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  • Sorry, Scorsese: The Oscars' Most Memorable, Likeable Tech Ads Were Maybe Not What You Think

    Advertising Age - Complete Feed
    3 Mar 2015 | 12:45 pm
    Both Apple and Samsung took the opportunity of the Academy Awards to introduce new, inspiring commercials: see "Apple's Oscars Ad Looks to Scorsese for Inspiration" and "An Ordinary Family Makes a Movie in Samsung's Funny Oscars Spot."But the tech ads that rated better with viewers came from Adobe, the generally dull software company, and Samsung's waterproof phone.Adobe's colorful "Inspire Creativity" retrospective earned an Ace Score of 642, according to research firm Ace Metrix, which asked more than 500 consumers watch and score more than 24 new ads during the Oscars. Its Ace Score is…
  • ROI Is Dead. A New Metric Is Needed for Customer Relationships

    Advertising Age - Blog Posts
    4 Mar 2015 | 3:45 am
    A new metric is needed to measure customer experience and engagement, writes Andy Frawley.
  • Spike Offers Scripted Drama and Nielsen-Bashing at Upfront Presentation

    Advertising Age - Latest News
    3 Mar 2015 | 2:30 pm
    Viacom's Spike TV is going all-in on scripted series development, lining up a slate of five big-budget dramas and miniseries designed to lift the network's profile while expanding its overall reach in 2016 and beyond.As part of Spike's New York upfront presentation, Exec VP-Original Series Sharon Levy on Tuesday afternoon gave media buyers their first look at some of the scripted projects that are currently in development. Among these are: "Emergency Broadcast," an apocalyptic alien-invasion thriller from Legendary Pictures' CEO Thomas Tull and "World War Z" author Max Brooks; "Red Mars," a…
  • Jimmy Smith and DGWB Team Up to Launch Amusement Park Brands

    Advertising Age - Agency News
    3 Mar 2015 | 8:30 am
    Advertising veteran Jimmy Smith is adding something new to the mix of his mini-media "conglomerate" -- traditional advertising.In 2011, the TBWA and Wieden & Kennedy vet known for such projects as Nike "Battlegrounds" and Gatorade "Replay" launched his own transmedia venture, Amusement Park Entertainment with a minority backing from IPG. Since then, under the Amusement Park umbrella he's added companies focusing on music, sports and technology. Now he's broadening the scope with the launch of Amusement Park Brands, a full-service agency.The company will serve as the branding and marketing…
  • Sorry, Scorsese: The Oscars' Most Memorable, Likeable Tech Ads Were Maybe Not What You Think

    Advertising Age - Digital
    3 Mar 2015 | 12:45 pm
    Both Apple and Samsung took the opportunity of the Academy Awards to introduce new, inspiring commercials: see "Apple's Oscars Ad Looks to Scorsese for Inspiration" and "An Ordinary Family Makes a Movie in Samsung's Funny Oscars Spot."But the tech ads that rated better with viewers came from Adobe, the generally dull software company, and Samsung's waterproof phone.Adobe's colorful "Inspire Creativity" retrospective earned an Ace Score of 642, according to research firm Ace Metrix, which asked more than 500 consumers watch and score more than 24 new ads during the Oscars. Its Ace Score is…
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    Advertising Age - Complete Feed

  • Sorry, Scorsese: The Oscars' Most Memorable, Likeable Tech Ads Were Maybe Not What You Think

    3 Mar 2015 | 12:45 pm
    Both Apple and Samsung took the opportunity of the Academy Awards to introduce new, inspiring commercials: see "Apple's Oscars Ad Looks to Scorsese for Inspiration" and "An Ordinary Family Makes a Movie in Samsung's Funny Oscars Spot."But the tech ads that rated better with viewers came from Adobe, the generally dull software company, and Samsung's waterproof phone.Adobe's colorful "Inspire Creativity" retrospective earned an Ace Score of 642, according to research firm Ace Metrix, which asked more than 500 consumers watch and score more than 24 new ads during the Oscars. Its Ace Score is…
  • Amazon-Looking Drones Attack in Audi's Latest Ad

    3 Mar 2015 | 10:25 am
    Every weekday, we bring you the Ad Age/iSpot Hot Spots, new and trending TV commercials tracked by iSpot.tv, a company that catalogs, tags and measures activity around TV ads in real time. The New Releases here ran on TV for the first time yesterday. The Most Engaging ads are showing sustained social heat, ranked by SpotShare scores reflecting the percent of digital activity associated with each one over the past week. See the methodology here.Among the new releases, Mr. Potato Head attempts to inconspicuously buy Lay's potato chips, while tech startup founders and other innovators are the…
  • How to Find a Good Marketing Analyst

