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Just Some Advertising Thoughts

I cannot help it.




This blog is about some of my rambling thoughts about advertising. I think this all started when I repeatedly kept seeing the same advertisement for pillows. It was driving me crazy.

It’s the ad where this couple…in their bathroom… notices the “My Pillow Guy”. I mean, come on. Why would it be acceptable to start an ad from the restroom. With a guy with “out of this world” hair coloring, staring at you from the mirror in your bathroom. Am I the only one who thinks this is a tremendously crazy idea. Seriously? I cannot stop typing about this! I do not want the “My Pillow Guy” in my bathroom. Get out!

Advertising is a funny thing. It gets into our mind. For instance, what comes to mind when I say it’s “finger lickin’ good”? You know!

In fact, here is a list of the most memorable slogans from the survey firm Survata . Can you finish them? I started us with the first most recognizable. I was going to put the answers at the bottom, but my copy and pasting skills…made it easier just to attach:

1. “Finger lickin’ good”, KFC 87.9%
2. “Every kiss begins with ___ “, Kay Jewelers 87.4%
3. “15 minutes could save you 15% or more”, Geico  82.3%
4. “Just do it”, Nike 82.3%
5. “Snap, Crackle, Pop”, Rice Krispies 79.5%
6. “You’re in good hands”, Allstate 78.2%
7. “Taste the rainbow”, Skittles 75.1%
8. “Melts in your mouth, not in your hands”, M&Ms 73.2%
9. “Maybe she’s born with it. Maybe it’s ____ “, Maybelline 69.3%
10. “I’m lovin’ it”, McDonalds 68.9%
11. “____ is on your side”, Nationwide 68.8%
12. “They’re G-r-r-reat!”, Frosted Flakes 68.3%
13. “We have the meats”, Arby’s 67.8%
14. “The king of beers”, Budweiser 66.1%
15. “M’m! M’m! Good!”, Campbell’s 62.1%
16. “It gives you wings”, Red Bull 59.3%
17. “The happiest place on Earth”, Disney 58.7%
18. “The breakfast of champions”, Wheaties 57.1%
19. “Can you hear me now?”, Verizon 54.9%
20. “Taste so good, cats ask for it by name”, Meow Mix 53.9%
21. “Eat fresh”, Subway 52.4%
22. “When it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight” FedEx 52.4%
23. “At the corner of happy and healthy”, Walgreens 51.5%
24. “Betcha can’t eat just one”, Lays 50.7%
25. “The snack that smiles back”, Goldfish 49.0%

These are slogans that are currently in use. There are a few on there that I do not ever remember hearing. The Goldfish slogan? Really? Is it wrong that I cannot stop myself when I start eating Goldfish. Are 5,000 goldfish too many in one seating?

I might have thrown in “When it rains it pours” but I suspect that has come and gone. I guess the slogan “Don’t marry King Henry VIII” is more advice than slogan?

I like the “advertising” Facebook post of my friend, Ken Price. He posted, “I want to be buried in a transparent casket. Good idea? Remains to be seen“. Hahahahahaha (I think that is hilarious)

We are always in search of new ideas for our advertisements. Ultimately, I always find us back to “We will come to you”. I guess that qualifies as our slogan! At least one of them.

And finally, this post makes me laugh. A roommate playing a prank. I guess this is “bad marketing”.


The Bebelplatz Burning Reminder

The Bebelplatz (from Wiki) is a public square that is centrally located in Berlin, Germany. The square is named after August Bebel, who is credited as the founder of Germany’s  Social Democratic Party.

The Bebelplatz is known as the infamous site where, on May 10, 1933, over 20,000 books by Jewish authors were destroyed . On that date, Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels was invited by the German Student Union to give a speech before the burning. He stood to give an inflammatory speech as a precursor of events to come, and then the SS and Hitler Youth groups set fire to the books, which included many well-known works by such writers as Karl Marx and Albert Einstein.

Today in the square, there is a memorial set up as a reminder to the destruction of those books. It commemorates the great loss of those books with a glass plate set in the cobble stones. As evidenced by this photo, the memorial shows a view of empty bookcases that is large enough to hold 20,000

There is a German engraved plaque next to the glass plate. Translated in English it reads, “That was only a prelude; where they burn books, they will in the end also burn people“.

Several years ago one of my New Year’s resolutions was to lose weight. I joined a nearby Weight Watchers. Not surprisingly, several other people had the same resolution.

During the subsequent weeks, we would all show up for the weekly meetings. First, we would go behind a curtain and weigh-in. Then, we would have a brief motivational lecture to equip us with techniques for weight loss. Reminders to eat pickles or Fat Free Cool-Whip if we needed to fight cravings. (Typing that made me hungry.)

One lady faithfully attended each of the weekly meetings. Her weight loss was dramatic. The reason that I remember her so well is that she would always come into the meeting with the same dress over her other clothes. Then she would take that outer layer dress off, after her weigh-in.

That dress was what she wore to the very first Weight Watchers’ meeting. Through the weeks, it became very apparent that she had lost a considerable amount. In fact, by the end, that sagging dress  looked comical on her.

