why this year’s super bowl will stink for advertising lovers

First, a statistical tweet from the Managing Editor of Advertising Age, Ken Wheaton

…which leads to a simple thought from me:
If you open all your presents the week before Christmas, what are you going to do on Christmas morning?

caught with their pants down

Back in February during “the big game”, there were two commercials with surprisingly similar creative executions. Both Dockers and CareerBuilder had spots that featured men without pants.

If you can’t (or won’t) remember the ads, watch the Dockers ad here or the CareerBuilder one here.

These two spots aired back-to-back in the same commercial break. During the Monday morning advertising quarterback critiques, Lil Miss Jen had a refreshing change on Super Bowl ad blog posts from the media placement viewpoint rather than the typical “more monkeys” creative viewpoint. One of the points in her post was about how sloppy the CBS media scheduling was to allow these two similar ads to be scheduled like they were.

Seems that CBS thought so too because they gave Dockers some free make-goods earlier this month. My question at the time was, “What about CareerBuilder?

According to a story on AdAge.com, CBS’ answer is to treat one advertiser differently than the other…

CareerBuilder said it was engaged in discussions with CBS as well. Now, despite the discussions, CareerBuilder says it does not expect to benefit from a similar arrangement, and is frustrated by that outcome.
The Super Bowl is “the focal point of commercial advertising,” said Richard Castellini, chief marketing officer of CareerBuilder, in an interview. “You would think that as much due diligence and as much pre-thought-out placement and trafficking would be given to this as possible, and it just doesn’t seem like that was the case.”

While there are several other reasons given in the AdAge story for the disparity, this just doesn’t seem fair to CareerBuilder. If I were an exec at CBS, I’d be nicer to CareerBuilder. If network TV keeps going on the track it’s on, the CBS execs may need CareerBuilder’s services in the future.

Power 150 marketing blogs

Chris Houchens and the Shotgun Marketing blog are one of the top media and marketing blogs on the Ad Age Power 150

I originally showed up in the 50’s on Todd And’s Top 150 list of top media and marketing blogs after my inclusion in the Z List phenomenon.

Now Todd has partnered with Advertising Age and the Power 150 is now a feature of AdAge.com. Congrats to Todd for making a very worthwhile project payoff.

While the Z-List is wearing off, I’m no longer in the 50’s, I’m still proud to be included in such great company on the new Ad Age Power 150 list.

You know some of this

Vizu Research in conjunction with Ad Age has done a blog readership study. Some interesting numbers, a few things you already knew, and some surprises:

–How many and how often do people read blogs?
-30.8% of blog readers read more than three blogs regularly
–and of the blogs they read most often, 68.3% of respondents said they read them daily.

–Community is a primary driver of readership within the blogosphere
-When asked how they find the blogs they read, 67.3% follow links from other blogs.
-Recommendations on blogs (22.9%) is ranked higher than finding links on search engines (19.6%) when selecting which blogs to read.

–What makes a good blog?
-43.9% of respondents said the quality of writing determines which blogs they will read regularly, and 43.6% said that topical focus is a key determinant of regular readership.
-51.5% said quality of writing helps them assess which blogs are credible and high-quality, and 38% said it was the author’s reputation that drives perceived credibility.
-Post frequency and site design are also drivers of perceived blog quality.

–What makes a blog a blog?
– 38.4% replied that expressing personal opinions is the key element in separating blogs from other online media.
-Other factors include: writing style (28.2%), editorial freedom (26.3%) and layout (25.8%).

–Why people read blogs…
-65.7% read for entertainment, and 42.5% read about Personal Interests/Hobbies.
-32.5% read for education and information.
-1 in 8 (12.3%) reported reading blogs for work or business.

–Why blogs are read for work?
-The majority of those who read blogs for work use them as a tracking tool as opposed to a research tool.
-27.3% use blogs to track specific trends or issues, while 49% of respondents said they don’t read blogs for work or business.

Find more about this study in 3/5 issue of Ad Age or read the PDF of the entire report here. Thanks to Ryan for the heads up on the report.

Macy’s Anne McDonald

Avid Shotgun Marketing Blog reader, Mark, forwarded me this Ad Age article and video link to an interview with new Macy’s CMO Anne McDonald and wondered what my thoughts are…

First off, just in general, I think Federated Department Stores applying the Macy’s name across all their stores is a double edged sword. On one hand, I admire the efficiency of it…One creative message with the ability to use national media. They’ll be able to make the marketing dollars go alot farther. On the other hand, they’ve “killed” some powerful long standing local brands…the king of those being Marshall Fields. It will be a long time before some of those local consumers “forgive” them for taking away a familiar brand…and it will take a long time for those same consumers to accept the Macy’s branding. Remember, brands are built from the bottom-up…not top-down. Overall, it will take them a long time to recover from their “efficiency”.

As to the interview with Anne… I’m very impressed with her. She seems to have a firm grasp of some of the “big ideas” of good marketing.
1) I love the fact that she is proud that she “has no experience” with retail marketing. Being able to apply new ideas from other industries and not being stuck in the rut of the “way we’ve always done it” is a HUGE advantage in marketing.

2) She’s one of the few marketing people who seems to understand the relationship between business and marketing. She makes the point that I make ALL the time that marketing is usually the 2nd biggest expense after HR. The marketing dept must make itself relevant to the bottom line…..”If you don’t understand how the company makes money…then you are an expense.” She also makes a good point of making sure you partner with the CFO so they can see how marketing contributes to revenue.

3) And it’s not just financials…She makes a good point about not falling in love with the creative aspects when trying to pitch marketing to the rest of the company and to just deal with the fact because the appeal of the creative will always be subjective. I’ve seen many great marketing “plans” die because a few of the biggies didn’t like”an ad“. She says always discuss the facts, the business, and the results…and then people won’t be discussing the ads.

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Dr. Z flops

I blogged a few weeks ago that the “Dr. Z” commercials featuring DaimlerChrysler CEO Dieter Zetsche were so bad that they were good. In reality, they were just bad.

Ad Age reports that Dr. Z is a flop. Here’s what $225 million of ads bought:
80% of consumers believed Dr. Z was a fictional character, rather than DaimlerChrysler’s living/breathing top executive.
–50% of consumers said they had trouble understanding Dr. Zetsche’s German accent.
–Most consumers didn’t notice the employee-discounting message that accompanied most of the commercials.
–Chrysler sales are expected to be down 17 percent in July compared with last year

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