Monday, February 15, 2010

Whoopi cushion: Goldberg maintains her Poise. Will you?

Ladies and gentlemen, presenting the face of incontinence, Whoopi Goldberg. Yes, the comedian and The View co-host is helping to get discussion - pardon the pun - flowing about light bladder leakage. More accurately, she's helping Kimberly-Clark market its line of Poise panty pads.

Goldberg is going to be featured in a series of conventional ads and online webisodes that will highlight the bladder control problems of historical/mythical figures like Cleopatra, Joan of Arc and Eve. The goal is twofold: to reach out to young women and to let people know that not all products are created equally when you lay it on the line, or liner.

I'm all for raising awareness, particularly in the younger demo, that one in three women have this problem. But what nags at me is how it was decided that Whoopi is the right spokesmodel to engage young women in this discussion. Aren't they likely to see her as a mother, or grandmotherly, figure, thus defeating the purpose of the campaign? Wouldn't a contemporary like, I don't know, Rihanna or Kate Hudson have more cachet?

Also, why would women today care how Joan of Arc or Cleopatra dealt with weak bladders, even if handled comically? I would have thought something more contemporary would have been the way to go. But what do I know? I'm not the target audience.

Still, I'd love to see the stats after this campaign has played out for a year, just to know if the young ladies take their cues from Whoopi, and to prove me wrong. And forgive me this but I can't help wondering: is there any chance these Poise webisodes will leak online before their intended release date?

Read all about it: Globe & Mail fails to deliver on brand expectations

So, my other half, who I call M'lady, recieved a complimentary subscription to Canada's self-proclaimed national newspaper, The Globe & Mail.

It's a 90-day subscription that began last week, so it's Monday-Saturday delivery. Except, on Saturday, we didn't receive our copy of the newspaper. M'lady called to inquire about it and was told that, for comp subscriptions, they won't do a redeliver.

And I have a problem with this.

Here's the thing. I know I'm not a paid subscriber, but the 90-day comp is supposed to be an enticement for me to become one, right? So, if you were trying to woo a new customer, wouldn't you treat someone like me as if I were an existing customer? Wouldn't you try to impress me with outstanding customer service to give me some sense of what I can expect from you?

Apparently, if you're The Globe and Mail, you don't.

Here's the thing. If you want to have positive brand perceptions among customers - current and potential - you need to deliver a great brand experience. By not offering to send a replacement copy, The Globe and Mail failed to meet my expectations that we would have a paper for 90 days. It also suggests that the Globe and Mail views potential customers very differently than current customers, not valuing them enough to provide such a courtesy.

Sure, it's a small thing. But I think even a small thing like this has the power to alter the public's perception of a brand. So, it's something to keep in mind. And it's something that will be on my mind when the Globe and Mail calls to see if I want to be a subscriber. Here's hoping this news reaches them.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

In light of John Mayer's unfortunate comments...

As has been widely reported, John Mayer said something about how he has the heart of Benetton and the penis of former KKK Grand Wizard, David Duke.

Does this mean that he always does it hooded? If so, I think we've found a new spokesperson for Trojan.

More likely, I think John Mayer is right. He'll have to shut up and sing the blues for a while, and not for any corporate sponsors. It's too bad. It'd be great to see him do some form of male enhancement ad now...

Suggested jingle for Google Buzz

If they cannot license this song, perhaps they can have Buzz Lightyear be the spokesperson?

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

MTV: The Day the 'Music' Died.

So MTV has a new logo. And the interesting thing about it is... they've dropped the Music Television slogan.

Anyone could have told you that the M in MTV doesn't stand for music, and hasn't for a very long time. This thanks to the proliferation of things such as Jersey Shore and The Real World. This content has gradually crowded out music videos and performances.

The question now being, 'If MTV's brand is not all about the music, then what does the M in MTV stand for?' Mundane? Mediocre? Manure? Help me out here...

Big Idea: Commercial Cast Swap

How about we take the bears from this commercial:

And do an exchange with the bears from this commercial:

On second thought, maybe that wouldn't be such a good idea. Could we do an adult diaper commercial for the Chicago Bears? It depends...

Google will always have Paris.

On Sunday, while plowing through the Super Bowl ads on YouTube, I was a little harsh regarding the Google ad that follows. I summed it up as either the worst Choose Your Own Adventure Book or text-based game ever. Here it is for your consumption:

In my defense, I watched the ad after a series of big budget hooey awash in cartoon violence and misogyny. So, the rather modest production values, or simplicity in execution, underwhelmed me. Also, I thought then, and still think, it's a bit mawkish. A bit too much.

But you know what? It's a rather clever ad. The Google brand is front and centre all through the ad. The focus is on how you experience or use it. It tells a story rather well, and in 52 seconds. It's a more compelling narrative than, say, most Hollywood blockbusters. Or, for that matter, most of the ads on Sunday night.

