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4 Must-Watch Super Bowl Commercials

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2013 Super Bowl Commerical Coke Chase

2013 Super Bowl Commerical Coke Chase

Every year we are stunned by some of the commercials that come out during the Super Bowl. Sometimes they are amazing displays of an advertising budget and sometimes they are lost in a creative directors vision. This years is more of the same; advertisers trying to outperform each other to get the attention of the masses on this all-American-almost-holiday that is Super Bowl Sunday. Here are just four commercials that you must watch. They will pull at your heart strings, make you laugh out loud, and make you run to YouTube to watch them over and over again.

  1. Budweiser: The King of Beers always makes a move to make stronger and better commercials year after year. This time they look at the man who trains their prized Clydesdale horses. The commercial really brings it full circle and in its short 60 seconds really makes you feel like you’ve just watched a really good movie. Not to mention they are making great use of social media but having people tweet their favorite baby name for their newest horse with the hashtag #clydesdales. Watch the Clydesdales “Brotherhood” here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o2prAccclXs
  2. Fiat 500 Abarth: Fiat is at it again. This time their commercial goes topless. The commercial can be best described as tastefully sultry. Other than that, you have to watch it for yourself. This should get a lot of people talking. See the commercials for the Fiat 500 Abarth here.
  3. Taco Bell: This is one of the best commercials to come out of Taco Bell in years. It is called “Viva Young” and features a version of “We Are Young” in Spanish. Other than the song, there is no dialogue in the commercial except for a nurse saying goodnight to a lonely old gentlemen. Seconds later, he jumps out of bed and into some classic Detroit Muscle for a night on the town with his old codgers like no other. They end up, like all people do after a night of clubbing, at Taco Bell. Live Más. Watch it here.
  4. Coca Cola: What would a watch list be without Coke or Pepsi? Coke does it this time with a chase through the desert. This chase includes Flamingo showgirls from Vegas, cowboys, a sheik, a motorcyclist, and a large glitter cannon racing through the desert like they are trying to get to the oversized bottle of Coke first to quench their thirst. The sign says 50 miles ahead. The chase continues. The intriguing thing about this commercial is that Coke is letting the public decide how the commercial ends. Watch it here and see how it ends on game day.

Watching all of these commercials via YouTube early can be great. However, you miss out on the big reveal. The way Super Bowl commercials used to be aired before social media took a huge foothold. The agencies and advertisers that still keep this element of surprise should be commended. Coke gets innovative by intermixing both tactics. Do you think revealing these ads early on social media hurts the airing of the commercials during the Super Bowl or helps it? Discuss.

Article originally published on the Talent Zoo blog Beyond Madison Avenue at: http://www.talentzoo.com/beyond-madison-ave/blog_news.php?articleID=16718

Berline Says “Brand Yourself”

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pencilFifteen minutes into a talk to advertising greenhorns Jim Berline, of the Berline Advertising Agency in Detroit, said “Brand yourself, it’s all about perception.” While the students in Adcraft’s ADvance class may have not known what to think, he went on to say “Perception is more important than reality.” What is your brand? How is it perceived? Did you know there was such a thing?

Berline specified four characteristics needed to thrive at his agency, and any agency for that matter, that are part of personal branding.

  1. Be competitive. Love the thrill of the fight. Self-confidence is key here. You need to have relentless motivation and drive. Always strive to make yourself better and learn from any mistakes.
  2. Be bright.  Know how to multi-task, well. In fact, in today’s day and age multi-tasking should be …

Read my entire article on the Talent Zoo blog Beneath the Brand at: http://www.talentzoo.com/beneath-the-brand/blog_news.php?articleID=16699

Why Radio Will Never Die

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bob-pittmanOver the last couple of years the argument that radio is a waste of time and money has surfaced. We hear estimates on when radio will die. Millions of people are seen daily with iPods stuck in their ears. One could start to see where people would think radio may have a hard time continuing. Who better to speak on this topic but none other than Bob Pittman, CEO of Clear Channel Radio and founder of MTV? Last year, the Adcraft Club of Detroit brought in Pittman to speak during the advertising club’s annual Radio Day.

