Opinions vary on whether the new Nike advertisement featuring Tiger Woods is tasteless exploitation of his dead father, Earl Woods, or a masterstroke of counter-intuitive marketing.
Personally, I think the television ad, made by Nike’s long-time agency Wieden + Kennedy, it is a clever piece of emotional brand rebuilding.
The ad, which you can view above, has been produced to coincide with the Masters golf tournament and Woods’ carefully orchestrated return to professional golf following his public humiliation as a result of having affairs with women.
It should thus be taken alongside Woods’ penitent press conference earlier this week in which he said he had been in therapy and was trying to become a better person, and the highly critical comments of Billy Payne, chairman of the Augusta National club where the Masters is played. Read more
My Thursday column in the FT is on the travails of newspapers.
My FT column this week is on the advertising industry: Read more
We are so used to the notion that the US lags behind the rest of the world in mobile phone use that it is a shock to be told it is no longer true.
I am in San Francisco at the leadership conference of the American Association of Advertising Agencies (now formally re-branded as the 4As) and have been hearing some interesting statistics. Read more
On my travels, I neglected to post the review I wrote for the FT on Monday of Kenneth Roman’s The King of Madison Avenue, a biography of the late David Ogilvy:
In 1989, having dismissed Martin Sorrell as “this gnome” and vilified him in the Financial Times, David Ogilvy took up Mr Sorrell’s offer to absorb Ogilvy & Mather into WPP and make Ogilvy non-executive chairman. Read more
If you feel like a shock, try finding out how many online advertising companies are tracking you every time you use the internet. Read more
Bernard Arnault presumably knows a thing or two about what sells Louis Vuitton bags, or he would not feature so prominently on the Forbes list.
Still, I was struck by seeing the well-worn face of Keith Richards, the Rolling Stones guitarist, in an advertisement in a glossy magazine for Louis Vuitton. You can see the photo here. Read more
The other day, I described my scepticism about advertising networks on the internet and whether technology would replace the traditional interaction between ad sales forces and media buyers.
John Hagel, whose thoughts on business are always worth reading, has chimed in on the topic with a long post. He states the problem facing advertisers intriguingly: Read more
Esther Dyson, who knows a thing or two about media and technology (as well as being the board member of 23 and Me who helped me with my genetic sample in Davos last month) wrote an op-ed piece in the Journal yesterday on the internet-based future of advertising.
It caught my attention because of who wrote it and because it was pegged to the Microsoft bid for Yahoo, as was my column on the same topic last week. I found it especially engaging because she agreed with me on one point but then branched out into something else entirely.
The misuse of language in business is so common that I usually let it pass but I was provoked this morning on walking into the FT’s office in midtown Manhattan by a poster for Brite Smile, a tooth whitening group (I will leave on one side the mis-spelling of "bright").
The poster is for $399 tooth veneers, and the tag line is: The First Affordable Veneers. Read more
It is hard to escape advertising for the new autumn (or fall, as I suppose I should call it) season on the US television networks in New York at the moment. The networks are making it impossible to do so.
As a piece in the New York Times this morning detailed, television networks are increasingly filling the bottom of the screen during programmes with little trailers for others that are coming up. It looks a bit bizarre to have little figures moving around the bottom of the screen while you are trying to watch the action at the top.
But these so-called "snipes" are not the end of it. Reading the New York Times itself in print form this morning was a bit of a labour because NBC had put wraparound inserts for its new autumn programmes on each section of the paper.