Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Looking For A Substitute

According to AdWeek, Porsche Cars North America has picked a consulting firm for the review of their $25 million account. Minneapolis agency Carmichael Lynch has handled the creative portion of the account since 1999. They are responsible for the famous Porsche 911 tagline, "There is no substitute". They are also expected to defend the account. "The review is linked to the client's promotion of David Pryor to the position of svp, marketing, as well as Porsche's planned launch of a four-door sedan in 2009" (AdWeek). The sedan, called the Porsche Panamera, will feature a hybrid gas-electric engine. The same engine will be made available sooner for the Cayenne, Porsche's sporty SUV.

Porsche had also considered remodeling higher up in the ranks. "Piech, whose grandfather Ferdinand Porsche designed the original Volkswagen Beetle, reached an agreement last month with Wulff to remain chairman for another five-year term after he received the backing of the 10 labor representatives on the 20- member board. Piech, 69, was previously set to step down next month because of shareholder opposition to his dual roles as Volkswagen chairman and a member of Porsche's board" (Bloomberg.com).

Porsche USA's lineup currently consists of the 911, Boxster, Cayman, and Cayenne.

Carmichael Lynch does great creative work, and I'm sad to see that Porsche is considering parting ways. But I am glad to see that CL is contesting. Bloomberg tells us that Ferdinand Piech has schemed a slow takeover in Volkswagen, so we'll see what happens there.

The Panamera is a four-door sports sedan. Rumors are that it may run from $60-125K; with a turbocharged V8, it will be up there. Porsche has taken a risk with the Cayenne SUV, but they have kept their vehicles fast and powerful. Porsche should remain in the same market - the affluent buyers one.

A handful of automakers have learned from their decision to please every one that they won't be great for very long. Volkswagen aimed its Phaeton luxury sedan to compete against the BMW 7-Series, Mercedes S-Class and Lexus LS, and it lost terribly. "In the 18 months since VW launched the Phaeton in September 2003, it has sold just 2,506 examples of the ultra-luxury sedan. That's an average of only 140 cars per month. During the same time period, Mercedes-Benz sold 31,536 examples of its S-Class" (Edmunds.com).

You can't be great at every thing. Face it. There is someone out there who is better than you at something else. I believe the Germans are smart enough to not make the same mistake again.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Seedy CD's Transfer Users to Digital

"US CD Sales plummet as people turn to digital music downloads" - Breitbart.com

The iTunes Music Store has sold over 2 Billion songs since it started in April of 2003. - Apple

Record - 8-track - Compact cassette - Compact Disc - MP3, MP4, etc.

If you don't stay ahead of the times, you're going to be left behind. If the record companies and independent bands or artists don't switch to digital, they won't survive.

Why don't they switch to solely digital?

Digital Music Store v. The CD

Some ideas:

- Listeners may miss out on autographed copies. Easy remedy: go see the band or artist 'live'.

- Concerned about your underage child listening to music with explicit lyrics? The digital music store would require a credit card for billing, and the parent or guardian gives the permission on what the child may listen to. Upon registration for the user, he or she would put the child's birth date. Each family member has a password and media library. The store regulates the music being downloaded. They can be shared, but the underage child would not be allowed to listen to the "parental advisory" labeled music.

- An exclusive DVD sometimes comes with the CD. This can be offered separately in the store. Or if you purchase the whole album, it comes with it free. It can then be downloaded to instantly watch or be transferred to a digital music player to be watched at a later time.

- What about album art? That comes free when you purchase a song. This way the graphic artist can be even more creative in their design. Even better, it can be interactive. Music videos can also be interactive.

- The "Thank You's" can be in the digital album store. Not many people care about them, but sometimes they thank other bands whom they have toured with - and the listener checks out those bands. (I do this, anyway.)

- A link to the band's Web site is available by simply clicking on the band name. Instant gratification.

Your thoughts?

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Liquid and Clear

Today I received an e-mail from Getty, and it said "A better way to pitch - surfers". This caught my attention because I used to be really interested in watching extreme sports on Bluetorch. (Sadly, it looks like Fox Sports has cancelled the show.)

I clicked on the link, which then led me to a Web page with a flash video. A man with two Barbie dolls, two remote controls and a bottle of water attempts to explain his idea to me. Not to mention that he's speaking in Italian (I believe, and correct me if I'm wrong), and I have no idea what he's communicating. Are the women getting their hair washed so they look good when they fly to outer space?

