GE’s New “Enhance Your Lighting” Commercial is Genius

This is my new favorite commercial. I’d like to offer my congratulations to BBDO New York for producing one of the best ads of the year. The infomercial parody is such a fresh, original idea and Jeff Goldblum plays the part perfectly. In some of my earlier posts I talk about commercials being entertaining but not promoting the brand or the product. This commercial strikes that rare balance of being entertaining, promoting the brand, and promoting a product. It does all three of these things masterfully. So please excuse me, I’m on my way to Home Depot to pick up all of the GE Link bulbs they have.


Samsung Preys on Apple’s Weakness

Samsung has coined a new term, “wall huggers”, to describe the iphone users you see clinging to power outlets wherever they are. This is a nice, focused piece of advertising. Samsung does not try to do too much with the commercial, keeping it simple and relatable. Smartphone users are becoming more concerned with battery life because all the cool features in the world don’t do you any good if your phone dies 3 hours after you unplug it. It’s nice to see that Samsung is paying attention to consumers in the smartphone market, something Apple is struggling to do without Steve Jobs at the helm.

Procter & Gamble making the switch from “Marketing” to “Branding”

Procter & Gamble, which produces everything from toothpaste to dog food, is changing the title of it’s Marketing Directors to Brand Directors. It’s not surprising with the industry’s fascination with the idea of branding. I actually think the move makes sense for P & G because they have so many individual brands to manage. The real difference between branding and marketing is the mindset they inspire. Branding means taking risks and giving the brand a personality with consumers, it’s an acknowledgement that everyone is not going to like the product so it needs to be catered to your target market. Marketing, on the other hand, brings to mind the one-size-fits-all mentality of pitching products and the use of ineffective marketing metrics that try to quantify the results of a qualitative business function.

Click the photo for the Ad Age article

Citroen offers fathers some relief from parenthood

This advertisement by Citroen won a silver Lion at Cannes last week. It definitely gets an A+ for its creativity. I know most fathers love their kids, but it’s tough doing the things you used to enjoy before having children. This ad is a nod to all the fathers who have lost their personal/family life balance. I think the commercial does a good job of relating the brand to families, but could have done more to promote the car. We actually aren’t even told the model of the car featured in the commercial. The commercial does a bad job of marketing, but good marketing doesn’t win awards at Cannes.

Is Cadillac’s “Poolside” Commercial Too Controversial?

The luxury car brand Cadillac has a new commercial that has a lot of people talking, some praise it and some condemn it. Personally I think it is important for advertising of the future to take a clear stand and not try to be one-size-fits-all. As a luxury car brand Cadillac gets a lot of competition from international brands like Mercedes-Benz and BMW. The commercial clearly differentiates Cadillac from its competitors and appeals to hardworking, higher income American professionals which are the most likely to buy from them. The new CMO of Cadillac, Uwe Ellinghaus, shares my point of view in this quote he gave to Ad Age, “At least it has a point of view. It is not lukewarm, mainstream communications showing a beautiful-looking car on a coastal winding road. We’ve all seen this car advertising for years. We can’t see it any longer.” We can expect big things from Cadillac as Mr. Ellinghaus is also a believer in experiential marketing, which is a game changer in today’s market.

Does Celebrity Advertising Still Work?


The American Marketing Association has published an interesting article examining the effectiveness of celebrity endorsements in advertising. Unfortunately there are very few celebrity endorsements that end up being anymore effective than advertisements without celebrities. For a celebrity advertisement to work the celebrity has to have a believable tie to the brand in order to engage the target audience. Is anyone really buying into the idea that a world class athlete like David Beckham eats at Burger King? Creating a brand specific mascot like the Geico gecko or the Pillsbury Doughboy is much more efficient and cheaper.

Click the photo for the AMA article.

Pantene airs an empowering message to women

Pantene, a hair care product line from Procter and Gamble, has unveiled a new commercial telling women to stop saying sorry. I think we all can applaud Pantene for spending their advertising dollars to do something other than show women walking around with unusually shiny hair. This commercial is kind of between public relations and advertising, because it has a message that doesn’t directly relate to hair care. This commercial was more of an image uplift for Pantene, which has always come off a little shallow in its previous advertisements. Congrats to Grey for showing us why they are Ad Age’s 2014 Agency of the Year.

Adidas’ World Cup commercial excites fans of futbol and fans of the brand

I am loving this new commercial from Adidas. Bringing in Beckham, Zidane, Bale, and Lucas Moura really excites futbol fans that are enjoying the World Cup. They have all of these guys decked out in Adidas gear which lets them push the brand and keep the commercial entertaining. Even people who aren’t futbol fans can enjoy an intense 2 on 2 game in the house.

Kia’s new World Cup commercial entertaining, but not selling the Optima

Kia has a new commercial giving a nod to the World Cup which they sponsor. I like the commercial because it is entertaining while being short and simple. Though the commercial feels like more of an advertisement for the World Cup than for the Kia Optima. They made a good decision using model Adriana Lima to grab your attention, but she directs our focus to futbol and not the Optima. The car blends into the background of the commercial without showing us one feature or benefit. There is nothing wrong with creating and entertaining commercial, but you can’t lose focus of the overall goal which is to promote brand awareness and sell the product. Without showing us any features or benefits of the Kia Optima this commercial is just a World Cup promo.

Marketing’s Bright Future in Grocery Stores

Marketing's Bright Future in Grocery Stores

Tre Musco, CEO of Tesser, has truly come up with a visionary idea for grocery store retailing that is going to make in-store marketing as interactive as online marketing. The creation of grocery stores that will transform to best suit customer’s needs will make it easier for food and beverage companies to reach their target market within grocery stores. With the success of targeted marketing online it makes since that it should extend to offline shopping environments like grocery stores. Another great idea Musco has is doing away with checkout lines altogether. Instead of having to wait in line for a cashier grocery store employees would personally assist you with your shopping and accept your payment when you are finished, which allows them to personalize the experience and promote certain brands. I have been a supporter of this system since I have seen the success of Home Depot’s use of department salespeople to offer customer service while highlighting specific products. Companies won’t miss the checkout line advertising opportunities because they will have grocery store employees personally promoting their products. This is the beginning of the new age of in-store marketing.