C’mon, Target. THINK!

April 8, 2010

Admittedly, I love Target as a brand. I admire that they’ve taken a category that’s mostly been about penny-pinching and created advertising that’s basically fashion ads. Discount brand becomes fashion brand? Brilliant.

However, one of my students brought up an interesting point during a class we had with our VP of Media Planning. She said that she won’t shop at Target anymore because she can’t STAND their incessant advertising during the Discovery series “Life.”

Personally, I haven’t seen the show, but she said it’s very much like “Planet Earth.” Except… whenever the show is ready to cut to commercial, the program actually dissolves to the Target logo and then the viewer is inundated with Target ads. During every pod of ads.

Initially, she brought this up because we were talking about wear-out. How many times can a viewer see an ad before they puke on their shoes?

She said it wasn’t so much a problem of wear-out, but more a problem of Target being the wrong brand for “Life.” Yes… being green and caring about the earth is very trendy. And Target, as a fashion brand, is all about being trendy. But… they’re a fashion brand. Not a green brand. She felt that GE Eco-magination or even Tom’s of Maine would have been a more appropriate sponsor. And she wouldn’t feel like the advertising was so out of place.

I tend to wonder if there’s an even larger subliminal issue at hand. Target, as iconic as it is, has an extremely iconic logo. A. Giant. Red. Target.

My feeling about show sponsorship (and yes, I’m in creative… not media) is that if you can’t slap your logo over images of the show and feel like it’s a good match… then it’s probably a bad match.

Let’s see what happens when you slap Target’s iconic logo over the tree-hugging, awe-inspiring images of “Life”:

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Anyone else see an inherent problem here?

Good thing they didn’t sponsor “Planet Earth” or a documentary about JFK.

The fact is, at its core, Target is a fashion brand. I give them props for trying to support something educational and earth-friendly… but… when I close my eyes and associate their branding with endangered species and cute little animals… I just want to, well… puke on my shoes.


By now, if you haven’t bought an iPad or physically touched one or seen countless fluff pieces about it… well, you’re probably just finishing up a 7-month trek along the Appalachian Trail. Or playing space tourist on a Russian cosmo-craft. Or something.

The other day, my dog and I hit the Apple Store before our evening walk. I was lucky enough to get my hands on an iPad almost immediately and started opening apps and sweeping my fingers across its bright, impressive display. My fingers enjoyed the experience so much, they almost found their way down into my wallet for my credit card…

But then I noticed something. Many of the apps that were installed on the iPad were not… well… iPad apps. They were iPhone-sized apps that were compatible with the iPad platform. Which basically means, you can use a tiny little 3-inch app in the center of this big beautiful screen… or hit the “x2” button and it will enlarge, filling the whole screen. When it enlarges, it also gets ridiculously pixelated. Which is kind of a lip-curling turn-off.

Big Screen, Tiny Apps.

What’s the point? If I wanted to use iPhone-sized apps, I’d download them on my iPhone.

The HD (or full-sized) apps looked amazing. Totally gave me an understanding of why someone would want an iPad.

The video looked fantastic. The books looked pretty good… although, I’m still conflicted about reading books on iPad. The point of the Kindle was to give readers a screen that didn’t feel like a screen on the eyeballs. It feels more like paper. The iPad can’t deliver this… but it certainly can deliver full-color publications, which the Kindle cannot.

So, did I finally whip out my credit card? No. Here’s why:

  • Early adopters always get burned. Can you imagine buying the first iPhone? Before they added GPS and the App Store? Ugh. What’s the point!?
  • Fill that App Store with Full-Res iPad apps, Apple. I really have no reason to buy an iPad otherwise. Those life-altering apps are the selling point for me.
  • Waiting for v2 could mean all kinds of goodies for less money. I’d rather save my pennies for the version with more memory and a camera… for probably $399. (obviously a guess, but not a bad one)

Any agreers? Disagreers?  Tell me what you think.

I’m baaaaaack.

