Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Ad Age's Garfield Says Ford Exploits Katrina Victims with its MKX Spot

I agree with Bob Garfield's 11/12 blog post saying that Ford and Y&R have crossed the line with their new spot called "Hometown" for the Lincoln MKX cross-over whatever-the-heck-it-is vehicle. You know the spot - the one with Harry Connick Jr. tooling around his hometown in the new SUV.

Garfield says rather than celebrating the spirit of a great American city and recognizing its heroes, what they actually are doing is exploiting its victims to advertise luxury SUVs. He says it is vulgar, grotesque and disgusting.

I agree, Bob. If Ford keeps this up, I might have to pass on that Bullitt Mustang. But vulgar advertising from a car company? That's nothing new.

Demand for Super Bowl Spots is Brisk This Year - Spots Could go for $3 million

In a recent WSJ story, Tom McGovern, head of sports media for Omincom Group-owned Optimum Spoorts, describes how demand for Super Bowl spots is crazy this year. The Fox network has only two spots left for Super Bowl XLII to be played Feb. 3, which is giving them the upper hand in negotiations. This new demand is being driven, in part, by renewed interest among movie studios this year, as well as the lack of TV programs that get big ratings nowadays. Rates for a 30-second spot have topped $2.7 million for this season's final game, according to media buyers, up from as high as $2.6 million last year. Before it is all over, some of the final slots for the championship game could sell for as much as $3 million.

No surprise to me at all. This is the result of TV fallout - the fact that there is indeed a lot of crap on the tube that isn't worth watching. So high quality, big ratings opportunities like the Super Bowl become even more valuable. Still, I think an advertiser has to be pretty gutsy, or possessed of a very large media budget, to blow $3 million on a single spot.

P&G Urges College Students to "Rewear" for Earth's sake

The brand that brought America the "washday miracle" is experimenting with a new mission: marketing to the great unwashed masses at the country's biggest university.

Do college students really need Procter & Gamble Co.'s iconic brand - Tide - to tell them it's OK to rewear their clothes between washes? Trust me. I have a son in college myself. Swash by Tide, a sort of megabrand for laundry slackers, has set up a pop-up store just off the Ohio State University's campus on High Street in Columbus, close enough to Ohio State's fraternity row for visitors to practically smell the dirty laundry.

Swash is offering students dryer sheets, dewrinkling spray, stain-removing pens, odor-removing sprays and lint rollers that can help give their clothes the look and smell of having been washed without the trouble or expense of actual washing. In the process, the brand's helping eliminate the one domestic chore most college students do.

The products aren't actually new, but along the lines of P&G's "commercial innovation" movement under Chairman-CEO A.G. Lafley, they're old offerings cleverly repositioned to fit the lifestyle of multi-slackers -- students juggling the demands of not doing their laundry, not finishing their homework and not cleaning their rooms.

Since college students will buy just about anything anyway, I'm sure Swash will be successful. I'm not so sure that all those sprays, rollers and pens can take the place of actually doing the wash. And I'm not so sure I'd like to sit next to these "rewearers" in a stuffy classroom either.