Friday, November 21, 2014

Ashton Kutcher's new Uber ads.

The amazingly successful ride-sharing start-up has had a tough PR week. But Kutcher (@aplusk), an Uber investor, immediately and expertly went into damage control mode on Twitter, showing a savviness lacking within the company's own marketing department.

And now Kutcher, using his own money, will soon launch an online Uber ad campaign utilizing the wildly popular Indian character "Raj" he created to promote popchips. (another brand he's invested in).

copyranter has exclusively obtained early rough executions.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

This is a great "disruptive" print ad.

Disruptive Innovation.

Buzzwords so buzzy, they *vibrate* with intensity.

The Wikipedia entry for "Disruptive Innovation" is well over 4,000 words.

Native Advertising is considered a Disruptive Innovation.

That's rich. And ironic. Because it is designed to not be "disruptive". It is designed to blend in, deceive. And it is not an "innovation". Branded "native" print editorial content has been around for over 100 years.

This ad ran in the November 7th issue of the Guardian (click to enlarge).

(images via Creative Review)

In case you don't understand what you're looking at, that's a double full-page spread ad (you know, the paper kind). How many people—do you think—who saw that headline didn't read the copy? Sorry digital gurus, there are no exact metrics for you to study and put into one of your priceless decks.

But let me give you a ballpark figure: ZERO.

This is a brilliant example of what social media dipshits try—and fail at—every day: newsjacking.

Except, ecotricity (Britain's leading green energy supplier) actual had some pretty big news to report, as I'm sure you're reading about right now.

I see something like this, and I think—momentarily and warily—that just maybe, advertising creativity might survive this stupid generation.

NOTE: you may remember ecotricity's popular video ad from 2012 featuring the collapsing cooling towers, and the follow-up spot, farting gas towers.

Friday, November 14, 2014


Click images to enlarge.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Best Ad of the Week, #1.

It's a new optimistic copyranter feature!
I figure, if I like an ad, even just once a week, the ad world would maybe?!?—like me back!
And maybe (DOUBLE FINGERS CROSSED) I would get a job! Karma!

The Hans Brinker Hotel in Amsterdam proudly boasts that it's "The Worst Hotel In The World". For over a decade, through their agency Kessels Kramer, they've produced consistently hilarious advertising. Recently, they put out a series of videos as part of a Facebook Like-grubbing campaign. Above is the best of the lot. This, is how you do social media begging, digital dipshits.

This will now be a regular copyranter feature, every Wednesday.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

What is "Native Advertising"?

(I sincerely apologize for the e-card)

Media people are hungry for, curious about, perplexed by, or scared of, it, depending on the medium. Well, it's really a simple thing. Don't let the Social Media experts (dipshits) complicate it with their buzzword-filled explanations that go and on and on.

 But what is it?

Wikipedia: "a form of online advertising that matches the form and function of the platform on which it appears."

That's what it does, but what IS it?

Below is the definitive definition of "Native Advertising":

That's it.

Anybody tells you different, politely get up and excuse yourself from the room, walk briskly to the elevator, and then sprint out of their building (unless the person is your boss, then just sit there and nod your head like one of those toy dogs in the back of a car).

I'm kidding. Don't make a scene.

But that's not "advertising", you might be thinking. And you might be asking: Why would an advertiser want to advertise without advertising themselves? Well (chuckle), that's also very simple: (BUZZWORD alert x 2) Engagement and Metrics.

Native Advertising is Sponsored Content, but not all Sponsored Content is Native Advertising. Like the Wikipedia definition reads, Native Advertising looks and feels like editorial content. That's what gets readers to click sponsored links (Engagement) on sites like BuzzFeed (more on them here), Mashable, Huffington Post, etc.

Advertisers have fallen in deep dirty lust with those clicks (Metrics). The native post doesn't sell our product or brand name whatsoever? Who cares! MET-TRICKS!

