Aqua Teen Marketing = Pissed Off Mayor

When a great advertising idea for Aqua Teen runs into a paranoid populace you get trouble.

Suspicious Devices in Boston Turn Out to Be Ad Campaign for Cartoon

BOSTON, Jan. 31 “” Boston temporarily closed parts of bridges, subway stations, an Interstate highway and even part of the Charles River on Wednesday after the authorities found what the police described as suspicious devices at nine places.
Mayor Thomas M. Menino was in no mood to accept the apology.

“It is outrageous, in a post-9/11 world, that a company would use this type of marketing scheme,“ Mr. Menino said in a statement. “I am prepared to take any and all legal action against Turner Broadcasting and its affiliates for any and all expenses incurred during the response to today’s incidents.“


Internet & Software – US Advertising Outlook

A 50 page PDF Morgan Stanley Internet & Consumer Software Advertising Report. (via longstation)

The Summary of the US Internet Search Market (pg 18) states:

… Accelerating Migration of Media Content (including video) to the Web, Local and Mobile Initiatives, Rollout of Yahoo!’s Project Panama and the Initial Traction from Microsoft’s AdCenter Could Drive Growth Re-acceleration in 2007

I am not sure "Re-acceleration" is a word. And I added the emphasis. And they qualify it with "could". Yet I believe what they are saying. Our little company is up significantly again in 2006 and the year isn’t over yet!

The report is full of noted gaps as shown in the graph top right of this post. And the stated gap between revenue from classifieds off line and online.

Continue reading “Internet & Software – US Advertising Outlook”

The Search Engine Technology Battle for Advertisement Serving

This was a question that came up with a client so I wanted to cross post for those new to PPC (pay per click) advertising.

There are three major players in the Pay-Per-Click Advertising World. They are clearly divided into religious camps on where the ads get served meaning you pretty much have to set up three different configurations to run a broad online PPC campaign. The providers are:

  1. Google Adwords. The big one.

  2. Yahoo just announced Panama, which is a next generation of their purchase of Overture a year or two ago. The main site for Yahoo ad serving is
  3. MSN adCenter is the most advanced Search Advertising Platform but display is limited to Microsoft properties primarily. This one has the best visuals and statistics but a limited distribution network.

If you want to dive in a great place to start is the blog at searchenginewatch. Or just sign up and test them! Hey, it’s only money…

_rebekka kicking ass with Toyota Prius Advertising

  kicking ass 
  Originally uploaded by _rebekka.

I posted on rebekka, the top photographer on flickr, a while back. While still a student, she has been able to monetize her skills and exposure and now is picking up paid photo gigs. Like this one for Toyota Prius (right).

Sometimes the way to monetize exposure through social software communities is the old fashioned way – get a job.

Congrats on a great campaign for Toyota!

I’d also like to point out something from reading the comments. HUNDREDS comment on rebekka’s photos. My point is that while she is an artist, and this ad is artistic, it is also commercial.

And the community on flickr is excited for her. They are supportive. This is worth noting first in how Rebekka presents the work (meaning the ethos of her posts). And secondarily in the fact that commercial brands ARE ok if done artistically and in agreement with the unwritten rules of a given site.

It also looks like Toyota is running the advertisements just regionally. Not sure I agree with them on that one. I’d at least run them in major markets in the US with a strong creative focus like NYC, LA and San Fran.

Smirnoff – Raw Tea in the parlor makes the ladies holler

Via this post on qViews first an excerpt and then the video from Smirnoff about a Tea Partay

Smirnoff has a new viral video
out on YouTube, but that’s not so unusual. However, a creative director
from Smirnoff’s ad agency, Kevin Roddy, said something really
interesting. He says that brands need to stop being advertisers and
become tools

um… emphasis added. Visit the post for more meaningful quotes or just watch the video.

Metaphor Elicitation Techniques – Rereading Zaltman

Several years ago I read How Customers Think. Rereading it now and I find Gerald Zaltman is full of marketing insights. Yet the next action step is vague. It is difficult to put into practice without professional help. In an effort to make it actionable on a budget, here is an actionable synopsis.

A few of the core themes of the book are (and my apologies to the author if I don’t get this right).

  1. 95 percent of all cognition occurs in the subconscious mind (link to interview)
  2. verify stated belief against actual behavior
  3. measure latency response for thoughts and/or bias (also a theme in the Tipping Point)
  4. metaphors tap into thought stored as images as well as imagination
  5. from metaphors you can develop concensus maps from a small sample size (12 to 30 people!)
  6. one-on-one interviews are superior to focus groups
  7. research participants are asked to gather 8 to 10 pictures that reflect their thoughts or feelings on a subject *before* the interview

Continue reading “Metaphor Elicitation Techniques – Rereading Zaltman”

AdAge 2005 Top 200 Brands List by US Ad Spending Released

AdAge released their Megabrands list for 2005. It ranks advertisers by US Ad Spending. The full brand report is here.

