Friday, December 16, 2005

Resonating with the Target Market

Great advertising ties the creative to the message and product seamlessly. This requires a great deal of creative gymnastics and is praised by those who do the gymnastics themselves and appreciate its difficulty.

Then there is advertising that just hits home with the audience, even if the creative has nothing to do with the product itself. These kinds of ads are great for talk power.

Here is a really good ad to show you what I mean.

Cascade Graduation

When you think of the connection between the creative and the message, it is a bit of a stretch – skip a step, skip the sink, or whatever it is they are trying to say. I’ve seen the ad over 3 times, but I still don’t remember the message. I remember it as ‘that Cascade ad’. But do you know what? It still works. It is the kind of ad that resonates with the target market, and makes for an easy segue into normal conversation. That reminds me, “Have you seen that Cascade ad where the kid…”.

With all of the clutter out there, drawing attention to the ad itself is just as, if not more, important than drawing attention to the product.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Advertising as Entertainment

There are ads out there that are better than the shows they interrupt.

There are spots that are more captivating than movies.

Interesting ads make it into our dinner conversations and daily phrases and expressions.

People like to talk about good ads. Because they are fun.

Now I realize that this perception could be a little biased as I am in advertising.
But I am in advertising because I love good ads.

To me, they are a part of our culture.

They are little bite-sized, ephemeral moments of humour, insight, and excitement. (I'm talking about good ads here)

They are my favourite form of entertainment.

That is why I always post fun ads up on the blog.

Because we love great ads, and we want to make great ads.

Here are some really wild ones, but they are great. Check out the ad The Human Suit

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Advertising Sustainability Part Three – Warming the Globe

Well, winter is upon us, and this usually means one or two days of ¼” snow. Even so, it is enough to have half of Vancouver rushing out to buy all seasons. So, for all of you car drivers out there here are some ways that you can go easy on gas, and on the environment at the same time.

But first, an ad I like. Ode to the Car

1. Keep your tires properly inflated and rotated – low tires can increase fuel consumption and increase the risk of personal injury – remember always measure the pressure of your tires when they are cold
2. Change your oil and filters - A poorly maintained engine uses up 50% more fuel and produces 50% more CO2.
3. Buy your gas at Mohawk! – or anywhere that has an ethanol blend
4. Remove roof racks if you aren’t using them to cut down on aerodynamic drag
5. Don’t idle – as a rule of thumb if you are stopped more than 10 seconds, shut off your engine
6. Get a block heater on a timer – even in Vancouver it drops below 0 sometimes – it can improve your fuel economy by 10%.

Of course, if you can afford it, spring for a hybrid, and avoid the SUVs.

And if you have the time and patience you can take public transit. It is 7X cheaper than driving and can take up to 40 cars off the road for every bus.

Aren’t these wonderful helpful facts? They can all save you money and work toward our One-Tonne challenge at the same time.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Natural Selection vs Sustainability

The March of the Penguins is an incredible movie. After watching it, I am amazed at how well a species can adapt to harsh conditions. Penguins walk for miles to their mating ground, pick a mate, and fertilize an egg. The male then holds the egg for months between its legs, without food, as the female goes to feed. When the baby is hatched, the male will provide it with one regurgitated meal and wait for the female to return. When she does, she will continue to feed the chick regurgitated fish for months out of her belly until it is old enough to go on its own. In this manner, the penguins survive in winters up to -80 degrees without shelter and go months without eating.

It is an amazing testament to the survival of one of the only land animals that continue to inhabit Antarctica. It is their collectivistic nature as a species that has saved them from the icy cold all these years. They hike en masse for 70 km and huddle together to keep from freezing.

Of all the species that existed in Antarctica before, from when it was a tropical place, only the resilient penguin was resourceful enough to survive. Will this be the same for humans once global warming (or nuclear war) hits us full-force? Will we be whittled down to a select minority of the lucky, hardy or adequately mutated? Or must we adapt equally elaborate and sensitive rituals to survive as well?

Monday, December 12, 2005

Baby Beluga vs A Lion, A Witch and A Wardrobe

I have met Raffi twice in my life, once at BALLE, where he opened for David Suzuki and once at the Social Venture Institute conference at Hollyhock. At SVI he told the crowd about how he had been approached by a major film company to make Baby Beluga into a children’s film. Although excited about the idea, Raffi had to turn them down once he learned that they planned to market the film to children directly, and through partnerships with fast food companies.

He made a request for proposals to the audience to see if we had any ideas on how we could market this film ethically.

I have been mulling this idea over in my head for a few months now. This is what we do at Creative Wonders, after all. And beyond mulling ideas over, we also do ethical marketing.

With The Lion the With and the Wardrobe, which is the first of the Narnia series, opening today – it is interesting to see the contrast. It’s Christian focus brought in a lot of support for Disney from the religious right. But they made no bones about joining forces with McDonalds, Virgin Atlantic, General Mills, Kodak and others to push fast food and products into the face of children too young to make informed decisions about the product, or undersand the nature of advertising specifically.

But did it work? This opening weekend, the first of the Narnia grossed $67 million at Canadian and American theatres. So yeah.

Can Baby Beluga compete with that without the help of sugary sodas and happy meals? Sounds like an interesting project.