Monday, January 29, 2007

Duct Tape Doritos - Interview with Joe Herbert

I was able to reach out to the creator of the Doritos Duct Tape commercial, Joe Herbert. His commercial, Duct Tape Doritos, is currently one of the top five finalists in Doritos "Crash the Super Bowl" promotion. I didn't want to go into too much detail since he is quite busy with other obligations as a result his recent success. However, he did take the time to answer five questions for me. Feel free to read below.

1. What made you decide to this? We had just finished our first short film, and were looking for a second project a good friend (and co-producer) heard about the contest Doritos was having, where the winning commercial would be aired during the Super Bowl. The timing was perfect, because we love football, super bowl commercials, and Doritos.

2. What is your background in writing script? It is our dream to one day make a movie, and over the last three years we began reading and learning about every aspect of film making, including script writing. Prior to the Doritos commercial we had written two scripts, a feature and a short film script, and had started various others.

3. How did you come up with this particular skit? The Duct Tape commercial idea came from similar real life experiences and the lengths you must go to protect your food when you live with roommates, especially in college when actually having food is such a commodity. I personally purchased and installed a locking door knob for my bedroom where next to the bed I kept my full sized refrigerator. In addition... who among us has not at one point wished they could duct tape someone to a door/wall.

4. How much experience do you need to make a commercial of this quality? You don't need a lot of experience to make a quality commercial, but that does not mean that anyone could do it either. What you need first and foremost, is a creative imagination and the ability to begin with an idea that has high quality potential if done right. Then we realized is that you don't have to do it alone. The bigger budget film productions have a large cast of people all with specialized talents. We sought out local filmmakers in the community looking for volunteers to help us. The ability to sell your idea, as well as yourself, is helpful. If you have a great script and the leadership a good director has, that makes it easy to get other people excited about being a part of it. We started by obtaining the talents of Jim Timperman (director of photography) and John Blankenship (Sound) and everything else fell into place. We ended up with a total of 20 people between cast and crew. We also spent countless hours in preproduction planning every shot, so that when the day of shooting came around, we could easily manage the combined efforts of 20 people successfully.

5. Would you change anything about the commercial if you had to do it over again? Because of the amount of time we spent researching the idea, location scouting, planning out the shots, and organizing cast and crew, we were very well prepared for anything, and we extremely happy with how everything came together. You could enter as many as 10 commercials in the contest, and we submitted two. Both made the top 8 in the contest with over 1,000 entries... and if we had it to do all over again, the only thing we might have changed is maybe doing 10 commercials.. fortunately for the other contestants we only did the two.

Make sure to vote for Doritos Duct Tape at

I hope his commercial is aired during Super Bowl XLI and wish Joe all the success in the world for future endeavors.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Superbowl Ads Are Ready To Go

The Superbowl continues to be a marvelous spectacle for those looking to be entertained. It is known for commercials aired as much as the teams playing in it. Forget the Superbowl of champions. This is the Superbowl of commercials. And the company with the best commercial wins.

Expect to see commercials from Anheuser-Busch, Mountain Dew, E* and Go However, I feel some of the more popular commercials airing February 4, 2007 will come from Doritos, Nationwide There is a lot of buzz pertaining to Doritos' "Crash The Superbowl" ad contest. In addition, K-Fed will be featured spoofing himself in a commercial for Nationwide. Also, Cadillac plans to run a Superbowl ad around the launch of the 2008 Cadillac Escalade. Diamond Foods will be running another commercial for Emerald Nuts this year. And finally, is encouraging job hunters to view its ads during the big game with a series of teaser commercials. They end by saying "Watch the ads evolve...February 4th on the big game."

But the Super Bowl continues to be among few TV events that draw a huge audience — more than 90 million last year, according to Nielsen Media Research.

"The Super Bowl still has a huge lure, and it's a great creative platform to really show off your ads," says Andy Donchin, national broadcast director at media-buying agency Carat. "It's an engaging event, and people watching the game also watch the commercials."

