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Coke Breaks Up with American Idol

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In a sign of the times and shifting pop culture influences, Coca-Cola is the latest big brand to end its sponsorship of the formerly formidable Fox giant American Idol.

Today Variety reports that Coke explained its decision to drop Idol after more than a decade:

“After 13 years, we feel it is the right time for the Coca-Cola brand to venture into new spaces and pursue other opportunities to connect with teens and leverage music as a passion point.”

Ad spending on the show has dropped nearly 50 percent over the past three years, with AT&T and Ford also stepping away from the show in order to reshape a relationship with the network that “goes much deeper than any individual program,” in the words of a Ford rep.

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Mediabistro Course

Mediabistro Job Fair

Mediabistro Job FairLand your next big gig! Join us on January 27 at the Altman Building in New York City for an incredible opportunity to meet with hiring managers from the top New York media companies, network with other professionals and industry leaders, and land your next job. Register now!

Facebook Hired a Team to Remind the World That It Is Run by Humans

Poke-App

Poke it to see if it has a pulse

W0rds can be slippery things.

For years, observers have theorized that leading “social network” Facebook actually makes us more antisocial. There are studies about it, Infographics discuss it. Even a short film was made about it.

And now, there’s this: Facebook would like to inform users they care, so they hired a team just to confirm it.

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Mark Zuckerberg Hates Ello, Apple, And Other Things We Already Knew

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Photo Credit: Where else? Facebook because Zuck said so.

Two people you will probably never see at a holiday dinner exchanging gifts and pleasantries would be Facebook grand poobah Mark Zuckerberg and Apple CEO Tim Cook.

One heads up the world’s most innovative company and other leads the world’s stalkers all under one cybernetic roof. We bring that up because Time magazine released a lengthy article about ‘Facebook’s World Plan‘ that discusses Zuckerberg’s global domination to get “every single human being online.”

Yeah, that, and he would like to monetize each one of them, according to Cook…and that’s where the food fight begins.  Read more

How PR Tried to Take Away ‘Black Friday’

you have to fight So here I am, wrapped in my Santa Snuggie with a Turkey hat, going in and out of a gravy-induced coma while beset by media coverage of “Black Friday.”

The mayhem. The carnage. The humanity.

I thought this day of delirium had to do with getting stores “in the black,” but then I stumbled upon a Big Friday fact that I didn’t know:

PR tried to kill it…or at least spruce up its reputation a bit.

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Budweiser Isn’t Putting Its Clydesdales Down After All

Yes, the news that broke this week was that bad — Budweiser, amid efforts to trim its ad budget, would no longer feature the famed Clydesdale horses in its campaigns.

The Wall Street Journal reported that “the self-proclaimed King of Beers is more of an afterthought among young consumers (at) bars across the U.S.: Some 44% of 21- to 27-year-old drinkers today have never tried Budweiser, according to the brand’s parent company, Anheuser-Busch.”

For that reason, the beer boss of the NFL playoffs decided to put the horses back in the stable causing…well, you heard it, “mass hysteria.”

And then, conveniently, Anheuser-Busch put the kibosh on all that.

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Kraft Foods Sides with PR: ‘It’s Not You, Ad Agencies. It’s Us.’

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Late last week, Kraft Foods announced it was parting ways with many of its advertising agencies. Seven of its 11 ad agencies were unceremoniously shown the door.

The company believes having that many chefs in the kitchen can be bad for cooking. That many agencies playing the game of ‘Telephone’ proves the theory of lost in translation. So, Kraft Foods decided to greatly reduce the white noise. The move to go less with advertising is an effort to align its brands “more strategically with the particular strengths of agencies on our roster.”

Here’s the thing: the company is keeping all 12 of its PR firms on retainer. Strategery!!

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DYK: Al-Qaeda Terrorist Architect Was a Pitchman for Hair Removal Ad

turkish cosmetics al qaeda

Distant cousin to Winnie the Pooh?

That Chewbacca look-alike in the advertisement above is Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the man dubbed as the “9/11 Mastermind.”

While he will forever be known as one of the worst human beings ever because of the devastation he brought to our native soil, in the country of Turkey, he’s known as something else: Spokesperson.

The ad is for Epila Hair Removal. The call-to-action headline in Turkish means “Waiting won’t get rid of that hair.” The tool is that guy.

(It’s Veterans Day, so let’s have a round of applause that he’s currently in custody. Just putting that out there.)

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Shy Bladder Group Protests Rob Lowe’s DirecTV Ad

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The problem with making stellar advertising and writing thought-provoking copy to close a deal is that you have to think of everything. And we mean everything. 

Just ask advertising agency Grey New York about that (and shout out to our sister site AgencySpy for the knowledge).

A couple of months ago, the think tank at Grey NY got together with DirecTV and said, “We have an idea that will sell more satellite subscriptions…and it involves Rob Lowe.”

For the most part, the ads work. They get your attention. They make you talk. They even make you cringe a bit. The company, however, has encountered some backlash stemming from a scene where “painfully awkward me” can’t pee in front of people.

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Can ‘Weird Al’ Save Radio Shack? Can Tim and Eric Save Pizza Rolls?

DISCLAIMER: We still have a huge soft spot for “Weird Al” Yankovic. We lost track of him in the 90s, but your editor is not in any way ashamed to admit that he still knows ALL the words to “Fat” and “Eat It” (and most of “Dare to Be Stupid”). “Word Crimes” was the best thing we’ve seen/heard from him in years.

That said, the question posed by Radio Shack‘s choice of Yankovic as its new spokesman is, “How can a fading brand reassert its own relevance?”

Here’s the new ad, created by our friends at Austin agency GSD&M, that launched this morning:

It’s funny, but the ending joke illustrates the problem: when you think of Radio Shack, what do you think of beyond batteries? Cords? Earbuds? iPhone cases?

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STUDY: Got Milk? You Might Need Life Insurance, Too

yoda got milkRemember the campaign “Got Milk?”

It was greatness. It was a hall-of-famer. It was a catalyst for a milk-drinking and bovine-appreciating renaissance.

Back in June 1993, shoppers who weren’t quite sure what to take with their Lucky Charms got a bit of help via this inventive campaign.

Pity, because — according to a new study performed in Sweden – drinking more than three glasses of milk a day raises the risk of fractures and early death.

What was that about doing a body good?  Read more

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