Friday, May 29, 2009

Creative Excellence Fridays

Happy Friday! As Time Warner looks around for someone, anyone who will take a liking to AOL and show some interest, another cable operator forges ahead with a really imaginative combination real and animated piece.

And just so Time Warner doesn't feel like we're playing favourites, here's one of theirs too.

Next week, the Ontrackblog will have more coverage of the Microsoft answer to Google and it's impact on marketing.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Microsoft aims big guns at Google

Microsoft continues to aim its' crosshairs firmly on Google, almost obsessively.

The new word in search monsters, BING. It launches Wed June 3.

Human Interest -- If you're one of those people who pops a Red Bull for that extra jolt, this was in the news yesterday.
Six German states have told retailers to stop selling Red Bull Cola energy drinks after a test found a trace amount of cocaine.

The bans started Friday after a sample test conducted by authorities in North Rhine-Westphalia state found 0.4 micrograms per litre in the drink.

Five other states also banned it from shops amid concerns over possible narcotics law violations.

Germany’s Federal Institute for Risk Assessment said Monday that the cocaine level was too low to pose a health risk. It planned to produce a more detailed report Wednesday.

Red Bull said its cola is “harmless and marketable in both the U.S. and Europe.” It said similar coca leaf extracts are used worldwide as flavouring, and a test it commissioned itself found no cocaine traces.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Special TV audiences growing

With all the controversy right now between private free to air broadcasters and cable and dish carriers, it's introducing to know that channels like Bravo and HBOCanada are experiencing encouraging growth.

Just be Positive.

The Federal Conservative attack ads against Michael Ignatieff, which began on the Internet and then moved to TV, may be hurting the Tories more than the Liberal leader, a new poll suggests. Attack ads

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Lawyers are dietitians?

BATAVIA, Ohio ( -- The theory that all a company's employees -- not just its marketing department -- help create the brand came into sharp focus last week, when an obscure tax ruling in the U.K. centered around the contention of Procter & Gamble Co. lawyers and finance people that Pringles aren't potato crisps (chips, in U.S. parlance) made the brand the butt of jokes around the globe.

NOT 99.95 PURE: Only 42% of a Pringle is potato. The rest is wheat and corn flour, emulsifiers, fat and seasonings.

The May 20 ruling gained widespread media and social-media currency within hours. Many on Twitter focused on the fact that only 42% of a Pringle is potatoes, the rest being wheat and corn flour, emulsifiers, fat and seasonings. Commenters on news sites speculated, incorrectly, that they're also made from sawdust and ground-up newspapers.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Recession - How is this one different?

George Roberts and Henry Kravis, international finance experts talk about what makes this recession different and what to look for moving forward.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Creative Excellence Fridays - Mac vs PC

The Mac VS PC commercials have been a source of creative excellence for several years now. The ongoing debate continues.

Here is the most recent Mac VS PC entry

Microsoft, not to take this lying down is fighting back with cute little 4 and a half year old girls.
The commercials are getting thumbs up for the cute factor, but make PC's look like they are on the defensive; never a good place to come from.

If you're a fan of the Mac vs PC series, here's a compilation of all the recent Mac VS PC commercials. The campaign has been extremely successful on all fronts. Have a great weekend!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Are advertisers losing respect for print?

The link above has some interesting thoughts on where print is at today.

And on the same topic, it was revealed on CBC yesterday that National Post and other major newspapers are outsourcing some of their copy editing to India. This was/is a big concern to readers who recognize that regionalisms and slang may not be readily identified when someone out of the marketplace is changing and altering copy. Supposedly this copy is being double checked when it returns to the publisher, but that sort of defeats the purpose doesn't it?

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Main networks not throwing in the towel

Even thought viewership is dropping for the "old school" networks, some are refusing to throw in the towel just yet.

Here's what ABC has planned for the fall.

Fall Launch

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Worst Commercials Ever

These commercials are like a car wreck. You slowly see them start to happen - you want to look away, but you can't. One can kind of understand the logic behind this first spot, but it's assembled with a rusty sledgehammer.

worst spot #1

And.. once your jaw comes back up into your head, click away on Worst Spot #2.

worst spot#2

In Marketing News today - Make it Seven RIM co-founder Jim Balsillie continues his efforts to bring a 7th team back to Canada and Hamilton. He's pulling out all the stops to create emotion and make it happen. Article

Monday, May 18, 2009

Brand advertising revival around the corner

We knew brand advertising never left - but with all the corporate instability it has become more important than ever. Happy Victoria Day for all our Canadian friends!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Creative Excellence Fridays - Going Highbrow

Today on Creative Excellence Fridays, we go highbrow. Beautifully shot, with Emilie's Audrey Tautou as the french damsel waiting for her prince. Directed by Francois Jeunet this is a treat to the eyes.

Taxi's New York office made a beautiful piece with this promotional commercial for the New York Museum of Modern Art.

And finally, our salute to highbrow wraps up with a concert from Agency Mother in London England for Coca Cola. Coming up Monday, two of the worst commercials, of all time, bar none. Have a great weekend!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

McDonalds experiments with interactive advertising

In London, Letting Consumers Play With Its Outdoor Ads. A think balloon graphic is placed in Picadilly Circus and has become very popular with locals and tourists who are having their picture taken with it.


Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Trump - the persistent personal brand

Donald Trump may not have always made the right calls in business, but when it comes to marketing himself, few have done it better.


Another very savy personal brander is Ricky Gervais. Woody Allen has always had a reputation of being a control freak and Ricky Gervais is no differentjavascript:void(0). Allen hasn't always made the savy deals that Gervais has though. Gervais never handcuffs himself to one channel or network and in his words, "It keeps everyone on their toes."

And on WebWednesdays here's our favourite site of the week.


Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Iphone Apps - who makes the call?

Apple Iphone apps. They're hot, they're sexy, they're... tacky. Well sometimes. When you have what essential comes down to an open invitation to anyone to create an Iphone app, you can end up with things like the I-burp, or various other app-etizing ideas. Who judges what is acceptable?
Iphone apps

Nokia Lets advertiser Get Personal

May 11, 2009

SAN FRANCISCO ( -- If you brand it, they will buy. That's the hope of Finnish handset maker Nokia, which is hoping mobile devices wrapped in a corporate logos will appeal to U.S. consumers.

For an undisclosed fee, the world's biggest cellphone maker is offering advertisers the right to brand the mobile handset. Advertisers choose a Nokia phone that complements their demographic target, splash the handsets and the accessories with their visual identities, embed some mobile content into it and wrap it all up in packaging plastered with their logo.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Blogs - the good, the bad, the uglier

There are a variety of blogs out there serving various agenda. Here's the Wikipedia definition.

"A blog (a contraction of the term weblog) is a type of website, usually maintained by an individual with regular entries of commentary, descriptions of events, or other material such as graphics or video. Entries are commonly displayed in reverse-chronological order. "Blog" can also be used as a verb, meaning to maintain or add content to a blog."

At last count there were in excess of 112 million blogs. Some are extremely useful with daily facts, statistics and useful information to the reader. Others can be just self serving, like a recording artist stating when the bands new album comes out and where you can see them etc.
With the internet, fact is not always verified because anyone with a keyboard and an internet connection can post material. Currently there are also sites that thrive and survive strictly on posting "gossip", like Gawker.

Video on Youtube

As the internet continues to evolve, more debate will be raised on what can be said, how it's handled, and who is ultimately liable for what is being said.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Welcome to Creative Excellence Fridays.

Today's theme -- Boundaries. The web is able to run viral commercials that are purposely designed to be edgy and sometimes controversial so they'll be emailed around endlessly.
But in other parts of the world, such as Britain and certainly Europe in general, they are much more open minded about sex. Yes, even the supposedly uptight Brits have more of a tolerance than North America.

Case in point - this commercial. Who would have thought having Abe Lincoln and the queen "together" would sell financial services. This ran on broadcast television.

To dial it back a bit, just in time for mother's day, a very beautiful, heartfelt commercial, with no sex, just smiles. An exquisite commercial with Pixar quality animation from Brazil.
Coming up on Monday's blog, "Blogs - they're not all created equal" . And later in the week we'll look at Reid Hoffman, founder of Paypal and Linked in. Have a great weekend.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Kentucky GRILLED chicken?

KFC, in an effort to transform itself into "KGC," called in the heavy artillery by way of an Oprah Winfrey tie-in yesterday that offered coupons for free samples. But a better-than-expected response seems to have resulted in an unholy mess for a fast feeder struggling against slumping sales.

And in Tech Talk -- Google is branching out even further into GOOGLE TV


Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Twittering a religious experience?

Last week, according to the Times of London, Cardinal Sean Brady of Ireland told the country's Catholics to "Make someone the gift of a prayer through text, Twitter or e-mail every day. The problem is, Twitter still doesn't have a revenue model and every new user who signs up pushes them further into debt. They're hotter than hot, but not making money. What's that about?

Sticking with Social networking - Twitter is also being accused of sucking out the grey matter between your ears.


Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Tech Tuesdays Mobile Search engines

Mobile search engines are the next area to keep an eye on.

Mobile Search Engines

Wimax is reinventing the grid. A way to get more oomph out of your cell phone with less minutes. Piggy backing on wimax grids whereever you go.

Monday, May 4, 2009

McDonalds has biggest launch in its' history. McCafe anyone?

McDonalds is proud of it's coffee. Its' new coffee. And they're going to make sure the world knows about it.


Rogers forges ahead with great wireless results

Friday, May 1, 2009

Creative Excellence Fridays - Googleriffic

Welcome to Creative Excellence Fridays -
Today's theme - modern animation (with a retro twist)..starring Google. You may have heard Google launched their own browser (Chrome) last fall.

Google is turning to uncharacteristic marketing tactics, in this case a web video campaign, to push the browser, which has only gained measly market share from competitors Internet Explorer, Mozilla and Safari, since its launch last fall. This week, Google launched a YouTube channel with 11 videos extolling the virtues of the new browser from designers, illustrators and creative shops such as Motion Theory and Superfad. This effort follows Chrome Experiments, a website featuring user-submitted coding experiments. While the films are only on YouTube for now and Google's hoping for viral pass-along, a media buy is not out of the question. We may soon see Google Chrome commercials back to back with the I'm a Mac/I'm a PC commercials.

And here's one from animation house Superfad.

Have a great weekend!