I understand it has been a viral success, but it still strikes me as the wrong ad for the Super Bowl. I mean, given the stereotypes paraded around on Sunday, the last thing you'd expect most young males to do is to go to France, much less watch French films. And thus, my rather dismissive reaction. So this is a mea culpa, of sorts.

Meanwhile, it has inspired a parody...

Monday, February 8, 2010

The Eye Has It - Big Jaw Jay, Oprah & Dave, In One Ad

Probably the only real surprise in all of the 2010 Super Bowl ads was this one: an Ad for the Late Show with David Letterman featuring Jay Leno & Oprah.

Sure, it was essentially a rerun of a previous Letterman/Oprah ad, but given the ugly invective and tense history between Dave and Jay, it was unexpected that the two would ever appear on screen together again. Apparently, it was Dave's idea, and it wasn't done via CGI. It takes a big jawed man like Leno to suck it up and do something like this, especially when Dave gets the last joke.

NBC approving it also surprises me, but they must have thought it would help to rehabilitate Jay's image. No, wait, that implies that there is some degree of thought occuring over at NBC:

Super Bowl Ad Super Round Up

To quote Craig Kilborn from the old incarnation of the Daily Show, what did we learn from the 2010 Super Bowl ads?

- That sass-talking old people aren't quite as funny as sass-talking old celebrities being knocked to the ground. Oh, and that Abe Vigoda is very much alive. No one will believe it when he's dead. Thanks, Snickers.

- The Hyundai Sonata is unlikely to be played to a rapturous reception in concert halls 200 years from now.

- The Chicago Bears Boost Mobile ad wouldn't have cut it as a Boost drink ad. Or even the Curly Shuffle. A lot of money for very little effect, or humor.

- Many of the ads were written or inspired by General Larry 'Pants on the Ground' Platt. I dock several points from Dockers's ad. I hope Men Without Pants will have less shelf life than Men Without Hats.

- The typical star of any commercial is some greasy gob with lank hair, facial hair that resembles nasty underbrush and a very pale complexion. In other words, they all look like Ethan Hawke. Or copywriters.

- I really hoped Montgomery Burns was going to take a football to the crotch in that Coca-Cola ad. Remember when the Simpsons stood for something other than ad pitchmen?

- Doritos proved that the viewing public can come up with ideas just as tedious, familiar and filled with cartoon violence as any highly paid ad writer can. Progress?

- My new slogan for the company: Pop Goes the Weasels.

- With so many sequels, remakes and reimaginings, it was hard to tell the regular ads from the movie ads. I'm looking at you, Teleflora,, etc.

- Most ad writers seem to have women issues. Or they suspect Super Bowl viewers do. A little of column A, a little of column B? I'm looking at you Dodge Charger.

- How many times do you think Brett Favre flip-flopped on doing the Hyundai ad?

- Dove, given how freely men tend to 'off-gas', I dare say we are all comfortable in our own skins. Except those who take their cues from Silence of the Lambs.

- If PETA really wanted to be useful, it would protest TruTV ads, and professional drivers who transport whales.

- The Bud Light House should have been a Bud Lighthouse, a beacon to thirsty, weary travelers.

- Kia has good taste in music. Their ad used The Heavy's How You Like Me Now.

- Google's ad amounted to the worst text-based computer game from the mid-80s, or a rather formulaic choose your adventure book.

- Jack in the Box ads would be so much better if they featured Jack Bauer trapped in a box.

- Don't abort your babies because the NFL needs star players, or something. But it is okay to tackle your mom? Thanks for that uplifting ad, Focus on the Family. If I oppose this vague, simplistic tripe as inappropriate for the misogynistic Super Bowl, do I have a de-fetus attitude? PS: Why did Mary Steenburgen play Tebow's mom?

- Thanks to, Fiddling Beaver is going to be a very popular sexual euphemism. that semi-aquatic rodent probably couldn't best Charlie Daniels in a duel, but the Devil could take him.

- This Tuesday, Denny's Wants to give you the bird. Pass it on. And guys only want chicks for their eggs, then we split.

- The VW Ads were brought to you by Hawaiian Punch. But how did Stevie Wonder know when to punch Tracey Morgan? Very superstitious...

- If Gene Simmons is a 'doctor' as the Dr. Pepper ads suggest, then I say that based on all the ladies he's had, he's a gynecologist, or, to borrow from @tarpo on Twitter, he's well versed in communicable diseases.

- There is nothing Gene Simmons won't do, by the way, for money. Or attention. And the Dr. Pepper ad would have been funnier if he used the soft drink as fake blood.

- LL Cool J would have rocked the bells if he had done the Taco Bell commercial.

- Thanks to GoDaddy, I now imagine Katie Couric stripping to demonstrate how heated things are in the middle east.

- Super Bowl ads are, in general, not so super.