“Radio is America’s companion,” said Pittman, who commanded the stage from the start. “It’s the first social media.” Think about how social radio really is. There are disc jockeys who bring you curated content, events hosted in your local area, you can call in to interact, and now you can even tweet, message, and share with them as well. With radio advertising, it is one of the most flexible forms of media. One can change the copy of an advertisement in a single day. In radio, commercials also have many forms and for its reach is relatively inexpensive to create. Not only are they inexpensive to create but they are much less expensive to run as well. For local advertising especially, Pittman says, “Radio is the king of local.”

Bob Pittman also reminded us advertisers of something that we can tend to forget about: “It’s very close to the point of purchase.” Driving in a car, walking through a store, and streaming on the computer at work or home, radio is there to remind consumers about their product or service. Wouldn’t it be convenient if you were hungry and while you were driving were reminded that McDonald’s had a new juicy, tasty burger to fulfill all of your non-diet-food cravings? You are already in the car and next thing you know you spot a McDonald’s. That is the point. Radio is where consumers are. Nobody can honestly say they do not hear radio at least once a day. Whether you are walking down the street, at a store, in your car, in someone else’s car, or just about anywhere else, radio is there.

In speaking about digital radio Pittman let us in on a little secret, saying, “Digital is 5% of radio listening, it’s just the beginning.” Clear Channel Radio-owned iHeartRadio has helped change online radio listening by allowing you to listen to over 1,500 live radio stations online. Compared to some of the other “radio” sites such as Pandora and Spotify, he says they are “massive collections, not radio.” Pittman reminded us again why live radio will always work and always be a viable advertising medium, radio is social. He explained why radio is social in six points saying, radio:

  1. Is curated
  2. Changes constantly
  3. Has human beings to bond with the audience
  4. Has big brands with strong, loyal audiences
  5. Local content, promotion, and events
  6. Has an interactive relationship with the audience

The biggest takeaway from the meeting was, everybody has a radio. While radio may no longer be the first thing everyone thinks of, it is where everyone is. How many times a day do you hear a radio? Once you start really paying attention you may be surprised.

Article originally published on the Talent Zoo blog Beyond Madison Avenue at: http://www.talentzoo.com/beyond-madison-ave/blog_news.php?articleID=16626

5 Tricks for Effective Conference Calls

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conference-callA conference call is scheduled to discuss your brand or business. The times comes, you take a seat, dial the number, and stare while speaking at the phone. This is the course of most conference calls, but it does not have to be.

In today’s day and age, sitting down and having a discussion in person is not always an option. With teleconferencing services, WebEx, Skype, and a multitude of other choices, it is far less a priority to have an in-person meeting. Some calls may be more informal than others, but each call should be treated with the same level of detail. Here are five tricks that come from past experiences with a little help from Peter Coughter’s The Art of the Pitch.

  1. You do not have to sit down. It is okay to stand and move around. If this is a new business presentation you should still do the same things as you would do if they were sitting in front of you. However, by moving around it does not mean getting distracted by doing something else.
  2. Have at least one other colleague in the room. When someone else is there, you can look at them and focus this call as if you are having a discussion. This will not only help make the call more comfortable, but it will make it more personal. When you are looking at the phone it is hard to gauge the reactions of the other side unless they specifically say how they are feeling. This other colleague should be able to help provide you with that feedback instantaneously.
  3. Do not mute the phone to talk to others in the room. There is one exception. Only when you truly must discuss something very quickly before mentioning it to a client can you do this. Otherwise, refrain. In my experience the mute button is used by others to question the client or make unnecessary remarks. When you mute the phone in these cases, you miss things. Stay attentive throughout the entire call. Then, have a discussion afterwards to go over next steps.
  4. Dress to impress. For the phone, seriously? Yes. It is important because when you look good and smell good, you feel good. When you feel good, you present even better. When you present better, you win. While your jeans from college might be the most comfy pants in the world, they are not meant for these situations. “Work clothes” do not have to be boring or uncomfortable. Find what works best for you, find a good tailor, and find your way towards that corner office.
  5. Smile. It can be heard in your voice. Next time there is a conference call, record it. Listen back to it for presentation value. How do you and your colleagues sound? You may be surprised by what you hear. Think about where you can inject your smile. When you are presenting over the phone, the pitch and tone of your voice matter more than anything.

