Entries Tagged 'Copywriting' ↓

Why does Zest(r) soap rinse clean?

When you read the label on Zest soap, you discover that most the the seemingly incomprehensible ingredient names are soap. Sodium Tallowate? Soap. Sodium Palmate? Soap. Sodium Cocoate and/or Palm Kernate? Soap.

There is one plentiful ingredient ether sulfonate that is not soap. It is a surfactant, or surface active agent. These chemicals reduce the surface tension of water. Their molecules have both a hydrophilic end and a hydrophobic end. So one side of the molecule aligns with water, the other with oily dirt. They keep the dirt in suspension so it can be freely rinsed away.

In researching this, I encountered the themeline “Zestfully clean” first used in the 1980’s. This was written by the redoubtable James J. Jordan, Jr. who was a prime mover at BBDO for many years. He was Creative Director before being promoted to President of the agency. Incredibly talented, he coined memorable lines including “Wisk beats ring around the collar” and “Us Tareyton smokers would rather fight than switch.” The fact that these themes are still remembered today testifies to their creative power.

I knew Mr. Jordan and I am sad to see that he passed away in 2004. He was a force of nature, and a passionate lover of great advertising. He will be missed.

New Advertising Agency in NY Outsources to Asia

Remember the outcry over U.S. films being shot in Canada to cut production costs? Or using the Internet to allow programmers in Asia to compete with American programmers — another “world-is-flat” bid to cut costs to the bone?

Now, with the founding of Banerjee & Partners of New York, Bombay and Bangalore, this outsourcing has begun in advertising. Not only is there serious, American-culture-infused, creative talent in India, there is a booming film industry there to implement further cost savings.

Losang Gyatso, the executive creative director in New York, explained in an Adweek article that because Indians speak many different languages, all the advertising is created in English (former British colony) and driven by strong brand-building imagery.

The foreign creative idea has its detractors. Kevin Roddy, ECD at the Bartle Bogle Hegarty ad agency in New York said “It’s incredibly difficult to creatively direct someone who is thousands of miles away.” While he was Creative Director at Fallon in New York, he had to manage creative teams in Minneapolis.

Still the ad talent in the region is undeniable. In the last three years, Indian advertising has won thirteen Cannes Lions.

Popups in newspapers?

Apparently, the dreaded popup print ad is starting to appear offline as well as online.

ComputerAssociates has a watermark ad in the stock pages of The Nw York Times, according to AdRants. When you chck your stocks you are looking right at their CA logo.

Inventive, and not nearly as annoying as the online version.

To tell more the Computer Associates story, a small ad appears at the bottom of the page.

Creative Ad Exec Resigns over Misogynist Remarks

Neil French, the worldwide creative director of WPP Group has had to resign after causing a storm with his remarks about women ad creatives, according to an article in The New York Times.

In a meeting in Toronto on October 6th, he said women “don’t make it to the top because they don’t deserve to.”

Nancy Vonk, Co-Chief Creative Director of Ogilvy in Toronto, writes about this over-the-top evening here. Her agency is part of the WPP Group. She attended the event and has known Mr. French for several years. She is familiar with his attitudes toward women. She writes, “Before us was a big part of the explanation of why more women aren’t succeeding in advertising,” as she believes his ideas are representative of the way top executives in the advertising business think.

Moreover, according to Vonk, Mr. French said most women leave the business to “go suckle something.” Was Mr. French trying to get fired? Was this a $100-a-seat frat party?

From my experience in advertising, listening as a guy to other ad guys talk, I have to say she is right. Often these conversations are straight out of the men’s locker room. I haven’t of course heard the discussions about who gets promoted to the top creative spot, but I can’t imagine their whole good ole boy tone disappears.

How to Create a Breakaway Brand

The latest Fortune magazine, dated October 31, 2005, has an article on how to create a beakaway brand. They give examples of major brands that have broken away from the pack: the Apple iPod ™, Google ™, DeWalt power tools, Eggo ™ waffles, to name a few.

The brands singled out command a premium price, and have customer loyalty. (Just ask an iPod user about their MP3 player. Then ask them to name another brand.)

The article singles out ten successful brands, and draws a different lesson from each one’s story. It’s a fascinating article, even if it is more than a little slanted to account side of advertising, definitely worth a trip to the newstand.*

* Creatives should read the description of the BBDO campaign for Sierra Mist ™. I haven’t seen it, but it sounds like a hoot: five comedians dubbed the “Mist-Takes” doing mini sitcoms about Sierra Mist ™. After only five years since its introduction, the brand is second in its highly competitive soft drink category.

Weiden + Kennedy = Too Much Flash?

AdRants is annoyed by their “Pompous Flashturbation” on their website as they lecture the Flash-deprived on the need for the plugin.

According to AdRants, W+K website’s source states:

“You will need to install a couple of plug-ins to fully experience our site. That is not because this is another one of those mindlessly flashy Web sites that give you a headache and make you wonder how you could ever sit through a meeting with those people.”

I frankly couldn’t find this writing anywhere in the early source pages I checked, but it does seem an unneeded lecture.

However, the Flash-powered version of the W+K site is nifty. And they have the courage to put up famous older work — like the dot-com-boom era stuff — that is well-done and fascinating. (Does anyone still use AltaVista? Don’t get too mad: they used to my starting page each time I surfed the web.)

Try the site, and go ahead and download the Flash ™ plugin

Apple Eminem TV spot a copycat?

The new Apple TV spot featuring Eminem sure looks like borrowed interest — borrowed from a spot for Lugz running shoes.

See a discussion of the remarkable similarities here at Adfreak.com The shoe commercial is from 2001. It is at this site, under Archives, Lugz, 01.

This makes me wonder is the commercial merely derivative or is there a sharing of talent somewhere — designer, or production company?

No Doors Songs in Commercials?

Why is it you never hear any of those classic songs by The Doors in TV commercials? The drummer of the group, John Densmore, simply won’t allow it.

Cadillac offered $15 million for “Break on Through” for a spot about one of its SUVs. Nope. Apple offered $4 million. No way.

Possibly all the remaining band members must agree. Whatever the voting rules, Densmore always votes thumbs down. The rest of the surviving Doors are not very happy about Densmore’s decisions.

According to AdTunes, once, in the 1970’s, Densmore allowed “Riders on the Storm” to be used in a Pirelli tire spot in the UK. He gave all the proceeds to charity. He says he felt terrible and that “Jim’s [i.e., Jim Morrison’s] ghost was in my ear.”

There’s a scarey image.

Staples’ Easy Buttons for sale

Staples has had a TV campaign for some time, saying “That was easy” as you use Staples and their “Easy Button” gizmo to help get your office work done.

Now, the idea of the Staples “Easy Button” has proven so popular they are actually selling them.

The button’s directions are “press often to relieve stress.” Somehow, it’s battery operated. The button in the TV spots does nothing, so batteries would seem unnecessary. Maybe the button on TV was a non-working prototype?

Hitachi Drink Coaster Print Ad

In a recent issue of Wired magazine, Hitachi has an ad with a real drink coaster insert.

You have to read the back of the coaster to discover the premise. Use the coaster as a drawing pad to design a new great invention using a Hitachi hard drive as part of it.

Does anyone remember the placemat ads for Compaq computers back in the day? Does anyone remember Compaq ™? Hint: they merged with Hewlett Packard.