    3 Mar 2015 | 10:00 am
    Marketing analytics jobs have been hard to fill for a long time, and the growing demand for analysts from digital-media players looking to staff up departments that can prove return on investment to marketers has only made things worse."There is a real dearth of people who have the required skills," said Sunny Garga, CEO of analytics firm (m)Phasize, a unit of Publicis Groupe's Sapient. "We've interviewed candidates who, in the past, we could easily have hired, but have ended up going to Google or Facebook or Twitter."Very few schools have curricula designed to train marketing analysts, Mr.
  • Direct-Mail Wizard Malcolm B. Decker Passes Away

    3 Mar 2015 | 9:51 am
    Noted direct-mail copywriter Malcolm B. Decker passed away on Feb. 16 at age of 87. Mr. Decker brought new life to the Wall Street Journal's direct mail creative in 2003 by replacing the old campaign that reigned for 30 years.After working for McCann Erickson and Walt Disney Productions, a New Jersey native and Navy veteran started his own company, Malcolm Decker & Associates, in 1972. Mr. Decker worked on numerous direct-mail campaigns that utilized conversational tones, including an ad for the National Trust of History Preservation. The 1975 campaign offered limited-edition porcelain boxes…
  • Jimmy Smith and DGWB Team Up to Launch Amusement Park Brands

    3 Mar 2015 | 8:30 am
    Advertising veteran Jimmy Smith is adding something new to the mix of his mini-media "conglomerate" -- traditional advertising.In 2011, the TBWA and Wieden & Kennedy vet known for such projects as Nike "Battlegrounds" and Gatorade "Replay" launched his own transmedia venture, Amusement Park Entertainment with a minority backing from IPG. Since then, under the Amusement Park umbrella he's added companies focusing on music, sports and technology. Now he's broadening the scope with the launch of Amusement Park Brands, a full-service agency.The company will serve as the branding and marketing…
 
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    Advertising Age - Latest News

  • Spike Offers Scripted Drama and Nielsen-Bashing at Upfront Presentation

    3 Mar 2015 | 2:30 pm
    Viacom's Spike TV is going all-in on scripted series development, lining up a slate of five big-budget dramas and miniseries designed to lift the network's profile while expanding its overall reach in 2016 and beyond.As part of Spike's New York upfront presentation, Exec VP-Original Series Sharon Levy on Tuesday afternoon gave media buyers their first look at some of the scripted projects that are currently in development. Among these are: "Emergency Broadcast," an apocalyptic alien-invasion thriller from Legendary Pictures' CEO Thomas Tull and "World War Z" author Max Brooks; "Red Mars," a…
  • TV Upfront Chart: What Networks Are Pitching Advertisers for 2015-2016 Season

    3 Mar 2015 | 1:00 pm
    And so it begins: the annual series of network announcements about programing in the upcoming TV season, setting the stage for upfront negotiations with ad buyers this summer. This time around TV networks are contending with a lackluster marketplace and coming off a weak 2014 upfront ad haggle. Kids' networks have already kicked off the fanfare, announcing plans for the 2015-2016 TV season. Continue reading at AdAge.com
  • Sorry, Scorsese: The Oscars' Most Memorable, Likeable Tech Ads Were Maybe Not What You Think

    3 Mar 2015 | 12:45 pm
    Both Apple and Samsung took the opportunity of the Academy Awards to introduce new, inspiring commercials: see "Apple's Oscars Ad Looks to Scorsese for Inspiration" and "An Ordinary Family Makes a Movie in Samsung's Funny Oscars Spot."But the tech ads that rated better with viewers came from Adobe, the generally dull software company, and Samsung's waterproof phone.Adobe's colorful "Inspire Creativity" retrospective earned an Ace Score of 642, according to research firm Ace Metrix, which asked more than 500 consumers watch and score more than 24 new ads during the Oscars. Its Ace Score is…
  • Amazon-Looking Drones Attack in Audi's Latest Ad

    3 Mar 2015 | 10:25 am
    Every weekday, we bring you the Ad Age/iSpot Hot Spots, new and trending TV commercials tracked by iSpot.tv, a company that catalogs, tags and measures activity around TV ads in real time. The New Releases here ran on TV for the first time yesterday. The Most Engaging ads are showing sustained social heat, ranked by SpotShare scores reflecting the percent of digital activity associated with each one over the past week. See the methodology here.Among the new releases, Mr. Potato Head attempts to inconspicuously buy Lay's potato chips, while tech startup founders and other innovators are the…
  • How to Find a Good Marketing Analyst

    3 Mar 2015 | 10:00 am
    Marketing analytics jobs have been hard to fill for a long time, and the growing demand for analysts from digital-media players looking to staff up departments that can prove return on investment to marketers has only made things worse."There is a real dearth of people who have the required skills," said Sunny Garga, CEO of analytics firm (m)Phasize, a unit of Publicis Groupe's Sapient. "We've interviewed candidates who, in the past, we could easily have hired, but have ended up going to Google or Facebook or Twitter."Very few schools have curricula designed to train marketing analysts, Mr.
 
