April, 2012

Wow! Over 100,000 Page Views In 2 Weeks!

iAds: Steve Jobs’ last blunder

Psychology Professor Discovers What The Ad Industry Has Known For Decades

From the March 23 New York Times Sunday book review section to Commentary‘s blog on April 18 to Powerline on April 23, a new book by University of Virginia psychology professor Johnathan Haidt has been making waves.

According to reviewer William Saletan, Haidt wrote The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion with an agenda, namely, “to enrich liberalism, and political discourse generally, with a deeper awareness of human nature.”

A funny thing happened on the way to that deeper awareness

To this end, he paid University of Virginia (a public university) researchers to conduct “a massive online survey” and “ask people moral questions, time their responses and scan their brains…[T]heir answers and brain activation patterns indicate[d] that they reach conclusions quickly and produce reasons later only to justify what they’ve decided.”

Reasoning, Haidt reasons, is “post-hoc and justificatory,” writes Peter Wehner. “Reasoning is not good at finding the truth, according to Haidt. We’re all like good lawyers or press secretaries; we seek out information to reinforce our existing opinions and try to justify everything,” he adds. Read more →

Why Isn’t Anyone Outraged Over Liquid Plumr’s Demeaning Double Entendres?

Back in March, a Huggies commercial stereotyping fathers as clueless klutzes provoked such a big firestorm that Kimberly-Clark had to pull the spot and remake the rest of the campaign. On April 18, reported on a commercial that Liquid Plumr started airing in February —  one that evokes an even worse stereotype of women as sex-starved nymphomaniacs.

But while the Huggies commercial provoked instant outrage from Richmond, Virginia, to Richmond, California, reaction to the Liquid Plumr video has been…silence.


Promotion or pornography?

The commercial is filled with demeaning double entendres.

It opens with a woman in a supermarket aisle, dreamily repeating aloud the words on the Liquid Plumr label: “Double Impact…Double Impact.” With each repetition, her eyes glaze and her breathing becomes heavier.

We dissolve to her, at home, opening the front door as one of what the YouTube caption calls “the two sexiest plumbers ever”  shows up “to snake your drain.” Read more →

To Find Out What Consumers Are Watching, Check Out Where They Live

Goochland County, VA, is 2,887 miles from San Mateo County, CA. But its broadcast and cable television viewing prefences are closer than Henrico and Hanover’s are, right across the county line — and worlds apart from the City of Richmond’s, only 16 miles away.

According to a survey whose results Ad Age released April 16, there’s a new way for advertisers to look at consumer audiences — not by geography, not by exhaustive demographics, not by psychographics, not even by focus grouping or other forms of expensive research, but by what kind of county they live in.

The survey broke the nation’s counties into 12 demographic/ behavioral categories. Then they asked 25,000 consumers across the nation which first-run network shows they’d watched during the previous seven days, on both broadcast and cable television. When they correlated the data by county, they found surprising paradoxes — and also a very interesting shortcut advertisers can use to make television buys more efficient and more effective.

You can’t tell the players without a scorecard

In order to understand the conclusions — and use them to get more advertising results for your money — you first have to understand what the 12 different county types are: Read more →

For Hospitals, Social Marketing May Be Just What The Doctor Ordered

Watch out for unexpected side effects.

Of the 5,754 registered hospitals in the U.S., only 1,129 — a little over one in five — actively use social media, according to an April 10 report.

More should.

Because many of social marketing’s weaknesses are strengths for the healthcare industry.

Time’s not of the essence

The problem with social marketing for most advertisers is that it works s-l-o-w-l-y. It can take months to build an audience of followers, to establish a dialog, to convert passive liking into active choice.

If you’re trying to get consumers to come in and buy now, that’s frustrating at best and wasteful at worst. But not for hospitals. Hospital admission is not something anyone can build demand for. You go to the hospital because you need to, not because you want to — when you’re sick, when you’re pregnant, when you’ve been injured in an accident, when you need an MRI or some other heavy-duty form of lab work. Read more →

What Advertisers Can Learn From Ambulance Chasers – And What They Shouldn’t

More spohisticated than you think

Question: How did the personal-injury lawyer get hurt in an accident?

Answer: The ambulance stopped suddenly.

Personal-injury and class-action attorneys are not exactly held in the greatest esteem.

But according to a report that New Media Strategies (NMS), based in Arlington, VA, compiled for the Institue for Legal Reform (ILR), they deserve respect for the sophisticated techniques they bring to digital marketing — though not necessarily for how ethically they apply them.

“Hi, I’m Joel Bieber”

It’s no surprise to anyone in Richmond with two eyes, two ears and a television in working order that lawyers spend heavily on television advertising. But that’s a drop in the bucket compared to what they spend, less visibly, on digital advertising.

Trial-lawyer firms spend “millions of dollars [on] the creation and maintenance of  websites, Facebook pages, Twitter handles, blogs and YouTube channels,” NMS reports. Read more →

Whatever Chrysler’s New 60-second Tv Commercials Are Selling, It Sure Isn’t Autos

Is this what they're really selling?

Precisely at nine Friday morning, Richmond time, Chrysler posted (on YouTube) four of the longer, 60-second commercials we warned you were coming.

The spots themselves will start airing on the NCAA men’s basketball finals Saturday, the American Country Music Awards Sunday and “Mad Men” on AMC cable.

When and if you watch them, one question will spring to mind, namely, “Just what is it they’re selling?” Because whatever they’re selling certainly isn’t cars and trucks.

Commercials or product placements?

My online dictionary says an advertisement is “a notice…in a public medium promoting a product, service or event or publicizing a job vacancy.” Which means these new spots from Chrysler aren’t advertisements.

Well, television is “a public medium.” But no way are those :60s “promoting a product, service or event.”

The Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Ram vehicles in the video are just product placements, much like the Chrysler cars Mark Harmon drives in “NCSI.” Car makes — in fact even references to cars at all — never turn up even once in the voice-over.

So what’s going on here? The answer may lie in the fact that Chrysler is a partly-owned subsidiary of the United States government.

America’s second half or Obama’s fourth quarter?

According to Ad Age, Chrysler’s positioning the campaign as “the next installment” of their controversial two-minute “America at Halftime” Super Bowl spot — but with a difference. Read more →