Each trick is less of a trick and more of challenge. It is a challenge to rethink the way we as professionals make a conference call. If you have not noticed, the challenges bring along one underlying goal: Treat it like you were there in person. If you would not do it with your client in the room, you should not do it while on the phone with them. What is your biggest hurdle with conference calls?

Article originally published on the Talent Zoo blog Beneath the Brand at: http://www.talentzoo.com/beneath-the-brand/blog_news.php?articleID=16555

The Importance of Typography to Logo and Brand

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chevrolet“A logo is not a brand unless it’s on a cow,” says AdamsMorioka in the Logo Design Workbook. The way consumers view a company builds the brands perception. This starts with the logo but travels far beyond. A logo, a good logo, starts with a study of what the company is and what it is trying to achieve.  What does the font in your logo and marketing materials convey?

Disclaimer: If you think ‘Comic Sans’ is a viable font choice stop reading now.

In the Logo Design Workbook, typography is described as “pictures of words.” Each typeface can bring out a different meaning. Have you ever tried typing the same word 20 times all with different typefaces? Do it now. I will be here.

Now look at what you see. It is the same word 20 times but with 20 different meanings, some slightly and some drastically different. Performing a study of diverse typefaces can be very important, and in high-profile cases may be necessary, to discover options for the brand.

In some instances it may be necessary to create a new typeface altogether. In a meeting of the Detroit InDesign User Group at Schoolcraft College on November 15, 2012, Eric Weir and Martin Smith fromGoodby, Silverstein and Partners Detroit stepped in to discuss their techniques and thought processes behind the 2013 Chevrolet catalogs. Among other design elements, Eric and “Marty” went into detail about the importance of font choice. In the case of the Chevy catalogs they actually commissioned two completely new fonts to be created. One unidentified attendee in the question and answers session said, “You don’t want your plumbing company to look like a Mexican restaurant!” While a plumbing company looking like a Mexican restaurant may sound like a stretch, it is not to some uneducated in the importance of font choice.

For a plumbing company it may be easier to find a font that would work well compared to the largest automaker in the world, but in both cases it is important. The logo should be built with the font choice in mind if at all possible. Since William Durant and Louis Chevrolet probably did not consider this in the early 1900s, we can give them a break. However, the Chevy logo is a great example of how a brand can go through a number of modifications and still stay true to its brand identity.

The logo, the typeface within it, and the corporate identity all go hand in hand. If this seems like an introduction to type it was not meant to be. It is just simply a reminder that something as simple as a typeface can change everything your company, or your client’s company, stands for. What does your company’s font choice evoke?

Article originally published on Talent Zoo for Beneath the Brand at: http://www.talentzoo.com/beneath-the-brand/blog_news.php?articleID=16411

The Ultimate New Year’s Resolution

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2013Do not put off until tomorrow what you can do today. Growing up, this is something I have heard time and again from my parents. You may have heard it yourself, but if not listen up.

Whether you would like to think it or not our days on Earth are limited. The only thing that will allow us to maximize the amount of time we spend at work, at home, at the gym, or at life in general depends on our internal self-motivation. Think about what your goals are in life. Every year, in preparation for New Year’s Day, we hear people claiming they will get out of debt, strive for a promotion, be nicer to others, or the infamous lose weight. What are you doing this very moment to get closer to that goal?

Actionable Goals

The key is to take steps to move forward and set yourself actionable goals. Personally, I set an actionable goal that I would grow my company’s social media accounts and the hits to our website by 100% in 2012. I spent the entire year working towards it and making little steps forward. I can proudly say I have now surpassed that goal.

An actionable goal is one that can be met, is measurable and has a time frame associated with it. Losing weight, for example, is not an actionable goal. An actionable goal for losing weight would read something like this: To lose 10 pounds by June 2013 in time for my best friend’s wedding. Set. Work. Achieve. Set again.