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    Advertising Age - Agency News

  • Jimmy Smith and DGWB Team Up to Launch Amusement Park Brands

    3 Mar 2015 | 8:30 am
    Advertising veteran Jimmy Smith is adding something new to the mix of his mini-media "conglomerate" -- traditional advertising.In 2011, the TBWA and Wieden & Kennedy vet known for such projects as Nike "Battlegrounds" and Gatorade "Replay" launched his own transmedia venture, Amusement Park Entertainment with a minority backing from IPG. Since then, under the Amusement Park umbrella he's added companies focusing on music, sports and technology. Now he's broadening the scope with the launch of Amusement Park Brands, a full-service agency.The company will serve as the branding and marketing…
  • Twitter, Google and More Are Dreaming Up Content for Themselves -- and Their Partners

    3 Mar 2015 | 7:00 am
    Adland has long emulated Silicon Valley's winning traits -- from its startup mentality to its ability to pivot when an idea fails or needs tweaking. Now tech giants are turning the tables on Madison Avenue. As more creatives take their skills over to the client side, companies such as Google, Facebook and Pinterest are leaning on expert in-house content capabilities. Some produce their own promotional work, others provide creative branding solutions and a few are diving into campaigns and refining what traditional shops are doing.Search giant Google was among the first to begin draining the…
  • Omnicom Makes $50 Million Commitment to National CineMedia

    3 Mar 2015 | 4:00 am
    Omnicom's media agency network has made a commitment to spend $50 million with National Cinemedia, its largest bet on in-theater advertising yet, as the medium gets a digital facelift and becomes part of the premium video discussion.For National Cinemedia, which says it sells ads before movies on over 20,100 screens in about 1,600 theaters, it's also the largest commitment yet from an agency, and it more than doubles previous Omnicom commitments, the media company said."This deal for me is part of a broader conversation that we're trying to lead in terms of defining what is premium video,"…
  • Cold Calling in Minneapolis: Fallon Launches 'Winternship'

    3 Mar 2015 | 3:45 am
    The wanted sign posted in the middle of the Southern California desert had a list of unappealing prospects."For Winter. Foul weather. Long hours. Inclement everything. Shifting expectations. Vague feedback. Uneven praise," the sign said. "High risk of snow blindness, pneumonia, frostbite, cabin fever, weight gain," it continued.Anyone from Minnesota knows the brutal winters aren't a selling point when attracting talent to Minneapolis. But this pitch posted by Publicis Groupe's Fallon aims to recast what many see as a huge drawback -- the long, dark winter months -- into a selling point to…
  • BBDO Names Chris Thomas CEO of the Americas

    3 Mar 2015 | 3:00 am
    Omnicom's BBDO has named Chris Thomas CEO of the Americas region, filling a post that has been vacant since Troy Ruhanen left in September 2013.Mr. Thomas was previously CEO of Asia, Middle West and Africa. He will retain his role as chairman of I&S BBDO Japan and chairman of Proximity Worldwide, the digital and direct arm of BBDO. As CEO of the Americas region, Mr. Thomas will oversee 21 BBDO agencies in the U.S., Canada and Latin America, reporting to BBDO Worldwide President-CEO Andrew Robertson. Mr. Thomas will move to New York in May.Mr. Robertson said the appointment was not strictly…
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    Advertising Age - Digital

  • Sorry, Scorsese: The Oscars' Most Memorable, Likeable Tech Ads Were Maybe Not What You Think

    3 Mar 2015 | 12:45 pm
    Both Apple and Samsung took the opportunity of the Academy Awards to introduce new, inspiring commercials: see "Apple's Oscars Ad Looks to Scorsese for Inspiration" and "An Ordinary Family Makes a Movie in Samsung's Funny Oscars Spot."But the tech ads that rated better with viewers came from Adobe, the generally dull software company, and Samsung's waterproof phone.Adobe's colorful "Inspire Creativity" retrospective earned an Ace Score of 642, according to research firm Ace Metrix, which asked more than 500 consumers watch and score more than 24 new ads during the Oscars. Its Ace Score is…
  • SIM Company Hacked by Spies Wants You to Buy Everything With Your Phone