Many Native Advertising experts are, not coincidentally, trying to dismiss/kill dead what they themselves have buzz-coined as "Traditional Advertising". Like this expert. (WARNING: I lost count at 50 buzzwords in that post. Didn't you see the Tom Hanks advertising movie, Nothing In Common, sir?) He basically speaks for every single Social Media expert out there. And he, and they, are as wrong as slush.

Readers respond foremost to creativity. What will happen—is happening, s l o w l y—is a marriage between Native and Traditional. Advertisers will start to see more and more that clicks ≠ sales. (Right, ship-my-pants Kmart?) And they will start to demand that their Native Advertising be Creative Advertising that sells the shit out of their brand (minus, stupid puns).

And who can make this marriage work?

Not Social Media experts.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Tommy Lee Jones Doesn't Give A Good Goddamn About Your Retirement.

Look at that pained face.
He looks like his IBS is acting up.
That is the face of an uninvested spokesperson.
You can unfurl all the big-ass banners behind him you want, Ameriprise. He is not going to change his Fuck You face or up his energy level one iota.
Is he squinting at the cue cards? Probably.
You want memorization? That's an extra mil.

But I'm fine with that! Jones shouldn't give a shit about my retirement, because Ameriprise doesn't either, except for how it can increase their year over year revenue.

Jones' three spots for Ameriprise have been in rotation the last couple of weeks. Their previous spokesman, Dennis Hopper (RIP), at least looked like he gave a shit. Before that, their campaign featured models posing as real people standing on red Eames chairs, for some undefined reason.

Back to Jones' sell job. These are the takes the client picked. Imagine what his less enthusiastic takes look like. I want to see those. But for now, let's look a bit closer at each ad.

1. "Tommy Lee Jones visits a shopping mall to ask people an important retirement question..."

The above bolded copy is how Amerprise describes this commercial on their YouTube page. First off, Jones sure as shit smells didn't "ask people" anything. Secondly, even though his hand is apparently on one of the mall's rails, I question if he was even in that mall. I smell—besides shit—digital trickery. Thirdly, that big banner was not unfurled in that mall—could have killed somebody. Fourthly, those people are of course actors, not shoppers. Fifthly, celebrity testimonials are the absolutely worst creative cop out available to advertisers with big money and no imagination. Sixthly, these are the worst celebrity testimonial ads I've ever seen. Seventhly, Malls are dying, like me, thanks for the reminder, Ameriprise.

2. "Tommy Lee Jones visits a small town. He asks residents a retirement question..."

OK, this one is more obvious: Jones is not in that "small town", he's in a studio. And again, he asked nobody nothing, though I do appreciate that he shows his gut here. And that even bigger banner was not unfurled in that "small town". And why don't the banners say something interesting/smart/something besides exactly what Jones is saying? Because Jones' readings are so devoid of personality, Ameriprise needed to bang Baby Boomers/GenXers over the head with their hard sell message. More actors, of course. WHERE ARE THE REAL, UGLY SMALL TOWN PEOPLE WITH FIVE GRAND IN A SOCK UNDER THEIR MATTRESS?

3. "Tommy Lee Jones reminds us that everyone has important retirement questions..."

Here, "City" Tommy...
No, I can't and won't do this anymore.

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

What if other brands went insane like McDonald's?

Last week, the Wall Street Journal reported that starting in January, McDonald's is going to launch a new campaign tagged with the childish na-na-na-na-na na! line "Lovin' Beats Hatin". The entire internet immediately hate-shat on it. Then this week, McDonald's said that they are not going to use it (yeah, we'll see), but they did trademark two other phrases, above bottom, which are, as you can see, even more inane. A greater-than sign? Jesus Christ in a fucking Happy Meal.

It is hard to believe that a cabal of old white men (of which, I am one), some with MBAs, approved any of this. Really hard. With the insipid but harmless I'm Lovin' It drilled into the world's head after 10+ years, following up with these phrases says to me that, not only is McDonald's acknowledging that people out there hate their food, but that they might be right—assuming that the undefined"It" has represented their food this whole time.

And wait til they see what the hatin' internet trolls (of which, I am one) are going to do when this campaign launches. I think McDonald's is seriously underestimating the powerfulness and resourcefulness of said trolls.

