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Category — Branding

New Ads – Budweiser Attempts to Reclaim the ‘Cool’ Mantle

The Problem: Budweiser’s sales were down 9% last year and are down another 9% this year. The brand’s been losing customer loyalty consistently over the past 5-10 years, as can be seen in their ranking among national product brands – which slipped from 16th in 2003 to 220th in 2010.

The Reason: The major beer drinking age demographic, 21-34 year olds, consists of ironic hipsters and testosterone-challenged “progressives” who are switching to microbrews, wine, and abominations like Smirnoff Ice in droves. In fact, microbreweries specifically have more than doubled their production since 2004.

What Budweiser is doing about it: Good advertising…
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October 3, 2010   Comments Off

New Intel Ad: Ajay Bhatt is Geek Chic

The newest of Intel’s “Sponsors of Tomorrow” ad campaign, “Intel Star”, captures the concept of geek chic well. USB co-inventor Ajay Bhatt hits the cafeteria and is welcomed as the rock star that he is. This ad should hit Intel’s target audience directly in their giant brains.

Rock that cafe with your bad self, Ajay, rock it.

Check out the first in the “Sponsors of Tomorrow” campaign:
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May 8, 2009   2 Comments

Joel Bauer and the Art of the Business Card: “OMG, It even has a watermark…”

This is Joel Bauer, his card doesn’t belong in a Rolodex, it belongs on your desk. Framed. Where the picture of your daughter used to be.

This is Joel Bauer, and his business card would go directly into my trash bin. His whole argument for why it’s a great card, the fact that it’s non-traditional and oddly shaped, is the reason. The fact that it doesn’t conform to the traditional 3.5″ by 2″ size means that it won’t fit in my wallet or business card holder. That, compounded by the fact that this guy is obviously a douche and people will see that when they meet him and get his card, means that his $4 dollar cards are going, more often than not, right in the trash.

He’s right about some things though:
Paper quality is important, and so is the ink quality and color. High gloss is nice, and double-sided cards can be super fantastic, but if you can get your point across on one side, I think it always works better. Too much color and mayhem can make the card distracting. He’s right about the message too, it should tell people what you do in a meaningful way, without being confusing and overly complicated. Most importantly, the card needs contact information. Every possible way of contacting you or your business should be on that card. That means, of course, name, phone number, fax number, email, and website.

After the “read more”, we have a collection of some interesting and quality business card designs that actually do work well, as opposed to Joel’s:
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April 21, 2009   1 Comment

The Color of 2009: Whatever Pantone Says


I have somewhat of an obsession with colors and their names or designations. Whenever I can get my hands on color guides or paint sample booklets, I snatch them up. For instance, I have boxes full of those Pantone Guide strips; and having worked in the automotive industry, I have literally piles of automotive production color books with samples of all the exterior colors from various cars. I have samples from nearly every year of nearly every major make and model of car. There is something about the classification of color; I’m fascinated with the taxonomic designations and, more importantly, the aesthetic of all the sample colors lined up in neat rectangles with numbers beneath them.

Anyway… Mimosa. Mimosa is the color of the year, according to the “global authority on color”, Pantone. Read on about 2009′s color:
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February 18, 2009   1 Comment

(NSFW) Naked Is The New Black: Selling Clothes With Nudity


A few months ago I wrote some words about American Apparel’s style of advertising, and how I think they’ve really tapped in to our collective idea of what’s sexy in the internet-pron age. That porn chic style of advertising has been serving them well so far, and just recently, they turned it up a notch and released a few ads with actual nudity. Now, I’m the first to say that some of AA’s original ads were actually more sexually explicit than an image of a woman’s nipple, but it’s still a line, and they’ve crossed it. Whether this will be a positive or a negative for them is still in question.

However, they’re not the only ones flaunting bewbz these days. The skin is spreading. Urban Outfitters has much less clothing on the models than usual in it’s newest catalog. But they’re still shooting in that hazy, soft-focus sepia that we’re so used to, so they can’t say they’re all that cutting edge just yet. Read on to see some pictures of the naked bodies selling clothes:
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January 23, 2009   1 Comment

PETA Renames Fish “Sea Kittens” Because They’re Lunatics

Doesn’t Savvy look delicious?

Just when I thought I couldn’t hate PETA any more, they go and do something like this. The cult of PETA has decided that fish need better PR, so they’ve replaced the term “fish” with “Sea Kittens”. Yes, Sea Kittens. This is for real, check out their website, and a quote from it:

People don’t seem to like fish. They’re slithery and slimy, and they have eyes on either side of their pointy little heads — which is weird, to say the least. Plus, the small ones nibble at your feet when you’re swimming, and the big ones — well, the big ones will bite your face off if Jaws is anything to go by.