The graph below illustrates the popularity of the Superbowl as one of the most important sporting events. Despite being two weeks away, discussion about the Superbowl is already greater than the World Series and NBA Finals. In fact, it accounts for almost 1% of all blog mentions as of January 22, 2007. I'll make sure to take a look at these findings again after the Superbowl.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

K-Fed To Appear In Nationwide's Superbowl Ad

Nationwide Mutual Insurance will feature Kevin Federline in its Super Bowl spot this year. Meanwhile, his soon to be EX-Wife Britney Spears is reportedly banned from appearing in a Superbowl Ad.

Reported incidents about failing to wear panties and nights out on the town with Paris Hilton have lead to negative perceptions about Britney Spears. Additionally, recent events have negatively impacted her reputation as an entertainer and her ability to promote products and brands for major companies.

The graph featured below highlights buzz levels in the blogosphere. It sights several reasons for increase in buzz about Britney Spears and K-Fed over the past six months. Despite receiving less discussion, most marketers currently find K-Fed more marketable than Britney Spears. This may be due to the fact K-Fed has done a good job distancing himself from Britney, especially when she commited actions which others questioned. Also, K-Fed has been quietly working on his career and staying out of trouble. He appeared on an episode of CSI, and performed at the Teen Choice Awards in August 2006. Additionally, he got bodyslammed by WWE wresting star Jon Cena in October 2006.

It looks like Kevin Federline may be well on the way to improving his Q-Score. Way to go K-Fed!

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Single Women Households May Require Sophisticated Marketing

I came across an interesting article in the New York Times today. The article is titled, "51% of Women Are Now Living Without Spouses." Interestingly, the data confirms other studies that show more women are living in single households. For instance, I found another article at About Marketing.

Seeing these articles prompted me to think about the possibilities for marketers to reach out to this untapped market. I tend to think some companies such as automobile manufacturers may already be able to market to single women households. However, they may need to reposition some of the products they produce. For example, car manufacturers build smaller, fuel efficient models. This is much different than the past when car manufacturers centered production around SUV's and minivans.

Other industries may be able to capitalize on single women households by offering products which meet their needs. Some of these industries include safety and self defense, consumer packaged goods and fashion.

The rise in single women households is a market which businesses cannot afford to ignore. Ultimately, businesses will need to shift efforts to meet the needs and wants of this growing market.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Automakers Marketing to Kids

I came across an article Sunday (1/15/07) in the Cincinnati Enquirer about automakers directing more ads at kids. The article stated a number of auto companies are placing ads in child-oriented areas such as gyms that cater to kids, and social-networking sites where young people hang out. For example, children at are able to buy a virtual Scion xBs if they have enough "clams," Whyville's monetary unit. In addition, a 5-year old boy won his own tiny Hummer which he calls his "red monster." He got one of the toy Hummers given out in McDonald's Corp. Happy Meals in August - first time a car maker directly offered versions of its vehicles in the meals. Furthermore, auto advertisers continue to extend product placements into nontraditional spaces where kids go to play.

Automakers are increasingly targeting children and their parents due to findings that children influence family buying habits for big ticket items such as cars -- or at least parents take their kids into account when picking a brand. As for cars, 62 percent of parents now say their children "actively participate" in car-buying decisions according to a study by J.D. Power & Associates for the Nickelodeon Network. Another study for Disney ABC Kids Networks by Strottman International found that 28 percent of moms of 6-year olds to 14-year olds say they listen to their children's wishes regarding vehicle purchases.

Overall, I think automakers marketing decisions are no different than other industries. Cereal advertisers have known for years that children influence what type of breakfast foods their parents buy. Automakers abilities to capitalize on key research findings that children influence vehicle purchase decisions demonstrates effective use of market research in driving marketing campaigns. However, I do feel some tactics may not be completely appropriate. At least not on where there is a much younger demographic. For example, one 9-year old bought a Scion xB on, but it was repossessed because she didn't make her loan payments (using "clams"). Most 9-year old's are too young to be worried about making a payment on their virtual car. Additonally, this could upset parents of children who use, ultimately causing them to cut ties with the brand.

