Style Weekly readers evidently believe our ads are true, because they’ve voted Bikram Hot Yoga Richmond’s best yoga studio. Again.
Congratulations, for the second year running, to owner Garland Hume and her whole staff.
GM CEO Dan Akerson thinks there’s one problem with his company’s cars: They don’t make enough money from their owners. So his company’s hard at work to remedy that– by turning them into smartphones on wheels, complete with streaming video and paid advertising, by the 2015 model year, according to a May 9 MediaPost Marketing Daily report (link not available).
The car maker already takes in about $1.5 billion a year from its OnStar safety and security system, but to Akerson that’s chump change. “We have never been properly compensated,” he complained, so GM will be changing OnStar to “make some real money.” While he wouldn’t say just what those changes might be, he did say, “We do want to change this from a safety and security business to one that is much more feature-rich.”
But OnStar won’t be the only thing changing.
By mid-2014, Reuters reports, GM “will start selling internet-capable vehicles that GM says allow passengers in the backseat to watch streaming video,” complete with streaming commercials. By 2015, most Chevrolets, Buicks, GMCs and Cadillacs will also have “4G LTE mobile broadband.”
‘Brought to you by Allstate’
“For example,” Akerson enthused, “what happens if when the logo shows up on your screen, it says ‘brought to you by Allstate’? How many times is that going to pop? And how much can you get from Allstate?” Read the rest of this entry »
Little more than half a year after Hurricane Sandy, New York is undergoing a storm of criticism over a business development advertising campaign that’s long on cost and short on reality, The American Interest blog reported May 5.
The Cuomo administration set aside about $140 million to fund the campaign. The governor’s office, according to the New York Times, claims that “the scale of the campaign is similar to that in other states.”
But other states whose tax, labor and regulatory policies have caused them to hemorrhage businesses are applying less costly tourniquets. “Connecticut is spending $27 million promoting its state, Michigan $25 million…California spent $50 million on a campaign to promote its state,” state operations manager Howard Glaser told the Times. All three are less than $140 million. Combined.
What’s prompted even more criticism than the cost is the source of all that money, namely, “ostensibly independent” state agencies that have functions other than paying for advertising.
A state official said the early stages of the ad campaign were partly financed by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, which runs programs intended to reduce energy consumption and improve the environment, and the Dormitory Authority of New York, which supports universities and nonprofit institutions.
Last December, the Cuomo administration added another $50 million. The money came from the State Power Authority, which was created to generate and provide cheap electricity to lower bills for residents and business.
Last month, the state expanded the “Open for Business” campaign, using $40 million from the federal aid package intended to help New Yorkers recover from Hurricane Sandy, records show.
“These authorities should be lowering electric rates, building dormitories and otherwise doing what they were created to do, rather than being raided” to pay for the commercials and air time, former Westchester County state assemblyman Richard Brodsky (a Democrat, incidentally), told the Times. Read the rest of this entry »
You remember – the one where Christopher Walken, playing a music producer, keeps telling a band to add more and more cowbell until the take is totally ruined.
Doubling down on music
Having put “major resources” behind a Labor Day weekend music festival in Philadelphia last year, parent company A-B InBev
is rolling out a program called “Bud Light Music First” that will culminate Aug[ust] 1 with one concert in all 50 states.
The event, called “50/50/1,” will be staged everywhere from Anchorage, Alaska[,] to Albuquerque, N.M.[,] and feature acts including Kendrick Lamar, Sublime with Rome, Alex Clare and the Flaming Lips. Bud Light will promote the event on MySpace, which will host a hub for the program in which fans can get concert updates, listen to featured artists and download a special app that can be used to win prizes, including concert tickets.
They’re also bringing back Justin Timberlake as “music curator” front man for pseudo-craft beer Bud Light Platinum’s advertising campaign.
Misery loves company?
Even the fact that Bud Light’s partnering with MySpace is deja vu all over again.
You remember MySpace, don’t you?
That’s the social network that people used to go to until Facebook came along. Read the rest of this entry »
When Young & Rubicam CEO David Sable announced his advertising agency’s win of the J C Penney business on April 25, he said, “I and the whole team look forward to helping JC Penney as they write a great new chapter.” May 1, a new television commercial showed consumers the first page.
The spot will run for less than a week on broadcast channels, Facebook and YouTube, then slip away to possibly well deserved oblivion in time for a Mother’s Day promotion.
It takes the form of a plea and an apology to customers that ousted CEO Ron Johnson’s “fair and square pricing” marketing strategy alienated in droves, costing the retailer a 25 percent drop in sales and a $985 million loss in just one year.
Creative and production work began several months ago, while Penney was still sharpening up the axe for Johnson, according to a May 1 Bloomberg News report.
It uses footage from Penney’s previous “Yours Truly” campaign that debuted during the Oscars broadcast, over which a female voice says
It’s no secret, recently JC Penny changed. Some changes you liked and some you didn’t, but what matters from mistakes is what we learn. We learned a very simple thing, to listen to you. To hear what you need, to make your life more beautiful. Come back to JCPenney, we heard you. Now, we’d love to see you.
“We want to give customers our assurance that what they loved about JCPenney’s trusted brands, great style and affordable prices will be inherent to every shopping experience,” a spokeswoman said.
