Category Archives: Branding

Truth In Advertising, What a Concept

Terribles

Yes, this is a terrible business name. (Sorry.) But then again, lowering the bar is a sure-fire way to avoid over-promising. After all, what do you expect from a truck stop/convenience store, anyway? If you’ve at least got a clean restroom, you’re already ahead of most of the competition. And this place was hopping. Go figure. (Found in Kingman, AZ)

 

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A Toast to Guinness Advertising

Guinness produces brilliant advertising. Oh, and their stout is not too shabby either.

For creative types, beer is the Holy Grail of advertising accounts, because almost anything goes. It’s a chance to do outrageous gags with big budgets. But the problem with most beer commercials is that they usually end up being generic and formulaic. Funny set-up, add logo, insert tag line as punch line at the end. Done.

Guinness has always been different. Sure, it’s had plenty of big budget TV spots, but they’ve always been based on the brand’s “unique differentiators” (as they say in marketing-speak): the Irish heritage and the slow pour that a good stout requires. Guinness commercials wouldn’t work for any other brewer.

A Guinness Facebook post recently asked fans to list their favorite tag line from the brand. The responses were many and varied: “Brilliant.” “Good things come to those who wait.” “It’s good for you.” “Guinness for strength.” “It’s alive inside.” “My goodness, my Guinness!” Continue reading

The Exclusive Return of the Most Interesting Man in the World

Are you thirsty, my friends?

Here for your viewing and imbibing pleasure, announced as an exclusive “event” on Facebook with a link to this “unlisted” video, is the return of The Most Interesting Man in the World.

His long-awaited reappearance was announced with the following invitation:

There’s nothing interesting about being the second person to do something. RSVP to be one of the first to see the new Dos Equis television spot. Without further adieu…

Has His Most Interestingness equaled his previous exploits? Can he beat Chuck Norris and The Old Spice Guy blindfolded? Will you buy Dos Equis? THAT is the question!

Pop Culture Snack

Sometimes a good headline is all it takes. Loved this one for Pop Chips.

Nice headline on the car. I’d never heard of Pop Chips before but the line on the side of this passing car was enough to make me want to try the chips. (Don’t worry, my passenger shot the photo.)

According to the website description, Pop Chips (excuse me: popchips™) are not fried or baked, because that would be unhealthy or un-tasty. They’re popped. Heated up like popcorn apparently. (Nuked?) S’posed to be healthy or at least organic.

popchips™ are also uncapitalized. So what is it with art directors or brand managers and the aversion to capitalization? Just a style thing, I guess.

Have you tried them yet? Pop on over to popchips.com to find out where to find them. Now I’m getting hungry.

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This Year Goes To 11

Take it to 11 at NAMM. That's one louder.

The 2011 NAMM Show (shorthand for what used to be known as the National Association of Music Merchants) has taken its thematic inspiration from the Rob Reiner rockumentary satire film, This Is Spinal Tap, in which Nigel Tufnel explains the advantages of having an amp that goes all the way to 11. It’s a perfect reference for their audience.

NAMM is where musicians, instrument makers and related music companies come to do business and show their latest gear. It’s like a Guitar Center on steroids that’s as big as the Anaheim Convention Center (bigger, actually). The place is so thick with rock stars, you practically trip over ’em every time you turn around.

Here’s how the NAMMsters describe this year’s show on the website: “On a scale of 1 to 10, we’re taking it to 11 and so can you! The 2011 NAMM Show has everything you need to turn it up a notch in your business, from the hottest new music products offered by 1500+ exhibitors to free business-building training customized to the challenges of today’s industry professionals.” Continue reading

Art for the Hungry Masses

Found commercial art. Can you guess where?

 

The Truth About Santa Claus, Coke Pusher

Did Coke create the modern Santa Claus? If so, artist Haddon Sundblom was the man behind the beard. Here he models for himself as Santa Claus.

Instead of complaining about the commercialization of Christmas, let’s celebrate one of the finest and longest-running advertising campaigns centered around the season.

Did Coca-Cola Really Create the Modern Image of Santa Claus?

Technically, no. If you check Snopes, that claim is marked “false.” The myth-busting site does give Coke partial credit, however. And according to the soft-drink maker’s own website, “Coca-Cola® advertising actually helped shape this modern-day image of Santa.” Not much argument there.

Did Coke Choose the Color of Santa’s Suit?

In 1862, Civil War cartoonist Thomas Nast drew Santa Claus for Harper’s Weekly as a small elf-like Union supporter. Nast continued to draw Santa for 30 years, along the way changing the coat from tan to red. So Santa’s red suit came from Nast’s vision of St. Nick, not Coke’s corporate color.

Thomas Nast's Santa Claus for Harper's.

