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Advertising

APOCALYPSE WATCH 2014: Time Begins Selling Ads on Its Cover

Time_ResponsiveIt has been 91 years. More than nine decades that the weekly stalwart of news and current events has come to us with gripping articles, stunning pictures, and the epitome of journalism. Selling its soul was the last thing anyone thought Time magazine was capable of doing.

And then the Internet happened, which changed the landscape of print journalism forever.

To wit, we have the latest sign of the Four Horsemen riding over the horizon bring the judgment with them in their saddlebags. Yes, PR professionals. Time magazine is finally selling advertising spots on its hallowed cover. The horrifying proof is after the jump… Read more

Lunar Advertising: Japanese Company to Launch Can of Soda to the Moon

LUNAR DREAM CAPSULE PROJECT | キミの夢を、月に届けよう。

Japanese soda company Otsuka is about to take “one giant leap” for advertising.

The moon’s surface, once described by Neil Armstrong as “magnificent desolation,” is about to become a bit less desolate thanks to a 2.2-pound titanium capsule filled with “powdered sports drink and children’s dreams,” which the beverage maker, in partnership with Pittsburgh-based aerospace company Astrobiotic Technology, plans to bestow upon our lunar neighbor.

Astrobiotic is currently in competition for the $20-million Google Lunar X prize, which will be awarded to the first company to land a payload on the moon’s surface that can travel at least 1,640 feet and transmit high-definition images back to Earth. To fund such a project and to purchase a spot on a launch vehicle (which, in this case, is the Falcon 9 rocket designed by Elon Musk’s SpaceX), the company needs sponsors, and Otsuka has offered Astrobiotic a hefty half-million in exchange for a can of its Pocari Sweat sports drink acting as a stowaway. Read more

A.1. Steak Sauce ‘Breaks Up’ with Its Brand and Gets a #PRWin

A1 old school

That’s right. Old school! It’s how we roll.

I have shared this with many people in the advertising and PR industries:

“Advertising and PR intersect all the time without either industry knowing it. Ads establish position. PR creates perception.”

We need to work together. You know? Like “We are the World,” only without all that mushy singing and fighting world hunger stuff. That said, when a brand or an agency has figured out how to do both, it’s a golden day.

A.1. Steak Sauce did just that via Facebook of all places, and it was glorious in the world of social media, PR, and whatever the hell they put in that hazy brown elixir of yumminess.

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Purina in Legal Catfight with Blue Buffalo over False Advertising

cats fighting

I Can Haz Your Mama! 

In today’s litigious society, advertising and messaging has to be triple-approved and double-verified before it goes public. Otherwise, your agency will get sued.

As noted on Purina’s website, a press release notes that the Blue Buffalo Company tried to tell America that Purina’s food contain animal by-products, corn and other items that its advertising specifically says the company forbids, as noted in FOX Business.

Understanding this is a pimp-slap attack on reputation, Purina took umbrage with this note and told the nation they were throwing down in federal court. Yes, via press release. Yes, this really happened.

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Diet Coke Never Really Had a Drug Problem

Apparently, Diet Coke was just fake-dabbling in drugs; it never really had a problem.

You may recall that the “You’re On. Diet Coke” campaign attracted a bit of mockery back in March from a bunch of journalists who may or may not have written from personal experience.

We assumed that was the joke, but in the wake of such harsh media criticism Diet Coke seems to have grown both self-conscious and overly confident. They’ve been acting a little nervous and jittery. They want something new, something fresh. Just a little taste.

At any rate, the company decided to turn in-house and develop a new campaign…with a thirty-year-old tagline.

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Publicis/Omnicom Merger Looks Less Likely Than Ever

publicis-omicron

If you were at all concerned about the pending holding company merger and the effects it might have on your business, you can join the principals at WPP in resting a little easier today. Analysts now say the chances of Publicis and Omnicom joining forces to win every account ever are less than even.

Earlier this weekWPP‘s Martin Sorrell gleefully told Reuters–via a little birdie–that the deal was about to fall through. Yesterday, The Wall Street Journal reported that analysts at Albert Fried had lowered the official odds to 40% (the previous number was 66%) while downgrading  the theoretical stock price from $70 to $56.

