Archive for the ‘Advertising’ Category

Super Bowl XLV Advertising: Same Ol’, Same Ol’

Monday, February 7th, 2011

Another Super Bowl is over and now its time to rate the real winners. Not the Green Bay Packers, but the advertisers. Like many, while it was a great game, I definitely watched the commercials more closely. For the last four years I have written a column for on how women view/respond to the commercials. Many core advertising products as such as Budweiser/ Bud Light and automotive vehicles were numerous, but most were not outstanding or particularly memorable. Although women make more than 80% of all purchases, Super Bowl ads seem to continuously play towards a very young, male demographic. However, this year, if I was a young male, I would be insulted. Many ads seemed to focus on showing men as dumb, young, violent and stupid.

superbowlad_vwThat’s not to say that many ads weren’t clever. There were just far between. I agree with the number one favorite, the VW Darth Vader ad. Living in the fantasy world with the adorable 6-year old and watching his eyes as he thinks he made the car’s lights flash, is just great advertising. The Best Buys ad with Ozzy Osbourne and Justin Bieber was also excellent. Showing the tech savvy differences between the two was well done and not insulting to either generation. The Chevy Camaro spot that featured the redheaded teacher had a fun, interesting twist at the end. The Pepsi Max first date was nostalgic of my dating days with her superbowlad_bestbuywondering many personal things about him while his only thought, until they bought the Pepsi Max to the table, was “I want to sleep with her.” Another slice of life commercial was the AT&T where the husband forgot the anniversary and works to make things right.

Two others I liked were the etrade baby and the Mini Game Show. While both E*Trade commercials were okay, I thought the one with the tailor measuring the baby for an expensive outfit, the commentary on how he had got the tailor investing for his future and the playful reach for the tailor’s beard was good entertainment with a message. The Mini Game Show “Cram It” superbowlad_etradehighlighted the spacious capacity of the Mini vehicle to hold a lot of stuff for busy, active families.

Since the sexist ads of Go Daddy never appeal to me, I did think the Joan Rivers twist at the end brought it to a better place. While Teleflora’s ad featuring Faith Hill helping a guy write a note to include with his flowers was still sexist, it was real and a huge improvement over last year, which was one of the worse Super Bowl ads ever.

Alas, there were numerous bad ones as well. While some rated the Doritos Pug Dog commercial as likeable, I find anything that threatens or pretends to harm animals in bad taste. Additionally, the Doritos spot where the man licked the pants is disgusting. I realize that Doritos runs contests to create ads for the Super Bowl, but those that enter aren’t necessarily those who purchase the product. In fact as a whole, I thought Doritos ads were the worse series of the game. Perhaps the Super Bowl isn’t the best venue for amateur work.

I thought the Chevy Senior ad was insulting and not funny or informative. It certainly would not get me to consider superbowl_logo1the vehicle, as a senior or otherwise., like Careerbuilder, focused more on the lowest, dumbest element of the audience. was equally bad. And while this list could go on and on, I’ll end with the Car Talk. Having the cars say they like the topless babe and show a convertible might seem to be clever to some, but could definitely be offensive to others.

For $3 million for a 30-second spot, plus production costs, I would want more for my money than most advertising agencies and their clients seem to want or get.

To see all the ads, go to

Retro Regression

Friday, May 29th, 2009

What is going on? I think I’m back in the ‘60s when smart companies didn’t know any better than to make their products pink for women and think they were done. But we are in 2009 and things have changed, at least for most companies. Mars candy bars and Dell’s Della website for women apparently don’t understand many of their customers at all.

dellamay09Like hundreds, probably thousands of women (and men), I was horrified when I first saw Dell computer’s new website for women dubbed Della. It was condescending at best. I couldn’t believe anyone in today’s competitive marketplace would make such a blatant misstep in regards to marketing to women. If they wanted to set themselves apart, they certainly did that. Additionally, they garnered lots of internet buzz about their tech tips including using your Dell to count calories and store recipes. They were quick to respond to a deluge of criticism, which is, of course, in their favor. However, much of the damage was already done.

Thefling1y aren’t the only ones regressing. Mars candy bar launched their first new product in 20 years with a pink wrapper called Fling. Besides pink, the sexual overtones are substantial from their describing the bar as a “finger” to their “pleasure yourself” clearly printed on the label. While the taste has gotten rave reviews, I think the packaging is a turnoff to many, including me. And that’s saying a lot since I’m an admitted chocoholic.

I hope no one else is planning to introduce new products, services or websites aimed at attracting women with pink or other out-of-date practices. Today’s women are highly educated, savvy shoppers, confident businesswomen and chief purchasing agents for their families. They spend $.85 of every dollar, accounting for $2 trillion annually. Women are not a niche market, but the most important consumer to the continuing success for more than 95% of all businesses.

fling_chocolate21Think when planning your next product or campaign, but not in Pink!