Any interactive ad campaign can’t just be a company selling it’s products. Leo Burnett Chicago’s campaign for Altoids centered around a Facebook app that rewards your friends with ‘Altoid’s Curiously Strong Awards’ encompasses everything that’s fun about brands and customers in the interactive realm. It doesn’t hurt that the song is catchy and too hilarious for words.

Altoid’s slogan for “Celebrating Authenticity” is fun and empowers the consumer. In today’s age where your public is almost in control of every media channel that’s the best way to get them to opt in to your message and hopefully in the end– your product. People don’t buy brands just for the product benefits– they want to buy from brands that mirror what they see their own personality to say to the world. Let’s face it, one of the best ways we control our personal brands is via our Facebook or other social media pages. If the popularity of Farmville and like apps is any indication people also love to play games with their friends. Altoid’s is taking advantage of this in the best possible way! I can’t wait to award my friends for their funny facebook tendencies.

Which award should you get? Your friends?

Vote for your friends in Altoid's Curiously Strong Awards

Everyone knows Toyota has had a rough few years. As on of the top car brands that reaches a large audience with it’s selection their top features– safety took a hit. Now, they’re building up their good rep again with their “Ideas for Good” campaign.

In this campaign they tout their innovative technology and how they selflessly used it to help society as a whole. While this deals with community relations it also is a great way to beef up their branding after a crisis. This ad campaign coupled with community outreach like their ‘100 Cars for Good’ promotion and social media like Facebook can reinvigorate their brand image to the mass public through various digital and traditional channels. The best part is they are doing it using two-way communication by allowing customers to post ideas for Toyota technology and how it can help the community.

As a volunteer junkie, any company that tries to build their image with just commercials doesn’t matter much. However, getting out  in the community and using their brand and products to reach out shows effort and definitely deserves a second chance.

Gaga This Way (#8)

Posted: June 8, 2011 in Uncategorized

Lady Gaga has gotten her Little Monsters to make her new album ‘Born This Way’ one of the fastest selling of all time despite a whole album leak. How did she do this? With one of the best album promotional campaign tirades EVER!!! By aligning herself with Amazon, Google Chrome, Farmville & taking advantage of her large Twitter and social media following– she made way over millions even when selling her album for 99 cents for a day on Amazon. Gaga has guts!

While I don’t even like the album that much, I admire Gaga as an artist, performer and brand to be reckoned with. If there’s one thing that is exciting in the communication industry (okay there’s lots) it is living in a digital age of change and revolution. In a time where artists can’t even get their die hard fans to buy their albums, Gaga has become the mother motivator of her fan base.

Lady Gaga Uses Digital Downloads to Score Album Sales

By reflecting a changing digital age, Gaga’s conquering the charts was due in part to her pushing of her album’s digital sales. Is this a cue to those thinking the music industry will become unprofitable against the wave of illegal downloaders? The answer is: yes! If what you’re doing isn’t working, reinvention is the key and she’s showed the industry that’s the truth. I hope more artists take notice and the music industry takes notice and follows suit.

Lady Gaga's 'Born This Way' Breaks Records

I’m sure you’ve heard people utter the unforgettable quote, “and can I get a hot tub?!” but what else is it about the new Statefarm Auto Insurance commercials that just resonate with people and remain in their heads?

 

I think these commercials are driving more automobile insurance companies and other brands to think simple and funny which is something fun any communications student would love to be a creative part of in the industry. Various plays on the magic jingle commercials can be seen even ones featuring King  Lebron James. All these ads are creating a buzz coupled with the Statefarm Agent site creating publicity for the insurance brand. I mean they are even teaming up with Pixar’s ‘Cars 2’ to promote it. That’s fun insurance. Time will only tell if this trend with fun ads for insurance will help their ROI but if Flo from Progressive or Allstate’s Mayhem is any indication–I think it will.

Lebron James in State Farm Commercial

For me, it’s the humor. If anything breaks through the clutter flying out at various publics then it’s a commercial that makes you laugh! Not only does the ad reiterate the jingle of the insurance company but it also plays on the funniest parts of lives guiding away from the fear of car accidents to the laughs of every day life with their ‘Magic Jingle commercials’. If only our neighbors were always there in an emergency, making us laugh.

So the countdown to my favorite advertising campaigns begins with Megan Fox’s return to the role of leading, resident hottie in her sexy new Armani ad campaign .

From print ads on buses to commercials she’s rocking their jeans & undies in a way few can. What I love about this is it’s just as much for her publicity (as well as designer pocketbook) as for the sexiness and risque factor Armani ads are known for.

