This year again, I fail at honoring the great tradition of pre-Xmas "instant success" book launches, as I have no "instant marketing success" books to launch. I'm not even sure there's a tradition about that, but I do remark that these books tend to emerge towards the holidays because they're having a hard time selling otherwise. Oh, the irony.

But all is not lost. At least I've decided to write 10 soulful tips in honor of the great marketing minds of our time who've "summed it all up" in-between 250 pages of grey gooish matter. I give you my "10 Tips For Complete, Guaranteed Advertising Failure in 2009". Complete with caps on every letter.

If you have ideas to add to the list, feel free to comment away!

10) Rely Only On Traditional Media

Mess communications are truly fantastic. There's nothing like overpaying an agency's media department to fill every living space with your uber-cool message, built from the test results you wanted to hear, targeting precise age groups and demographics with relevant consumer insight people can identify with. Once you get those TV spots and billboard ads rolling and the GRPs start flying, you'll really by able to link all that exposure with actual sale results. Who needs micro-sites, social media or that gorilla marketing thing ? It's much funner to send your favorite marketing execs out supervising film shoots in South Africa.

9) Cut back on Budget and Tell Your Agency To Come Up With Great Viral

Face it: Times are tough. The powers that be cut back half your cookies for the year: exit those cool TV ads, exit South Africa. What do you do? Tap the power of the Interwebs™ and mandate your agency to create the next round-the-earth viral. Everyone knows virality is not an effect, it's a method: with budget under $5,000, your agency will work all its contacts and resources available to come up with the next recipe for creating BUZZ™. Boy will they be crazy excited for this shot at your company's new "creativity first" philosophy. After all, they wouldn't just leave all that money for some guy in his basement who's read all about your brand.

8) While You're At It, Generally Cut Back Your Advertising Spending Because The Economy Sucks, And Expect The Same Results

What do you do when the consumer loses his buying power? Cut back on the ads! Never mind rethinking your advertising strategy, people are fighting over milk and eggs and their local superstore. Time to give space to your competitors and safely retract yourself in the comfort of retail strategies, heck, your Sales department will come up with something brilliant. Give the Marketing department a break, these two can't work together anyways. But, no compromises! You want results and you want them yesterday.

7) Use web banners to keep that click-through rate high

Feel free to spend all online advertising money in web banners to bring consumers on your site! God knows if they didn't find anything fun in there the first time, they'll rush back now. Nevermind interactive content, CTR is everything: it confirms that your consumer has no idea where he's going on the web, randomly clicking fun-looking leaderboards. It confirms that, for really really sure, people browsing online for digital camera reviews really do get influenced by your latest "no hidden fees" cellphone rants. It confirms that CTR is Da Shit™ for determining whether that three-month micro-site campaign you're launching really works after two weeks.

6) Keep Fluffing Your Brand, That's What Gets People Buying Your Product

Nothing gets in the way of a good awareness ad. This page, this magazine spread, this awesome 30-seconds TV spot will really get people throwing themselves into stores. Never mind reviewing or changing your product - don't fix what's not broken. Your are the iPod of your category and you know it. When stores backorder on your product, people line up in sleeping bags waiting for the next shipment, just because of the sheer power of "those cool ads". Washing machines have never been so hawt. What's that thing about product experience? What's that about product innovation? That's for monkeys, 'cause when monkeys innovate, you really notice.

5) Keep Your Advertising Money In One Agency: All Your Friends Are There, They Know Your Brand And It's Been Going Great Since The Last 20 Years

Friendship in business is a businessperson's best friend. And this especially applies in advertising, where stability and tradition are symbols of success. You would trade your 20 years of marriage for that hot new account exec, but sure as hell you wouldn't dare cheating on your agency. They will have your head. After all, it is written in the much respected Book Of Advertising Agency Laws that "Thou shalt not change your mind, ever, ever, you client you. Even if we don't deliver as much, and are desperately trying to prove we haven't lost our touch".

4) Force your agency into creating advertising they're not comfortable with.

You've always liked horses. And when time comes to fly one, you won't let anyone show you how.
You have numbers. You have research. You have years of marketing the same old product. You have people paid full time to make things work. And then you have that good old ad agency, ready to abide by your will when you raise the old' pinkay. You control everything. Nothing wrong in being master and commander of your ship. Let agencies know who's da boss, nevermind that they have the cumulated experience of people who themselves gathered years of advertising experience with all brands and products, that they're writing funnies about marketing on blogs, and that their other "crazy" clients are letting them do audacious stuff. You're the one who's paying, you're the one who's deciding. The client is always right.

