September 19, 2008

Emmys: TV's Saving Grace

The Emmys are on Sunday. Anyone who's anyone on television is expected to attended. Why? Because it boosts your career and popularity. There have been ups-and-downs in Award shows for the last decade. Most blame the fact that critics/voters and viewers are not on the same wave length. How many of the 2008 Oscar nominees did you watch? For me... one: Juno.

For the Emmys, it's a bit different. There is a greater range of shows, actors, and actresses that viewers can grab hold on, root for. In turn, the Emmys become sort-of a saving grace. Whether you're nominated or not, the fact that you're showing your face on the red carpet, boosts up your status.

Many television shows were saved because of the Emmys. Take last year's winner for Outstanding Comedy Series, 30 Rock. At the beginning of its premiere season, NBC had a similar show, Studio 60 on Sunset Strip, that the network was focusing its advertising on. In the end, that series was cancelled and 30 Rock survived. In the make-it-or-break-it sophomore season, 30 Rock increased in popularity with the critics but not so much the viewers. Then, the Emmys happened. The show beat the former winner, The Office, and its main challenger, ABC's Ugly Betty, and took home the prize. For this year, 30 Rock broke the record of the most Emmys nominations by a Comedy Series; the previous record of 16 nominations was held by The Mary Tyler Moore Show. The Emmy win along with its current nominations has made 30 Rock popular. Viewers seen these awards and nominations and become curious and they want to tune in.

For TV actors and actresses, the Emmy Red Carpet could be even more the Awards, themselves. In Hollywood, you want to be seen. You want your face, your image out there. You want to seem personable and cool. You might be totally different from the character that you portray on your show. You want to show the fans/viewers that you're fun and excited and that you have lots to offer. They're not going to want to support someone who's boring or mean or crass. The more you seem open and approachable, the more the fans are going to want you. It's going to translate to the movie studios, if you ever want to break out of TV.

Fashion designers try to get to these celebrities to get them to wear their designs. Imagine when a highly celebrated actress gets interviewed, what is one of the first questions the interviewer asks? "Who are you wearing?" What better way to get your name out there. Remember... People Magazine is surely going to get those Red Carpet pictures and parade them in the following week's issue.

For television, the Emmys is one of the best advertising tools there is; it's a saving grace.

September 17, 2008

Do sport, not war

The days when the Olympic Games started in Beijing Kazakhstan television was 'attacked' by Nike campaign videos. I don't know how they could do this, but for these days the commercial which the company chose to be shown about 20 times per 24 hours on the main kazakh channels was so appropriate and even sensational. The day Olympiad fire was put out the fire in South Osetia started. The war which is usualy stopped when the Olympic Games begin, was taking its start. The world lthese weeks ived with two absolutely opposite events which became the news programmes main points.
The Nike's commercial which is named as COURAGE was showing courage of Earth's best athletes setting their records. The video is inspiring but it would have its even 10% effect without musical accopaniment which had an effect of blow-up bomb for me. This was the song All the things that I've done by Killers. The main phrase which is repeated in this composition is "I've got soul but I'm not a soldier". The message of this video even if it wasn't instantly the main idea of creators sounded these days like "Use you bravade for setting records in sports, not in штскуфыштп number of war victims". And I think that was a great decision and very effective an quick-to-react approach which the market-specialists of Nike used. The commercial which sounds not only as commercial but also socially responsible video (presented in the right way and on the appropate time) makes the consumers apprehend the trade mark as the symbol of something precious and I guess influences this label's purchase rates.
Video is this


Has anyone heard of The CW's show, "Gossip Girl"? I'll admit that only show that I tune into on The CW is "One Tree Hill." However, it's been interesting to see how the network has to advertise to keep viewers interested. Because... really?

Sex sells. It's a very common practice within the advertising and marketing industry. You have the beer commercials with the two girls fighting in a water fountain or mud hole. You have nude men standing behind brides in wedding magazines. I kid you not.

However, the newest ads for the second season of "Gossip Girl" include quotes such as the one to the right: "Every Parent's Nightmare." Others are "Mind-blowing Inappropriate" and "A Nasty Piece of Work." Each quote goes along with a pictures of two characters in some sexy, seductive situation, whether it's in bed or in a pool.

So, what are these ads telling people? What are they trying to convince viewers and potential viewers? That everyone in the show is hooking up with everyone else? That it's the steamiest show on basic television? It would probably be that if it wasn't for the quotes.

