It’s been nearly four years since my last post about the email targeting sins I see in my inbox on a daily basis. Yet, I’m still seeing major marketers squander major opportunities. Are you not reading my blog?!?! (sadly, I know the answer to this question).
This time the offender is my beloved Victoria’s Secret. It pains me to do this as I tend to support everything Victoria’s Secret does (decent pun, I’m keeping it). But, this is another great example of messaging that is targeted toward a woman (which I am not) when email allows for segmentation that could avoid a messaging miss. Subject line: “Your Bikini Awaits…” Simply segmenting me as a male would allow for a message that would be targeted to me and increase the likelihood that I would make a purchase. Of course, I’m not purchasing a bikini for myself, but I have to imagine there is a very strong segment of men that purchase Victoria’s Secret products for the lady in their lives.
Missed opportunity, Victoria’s Secret. But, every moment is another opportunity to turn it all around. Fewer blasts, more individualization. I’m looking forward to be addressed as a man in the future : )
I did it. I did it. I did it! I finally got mikemcdowell.com! And, yes, I am rejoicing with all the fervor and feelings of accomplishment as somebody who skillfully landed the parking spot in front on the grocery store. I realize that I didn’t do much to secure this domain, but I have been chasing it for EIGHT LONG YEARS. I checked in regularly, and as the expiration edged closer, I checked multiple times a day.
I am so happy right now. This is the best way I can express my joy:
Next step is, of course, to decide what the hell to do with my domain other than a silly redirect to this blog.
There was a point, years ago, that it became a standard practice to add your company’s URL to the final slide of your TV commercial. There’s been an evolution of how that URL is displayed…
Now check out how Cheetos has decided to change the game even more. What do you think? I kind of like it!
Ah, it’s that time of year again already. The air is crisp, anticipation is high and marketers across America are trying to say “Super Bowl” without saying “Super Bowl.” It’s a time-honored ritual to skirt trademark law. Only the official sponsors of the NFL can use the trademarked phrase, “Super Bowl” their marketing and advertising. Even if you’re spending millions of dollars for a Super Bowl ad this Sunday, you can’t say “Super Bowl” unless you’re an official sponsor. (of course, this doesn’t mean that there aren’t a ton of violations – companies using “Super Bowl” in their promotions)
So, what are we to do? Well, come up with clever euphemisms for the Super Bowl, of course. Here are some of the ones I’ve heard (or been forced to use) in the past:
- The Big Game (The most popular one. At one point, the NFL considered trademarking this, too.)
- The Big Football Game
- The Professional Football Championship
- The Football Championship Game
- Sunday’s Game
- Super Sunday
- The Greatest Sunday in Sports
Let me know if you see any other awesome euphemisms for the Super Bowl. Enjoy this one from Costco’s home page.
About a year ago, the FTC updated its guidelines on testimonials. I wrote a post about it on my other blog (for work) if you’d like to read that article. The highlights of the guideline updates were around transparency of results and testimonials. The updates included more guidelines around revealing any “material connection” between advertisers and endorsers. In other words, if the endorser received money or any other kind of payment for their endorsement, it needs to be disclosed.
This past week, I noticed the execution of these guidelines on a couple of TV commercials. Fairly interesting. This first one was the most interesting to me. It was an advertisement for a car (I don’t recall which one). The story line was essentially a couple talking about their future together and how this car was going to be a part of that future, etc. But that’s not the interesting part. The interesting part is the disclaimer line: Individuals were remunerated. What the hell does that mean? I’m probably just a big dummy, but I didn’t know what that statement meant. And I figure most people don’t.
Pay (someone) for services rendered or work done
Yeah, it basically means that person got paid to say what they said. This seems fair enough at first. But then it also makes me wonder if this was a “real testimonial” and the people were thanked and given some money, or if they were just paid actors reading lines, parading as “real people.” Either way, they were paid. But I can’t tell if this was an actual testimonial or not. I feel like I’m being duped.
Here’s the other one – an ad for Vonage – explaining that these people shared their stories in exchange for an opportunity to appear on a television commercial. I think the description of this disclaimer is far less furtive. I think it’s much more honest and I applaud Vonage for their transparency in respecting the new guidelines. Don’t you?
Regardless of your feelings on the quality of the season finale of Lost, I thought one of the standout performances was by retailer and advertiser Target. Target rotated through three, 15-second ads during the season finale of Lost. What made them stand out to me (and truthfully what made me stop fast-forwarding through the commercials) is that the ads started with footage from Lost. The ads were then tagged with a product and a price. The commercials were pretty funny – there was one where the smoke monster was searching through an empty camp, finding nobody. The punchline to the ad is a photo of a smoke detector sold at Target. C’mon, that’s funny!
I’ve included video of all three spots in case you didn’t see them. I like this trend of creating TV commercials that are relevant to the show that they air during – I thought these were brilliant, strategically. If you were familiar with Lost, you understood the commercial and got the payoff. I wouldn’t mind seeing advertisers make an effort like this in the future.
And a spoof for good measure…
photo by matt.hintsa via flickr
“Imagine more shoes than you could ever imagine.”
“Imagine more shoes than you could ever imagine.”
OK, that’s what I thought it said. That’s some of the worst copywriting I’ve ever heard. This was the lead-in line to a TV advertisement for Off Broadway Shoes. I’ll concede that perhaps the copywriters were trying to get attention by having this very confusing line. But, I think it’s simply not a good line. How do I imagine more shoes than I could ever imagine? I tried. I couldn’t do it. No matter how many shoes I imagined, I could never imagine more than I could ever imagine.
Off Broadway Shoes doesn’t have a version of this ad available to embed here on the blog. But they have it here on their website or here on Facebook.
Is it just me, or does anyone else think this is a bad line? Anyone think it’s a good line?