Superbowl XLIII: Ads Will Suck A Bit, Link To Web

Over the years, it has been called the Ad Bowl, the Bud Bowl and the Buzz Bowl. Super Bowl XLIII on Sunday will probably go down as the Hard-Sell Bowl.As the economy soured, advertisers began crafting a hard-sell approach to their game ads, and the results will be on display Sunday. They offer a stark contrast to the slapstick of Budweiser‘s flatulent horse and Electronic Data Systems‘ Herding Cats branding ad that in past years tended to soft-peddle products and services.
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The Super Bowl advertising ranks are usually filled with the big boys of marketing: Anheuser-Busch, Coca-Cola, PepsiCo. And now: Cash4Gold?
For television viewers, the Super Bowl offers an annual midwinter spectacle. On Sunday, in addition to a football game and a halftime show, they can watch Madison Avenue try to walk a tightrope. The advertisers, which are spending up to $3 million for each 30-second commercial during Super Bowl XLIII, have a tricky task before them. They must figure out the right way to speak to consumers worried about the wretched economy while at the same time not ignore the long-standing appeal of Super Bowl Sunday as a night of escapist fare.
Determined to get their money’s worth, many of Super Sunday‘s advertisers have been using pre-game Web efforts to rev up anticipatory interest in the commercials. But the process works in the other direction, too, according to a survey conducted last week for advertising/marketing/consulting firm Hanon McKendry. Thirty percent of respondents who plan to watch the game said seeing the telecast’s commercials makes them more likely to visit an advertiser’s Web site.
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Most Social Brands of 2008

That Top 50 in full

1. iPhone
2. CNN
3. Apple
4. Disney
5. Xbox
6. Starbucks
7. iPod
8. MTV
9. Sony
10. Dell
11. Microsoft
12. Ford
13. Nintendo
14. Target
15. PlayStation
16. Mac
17. Turner
18. Hewlett-Packard
19. Fox News
20. BlackBerry
21. ABC
22. Coke
23. LG
24. Best Buy
25. Honda
26. eBay
27. Sharp
28. Lincoln
29. NBA
30. Pepsi
31. General Motors
32. McDonald’s
33. General Electric
34. Walmart
35. NFL
36. Mercedes
37. BMW
38. Samsung
39. Nike
40. Subway
41. Dodge
42. Pandora
43. CBS
44. Mercury
45. NBC
46. Disneyland
47. Last.fm
48. Toyota
49. Cadillac
50. Chevy

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Experiential: Sony Fashion Week

Sony Uses Fashion Week to Promote P-series PC
Watch out for texting mannequins later this week at Grand Central Station. In a bid to show off its stylish side in the run-up to Fashion Week, Sony wlll position well-outfitted “live mannequins” on New York streets accessorized by its sleek, colorful and tiny Vaio P-series computer. “It’s an innovative product that really deserves to go to market in an innovative way,” said Alberto Escobedo, director-brand messaging, Sony Electronics. The P-series “lifestyle notebook,” which made its debut at the Consumer Electronics Show earlier this month, is a diminutive 10 inches by 5 inches and weighs 1.4 pounds.

sony-live-mannequin

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Packaging: Wine That Loves

Wine That Loves
The Amazing Food Wine Co. owns a wine brand called Wine That Loves. This new wine brand “…takes the guesswork out of pairing wine with food. Thus, Wine That Loves Pizza, Wine That Loves Pasta, Wine That Loves Roasted Chicken, and so on.” Basically a wine marketing effort designed to make pairing wines with food easy. Serving Roasted Chicken with a Caribbean-style Mango Glaze… pair the dish with the “Wine That Loves Roasted Chicken” bottle. I particularly like the creatively straight-forward label design…

vinos

Links: UGC, Giant Robot

Can User-Generated Content Change Your World?

Every day, user-generated content (UGC) is part of the online experience of millions of US Internet users. From entertainment to communications to e-commerce, consumers are taking charge of the creation, distribution and consumption of digital content. And it’s growing. Up from 83 million in 2008, eMarketer estimates the number of UGC creators will grow to 115 million in 2013.