    3 Mar 2015 | 6:00 am
    Last week, Gemalto, the world's largest maker of cell phone SIM cards, admitted it was the target of "sophisticated attacks" by American and British spy agencies. This week, the company is asking brands to trust it with mobile payments.On Tuesday, Gemalto and Tapit, a mobile ad-tech firm, are launching an app that allows consumers to buy a myriad of internet-connected items with one touch from a smartphone. It's feasible thanks to near-field communication (NFC) chips in "tens of thousands of products," said company co-founder Andrew Davis. In the past, the Australian startup has worked mostly…
  • Mark Zuckerberg to Mobile Operators: I Come in Peace

    2 Mar 2015 | 10:15 am
    Mark Zuckerberg's newest endeavor has ruffled feathers in the telecom business. On Monday, he tried to make amends.During the keynote speech at Mobile World Congress, in Barcelona, the Facebook CEO defended Internet.org, the company's bid to spread web connections worldwide. Critics say the initiative benefits from wireless operators' infrastructure investment. Mr. Zuckerberg began his talk praising the carriers and downplaying Facebook's efforts, including its attempts to deploy satellites and drones for internet connection."While it's sexy to talk about satellites, the real work happens…
  • Google to Offer Wireless Service in the U.S.

    2 Mar 2015 | 9:34 am
    Google unveiled plans to offer U.S. mobile-phone service and said it will launch solar-powered planes to provide wireless Internet service in the world's unconnected areas in the next few months."We're working hard to create a backbone to provide connectivity," Senior VP Sundar Pichai said at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.Building on the success of its Android operating system, selling its own wireless service could enable Google to add mobile-device subscribers and make it easier to serve those users ads via smartphones and tablets. Continue reading at AdAge.com
  • Ex-McCann CEO Nick Brien Named Chief Executive of Hearst's iCrossing

    2 Mar 2015 | 9:15 am
    Nick Brien, the advertising executive who formerly led McCann Worldgroup, is joining digital-marketing agency iCrossing as its CEO.Hearst Corporation, parent company of iCrossing, told staff of Mr. Brien's hiring this morning. His appointment, effective immediately, includes a new role at the parent company: president of Hearst Magazines Marketing ServicesMr. Brien is a seasoned agency executive, with several tours of duty as CEO at Interpublic Group of Companies' largest ad agencies, including Mediabrands and Universal McCann. Prior to IPG, he was an executive at Starcom MediaVest. Continue…
 
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    Advertising Age - Global News

  • A Cheesy Jackie Chan Ad Just Went Insanely Viral in China

    3 Mar 2015 | 7:42 am
    Back in 2004, actor Jackie Chan shot a Chinese shampoo commercial so bizarrely memorable that it became an icon. The ad for Bawang herbal shampoo just shows Jackie Chan wearing a white suit, making the occasional funny gesture and talking about hair for over a minute. A flute plays in the background, and Bawang products float in the corner of the screen.It's so bad it's good.A funny remixed version of the shampoo ad popped up on a video site recently, spawning a catchphrase that was picked up by internet users and brands from Durex to KFC. The buzzword's topic page on Weibo, a microblogging…
  • 'Saturday Night Live' Starting a China Edition

    3 Mar 2015 | 7:06 am
    Live from China: It's Saturday Night.After 40 years as a weekend staple on U.S. TV screens, "Saturday Night Live" will start a Chinese version in partnership with Sohu.com, operator of an online search engine and video streaming sites.The deal with Broadway Video Entertainment, founded in 1979 by "SNL" creator Lorne Michaels, will see comedians from across China hired for the show featuring live music and sketch comedy, according to a statement. Sohu already streams the U.S. version to viewers in China. Continue reading at AdAge.com
  • Watch Ads from PepsiCo, Oreo and McDonald's for Chinese New Year

    27 Feb 2015 | 8:28 am
    OreoTrain travel isn't arduous in Oreo and FCB Shanghai's spot, it's transformed into a child's cute fantasy. Andy Chan, executive creative director of FCB Shanghai, said in a statement that by "combining live action with 2D animation, we created a distinctive-looking piece of film that we hope will stand out in the crowded media space during this time of the year."McDonald's Continue reading at AdAge.com
  • Two Small Agency Award Winners Are Still Battling Each Other

    27 Feb 2015 | 7:00 am
    Two winners from Ad Age's 2014 Small Agency Awards are still battling it out. One of the two international Agency of the Year (Silver) winners, Buenos Aires agency +Castro, was delighted to be a winner, but knowing there was another Silver winner in the international category stirred up the Argentines' competitive spirit.+Castro, the agency explains in the video, decided there was only one thing to do: challenge South African agency and fellow Silver winner Volcano to a playoff: "Three challenges that will put to the test the most important and professional skills an agency should have."That…
  • Taco Bell Is Going To Japan

