Archive: Feb 2014

Advertising. It’s not what it used to be.

So there I was the other night, enjoying a cocktail with a friend while our wives talked about the kids, or something like that.

The conversation, as unfortunately and usually does, turned to our professions.  We chatted about his work in investment banking and bond trading.  It was extremely interesting, but I really have no idea what he was saying and still don’t know to this point.

Then we talked about my work in advertising.

Advertising is fascinating, right? You know, funny television commercials, million-dollar media buys, celebrities and three-martini lunches. We think everybody knows what we do and how we work. We started talking about a hospital system that’s a client. I started talking about the research we just analyzed, how the system was just acquired by another larger system, and how this would impact the delivery of their service and alter the competitive landscape in the market.

He was confused.

He asked, “Why do you know all about that? I thought you just advertised for them?” And this prompted the reason for this posting: Most people, even potential clients, have no idea what an advertising agency actually does.


There were the days of concept pitching and television production in distant tropical locales. That ship has sailed. Now there is quantitative research, ROI calculations, cloud-based marketing automation systems and Net Promoter Scores.

Sure, we still produce television commercials.  And we still occasionally drink at lunch. But we now learn more about our client’s industries, competitors, products and services than many of the people that actually work for our clients.  It’s what we get paid to do.  And we know it’s crucial to delivering the insightful, un-thought-of, non-traditional solutions that will accomplish the goals that will get our contract renewed (oh, and make our clients successful, too.)

Along the path to client information discovery (which is usually the strategy or planning function), we discover the alternative means by which we can affect change on the client’s business goals.  It might not be traditional advertising.  Heck, often times these days, it’s NOT traditional advertising. It could be tradeshow support, industry attitude campaigns, digital content development or even standing-on-a-street-corner-twirling-a-sign.

We will now even identify areas of a client’s business environment that could be altered to help smooth the process of revenue generation. This used to be the function of business consultants. But now it falls under our catch-all of marketing services.

The good news is we’ve become even more valuable to our clients.  They can get more mileage from marketing if they allow us to truly ask the tough questions, and bring back unexpected solutions. The bad news is, our conversational ability at parties just took a big hit…

AD Vice


It’s no secret that online retail continues to dominate brick-and-mortar retail stores. It’s convenient, efficient, and you don’t even have to put on pants. Ecommerce continues to evolve in this ever-growing digital world and could potentially extend its reach even further into the social media world via Twitter.


Sharing breaking news, engaging in trending topics, following your favorite celebrity or even posting as your dog. These are just a few of the common uses of the real-time social media giant Twitter, and now a partnership with American Express could add digital commerce to that list of uses, allowing users to purchase items with the mere tweet of a special hashtag.

Because of Twitter’s real-time nature, businesses can leverage deals in real-time or promote their latest products to their followers, who can then buy those products as soon as they find out about them. Since these tweets are public, purchases serve as an automatic promotion for the product to the purchaser’s followers. Purchasers essentially become brand advocates, allowing businesses to reach potential customers for a minimal budget.

What do you think of this emerging trend? Would you shop this way?

AD Vice

13 Things You Could Buy Instead of a Super Bowl Ad

Did you tweet “#EsuranceSave30” after the Super Bowl to try to win 1.5 million dollars? People are still tweeting about Esurance’s post-game ad, which offered viewers the chance to win $1.5 million dollars, the amount it saved by running a spot after the Super Bowl instead of during it, by simply tweeting “#EsuranceSave30.”

Over 5 million entries were received, 200,000 of which came in the first minute, of people tweeting everything from “I’ll name my first child #EsuranceSave30” to “Keep the money, give me John Krasinski” to various ways they would spend the money if they won. Which makes us wonder, what could you do with the 4 million dollars it cost to buy a :30 second Super Bowl ad? We have a few ideas…

13 Things You Could Buy Instead of a Super Bowl Ad

  1. This private island in the Philippines
  2. 2 Ferrari FXXs
  3. 50 nights in Hotel President Wilson’s Royal Penthouse Suite in Geneva
  4. 148 lifetime supplies of Skittles (to channel your inner Marshawn Lynch, of course)
  5. 1 private concert by The Rolling Stones
  6. 4 of these trips around the world
  7. 40 courtside tickets to Game 7 of the NBA finals
  8. 666,666 Big Mac meals
  9. This handwritten edition of J.K. Rowling’s The Tales of Beedle the Bard
  10. 2 rolls of this 22 carat gold toilet paper, delivered personally with a bottle of champagne
  11. 200 kisses from Robert Pattinson
  12. 4 of these million dollar coins (which are about the size of an extra large pizza)
  13. 25,000 bottles of Dom Perignon


But you still couldn’t buy the latest Victoria’s Secret Fantasy Bra, modeled by Candice Swanepoel in December’s Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, which came in at a cool $10 million.

So tell us, what would you do with 4 million dollars?


The Scoop