Similar Ads Lead to Diluted Messages

When we looked at the cosmetic beauty ads, we analyzed the unfortunate uniformity between the creative strategies. The indistinguishable copy, camera shots and celebrity-endorsements regrettably made every cosmetics ad less memorable than the previous. The point of advertising is to position a product distinctly from that of the competition.

You want to tell people why they should drink 7Up, not why they should drink pop in general. 7Up for example has done a very good job in distinguishing itself from other lemon-lime drinks for the lemon-lime soda drinkers of the nation as they have drilled it into our brains that 7Up is the only major lemon-lime soda that is all-natural. That’s right, suck it Sierra Mist! But, if like we saw in beauty ads the messaging is too similar consumers start to think yeah, I should visit a big box home improvement store to buy my appliances, but don’t know why they should go to Lowe’s in particular. It becomes a haze of diluted messages.

Sometimes I guess this happens by accident. Advertisers are allowed to be on the same wave length as others. However, when watching this Wal-Mart ad, I swore it was a Target ad, until I saw the Wal-Mart logo at the end. This strikes me as less of an accident because this Target creative strategy has been used for months now.

Check it out.

Check out the Target Ad!

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L’Oreal Shm’Oreal… The Uniformity of Beauty Ads

Every since I was old enough to be influenced by make-up ads, I have been intrigued by the  products advertised, but rarely did I purchase them. I believe that the cosmetic make-up industry, specifically those brands you can buy in drugstores,  have been sticking with a creative strategy for years that just isn’t very effective.  The problem is L’Oreal, Cover Girl and Maybelline (just to name a few) all seem to have adopted the same promotional strategy, which makes it tiresome to shut out all of the advertising noise in order to distinguish, remember and finally purchase a specific advertised product.

Let’s take a look at a couple average make-up ads, shall we? Try to remember the specific names of each make-up product advertised.

Watch more beauty ads here!

Google Takes Over the World

Google has been the best of the best for so long that I should have realized that slowly they would engulf the entire Internet. First they were the only name in search with their clean, white search page, intuitive results and witty,  artistic name plates that correspond with national holidays and the birthdays of famous innovators. These elements made Google the premium name in search engines. Remember Ask Jeeves? When was the last time you searched for something there? ….Exactly.

Then Google Images, Google Maps and Gmail. Everything that Google touched turned to gold, or shall I say Chrome? With Google’s browser, the acquisition of YouTube and the launch of Google+, Google has become the biggest of the big kids on the block. And now the Google Chrome’s TV spots make that statement perfectly clear by projecting the idea, Google = the Internet. There is no Internet without the power of Google. And with its multitude of applications, it seems that Google is trying to become the only place users need to go on the Internet. E-mail, got? Social networking, its there? Videos, streaming, blogging? Duh, they invented it.

These TV spots help prove that artistry, inspiration, family values and creating keepsakes do not die with advancing technology but are reborn, redefined and made better. Remember before the big BPA scare, the American Association of Plastic Manufacturers (that’s made up, I have no idea what they are actually called) released all of those “Plastics Make it Possible,” ads showing surgeons in hospitals and engineers and the such? Well, the Google Chrome ads remind me of that as they scream Google Makes It Possible. Google makes… fame, success, dissemination, ideation ….possible.

In case you haven’t seen them.

More inspiring Google ads!

Pan Am Takes off with Pandora

I discovered this little gem after watching the Pan Am permiere on Sunday and have just fallen heads-over-heels in love. This is my new go to station on Pandora and I am hoping that they keep around for a while and it isn’t solely for promotional purposes. The station is a beautiful collection of the sounds of the 1940s to 1960s from big band, to Motown, Beatles and of course Sinatra. What a wonderful way to promote the show using with transformative properties of song.

You can access the channel here.

Keep reading!

When a Plane Wasn’t a Bus in the Air

This is one of my favorite times of year, when the network shows premiere! All of the cliffhangers I was left with in late May are finally going to be resolved. I also get so excited about the new shows and the different promotional strategies that are used.

Perhaps, its a symptom of living in LA but I feel like I see more outdoor advertisements for television shows and movies than I have seen any other American city I’ve visited. However, with this oversaturation of media advertising I have a pretty good idea of what’s on the horizon as far as new television shows. One show that is getting a huge push this season is ABC’s Pan Am.

I am very excited to watch the series premiere of this show in a few hours and I believe it comes at an extremely opportune time. With AMC’s Mad Men having received critical acclaim and numerous Emmys it seems Americans are fascinated by the fashion, style, music and culture of the 1960s. It was a time when women didn’t leave the house with a hat and heels, the dangers of smoking were still being debated and nightclubs featured live bands. Its an exciting time that incites writers to revisit this fascinating period and inject their own fictitious characters. With Mad Men taking a long hiatus due to some contract negotiations with the writers, it is the perfect time for a similar show to sneak in and take some of its viewers. I, as a Mad Men fan, am looking forward to Pan Am being the perfect merger between Mad Men and Grey’s Anatomy. I only hope that Pan Am is as smart, sexy and brilliantly written as the former two.

