Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Coke did not pay for its Mad Men finale role

Coca-Cola's premium position at the end of the "Mad Men" series finale was the real thing, not a paid integration, according to the company. In case you were wondering, they did not pay for the placement. The brand just got lucky, scoring the kind of free exposure every brand would kill for, and sending off the series with a real warm-fuzzy. I guess that’s the kind of thing a hundred years or so of brand equity, and groundbreaking advertising from agency McCann Erickson, will do for you. And it helps to be in the right place – in advertising history, that is. Makes me ask, "Was 1971 really the end of advertising's golden era?"
Read the details, and related stories, in Ad Age

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Mad Men Will be Remembered as a Television Milestone

With the Mad Men series finale behind us, there isn't much for me to add. I've been on the record as stating that Matt Weiner's two TV epics, The Sopranos and Mad Men, were the best things on TV. Mad Men, considering the incredible depth of its characters, its acclaim, its historical accuracy, etc. make it a TV milestone. In the near future, people will speak of television series in terms of "before Mad Men" or "after Mad Men." Talk about setting a "high water mark!"

The New York Times ran a pretty good recap of the finale. I know you'll want to give it a look, think about all those great characters, and smile. Not a broad smile, just a little one, like the one expressed by Don Draper on that hillside.

For a while, I suspect those of us who came to love that show, and its brilliantly developed characters, will feel a kind of emptiness not unlike the kind expressed by the man in Draper's second seminar - like we're sitting on the refrigerator shelf, waiting for someone to open the door.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Should Tiffany's new classically styled watch be in the same conversation as Apple Watch?

A new TV spot for Tiffany promotes the brand’s classically styled CT60 watch with “A New York Minute.” The spot – 60 seconds, of course – celebrates New York and the brand’s establishment of the “New York Minute” when Charles Tiffany put one of the city’s first mainstay clocks outside the store.
Wrapping up his Adweek / Agency Spy article, Eric Oster asks, "will it be enough to persuade them to purchase the classic design of the CT60 over Apple’s sleek new tech?"

On this topic, I have a question of my own: Are Oster and others asking similar questions around Apple’s launch even momentarily considering market segmentation? Or is he making the knee-jerk assumption that everyone will buy an Apple watch just because it's new, it's from Apple, and it has more functions, so therefore it will surely replace the traditional wristwatch?

It's not much of a stretch to conclude that the classically-styled watch and the 'sleek new tech' watch have completely different buyer profiles. I think those who are aficionados of 'fine timepieces' will view Apple watch as a joke; a gadget for nerds, like those nerdy digital watches from the 80's, and avoid it like the plague. 

Here's another observation. Is it just me, or does the "New York Minute" tag make you think of that dark, brooding Don Henley song? Yes, as in marketing and life itself, in a New York minute, everything can change.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Remembering Joel M. Van Citters: 1949-2015

When you develop personal and professional relationships over a certain number of years there will eventually be loss. People move on. They sometimes drift away. Sometimes, as in the case of my dear friend and former creative partner Don Adamec, they depart suddenly, leaving behind confusion and a sense of loss that is impossible to describe. In other cases, because you’ve been out of touch, news of their passing doesn’t reach you until a bit later.
I learned just the other day of the passing of Joel Van Citters. Talented, accomplished and supremely confident, Joel was a pleasure to work with. As an award-winning TV Producer-Director he knew what he was doing, had little patience for B.S., whether from clients or creative directors, and the clients, for the most part, admired the way he got the job done. We weren’t close personally, but I will remember very fondly the time we spent together and the quality work we produced together.

A few years back we worked together on a promotional video for Ringling College of Art & Design’s International Design Summit. When we needed a young woman to do some moves on camera, I suggested my daughter, whom Joel had never seen. Without hesitation and in a distinct "been there, done that" tone, he reminded me that when the client says, “Let’s use my daughter as a model, she’s really pretty,” it usually means she has a face only a mother could love. In this case, I sent him a few photos of Devon, who was then 18 years of age, and his response was priceless. He first wanted to know if I had a machine gun turret under the front porch to keep the boys away and, second, when can we shoot? Devon and Joel enjoyed working together. 
I’ve posted the video to the CCM YouTube Channel
Finally, here's the link to Joel's Herald-Tribune Obit