What I would like to see is a cross reference showing public relations spending versus advertising spending for those monsters. When you are spending 1.7 Billion though, well I guess you can do whatever and get results.

From the AAF Smartbrief:

Report: Top 200 brands
Cingular and Sprint spent a combined $4 billion on media last year, placing the
telecom giants respectively in the top three slots of Advertising Age’s “Top 200
Megabrands for 2005” list. As a whole, the Top 200 last year spent $49.14
billion in 18 media, representing about a third of the $148.29 billion measured
ad market, according to TNS Media Intelligence.    Advertising
(free registration)

The Cat’s Meow on Persuasion Architecture

I just finished reading Waiting for your Cat to Bark? in great depth. This means reading, underlining, circling, highlighting, abusing the book while tricking the mind into comprehension. To really grasp something takes work, and luckily it usually boils down to something simple. Like these three questions from pg 54 and pg 137 of Cat:

  1. Who are we trying to persuade to take action?
  2. What is the action we want someone to take?
  3. What does that person need in order to feel confident taking that action?

The other heavy metal that I took away from the book is similarly simple:

  1. Everyone online acts like an introvert

Continue reading “The Cat’s Meow on Persuasion Architecture”

You Have a Choice in Wired – Apple or Dell at Twice the Price

It is so easy to pick on advertising. But sometimes it just has to be said.

Silly advertising usually leads to silly financial results for the companies. Which usually leads to a bad stock price and layoffs – which are bad. Please compare the two advertisements from this month’s wired magazine. Apple first, then Dell. I merged them into one image. Which one would you buy?

Price matters. Twice the price for a desktop with one processor?

I can hear the consultant at Dell now. "the 80/20 rule. we make most of our profit at gamers. this is Wired magazine. Lots of geeks with money. Let’s pitch them a single processor PC for $3170 and call it a "workstation." They won’t notice the dual processor Apples earlier in the magazine. At half the price. That also run Windows. Nah, they won’t notice that."

On the plus side the Dell advertisement does have direct marketing response vehicles. Phone numbers. URLs. Definitely a better direct marketing advertisement. But the price disparity is so radically large that I don’t see it persuading me. Or a gamer. Why would you?

Supply Side Versus Demand Side for Online Advertising

Recently I read a comment about someone "recognizing the need for more online advertising inventory." Huh? Is the market demanding MORE places to advertise? It just didn’t sound plausible. I am apparently not the only one who feels this way. From Micropersuasion.

I still contend that there is far more ad inventory on Web 2.00 sites than there are advertisers willing to buy it up.

More on the Steve’s blog… Or try selling some banners on a CPM model and let me know how that works for you…   

Eisenbergs: Waiting for Your Cat to Bark?

  Avellan and Eisenberg 
  Originally uploaded by eschipul.

Brian Eisenberg and Jeff Eisenberg’s new book is out. Waiting for Your Cat to Bark is available now.

That said, the picture to the right is of Javier Avellan taken with Jeff at the AAF conference this week in San Francisco.

Also, if you haven’t read Call to Action also by Future Now Inc I recommend it. At least if you are in advertising or marketing.

When I get done with Waiting for Your Cat to Bark I’ll post a follow up.

Disclaimer – they are Tendenci clients through The Web Analytics Association. But that isn’t why I posted this. Jeff did a SOLD OUT presentation at AAF last week. Complete with no AC and everyone still stayed. That good.

AAF Conference – San Francisco 2006

  Passage at Dusk 
  Originally uploaded by eschipul.

In San Francisco for the annual AAF Conference. (Disclosure – they did their conference registration with our software, Tendenci, this year.)

I took the picture at left yesterday near the hotel. It is called "Passage" by Dan Das Mann and Karen Cusolito. It is being installed on the Embarcadero near the Bay Bridge in San Fran. A project of the Black Rock Arts Foundation.

This will be a crazy week, three nights in San Fran, then OKC for one night to give a talk, and then on to Little Rock Arkansas for another one. I promise not to say anything about Wal-Mart. Hmmm. Specifics after the jump.

Continue reading “AAF Conference – San Francisco 2006”

Ad Agencies: Join the Conversation or Limit Your Options Later

Adage is running a nice round up article on the bru-ha-ha regarding the Maine Web Report and a lawsuit filed against them by an ad agency. The lawsuit was filed by a 40m advertising agency named
Warren Kremer Paino Advertising in New York. Everyone has already pilloried the ad agency for filing the lawsuit but in the name of context here is a recap:

Published: May 02, 2006

NEW YORK ( — An ad agency that specialized in travel
advertising is suing a Maine-based blogger for defamation after he
began to post regularly about the work the agency was doing for its
client, the state of Maine.