In case you haven’t seen it, below are some of their television spots and outdoor ads.

Pan Am's Bust Stop Ad

Pan Am's Retro Ad in TV Guide

Additionally, they’ve done a couple site takeovers and banner ads on YouTube and Pandora among others. For me their Twitter promotion was the most interesting, however quite confusing. So @PanAmABC has been addressing its Twitter followers for weeks now as passengers, very cute. Along with their Twitter push they are also hosting a Twitter Powered Flight. Every person who tweets with #PanAm is entered in a drawing for a Pan Am flight bag. All of these #PanAm tweets power a Pan Am flight around the world starting in New York and heading west. This is where it gets confusing, at least to me. Every tweet gets the plane closer to the destination “every tweet flies over one thousand feet,” which doesn’t make sense to me because then the flight would have rounded the earth a few dozen times already. But then, there are scheduled dates for when the flight will land in various cities. I am well-versed in Twitter. It’s the first thing I look at in the morning and the last thing I look at at night and my favorite way to keep up with all of the news on my shows. And I couldn’t figure it out. To me this was a good idea that wasn’t well explained. After giong through the site a few times I still don’t get it. Oh well.. at least now I ‘m entered to win a Pan Am bag?

Regardless, I’m excited to take off with Pan Am tonight!!!

Stop trying to make Fiat happen!

Upon viewing the Fiat’s latest promotional rollout, I feel like Regina George yelling at Gretchen Weiner to stop pushing the word “fetch” as the new slang. Stop trying to make FIAT happen! It’s not going to happen! Neither is this car “cool,” nor does it have that geeky, ugly thing happening like the Prius. It’s just not happening for me and would be very surprised if it becomes “revolutionary,” a “cultural icon,” or “define a generation,” like the commercial states.

Here take a look.

I think to compare it to cars that defined a generation like the VW van or the Mustang is a major stretch. Perhaps extreme hyperbole was what they were going for here. And then they had to go and get JLo to endorse this.

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Where There’s Simon Cowell, There’s a Multi-Million Dollar Sponsorship

The X-Factor premiered tonight, praise it or boo it as you may, but there is something interesting happening here. But of course I don’t watch it for the singing talent, but for the million dollar commercial spots and the astronomically expensive sponsorship deals. The first thing I noted when the judges took there seats is the lack of a red Coca-Cola cup perched on the judges table in front of the grey-shirted Simon Cowell. But instead, a blue Pepsi cup. With Coca-Cola having sponsored American Idol for 11 consecutive seasons, it seems Pepsi and Coke are taking their rivalry to reality TV.

But this sponsorship goes much further than just obnoxious product placement, but Pepsi has actually created for themselves an explicit position within the music space. We all remember Brittany’s early 2000s commercial spot with warm nostalgia and yearning for the old Britney. Pepsi… for those who think young.  😉   But, Mariah Carey? Ray Charles? I don’t even remember Kanye and that couldn’t been that long ago. But here in the commercial below, we are reminded of what Pepsi has done with our favorite stars (or at least those who accepted the endorsement deals). Enjoy.

Where there’s Pepsi, there’s music. I say this with complete embarrassment, but the commercial gave me chills because of the sheer epicness of the greats who were included. I’d like to say this doesn’t happen often. But every Superbowl regardless of the 80 degree LA weather, I wear a sweater to cope with my sporatic chilliness. In addition to the strategically placed Pepsi cups along the judges tables, Pepsi is actually going to feature the X Factor winner in Pepsi’s Superbowl commercial. Shut up! I wonder if the money and the royalties from that commercial are part of the $5 mil they will receive.

Even though I rag (are people still saying that?) on Pepsi for latching themselves on to Simon’s balls and the ensuing money trail, this is the type of sponsorship that I live for.

Wait there’s more! Sorry I’m watching as I blog. Pepsi is even more involved in the X Factor. A social component! How innovative of them. So you can follow along with Facebook during the show and go “behind the scenes.” Again, so original. Of course this spot featured another music-related celebrity, Kevin McHale the wheelchair-bound character from Glee. I’m getting less impressed by Pepsi as we go. I was more impressed by the tweet lounge on The Voice, where the singers were tweeting live on some sponsored tablet.

What I couldn’t believe is how the stars sat their tweeting so nonchalantly before they were about to perform. I’d be shitting my pants, but I guess that’s why I’m not on television.

Anyway, I’m excited to see what else will come of this partnership. What do you think of X Factor? All it was cracked up to be?

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