Monday, October 31, 2011

9468: Gettin’ Jiggy With Jell-O.

Jell-O Jiggle-It—watch how Jell-O breaks it down.

9467: “In Living Color” Alive Again.

From The New York Daily News…

‘In Living Color’ returning to Fox midseason: 1990s sketch comedy launched Jim Carrey’s career

“In Living Color” is coming back from the dead

By Kathleen Perricone, New York Daily News

“In Living Color” is coming back from the dead.

The groundbreaking 1990s sketch comedy which launched the careers of Jim Carrey, Jamie Foxx and Jennifer Lopez will be returning to Fox this season, reports Deadline.

Keenen Ivory Wayans, who both created and starred on the original show, will serve as host and executive producer for two half-hour specials to air midseason in honor of the network’s 25th anniversary.

Deadline adds that the deal includes an option to add “In Living Color” as a regular series next season.

But don’t expect to see stars like Carrey, Foxx or David Alan Grier come back for more laughs.

Wayans plans to reboot the show with an all-new cast of comedians.

“In Living Color” premiered in 1990 was an instant hit for five seasons, thanks to memorable characterslike Homey D. Clown (Damon Wayans) and Fire Marshall Bill (Carrey).

9466: Affirmative Action For Zombies.

Equal Zombortunity? In the advertising industry, a zombie actually has a better chance of getting hired than a minority.

From Ads of the World.

9465: Smoove Operator.

This Smooth/Smoove concept seems a little, well, rough.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

9464: Seeking Advertising Talent In China.

Advertising Age reported on the apparent dearth of qualified advertising talent in China. WPP is responding with the launch of a 3-year college program designed to create a fresh crop of skilled Chinese adpeople. Gee, what an original idea. Perhaps students will be inspired to write a thesis on the classic Calgon commercial. BTW, is WPP also scouring the low-income sections of Shanghai for prospective employees? The holding company should integrate a student exchange program with Howard University. Maybe The One Club will stage a “Where Are All The Chinese People?” event. Or TORCH could introduce TORCHINA—Together Our Resources Can Help In Nations Abroad. Expect the 4As to jump on the bandwagon with a new MAIP—Mandarin Advertising Intern Program. Meanwhile, look for Tiffany R. Warren to hand an ADCOLOR® Award to Jackie Chan. And somebody better bring in a Chinese interpreter to translate when Dan Wieden declares, “Now that’s fucked up!”

9463: Adweek Promotes Bad Advertising.

Isn’t it sorta ironic that Adweek offers advertisers the ability to create formulaic and generic advertising?

9462: Overreaction Of The Week.

The New York Daily News reported Black licorice can be a health hazard for people over 40. Sure, blame it all on the Black licorice.

Black licorice isn’t a sweet treat for adults over 40, says FDA

Too much black licorice can cause grown-up trick-or-treaters to experience abnormal heart rhythms.

By Kathleen Lucadamo, New York Daily News

Black licorice isn’t a treat for folks over 40 — as it can cause them heart problems if eaten too much, the Food and Drug Administration warned this week.

The tasty sweet contains glycyrrhizi, which can decrease potassium levels in the body and cause some people to have abnormal heart rhythms, high blood pressure and congestive heart failure, according to the feds.

“Days before the biggest candy eating holiday of the year, encourages moderation if you enjoy snacking on the old fashioned favorite,” the agency wrote in an alert.

Black licorice is most dangerous to adults 40 and older, they said, noting that if they eat 2 ounces of it for two weeks they could land in the hospital with a heart murmur.

If you already had a pre-Halloween binge on black licorice, don’t worry. The FDA said that potassium levels usually go back to normal once you stop eating the twisty candy.

Black licorice can also clash with some medications so officials warned people taking prescriptions to check with their doctors about possible problems with eating the item.

9461: Scary Bad Ads From Denver Ad Club.

Another example of award show ads that are anything but award-winning ads. Plus, there appear to be zero minorities in the club.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

9460: Adweek Shows White Portrait Of Industry.

