Returning to the ABC's of advertising

John Hegarty discusses how agencies must change their ways over at the Media Guardian (free reg req). His article this week discusses the role of advertising in the marketing of junk foods and issue of obesity which the UK government has recently jumped on. He claims that it's wrong to blame the advertising - instead it should be placed with the manufacturers. I think it should also be placed on consumers as well- since no one is forcing them to purchase or eat foods that are bad for them in mass quantities.

We shouldn't be surprised that our industry will be in the front line when blame is being apportioned. Throughout history, the messenger has always paid a high price. But in this case, can the messenger also bear some of the guilt? Possibly, so much advertising is so boring, unrewarding, unwelcomed and clichéd, it so easily becomes the scapegoat. We always have to bear in mind that nobody asks us to interrupt them. We impose ourselves on people. This carries with it a responsibility. A responsibility to communicate in a way that not only enhances our message, but also the consumer's experience. Just as companies have to now look beyond the coredelivery of their product to see how it impacts on a broader, more social scale.

We have to see our communication as part of a bigger picture. We constantly talk about advertising moving from the era of interruption to one of engagement, but it seems to me that very few marketers take that thought on board. Instead, there are knowing nods when it's voiced and then actions that go in the opposite direction.

His points are right on. And I can't understand why marketers do not get this. It seems logical to me. Turning away from this concept is going to be detrimental to brands that do no follow. Especially with products like TiVo and consumers being more savvy about messages they tune into and which ones they block out- it is imparitive that we bring engaging and relevant messages to the public- rather than just boring, cliche crap that no one connects with except maybe the CEO.

Adland: 
 

DIY Democracy launches last-minute effort to get out to vote in the USA

DIYdemocracy.org has got links to help people get better informed, discussion boards to voice opinions, a vote predictor that shows the current (projected) electoral vote count and downloadable posters so people can take part in a little do-it-yourself democracy.

Even Eminem wants you to vote. His new video Mosh is out, animated and mad. Viewable @ Gnn.tv, archive.org and pharyngula.

Adland: 
 

Banner ads tenth birthday!

Banner ads turn ten years old. They've evolved, become flashy, carry sound, blink worse than the blink tag ever did and given birth to far more discreet things called TextAds.

So what did the first banner look like? Appropriately enough it was a future-predicting ad from AT&T in their "you will" campaign from 1994, according to the website that collects old banners and celebrates the tenth anniversary 10jahreonlinewerbung.

Otto gives more info about this banner in the comments;

For the record: the "Have you ever clicked your mouse right HERE?" ad was created for Modem Media/AT&T by TANGENT Design/Communications of Westport, CT.
Principal Creators:
Copy Writer: Joe McCambley, Creative Director, Modem Media
Graphic Design: Craig Kanarick, Associate, TANGENT Design (pre-razorfish)
Executive Producer & Art Director: Otto Timmons, VP, TANGENT Design
Contributors:
Brent Hood, CEO, TANGENT Design
Research Intern, Tangent Design (I will have to track his name down)
The Client, AT&T (a great guy and ditto on tracking the name down)
Although we had the most popular ad on Hotwired (according to Brian and Matt...) there were at least five or six other banner ads that launched at the same time and they too should get credit for being "first". I can remember Club Med, AT&T, ZIMA. Last but not least, O'Reilly's Global Network Navigator, GNN, started accepting paid advertising at the same time (one banner ad on the home page, as I recall).

Care to see the commercials that go with it? Robblink gathered them together - knock yourselves out.

Adland: 
 

New York Times discovers ad agency blogs

The NYT have discovered advertising agency blogs, and blogs that write about advertising. In Madison Avenue Ponders the Potential of Web Logs they predict many more to come and blogs as advertising space.

Adland: 
 

BoingBoing picks up on the banners 10th Birthday.

 

Adcritics getcreativity elert - Banner ad ten years old

 

Voting ads and their ilk heating up

All sorts of ads related to the upcoming US election are hitting the airwaves and the net.
MoveOn.org has engaged documentary film maker Errol Morris to convince you to switch ,better known to some adgrunts as the man behind the patented Interrotron device and the apple Switch ads, he shot over 60 different people who voted for Bush in the last election, but will vote for Kerry in this one.
David la Chapelle encourages young voters to declare yourself with the help of a few stars, and a series of ads that spoof makeup ads and dog food commercials but with a sicker twist at the end. Even Burger King are telling Americans to "have it your way" by enlisting Snoop Dogg to tell it like it is.

Meanwhile the sexy soft spoken sultresses over at LieGirls.com win hands down for the best use of "You forgot Poland". (Thanks for that one Leslie)

Adland: 
 

Flicka - teaches girls to question media

The social ministry (department) in Sweden has launched an ad campaign that attacks media moguls morals. The campaign can be seen on poster, TV, Cinema and the web site Flicka.org (girl.org, also available as HTML only version at flicka.gov.se). The campaign is created by ad agency Forsman och Bodenfors.
One of the tv commercials which looks like a scene straight from the reality show Big Brother (the show that launched all the latest pop-tarts and famous-for-no-reason people) has a couple making out. Then the girl suddenly turns to the camera and asks: "Does a girl have to have sex on TV to get ahead?" and encourages viewers to ask Manfred Aronsson, CEO of Channel 5 (which Big Brother airs on), and gives out his phonenumber 08-520 555 55.

Adland: 
 

R.I.P. exclusivity

Brandon over at TextURL has noted extreme similarities in 'exclusive' taglines as of late. Always remember that you are unique, just like everyone else. A favorite pastime of the sloganmaven, who compared all the the underestimated taglines, he collects adslogans all day and all night. Perhaps Hummer Mercedes and Sony should have given him a call before going ahead with those lines.

Adland: 
 

You create great selling campaigns, but you don't sell them

Tom Monahan argues in the article Selling Your Ads Off that creatives might be able to sell via great ad ideas, but they are not very good at selling the ads themselves. While this rings very true, and his advice about writing down five reasons the client should buy the ad campaign (who doesn't do this?) it makes me wonder what on earth the Ad Execs job is, if not to sell the ad campaigns?

Adland: 

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