Duffys' Eric Block gives ad agencies bad news

Eric Block, Managing Partner of the internationally recognized design firm Duffy & Partners, with clients as BMW, Starbucks and Coca Cola, gives ad agencies a piece of his mind in the latest edition of online magazine Showroom.

"People don't want to hear what you have to say, no matter how cleverly you say it or how slickly produced your story is. This includes anyone involved in a profession that's about telling a story – particularly advertising."

Block refers to studies made in the U.S. that show: more than half of the population will do what ever they can to avoid being marketed to. YouTube users watch the least amount of regular television, people are editing and selecting only what interests them.

The solution, according to Eric Block, is - design. He refers to brands as Apple, BMW and Samsung.

"All of them put design at the forefront, he says in the Showroom chronicle. Good design influences everything they do. Design can make things clearer, simpler, personal – all things people want today. Put your money into the design of your product, not into elaborate stories about it no one wants to hear."


File under bound-to-happen: Viacom sues Youtube

Viacom has pulled out the big guns after getting tired of asking youtube to take their content down, and now sues Youtube and its parent company Google for $1 billion in damanges. Yikes.
See MSN: Media conglomerate claims massive intentional copyright infringement

In a statement, Viacom lashed out at YouTube's business practices, saying it has "built a lucrative business out of exploiting the devotion of fans to others' creative works in order to enrich itself and its corporate parent Google."

Viacom said YouTube's business model, "which is based on building traffic and selling advertising off of unlicensed content, is clearly illegal and is in obvious conflict with copyright laws."


The 50 Greatest Local TV Commercials

As listed by Phat Phree. And by greatest, they mean not!

In 1941, WNBT, the New York City NBC affiliate, broadcast the first television commercial. It was an ad for Bulova Watches that ran before a Brooklyn Dodgers game which showed a watch superimposed over a map of the United States. A voice over proclaimed, "America runs on Bulova time." It cost the company nine dollars.

Dolce and Gabbana 'gang rape' ad banned in Australia

The Dolce and Gabbana 'gang rape' ad has been banned in Australia too now.

"The advertisement showing a woman pinned to the ground by the wrists by a bare-chested man, with other men in the background looking on", has been banned since yesterday, the Advertising Self-Discipline Institute (IAP) said. The ad, according to the IAP has:

"offended the dignity of the woman, in the sense that the feminine figure is shown in a degrading manner. The woman has an alienated expression, with an absent look. The woman is immobilised and subjected to a man's will.


Dove Cream oil - user generated ad on Oscar night and the youtube spawn

Slate calls it "more cheap feminism from Dove" and they're talking about the Cream Oil ad that debuted on Oscar night. Watch the cream oil ad here. It is yet another step in the "embracing real beauty campaign" where real women - or cartoons - take the place of airbrushed supermodels, shocking by being perfectly normal.

I still can't shake the feeling, though, that this reasonable impulse is a bit misguided. Dove's appeal to righteous sisterhood is just another flavor of marketing. And it's not particularly grounded in reality. Are we meant to believe that Unilever, the company that makes Dove, is a force for good? How to reconcile this notion with the ads for another Unilever product, Axe body spray, in which nearly every woman shown is a skinny, fashion-model-gorgeous nymphomaniac? (And by the way, Unilever also offers Slimfast, in case you're not quite as happy with your body as the Dove girls are.)

Well, yeah, duh. Of course it's just another marketing tactic - but as it zigs instead of sags (pun!) it sticks out, and dare I say even works well as the original campaign has quite a following.

Their consumer generated/user generated ads however, don't. The "Knowing You're Beautiful" commercial by Lindsay Miller, a 22-year-old TV production assistant coordinator of Sherman Oaks, California is basically the same old 'read the brief in an entertaining manner' concept seen shilling thousands of products every day. "Your skin has never felt like this!" she says, and perhaps not but we've heard that line before.

Miller said, " I've been intrigued by the recent trend in advertising of having mere mortals make commercials that end up on national television, so the contest caught my attention immediately.

I'm not sure, but Miller might be under the false impression that us adgrunts are some sort of Gods. I won't correct her if you won't. ;) The only place this ad "stuck out" was on youtube, where the community had a hissyfit about the ad for being an ad. An ad that asks the youtube community to make an ad.

Some reactions were against it, like this one.


Link Lust: Baby I Link Your Way

Geico Cavemen ad is being developed into a sitcom, the three "cavemen" battle bigotry in modern-day Atlanta. Oh joy. Will it be anything like the Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer? If the show doesn't work out, the Caveman can always pitch for Quiznos.

Yet another study, this one from the University College London, finds that Sex does not sell. "Television viewers tend to have a poor memory for ads that appear on sex-laced TV shows." True.

RFIDs make ads talk to you - to which Leslie/ Burns Auto Parts quipped "Great...just wait until the tampons start screaming at women in the aisles: You've got ice cream and Motrin in your cart--don't forget about us!"

These links brought to you by - Titty Bear!*

* Yes they spell it "tiddy bear" but listen to how they pronounce it....


The Perlorian Brothers fight plaque, Mastercard goes shopping & more

Heads up on some fresh stuff in the commercial archive.

The Perlorian Brothers don their superhero suits to fight plaque together with AMV BBDO, London, for Orbits. View Cheryl and Richard here.


Åkestam Holst speed life up a notch for Bredbandsbolaget

Åkestam Holst has created a new campaign for the ISP called bredbandsbolaget (the broadband company) in Sweden. The BBB have served Swedes with fast & fat pipes of delish internet since day one, so the campaign proposition - and tagline - is "our customers are used to things going fast".

In the above poster, the lines read:
- "Anna. You seem to be a really nice girl..."
- "My name is Hanna."

(more inside)


Coke to sue itself

The New York Times reports about Coke Zeros new campaign in: Can’t Tell Your Cokes Apart? Sue Someone. The campaign created by Crispin Porter & Bogusky in Miami touts the "tastes exactly like original Coke" idea by showing Coke having a hissyfit and wanting to sue Coke Zero for taste infringement. It plays down the whoe "diet" thing while playing up the taste thing quite well.

The "notion is to show what happens inside the company when the company sees people getting confused between Coke and Coke Zero," Mr.

Revisiting Embracing Real Beauty campaign by Dove.

Been seeing a lot of revamped cartoon gals in my RSS feed recently, (#1, #2) and as far as I can figure it looks like the Dove campaign from early 2005 with vampy Velma, wild Wilma and magnificent Marge has only just recently made it in to the ads of the world archive, thus prompting many a adblog to point and say "oooh, purdy". Yaknow, like we do.