Category Archives: Advertising

Tell a Memorable and Relevant Story to Make Your Content Marketing Positively Viral

Geico’s Drill Sergeant Therapist Gets It Just Right. Mayflower Marionette Gets It All Wrong. Even though they spend plenty of money on television advertising, Geico doesn’t need to spend much money at all for this incredibly effective commercial which is

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Scottrade TV Ads: Funny, Effective, and Devastating to Competition

Marketing Campaign Trashes Worst Suspected  Big Brokerage Firm Traits One of the great things about funny advertising campaigns is that they tend to be particularly memorable. Even better, we’re more likely to talk about them with our friends.  And in

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What TV’s Mad Men and Kodak Teach Us about Content Marketing

Plenty Has Changed from 1960 to 2010 but What Is Most Important Has Stayed the Same. If you’re not already a fan of the TV classic in the making, Mad Men, it’s all about the Madison Avenue ad agency world

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Content Marketing Lessons Driven by the Geico Gecko

And It’s Not Just Content But Mobile Content for the iPhone The Geico gecko campaign is an excellent example of effective advertising because it integrates humor with a consistent product benefit message. Nonetheless, it suffers from the same limitations that

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Bad Dog Commercial. Bad. Bad. Bad.

Just because you put a cute dog in a commercial, you won’t automatically communicate effectively with your customers.
Storytelling is a key component of effective marketing and often of the very best advertising. But, you have to be really careful in the use of storytelling for a brief TV commercial that addresses millions of viewers who are not giving you their full attention from the get-go.

That’s why the State Street SPDR commercial featuring a cute Jack Russell Fox Terrier misses the mark.

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Dogs and Baked Beans a Dangerous Combination? Not for the Bush Family of Products!

Why a talkative canine was able to put a family-owned business in our collective consciousness One can only imagine the original ad agency pitch to the company when they suggested having the company president and a talking golden retriever be

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Yellow Pages TV Shark Ad Makes Case Against YP Advertising

When Their Own Commercial Shows How Hard It Is to Get Urgent Answers, You Know They Have a Problem

Imagine a scenario where catastrophe looms unless an immediate solution can be found. That’s the situation here where an aquarium worker accidentally creates a crack in the wall which quickly expands to disastrous proportions.

While the terrified perpetrator tries to hold things together with his bare hands, his boss opens the Yellow Pages to make a series of calls for glass replacement. Unfortunately, by commercial’s end, he hasn’t yet found a vendor to solve the problem. One can only hope that worker and boss both make a hasty exit before the tank explodes and lets sharks escape to do their worst.

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Now, Microsoft Advertising Gets Authentic–and It Works!

Out with Seinfeld and Gates And in with a real computer buyer.
There were lots of problems with the short-lived Bill Gates Jerry Seinfeld ad campaign. In fact, we had a lot of fun trashing it last year. Fundamentally, they did nothing to address the concerns of Microsoft customers or to solve their problems. Basically, they featured two wealthy guys engaged in a meaningless dialogue that appeared to be complete self-indulgence on the part of Microsoft and its agency. Fortunately, that ad campaign was put out of its misery quickly.

Their new campaign couldn’t be more authentic or more effective. The campaign is designed to counter the very effective Apple Mac versus PC commercials which positioned Microsoft as uncool and Apple as hip and happening. I think it works like gangbusters.

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Listen to Your Customers. Really listen. That’s Why Progressive’s Flo, the Sales Clerk, Ads Succeed

She is listening to her customers and she is passionate about her products. So we believe Progressive is, too. And, through Flo, the company makes it a no-brainer to understand why we should buy from them and how we can do it.

I think we would all like to run into a sales clerk who cares as much about her customers as Flo does in the long running series of Progressive Insurance commercials that encourage viewers to visit their website, She is probably now just as much of an insurance advertising icon as the Geico gecko.

Actually, the two advertising campaigns have something in common: they are amusing and memorable, but they make very clear points about why you will benefit from buying their products. Creativity never gets in the way of their goal to persuade you to buy stuff.

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When Sex Sells–and When It Doesn’t Sell the People You Need to Target

We all know that sex sells in plenty of obvious circumstances. But, sometimes, it may really put off the folks you really want to influence. A recent post in the CopyBlogger reminded me of the dangers that lurk when you fail to understand your target audience. And, it also made me think of PajamaGrams.
For those folks, sex really does sell. We know it’s working because they keep rerunning the same commercial year after year.

But, as Simon Payn reminds in When Sex Refuses to Sell, just driving huge amounts of traffic to a site may be completely counterproductive. He recounts past incidents in which his company’s ability to drive traffic based on his site’s temporary sex appeal ultimately drove advertisers away.

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