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Charm Offensive: Are Kmart’s Playfully 'Offensive' Ads Losing their Punch?

Posted by Mark J. Miller on July 18, 2013 10:48 AM

Kmart has gotten a lot of attention in recent weeks for running semi-controversial ads that feature such double-entendre titles as “Ship My Pants” and “Big Gas Savings.” It appears, though, that consumers have tired of the Sears-owned retailer’s antics.

Its latest campaign, aimed at a younger demographic, according to InvestorPlace, features a culturally-diverse bunch of kids telling “Yo Mama” jokes to one another, though the jokes all are about how cool the clothes are and how awesome “yo mama” must be for buying them at Kmart: "Yo mama get that hoodie at Kmart?" "Yeah, dawg." "Well, yo mama must have cavities, 'cuz that hoodie is sweeeeeeeet!" And so on.Continue reading...

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Herbal Essences Taps Shirtless American Hunks for Shampoo Sales in Japan

Posted by Abe Sauer on July 12, 2013 11:42 AM

Not English teachers. Sexy, shirtless English teachers.

That's Herbal Essences' new approach to sell shampoo in Japan in a market increasingly full of elderly people.

Japan's beauty products market is second only to America's. But Brazil is poised to soon change that as its market booms and Japan's struggles, facing a predicted compound annual growth rate to 2017 of just 4 percent. The nation's population is quickly aging and shrinking. A bad combination for a cosmetics brand.Continue reading...

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Depend Plays Out Sports Tie-In with ESPY Sponsorship, Award Announcement

Posted by Mark J. Miller on July 10, 2013 08:02 PM

When Depend undergarments come up in conversation, it used to be mainly as some kind of joke or a sad realization about an aging relative. However, the brand has been diligent in getting after its age-old stigma, and it has surprisingly snagged some high-profile—and young—stars to help it do so.  

The brand’s main weapon toward solving this puzzle has been the tie-in of professional athletes. This past April, NFL pros Wes Welker and DeMarcus Ware competed in an online competition that benefited prostate-cancer research. Now the brand is topping itself by becoming a sponsor of ESPN’s annual awards show, the ESPYs, on July 17, according to Mediapost. The brand plans to crown the winner of the competition at the show.Continue reading...

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Twitter Turns to User Browsing Data for Latest Ad Product

Posted by Sheila Shayon on July 8, 2013 04:03 PM

Projected to hit $580 million in ad revenue this year, Twitter isn't slowing down in its efforts to help brands better target consumers with new ads. The latest tool will ramp up the site's ad targeting abilities in the US by mining users' browser cookies and email addresses. 

In a blog post, Kevin Weil, senior director of product, revenue at Twitter pointed out that "users won’t see more ads on Twitter, but they may see better ones.” Weil explained the new concept: “Let’s say a local florist wants to advertise a Valentine’s Day special on Twitter. They’d prefer to show their ad to flower enthusiasts who frequent their website or subscribe to their newsletter. To get the special offer to those people who are also on Twitter, the shop may share with us a scrambled, unreadable email address (a hash) or browser-related information (a browser cookie ID). We can then match that information to accounts in order to show them a Promoted Tweet with the Valentine’s Day deal. This is how most other companies handle this practice, and we don’t give advertisers any additional user information."

Twitter emphasizes consumers can opt-out of the program by unchecking the box next to "promoted content" in their account settings, and the micro-blogger will continue its "Do Not Track" options.Continue reading...

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Google and Motorola Get On the Made in America Bandwagon with New Ad

Posted by Mark J. Miller on July 4, 2013 03:09 PM

Motorola is about to turn out its first smartphone since being bought by Google last year for $13 billion. That alone has plenty intrigued about the new Moto X, but the company is aiming to gain more interest with its full-page ads set to run in The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and the Washington Post on July 4th. 

In the ad, the company boldly proclaims that, “The first smartphone designed, engineered and assembled in the USA is coming,” Forbes reports.  As The New York Times points out, the ad “looks a lot like an ad” run by Apple for its Mac Pro, which will be assembled in the US before the products hit the market later in 2013.Continue reading...

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AT&T Touts Samsung's New S4 Active in Daring Campaign

Posted by Mark J. Miller on July 4, 2013 02:24 PM

Samsung has a new water-resistant phone on the market and AT&T is throwing its marketing heft behind it, showcasing the benefits of a “whatever proof” Samsung Galaxy S 4 Active, which retails for between $199.99 and $594.99, in three new ads.

Capitalizing on the idea of summer fun, the spots feature phones being put places where phones wouldn’t normally be, such as in the pocket of a guy on a water slide and inside a fishbowl so the little fish and its cute young owner can watch digital video together.

In the latter, the little girl’s father shakes the water off his phone and heads out into the day as if such a thing is as normal as can be. The third features a dad being buried under sand by his young children at the beach. When his phone rings, he pulls the phone out from under the sand and takes the call.Continue reading...

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Pepsi and Coke Try Out Back-Handed Advertising

Posted by Mark J. Miller on June 25, 2013 05:54 PM

Big brands generally want their logos to be in as many places as possible and as obvious as possible, but Pepsi and Coke recently did a bit of counterintuitive marketing that involved a bit of hide and seek.

Germans have been witness to a campaign for Pepsi designed by BBDO Dusseldorf that doesn’t mention the name of the drink and hides the company logo in a sea of what appear to be blue and red blood vessels.Continue reading...

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At Cannes, Brands Find Themselves Redefining the Boundaries of Advertising

Posted by Sheila Shayon on June 21, 2013 11:48 AM

As this year's Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity comes to a close, it seems that the word 'advertising' is no longer big enough to encompass the varied amount of content that brands are charged to produce nowadays. 

With more distractions than ever, brands are fighting for consumer attention as they expand from traditional media into more mobile and social endeavors. Ad content needs to be more fluid, and with that, Cannes needs to be more all-knowing. 

“The word advertising for advertising's sake is hopefully going to die," James Hilton, co-founder and chief creative officer AKQA told AdAge. "Brands are producing things that contribute to people's lives and the time of advertising as interruption is very much over. It's time for festivals like Cannes to redefine what the word advertising means."Continue reading...

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