April 7, 2010

Ok. So, over a year later… I’m finally back to the blog. I’m sure most of you have been checking back daily for the past 14 mos, weeping into your half-empty cups of coffee, wondering “why is there no copywronging for me to read today? And today? And today? And today?…”

Well, it took this little story from the Huffington Post to get me pick up my broken pencil.

So, the French version of Marie Claire has come out with a special edition with absolutely NO retouching. Not a single stroke of an airbrush in the whole publication (ads excluded, I’m sure).

And this is a huge frigging deal.

::Dramatic Pause::

WHY should this have to be such a huge frigging deal?!?!  Why can’t someone just make a magazine ALL the time that promises 0% airbrushing 100% of the time??

Wouldn’t the happy medium be to have a magazine full of normal-to-thin models with no airbrushing? No wonder thin women with cellulite are losing their minds. They being shown that all women in the media are perfect.

The fact is, great-looking women have scars, cellulite, wrinkles, and liver spots. They just DO.

For years, publishers ridiculed about featuring skinny models. Then, some tried featuring full-figured models and that didn’t make women feel any better. It’s more about the airbrushing.

I challenge the publishers in this country to create a beauty magazine that’s full of the same fashion, sex, and celeb crap that all beauty mags have… but no airbrushing.

Because, ultimately… not only would an airbrush-free magazine make us all feel a little more natural and a little less lied-to, but publishers would save MILLIONS in production costs every year. And what Editor-in-Chief wouldn’t like the sound of that..?

Told ya so.

February 11, 2009

I know it’s been a while, but I couldn’t pass up posting this link. Look back at my post on July 17 ’08…. everyone IS becoming an app developer! Woot!


Death of the Laugh Track

October 2, 2008

I was having a conversation with someone about 9/11 this morning. A cheery topic to start off any day.

And we talked about how humor sort of went away for a while after the attacks on the World Trade Center. How comedians didn’t really know what to say after such a horrible thing had happened to our country. And it took a little while for us all to laugh again.

We were smacked pretty hard in the face by the cold, damp hand of reality.

Speaking of reality…

Reality TV started to pick up in popularity just before 9/11. Then it exploded after 9/11. And dramas slowly became more popular than comedies. Why is that? After going through so much emotional hardship, didn’t we – as a country – need to laugh more than ever?

I tend to wonder if we just couldn’t put up with the network fluff that was considered to be funny anymore. Laugh tracks and over-enthused studio audiences were subconsciously TELLING US when to laugh… and we just couldn’t be told when to laugh anymore. We’d been through too much.

Some dumb actress getting her blouse stuck in a drawer and then subsequent canned laughter wouldn’t cut it anymore. It just seemed so empty.

I did a little research, checking out the Nielson ratings from the past years.

In 1999, some of the top comedies were Friends, Frasier, Everybody Loves Raymond, Becker, Dharma & Greg, and Drew Carey. All canned-laughter-shows.

The 2001-2002 season (which kicked off shortly after the attacks on the WTC) included comedies like Friends, Everybody Loves Raymond, Will & Grace, Becker, and Frasier.

Jump to 2005. In the top 20 shows, there’s really only one sitcom – Two and a Half Men – which does have a laugh track. Desperate Housewives was #4, but isn’t really considered a comedy. Nor is House. 2005 barely has a hint of laugh tracks in its top shows.

Look at the comedies we laugh at today: It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Samantha Who, the second coming of The Family Guy, 30 Rock, The Office, My Name is Earl, Ugly Betty… Not a laugh track in the lot of them. Only CBS has a few laugh-track-shows left on their roster… and frankly, I don’t know anyone who watches them.

There could be another contributing factor to the laugh track’s death: technology.

Perhaps as people replaced their tube TVs with plasma and LCD screens, laugh tracks and cheap production values didn’t really seem to jive with the killer displays and surround sound. Shows like Ugly Betty and 30 Rock have the feeling of being shot “on location” and not in some lame studio. (Even though a good deal of 30 Rock and other shows are still shot on soundstages.)

With big TVs come the need for big drama, big production values, and big laughs. No sissy lame-ass jokes on a small scale.