3) Don't be Generous to your Consumers: if you give a Thumb, they take the Hand

Don't give free stuff. Don't throw parties. Don't do special sales. Don't create fun community events. Don't go crazy and let your consumer play with your brand. Don't touch social media. You're not a person, you're a company. Don't let consumers change your product. Actually, don't produce (or think about producing) new products. Being nice to consumers or otherwise putting a little magic in their lives WILL. GET. YOU. IN. TROUBLE. You don't want legal walking all over you. You don't want your bosses going crazy because you had an idea. If you're going to make a difference this year, you're going to make sure nobody's watching you.

2) Wait Before Resorting to Emergent Media Ideas: Your business leaders are "Not There Yet", And Being Safe Will Save Your Company.

Was the light bulb invented in the context of an economic crisis? Nope. You would remember. Experimentation and innovation in media have brought nothing but mere flashes, and you're not one to flash too often. You have a big ship to steer, and big ships move slowly. When your agency comes up with new media solutions, always wait two years by default to make sure it's not a passing fad. Let me remind you that advertising is a symbol of stability, and that consumers rarely change their minds or their habits. People could think you've gone daft if you come up with a blog about your product. But if you think you could take the risk of considering such solutions, run it through a 12-person committee first. No sudden moves, no sudden moves.

1) Advertise.

An announcer should never talk normally. As we said before, you're not a person. You are a company. You always must use generic slogans, puns, delicately crafted visuals and finicky presentations. You should always test everything you say, generously invest in the same media buys year after year and not go all YouTubey or risk ending up on one of those crazy bloggers' filthy web page. Keep pumping cash in those GRPs, and don't forget the fundamental, universal law of advertising: If you say it, then it must be true.



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Wow, I haven't blogged in such a long time. (0)

Friday, December 12, 2008 by , under

Hello dear loyal cereal readers.

I'm sorry I haven't posted in such a long time, but I must say I've recently been through a period where I sorta grew tired of blogging about "ads". My blog being titled AdKrispies, this newly formed state of mind caused prejudice to my filling your head with daily advertising and creativity news (yes I did talk about other stuff, but you get my point). While I salute presenting creative ideas and productions, I'm getting at a point where I'd rather communicate my own personal opinions on advertising and communications rather than simply presenting what others do or create.

What's more, there are simply too many advertising blogs. And too many blogs, period. I'm so not unique, I feel like channel 21 on cable. Or 52. You know, that one channel on which you never stop on because you know it's going to have some badly filmed community-interest stuff that's clearly uninteresting (or even if it was you wouldn't stop because of the sheer ugliness), and that you'll most certainly find a good movie on channel 4. Or 22. Now these are hawt little numbers.

I read a recent blog post by Seth Godin, warning us that the "Internet was almost full", and I have to say I smiled at the delicately crafted irony. But reading between the lines, the man is right. We can't follow everything that's going on, simply because there's too much going on. The Internet's full, and so are we. I for one, feel like there are so many advancements online in communications and social media I'm missing - I'm frustrated. I'm having a hard time tracking down and "experiencing" everything, even though I'd want to. I could do this full time, and still be skipping precious breakthroughs.

That's why I'll be shifting AdKrispies' focus: content will shift towards informing you and launching thoughts in the universe. A place for opinions, essays and discussions over the advertising and communications business. Starting next year.

Is this going to differentiate me from other blogs of the genre? No. Am I going to have a kick out of this new format? Yes. Fun over function.

You'll still have those krunchy creativity bits and plump ideas you love throughout, but featuring more vitamins and less sugar.

David



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Stride Gum (0)

Tuesday, July 29, 2008 by , under , ,

Here's something for you all to chew on: Stride Gum's latest commercials. So long-lasting, that you can actually enjoy this post until I come back from vacation...bah-hahaha.

What verve, what humour.

(Kudos to JWT New York and director John O'Hagan from RSA Los Angeles)





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Mountain Dew Glows In The Dark. (0)

Wednesday, May 21, 2008 by , under ,

Yes friends. Tried, tested and true. Be amazed.

(Thanks, Tony!)



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Greenpeace Lashes Out Against Dove (0)

Tuesday, April 22, 2008 by , under , ,

It was bound to happen. As you may not know, Unilever (the company responsible for making Dove products) is a huge buyer of palm oil - one of the essential ingredients in some of Dove's skin care products. Problem is, palm oil suppliers in Indonesia (Dove's main palm oil supplier) have little (if no) respect at all for equitable practices in cutting down palm trees inside Indonesia's rainforest. Simply said, it's pure forest slaughter. By supporting these suppliers and buying palm oil from them, Dove directly contributes to killing this precious ecosystem, menacing its rare animal and flower species and accelerating the climate change.