Move Forward

Moving forward is the key point. If you want to lose weight you may have to get up an hour earlier and work out before work. If you want to become a better public speaker a wise first step would be going to the web-site of your local Toastmasters club. If you are working towards a promotion at work you may not be able to clock-in at 9 and clock-out at 5 every day. Whatever the case may be, it takes creativity and a passion for making yourself better to succeed. If you sit idle and wait for something to happen to you, it probably will not.

Personally  Productive

Consider the level of personal productivity if things were not put off. Say you get a request at 4:45 and figure it can wait until the morning. Then morning comes and you have 3 more requests that came overnight that all need to be resolved today. Now you have made it more difficult on yourself. You could have stayed an extra hour, if that, and finished the task last night, but now since you are so swamped you will have to stay considerably longer today. It is a never-ending process unless you stay motivated.

Internal motivation is not easy. It is ingrained in some people more than others. However, once results start coming through it is easier and easier to continue the motivational trend.

So what is the ultimate New Year’s resolution? Do not put off until tomorrow what you can do today. That is my resolution. What is yours?

————

This is Kaizen for your goals – continuous improvement.

Kaizen is about continuous improvement. Japanese automakers used this process to improve processes created by American automakers to steal market share. Now I have created a series entitled Kaizen for Your Goals. It’s about continually improving yourself to make your goals a reality quicker and more effectively. Small steps now = big results later.

Dear Santa, Traditional Branding Works

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santaChange or die. You hear it often. Change is something people have come to expect in most aspects of their life. Brands are constantly changing and for a number of them they should be. There are a few things that never change, such as the taste of Coke (although they tried), the feel of cotton, and Santa.

Why don’t they change? Why hasn’t Santa been updated to a soy milk drinking vegan under 200 lbs and stripped of the red suit? There are many reasons. The Santa we know today can be mainly attributed to illustrator Thomas Nast. He first illustrated Santa Claus in Harper’s Weekly in 1862 during the Civil War. In total, Nast created 76 published engravings of our beloved Santa. Now you may or may not know, but Santa’s first appearance in advertising was not the popular Coca-Cola campaign that started in the 1930s.

Santa’s first appearance in advertising came by way of the White Rock Beverages in Waukesha, Wisconsin in 1915. Haddon Sundblom continued on the same jolly old Santa trend with his Coca-Cola advertisements from the 1930s through the 1950s. Today, Santa is portrayed exactly the same as he was 150 years ago and is used to sell everything from electronics to cars.

Notice the photo of Santa in that first group of advertisements from White Rock. He really has not changed. And who can explain the phenomenon of someone who normally listens to the likes of Lady Gaga wanting to hear Bing Crosby at Christmastime? There only one explanation: tradition.

Tradition brings consumers back to their childhood. It reminds them of the simpler things in life and brings them comfort. In a world where everybody is trying to find the next new extreme, it is possible to brand using traditional values and still move forward. Every great brand can bring forth a tradition in their own way.

Some brands need to change but some get it wrong. They stray from what made them great and lose. The key is to know your brand story and to build on it. We know Santa comes in on a sleigh, only eats milk and cookies, and lives at the North Pole. We don’t specify the cookies; there could be a thousand different types. This is where Santa can branch out. This is the least barrier to entry for changing something about Santa. Instead of trying to come up with the next new thing out of the blue, ask yourself this: “What are my cookies?”

Photo courtesy of www.whiterocking.com

Article originally published on Beneath the Brand at: http://www.talentzoo.com/beneath-the-brand/news/Dear-Santa,-Traditional-Branding-Works/16253.html

Look Out, Madison Ave; Detroit is Coming

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Bruce Lee once said, “We are told that talent creates its own opportunities. Yet it sometimes means that intense desire creates not only its own opportunities, but its own talents as well.” The Detroit advertising community has the talent and the intense desire. This was clearly evident at The D Show advertising awards last week.

Sponsored by the Adcraft Club of Detroit, The D Show is an annual event that celebrates Detroit’s best and most creative minds in advertising. There you will see shops of all sizes from small ones to heavy hitters like the Detroit offices of Leo Burnett, Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, Fallon, and WPP’s Team Detroit, comprising JWT, Y&R, Wunderman, Ogilvy, and Mindshare. The theme of The D Show was “Enter the D Show” which very closely resembled Bruce Lee’s infamous film, “Enter the Dragon.” It was described as the ultimate mental arts competition.

