March, 2012

The Big Rush Limbaugh Ad Boycott Turns Out To Have Been A Big Flop

Don't overpromise. MoveOn and Media Matters did.

This time, they were really going to get him. was going to get him kicked off 180 radio stations.

Media Matters for America was going to get 100 national advertisers to cancel their spots on his show.

So how did the Great Rush Limbaugh Ad Boycott work? Not exactly as expected — and even its organizers admit it.

“Real consequences?”

“The objective has been to show that there are real consequences” for “someone like Mr. Limbaugh or his company,” said Angelo Carusone of Media Matters. But how real were they?

News reports said that more than 100 national advertisers had canceled air time on Rush Limbaugh’s midday show. That was more wishful thinking than fact.

To begin with, Limbaugh never had as many as 100 national advertisers at a time. If he did, his talk show would be wall-to-wall commercials. Read more →

Women Join Angry Dads In Pooping On Huggies Tv Ad Campaign

Late on the afternoon of March 9, an article criticized a new campaign Kimberly-Clark had started airing for Huggies diapers. The campaign depicted fathers as bumbling, clueless klutzes right out of a 1950s sitcom, and a massive online backlash from dads — 32% of whom are their kids’ primary caregivers — got K-C to pull the first commercial from the air and start hurriedly revising the others in the campaign.

Surprising reaction

Reaction to the article was, to put it frankly, astounding.

First, because there was so much of it: over 6,000 page views as of midnight, March 12; 222 Facebook likes and just about 100 comments and replies to comments — mostly from women.

And second, because virtually all the women, with only three exceptions, sided with the angry dads.


One woman blowing back against the campaign was Lecia Hale, who wrote, “Sexism works against both sexes… This story makes me proud of our modern dads! Let’s move away from silly stereotypes. They’re not amusing because they’re not true.”

Chloe Williams Hincman went a step further. Read more →

Get Ready For An Onslaught Or Really Lo-o-o-ong Tv Commercials

"Watch my two-minute commercial, fool!"

In the beginning was the 2011 two-minute Chrysler Super Bowl commercial, in which Eminem’s voice-over said you should buy Chrysler cars because they come from the imploding, dysfunctional city of Detroit.

This year, in another Chrysler Super Bowl commercial,  Clint Eastwood went on for another two minutes about how Detroit — which an Economist article characterized as flirting with financial disaster — was a model for “America at halftime.”

And now, it seems, everyone’s getting into the act.

Of course, there’s nothing new about two-minute commercials. In the middle of the night, insomniacs see direct-response pitches and infomercials all the time. But now they’re starting to invade prime-time television.

In this year’s Grammy Awards telecast, Chipotle ran a two-and-a-half minute Luddite homage to the good old days of pre-Agricultural Revolution, Malthusian subsistence farming.

Chevrolet is running a two-minute version of its “Happy Grad” :30 online.

Old Navy just released a two-minute spot for a new line of t-shirts starring Mr. T (Get it?) on E! network’s “Talk Soup” and “Chelsea Lady.” The commercial features online couponing to get one of these t-shirts for free, which begs the question: If the shirts are so great, why do you need advertising to give away — not sell, but give away for free — a few tens of thousands of them? Read more →

Angry Dads’ Outrage Gets Huggies Ad Campaign Pulled From Television

With inept-father stereotyping, Huggies put its foot into what their diapers are full of.

It must have seemed like a good idea at the time.

Kimberly-Clark wanted to demonstrate the superiority of their Huggies diapers on television, and to do this they chose a stereotype right out of 1950s situation comedies.

They wanted to show how well their diapers did their job under even the worst possible conitions. And what conditions could be worse than putting them in the hands of the most hapless, clueless, inept adults known to American folklore — fathers?

The “Dad Test”

The Huggies “Dad Test” campaign filmed five babies left alone in the same house with their fathers for five days, on the premise that if Huggies could survive five days with these bumbling boobs, they could survive anything.

“To prove that Huggies diapers and wipes can handle anything,” the female voice-over begins, “we put them to the toughest test imaginable — Dads.”

In other words, as a headline put it, Huggies diapers are so good, even dads can’t use them wrong.

The poop storm

Dads across the country were not amused. They had good reason not to be.

It turns our that 32% of fathers are their children’s primary caregivers. And most of the other 68% pitch in with child care — at least to the extent of knowing how and when to, uh, change a diaper. Read more →

The Most Efficient Ad Media Aren’t Necessarily The Most Effective Ones

Reaching your target audience takes more than low cost per thousand.

The first goal of any media planner is to make the most efficient media buy. This means the one that reaches the largest number of consumers — preferably the largest number of qualified prospects — at the lowest cost. But you can seriously undermine your brand’s sales efforts by basing everything on the numbers alone.

That’s because efficiency — the lowest cost per thousand — is no guarantee of effectiveness — getting those thousands of consumers to buy.

It turns out that some of the most efficient media are the least effective, and vice versa.

Efficient but not effective

Direct mail, for example, has long been regarded as one of the most efficient media ever. With it, you can target your audience not only geographically, but also demographically, psychographically and behaviorally as well.

In using direct mail for a West Virginia solar panel installer, our company was able to specify affluent neighborhoods, upper incomes and home values, memberships in green-cause organizations, subscriptions to Audubon and other eco-friendly magazines, and Democratic registration. The result was a 10% response rate and a 40% spike in web traffic for the client.

That response rate was an exception. Historically, direct mail response averages 1.3%. For e-mail blasts targeted with equal efficiency, it’s 1.6%. And for targeted online display ads, a clickthrough rate of 0.5% is phenomenal. Read more →