Posts Tagged ‘advertising’

How Mad Men, by Looking Back, Changed the Future of Advertising

May 11, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

"On Stage 9, the wardrobes of the male cast members include white shirts, cuff links, tie clips and hats," Stuart Elliott wrote in his New York Times advertising column in 2006, about a then-unknown cast shooting a pilot. "The female cast members wear long skirts, slips, formidable-looking brassieres and nylon stockings." Elliott would go on to write many columns about the AMC network's Mad Men—which premiered on July 19, 2007 and which, with much fanfare, draws to a close with the series finale on May 17—and he found silver-haired ad executives to be polarized. "Half of the people I talk to from that era are very hard-core fans of the show and say that it is exactly what it was like then," Elliott, who retired from the Times in 2014 after 23 years, tells Adweek. "And half say the show was completely phony and drummed up for dramatic purposes." Whether the series got the era right or not, what cannot be denied is that it has had an immeasurable impact on this one. Here, some of the more significant ways Mad Men changed our world. It made advertising sexy In 2007, procurement departments increasingly were applying the same cost-cutting measures to ad agencies as they did to their copy paper and coffee vendors. Ad executives, priding themselves as trusted advisors, felt slighted—and it didn't help that viewers were gleefully TiVo-ing past their commercials. "The ad business," Elliott recalls, "was kind of in a funk." Enter Jon Hamm as Don Draper. Lantern jawed, crisply dressed and pomaded, he made this pronouncement in the first episode: "Advertising is based on one thing: happiness. And you know what happiness is? Happiness is the smell of a new car. It's freedom from fear. It's a billboard on the side of the road that screams reassurance that whatever you are doing is OK." Music to the ad industry's ears. Bob Jeffrey, who served as worldwide CEO of JWT when the show premiered, notes that it helped provide the industry with a pipeline of aspiring talent

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Why Showtime’s Happyish Defiled the Keebler Elves

April 27, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

For close to five decades, the Keebler Elves have been a genial, wholesome presence in Keebler advertising as they sang the praises of the brand's cookies and crackers. But Sunday's premiere of the new Showtime comedy Happyish quickly changed the Elves' slogan from "Uncommonly Good" to "uncommonly disturbing." In a hallucination by the show's disillusioned ad exec Thom Payne (Steve Coogan), the animated Ernie Keebler, stunned to be fired as Keebler's pitchman after 46 years, drops f-bombs and starts shooting his fellow elves, including Fast Eddie, before turning the gun on himself. Then a stunned Ma Keebler proceeds to disrobe and have sex with Payne.The now-defiled Keebler Elves are just the first of several beloved advertising icons that Happyish skewers during its 10-episode debut season. Created by author Shalom Auslander, who begrudgingly worked in advertising for more than two decades to supplement his writing career, the show routinely takes aim at the business that Auslander loves to hate. "I ended up having this fantastic deal that I got fired from," Auslander said. "I was working for McCann Erickson, living in Woodstock [, N.Y.] and coming in once a month, and sending in ideas and not really caring what happened to them.

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The Future May Belong to Web and Mobile Video, but TV Will Survive

April 27, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Television is dead! Long live television! This, the ancient cry of royal succession, is entirely appropriate to herald what's happening right now—literally before our eyes—to the medium of television. TV has ruled our lives and lifestyles, our news and entertainment, our politics and (through advertising) our economics since network broadcasting began in 1949. And now its sovereignty is over. Randall Rothenberg Illustration: Alex Fine "Linear TV has been on an amazing 50-year run, [but] Internet TV is starting to grow," Netflix CEO Reed Hastings said earlier this month, in announcing superb earnings for the streaming TV pioneer. "Clearly over the next 20 years, Internet TV is going to replace linear TV." Far be it for me to disagree. For what are the Digital Content NewFronts but an example of the revolution that is roiling television's half-century hegemony? Well, pssst, buddy, let me let you in on a little secret: The princeling that's replacing television … is television. Like the British monarchy or any long-lived royal line, TV has proved remarkably resilient and adaptable during its history. From black-and-white to color, from broadcasting to cable, from 15-minute newscasts to 24-hour news networks, from The Beverly Hillbillies to Mad Men , from wait-until-reruns to on-demand, television has been, is and probably will remain a near-perfect evocation of Darwinism, evolving rapidly to meet changes in technology, consumer interests and marketing needs. True, the changes television is undergoing now are breathtaking, in volume and speed. Prime time has become an anachronism. Today, Emmy-winning, high-quality shows, once the domain only of a specific time and device, are available across multiple devices at any hour of the day. We rarely sit down together as families and friends to watch a TV show after dinner. We watch the programming we love, on our own, several times a day, wherever we happen to be. And that family and friends with whom we hashed it over? That would be our social graph—an ever-present (and ever-growing) real-time feedback loop. The once-unmatchable power of the 30-second spot is also on the decline

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Dannon’s Oikos Helped to Revive Full House, but Won’t Be Around to Enjoy It

April 21, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

More than a year before John Stamos lit a nostalgic bonfire with his announcement of a Full House revival, Oikos Greek yogurt had the same idea. The Dannon brand's 2014 Super Bowl ad reunited spokesman Stamos with his former castmates, Bob Saget and Dave Coulier, and in the process sparked an explosion of buzz among several generations of fans. (The show remains a syndicated hit with today's youth.) So will the brand be basking in the glow of the retro reunion it arguably helped bring into reality? Probably not. A spokesman for parent brand Dannon says its contract with Stamos expired at the end of last year and there are currently no plans to revive it. "John is no longer in our Oikos advertising," said Michael Neuwirth, senior director of public relations for Dannon.