Winter Wasn’t Always Coke Weather

Back in the day (the Roaring ‘20s), people thought of Coca-Cola as a drink for warm weather only. To rectify that perception, the company began running ads in 1922 with the slogan “Thirst Knows No Season,” then followed up with a campaign connecting the beverage with Santa Claus to lend it some cold-weather cred.

Sundblom’s Santa

The most famous version of the man with all the toys is the one created by illustrator Haddon Sundblom. Coke credits its advertising agency for the vision: “Archie Lee, the D’Arcy Advertising Agency executive working with The Coca-Cola Company, wanted the next campaign to show a wholesome Santa as both realistic and symbolic.” So in 1931, Sundblom got the gig to develop advertising art using Santa Claus, with a twist: the images would depict the actual Santa, not a man dressed as Santa.  Continue reading

Tweet This: Top 5 UnMarketing Twitter Tips

Scott Stratten spreads UnMarketing awesomeness at LinkedOC.

When you go to an UnMarketing event, there’s no need to turn off or even silence your cell phone. (As long as your ringtone is not by Ke$ha.) That’s because Scott Stratten, author of UnMarketing, wants you to tweet about it. You see, Scott is not ashamed to admit he loves Twitter.

“I Speak In Tweets”

That’s how Scott Stratten started off his keynote at the most recent LinkedOC event organized by Bryan Elliott. True to his word, Scott’s talk was filled with pithy UnNuggets that could be sent out in 140 characters or less. (Only problem was the cell phone reception—or rather, unreception—was spotty at best.) Just in case there was any doubt about when to tweet, Scott would pause just a little too long and give a big exaggerated wink. He’s subtle like that.

Scott Stratten on social media ROI: "Every time you ask for ROI on Twitter, a kitten dies." And Scott makes a face.

Engagement 2.0

Hosted by Gothic Moon Studios in Orange, the theme of the evening was engagement, which also happens to be part of the subtitle of his book: “Stop Marketing. Start Engaging.” While engagement is not exactly a new idea, the way Scott packages and delivers it is refreshingly humorous and direct. And his book reads a lot like the way he speaks. (Probably because he dictated much of it with voice-to-text software. See page 108.)

By the way, be sure to read the footnotes in UnMarketing, because they’re mostly snarky asides. In fact, Scott is so genuine, he even looks like his avatar picture in person. Always a good thing.

Scott Stratten is always branding, always UnMarketing. Yes, even this can be considered branding.

The 30-Day Twitter Challenge

A couple years ago, Scott was about to give up on Twitter as a networking tool (see Chapter 17: How Twitter Changed My Business). But before he bailed completely, he was willing to give it one last push. A 30-Day Twitter Challenge. So with about 2,000 followers at that point, he virtually lived on Twitter for the next month. That’s when he saw the light and became a true Twitter believer.

After his 30-day challenge, he had 10,000 followers and was “hooked.” Stratten writes, “I had made better and stronger relationships in that time span than all the other social networking sites combined. I had built a loyal following, booked speaking engagements, and gained consulting clients, without ever pitching a thing.”

One of the main reasons he believes in the power of Twitter is the absence of any barrier to engagement. Unlike Facebook and LinkedIn, Twitter doesn’t require permission or approval for you to follow and engage anyone you like.

Here are Scott Stratten’s Top 5 Twitter Tips from UnMarketingContinue reading

Axe vs Old Spice vs Grover – Smells Like a Monster

Axe stakes its claim as "Canada's #1 Men's Deodorant" with a billboard that reads: "For men who'd rather be with a woman than on a horse."

Smells like…

Competition! Old Spice has been on the receiving end of a few potshots lately, which is to be expected after being on a roll (or on a horse) for a while.

To start with, the company’s shirtless spokesman, Isaiah Mustafa, went moonlighting away from his regular gig as The Man Your Man Could Smell Like for Old Spice. He did basically the same shtick for someone else, but on the other side of the world and without all the props. Maybe he just needed a break from the bathroom. He went all the way to Australia to disrobe for… Continue reading

Oakley and the Chilean Miners – Publicity Goldmine

This portion of the Chilean Miners rescue has been brought to you by Oakley Radar® sunglasses.

Doing Well By Doing Good

Move over, Lance Armstrong. Oakley has 33 new “celebrity” product endorsers.

Unless you were trapped in a cave somewhere yourself over the last few weeks, you probably heard about the dramatic rescue of 33 Chilean miners who were trapped underground for 69 days.

The good news is they got out, with a little help from their friends and a few corporate sponsors.

At the very same time Chris Brogan was speaking to Linked OC members at Oakley about how companies are using technology to connect with consumers, the Chilean miners were reconnecting with their families thanks to technology donated by Oakley and others.

Oakley posted an update on its website the following day: Continue reading