The return of the “soap opera” with a digital twist – thanks to multi-million pound deals struck by Unilever with Viacom and News Corp – is a further indication that there really is nothing new in marketing.
As I wrote recently, in relation to the spat between BrewDog, a Scottish independent brewer, and the beverage giant Diageo, the tools of communication and promotion may change, but the underlying challenges and responses are the same as they ever were. Read more
The travails of old media businesses are well-known but I’m starting to feel sympathy for advertisers and media buyers.
That sentiment was brought on by looking (in old media fashion) at the front of the print section of the New York Times today. The lead article is about Madison Avenue’s scepticism on whether Facebook is a good advertising medium and underneath that is a piece on Dish Network’s new ad-skipping digital video recorder.
Facebook’s advertisers have been struggling with whether display ads on the social network will produce results, with General Motors pulling its $10m Facebook ad budget ahead of the intial public offering.
Meanwhile, Dish has upset US television networks in the “upfront” season where they show off their next season wares to advertisers but producing a box that automatically skips all the commercials between network shows. Read more
Last Thursday I was, briefly, head of communications for a large Canadian widget maker, coping with a wave of Twitter-borne rumours about the arrest of its chief executive.
“Secretive hedge fund manager” is one of those adjectival pairings to rank with “flamboyant impresario” and “introverted computer programmer” as a journalistic cliché. So when I read the headline “Hedge funds lobby SEC over secrecy rule” in Monday’s FT, I naturally assumed the hedgies wanted the US regulator to erect even higher walls around them. Not so.
Colleague Sam Jones points out that at least part of the myth of secretive hedge funds is constructed on the regulatory legacy of rule 502(c) of Regulation D. This “arcane piece of Depression-era legislation… defines how the modern hedge fund industry operates”, outlawing general advertising and solicitation by funds but also making them paranoid about talking to any “unqualified outsiders”. The Managed Funds Association, the funds’ US lobby group, has written to the Securities and Exchange Commission seeking its elimination. Read more
When advertisers put pressure on news organisations, it’s often a sign press freedom is threatened. From South Africa to Hong Kong, public opinion puts companies or governments that use their commercial clout to protest against editorial policy on the side of the bad guys.
It’s symptomatic of the sorry state of UK news media that in the widening scandal over phone-hacking, the reverse is true. Read more
I’m afraid I don’t believe Alex Bogusky.
Mr Bogusky, arguably the biggest creative name in advertising, has just resigned from MDC Partners, the parent group of Crispin, Porter & Bogusky, the Miami-based agency, saying he has had it with the business.
His Twitter profile now reads:
I worked in advertising for 20+ years. That was fun. Still enjoy culture jamming.
I count his departure as akin to Tom Ford’s resignation from the Gucci Group in 2004 after it was taken over by Pinault-Printemps-Redoute – a case of a world-renowned creative executive departing from the company that he had come to personify. Read more
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.