The quotes come for news sources, underlying a dislike or a snub of the show. "Every Parent's Nightmare"... wouldn't older teenagers, who is the target audience, want to watch something that their parents won't approve of? Make something that is frown upon and you'll get young people want it.

Are the ads effective? Maybe. Maybe not. But they've made me curious.

September 16, 2008

The 100-percent-truth test

This week Karl Rove, former political strategist for George Bush, accused John McCain of going too far in stretching the truth about Barack Obama.

"McCain has gone in his ads one step too far, and sort of attributing to Obama things that are, you know, beyond the 100-percent-truth test," said Rove. "Both campaigns ought to be careful about... there ought to be an adult who says: 'Do we really need to go that far in this ad? Don't we make our point and get broader acceptance and deny the opposition an opportunity to attack us if we don't include that one little last tweak in the ad?'"

Rove brings up an interesting point. Do advertisers bare the responsibility of being 100 percent accurate all of the time? How far can you stretch the truth before it becomes false? Does the information we leave out affect accuracy as much as the information we put in?

Take toothpaste ads. “Four out of five dentists recommend brushing your teeth with brand x.” I am certain that in their polling, 4/5 of the dentists actually did say they would recommend the toothpaste. But how objective were the polls? Had the dentists just scientifically tested several brands of toothpaste? Had they just been given a large supply of samples and agreed to pass them out over other brand samples? Do people buy toothpaste based on what an ad says dentists recommend, or based on what their dentist actually suggests (which could differ from the sample tube supplied at the end of a visit)?

As advertisers, we walk a narrow line. We are tasked with selling a product or service. We have to find a way to stand out amid a saturated market. And we have a responsibility to consumers who expect products to deliver the results promised.

How far can we go to make our product look/sound/be the best/fastest/highest quality? Where do we gain credibility and at what point do we loose it? Do we have the courage to stand up and be the adult in the room who says “Do we really need to go that far in this ad? Don’t we make our point and get broader acceptance and deny the opposition an opportunity to attack us if we don’t include that one little last tweak in the ad?”

Interesting Advertising of Mobile in CAMBODIA

Cell card is the most popular mobile phone service in CAMBODIA.This is a very attractive and creative advertising about that mobile phone service. It is promoted with a new better menu. Customers can choose a wide range of fascinating topics now if they use cell card. The first woman said she wished to chat with a guy sitting beside her.The second man wanted to be a well-know rock star while the third man wished to be the best game player in the world. The last woman wanted a beautiful world.

The ad is very persuasive for Cambodian teens because the majority of them like to spend time chatting, listening to music and playing games. However, it may not be that appealing to adults who focus on different things in life.

I think the sound of the music and animation of the ad are quite good but the verbal messages from the two women are not so clear. I can hardly catch their words even they speak Khmer, my mother tongue. It is one of my favorite ads, though.

I am sorry that the verbal messages are in Khmer but I already translated it into English for you.

September 14, 2008

Sharpie and David Beckham

Sharpie, company selling markers and highlighters, recently announced its new promo campaign with David Beckham. Television ads are already out there and they are funny and interesting, as the Sharpie commercials usually are.

I really like the one where a golf ball is turned into a soccer ball. It is funny, catchy and not boring. One thing that makes this commercial tricky though, is that a viewer needs to know about David & Sharpie deal, in order to get it.

However well done these commercials are, in my opinion the best part of this campaign is a print ad I saw in People magazine.
David Beckham, wearing a white T-shirt (white and clean on purpose?) is surrounded by black handwriting introducing you a new Sharpie Pen, which doesn’t bleed through paper. (Get the white t-shirt now?)

This ad works on girls mostly, or on those who find David Beckham sexy. After a text tells you how amazing Sharpie is, it makes fun of you, because you are reading about Sharpie instead of looking at David. But then you look back at the text, because there is still so much to read and you want to know what they have to say.
Compare to other ads filled with almost naked with photo shop adjusted bodies, enormous numbers of colors and promises of impossible, this clear, funny ad has almost a refreshing effect on me.

I’m not sure about one thing though. Is David Beckham helping Sharpie or is Sharpie helping David Beckham? Because in my case, anytime I see Sharpie I think of David Beckham, but not the other way. This wouldn’t make Sharpie very happy, I guess.