What students in advertising talk about

Welcome to Room 116: Crispin Copies itself

It’s long- it’s full of off topic comments- and it focuses on the darlings of the ad world “Crispin Porter + Bogusky.” It started with an observation that some of the VW outdoor- looked a lot like the mini campaign.
I placed a comment at the end- that probably deserves reposting here- so here you go:

Ripping off oneself isn’t illegal- it used to be called “having a style” and- if something is proven to work- and the client is in deep shit- do it.
Some of you seem to have missed bothering to read the CP+B site- they build advertising like Detroit builds cars- not for long lasting practical lives- but like throw aways, planned obsolecence. It keeps them in business- and it keeps audiences entertained. They don’t strive for “Just do it” or “Got milk” - they are like a comedian on tour- each show has to evolve- or the audience won’t laugh.
Ad people and CMO’s are the only people who know what agency did what- most consumers just want to know who did that catchy little ditty on the Rabbit- “multiply” spot. Most consumers aren’t stupid enough to go out and buy a VW because of it- they still know that the cars suck.
Which brings us to a major point about CB+P- they actually go outside the halls of advertising- into the brand world the product lives in- and work on the touchpoints- that’s more than advertising and pretty pictures- that’s real marketing- something lost on most advertising students- I still believe CB+P thinks about actually selling things- as opposed to creating pop-culture (which from reading this thread- seems waaaay more important than discussing how to sell crappy cars).
For all of Crispin’s strengths- they still make mistakes- esp. with how they use the web to connect with their customers- they still are using it as a broadcast medium instead of a 2-way exchange.
And on BK- no one mentioned “subservient chicken” or “Ugoff”- both of which were brand changing positioners.

What do you think?

Where Hoover sucks, and where Dyson doesn't

Advertising Age - HOOVER TO DYSON: IT’S ON NOW

Dyson and Hoover have been having a fight over who sucks more. That’s suck as in vacuum- and which one cleans your carpets better.

Hoover is the old business- been around forever. In fact, in Dyson’s home country, England, or the United Kingdom as the Brits like to refer to themselves, when you vacuum your floor- it’s called “hoovering”- so how could Hoover end up being threatened by this upstart, premium priced vacuum? Simple- it’s got nothing to do with who cleans better- it’s all about who understands marketing better. The winner is Dyson- hands down.

Both have worked with great ad agencies- Dyson was with Fallon before switching to Element79, Hoover is now with TBWA/Chiat/Day - so they are all obviously aware that advertising helps sell products that suck.

As an owner of several vacuum cleaners- and one and a half dogs that shed more than snow falls in the Rockies, I can tell you that if you emptied the bag as often as you emptied the Dyson canister- I’m sure you wouldn’t lose suction either. We empty the Dyson every time we vacuum- we empty the bag when it’s all the way full (which is about once every 10 times we vacuum). And, no, this isn’t scientific fact; it’s just a common sense observation.

A nice clean looking Dyson vacuumA Hoover VacuumThe reason Dyson is killing Hoover- and everyone else is design- pure and simple. They glamorized the lowly vacuum into a fashion accessory- and put a status price tag on their product. Hoover was still selling it as an appliance to hide in the closet. Just look at the product graphics on the two machines- Dyson hasn’t mucked their lines up with a million messages- your typical Hoover looks more like a NASCAR- with stickers everywhere.

Now- if you still don’t believe me- consider this. Up until about 2000 or so, Dyson licensed their same design to a US distributor- who had the product made in black with purple accents- it had a stupid name like “Phantom”- and looked like a NASCAR too- just like all the other machines- only it cost a bit more. It didn’t sell worth a crap. Then Dyson pulled the agreement, came to the US with their signature yellow and gray machine- with simple graphics, hiked the price, did classy ads- and now everybody wants one.

That’s proof- good design helps sell products that suck.

What do you think?

Why Sony isn't Apple-

Why Sony isn't Apple

From Left- compact white Apple Powerbook power supply, The Next Wave business card, Sony DSC-T1 camera and un-compact power supply.