If you are in an agency, what can you DO about this? Note at the end of the adage article Steve Rubel, the de facto PR spokesperson for the planet, offers four pieces of advice. Note number 4! Rubel’s plan for a response to negative comments in a blog is:

  • The first step is to contact the blogger and discuss the issue in a nonthreatening way. See if an agreement can be reached.
  • Second,
    you might have to accept what you cannot change. It’s the bloggers’
    rights to communicate their opinions as long as the information was
    obtained through legal channels.
  • Try to find a third party to broker a discussion between you and the blogger.
  • Blog back, but only if you already have a blog.

Emphasis added. What this means if you are an ad agency is that you really can’t respond if you don’t already have bloggers on your team.

Continue reading “Ad Agencies: Join the Conversation or Limit Your Options Later”

Marketing Budget Survey versus Houston Advertising Agencies – 11% Worse Than Your Regular Brand

I did a post several months ago on a Marketing Budget Survey from 2004 that I used for a presentation with AMA in Dallas. The 2004 marketing budget graphic is below on the left.

The marketing graphic on the right is from *this week’s* Houston Business Journal showing percentages of revenue from Houston Advertising Agencies. We have a disconnect.  First the visuals.


I’d like to highlight this part:


The big red arrow is my question. Why 6% versus 17%? Now the numbers from Houston:






















Hou AdAgencies

Continue reading “Marketing Budget Survey versus Houston Advertising Agencies – 11% Worse Than Your Regular Brand”

OiH Featured in Houston Chronicle Business Section

OihchronOnly in Houston was written up in the Houston Chronicle by David Kaplan.  This is a follow up from the AdAge cover story a few weeks ago also on Only in Houston.  From the Chronicle story:

March 18, 2006, 6:26PM
Big ad agencies have pulled out of Houston, and those that remain are raising their profile

and it goes on:

In less than than a decade, almost all of the national advertising firms have left town, including McCann Erickson, Ogilvy, BBDO and Bates. The J. Walter Thompson agency, however, still has a presence here.

The reasons for the exodus are many: the trend toward consolidation both inside and outside the ad industry; the perception that Houston is a town where most businesses do business with each other, rather than with a consumer; and that the Houston offices of major agencies lost big oil accounts.


Led by local agency owner Lou Congelio, a group of industry volunteers has launched an ad campaign of its own called "Only in Houston" to remind advertisers that there is still plenty of talent in town.

Please visit the chronicle site for the whole story.  And if you are a blogger, please do TAG IT "OIH"!

AdAge PR for Only In Houston Promoting Houston Creative Agencies

Only in Houston
, an initiative from the Houston Advertising Federation (both are Tendenci clients), got some great coverage in AdAge today.  This effort is being driven by Lou Congelio of STANandLOU Advertising in Houston.

———from AdAge———-

Houston: We Have A Problem
A creative exodus has walloped the city; now a local ad consortium says it has the solution

Houston is the fourth-largest city in the U.S., with the Census Bureau pegging its population at slightly over 2 million.  But it’s the 18th largest ad market, much to the dismay of local marketing executives, who say companies looking for advertising and production support view Houston as little more than an afterthought – a quaint suburban hamlet in the shadow of creative metropolises like Miami or Portland, Ore.

Even though it headquarters more Fortune 500 companies than any city except New York, few of those tapped local agencies as their primary ad partner.  That’s caused an exodus of agencies – and talent.

"We’ve taken a major hit," Lou Congelio…

Hopefully the article will be posted in full on the OiH or AdAge sites soon!   

GM Advertisements in Newlywed Section of the Houston Chronicle

General Motors "fun and games" with fake wedding listings in the Houston Chronicle today.  A bit early for April Fool’s and at first the announcements seem real and the ad placement very out of place.  But a quick reading of the text for the engaged couples reveals snarky text with a very ad copywriter sense of humor.

Gmadvertorialchroniclewedannounce1 Gmadvertorialchroniclewedannounce2

Gmadvertorialchroniclewedannounce3The copy starts:

The Chevy family is proud to announce the marriage of Fuel Efficiency and Power.  The ceremony took place in the Vortec V8 engine, where the couple first met.  They will be making their home in the all new 2007 Chevy Tahoe.  It is a first marriage for both.

Both the bride and groom are graduates of the full-size SUV class with Fuel Efficiency receiving honrs for getting EPA est. 22 MPG Highway.  Power’s achievements include 320 horsepower and 340 lb-ft of torque. <more – check images>

The above ad was at first, before catching the fact that everything was faked, surprising.  What remains funny is that in the same issue of the Chronicle there is an editorial from the Sierra Club (the Sierra Club???) advocating bailing out the big three automakers subject to fuel efficiency improvements.  Go figure.  First power marries fuel efficiency, although the latter can’t get it up past 22, and now the Sierra Club wants to marry GM.