Adweek must be trying to make up for the Michael Wolff experiment, as the trade journal has been publishing a lot more advertising-related content lately. Portraits: Photos of Ad Agencies and Media Pioneers From the Pages of ‘Adweek’ emphasizes our predominately White industry, presenting zero Blacks and only a few ethnically-ambiguous characters who may be Latino.

9459: 4A’s Asks Members To Stop Being Racists.

From Target Market News…

4A’s issues advisory on non-discrimination advertising policies and practices

(Oct. 26, 2011) The American Association of Advertising Agencies has released guidance for its members in addressing non-discrimination vendor policies and procedures. The recommendation comes following new requirements issued by the FCC requiring broadcasters to “certify that their advertising sales contracts contain nondiscrimination clauses and do not discriminate on the basis of race or ethnicity.”

The move is intended to eliminate the practice of “No Urban Dictates” and “No Spanish Dictates” in which advertisers exclude black and Hispanic radio stations from being considered for advertising buys and placements.

“Many of our members have made it a goal to provide equal opportunity for all media vendors, supplier and agents,” said Bill Koenigsberg, President and Chief Executive Officer, Horizon Media and Chairman, 4A’s Media Policy Committee. “We want to make sure all members have the same information to work with and continue to expand their outreach including, but not limited to, proper training, education and internal guidelines that provide a forum for open discussions. Access to all makes for better advertising.”

The policy framework also includes consideration of a vendor complaint review process.

“Working with the 4A’s and its Media Policy Committee in the adoption of non-discrimination media vendor policy and establishing a process to address these issues represents a historic moment,” said Sherman K. Kizart, Managing Director of Kizart Media Partners. “I look forward to expanding our current discussions on how committee members can help bridge the gap in opportunities afforded to all minority-owned and minority-targeted media platforms for their clients.”

Other advocacy groups and industry professionals were pleased by the development, but expressed cautions about areas that the 4A’s recommendation did not address.

“The advertising nondiscriminatory policy statement is a great starting point,” said Adonis Hoffman, Adjunct Professor of Marketing, Advertising and Public Policy at Georgetown University. “Ultimately, resolving this problem will hinge on two very simple principles: (1) the decision by agency CEOs to make sure that their down-the-line junior staffers abide by the spirit of the rules, not just the letter, and (2) the decision by agency CEOs to buy minority media, not just tolerate them.”

“There should be some insurance for retaliation against a minority vendor who raises a red flag,” Hoffman added. “It is human nature to foreclose opportunities on anyone who says you are not playing fair. “There are questions as to whether the agency itself has the capacity to conduct a fair and credible review. Self-regulation in that instance can only go so far.”

Hoffman was Senior Vice President and General Counsel at the 4A’s from 2000-2010, and before that was a senior advisor to FCC Chairman Bill Kennard and actively worked on these issues in his former roles. Today, he advises advertisers, agencies and media companies on legal issues and leadership strategies.

The Minority Media and Telecommunications Council commended the 4A’s for the announcement. “This historic achievement will directly combat the invidious “No Urban” and “No Spanish Dictates” that cost minority broadcasters millions of dollars annually. MMTC understands that 4A’s new policy will extend to all media, including broadcast, print, cable, and online advertising.”

9458: Art Directors Club A Boys’ Club…?

Haven’t seen all the posters for the ADC 91st Annual Awards Call for Entries Campaign by DDB New York, but it looks like all the characters are male. And the colored round head is wearing a hoodie. Oh, the Art Directors Club also could’ve benefited from recruiting a few decent writers. It’s another example of award show ads that are anything but award-winning ads.

Friday, October 28, 2011

9457: Mayhem Won’t Hold Purse.

Advertising Age reported on the Allstate “Purple Purse” promotion to raise awareness about domestic violence against women. Guess it would have been inappropriate to show Mayhem beating housewives.

9456: Honoring Hottentot Venus...?

Copyranter spotted a series of messages created for Marie Claire in South Africa, who asked six advertising shops to “design posters that challenge our perceptions on what the perfect body is.” The one depicted above came from King James RSVP. R├ępondez s'il vous plait. Perhaps the shop was saluting Sarah Baartman…?