The old white men are obviously shitting their tighty-whiteys (or greys) as sales continue to drop like their wrinkly ball sacks (of which, I have one). This must be some extra-pushy marketing doofus's desperate idea of "connecting" with the "Youngs". I don' care what the commercials look like, this effort will not work. I guarantee it.

Anyway! Here are some equally deft imagined rebrandings.

Just Do It is just really an obnoxious tagline, don't you think? It's based on the last words of spree killer Gary Gilmore before he was executed. ("Let's do it." True story.) You just do it, shoe-empire-assholes. Who cares if it's the most successful tagline in marketing history, I need to be coddled and cajoled into exercising, don't you?

The energy drink recently settled a lawsuit which legally killed their "Gives You Wings" tagline. Their latest TV spot uses the can copy line "Vitalizes Body And Mind" as the kicker, which is a weenie move.

I say, just abandon your specious claims and say exactly what the U.S. District Court ruled about your rank product. Shove it right back at the Haters. I bet sales wouldn't suffer one bit, might even double.

Remember the rather racist Make A Run For The Border Taco Bell slogan from the 1990s? Well in the last few years, the Yum! Brands brand has been trying to capitalize on their deep Mexican heritage by using partial Spanish taglines. For you extreme xenophobes, Más means "more" (or "most").

But again, Live More/Most strikes me as a vague but overly aggressive command—it needs a 2014 update. Their slogan is a custom handwritten font. I'm a copywriter not an art director, so I just chose the "Wide Latin" typeface for their new taglines. They should keep using Spanglish to continue exploiting their rich Latin roots, but maybe be a little less macho. Top right: I mean, why not get right to the gluttonous, profitable point? Bottom left: "Live A Little More". Bottom right: Menos means "less".

Although you don't see the phrase much in their ads anymore, "Eat Fresh" is still the official tagline of Subway and has been for over 10 years. If you've eaten in at least a few of their restaurants, as I have, you probably have beef with that tagline. No matter.

Since they have mostly abandoned Eat Fresh, it's time Subway rolled out a new slogan. Why not steal McDonald's, since they're going to be dropping it? (They say "temporarily", but I say bullshit. You watch.) Start selling shitty microwaved hamburgers, too. Might get a big influx of new customers.

Lower left: Maybe go minimalist. Two-word taglines are so over. Got Milk? (dead). Never Follow (Audi, dead). Live Richly (shut-up Citibank). Everybody's gotta eat, right?

Or...they could bring back spokesmodel Jared in a big way, as long as he hasn't porked back up—everybody loved his electric on-screen presence. Plus—he's in the news! Some fat teenager who apparently tried the "Jared diet" robbed four of their restaurants because it didn't work. Real-time marketing, baby! Go brands, go!

Monday, November 03, 2014

Time to pick a new Betty Crocker, for Chrissakes.

As you can see, we've had the same damn Betty Crocker for 18 years.

That's bullshit.

That 1996 Crocker is, according to their website, "a combination of 75 real-life women of diverse backgrounds and ages" (bold mine).


Big-time bullshit, General Mills.

They also say every previous Crocker painting is not based on a real woman, but an original artwork.

Who do they think they're kidding?

Anyway, let's pick a new one for 2015.

1. This stock photo woman @ Getty Images.

I searched through hundreds of women in "red" in a "kitchen".
The above woman is called "happy young housewife".
She can fry an egg. And drink soda.
She looks very "All-American".

2. Naomi Campbell.

You wanna really be diverse, General Mills? Here ya go.
Campbell, I'm sure, has plenty of red outfits.
She has been unfairly shunned by the ad industry. It would be a great PR move for you.
She has never been married, though, probably a big no-no in Crocker World.

3. This stock photo woman @ Getty Images.

Campbell would cost you tens of millions, General Mills.
If you wanna diversify for much less, here's another stock option.
I'd keep the afro.

4. The "Woman In Red" from The Matrix.

I don't know her name, I just searched "woman in red".

Plenty of options, General Mills.
My consultant fee is $500,000.
PayPal me, please.