Pop Secret Has Just Proven that Advertisers Don’t Understand Millennials

Pop Secret Ad
I’m not really sure where Pop Secret was going with this ad, to be honest. Their target market was apparently millennials (so being within that generation I should have understood this, right?) but that’s about all I understood. The gist of the 60-second commercial is that popcorn kernels like to party. They wait in line to get into the microwave/nightclub and then get all sweaty/buttery popping it up to weird electronic dance music. The ad itself is a bit strange, but the fact that they’re obviously trying to get the attention of young people is even stranger, because I think it definitely fell flat. (more…)


Celebrity Endorsements in Advertising: Smart or Lazy?

Celebrity Endorsement
Celebrity endorsements in the world of advertising are nothing new by any means. As long as celebrities and advertising have existed they’ve been intertwined, but it seems like these endorsements are prevalent now more than ever in the advertising world. And because you see a celeb in an ad every time you turn around, they must work. Advertisers wouldn’t spend so much money for so many years on a tactic that hasn’t been proven to bring in more sales. But at the same time, I sometimes have to wonder if advertisers like it because it’s just easier than conceptualizing and developing a brand new creative idea. (more…)

And This, Friends, is Why Proofreaders Exist. John Frieda Flubs Grammar

John Frieda
Although it can be disappointing at times, I’ve come to accept that people often make grammar mistakes that are usually easily avoidable. Whether it’s a misused “your/you’re” issue or a simple typo, mistakes happen. I understand. However, I hold large companies with professional marketing and advertising teams to a much higher level. These people are paid (I’m guessing) hefty salaries to write the ads and double, triple, and quadruple check them to make sure they’re accurate before sending them off to the TV world to show everybody. Apparently the team at John Frieda was so concerned about how sleek and shiny their hair was that they didn’t notice that they used the wrong form of “its.” (more…)

Honey Maid Gives Us All a Lesson on How to Properly Handle Controversy

We’ve all seen controversial ads, some more blatant than others. Most of them don’t make it on air and find their way to the banned ad section of YouTube. One of the more recent controversies is advertisers’ use of gay and/or interracial couples in their commercials, where they are met with unscrupulous criticism. What I love about these controversial ads, though, is the way the companies bounce back from the wrath of the “haters.” First there was JC Penney with their use of a lesbian couple in their Mother’s Day catalogue. The anti-gay groups protested, so what was JCP’s response? A gay couple for Father’s Day. Then there was Cheerios with their adorable biracial little girl. After the criticism erupted, they not only made another similar ad, they turned it into a SUPERBOWL ad. And now there’s Honey Maid, taking a similar approach with their all-inclusive commercial. (more…)

Disney’s Unique Marketing Approach for ‘Frozen’–And Why It Worked

Photo credit: Entertainment Weekly

Photo credit: Entertainment Weekly

It’s official: Frozen won’t be thawing out anytime soon. It’s no secret that it has been smashing records and winning awards and creating a massive fan following since it was released in theaters in November, and it seems as if it hasn’t been slowing down at all since then. While a lot of its success rests on the movie itself, I also think the way Disney marketed the movie was part of its overall achievement.


Is Shockvertising Effective? Why Not Happy Endings?

Scare Advertising
Over the last week we’ve had not just one, but two gut-wrenchingly powerful advertisements released that attempt to force viewers into thinking about the unpleasant but everyday problems of the world. First was the UK’s Save the Children ad, using the Second a Day technique to lead us through a year in a young Syrian girl’s shoes. What starts out looking like an uplifting video of a happy girl celebrating a birthday quickly deteriorates into a portrayal of life in a war-torn country, with the intent to inform viewers of the ongoing brutality in Syria over the last three years. Second, we saw the Women’s Day ad released Friday, focusing on the issue of domestic violence through a woman’s (Google Glass) eyes. Similarly, the video started pleasantly enough, yet quickly took a shocking turn. Both videos (which are below if you haven’t seen them) used shock advertising (shockvertising) to get their important message across, and judging by the popularity of these ads it appears that many people have taken notice. But I do have to wonder if all the shocking ads will only make us more immune to them in the future. (more…)

#Can #We #Just #Cool #It #With #The #Hashtags #Please #?

First a disclaimer: I love social media, both from a personal and a business standpoint. It’s transformed the way we connect with friends and family just as much as it’s transformed the marketing and advertising worlds. But just like any great new invention, when everyone uses it (and overuses it) it has potential to defeat the purpose. Raise your hand if you have a friend on any social media outlet (because the hashtag is no longer restrained to Twitter alone) who has to tag #every #word #as #if #they’re #all #of #equal #importance? Annoying, right? While companies may not be quite as blatant about their overuse, it’s still happening in the form of asking consumers to connect with them in any way possible. (more…)

Chicago Advertising Federation Career Day: Learning from Chi-Town’s Best

Chicago Advertising Day
On Friday I had the opportunity to travel to Chicago to attend the Chicago Advertising Federation Career Day to participate in panel discussions with advertising professionals, meet with other college students trying to break into the industry, and network with some of the biggest names in advertising (just a sample of some of the attending sponsors: Leo Burnett, Ogilvy, Microsoft, Digitas, OMD, The Onion, and many more). Despite being a long and tiring day (my introverted self is still trying to recover from all the human interaction), I learned firsthand so much about the advertising industry, and it cemented my desire to work in this field after I graduate. (more…)

Super Bowl 2014 Commercials: Best of the Best

First of all, congrats to the Seahawks and better luck next year to the Broncos. Second, it’s time to discuss the touchdowns and fumbles of the advertising industry (which is much more exciting in my opinion)! There were some great standouts (my favorite coming before the game even started) and there were also some questionable ones. I’ve only rated what I thought were the best and most memorable ads, because in my opinion if it didn’t immediately stick in my mind after the game it was less than amazing. (more…)

And The GRAMMY for Tweet of the Year Goes To…Arby’s!

Arby's Hat

Photo sources: Hollywood Reporter, Businessweek

While everyone was busy chatting about who won the most “sippy cups” or the big wedding ceremony or Macklemore’s surprising sweep of the rap categories, marketing fanatics were gushing about Arbys’ genius social media move: targeting Pharrell Williams’ outrageously tacky hat. Although the hat already had its own Twitter account before the Arby’s mention (a sure sign you’ve made it big when your fashion accessory has a social media presence), the tweet from the fast food chain was what really caused the most commotion among viewers. (more…)