Of course, if you look at it another way, what all this really means is that fish need to fire their PR guy — stat.

Normally, when silly cults with illogical beliefs do bizarre things, it’s funny, and this is no exception, but there is more to PETA than just jackass publicity stunts. The thing about PETA is that they get a good deal of support from regular, generally solid-minded folks; at least, as solid-minded as regular folks can be. Unfortunately, not too many of those regular people really understand what the group is all about. PETA wants total animal liberation, they’ve said it many times. That means no pets, no guide dogs for the blind, no zoos, no fisheries, no beekeeping, no earthworm farms, no animals kept by humans, anywhere; and all those animals would be set free.

On top of that, PETA gives money to the Animal Liberation Front, which is a terrorist group who firebombs buildings and assaults people in the name of total animal liberation. And the money going to these groups is coming from the regular suburban folks who think they’re just helping baby seals. This Sea Kitten business is funny, but PETA’s other business isn’t. Read on to see some videos about how PETA really operates:
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January 13, 2009   9 Comments

Goodbye Innocence: Sasch SHS’s Beautifully Done Safari Ad


Italian fashion line Sasch SHS Teen Clothes has what may be my favorite new-ish ad in it’s “Goodbye Innocence” campaign. They show Safari Girl and Safari Boy in some far off hunting expedition, coming of age, with the various carcasses of their childhood sensibilities set about as trophies.

Not only is this one of the most aesthetically perfect ads I’ve seen in a long time, it’s powerful as well. Not that many teenagers would really be affected by the message, but it’s there nonetheless. This print campaign was actually listed in the finalists for the outdoor category at the London International Awards 2008, with Safari Girl winning a Gold statue in the print category, rightfully so. It’s just so beautiful and perfectly executed. The style and the colors and the look and feel, everything works. I only wish I were in the market for teen clothes.

Check out the the full sized versions of both Safari Girl and Safari Boy:
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December 27, 2008   Comments Off

Ch-Ch-Ch-Chia Pet: The Holiday Gift From Your Weird Uncle


San Francisco-based Joseph Enterprises, the company behind the Chia Pet, will be spending almost $9 million dollars on advertising this year alone. Yet from the months of January to September of this year, they’ve only spent $5,000 dollars. This is because almost all of the advertising happens during the holiday season, and likewise, 90% of Chia sales occur during the holidays. They’re like the Jesus of the kitschy seed planter pottery world – big in December, ignored the rest of the year.

They were first introduced in 1981 and have continued to cling to the public consciousness despite being branded as just a fad product. Joseph Enterprises does a good job of keeping the public interested with new forms each year. For example, this year they have characters from the films “Madagascar” and “Kung Fu Panda” on top of their regular line of kittens and hippos and elephants.

Check out the timeline of all the different types of Chia pet:
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December 23, 2008   1 Comment

Tough Economic Times May Be Helping Craft Sales


Many holiday gift givers are trying to save money by making their own gifts this year, or buying handmade gifts from others. Scrapbooks, jewelery, homemade soap, various knitted bits, etc. As a result craft stores are seeing a boom in sales. Sales of handmade crafts on eBay climbed 34 percent; and the online craft marketplace, Etsy, has been breaking records for the past 2 months. Last month, artists sold $10.8 million of goods on the site, compared to $4.2 million in November 2007.

The big craft chains are seeing profits too. The Michaels Stores chain has been selling record numbers of craft supplies and things used to make jewelry, baked goods, scrapbooks and decorated clothing. It’s going to be a Bedazzled Christmas.
Meanwhile, during this craft boom, the nation’s overall retail sales in November fell 7.4 percent from the same time last year.
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December 23, 2008   Comments Off

Burger King’s ‘Whopper Virgins’ Ad Is Great

Burger King has finally kicked off it’s slighted twisted take on the classic taste test this weekend. If you haven’t yet seen the set of 15-second teaser ads leading up to the launch, the campaign is a taste test with participants who’ve basically never heard of a hamburger. It features various isolated peoples from around the world, hence “Whopper Virgins”, to participate in the “world’s purest taste test”. They asked Thai Hmong tribesmen, Transylvanian farmers, and some Inuit from Greenland to choose either the Whopper or the McDonald’s Big Mac.

This is the latest bit of marketing from BK’s agency, Crispin Porter & Bogusky. CP+B is also responsible for previous ads like the motivational spoof Dr. Angus, the Whopper Freakout day where customers were told Burger King no longer sold Whoppers, and all the ads featuring the exceedingly bizarre King. This ad seems like the most ambitious to date though. “We wanted to see how the Whopper would perform in a world that didn’t have ad or marketing awareness or any sentimental attachments” says Russ Klein, president of BK’s global marketing. Of course, even before the main ads came out, tons of people were offended, as people often are. Read on:
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December 8, 2008   2 Comments