Thursday, October 27, 2011

9455: Groupon Deals Pink Slips To Staff.

The Chicago Tribune reported that Groupon is dumping “the worst 10 percent of its sales staff.” Wow, it must have been tough to weed out the bad from that particular collection of hacks. Groupon sure has orchestrated a nice send-off, announcing to the world that the terminated are the most awful of its employees. Shouldn’t a company also be held accountable for having such a high percentage of substandard performers to begin with?

Groupon to lay off 10% of sales staff


Chicago-based daily deals site Groupon is replacing the worst 10 percent of its sales staff as it pushes to win stronger deals from merchants and ensure it can keep growing, the company’s chief executive told potential IPO investors on Wednesday.

Andrew Mason told investors who had gathered in Boston that the action was designed to improve the quality of the deals being offered.

Groupon currently has a salesforce of over 4,800, according to its IPO prospectus.

As of September 30, Groupon had 143 million subscribers, but in the third quarter only 30 million of them bought Groupons.

Repeat customers increased from the second quarter but only numbered 16 million, according to a regulatory filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Failing to win enough repeat customers may dampen the rapid growth that currently supports the company’s roughly $11 billion valuation.

Some merchants have complained that Groupon did not help them win permanent customers, and instead delivered bargain seekers taking advantage of price cuts. A portfolio manager at the roadshow said these complaints raised doubts about Groupon’s ability to keep growing.

“At the end of the day all they’re offering the merchant is the ability to cut price … you can cut price any time you want. You don’t need Groupon to do it,” said a portfolio manager whose firm manages more than $20 billion and who attended the presentation in Boston.

But Mason does not see it that way. On Wednesday, he described Groupon’s approach as “risk-free performance marketing” for businesses.

“They pay for customers (coming through) the door,” Mason explained. “You’re not going to get this from the Yellow Pages.”

Mason also said that a steady stream of deals from new merchants makes for a better customer experience, and there is some bias toward signing up new merchants rather than keeping old ones.

A spokesman for Groupon declined to comment.

In the online version of Groupon’s roadshow, the company said that about half of the businesses offering Groupons in the third quarter had previously done so.

Groupon’s IPO is scheduled to price on November 3, and the shares are expected to begin trading on the Nasdaq on November 4 under the ticker “GRPN”.

Underwriters on the IPO are being led by Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs and Credit Suisse.

9454: Profiling Ogilvy.

This ad from Ogilvy in New Zealand asks, “Which Of These Two Boys Has A Criminal Conviction?” Surprise, Surprise! They’re both felons. But the two thugs have a better chance of landing a job at Ogilvy than any law-abiding minority.

From Ads of the World.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

9453: Shooting Crap, Not Craps.

Not sure where to start with this campaign for Grand Casino Belgrade. Or should it be Grand Casino Brothel?

This scene might be a gambler’s dream come true—although the lone dude kinda looks like he’d be more interested in the ladies’ shoes than the ladies themselves.

Don’t understand the headline here. Don’t think the copywriter cared either.

Why does the only Black woman in the campaign have to be the Queen of Spades?

From Ads of the World.

9452: Overreaction Of The Week.

National news sources reported Coca-Cola will temporarily change its red cans to White. Oh, sure. Did the company consider any Black cans or other cans of color?

Coca-Cola changing red cans to white

By Bruce Horovitz USA TODAY

There are some things you can always count on: death, taxes — and red Coke cans. Until now.

Death and taxes aren’t likely changing, but Coke today will announce that it’s going to put a temporary halt to its decades-old tradition of churning out billions of red cans of Coke.

Out with the red and in with the white. Specifically, 1.4 billion white cans of Coke in the U.S. and Canada between now and March. What’s more, Coke’s going to plop the iconic Coke polar bears on these cans under a holiday promo it has dubbed Arctic Home.

The move is a bid to boost fall and winter sales — seasons when soft-drink sales typically surge for the holidays, then fall. It also comes at a time Coca-Cola has been seriously innovating with smaller-size mini-cans, high-tech fountain dispensers and now the Coke brand’s first white cans in its 125-year history.

