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Is Advertising Becoming More Inclusive?

Is Advertising Becoming More Inclusive?

Diversity Image
Well, there does seem to be more content out there celebrating diversity in all its forms. From interracial families enjoying Cheerios to the flood of messages acknowledging the LGBT community. And then there’s yet another gem from the “This Is Wholesome” campaign for Honey Maid that introduces a different take on Independence Day.

Maybe we’re reaching a turning point here. Maybe brands are finally seeing the proverbial light, realizing that their target audiences are a lot more diverse than they previously thought. And maybe, just maybe we’re all ready to embrace a more holistic approach to advertising.

So yeah, a change is happening. Quite possibly driven by advances in technology giving brands more visibility to and a better understanding of their audiences. Technology that’s also responsible for the newly-empowered consumer. Consumers more comfortable with sharing their opinion and having more power to demand marketing messages specifically tailored to them.

Yes, brands are finally discovering the money that’s been left on the table for years. And while that may seem like an ulterior motive to being more inclusive, it’s really just reality. Advertising has and always will be about selling something in the hopes that someone will buy it. And those “someones” are multilingual with various skin tones, ethnicities, sexual orientations, gender identities and abilities.

With all of this inclusiveness flooding the market, the question remains: are we ready to embrace it?

If the first comment on this Ad Week post is any indication, then the answer is maybe not. And unfortunately, this isn’t the first inclusive ad to get such a warm reception. Remember that Cheerios ad mentioned earlier? Yeah, that one caused quite a stir.

Personally, I’d like to believe that a majority of people are okay with marketing experiences not directed towards them. That, in this case, most folks are capable of sharing public traditions that are precious to them because in actuality, they belong to everyone. But the fact remains that some people still get upset when the world doesn’t revolve around them and what they believe in. And frankly, that just breaks my heart.

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Posted by on July 2, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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The Lowe-Down On DIY

The Lowe-Down On DIY

Even with the SXSW news cycle in full churn, it’s been a pretty slow week. While a few stories have been interesting (like this bonehead promotion for Ex Machina), most of the news has been kinda meh.

So, the highlight of this week came down to either this gun control PSA from Grey, New York. Or, these Lowe’s spots from BBDO New York. And while gun control is indeed a serious and compelling issue, can one truly pass on the unexpected humor of home improvement? Not a chance.

Now granted, it is a gag technique we’ve seen before from countless brands like GEICO. But for some reason, it still works. Especially if the scripts are tightly written and the actors have great comedic timing.

BBDO definitely nails it with the first spot, hitting upon the well-known fitted sheet frustration. Let’s face it. All the YouTube tutorials in the world will never come close to solving this fundamental failing of humankind.

Unfortunately, the follow-up spots start to lose their humor quickly. As the joke structure becomes familiar, the pay-offs become weirdly strange before ending on an expected note.

All in all, it’s a solid effort for a well-trodden concept. For my money, I’d run the first two spots and save the other two for a Powerpoint presentation.

 
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Posted by on March 19, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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Skip This If You Dare!

Skip This If You Dare!

The ad nation dropped quite a few hits on the unsuspecting public this week. From R/GA’s kissing skeletons to Tinder’s ode to vacation promiscuity, there was a lot to buzz about.

For this blog, I chose a series of ads that are both creative and strategic. Ads that sell GEICO insurance.

“Unskippable.” Courtesy of The Martin Agency. Hilarious? Yes. Creative? Yes. Quirky? A thousand times yes. All the things we’ve come to expect from the brand that brought us “Hump Day” and the camel we once loved, but now hate with a passion.

For a sec though, let’s take a peak behind the entertaining curtain and explore strategy. On the outside, these spots look like your regular 60-second television buy. But really, they’re pre-roll spots – the digital ads that play before the content you really care about. If you’re like most, you skip these and get right to good stuff. This behavior is what drives the creative here – a stripped down selling proposition that fits into the first 15 seconds of the ad. Genius right?