As the lights dimmed and the show took off you could cut the excitement with a knife, or a roundhouse kick, whichever you prefer. Stuart O’Neil of Team Detroit chaired the event and proudly noted, “First win the fight in your backyard, the make it on to the other show.” O’Neil speaking of “other” in reference to the Cannes Lions, Clio’s, Addys, and the like. Although The D Show may be a local advertising awards show, its ads have a global footprint.

As one may suspect, there were a lot of commercials and campaigns in the automotive sector. As one may not expect, there were a good number of campaigns outside of automotive, showing that Detroit is not simply a one-trick pony.

The D Show produced 85 awards in total. Below includes some of the stand-outs from the night.

  • One of the big local winners of the show was Yessian Music, taking home 7 Ds for original music and sound design.
  • The Richards Group won Best of TV with the Fiat commercial entitled “Seduction.” Watch the spot here.
  • In the Consumer TV category, Goodby, Silverstein & Partners accepted the D for their Chevy year-end sale event with St. Nick. Watch the spot here.
  • Capping off the night, Team Detroit won Best in Show with their Nanoblock print campaign for the Ohio Art Company.
  • See the entire list of winners.

The show was captivating and inspiring, marking a shining moment for the rebuilding of Detroit. Sherri Weitzman, President of Adcraft and National Advertising Manager at Cadillac, gave the closing remarks for the night, saying, “The out-of-town judges were blown away by the talent coming out of Detroit.” Weitzman elegantly concluded declaring, “We are back.”

Article originally published on Talent Zoo’s Beyond Madison Avenue at: http://www.talentzoo.com/beyond-madison-ave/blog_news.php?articleID=16148

Branding from Design to Retail: Apple Shows the Future

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appleIt is 5AM. Black Friday. They still have a turkey hangover but wake up anyway with coupons in hand to get the best deals in sight. We as marketers push out all the advertising in sight to get people to buy certain products and go to certain stores. It is the one day of year that consumers are guaranteed to wake up at all hours of the night to go shopping to get a few extra dollars off of their gifts. While strolling through the mall, there is one store in particular that has no deep discounts, but ironically is the most crowded. The Apple Store.

The in-store experience at Apple is the ultimate definition of experiential marketing in retail. The store is very refined and classically modern. The Apple store in fact looks and feels like one big Apple device. Like his products, Steve Jobs wanted everything simple and sleek. In an article in the Smithsonian Magazine, Walter Isaacson said this of Jobs: “He embraced minimalism, which came from his Zen devotion to simplicity.” Jobs himself said, “The way we’re running the company, the product design, the advertising, it all comes down to this: Let’s make it simple. Really simple.”

Simple is certain. There are no registers. No lines. No piles of items thrown a-strew. No pushy people on cell phones with overloaded carts standing in front of you with a crying baby arguing over a price check. Granted, the store is crowded and there are lots of people. However, Jobs again shows us the future with some revolutionary changes that many retailers could potentially see in the not-so-distant future, such as:

  1. Every product in the store has an iPad as its sign showing the price point and options of the item.
  2. There are at least 20 clerks walking around the store answering questions. Each of these clerks is equipped with an iPhone that is used to scan the item and check out the customer via debit or credit card. For those who want to pay with cash there are a few hidden cash drawers around the store that are built into some of the displays. The displays are so sleek you would never notice the cash drawers until one was opened.
  3. Discounts are minimized but demand is so high that consumers purchase anyway. In the early days of retail a huge sale did not need to happen every day. Jobs has pulled this thinking back in by making a superior product and selling at a reasonable price.

The future is not George Jetson-style flying cars or space suits. It is high-tech products with impeccable sleek design. It is stores that do not have lines wrapping around the building. It is branding your product from design through retail in a cohesive and desirable fashion. Apple again sends the rest of us the big question: Are we doing it all wrong?

Article originally published on Beneath the Brand at: http://www.talentzoo.com/beneath-the-brand/blog_news.php?articleID=16062