“It’s the most important holiday program we’ve ever launched,” says Katie Bayne, president of sparkling beverages at Coca-Cola North America.

The cans will trumpet a Coca-Cola tie-in with the World Wildlife Fund. So will white bottle caps on other Coca-Cola brands. Each will include a special code that lets folks text $1 donations to the World Wildlife Fund’s efforts to protect the polar bear’s Arctic home. Coke will match consumer donations up to $1 million.

But the real story is the white can. Coke has spent billions of dollars over the years marketing its cans as red. There could be consumer confusion over white, even though Coke is taking extraordinary steps to avoid that — even adding special bands around some containers that explain it’s good ol’ Coke.

The cans will begin appearing on store shelves Nov. 1 and remain through February.

The question is: Will Coke executives ultimately be seeing red over the white cans?

“We were very careful to make sure people know it’s the same Coke they’ve always loved,” Bayne says.

Branding consultants think Coke can pull it off.

“I’m slightly shocked,” says consultant Peter Madden. “It’s certainly going to create more tension on the Coke brand — which is a good thing.”

The move is really about Coke chasing younger consumers, says consultant Michael Bellas. “They want a younger demo to look at Coke with fresh eyes.”

Gannett News Service

9451: IBM CEO Trailblazer.

From The Chicago Sun-Times…

IBM names Virginia ‘Ginni’ Rometty first female CEO

By Jordan Robertson AP Technology Writer

SAN FRANCISCO — IBM Corp. ushered in the first female CEO in the company’s 100-year history on Tuesday.

Virginia “Ginni” Rometty, a veteran at the technology giant famous for its conservative corporate culture, will take over as CEO from Sam Palmisano, IBM announced.

Palmisano has been CEO for nearly a decade and turned 60 this year. He will stay on as chairman.

Rometty, 54, takes over on Jan. 1. She is currently in charge of sales and marketing at the company based in Armonk, New York.

After she takes over the helm at IBM, women will be in charge of two of the world’s largest technology companies. Last month, Meg Whitman was named CEO of Hewlett-Packard Co. Whitman had previously joined eBay Inc. when it was a fledgling startup during the dot-com boom and guided it to become an Internet auction powerhouse. She also ran unsuccessfully for California governor last year.

While Whitman’s HP is a sprawling company in disarray, Rometty will inherit a finely tuned IBM whose focus on the high-margin businesses of technology services and software has helped it thrive.

Their appointments are “setting a fabulous example” in the promotion of female executives, said Jean Bozman, an analyst with IDC who has followed both companies closely for years.

“It is a good sign,” Bozman said. “It does create an environment in which more of these high-ranking women executives can see that’s within reach. The more that happens, the more normal that will be. I think this might be a great sign that we’ve turned a corner. Certainly the Baby Boomers have wanted this for a long time.”

HP, of course, had another female CEO, Carly Fiorina, but her tenure ended in acrimony when she was forced out in 2005 over disappointing financials and the fallout from her hard-fought battle to buy Compaq Computer.

IBM’s move was unexpected. Palmisano had tamped down earlier talk of his retirement, insisting that he wanted to stay on as chief. In rare public comments, he said last year that he was “not going anywhere” and that there’s no formal policy at IBM dictating when a CEO should retire.

Palmisano in a statement said that Rometty has led some of IBM’s most important businesses, and was instrumental in the formation of IBM’s business services division. She oversaw IBM’s $3.5 billion purchase of PricewaterhouseCoopers’ consulting business in 2002, which is a key element of a strategy that has made IBM a widely copied company. She is “more than a superb operational executive,” Palmisano said.

“She brings to the role of CEO a unique combination of vision, client focus, unrelenting drive, and passion for IBMers and the company’s future,” Palmisano said. “I know the board agrees with me that Ginni is the ideal CEO to lead IBM into its second century.”

Bobby Cameron, an analyst with Forrester Research who has worked with IBM in various roles over the years, said that in meetings with Rometty is “engaging” and inquisitive. Her interest in emerging technologies, not just the established sales leaders, is an important characteristic. Cameron thinks she’s an ideal choice to continue Palmisano’s work.

