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Archive for the ‘Branding’ Category

It’s official: PR makes advertising its Bee-yatch

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Advertising Age recently published its findings and waxed melancholy about the state of advertising in the second half of 2009.

To summarize, take this as a warning-slash-really-bad-pep-rally for the industry:

It’s not getting a lot better, but at least it’s not getting any worse. And it probably won’t ever get back to where it once was.

Communications

I think it makes sense now. Don't you?

What’s this say to clients and other company’s creative types who us flacks want to love so, so much (call me)?

Find different ways to get in front of your target audiences. You know, do something you’re not currently doing to change the profits from going lower than the president’s approval ratings. (Hey, just sayin’.)

Does Ad Age have any recommendations? Glad you asked:

We found that there are pockets of strength: online and PR, for example.

So, why the change? Typically, it was make a logo and sand blast that on any embankment, billboard and mode of public transportation within a 5000-mile radius of your corporate office.

Well, that swooshing sound of all your cash going down the toilet has something to do with it. Couple that with the lack of interest in print products for anything outside of lining bird cages and creating cozy comforters for the homeless and you have an answer.

People have to look for not necessarily inventive ways to reach their target base, but definitely optional ways to sustain that catchy new mark.

Without a skilled PR campaign attached to a brand that directs folk to a billboard, or the very reason behind said advertisement, what good does it do the company? How long will it last? And where can find an ROI with a two-week blitz for a poster seen in your local parking garage?

Sure, some sleuth reporter will bump into the ad and write a story, but without a high-performance Web site or a strategic PR campaign, that story will have the longevity of “Jon & Kate: the Divorced Years” or new Coke (woof!)

“We are seeing a paradigm shift in our industry taking place as agencies grapple with how to deal with the new realities and manage costs to revenues. The industry is in for a fundamental, enduring reset over the next 10 years,” said Jim Heekin, chairman-CEO, Grey Group.

I like that – “new realities”. You know, billboards and print are still tangible but there’s this Internet thingy that’s really catching on.

I once heard in “Advertising 101” (not sure if that’s the real name):

Advertising is what you pay for, while public relations is what you pray for.

Anyone in the corporate arena wanna come with me to church this Sunday? I’ll drive.

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Is Chik-Fill-Ay Killeng Mahdern Grammer?

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Since the inception of text messaging, people have been looking for easier ways to communicate. Whether they can’t spell or just believe acronyms are the new black in language, text lingo became all the rage.

But thanks to the hoofy-work of some milk cows (beef cows don’t have utters, just saying), we have a completely new debacle – vernacular has not only become initialized, but also minimized.

“Eat More Chikin” has done more than become an anthem for healthy eating (and a lovely “Ka-ching” for the franchise), but has created a trend we can see everywhere including on TV.

Sure, cows can’t spell. I get that. Cute. However, TV execs are becoming more and more bovine everyday with moronic advertising.

Kinda like one of those dieting commercials, ain't it?

Kinda like one of those dieting commercials, ain't it?

Any science fiction fans caught the latest moniker for the signature network of Trekkies? This week, it changed its name from Sci Fi to SyFy.

What a stretch of marketing dollars that was. As if that wasn’t enough fodder for the phonetically challenged, we have their half-baked tagline, “Imagine Greater.”

What’s that? A middle finger of one-upsmanship to Steve Jobs and his “Think Different” moniker?

I suppose this imbecilic concoction makes sense if you review most TV networks these days.

  • The Learning Channel became TLC, showing learning is really about tender loving care
  • žAmerican Movie Classics is AMC, and now adulating praise to a failed cult-classic automobile
  • žEven CNN got in the mix with Headline News vacillating into HLN

What’s next? The History Channel becoming “THC”? Well, that would work if it weren’t for the hippie lettuce heads out there.

So, the next time I hear someone exclaim “OMG” in a sentence or I read “What’s Nu” in a text message, I will think back to America’s favorite chikin joint and blame those billboard-painting, high-flying cows.

Written by theflak

July 24, 2009 at 8:00 am

“Swine Flu” is actually media pork

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The world is dawning surgical masks like they are in style. Americans are considering a mass influx to synagogues or the local mosque. And why?

According to the nation’s hog farmers, “This little piggie can kiss my [bleep].”

pigs-uniteEvidently, as noted in this CNN story, the moniker given this flu bug is a grave misnomer and those aforementioned farmers are winning the battle of nicknames.

This sardonic concoction is actually a mix of human and animal strains, with not an ounce of bacon in sight, yet it’s the pigs who get picked on. Poor ol’ piggy.

“This flu is being called something that it isn’t, and it’s hurting our entire industry,” said Dave Warner, communications director for the National Pork Producers Council. “It is not a ‘swine’ flu, and people need to stop calling it that … they’re ruining people’s lives.

And so, the CDC has now begun calling this dreaded flu strain (and tweeting it no less), “N1H1” but the hog farmers are yawping, “Too little; too late.”

“The real issue is that anything is bad now because producers for the past 19 months have already lost money,” Warner said. “On average they’ve lost about $20 a pig. So even if they lose $2 more, it’s hard on them.

And besides all this talk about pork making me hungry, it makes me think of another thing: It’s not Kosher. Literally.

We will call it Mexico flu. We won’t call it swine flu,” Deputy Health Minister Yakov Litzman, a black-garbed Orthodox Jew, told a news conference Monday, assuring the Israeli public that authorities were prepared to handle any cases.

Ah well. I don’t see anyone from a big White House calling the Holy Land looking for a mea culpa on that P.C. insensitivity. Maybe I just missed that story.

Anyone bothering the good Muslims? I hear they aren’t big fans of pork roast either. Oy Vey!

Written by theflak

May 4, 2009 at 12:00 pm

PR really does “Ad” up

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“Advertising is the art of convincing people to spend money they don’t have for something they don’t need.” ~Will Rogers

Now I may not need a G.I. Joe with a Kung-fu action grip for my little man, but if he sees enough advertisements, desire jacked up on steroids takes in and off to the store I go.

However, if enough spineless jellyfish parents like me see that G.I. Joe purchases will be directed to the troops overseas, we see bald eagles flying overhead and hear “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” as we slide that bruised credit card.

In other words, advertisements create impulse but PR can create emotion. And that befuddles this practitioner because more brands don’t use it effectively – if, at all – to increase awareness and try to impact the bottom line.

Recently, HuffPo published an irksome story, “The 12 Brands That Will Disappear by 2010.”

How many of these brands have you seen championing a cause, feeding kids in the Sudan or even appearing like they care about their consumers lately:

1. Avis/Budget Rent-a-Car
2. Borders
3. Crocs
4. Saturn
5. Hearst Publications
6. Gap/Old Navy/Banana Republic
7. Eddie Bauer
8. Palm
9. Condé Nast Publications
10. Chrysler

You think any of those giants could use a CSR campaign, grassroots outreach or media relations? Oh, before you answer, #11 on the list was the infamous AIG.

Any takers on PR yet? Call me.

Written by theflak

May 3, 2009 at 1:29 pm