The video fades to black and reads "alternatively...".

The payoff is when the video fades to a pair of very beautiful women who are holding onto their surfboards as they prepare to surface. At the same time, the sound the man was trying to convey is still present and provides a very tranquil feel.

This is so true. If you have a message that conveys understanding to every language, you know you're onto something.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Delta Delayed

I'm catching up with myself; the last two posts were from things I noticed last week, and this particular post is about something I noticed yesterday.

Again, I was looking at a link from Drudge, and an ad for Delta Air Lines was next to the article. I hovered over it to see if it was an interactive advertisement. It only moved the destinations as I hovered over them. Boring. The tagline "Cheat On NY" intrigued me, and so I clicked on the ad. It led to a Web page where you can make trip reservations. It explains that Delta is New York (City)'s most international airline.

My eyes scroll down and see "instant win game". I click here for the official rules and instructions, curious to see what the grand prize was. After further review, I see that the contest ended in November of 2006 and was only "available" to New York City residents who frequent the bus stops there.

I go back to the "Delta - Cheat On NY" page and see that the flights from Accra, Gatwick, and Mumbai don't open until November and December of 2006. It's March of 2007. Why does this ad campaign still exist? I have tried to find Delta's agency, so I could contact them, but I haven't been able to yet. (Note: The same goes for the Chevrolet Cobalt campaign. It may be Campbell-Ewald, but their site is under construction.) If anyone knows the agency, please let me know.

Update (12:08 AM, March 21, 2007): I went back to the "Delta - Cheat On NY" Web page and hovered over the destinations. Each one enlarges and turns over, showing that it is a postcard. The virtual stamp shows an "07".

Herein lies the problem. The viewer (would be consumer) takes things at face value, especially with advertising. You often don't get a second chance to sell your product. If I was in the market, I would be perusing Delta's competitors right now. Make things evident to the viewer or they may choose someone else.

Like A Rok

I usually get my news from the Drudge Report. One of the stories of interest linked to the Washington Times. A banner ad for the Chevrolet Cobalt was shown above. Battle of the Bands in a few major cities? That's cool. But there was something wrong.

Sponsord? To make sure "sponsord" wasn't spelled that way on purpose, I googled it and found a few hits. Since one of the hits was a site from the UK, maybe it's spelled differently? But I don't think so; I think those hits are misspellings of their own.

Surely the company responsible is a large agency, because Chevrolet is a very large company. I gave them the benefit of the doubt and clicked the banner ad to see what it was all about. I was taken to a micro site called ourcobalt.com. To my amazement, the same misspelling came up. How does this happen? Was there a rush in production for the client, or is this just carelessness? How could this pass the creative director, the client, and possible others within the agency?

What are your thoughts on this blunder?

Update (12:50 AM, March 22, 2007): I ran into another one on the CourtTV Web site.

Come and Get Your... Buffalo Chicken Sandwich?

Last week I saw a commercial for the Buffalo Chicken Sandwich at Carl's Jr. I was walking past my neighbors room (I live in a dorm), looked at their TV and had to do a double take. I thought to myself, "Isn't that the guy from the Alltel commercials?"

There are some people on YouTube who have posted this same question. It sure looks a lot like Chad Brokaw to me. If it is him, and Alltel's "My Circle" campaign is going on, is this bad for Alltel? The telecommunications business and foodservice business are two completely different industries. But I feel that Alltel should have required Chad to sign a contract to only be featured in Alltel promotions. When I picture the Alltel Customer Service Rep., I see him in a light blue shirt helping customers, not gawking at women in a bar. Maybe I need to lighten up, but I don't see how this is healthy for the Alltel brand.

What do you think?

Brand New Blog

I should have done this a long time ago.

Thanks to Rajesh Setty for helping me get started by making a very helpful lens on Squidoo. It's now much easier for you to subscribe and read the content of my upcoming posts. Thanks also to Seth Godin, who led me to Squidoo. Both individuals provide very helpful and insightful information on the business world, among other interesting topics. Thanks also to the numerous people whose blogs have inspired me to finally make one myself. I don't have to be an anonymous commenter anymore. It's time to start sharing on both ends.

Let's get started.

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