So, maybe it’s the onset of advanced technology. Or we just changed the way we laugh at things in general. Either way, the laugh track is dead.

Get with it, CBS. It’s not 1999 anymore.

This new viral spot from Diesel is mind-blowing.

As one of our interns said to me, “I don’t say this very often, but I wish I’d thought of that.” Amen, brother.

Visit this link to YouTube to see the video in action…

What Will They Think of Next?!

September 22, 2008

I sometimes wonder how stupid we are. Waiting on the edge of our seats for the fortieth coming of Reese’s… or Coke… all they need to do is slap their iconic logo on a new product and they assume we’ll run out like lemmings and buy ’em all up.

And what’s kinda sad is… we must be buying them all up. Otherwise their research department would never have encouraged making yet ANOTHER brand extension.

This is Doritos’ new exotic flavor… TOASTED CORN.

Um… since Frito-Lay already makes both Doritos and Tostitos AND Fritos… why, in God’s name, do they need another plain, salty corn chip in their arsenal?

A friend of mine argued that he would consider buying these chips because he likes the Doritos brand. So… is that what Doritos is banking on? That people love the Doritos brand so much… and “trust” it SOOOO much…. that they’ll buy these boring, plain chips…

Ok. First of all, I know it’s been a while. I moved to Dallas. It’s been busy. But now I’m in my groove, and I’ll be sharing my adventures in advertising from down here, y’all. Should be a trip.

Anyway, this line is probably one of the better ones I’ve heard in a while. Came from this video from Current.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Basically, my friend down here sent me this video when I started obsessing over missing Pinkberry. There are a few knock-offs around Dallas (I’ve only tried BerryBerry so far… too creamy. Kinda gross. I need icy, tart, intense. I soldier on…)

Am I one of the many stereotypes? One of the women who can’t live without yogurt?

Do I care? No. But I have come to the conclusion that the gayer-sounding yogurt shops are probably more Pinkberry-esque. At least, I’m hoping my theory is correct. Gal needs her tart yogurt with strawberries, blueberries, and fruity pebbles, dammit. There’s only so many weeks she can go without it

Easily one of the best episodes of ANY show on TV. Ever.

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more about “Hulu – Dennis And Dee Go On Welfare: …“, posted with vodpod

My Favorite Olympics.

August 20, 2008

For the first time in a while, I’ve watched the Olympics every day. Maybe it’s because I finally have an HD TV and everything – even synchronized swimming – looks great in HD.

Despite the fact that Ian Crocker (a high school friend’s younger brother) will go home with no hardware this time, there were definitely a few highlights for me this year, in my opinion:

  • Beijing is on the other side of the planet. Insomniacs rejoice. Something worth watching (LIVE, NO LESS!) at 3:30 am!
  • Hearing grown men repeat the last name “Dalhausser” over and over. Teehee. (pronounced Dollhouser.)
  • Hearing announcements repeated by an overenthusiastic Chinese announcer. Everything sounds funnier/cooler/more international in Chinese.
  • Watching hurdlers wipe out.

  • Seeing Nastia put that annoying little Shawn in her place in the all-around in women’s gymnastics. (Sorry, Shawn. You’ve been way too perky and confident coming into these games.)
  • Bela Karolyi’s semi-comprehensible, over-enthusiastic commentary. “Total reep-off!”
  • My grandmother’s valid point about “why do women wear bikinis in so many events?” Think about it – in running and beach volleyball, why don’t men wear the male equivalent of sport banana hammocks?
  • Dara Torres indirectly teaches the world how to appropriately pronounce our name.
  • Dara Torres (and a few other “older” silver-medal winners) raises the question: do older athletes “still got it” or can’t compete with the gold-winning whippersnappers?
  • Usain Bolt’s (Jamaica) obvious attitude problem. The hand-pistol? Flashing his pinky ring? Really? He’s not an Olympian. He’s a circus act.
  • The moms. Some of the funniest freakout video ever put on TV.
  • The opening ceremony. Good luck competing with THAT, London.
  • Oh yeah… and that Michael Phelps guy. Not shabby.