    26 Feb 2015 | 8:45 am
    Other Yum Brands giants, KFC and Pizza Hut, are already in Japan, and already offer some menu items that seem odd in the U.S. Pizza Hut Japan offered a limited-time pizza topped with caramel, marshmallows and almonds. And Kenji Ikeda, exec VP-marketing for Domino's Pizza in Japan, has offered a $50 pizza topped with foie gras. At one point he drew up plans to build the first pizza store on the moon. But on this planet it's hard to top Burger King's all-black burgers (even the buns), with ingredients darkened by squid ink and bamboo charcoal. Continue reading at AdAge.com
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    Advertising Age - Hispanic Marketing

  • There's No Direct Translation for Target's Latest Effort Aimed at Hispanics

    3 Mar 2015 | 4:00 am
    Target aims to deepen its relationship with Hispanic consumers through a new ad campaign launching on March 8. Called "Sin Traduccin," or "without translation," the push highlights Spanish terms and moments that have no direct English translation and are unique to Hispanic consumers.For example, the first of two launch spots is named "Arrullo," which means "lullaby," and is often used to describe the right ambience and setting to put a baby to sleep. The second, called "Sobremesa," is about the period of time right after dinner in which family and friends linger at the dinner table to catch…
  • U.S. Hispanic Agencies: Enter the Wave Festival for Latin America

    26 Feb 2015 | 4:00 am
    The call for entries is open for the Wave Festival, a leading ad festival for Latin America that includes the U.S. Hispanic market and Puerto Rico for the third year.Entries are due by April 1, 2015 for the Wave. See the Wave's 15 categories and enter here.Advertising Age is partnering with the Wave, to be held April 15 and 16 in Rio de Janeiro. The regional Wave Festival is organized by Meio & Mensagem, Brazil's top advertising and marketing publication and events organizer, and Ad Age's longtime editorial partner in Brazil. Continue reading at AdAge.com
  • Alma Is Ad Age's 2015 Multicultural Agency of the Year

    26 Jan 2015 | 4:00 am
    The Miami-based Omnicom Group agency likes to be where technology and creativity converge. For the first time in 2014, Alma did some form of digital work with every client, and digital grew to 28% of revenue.It's a smart move for the world of multicultural marketing, where often-fickle clients ramp up spending and then slash budgets while flitting between specialist agencies and general-market shops for their ethnic work.Alma's loyal cadre of clients stands out. After 20 years, the agency still wows its biggest client, McDonald's, with heartwarming creative and multicultural insights. One of…
  • La Comunidad Is No. 8 on Ad Age's 2015 Agency A-List

    26 Jan 2015 | 4:00 am
    La Comunidad has always been an agency with few boundaries, bouncing back and forth between work for the multicultural market, Latin America and, increasingly, the U.S. general market. (Mr. Moll himself is so much a part of the U.S. and international creative community that he was named chairman of the One Club in June -- and, in fact, plays a talking pencil in the current call-for-entries campaign for the One Club's annual festival, the One Show.)In 2014, revenue grew 19%, and headcount was also up 19% to 130 staffers, who sometimes brainstorm by the pool at the agency's Miami headquarters.
  • DirecTV Starts Online Spanish-Language Video Streaming Service

    22 Dec 2014 | 12:21 pm
    DirecTV, the largest U.S. satellite TV service provider, has introduced a Spanish-language web streaming service called Yaveo in a bid to draw viewers who spend more time viewing content online.Yaveo costs $7.99 a month and a DirecTV satellite subscription isn't required, the company said in a statement today. The service, which isn't available outside the U.S., will stream on-demand movies, TV shows and childrens' and sports programming over the internet to PCs, Macs and Android-enabled devices.Yaveo is among the first of a growing list of so-called over-the-top pay-TV services coming from…
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    Advertising Age - Rance Crain

  • For Industry Vet, Past Was Great, but Future's More Exciting

    2 Mar 2015 | 10:00 am
    Howie Cohen, who celebrates 50 years in the ad biz this month, isn't one of those guys who laments the good old days. Things are not only cheaper and faster now, he believes, but advertisers can reach consumers in new and smart ways.Howie, who alongside art director Bob Pasqualina at Doyle Dane Bernbach, created the great line "Try it, you'll like it" for Alka-Seltzer, and later, "I can't believe I ate the whole thing," points out that, thanks to technology, "we can do everything faster. If it took six weeks to create and produce an ad in 1965, we can do it in six days, maybe even six hours…
  • Leaf-Blower Manufacturers Need to Suck It Up

    9 Feb 2015 | 7:00 am
    I would like to spend my allotted time with you on the leaf-blower industry, and how the marketers of this much-maligned and in many ways infuriating mechanism have done a lousy job of defending themselves.One could argue that the leaf blower is a model of efficiency and even water conservation, but the only argument emanating from leaf-blower makers is that any efforts to tone down their noise and fumes will lead to less powerful products.The leaf-blowing industry, in other words, has been asleep at the switch. And while they have been making excuses for themselves, the evidence piles up…
  • Advertisers Turn to Love While World Erupts in Violence