Megan Fox in Armani

Think back to the sexy Victoria & David Beckham ads that pushed the envelope. Armani is selling sex—which works for some luxury, designer brands. But what more they are selling impeccable perfection with it by selecting people with the bone structures and genes many would kill for. People buy the brands to feel and identify with this perfection–if only for a moment.

Victoria and David Beckham for Armani

As far as Megan Fox her rise to a household name from the ‘Transformers’ franchise was damaged when due to conflict of creative interests and some comments led her to being fired. How better to stay one of the sexiest celebrities in the world other than becoming the face and body of one of the sexiest, esteemed brands out there— Armani.

Megan Fox as leading lady in Michael Bay's "Transformers"

It’s a win, win if you ask me. Armani keeps their elite and beautiful image while Megan Fox keeps her foxy one in the hearts of men- and women everywhere. Perfect alliance of celebrity endorsed image to brand reputation and target public!

I took a bit of a hiatus due to tech problems–mainly the lack of a laptop. But there’s lots of issues going on in the world of PR and television!

I want to talk about a cautionary tale. Charlie Sheen.Winning. Ninja. Tiger blood. If you’re up with the crazy in current events. You know what I mean. “Two and a Half Men” has been cancelled due to a PR nightmare. Sheen’s downfall snowballed fueled by drama, drugs, alcohol and a sense of omnipotence has left many fans and employees out in the cold. From once highest paid actor to that warlock we love to hate…. I mean don’t get me wrong…this storm has chasers watching his every move. Just look at his record-breaking Twitter account. Just because people tune into his tour, social media and the like don’t mean he’ll ever be a paid actor in legitimate television or film in the near future.

Lessons to learn? Every part of every creative product/team especially television must be stable. When you have chaotic personalities involved in any project it’s risky. Monitoring and putting back-up safety plans in place can avoid a total, disappointing shutdown of an otherwise great thing!

UPDATE: Looks like Charlie’s been replaced with none other than funny man— Ashton Kutcher. Looks like Chuck Lorre doesn’t want to quit a beloved show just because the main actor cast went off the deep end!

If you watched the Olympics lately, you’ve seen NBC’s numerous repeated commercials for Ron Howard’s ‘Parenthood’, coming March 2. It looks like a great  typical family comedy.

Look at the big cast for NBC's 'Parenthood'

The problem is all these repetitive advertisements have the opposite adverse effect. Instead of making viewers want to tune in, it looks like every other family television show that’s already out.

The previews show what is supposed to be funny clips of what parenthood is. Awkwardness, drama, and silliness ensues. Each parent’s action seems like they don’t know how to deal with their children and are just as confused about life as their kids.  While this could make for a funny drama it has been done before. Many people won’t even understand the exact premise of the show if they don’t know it is based loosely off a movie Ron Howard did with the same name.

There are big names involved with the project. Ron Howard is producing it. Lauren Graham from the beloved ‘Gilmore Girls’ plays the surprising role of a single mother. Once up and coming Erica Christensen is also in it playing an overachiever. Peter Krause, Dax Shepard, and Craig T. Nelson also star. While these are good actors, this dramatic story with some comedy might seem not that original. Afterall it draws parallels from ‘Brothers and Sisters’, which is already on the downturn.

See a preview below:

If that’s not enough this idea has been done already by NBC. In 1990  they already tried the sitcom….. and failed. Really they are bringing it back to compete with ABC’s popular ‘Modern Family’ television show which also shows siblings dealing with their messy,funny families.  I happen to love ‘Modern Family’. I mean it’s different. It has a gay couple, an interracial couple with an age gap, and just a funny,quirky family. ‘Parenthood’ doesn’t seem like it can truly compete with it. While it might have some whimsical story lines with Lauren Graham’s character as a mother trying to cope with a daughter trying to move in with a loser, it’s not enough to really draw distinction from other shows like it.

Really it is just one of the attempts NBC is trying to create a comeback for their network with the decline of the once esteemed ‘Heroes’. (Which is a blog in its own right on why that show should get canned). The Olympics might save the network for the time being, but their lineup has got to get better to keep momentum up. I still don’t think their relentless promotional efforts with ‘Parenthood’ or the actual show is the way to go,however.

If anything promoting it as the “greatest show ever” should go away, instead try telling people some more about the actual show. Hopefully it is good enough to hit a target market, although that’s unlikely.

While the PR people are trying to get the word out and promote the show with the hard sell approach, I just don’t think they have enough to work with. All PR people know if the product, service, or company you’re representing is trying to pitch something to the audience that isn’t good quality there is no spin involved that can make it a home run.