Few automotive brands know how to tap into the urban art scene like Scion, the hip entry-level marque by Toyota USA. Recently, Scion teamed up with Giant Robot Magazine and Japanese artist Shin Tanaka to offer the artist’s signature cut and fold paper toys in the magazine’s issues 56, 57 and soon to be released 58, which hits newsstands on 9 February, 2009. One of Tanaka’s paper robots is included in each issue. Readers who pick up all three issues can assemble the “4-in-1 Robot” commissioned by Scion.
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Recession: Digital Dodges Bullet, Trash & Bathroom Tissue Doesn’t

Digital Marketplace: Q1 Not a ‘Nuclear Winter’
So far, the first months of 2009 aren’t looking as dire as once predicted for the online advertising market, according to buyers and sellers. However, many report that business has slowed down, resulting in intensifying pressure on pricing, particularly in the ad networks space. But the abysmal first quarter that many anticipated—one in which shell-shocked clients either delayed all decision making or went into full budget-slashing mode—hasn’t happened, said many industry insiders.
post-apocalypse-new-york
As the economy goes, so too does our trash and as people tighten their belts and spend fewer dollars, they’re also reusing more and throwing out less. The LA Times reports on some telling statistics in cities across California: Over the last six months, operators at Puente Hills Landfill [in Los Angeles], among the nation’s largest, have noted a 30% decrease in tonnage from neighboring municipalities. The dump used to close at noon because it would reach its daily tonnage limit; now it stays open all day without hitting that mark. San Francisco is disposing of less in landfills than it has in 30 years. In San Diego, disposal rates at the Miramar Landfill are on track to bring in the lowest total in 15 years.
trash-art

People long have taken for granted that some categories, such as toilet paper, truly are recession-proof. Turns out that, like many assumptions, is wrong. As a result of the recession, consumers went beyond trading down to cheaper, private-label products and actually bought less toilet paper of any kind. The recession has turned bad enough that people bought less toilet paper — about 5.5% less last quarter in the U.S., according to Kimberly-Clark Corp. Chairman-CEO Tom Falk, who today blamed the economy for disappointing fourth-quarter earnings and a weak forecast for 2009.
toilet-paper
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Recession: Inspires Creativity, Doesn’t…

Advertisers are starting to squeeze their agencies hard. And it’s raising some fundamental questions about the shape of the entire business. Where does a creative industry go when its work is seen as something that can be traded like a commodity, negotiated upon retrospectively, reduced to a numbers game? The answer seems to be to use your creative skills more creatively, to generate revenue streams beyond the traditional advertising model. Which is exactly why the companies that were last week officially anointed adland’s best in class for 2008 are challenging the definitions of what an advertising agency actually is. Take Mother, unveiled last week as Campaign’s Ad Agency of the Year. Mother produced a movie, wrote a play, published a comic and made some great standout advertising.
adman
Hamilton Nolan at Gawker wrote an interesting post about the decline of good advertising on television. It’s been quite noticeable lately (in New York at least) how many prime-time advertising spots have been bought by what seems to be infomercial and low-production-value spots. The glitzy Lexus ads have been replaced with advertisements for smock-like blankets with long-sleeves, Amish-made faux-fireplace heaters and strange, mouth-aligned goatee trimmers.
billy-mays

Cause-Related: BBC v Gaza, Fiat v Myanmar

BBC Assailed for Refusing to Carry Aid Groups’ Video Appeal for Gaza Relief
In more than 80 years as a publicly financed broadcaster with an audience of millions at home and around the world, the BBC has rarely been buffeted as severely as it has in recent days over its decision not to broadcast a television appeal by aid agencies for victims of Israel’s recent military actions in Gaza. Andy Rain/European Pressphoto Agency. Demonstrators conducted a sit-in at BBC headquarters on Monday to protest the broadcaster’s refusal to carry a video appeal for relief aid for Gazans. BBC executives made the decision late last week and defiantly reaffirmed it on Monday, citing their concern with protecting the corporation’s impartiality in the Arab-Israeli dispute. The dispute stirs high passions here, and the BBC, like other news organizations, has struggled uneasily for years to strike a balance, even as some critics claim it has tilted heavily toward Israel and others claim it has favored the Palestinians. This move certainly makes the BBC appear biased in favor of the Israelis.

gaza

A new Fiat ad mixes an appeal for democracy in Myanmar with shots of its Lancia Delta vehicle. The ad draws attention to the continuing house arrest of Nobel prize winner and democracy activist Aung San Suu Kyi. The ad is getting free air time as a public service announcement in France, Germany, Italy and six other European countries.
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