There is a constant battle between child advocates and marketers. Some child advocates are worried by the sublety of product placements. In contrast, marketers feel they are providing products that have legitimate play value for kids. For instance, Scion feels its Whyville promotion helps educate kids about how financing works.

I understand that it is difficult to market to a younger demographic. However, a better alternative may be to work with the Deparment of Education, or specific communities to reach children via education. For example, Visa reached out to West Virginia's State Treasurer John D. Perdue and the New England Patriots All-Pro Wide Receiver Troy Brown to help promote its Financial Football game.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Improving Blog Rankings

I'm interested in increasing awareness and traffic for my blog. Therefore, I'm searching for blogs with relevant postings about how to promote awareness and increase traffic. I came across a great posting by Ruben at BlogMoneyMakingMachine.

Ruben highlights several ideas for increasing traffic to your blog. Some of the following include:

1. Publishing full feeds
2. Join a blog carnival or network
3. Join Blogburst
4. Submit to Google Sitemaps
5. Get listed in a news aggregator
6. Make friends with other bloggers
7. Guest blog
8. Network in person
9. Cross promote
10.Use social media outlets (i.e. Myspace, Livejournal, Facebook).
11.Become and expert at something

I'm relatively new to this whole blogging thing. I graduated from college July 2006 with a Bachelor's degree in Marketing from Northern Kentucky Unviersity. I am by no means an expert at marketing. However, I have been trying to put a posting of some sort each day on my blog, even if its as simple as a video from YouTube with some text. Additionally, I do track viewership via
Google Analytics. I'm happy to say my viewership totals have increased significantly since I started posting each day.

I feel some of the suggestions Ruben notes are worthy of improvising. I'll make sure to keep everyone up to date. Meanwhile, feel free to leave other suggestions about how I may increase traffic to this site.

Top 150 Marketing Blogs

Here is a good list of Top Marketing Blogs Unfortunately, my marketing blog didn't make the list. However, there's always next year!

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Dove Evolution Video

The Dove "Evolution" video has become extremely viral. Several copies of this video on YouTube have more than 1,000,000 views. This is a very high viewership following for a video uploaded about three months ago.

The video below was created to counter Dove's "Evolution" video. This video is titled Slob "Evolution."

Friday, January 12, 2007

Toyota Yaris on Myspace

Here is an interesting marketing strategy. Toyota has a Myspace page dedicated to reaching young Toyota Yaris enthusiasts. Check out the Toyota Yaris Myspace Page.

Visit Toyota's official Yaris website for more information on the Yaris.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Starbucks Monitoring the Blogosphere

A fellow blogger, Kevin Green at Socially Adept has a great take on Starbucks and branding. Starbucks is a brand that consistently has come under fire for multiple reasons. However, one of the primary reasons deals with Starbucks’ lack of support for Ethiopian coffee growers. A video illustrating Starbucks' lack of support featuring interviews with sympathetic passerbys appeared on YouTube on December 18, 2006.

Two days later, Starbucks responded by opening its own YouTube account to rebut the accusations one by one. Go to NewTeeVee to see Starbucks' rebuttal statement.

Kevin also found a great posting about different routes companies should take when they are monitoring the blogosphere. However, one thing to keep in mind is the level of influence that a particular person, or blog has over a particular topic or brand. Influential people, or "Influentials" tend to be more credible. In other words, people listen and often take the advice of influential people.

A good strategy for any company looking to monitor the blogosphere should be to create a list of "To Do's." One of the things on that "To Do" list should be to identify the "Influentials" who talk about the company. The "Influentials" are ultimately responsible for how other people perceive the brand. Therefore, a good communication strategy that reaches out to the "Influentials" is a great way to leverage CGM so that it may shed a more positive light on the image of a brand or product.

Bristol-Myers Squib Executes Cause Marketing

Here is a link to Bristol-Myers Squibb's This is an excellent example of a company executing a cause marketing campaign to meet the needs of both the general public and achieve its business goals.