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Multiple Brand Commercials Come Together to Form Powerful Autism Awareness PSA

In an effort to round out Autism Awareness month with a powerful (yet still brand-centered) message, advertising agency BBDO New York has created three separate commercial spots for clients Band-Aid, Campbell’s Soup and AT&T, which, when viewed together, combine to form a PSA about the difference that early diagnosis can make in the life of a child with autism.

The series of spots, which first aired together during Monday’s CNN’s News Day, opens with a brief message from Autism Speaks, which says, “Learn the early signs of autism today. Because an early diagnosis can make a lifetime of difference.” The viewer then watches a young boy with autism grow up over the course of three fifteen-second, brand-sponsored clips — his mother applies a Band-Aid to his injured knee as a toddler; he takes a hearty bite of Campbell’s soup as a growing boy; he receives a device powered by AT&T as a high school graduate.

The project works well and is quietly powerful because the situations pictured are brief, relatable, and feel exceptionally real — this appears to be an ordinary family living their ordinary lives, but it’s through everyday scenarios that extraordinary progress is made, and extraordinary love is felt; such is the case in all of our lives. Furthermore, the brand integration feels seamless because the common, everyday products pictured are often staples of a child-rearing household, so the brand messages do not disrupt the greater message or feel shoehorned in. Read more

Midlife Crisis? Ronald McDonald Gets Makeover and Joins Twitter

la-fi-mo-ronald-mcdonald-makeover-20140423It seems the 51-year-old Ronald McDonald is having a midlife crisis. He’s getting a makeover and a new wardrobe, and has decided to become tech savvy — all at once.

With all the “McFail” we’ve been covering lately, maybe McDonald’s decided it was time to draw the attention away from the negative news stories, and instead re-focus it on its brand’s beloved mascot. Or maybe the company wanted to reclaim its own spokesman after Taco Bell hijacked the Ronald McDonald name in its most recent breakfast campaign.

Either way, the changes are coming, and the fast food chain is hoping social media interaction and increased sales will come along with them.

The clown-like Ronald McDonald that the public has been familiar with since his debut in the 60′s wears giant red shoes, a yellow jumpsuit over a red-and-white striped shirt, and a flaming red wig. While the new incarnation will keep his clown makeup, wig, and comical shoes, the rest of his outfit can best be described as beach comber meets dress-down Friday meets The Warblers from “Glee”.

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Meet the Ad Firm That Is Defending Locals Against the ‘Poopetrator’

civic doodySo, uh, yeah.

Last night, My FOX Detroit aired some breaking news about a terribly nasty fool affectionately called “The Poopetrator.

Apparently, there is someone in the bustling suburb of Detroit called Ypsilanti who has nothing better to do than “repeatedly [leave]” his you-know-what on the slides of local children’s playgrounds.

While that is horrible to even consider in the first place, the most unlikely super hero has swooped in to save the day: an ad agency in Ann Arbor, MI called Adams Outdoor Advertising. Now, this is some nice PR I’ll bet they never thought they would get.

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Brand Marketing Increasingly Includes LGBT Families & Couples, And Consumers Approve

target adBuzzFeed commissioned JWT to conduct an analysis of how Americans feel about ads that are “LGBT-inclusive.” Although they’re talking about advertising, there’s a lot that PRs can also learn from the study, which reveals some very positive attitudes about the increased diversity we’re seeing. That is awesome, BTW.

Lately, we’ve seen a number of ads that feature LGBT families and couples; from Banana Republic to Honey Maid and Coca-Cola, there’s been a significant increase in LGBT presence in marketing of late. And, according to the findings, that paints an accurate picture of life today. Eight out of 10 consumers surveyed (there were 500 total) said “showing gay or lesbian people in ads simply reflects the reality of our society today.” Another 60 percent said brands that show same-sex couples are “being appropriately inclusive” with their marketing.

“These findings suggest that when diversity and acceptance are authentic and on-strategy for the brand, LGBT-inclusive ads will be met with a high degree of acceptance and benefit the advertiser,” said Mark Truss, director of brand intelligence at JWT.

Some of the ads that have run featuring LGBT couples and families — and even those, like the Cheerios commercial, which feature more racial diversity — have received harsh criticism. And, rightfully so, people have defended the ads, the companies that stood by the campaigns, and the real people in them.

But it’s also worth noting here that brands are following society’s lead rather than the other way around.

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