Wait. Aren’t GEICO commercials supposed to do more than just sell insurance? Where’s the quirkiness? Where’s the camel, damn it?! In other words, where’s the carrot you’ve previously dangled before us with spots like Hump Day? Well, it’s right there friends. Right there at the end of the commercial (which you normally skip). Keep watching won’t you? Genius right?

Well, how about this. This campaign is genius because it helps GEICO achieve something that is crucial to its current competitive strategy.

For months now, esurance has claimed 15 minutes to save 15% on car insurance is absurd. Remember when GEICO used to say that? Notice how they don’t really say that anymore? Maybe because it doesn’t represent their brand anymore?

In my opinion, these spots brilliantly put distance between GEICO and their old brand mantra. The message here is shorter. The message here is sweeter. The message quite simply says “savings.” Take time out of the equation. Time doesn’t matter. Why? Because someone can always do it faster.

 
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Posted by on March 5, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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Power To The Podcast

By now, everyone has experienced or at least, heard about Serial – the one podcast forged to rule them all. With it’s NPR-esque storytelling of a bonafide murder mystery, it has single-handedly made the podcast relevant again. And boy, is everyone jumping back on the bandwagon.

According to an article by Erin Palmer at Villanova University, podcasts are all the rage in B2B marketing circles. Seen as another valuable weapon in their content arsenals, podcasts are helping marketers connect, build and nurture an audience and ultimately, convert them into loyal customers.

But’s what’s so special about a communication medium that harkens back to the days of radio?

Well first, podcasts are great for reaching an expanded audience.

Newsflash: Your target audience contains people who aren’t remotely interested in reading blog posts, emails or consuming relevant content in written form. For them, your latest white paper is better delivered via a dynamic and trusted voice rather than a downloadable PDF.

Second, podcasts provide the opportunity to develop a brand’s true voice.

The planning and recording of a podcast can help combine the best points of a business with a natural voice customers can connect to.

And finally, podcasts allow audiences to make use of lost time.

They’re easy to listen to virtually anywhere at anytime. Stuck in traffic? Podcast. Waiting at the DMV? Podcast. Breaking a sweat on a treadmill? Podcast. Whenever and wherever an audience has time to kill, marketers have an opportunity to deliver great content.

So, the next time you’re working on a killer content strategy, consider the podcast. It just might make a world of difference.

 
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Posted by on February 24, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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YMCA Uses Paper To Tell A Compelling Story.

When I first saw this commercial, I was blown away by the cut-paper animation. As somebody who has suffered through the process of crafting something out of paper, I could really appreciate how well put together this was. And not just the complicating flying birds and the realistic video game, but the small stuff like the light color paper streaming out of the computer screen that adds that touch of realism. Put a compelling story on top and you’ve got an ad that really tugs on the heart strings and jump starts healthy thinking.

But hey, what do I know. What did you think?

 
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Posted by on January 6, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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How Much Did That Delicious Meal Really Cost You?

Fitness First: Calorie Receipts

I gotta admit that this one is pretty clever! How many times have you finished a really great meal, stuffed yourself beyond belief and wondered how many pounds your gluttony has packed on? To have a gym offer a solution right then is pretty damn brilliant in my humble opinion. I mean granted, you might not go right away, but get a couple of these calorie receipts and maybe just maybe you’d take that gym tour.

UPDATE: So, apparently this receipt technology is stateside. Wonder if any gyms here ever thought launching campaign like that their German counterparts?

 
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Posted by on December 9, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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Helping Animals Without The Use Of Sarah McLachlan.

I can’t stop raving about these ads for The Shelter Pet Project! I love the concept. I love the writing. And the voice talent seems to match the execution perfectly. Will they increase adoptions? I sure hope so, because these cats and dogs are adorable!

http://theshelterpetproject.org/

 
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Posted by on November 18, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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