Tuesday, February 05, 2008


Today's the day in many states here in the U.S. to vote in the presidential primary elections. Some states have held caucuses and others have had their primary, but this is what they call Super Tuesday where the majority of the states vote.

I am not going to tell you who to vote for. I'm not even going to tell you who I'm going to vote for. What I am going to stress is that you get out and VOTE. Make your voice heard.

If it is raining where you are, like it is here, do not worry, you will not melt. Get to your polling location, spend the time to cast a thoughtful ballot and go home tonight and watch the results. You may or may not be surprised, but you will have made a difference and you will have been heard.

If you are in New Orleans, however, vote and then enjoy Mardi Gras...the results will be there waiting when you get home.


Just a tiny tidbit for today. Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Sunday, Sunday, Sunday...ads, ads, ads

It's been awhile (again!), but I always enjoy talking about the Superbowl ads the day after the big game. For those of us in New England, it was the best thing to talk about today. The rest of "the big game" shall stay forever unmentioned. But, the ads are always a safe bet to discuss.

I'm going to take a different approach to this year's critique. There is a company that a couple of years ago I was squinting at the screen trying to figure out what that new logo meant. It was a funny U-thinggie, I thought, but I wasn't sure. A few short years later and you'd be hard pressed to find anyone who follows sports who doesn't know what Under Armour is. They have shot up to the stratosphere in what seems like the blink of an eye. It seems as though wherever I look I see the Under Armour logo on someone, including all through my beloved, "Friday Night Lights".

As a marketer I'm in awe of the job they are doing to market this company. Last night I was in complete...well, awe....of their strategy. They took out an ad in the biggest arena of the year to announce their new footwear line. Wow! It was an expensive gamble, but that is their audience and Under Armour had their undivided attention. The ad was crisp, had lots of motion and brand spankin' new information for the fans of the brand. Win. Win. Win. Hey, Portland, are you paying attention? (note: Portland is where both Nike and adidas America are based).

From a marketing perspective that is the ad that made me say, "no way". It was a brand new tidbit of information, I hadn't seen the hype for the ad (although it could have been there and I missed it), and it was riviting. I wanted to see what they were about to tell me.

On the flip side. As a person looking for entertainment value and an overall pleasing ad, the Budweiser team hit it again. I agree with the USA Today ad meter. The dog and pony show was a winner. It pulled on some heart strings, had a classic song that everyone knows regardless of age and a fun ending. Well done.

The Bridgestone ads were fun, the Etrade baby was funny and the Coca Cola balloons hit a soft spot with me. My grandfather and I had a thing with Snoopy and the Charlie Brown balloon hit home with me. I'm sure that wasn't quite their intent, but it was heartwarming for me.

Doritos hit with their two consumer ads. Both the lady singer ad (brilliant last line - she's made it this far now it's up to you) and the giant mouse ad (too cute!).

I noticed that both during the bit of the pregame show I saw and the Superbowl itself that user generated content is still alive and prevelant. The guy that did the rap before the game has a MySpace cult following (can't think of his name right now....), MySpace itself placed itself squarely during the game with information about how to view all of the commercials there after the game. I mentioned Doritos and their ads. But, I also got the feel that the Etrade baby ads were based on a YouTube videos. All capturing the feel of user generated content.

This all shows us that user generated content is still what people want. More and more large companies are coming to this realization and doing something about it. Bravo.

The one bit that annoyed me was the over hype of the Sarah Conner Chronicles. Was that because Fox is putting everything they have behind this show or that they didn't have enough advertisers to fill up the show? I even felt that at the end of the 4th quarter that there could have been another round of commercials and their weren't. They showed a lot of the sidelines a few times. It would be interesting to know if, in this economy, that some companies simply felt that the price tag was too much even for the exposure. After all, Dove got more bang for their money with their YouTube video than they would have buying an ad during the Superbowl. I have to wonder how many other companies are trying the "non-traditional" media rather than the big ad buys.

Another thing - why were there not any political ads? Is that a no-no? I haven't followed the protocol of Superbowl ads to know.

One ad that I waited for was the new Dale Earnhardt, Jr ad for Amp. I thought it was supposed to debut during the game, but someone saw it Sunday afternoon on Speed. I missed it. The ad Amp did run during the game left a lot to be desired.

That's all from me about the ads. What did you think? What was your favorite and why?

Just some "super" tidbits for today. Thanks for stopping by.