so bad it’s good

On the local level, small businesses develop their print/broadcast creative for ad campaigns in 1 of 4 ways:

  1. Some entrepreneurs are either creative or stole somebody else’s good idea. (the best ideas are always stolen ideas) These people either have a good marketing head or they hired someone who knew what they’re doing. Some of this local “homemade” advertising is as good (and some is much better) than what would come out of a traditional agency.
  2. Some small businesses waste their marketing money on generic template or spotrunner type ads where they just stick their logo and phone number in a generic ad and then wonder why they get generic results. (If your whole business can be represented by a generic stock photo, then it’s not going to be hard for a competitor to replace you.)
  3. Some let the graphic artist burger flippers down at the radio/tv station or newspaper develop their entire marketing philosophy for them on the assembly line
  4. And then there are the people who have no idea what they’re doing, but still decide to create their own advertising. For me, these have always been like watching car wrecks. It’s horrible, but you can’t look away. In fact, some of these ads are so bad — they’re good…like enjoying a really bad movie.

The comedy duo of Rhett and Link have capitalized on local bad advertising from this 4th group with their “Custom-built, Micro-Budget Commercials for MicroBilt Customers” series. They took a few real small businesses in North Carolina and made a farce out of a farce.

(Update: If you’re reading this through RSS, you may have to click through to the site to see the following videos)

One of the spots, Black and White People Furniture, is getting some buzz because of the racial issue and the simple fact it’s so bizarre.

There are lots of businesses that are the one stop shop like Bobby Dennings:

And the Cuban Gynecologist Auto Salesman is just odd:

Even though these spots are causing the phone to ring for these local businesses, I’m not ready to advocate that you change your tv campaign. But it’s a growing trend for professional marketers to “Astroturf” a grassroots phenomenon both online and in traditional media with a tongue stuck in their cheek.

The key to all marketing, homemade or store-bought, is grabbing attention and keeping that buzz.

Product Placement is HOOOGE

DONALD TRUMP: (reading off cue cards)
“The product placement industry is Hooooge. It’s an $8 bajillion dollar a year industry. And I should know. People pay plenty to have their products placed on my show “The Apprentice” which is the #1 show of all time…beating out all Super Bowls and the series finale of M*A*S*H. “

Not quite.

AdJab alerts us to a MediaPost story about the falling value of the product integration placements in “The Apprentice”. The price is down to between $1 and 1.5 million from a high of $3 million.

Product placement can either be a fabulous success or a very dangerous marketing move. It depends on how well you can integrate and control your product’s image in the entertainment.

Take the example of “The Apprentice”….
–Expect one of the teams to totally decimate the product’s brand image during the course of the show.
–Company executives who are featured as a part of the product’s integration come off as either unexciting or wierd.
–It’s a craps shoot. The episode that your product is featured could come during and very exciting point in the season…or it could be a dog. And there’s no way to know when you place the buy.

Product placement inside of entertainment vehicles is where alot of ad dollars have moved. I also think we can expect more money to be spent on advertainment in the future. But in order for it to be successful, we’ll have to get over product placement’s big problem. There’s currently a certain feeling of fakeness with the placement. The ad is not being inserted into the entertainment. The entertainment is being created AROUND the ad. Consumers pick up on this both on a conscience and sub-conscience level. The worst offenders are “The Apprentice” and “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” (a.k.a – “Ty’s weekly trip to Sears”)

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