Wow, how about a little "evolution", Dove?

Greenpeace has launched an aggressive viral campaign aimed at having Dove upgrade its environment politics and stop rainforest slaughter. "Aggressive" in that, in pure Greenpeace tradition, it parodies Dove's recent "Onslaught" commercial against the commercialised vision of beauty.

First, you can visit the webpage and sign the petition here.

Then watch the Dove ad,




And then watch the Greenpeace ad. Draw your own conclusions.



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Image Metrics: Performance Driven Facial Animations (0)

Thursday, April 17, 2008 by , under ,


This is simply amazing. Santa Monica-based Image Metrics proposes an incredibly flexible -- so to speak -- kind of facial animation technology that captures an actor's live performance an translates it onto a digital actor's face - in real time.

You probably never heard about them, but these guys have been around for awhile. They boast an impressive client portfolio, featuring work for major video game companies (EA, Eidos, Rockstar and Capcom among others) and feature film-related companies (Sony Imageworks, The Mill production house). You can see their engine at work in the latest Rockstar Grand Theft Auto IV game.


Check out Image Metrics's web site.



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Ford Ka Gets Big, Furry Love (0)

Saturday, April 12, 2008 by , under , ,

I salute you, JWT Argentina and production house Gizmo, for coming up with these ingenious and very furry concepts for Ford Ka.

(Amigos, yo gusto mucho todos esos TV spots. Muchas gracias a elmaaltshift blog).







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Here's a scrumptious video contrrraption devised by machiavelicious studios Three Legged Legs (one of my fave post-production houses) and brrrilliant agency 72andsunny for Microsoft's Zune. It features zombie puppets and breakdance, which is a damn good thing in my book.

You can check out an exclusive behind-the-scenes featurette at Zune Arts.



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Axe: Chocolate Man (0)

Wednesday, April 09, 2008 by , under , , ,

New Axe scent: Chocolate. Look at the guy's face. Priceless.
Kudos to agency VegaOlmosPonce, Buenos Aires and (do they need presenting),post-production powerhouse The Mill.

(Thanks, Stellart Média!)




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Benetton's global communications platform for 2008 promotes the Birima Micro-Credit program in Senegal, and features billboards showing senegalese workers who have used loans to build their own small businesses.



Photographer James Mollison portrays the workers in a most simple and effective manner, showing them carrying tools of their trade. A powerful image that promotes a multi-layered message: sustainable development, the fight against poverty, and the notion that people of Africa are personally taking matters in hand to work for Africa's future.

Benetton's own research center in communications Fabrica is responsible for developping the creative platform and the Microcredit Africa Works slogan, and also produced this video with world-reknowned singer Youssou N'Dour, titled Birima.




Alessandro Benetton, Executive Deputy Chairman of Benetton Group explains the conviction with which Benetton has backed the project: "We chose to support and promote this important project because, unlike traditional acts of solidarity, it offers tangible support to small local entrepreneurs through the efficient use of micro-credit. Precisely because it is based on entrepreneurial talent, hard work, optimism and interest for the future, this project effectively promotes the new face of Africa."

Read more about Benetton's campaign here.




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The Infamous Red Square Test (0)

Tuesday, April 01, 2008 by , under ,

Here's a test that elite members of Special Forces pass to see if they could last inside a multi-layered situation. The test is also presented to advertising creative directors, to see how long they can last before being annoyed by distraught account service members. One way or another, average human beings can last up to 12 seconds. Can you beat your own time?




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Capsulo: Apartment in a box (0)

Tuesday, April 01, 2008 by , under , ,



Can you believe there's an entire room's furniture inside that box? Believe it or not, there’s an armoire, a desk, a height-adjustable stool, two more stools, a six-shelf bookcase, and a bed with a mattress. Check out Capsulo, a design by Marcel Krings & Sebastian Mühlhäuser.

(thanks, Hitslot.com!)



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A Little Inspiration (0)

Monday, March 31, 2008 by , under ,

"What on earth would a man do with himself if something did not stand in his way?"

- H. G. Wells



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Altoids: A Slap To The Cerebellum since 1780 (6)

Thursday, March 20, 2008 by , under , , ,

Altoids does it again with two refreshing spots, presenting us more unknown stories about the darker past of the Little Mint That Could. Booo for the 18th century. Thank God for Altoids.

