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The GSA Blog

The Graham Stanley Advertising Blog

The GSA Blog

Which Super Bowl Ads Are Super?

    Which Super Bowl Ads Are Super? Which advertisers managed to create the ads you don’t want to miss and which failed? By. Larry Woodard It’s that time of year again. Time to make that fancy dip and that special wing sauce. Time to lay down a few bills in that office pool. Time to defiantly put on the jersey of your team—the one that didn’t make it to the Super Bowl. Time to pay as much attention to the TV commercials as to the big game. Yep…it’s time for the Super Bowl and for advertising’s big day in the spotlight. With an expected 100 million viewers, that’s close to 200 million eyeballs. With a 30-second spot going for around $4 million dollars, just like the big game itself, there will be winners and losers. I sat down with a bowl of my wife’s most excellent chili and a tall glass of ice cold diet Dr. Pepper to review this year’s spots and give you my professional opinion of which brands w...

How the Dish Networks' Ad-Zapping 'Hopper' Could Change the TV Industry, But Not Yet

The broadcast industry "upfronts" were held earlier this month. Advertising agency media types put on their best dresses and Sunday suits and attend lavish presentations complete with TV stars, food and beverages. Kelly Clarkson, Robin Thicke and John Legend performed at ABC's Upfront VIP Party. During Upfront presentations, networks roll out next season's television programming and present their best cases for why they should get their share of the more than $60 billion spent annually on television advertising. In spite of the growth of internet and mobile advertising, television is still the number one platform for advertising and up to 80 percent of commercial inventory is sold during the upfront season. So you can imagine why Dish Networks unveiling of the "Hopper" – a DVR device that would allow subscribers to "auto-hop" (skip) the commercials they record –was considered hard, cold rain on the parade. This is big, right? The ability to watch a show when you want to and w...

McDonald's Ad:Food Photos Never What You Get

The most elaborate photo shoot I've been involved in to date was for a popular candy bar. By the time I got to the shoot, the crew had been working for several hours under the direction of an acclaimed food photographer and our art director. On a table were two foot-long candy bar models that had been carefully fabricated out of plastic to make sure they matched the "hero" (or hand-made to be perfect) candy bars we had been provided by the manufacturer. In the case of this product, the "decoration" or wavy pattern on the top had a specific design and the chocolate was without blemishes (like the air holes that occur during the normal manufacturing process). There were two assistants in waders, knee deep in a vat of chocolate. A complex rig had been developed that would create waves in the vat and another rig was designed to bring the two halves of the chocolate bar out of the vat in a smooth motion. On the counter, were several hand-manufactured candy bars and two food stylists ...

There’s an Ad Agency on Mobaso Road in Nairobi

Do Ad Networks Practice Double Standard When It Comes To African American Consumers? Those of you who know me, know that I’m a research nut. I like to find information and I’ll go to great lengths to get at interesting facts. This inquisitiveness has served me well over the span of my career. Information is power, it helps you prove points. It helps shine a light on inequities. I like to think ultimately, information leads to truth and truth has interesting qualities. William Cullen Bryant said that “Truth crushed to the earth will rise again”. So, follow along as I tell you what I just found out. It all started with an article I saw yesterday that talked about Omnicom’s TBWA setting up shop in Nairobi to compete in the fast growing Kenyan advertising market, which according to sources grew 30% last year. 30% is nothing to sneeze at and their clients GSK, Visa and Unilever among others are all blue top shelf clients. I started snooping around to find out more about the K...

Do You Know Any Queen-agers?

I’ve been seeing the trend develop for a while. It is buried in Mary Lou Quinlan’s book Just Ask A Woman which spends its time focusing on woman as consumers. It is the subtext to Miriam Muléy’s book The 85% Niche , which also is aimed at how to target women’s purchasing power. But now, a little more of the significance of the trend is emerging and there is a wonderful name that’s so descriptive I think it will catch on: Queen-Ager. The Sidney Morning Herald published a short article in yesterday’s newspaper entitled: Queen-agers Rule the Net . Their hypothesis is that there is a group of women sandwiched between Gen Y and the Baby Boomers. The bulls eye age is 45, and the largest part of the group is 40-49. These are tech savvy women whose focus is not on babies, beauty or fashion necessarily but who seek the information and respect to confidently go where they traditionally have not had easy access. In many ways it is about reinvention and the catalyst has been th...

Worldwide Charity Uses Tech To Target. Women, Girls.

Facial recognition software being used in UK campaign to determine gender of viewer. Now this is interesting! A worldwide charity called Plan, which focuses on helping millions of underprivileged children in over 50 developing nations, has launched an innovative ad campaign in the UK. The transit campaign called Because I Am A Girl uses facial recognition software to determine the gender of the person standing in front of it. If the scan determines the viewer is female, a 40-second ad plays that features three young teenage girls each from a different country. Men and boys are not shown the ads but are directed to information allowing them to give so that girls can have choices. The powerful ads informs the viewer that as many as 75 million girls are denied the right to education or forced into marriages where many have children while still being children themselves. The point of the ads is to educate as well as to actually demonstrate how girls in many countries a...

The Next Big Thing? Adaptive Marketing

Marketers working hard to market using data captured though sales and social media. This week KLM Dutch Airlines thrust Adaptive Marketing into the headlines with its announcement that it was working on a program to allow customers to use social media like Facebook to choose who they would like to sit with on a flight. It's an interesting concept and actually not that difficult to implement. Many travelers already use the internet to purchase their tickets and choose their seats. Airlines have been working hard to increase their presence in social media and millions of travelers use Facebook or Linked-in . KLM found in their research that a large group of travelers like to flirt on flights. This leads them to believe that facilitating social interaction on flights might be good for business. Or not. Most flights these days are full and once in the air, the likelihood of changes seats is low. Airlines are not equipped to handle multiple passenger request to mo...

Introducing Generation Jones

Kidnapped, Hijacked or Rescued? Generation Jones Seeks to define those born between 1954 and 1964. I was commuting to Manhattan on Monday and listening to WCBS talk/news radio when I got the news. Apparently, according to marketing consultant Jonathan Pontell who was being interviewed, the large group of people born between 1954 and 1964 are not, as previously cast Baby Boomers but are an entirely different species known as ( a term he coined) "Jonesers". This is a huge group of people. It is nearly a quarter (53 million) of all adults. This is a group that is too young to truly have embraced he idealism of the 60's and we are the ones who watched our older brothers and sisters sell out to Yuppism during the 80's. Jones has written a book called Generation Jones: Between the Baby Boomers and Generation X. But before I go on describing why Mr. Pontell might be on to something in further segmenting Boomers, I'd like to explore my feelings. It was not difficult for me...