    27 Jan 2015 | 3:30 am
    Love is not only in the air these days but all over the airwaves, too.Subaru is saying that love is what makes a Subaru a Subaru, and now McDonald's is reshaping "I'm lovin' it" to reflect its newest iteration, "Choose lovin'." Love now becomes more than just a good experience; love now becomes a way of life.On the surface, you might think that conjuring up love as a reason to buy might not do the trick, but maybe advertisers are figuring that, with all the hatred in the world, a little love is what we all need right now. In fact, McDonald's U.S. CMO Deborah Wahl said exactly that in a recent…
  • Young Marketers on Why Flying Solo Doesn't Work

    12 Jan 2015 | 6:00 am
    The star power of the "Mad Men" days of advertising is long gone, and today's ad practitioners, pushed by the fragmentation of media, the speed of digital, a deluge of data and a need for diversity, are "probably the most collaborative generation of marketers in history."That was the consensus of six inductees into the American Advertising Federation's 2014 Advertising Hall of Achievement, which honors those 40 and under. "On your own you'll never get there," said Ross Martin, exec VP-marketing strategy and engagement of Viacom Media Networks, when I interviewed the 2014 honorees (with the…
  • Auto-Insurance Ads Rule, Consistency at Top Is Why

    30 Dec 2014 | 4:00 am
    Remember that old slogan for Virginia Slims cigarettes: "You've come a long way, baby, to get where you've got to today"?That pretty much summarizes advertising in the auto-insurance business. Who would have predicted back when Virginia Slims was in its heyday that auto insurance would emerge as the most creative category in advertising?And also the downward spiral of so many former bastions of creativity, such as beer, soft drinks, fast foods, cigarettes, rent-a-cars, headache remedies, razor blades and so many others. Continue reading at AdAge.com
 
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    Advertising Age - The Media Guy

  • What It's Like Competing With VC-Fueled Media Startups

    10 Feb 2015 | 4:00 am
    Elsewhere in this, the Digital Issue of Advertising Age, my colleague Michael Sebastian writes about digital publishing companies -- specifically, a half dozen upstarts in various stages of youth, including BuzzFeed (born 2006) and Vox (2011).It's an eye-opening report that looks beyond the hype surrounding these companies. Some of them are profitable (or at least claim to be), some aren't, but all of them have raised serious cash from starry-eyed investors (e.g., $96.3 million for BuzzFeed, $110 million for Vox). The business press tends to regard such hefty sums as implicit evidence of…
  • Living With My Fear of Amazon, Destroyer of Worlds

    27 Jan 2015 | 7:00 am
    I buy a lot of stuff from Amazon. Chances are you do, too.I used to feel pretty good about the e-tailer. Now, increasingly, I feel a little dirty every time I patronize it.For one thing, its nearly yearlong price-setting war with Hachette -- which quietly wrapped up in December with Amazon more or less folding and allowing the book publisher to determine its own e-book prices -- still leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Amazon notoriously attempted to pressure Hachette by blocking the ordering and delaying the delivery of various Hachette titles, causing untold damage to the livelihoods of…
  • The Five Best Media Feuds of 2014

    29 Dec 2014 | 10:00 am
    The way I see it, the platonic ideal of a great media feud involves two or more famous parties behaving badly, then using media (especially social media) as a cudgel while simultaneously capturing the imagination of the mainstream media -- in the process causing all of us to endlessly obsess and take sides. For a while, it seemed like the North Korea vs. Sony battle fit the bill, but terroristic threats, backed up by some chillingly effective hacking, have a way of draining all the fun out of even the most cartoonish duel.Even with that increasingly grim dust-up out of the mix, though,…
  • Media Guy Bids Farewell to Beloved 'Stephen Colbert'

    9 Dec 2014 | 4:00 am
    I can't quite imagine living without "Stephen Colbert."Yes, we'll still have Stephen Colbert -- the actual human being who has been playing a blowhard pundit on Comedy Central's "The Colbert Report" for 10 seasons (and before that on "The Daily Show With Jon Stewart") -- when he takes over for David Letterman on CBS's "Late Show" sometime in 2015 (date TBD). But with the series finale of "The Colbert Report" on Dec. 18, we're losing Stephen Colbert's trademark "Stephen Colbert" character.This makes my heart and my head hurt. Continue reading at AdAge.com
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    Advertising Age - Guest Columnists

  • You Wouldn't Accept 70% Performance Elsewhere, So Why Should We With Viewability?