The two stories are not equal in the gravity of the event. But, they both used reminders to move forward in a positive direction.

If you have made resolutions for 2015, there will be great temptation to think “Oh well”. I have that same little voice in my head. So,  I have tried to set up some motivating reminders for some of my resolutions.

Now to my personal unintentional reminder. I was reviewing past TV spots that were run in years past, for the law firm. I pulled up some ads that were cut in 2011. Who was that fat guy in a little coat? It was me. What was I thinking? It looks like pork chops hanging from my neck.

Every year, I put some resolution emphasis on exercise and weight loss. My reminder for this year is to just pop in a 2011  JB Firm spot… and watch it. Boom.


Legal This and That

Sometimes I collect stories that don’t warrant a total blog. In the beginning of the blog days, it meant that I would post a couple blogs during the day. Soon, I realized that no one wanted to be bombarded with continual blog entries in their email in box. Now, I just post it as “This and That”.

According to English and Literature experts, the most difficult phrase of words to write is a palindrome. It is a sentence or group of sentences that reads the same backward and forward.

Red rum, sir, is murder.

Ma is as selfless as I am.

A man, a plan, a canal – Panama.

From the advertising world, this one made me sad. We are losing the E-Trade Baby. (story) The ad agency has decided to go in a different direction. We get to see the baby one last time in an ad with the baby saying, “”That’s it, I’m done. I’m out of here. Amateurs”.

Randolph Thrower recently died at the age of 100. He headed the IRS during the Nixon Presidency, until he was fired. History records that he was fired because he refused to follow Nixon’s instruction by auditing some of Nixon’s enemies. (NY Times)

DID YOU KNOW that the Statue of Liberty’s mouth is 3 feet wide?

And finally, a math genius for pic o’ day:

math genius

Geico Musicians

     I admit that I laugh at some insurance commercials. Others just make me sneer. For instance, I always laugh when Allstate’s Mayhem falls through the roof or slaps against a car. It doesn’t matter to me that Allstate might not be a treat to negotiate with on a claim.

     When it comes to Geico ads, I admit that I really don’t find any of them that funny. Well, maybe a pig on a plane might be unusual. Other than that, the ads don’t grab me. I am fascinated that they originate from an agency in Richmond, Virginia.

     A recent campaign includes two men playing musical instruments. They comment on Eddie Money running a travel agency or a muscle man directing traffic. Come to think of it, I do like the lion named Carl, who is being watched by two antelopes with night vision goggles… but I digress.

     I saw a New York Times advertising column discuss those musicians.  Stuart Elliot answered who they are and whether they really are musicians. Since it involves advertising and insurance, I thought that his answer serves as a curious look behind the advertising scenes. Here’s what he said, 

A. The commercials for Geico, dear reader, are part of a campaign that began in July, says Theresa Dunn, a spokeswoman at the agency that creates the campaign, the Martin Agency in Richmond, Va., part of the Interpublic Group of Companies.

The musicians are actual musicians, Ms. Dunn says. One, who portrays Ronnie the mandolin player, is Alex Harvey, a music teacher from Brooklyn “who happened to get cast in an acting role,” she adds.

The other, who portrays Jimmy the guitar player, “is an actor who just happens to play the guitar,” Ms. Dunn says. More information about him can be found here:!productions/c1edo


     And for pic o’ day, my Mom sent one from the basketball court this weekend. Well, maybe not really from the court.

Final 4

Reading, Writing and Arithmetic

For a while, we have had Wednesday circled as advertising day. That meant that I needed to come up with some ads for TV production. In typical fashion, I put it off.

Sometimes, people will ask me, “What agency does your ads?” Well, usually I smile and say that we do them ourselves. For this production, I really wish someone was doing our ads.

OK, here’s what we have cooking. We have picked some backgrounds for the ads. That way, it doesn’t look like I am in some cold and gray studio. When you cut the ads in front of a blue or green screen, you can be anywhere.

We have a couple scripts for 30 second spots and three scripts for 15 second spots. There’s only so much you can do for legal ads. Especially when dealing with the advertising regulations of multiple states. Then, there’s that little issue of budget… and I do mean little budget.

I am the “talent” in the ads. I also use that term very loosely. Yes, as talent, that means we don’t have to pay anyone. Anyway, I go in with my head held high. So high that my lack of hair doesn’t seem as noticeable on camera. That’s the kind of stuff I think about. Once, someone sprayed that hair stuff on. Now that was getting crazy.

Soon, the fun will begin. Our advertising team at the Firm will head over. They will stick me in make-up. That’s always an adventure when it’s time to go to lunch. What looks good on camera doesn’t seem so good at the Outback Steakhouse.

That’s the story. Maybe someday we will come up with something that really is creative! And how does that tie in to the title of “Reading, Writing and Arithmetic”? Well, I will be reading the words on the tele-prompter that I wrote. The arithmetic comes in when we start buying the ads.

For pic o’ I went with “Looking at, Looking at”


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