“I think she’s smart. She asks questions; she doesn’t just come in with an agenda, and she’s interested in the leading edge, not just what’s driving volume — all those things are important for a CEO to have,” Cameron said.

Palmisano has the same characteristics, Cameron said.

“I think it will be more of the same, and I think that’s a good thing,” he said.

IBM shares fell $1.16, or 0.6 percent, to $179.20 in extended trading, after the change was announced.

9450: Herman Cain’s Mob Ties…?

From The New York Post…

Italian-Americans rip Cain-firm ads

By Carl Campanile

Italian-American leaders have blasted the Godfather’s Pizza chain — once famously headed by Herman Cain — for making dough off negative stereotypes of Italian-Americans as mobsters.

Godfather’s has a “Godfather’’ mascot who looks like a mobbed up, glorified gangster right out of Mafia movies.

The firm’s motto talks about satisfying “wiseguys” and “the mob” with “pizza you can’t refuse.’’

“It’s a negative portrayal of Italian-Americans,” said Anthony Tamburri, head of City University’s John Calandra Italian-American Institute.

“I’m old enough to remember ‘Amos & Andy’ episodes,” he said of the radio and TV show that stereotyped blacks. “We wouldn’t have an Amos and Andy restaurant chain today.”

Frank Fusaro, president of the Columbus Foundation, said Italians were the victims of double standards. “It’s offensive. No other ethnic group would stand for it,” he said.

For his part, GOP presidential candidate Cain brushed off the criticism.

“Mr. Cain often says that America needs a sense of humor. I’ll second it,” said Cain spokesman J.D. Gordon.

Godfather’s Pizza declined requests for comment.

9449: Ed Lee Is 2 LEGIT 2 QUIT.

Vote Ed Lee for San Francisco Mayor on November 8.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

9448: King Kong Not Interested In Ann Darrow.

Jane Goodall would not approve of this.

From Ads of the World.

9447: Four-And-A-Half Minutes With Harry.

Harry Belafonte provides the smartest 4:33 you’ll spend this week.

9446: Viewing The Tanning Of America.

The U.S. Census figures spotlighting the dramatic rise of minorities have inspired many to predict and pre-define the new world of marketing. From cross-cultural zealots to new majority mavens, self-proclaimed thought leaders are scrambling to push personal visions—and professional agendas—for the future. Even the White advertising agencies are cluttering the conversation, presenting more half-baked notions on the way things will be.

The Tanning of America by Steve Stoute joins the growing multicultural marketing melee, as the founder of Translation drops his perspective with a hip-hop beat. Stoute’s book reads like a retrospective of hip hop, autobiography, account planner report, self-promotional press release and minority agency capabilities PowerPoint deck—all rolled up into 300+ pages. Yeah, Stoute delivers a compelling viewpoint, replete with name-dropping and revisionist history. But does he offer any breakthrough thinking here?

The influence of Black culture on the global society has been publicly stressed by adpeople since at least 1971. Every minority agency seems to have its own version of an urban trendsetter revolution. Hell, faux futurist Marian Salzman has already claimed to be the first on Madison Avenue to spot and identify wiggers. And MultiCultClassics has repeatedly noted how White advertising agencies love hip hop. Why, adpeople worldwide have embraced the musical expression and artistic culture as a campaign concept. Stoute covers familiar ground with his book, albeit from the angle of someone with direct connections to recording artists. Being a music maker, however, does not translate to being an ad maker. Just ask or Jay-Z.

Stoute may someday prove to be a respectable marketing mind. But it would be nice to see consistently excellent work produced by his agency before anointing him an adman, new economy guru, hip-hop expert or whatever label he chooses. For now, The Tanning of America is a contemporary remix of the classic tune that most multicultural agencies have been playing for decades.

Monday, October 24, 2011

9445: Politically-Incorrect Pizza…?

BBDO in Bolivia produced this campaign for Pizza Planet, apparently hyping the dual-flavored pizzas. It’s OK until the menu items get culturally clueless.

From Ads of the World.

9444: Students Present Culture Lesson.

Campaign created by STARS—Students Teaching About Racism in Society—at Ohio University.