    12 Feb 2015 | 3:30 am
    I bought a pair pair of shoes online last week. My order was confirmed, my credit card charged. The shoes never arrived. So this week, I naturally went back to the same site and bought three more pairs.Absurd, right? In real life, we'd never knowingly spend our hard-earned money on goods and services we don't expect to receive. We would never settle routinely for 70% performance on the things we buy. But that's what's happening with the current crisis in viewability.It's unbelievable that in 2015 our industry is still talking about viewability and setting targets as low as 70%. What it says…
  • Thirty-Day Data Breach Notification Is a Good First Step

    3 Feb 2015 | 9:01 am
    During his State of the Union address earlier this month, President Barack Obama called for legislation to guard against cyber attacks, identity theft and to "protect our children's information." Earlier in January, his administration proposed a national breach notification law that requires companies to notify consumers within 30 days of discovering that their personal information was hacked. This legislation in various forms has floated around Congress for years, but the recent outbreak of high profile security breaches at companies like Sony and Target could be the impetus needed for the…
  • Marketers: It's Time to Leave a Safe but Stagnant Job

    21 Jan 2015 | 9:32 am
    With a new year, new budget, and maybe even a few new ideas after catching up on reading over the break, many marketers have high hopes this month for making an innovative impact on their brands. But smart marketers do more than bring big ideas -- they realize that choosing where they work is the most important key to success.Take a look at the most successful marketers you know or have read about. Nearly all of them have seen their careers defined by an industry-recognized innovation story. Careers are made by the big brand turnarounds, Cannes-winning campaigns, and killer new product…
  • Five Legal Trends You Need to Watch in 2015

    14 Jan 2015 | 4:00 am
    What's hot for advertising law in 2015? From privacy concerns to social-media complications to the aftermath of multiple U.S. Supreme Court decisions, 2015 looks to be a busy year. Taking the temperature of the advertising world, our firm found five areas that warrant a closer look.Privacy of consumer dataAmid high-profile data breaches and rising concern over consumer privacy rights, the collection and use of consumer data for marketing purposes is on the radar of government regulators. From the Federal Trade Commission to state attorneys general, privacy and data security are at the top of…
  • Why We All Need to Worry About Children's Privacy

    8 Jan 2015 | 9:00 am
    Think the Federal Trade Commission forgot about its crackdown on COPPA violators? Think again. I have six predictions for what to expect from regulators this year as Children's Online Privacy Protection Act changes go into effect for real.But first a little background: When 2013 came to a close, operators of child-directed sites and apps breathed a sigh of relief that the Federal Trade Commission had not brought any actions based on violations of the final amendments to the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act Rule (otherwise known as "new-COPPA"), which went into effect on July 1, 2013.
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    Advertising Age - The Big Tent

  • There's No Direct Translation for Target's Latest Effort Aimed at Hispanics

    3 Mar 2015 | 4:00 am
    Target aims to deepen its relationship with Hispanic consumers through a new ad campaign launching on March 8. Called "Sin Traduccin," or "without translation," the push highlights Spanish terms and moments that have no direct English translation and are unique to Hispanic consumers.For example, the first of two launch spots is named "Arrullo," which means "lullaby," and is often used to describe the right ambience and setting to put a baby to sleep. The second, called "Sobremesa," is about the period of time right after dinner in which family and friends linger at the dinner table to catch…
  • J&J and Tylenol Have a New Take on Norman Rockwell's America

    5 Dec 2014 | 4:00 am
    What would a Norman Rockwell family look like today? Johnson & Johnson's Tylenol has an answer in its new ad campaign, which is obviously far more diverse than the white, middle-class gathering featured in the iconic "Freedom from Want" painting of 1943.Tylenol's take shows a Japanese family, an African-American family headed by a grandmother with a pierced eyebrow, and a blended family that includes a lesbian couple. The work from WPP's J. Walter Thompson includes a voiceover from the painter's granddaughter, Abigail Rockwell.Following a soft launch of the initial video for Thanksgiving and…
 
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    Advertising Age - DigitalNext

  • Sorry, Scorsese: The Oscars' Most Memorable, Likeable Tech Ads Were Maybe Not What You Think

    3 Mar 2015 | 12:45 pm
    Both Apple and Samsung took the opportunity of the Academy Awards to introduce new, inspiring commercials: see "Apple's Oscars Ad Looks to Scorsese for Inspiration" and "An Ordinary Family Makes a Movie in Samsung's Funny Oscars Spot."But the tech ads that rated better with viewers came from Adobe, the generally dull software company, and Samsung's waterproof phone.Adobe's colorful "Inspire Creativity" retrospective earned an Ace Score of 642, according to research firm Ace Metrix, which asked more than 500 consumers watch and score more than 24 new ads during the Oscars. Its Ace Score is…
  • Mobile Wallets: Marketing Platform of the Future