Kudos to Energy BBDO and MJZ.






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Pontiac: Spy Hunter (0)

Thursday, March 20, 2008 by , under , , ,

Ah, the classic look and feel of 8-bit video games finally applied in advertising. It's about time. Thanks for that, Leo Burnett Detroit, and creative crew Jesse Rea and Regina Cesarz, director Mark Glazer and SWAY Studio for the effects. You kicked my pixel heart's butt.



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Kamera - "Like A Drug" (0)

Thursday, March 20, 2008 by , under , ,

Treat yourselves to this cool video for indie band Kamera, produced by the label Nettwerk Music. I'd like credits for the production house please! Thanks.



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Hulu.com (3)

Thursday, March 13, 2008 by , under , , , ,

As you probably read all over the interwebs, yesterday was the official launch (read: getting out of beta) for United States of America-only content provider Hulu.com.


Never heard of Hulu.com? Here's a short debrief:

First, Hulu.com is the joint venture of NBC and NewsCorp.
Second, Hulu.com has come to terms with major partners such as AOL, Warner and ABC to deliver sitcoms, movies and other screen favorites for FREE on your 'puter.

This means you can now watch past Lost episodes, those Saturday Night Live skits you love or movies like Ice Age or Me, Myself and Irene for zip. Zilch. Nada. Nothing. No cost.
Provided you live within the United States of America. Because no other country can have access to its content for now. "Anywhere, Anytime" is Hulu's slogan. Sorry, not for now.
It's all advertising supported. I can only begin to wonder about the cost of placing an ad in Hulu.com. All I can hope for is that they'll find ways to make it cheaper than TV, but I wouldn't hold my breath -- especially when you can drop the useless GRP measurements for precise stats on user visits, shows watched and interactive content.

Let me tell you this, friends: this is the beginning of a new era. Google called the company Clown Co. for months before it was launched, because Hulu.com had no name. But they are being jealous. Because Hulu is going to steal away a huge chunk out of YouTube.
Because Hulu is going to steal away a huge chunk out of TV, period.

Hulu is a menace to cable TV worldwide. A well-thought of, full of potential menace. Yes, that good of a menace. Over the past month during beta, Hulu reports that its videos have been streamed over 5 million times. All the content is professionally produced. Friends, this is no clone of YouTube. This is serious distribution business.

Our canadian CRTC will be quick to not let Hulu.com make its contents accessible to Canada, because if they do, canadian TV will receive a kick in the nads like they never did before.

But at the same time, Hulu is also a wake-up call: TV viewership is knowing a steady decrease, and TV advertising is losing efficiency in favor of e-marketing. TV has lots its power to convince, entertain or educate. The Internet doesn't try to convince you, or push its content. It lets you come. It lets you get a second, third or fourth opinion on information. From people like you. It lets you be in control of what you like to see, hear, do. And it lets you speak out.
And all of this is like gold to modern-thinking TV producers, because now they have better feedback from viewers, a new place to distribute and even produce content that is likely to please diverse yet precise communities, and not just mr. and mrs. mass audience. With Hulu.com, they have a powerful, selective outlet to engage dialogue with viewer communities.
If you ask me, in the years to come, YouTube will be like this nice add-on widget to have on Hulu.
I say Hulu is the next big thing. Everyone can laugh at the badly-thought distribution scheme for an Internet content provider. Everyone can blame the fact that they do not yet have full-length shows. You can bitch about this killing the DVD / Blu-Ray industry (although they were careful in not showing full seasons as to not cannibalize the DVD industry). You can rant about the big nasty giant networks invading the Internets.
But eventually, when the technology is uber-right, we all know how these big giant networks will just crunch the numbers and say how cost-efficient it is, how wonderfully tasty it is to produce and distribute only streaming HD content. And there will it be: TV and Internet merge into this nice, slick flatscreen device on your wall. You'll have a remote control with a keyboard and joystick on it. And you will be subscribed to Hulu Digital Network Service Worldwide Inc.
I said it first.



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TokyoFlash Tibida LED Watches 1

Friday, February 29, 2008 by , under , ,


Sleek design, flashy colors, an audaciously-presented user interface. What more can you get out of a simple watch, ftw? Greatness. Witness these delicious Tibidi watch designs by TokyoFlash, available for a mere 14,900¥ ($140 canadian! Yummay). Time is displayed using white LED indicators (sleek!), hours on top and minutes on bottom. I would kill for one, but hopefully I can also just buy one.

(Thanks, BoingBoing.net!)



