Flak Attack

If it’s in the news, the Flak attacks!

Posts Tagged ‘Marketing

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

PETA’s new PR campaign out to the dogs

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So, awhile back there was this quarterback who had a truckload of cash, talent and rocks in his head. You see, his idea of fun and yuks was putting dogs in a concrete ring to play UFC. Classy.

No wonder he ran so fast

No wonder he ran so fast

Well, Michael Vick’s shenanigans caught him rethinking his position on how to treat your pet for 23 months in federal prison.

The Atlanta Falcons canned him. The NFL ostracized him. And PETA? Well, they want to beat up his mother they’re so upset.

Protests. Near riots. Lovely nicknames I care not to discuss in public (except for Vick the Puppy Slayer. So cute). And now, a possible PR opportunity?! [Shout out to PRNewser for a lovely picture].

“I’m familiar with [the PR plan],” said Dan Shannon, director of youth outreach and campaigns for PETA. “We have been in discussions with Michael Vick, with his management team, about the possibility of him putting out a public-service announcement with PETA when he’s out of jail. We want him to discourage people from taking part in dog-fighting. I can do it until I’m blue in the face and it might not convince anybody. Michael Vick sure can. He can say, ‘Look, I did it, I was wrong, and it ruined my career.’ “

How sweet when the circle of life (and blatant spin control) wheel ’round and ’round. Yes, the masters of media capitalization have allegedly approached Michael Vick to become PETA’s new spokesperson.

Who woulduve thunk it?! Well, according to this immediate post found in the Los Angeles Times, not PETA.

That offer [to be the new PETA mouthpiece] was subsequently withdrawn in December, after the group received a U.S. Department of Agriculture report offering details of the dogfighting operation that landed Vick a nearly two-year jail sentence. Shannon said in a statement that any deal was off when the group discovered, as a result of the report, that Vick had “enjoyed placing family pets in the ring with fighting pit bulls and that he laughed as dogs ripped each other apart.”

So, PETA is still advocating for your pets. Vick is still getting out of jail. And America is out one entertaining PR circus.

Love those news cycles… even when the wheels fly off from time to time.

Written by theflak

May 11, 2009 at 2:23 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