The website's was launch coincided with World AIDS Day (December 1, 2006). The website encourages visitors to light a virtual candle. Bristol-Myers Squibb promises to donate $1 to the National AIDS Fund for each virtual candle that is lit.

Interestingly, World AIDS Day has a site on MySpace which it uses to promote awareness. Here is a link to the World AIDS Day Myspace Site.

This graph shows AIDS related discussion increased enormously as a result of World AIDS Day (December 1, 2006).

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Doritos Duct Tape

Here is a really cool commercial in the voting for Doritos Crash the Super Bowl Ad Contest at

Dove Cream Oil Body Wash

Dove is reaching out to consumers to create its next ad.

CES 2007

Overall, CES 2007 is receiving the most buzz among consumers in the blogosphere. Major topics being discussed at CES 2007 pertains to the Second XBOX 360 being revealed, bluetooth and wireless technologies. Bill Gates made his annual keynote speech. Here is a link to Bill Gates' Keynote Speech

MACWORLD is receiving its fair share as well. The majority of buzz surrounding MACWORLD relates to the new Apple Iphone.

Visa's FanWithAPlan Website

Here is a neat website which Visa is sponsoring to help fans prepare for trips. It is definitely geared toward the sport enthusiast. The site provides a currency converter, ATM Cash Locater, and information about special offers. The site is intended to keep fans up-to-date on the hottest destinations around the world as well as major sporting events.

While I like the idea behind the site, I feel there are a few things Visa can do to better it in terms of site navigation and promotion. First, Visa needs to put a search feature on the site. I had some difficulty navigating pages. I had trouble confirming that I was looking at the right information. A good search feature will help consumers find things on the site more easily. Second, Visa does not have a link on its homepage. Visa consistently comes up with good ideas (i.e. and However, these efforts may be further noticed if links were placed on Visa's homepage. Third, a guy appears and blows a whistle when the page loads. He wears a red jacket. Personally, I think Visa should place their logo on the red jacket. The guy appears around center of the page. The whistle blow quickly draws your attention to him. Visa has an excellent opportunity to get visibility by placing its logo on the red jacket.
Well these are my suggestions. Feel free to visit the site and make your own conclusions.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Axe Deoderant Positioning Strategy

AXE deoderant understands the concept of positioning very well. Axe's deoderant campaign focuses on THE AXE EFFECT. THE AXE EFFECT is the term used to describe the the increased attention males receive from eager, and attractive, female pursuers simply because of wearing AXE deoderant and body sprays.

The Axe Effect

Ford and Microsoft Are In Sync

Ford, Microsoft Develop In-Car Communications System

Monday, January 08, 2007

Person of the Year

Time magazine has officially declared it. I am the person of the year. In addition, Adage states I am the ad agency of the year. Now calling me all these things is probably just a ploy to get me buy more Time magazines, or read more marketing material. But who am I to disagree with the experts. Besides, I’m entitled to my “15 minutes of fame.” It’s just too bad I have to share it with everyone else.

IAG's Top Ten Ads

Here is a link to IAG's Top 10 Ads between December 4, 2006 and December 31, 2006.

December 2006 Top 10 Most-Liked, Most-Recalled New TV Spots

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Gold's Gym Knows Best

I noticed Hulk Hogan wearing a variety of Gold's Gym muscle t-shirts while watching an episode of "Hogan Knows Best" on VH1 last Saturday night (1/6/07). Now this enticed me to look a little further into Gold's Gym and its marketing strategies. Everybody knows traditional advertising doesn't work as well as it used to. Therefore, I am always interested in seeing how companies take advantage of different opportunities to market themselves.

Overall, Gold's Gym has strong brand awareness, which is a reason for their success. Gold's Gym has established worldwide recognition through millions of dollars of advertising placement, consistent P.R. exposure and strategic marketing alliances and promotions. It's brand awareness is reinforced when consumers see it's logo in Hollywood films and TV shows like:

Adam Sandler's The Longest Yard
The Dr. Phil Show's official gym for the Ultimate Weight Loss Challenge
VH1's Celebrity Fit Club
Entourage, Wheel of Fortune, Hogan Knows Best and Extreme Home Makeover

Gold's Gym marketing strategy tries to illustrate that its the choice of celebrities, professional athletes and successful fitness enthusiasts.

