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Advertising

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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WATCH: GoldieBlox Shows You ‘Your Brain on Princess’

Now that the much-discussed spat between GoldieBlox and The Beastie Boys has been settled, the gender-stereotype-challenging toy company is back with a new, equally-clever (but probably less legal action-inducing) commercial.

The spot, titled “This is Your Brain on Princess,” is a threefold masterpiece. Not only does the ad’s focus on an egg perfectly spoof that classic “This is Your Brain on Drugs” PSA, but it’s perfectly-timed for Easter toy-buying, and manages to hammer home the point that little girls, like eggs, either crack under the pressure of a beauty-obsessed culture, or hatch by fully recognizing their multifaceted potential. Pretty brilliant.

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STUDY: Millennials Seek Validation About Purchases, but Not Through Advertising

Moosylvania Millennial Purchasing Study

When older generations have sought validation or reassurance that they are making good purchasing and brand-loyalty decisions, advertising has valiantly stepped in to pat them on the back for a job well done or a smart choice made. But when Millennials seek that same approval and reassurance, they don’t look for it from advertising, but from their friends and family members, often through phone calls, texts, and social media channels throughout the purchasing process.

This is the major takeaway revealed by the 2014 Moose Millennial Study Data, conducted by Mooslyvania, which showed that while Millennials identify themselves as very self-confident and independent, they seek constant reassurance from friends and family when it comes to shopping. This is true whether the individuals in this age group shop alone or together — they still remain digitally connected to the people they trust most, seeking advice, guidance and approval via text, phone call and social media.

So, if brands aren’t gaining Millennials’ trust and loyalty through traditional advertising, how are they going about it? Read more

Brand Moves: Audi Snaps Into Action and E*TRADE Scraps the Cheeky Baby

Audi Snapchat Dog Courtesy of HUGEBeing a brand that’s witty, irreverent or challenges convention isn’t so easy, especially since those companies set the bar high and their customers come to expect unique, creative ads and social communications. Two such brands, Audi and E*TRADE, shared their stories at Ad Age’s Digital Conference this week in New York. Audi detailed their use of Snapchat during the Super Bowl game, and E*TRADE discussed their decision to end their popular baby ad campaign.

Audi picks up the pace: “Being a challenger brand gives us an edge”, said Anna Russell, Audi’s general manager of brand marketing. She outlined the car brand’s core messages: they’re “champions of progress”, using LED lighting, they “challenge convention”, particularly with their Quattro system, and they’re a “brand of action” and frequent sports sponsor.

Still, as Aaron Shapiro, CEO of their agency, HUGE, noted, with the Oreo effect, “now every brand is piling on no matter how relevant or not” in real-time marketing during events. He said Audi didn’t want to use a “me-too strategy”. (Plus, they needed to be careful since they were involved in a 2010 Super Bowl campaign controversy).

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10 of the Worst Logo Designs (and Funniest #PRFail Moments)

April Fools

In the spirit of this overrated day for amateur comedians and inebriated pranksters, we thought it would be a good idea to offer some insight on how advertising and public relations are inexorably connected, for better or worse. Consider this: When a company builds a logo, it’s the job of the PR agency to deliver on that brand promise.

To wit, when a creative agency makes a logo that lives in infamy for the wrong reasons, it’s up to the PR agency to clean up the mess in the media … or just throw in the towel and laugh. The post is all about the latter. Enjoy.

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Spider-Man Delivers Your Mail in This Cross-Promotion Campaign

spider-man

“Spiderman, Spiderman
Does whatever a spider can
Spins a web, any size,
Delivers mail, so watch the skies.”

Wait, those aren’t the lyrics? Someone better tell the US Postal Service.

In a world in which brands and blockbuster movies are pairing off faster than teenagers before prom, the latest movie/business cross-promo coupling is between the Postal Service (specifically Priority Mail) and “The Amazing Spider-Man 2,” set to hit theaters May 2. The USPS and Sony Pictures are collaborating on a multi-channel marketing campaign that will run through the end of May.

Not sure the Postal Service has much in common with the web-slinging superhero? The Chief Marketing and Sales Officer at USPS, Nagisa Manabe, would beg to differ, saying in a statement:

“Our Priority Mail products share many qualities with a Super Hero of Spider-Man’s caliber, namely those of speed, agility and reliability. Like Spider-Man, our priority has always been the people we serve. We pride ourselves on our commitment to public service and delivering for our customers, and we are excited about enlisting Spider-Man to help promote our Priority Mail offerings.” Read more

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