W-R-O-N-G. It looks bad. What was that ad agency thinking? And no, I am not about to buy a dead guy’s popcorn. Eeewwww.
Think about this: “Look at every path closely and deliberately, then ask yourself this crucial question: ‘Does this path have a heart?’ If it does, then the path is good. If it doesn’t, then it is of no use.” ~ Carlos Castaneda
Gannett’s CBS affil in DC is W*USA and they’re welcoming MANNY ALVAREZ to the fold. He’s come from “across the street” at WJLA where he was Topical Producer. That’s his role at his new station as well. Manny’s done topicals at such places as KGO in SF and KDNL in St. Louis, before they took the news folks and told them to go home. Big thanks to Director of Marketing STEVE HOUK for the info.
Meanwhile, over at WJLA in the slot that was Manny’s comes word that DEBORAH PREITKIS is going to be coming east from San Francisco. She’s been working as a news producer at ABC’s KGO in SF and will be following her boyfriend to the nation’s capital. He’s in government work. Thanks to STAN MELTON, JR for the heads up.
And no…I don’t want to talk about the snow in Malibu. It’s tooooo freaky. But I will tell you, one and all, that Segway scooters are IT! Not the It from E-bay, but the IT from the movie terms long ago, meaning All That And Some. You GOTTA try ‘em. Like floating. Now that I feel like I’ve conquered the way they work (very sly…it’s all in the feet and balance), I’m ready to tackle that huge outlet mall outside Palm Springs! It’s more than I can imagine….Should you not have one handy, give me a buzz and I’ll tell you why they’re a great promotional article for your station, and could even pull extra duty doing news and production. And no, I’m not selling them, but a client of mine is!
Think about this: “The only limits to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today. Let us move forward with strong and active faith.” ~ Franklin D. Roosevelt
Had a nice chat with TIM STANKO yesterday from his office up at KARE. He’s very pleased to have CHAD KNUTSON onboard as a writer producer at the Gannett NBC affil up in the Minneapolis St Paul market. Chad’s a local guy who, after going to college in Chicago, has worked in LA and in Minny TV doing promos. Before he signed on with Tim and his creative circle, Chad was working with Prime Advertising. Glad to hear it.
Think about this: We don’t accomplish anything in this world alone … and whatever happens is the result of the whole tapestry of one’s life and all the weavings of individual threads from one to another that creates something. ~ Sandra Day O’Connor