    3 Mar 2015 | 6:45 am
    Last year, just 14% of marketers and digital business executives used mobile wallets to engage with their customers. Fast forward to this year, when 27% plan to add mobile wallets to their marketing tool kit. Why the shift? As consumer usage begins to reach critical mass over the next three years, mobile wallets will see an integration of value-added services that push the platform beyond payments. The result will be a new marketing channel.How will this work? Consumers spend the majority of their time on just a few mobile apps, and increasingly on new audience portals like messaging and…
  • Wake-Up Call from Facebook: TV Ad Pricing Needs to Change

    27 Feb 2015 | 8:13 am
    It never ceases to amaze me when companies at the top of their industries actively fail to innovate. This is especially troublesome because, as leaders, it is not that they lack the means to innovate. Rather, they usually have the means, and unequalled resources, but make active decisions to block innovation.Whether it was General Motors in the 1970s deciding that there was not enough profit in small cars (enter the Japanese car companies), or Kodak deciding not to leverage its vast research into digital imaging technology and mountains of digital patents (enter digital companies right and…
  • How In-House Creative Teams Can Improve Performance with Data

    26 Feb 2015 | 8:15 am
    Writers, designers, art directors and photographers are not data-driven by nature. They're more comfortable with pictures, puns and pixels than they are with the metrics and measurements that motivate clients and management.Perhaps because of this, in-house creative teams consistently list the following as among their biggest challenges: gaining respect from internal clients, proving their value to peers and executives and obtaining adequate funding for headcount.Like it or not, the key to overcoming these challenges is all in the data. Continue reading at AdAge.com
  • How SkyMall Could Have Been Saved

    25 Feb 2015 | 10:00 am
    How could a brand that, until recently, snagged 650 million eyeballs a week, and only a couple of years ago raked in $130 million in revenue, suddenly be run into the ground deeper than the Zombie of Montclaire Moors garden statue? That is the lesser-known cousin of the infamous Garden Yeti, and my personal favorite SkyMall product (still available for $99.95).By its own measure, the company's downfall came down to Amazon, Candy Crush, Snapchat and Tinder.In court documents, Skymall top exec Scott Wiley blamed the increased use of electronic devices on planes resulting in fewer people…
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    Advertising Age - Small Agency Diary

  • Ad Age Is Now Accepting Entries for the 2015 Small Agency Awards

    24 Feb 2015 | 4:00 am
    Ad Age's annual Small Agency Awards contest is now open, and independent shops anywhere in the world with 150 or fewer employees are invited to enter.The goal of these awards -- now in their seventh year -- is to ensure that the smart thinking and innovative brand ideas produced by smaller shops are getting their due. Even as more marketers big and small turn to smaller shops, all too often this community's work isn't being recognized in the big awards shows.The best part? Winning a Small Agency Award doesn't just put hardware in the trophy case, in the past it's brought in new business,…
  • The Race for Eyeballs is Wreaking Havoc on Small Agencies

    11 Feb 2015 | 3:45 am
    Lately there has been a lot of chatter about eyeballs. I'm not talking about creating a vertical in optometry. Rather, there is growing anxiety among advertisers over how to reach elusive customers and prospects.It's all about getting messages in front of the right eyeballs. That's why What'sApp fetched $19 billion, and dozens of other platforms have sold for such eye-popping premiums. They have the eyeballs advertisers want.And the task of finding the most desired pupils/retinas is more daunting than ever. Think about the dynamic that media planners used to face: They'd analyze a handful of…
  • It's Not All Digital: What Different Generations Can Learn From Each Other

    23 Dec 2014 | 9:00 am
    The agency environment has earned its reputation: late nights and big ideas, liberally mixed with beer and beanbags, pizza and ping pong. It's a "work hard, play hard" kind of industry. Or is it? As multiple generations coexist and commingle at the office, the workplace is evolving to meet everyone's needs.As the founder of an 85-person firm who happens to be a boomer, I've watched talent develop and prosper professionally, and my goal has always been to create an environment where great work can happen. In doing that, I've seen a fascinating convergence of generations at work. No matter what…
  • The Future of Your Agency Is Not With Creatives -- It's With Creative Culture

    12 Dec 2014 | 3:45 am
    Some people are creative, some aren't. It's a view many of us gain from childhood, and our job titles only confirm this division -- if you're not a "creative," you've no business attacking client briefs. But this view isn't just wrong, it's dangerous.A multitude of once integral industries -- photofinishing and movie rental stores to name a few-- are being rendered obsolete by digital technologies. In the midst of this turmoil, established brands are turning to agencies to make sense of the disruption. They expect the "creative agencies" to give them an injection of creative thinking at a…
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