However, I do notice other health clubs taking a similar approach to marketing as Gold's Gym. For example, Fitworks has enrolled Cincinnati Reds pitcher Bronson Arroyo and former Cincinnati Bengals Quarterback Jon Kitna as spokespersons promoting its gym.

The marketing strategies of health clubs to use non-traditional means of advertising (i.e. product placement and sponsorship) provide a much better way of reaching their target audiences when compared to running television commercials to the mass market.
In conclusion, health clubs such as Gold's Gym appear to be savvy marketers in addition to being health experts.

VH1 Celebreality

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Using Teaser Advertisements

A company or person introducing a new product may want to use a teaser advertisement. A teaser advertisement, or mystery ad is designed to build curiosity, interest, and/or excitement about a product or brand by talking about it but not actually showing it.
For example, Lee Jeans used teaser ads as part of its "Can't bust' em" campaign for its new Dungarees line that features the Buddy Lee doll.

The campaign was designed to intrigue influential trendsetters among the 17- to 22-year old target market. The goal of the campaign was to let the trendsetters discover Buddy and spread the news about him. The teaser campaign was successful in generating word of mouth.

Teaser ads are often used for new movies or TV shows and for major product launches. They are especially popular among automotive advertisers for introducing a new model or announcing significant changes in a vehicle. Additionally, teaser ads are excellent for promoting games and consoles which are about to be released. See GameSetWatch for more examples game teaser ads.

Here is an example of a teaser ad for the XBOX 360.

Teaser ads can generate interest in a new product, but advertisers must be careful not to extend them too long or they may loose their effectiveness. Also, teaser advertisements are great ways to entice consumers to visit a company's website. For example, a company could show the beginning of a commercial on television, but prompt viewers to visit their company website to select an ending.

Sources: Advertising and Promotion, AN INTEGRATED MARKETING COMMUNICATIONS PERSPECTIVE. 6th Edition. George E. Belch & Michael A. Belch

Friday, January 05, 2007

Viral Kodak Video on YouTube

A recent Kodak video that was posted on the internet has gone viral and is ranking high on video content sites. In addition, consumers' sentiment toward the video is positive.

The Kodak video shows a guy raving about Kodak technology. "You'd never expect it from Kodak," said Betty Noonan, Kodak director and VP-brand management, talking about the video's appeal and popularity. "Kodak has been very narrowly defined -- broadly represented as a brand, but narrowly defined."

The Kodak video began as an internal presentation for the Wall Street Journal's D: All Things Digital conference May 2006. It was created by an internal marketing group and Kodak's agency, Partners & Napier. Kodak executives interviewed said they are not sure how the video made its way to the web in December 2006 but feel one or more tech-savvy employees uploaded it from the company intranet.

The success of this Kodak video shows the power of CGM. Kodak leverages the power of word-of-mouth to reach out to consumers and blogger who pass along the video. They like the fact that Kodak is able to make fun of itself, despite quarter after quarter with disappointing sales. Kodak intends to do more exploring in the digital-media world to assist with marketing efforts and product development.


Thursday, January 04, 2007

Sprint is Done "Powering Up"

Sprint, the nation's No. 3 telecom provider, is looking for " a differentiated message" according to company spokeswoman Mary Nell Westbrook. It is looking for a way to get back to a competitive position.

Publicis & Hal Riney to developed the "Sprint guy," actor Brian Baker who wore a black trenchcoat and spoke about Sprint's wireless services. However, virtually every other wireless phone provider (i.e. Verizon, Cincinnati Bell) has created "guy" to promote its brand. Sprint feels sending a different message to consumers may prove more effective in its attempt to regain momentum in the marketplace.

Source: Adage

Small Agency Client Marketing Strategies

Here are a few good articles which show why small agencies need to use tools such as YouTube and social media in their attempt to reach customers.