Sony used to be the cool kid on the block- especially when it came to small things- remember the Walkman?
I’ve had this Sony DSC-T1 for over a year- and love it for it’s size and it’s picture quality- 5 megapixels in a tiny package.
But, when you take a look at the power supply, as I did when packing for a motorcycle trip- and realize that for all the elegance of the camera- the power supply was ignored by the design team.
Compare the Apple designed power supply for my Powerbook- the graceful cord management system that’s built in- the choice of two options for the wall plug- the short mount (shown) and a long power cord.
Design isn’t something you just do to the product- it’s the peripherals, the packaging the software interface- the complete package. If Sony wants to stay competitive- they need to look at the total design package.
I’d also make one other recommendation- the sliding lens cover/on/off switch, needs some sort of positive lock- so often, as I pull the camera out of the pocket- it’s slipped open. If I was buying another pocket camera- I’d probably look at something other than a Sony for this reason- as well as the bad power-supply design.

Building an emotional attachment to the roof of your car?

I recently read a post by someone in advertising (who probably shouldn’t be in advertising) saying “I think this is too long and it’s failure to have a climax disappoints, but it’s an interesting idea” about an amazing spot by UK Honda which you can view here: http://www.honda.co.uk/civic/ click watch civic once it’s loaded.
While the flash movie loads- they ask “when was the last time you felt a connection with your car?”
And what does this spot do? It elevates the regular noises a car makes- to a musical experience. It makes a suggestion that the sounds of the road are music to your ears. Something that would normally be done by a luxury brand- but here, it’s for the bottom of the line Honda Civic.
By the same token- when was the last time you cared about the roof of your car?
Roof StudioGo take a look at this brilliant use of Flash (a technology that is often misused by ad agencies who don’t understand search) in the creation of a design your own roof site for, who else, Mini. This may be one of Crispin Porter + Bogusky’s last efforts on the brand, but it’s a brilliant one. Now, you aren’t just buying a Mini- but making a personalized statement- even if you never actually get the vinyl printed and put on your roof. I’m sure the Roof Studio will gain some viral exposure.
Even the language in the sign-up that is required to “Post” your roof follows in the brand voice.
My only question is if someone is censoring submissions?
These are two examples of making you feel closer to a mass produced product, without screaming the lame-o features, advantages, benefits type laundry list that most marketers insist on.
We’ve got our mantra here at The Next Wave- our own definition of marketing- “Create Lust • Evoke Trust” TM that we feel better describes what we do than the words “ad agency.”
What do you think?
Thanks, as always to friends for pointing me to these things: Dan Obrovac of Lakota Archery sent me the Honda spot- and former Next Wave superstar creative talent Carl DeCaire for the Roof Studio.

The results are in…

the 2006 ADDY awards garnered one bronze for the Guerrilla marketing campaign at the guerrilla marketing seminar which was placed in the Agency Self Promotion category. The ADDY awards don’t have a category for Gurrilla campaigns- so it got lumped into the high dollar “look at what I can do with an unlimited budget for myself category.”

And we won silver for the Zen Windows “Never spend more than 5 minutes with a window salesman” in the highly competitive direct mail category - where we were also competing with super high dollar direct marketing pieces for Teradata, Lexis Nexis, Reynolds and Reynolds etc. Again- when you consider this ad was placed in JB Dollar Stretcher (a regional monthly coupon book) and not a big budget targeted direct mail piece- it became a bit unfair. If it had been competing in the consumer magazine category- (which the client couldn’t afford) it would have won. We’re advancing it to the regionals in the hopes that other judges will see it for what it is- exceptional advertising in a typically mundane category.

The Dayton Daily News had no mention of the ADDY’s or coverage- but did have a column by the editor about how we should support local businesses like Malone Camera or Dingleberry’s (both family owned businesses that are closing a location). The Dayton Ad Club has posted the list of winners.
Merc BannersI was really happy to see The Agency Group win for their banners on “The Merc” - showcasing how great promotion can add value to Real Estate development- and that Wilson Advertising Group won the “Best ads that didn’t make it” category this year- since 2 years ago they won a bunch of awards that had to be stripped away for submitting work that wasn’t placed.