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Durex Ribbed Condoms 1

Thursday, February 21, 2008 by , under , , ,

Durex Condoms has this history of being quite fond of publishing irrevent advertising creative, and folks, the spots you are about to see are no exception. Most material usually ends up getting banned in most prude countries (such as our great Canada), yet Durex keeps the flame alive. Condom people, I salute you. Also lots of luck and long life to Durex's agency Mortier Brigade Brussels.

The next two spots are full of win. Enjoy. (Thanks Karine & Marie!)





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TriBeCa
is a french company which I consider to be very avant-garde in terms of emergent communications or consumer-driven advertising (what some call "advertising 2.0"). In 2006 they came up with a new concept they titled "BRM" or Bloggers Recommendation Management, through which they would gather influencers (bloggers are, by definition, engines of influence because they are authentic, unbiased and trusted sources of information) and provide them with exclusive opportunities to try new products, events or services, in order to hopefully have them freely blog about their experience. As a second mission, BRM encourages the blogging community and the blogging lifestyle itself, through their own personal blogging involvement.

I wasn't aware of this system, but I think the idea is fantastic. I just registered AdKrispies and can't wait to see what this is all about. Dropping my advertising hat and putting on the blogger cap, the possibility of being an "early tester" or even "early adopter" sounds great to me, simply because it makes me want to share my exclusive experience with all of you who "didn't have my chance". If brands are being generous to me and allowing me exclusive access on stuff, it's only fair deal that I be generous to them and give them a presence on my blog.

That is modern advertising thinking. Instead of involving classic media buy and creative, WebPR with blogs only costs a company a few crates of product and generates a lot of awareness -- especially if its well done and generous. It's not a new system. PR companies have done this for years with journalists and magazine editors. But seeing this applied to blogs by advertising agencies, is a new system within our industry and the effectiveness of the system proves that blogs are perceived by some as a new way to democratize communication authentically.

Traditional media hasn't lost its power to reach, of course not. But it has lost or is losing its power to convince. Using blogs as notoriety channels is a brand's modern tool of gathering faithfulness and awareness through positive word-of-mouth. It's simple logic really: When building a brand, think about who the builders really are.



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I don't know if you guys had some time to catch Sony Playstation's latest series of ads for the PS2 or PS3 game "Syphon Filter", titled "Advanced Spy Fighting Techniques". It's a hilarious parody featuring spokesperson and action hero "Agent_Kevin_78 a.k.a. Dramahawk", a kinda fat, military-obsessed 20-something kid giving us the low-down on the latest in counter-spy field ops. Great work by the folks over at TBWA/Chiat/Day L.A. and Epoch Films.

What's impressive is the shameless, blatant use of guns and aggressive military techniques depicted in there, which are now sure to spur outrage in the ranks of parents, pacifists, and people out there who think video games are already violent, let alone showing videos of kids handling guns. But Playstation has a track record for being outrageous, and I can only think these folks are the kind of people who would drop their pants and moon an entire audience of christian fundamentalists at the local mass, complete with hairy balls and whatnot. But taking in consideration the audience, let's put on our pimples for a minute and agree that there is some funny in there.

What's also impressive in these ads is that these days, you can produce video material with little budget, and still gather quite an impression -- the "authentic botched look" trend speaks. Some audiences like the authenticity more, the blunt comments and the raw feel. And if you can make a series such as this one, you don't want this on TV. This can only be on teh Internets because you won't fool any gamer by throwing this on TV and trying to give it the podcast look.

Authenticity+Trend Insight= A deadly combo. Now you know! And knowing is half the battle. Go Joe!

(Watch the 3rd one first. Yes, I'm random like that, making you do all those little annoying activities).







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TeeVee Tuesday: Lobstermen (0)

Tuesday, January 22, 2008 by , under , , ,

On a scale of 1 to 10 on my weirdometer, this clearly hits a 16. This is an ad for Discovery Channel 's latest show "Lobstermen" which everyone says sucks ass. However I do admire the production values and artisanship of Justin Harder (I'm sorry but is. that. really. your. name, and if it is, your parents have a wicked sense of humor) who directed, animated and edited this entire spot by himself. Congrats Justin.



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Machinima! The Dumb Man (0)

Wednesday, January 16, 2008 by , under ,

Happy New Year! There, I said it. Now here's a fantastic machinima novel written by Sherwood Anderson, titled "The Dumb Man". Very Edgar Allan Poe-esque, if you love the genre. I know I do. Enjoy.


The Dumb Man from Lainy Voom on Vimeo.



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