Small Agency Marketing Strategies

Forrester Study Shows Consumers Don't Like Mobile Ads

Here is a link to a recent Forrester study which finds consumers are wary of mobile ads.

Forrester Mobile Ads

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Starbucks Eliminates Trans Fats

Starbucks will be working diligently in 2007 to update its food items in order to comply with a ban in New York City which will eliminate trans fats in restaurants and eateries. Also, it hopes to cut trans fats from the rest of its U.S. and Canadian stores by the end of the year, spokesman Brandon Borrman said. "Our focus has always been on providing our customers with healthy and nutritious food options," he said. Borrman said Starbucks' move was not prompted by the New York ban. "This is something we've been working on, on our own, for a couple of years now," he said.

The New York City ban to cut trans fat from food items sold is also affecting other restaurant businesses. In fact, Wendy's and Taco Bell plan to go trans fat free as well. McDonald's is experimenting with with healthier oil blends for its french fries and vowed to be ready for the New York City ban, which takes effect on July 1, 2007.

Starbucks to drop trans fats from items - Yahoo

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Bank of America Executes Nationally, but Delivers Locally

Bank of America continued with its forward momentum in 2006. It ended 2005 with a bang by introducing Keep the Change. And it kept on chugging forward by merging with MBNA and keeping online brokerages on their heels by offering $0 equity trades for accounts with $25,000 or more.

Bank of America has continued to maintain its presence online, on air, and in print of mostly product-specific ads that focused on its "Higher Standards" campaign. It looked to add value to its customers seeking a single financial source. Bank of America's goal is to become a "destination" brand.

"Reflecting our size and scale, and the capabilities that we deliver domestically and throughout the world, our marketing strategy is singularly focused on supporting and accelerating the growth prospects for our company," says cheif marketer Anne Finucane. "Our ongoing work is meant to evolve Bank of America from a brand everyone knows to a destination brand that everyone-consumers, businesses, and communities--chooses and uses repeatedly because our innovative solutions and understanding of their financial needs create opportunities for them that no other financial services provider can match."

Bank of America will continue to attract and retain customers since it focuses on creating a portfolio of easy-to-use products, technology, and customer security. In fact, its online banking site includes the addition of "Sitekey" which protects its customers against identity theft. Bank of America's ability to integrate product, service and marketing strategy allow it to move smoothly through the rocky financial industry.

Bank of America marketing objectives in 2007 include extending race-themed mass-market promotions, at-track branding and hospitality, rewards programs for customers and employees, and business-to-business and cross-promotional opportunities with NASCAR's various sponsor partners. In addition, Bank of America is the official sponsor of Major League Baseball, the 2006-2008 U.S. Olympic Teams, and the NFL's Carolina Panthers, Washington Redskins, Dallas Cowboys, and New England Patriots.

Bank of America's growth is just another great example of a company leveraging its size to add value and increase revenue, and expand its customer base. Federated Department stores is using a similar strategy with Macy's. Likewise, Federated is leveraging the marketability of Macy's as a national brand. Macy's may be America's Department Store, however, Bank of America is definitely America's Bank.

Blockbuster Versus Netflix

Blockbuster has begun to use a comparative advertising strategy to show consumers that it offers more value than Netflix. Advertising in which a competing product is identified and compared unfavorably with the advertiser's product is known as comparative advertising. Blockbuster does this successfully in its newest television ad.

Blockbuster promotes its new "Total Access" rental program in its newest commercial which aired recently. Blockbuster differentiates itself from Netflix by letting customers know they can return their videos to a Blockbuster store instead of waiting to receive a new video through mail. Blockbuster has nearly 6,000 worldwide locations where customers may return a movie and get a new one.

I would have to compare Blockbuster's marketing strategy to that of Bank of America. Both are behemoths is their respective industries. Bank of America recently initiated 30 free online trades for investors with over $25,000 in FDIC products at Bank of America. This offer initially sent shockwaves through the financial industry. Likewise, Blockbuster is taking advantage of its position as an industry leader to stamp out its competition.

Please see for more information about Blockbuster's marketing strategy.

Netflix: How it Works