Since the retailer was bleeding (though not yet hemorrhaging) money before Johnson’s disastrous 17-month makeover, there may not have been that much love. And, based on online comments, there’s a lot of residual hate. Read the rest of this entry »
In the wake of Hyundai pulling and abjectly apologizing for a UK commercial that upset a London copywriter whose father committed suicide, three more brands have had to follow suit, Advertising Age reported May 2.
One of these was the last of a three-spot campaign for Mountain Dew, the first two having apparently escaped offending anyone’s tender sensitivities.
When an organization calling itself the Black World Coalition denounced it as “arguably the most racist commercial in history,” parent company Pepsico cancelled the entire campaign – which is slightly ironic when one considers that rapper Tyler, the Creator, who, well, created it is himself black.
In the first commercial of the series, Felicia the Goat (whose voice Tyler based on his mother’s) beats up a (white) waitress for serving Mountain Dew. Why, nobody knows. In the second spot, the goat escapes and is pulled over for DewUI (Get it?). In the third, “most racist commercial in history,” the battered waitress is asked to pick out her assailant from a lineup comprising the goat and five black men.
And that’s where the “racism” comes in. “Of course, in the world of Mountain Dew, every single suspect is black,” the Black World Coalition complains. But this neglects the fact that in order for a lineup to work, all the subjects (who can sometimes include police officers) need to look and dress alike in order to avoid bias; so if one person in the lineup is black, the others have to be, too. Tyler could have easily cast a lineup of white thugs, but then someone might have whined about the spot having a lily-white cast. Read the rest of this entry »
A “brutal” April was the cruelest month for the beer industry, Advertising Age reported April 30, and that’s coming off an almost as bad first quarter.
The biggest loser
“It’s brutal out there for everyone,” Beer Business Daily told subscribers April 30. But for some brands – Budweiser, to be specific – it’s more brutal than for others.
January through March saw MillerCoors brands down 3.3 percent, Heineken USA sales “down by low-single digits” and Budweiser off 4.1 percent, according to Beer Marketer’s Insights.
For the four weeks through April 13, according to Nielsen numbers, Coors Light sales declined 1.8 percent, Miller Lite 8.8 percent, Bud Light 6 percent and Budweiser 7.7 percent.
Highly advertised, higher-alcohol, pseudo-craft line extension Budweiser Platinum’s sales fell by 36 percent (no, a decimal point isn’t missing) during the same four-week period.
Down so long it looks like up to me
Of course, losing sales and market share isn’t exactly new to Budweiser. Read the rest of this entry »
Between eight and twelve million businesses are invisible to prospective customers, according to an Interactive Advertising Bureau white paper released April 29 – and it’s largely because of their own inaction.
Lost in cyberspace
Of an estimated 16 to 20 million businesses, the white paper reports, only two to three million have marketers actively managing their online listings. And according to 2011 Google statistics, some 8 million businesses hadn’t claimed their listings at all. Too many of those are small and home-based businesses.
This is a huge lost opportunity, because unless they’re in brick-and-mortar locations that are traffic magnets, unlisted businesses might as well not be in business.
Consumers search for businesses based on what they’re looking to buy, and they overwhelmingly do it with online searches – either one of many online directories like YP, Yelp, Manta and local and vertical specific directories; or search engines like Google, Yahoo or Bing; or social network media like Facebook, Google+ or Linkedin; or mobile apps.
About 40 percent of consumers go online for local searches each day, 67 percent at least three or four times a week. Read the rest of this entry »
It looked like a winner at first. On April 19, The Drum – Britain’s equivalent of Adweek – named agency Innocean’s new 60-second Hyundai ix35 video Ad of the Day and Ad of the Week. On the 25th, The Guardian highlighted the spot and urged readers to view it. But by the 26th, Business Insider reports, Hyundai was “desperately” and “unsuccessfully” trying “to make its…video disappear” – by flagging reposts as trademark infringements.
Not a new idea
While dramatic, the commercial’s idea wasn’t a new one.
To demonstrate that fact that the hydrogen-burning ix35′s emissions comprised nothing more lethal than water vapor, the spot shows a depressed man sealing himself into his garage, then into his Hyundai, with the motor running and a hose going from the tailpipe to the passenger compartment. As we cut to an exterior shot of the garage, it’s now nighttime. The man, having failed at suicide, emerges from his garage, as a super explains that the ix35′s exhaust is pure water vapor.
As it turns out, using failed suicide attempts to demonstrate a car’s non-toxic exhaust isn’t a particularly new idea. Read the rest of this entry »
Having filled the marketing power vacuum created by JC Penney CEO Ron Johnson’s ouster, acting CMO Sergio Zyman proceeded to reverse much of what he’d been doing as Johnson’s principal marketing consultant. Specifically, he moved to replace small agencies – including Mother, New York, and Peterson Milla Hooks, Minneapolis – with Young & Rubicam, the world’s tenth largest advertising agency, with about $907 in revenues, Advertising Age reported April 24.
As Coca-Cola’s marketing vice president, Zyman became known as “the Aya-Cola” because of what Ad Age charitably called “his intense management style and fierce temper.” Among marketers and advertisers, he’s best known for what became one of the greatest marketing blunders of all time (before his JC Penney work for Johnson, that is).
The Edsel of soft drinks
The announcement came 28 years and one day after Zyman’s best-known marketing accomplishment (if that’s the right word for it) – the introduction of New Coke, which both the soft-drink industry and Fortune magazine likened to Ford’s introduction of the Edsel.