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Former SNL Funnyman Gary Kroeger Gets Serious, Runs for Congress

April 8, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Gary Kroeger is following in his former Saturday Night Live co-stars footsteps. Like Al Franken, Kroeger is running for Congress. Kroeger, a Cedar Falls native, is running for the democratic nomination in Iowa's first congressional district. Kroeger spent three seasons on SNL, beginning in 1982. He returned to Iowa in 2003 and began working as creative director at Mudd Advertising in Cedar Falls. "I came back for 'Iowa Values' and now I see many of those values being marginalized, even eliminated, and I have to do something about it," Kroeger wrote on his campaign page . "I have to so that my sons can have the opportunities that I had ... and more." In an interview on Mudd's blog in 2011, Kroeger described a typical day at the office: "Busy. Scripts to write, radio commercials to voice, television spots to host, meet with account execs about future creative direction and spots in production. Meet with production teams to create new content for online, television and radio advertising." Another of Kroeger's 1980s SNL cast-mates, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, lives in the fictional world of politics, playing President Selina Meyer on HBO's Veep.

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The Not-So-Funny State of TV Comedy

February 16, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Over the past dozen years of taping Two and a Half Men on Stage 26 on the Warner Bros. lot in Burbank, Calif., Jon Cryer had grown to dread the inevitable last-minute rewrites that would come his way. That is, until Feb. 6, when he wrapped his 262nd and final episode playing Alan Harper on the hit CBS comedy. "This time around, when we shot the very last scene, I kept hoping for rewrites because I just did not want it to end," Cryer explains. "I looked over to the bank of monitors that the writers sit in front of and they were all hugging.

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NBC Says It Will be a ‘Huge Disappointment’ if Super Bowl Doesn’t Break Ratings Records

January 16, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

What is NBC shooting for when it comes to this year's big game? Oh, just 115 million people. It's expected that each Super Bowl

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How Bill Cosby Went From TV’s ‘Most Persuasive’ Pitchman to its Most Radioactive

November 19, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Three years ago, as Bill Cosby prepared to be inducted into the Advertising Hall of Fame as the first winner of the President's Award for Contributions to Advertising, he spoke with Adweek about the honor. When asked about his greatest asset as a hugely successful (and highly lucrative) pitchman of products like Jell-O, Coca-Cola and Crest, Cosby responded, "I think [it's] my believability as a storyteller." Three years later, that believability is in ruins. Past sexual assault allegations against the comedian have resurfaced and snowballed in recent weeks, with every day bringing a shocking, ugly new development. (Tuesday, former supermodel Janice Dickinson told Entertainment Tonight that Cosby drugged and raped her in 1982.) The controversy reached its tipping point late last night, when Netflix announced it was "postponing" the Nov. 28 debut of Cosby's comedy special, Cosby 77. Today, NBC followed suit, pulling the plug on the sitcom it had been developing with the comedian for next season. It's a stunning fall for Cosby. As The Cosby Show dominated the Nielsens in the '80s, the actor had the top Q Score of all entertainers, while New York research firm Video Storyboard Tests named him the most persuasive celebrity commercial pitchman for five consecutive years. Now he's the most radioactive, even to the very network that he helped rescue in the '80s. Putting the horrific allegations aside (disclosure: I worked at People when it published this damning 2006 account of the allegations from five of his accusers, one month after he settled with another accuser out of court. It's a story I'm still stunned never gained traction at the time), Cosby is in this predicament largely because he and his team demonstrated a surprising lack of media savvy for a performer who for decades has had audiences—and advertisers—in the palm of his hand. It started with the ill-conceived decision on Nov. 10 to launch a meme generator for his website, which quickly turned into one of the year's biggest social media debacles . As he granted interviews about loaning works from his art collection to the National Museum of African Art, he ignored questions about the allegations, first with the nonsensical response, "No. Look at the beauty of what we have here," and then with complete silence during an awkward NPR interview . Shortly after, his appearance on the Late Show with David Letterman—a safe haven if there ever was one given Letterman's own previous sex scandals — was canceled . It gets worse: On Sunday, in a statement

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NBC’s New Fall Shows, From Best to Worst

September 19, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Last season, for the first time in a long time, NBC was on top. Much of that was due to The Voice, flagship drama The Blacklist and shows that struck an unexpected chord, like Hannibal. But some of it was because the competition faltered more or less across the board. Even with its #1 slot, though, the network had some retooling to do, and the result is the least consistent slate of new shows this season. It's not that the shows are uniformly bad; they're not uniformly anything. There are funny comedies and unfunny comedies, pulpy dramas and Very Serious Dramas. It feels as if it was developed by at least two different teams, and the process yields shows that will probably appeal (or not) to very different audiences. As with our previous new-show writeups for ABC , CBS and Fox , these breakdowns are based on the early episodes provided by the networks. Mostly, that just means pilots, and in one case (Bad Judge) not even that. But it's instructive for the advertising community to see what the audience's first glimpse of a show is going to be, as there's enough great material out there these days to make television a medium with near-limitless choice.

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Do TV And Advertising Still Belong Together?

September 18, 2014  |  Variety  |  No Comments

TV and advertising used to go together, to quote some famous commercial slogans, like baseball, hot dogs, apple pie and Chevrolet. Or like food, folks and fun. Now, a new thought is rising that the two sides fit together less snugly. Cable ratings this summer have been weaker, and broadcast ratings somewhat choppy, too. Discovery... Read more

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