Finger Lickin’ Bad

SandersI never watched Saturday Night Live so I never saw Darrell Hammond’s impersonation of Bill Clinton.  So imagine my confusion the first time I saw one of the new ads for Kentucky Fried Chicken.  My first thought was why do they have some Bill Clinton sounding guy impersonating Colonel Sanders?  My second thought was what the hell were they thinking.  The Original Colonel Sanders died in 1980.  After he sold the business to investors in 1964, he hated what they did to his food and was sued (unsuccessfully) for libel.  He’d probably be rolling over in his grave if he knew what they’re doing to him in this campaign.

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The NASCARization Of Horse Racing?

I heard that the owners of Triple Crown Winner American Pharoah had sold exclusive sponsorship rights to Monster Energy and private jet service Wheels Up prior to the Belmont Stakes  I watched much of the coverage leading up to and following the race to see how it would work.  Frankly as far as television exposure went Wheels Up should have saved their money.  Even watching on the big screen, I couldn’t read the words on jockey Victor EspinoSafariScreenSnapz019za’s pants.  Millions of You Tube replays… and nothing to show for it.  Monster Energy fared a little better.  Att least you see the logo on co-owner Justin Zayat’s hat.

Ben Sturner president of the sports marketing firm Leverage that handled the arrangements said,”We’re taking advertising to a different level.  Being part of history is something money cannot buy.”  If you ask me, money didn’t buy much in the way of noticeable exposure either.

UntitledBut where one goes others are sure to follow.  With a few rule changes it isn’t hard to imagine more logos painted on the sides of thoroughbreds in big races.
On the bright side, there may be an excellent opportunity for Wheels Up to capitalize on their investment should they be bold enough to jump on it.  According to Forbes, the company has been granted rights to use American Pharaoh’s name and likeness in advertising.  I’m thinking a new logo.

Yeah or neigh?

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Avoiding The Pitfalls Of Personal Endorsements


In the first Ghostbusters movie, Annie Potts’ character Jenine Melnitz asks Ernie Hudson’s Winston Zeddemore, “Do you believe in UFOs, astral projections, mental telepathy, ESP, clairvoyance, spirit photography, telekinetic movement, full trance mediums, the Loch Ness monster, and the theory of Atlantis?”  Winston replies, “Uh, if there’s a steady paycheck in it, I’ll believe anything you say.”

I’m reminded quite often of that scene while listening to one of the local radio stations.  They do an good job of selling “live”personality endorsement ads.  Perhaps too good

Endorsements can be a powerful tool for advertisers but before you sign on for a campaign do your homework and avoid the following common problems.

  1. Make sure your personality isn’t (and won’t) be endorsing an identical or similar product.  The same voice and inflection make the ads sound nearly identical.  Even after months of listening to their ads, I can’t tell for sure which restaurant does the 2 for 1 dinners and which one has the million dollar game room.
  2. Make sure your personality isn’t endorsing more than 2 businesses.  Personalities who do multiple live ads for various businesses tend to end up sounding like a shill for anyone who’ll pay them.  Most of the ads I hear are for products the personality has used and I suspect has gotten for free for the plug.  Your house has been painted, you have a new sunroom, and front door. Let’s not forget your new HVAC system, car, cell phone and jewelry.  Reminds me of NASCAR and the ads all fade into blah, blah, blah.
  3. Even if you avoid the first two problems, personalities run out of things to say if left alone.  Too many of these “live” ads are read by people who have no genuine enthusiasm or meaningful things to say about the product.  It doesn’t take long for the audience to get the fact that the personality likes the Prime Rib, make sure they always have something fresh to talk about.  Make sure it’s something the audience cares about.

Make every ad dollar count.  Let me know if you’d like some assistance.

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Old Jingles Played In A New Way

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A Question For K-Mart Merchandisers


I don’t shop for socks very often (working from a home office has certain benefits) and after my experience at my local K-Mart I hope I won’t have to shop for them again for quite a long time.  You’d think finding low-cut white athletic socks would be a simple task.  K-Mart is the nearest store to my house so I thought I would grab the socks and be out in a few minutes. That’s what I get for thinking. K-Mart has plenty of socks almost all of them size 6-12 which won’t fit a big guy like me.  I found one package of high tube style socks in the men’s sock section so I wandered over to the big and tall section.  Briefs, tees, pajamas and a few packages of socks sized 6 -12.

There’s no way in hell that K-Mart has only one package of bigger sized socks so I go back to the sock section and find two empty pegs which had held big socks.  Then I noticed a different color package on the lowest peg right above the

floor.  I had to get down on my knees to take the package off the peg without ripping it.  And if you’re a big guy like me, you know that getting down is often easier than getting back up.  I found the right size and style after 3 minutes of crawling on my hands and knees.

Why put socks for big and tall people on the bottom rung?  Please, sock shelvers of America, place the small socks on the bottom.   Short people don’t have that far to bend over and can’t reach the sox on top without a step stool, which could result in a fall and personal injury lawsuit.  At the very least put a sign with a picture of big socks and an arrow pointing toward the floor.

Thank you for your assistance.

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Chili Today Hot Tamale

After being opened for seven months, a restaurant in downtown Racine changed it’s name. The original name of the restaurant was Taos Chili. Seems the owner was surprised that he’d been pigeonholed by customers as only a chili place and didn’t realize that he also served sandwiches, salads and vegetarian dishes.

Taos, by way, did not refer to the city in New Mexico, it was an acronym for “The Art Of Sandwich.” The owner was quoted as saying, “I was hearing from far too many people that, as far as they knew, it was just a chili place so they weren’t coming (Downtown).”
Before opening in March, he said he wanted to be known for his “killer pulled pork sandwich.”

Is the name of your business holding you back? Your name doesn’t have to describe what you do but if you don’t want to be known as a Chili restaurant don’t put “Chili” in your name. Perhaps the name “Sandwich Art” might be more descriptive and have a greater curiosity factor than his new name, “Dalecooks.”

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A Cool Toy That Would Get A Kid Kicked Out Of School These Days


Smoking barrel and all.


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20 Jingles in 60 seconds

I should have learned to play guitar.


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Bad To The Bone

In another case of “just because you can, doesn’t mean you should,” the German company Sky-Go has developed “The Talking Window” for use in public transportation.  Using bone conduction technology a transmitter silently releases high frequency oscillations onto the glass that only people leaning their head against the glass can hear.

Imagine the joy your ad will bring to world weary commuters who only want to grab a bit of shut eye before they arrive at their destination.

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The Feeling Is Mutual

Bank Mutual headquartered in Milwaukee has 79 branches across Wisconsin.
The Mutual Fund Store headquartered in Overland Park Kansas has over 70 branches nationwide including Milwaukee. That poses a problem for The Mutual Fund Store’s new “The Feeling Is Mutual” radio campaign which happens to be the slogan Bank Mutual has used in their radio campaign for several years.

Most people only half listen to radio commercials while eating breakfast, reading and and trying to get the family ready for the day. So it was the other morning. “Blah blah blah blah – the feeling is mutual.” “Blah blah blah the feeling is mutual.” about the third time the phrase “the feeling is mutual” came on I started to wonder why the bank had changed the style of their ads. Traditionally one “The feeling is mutual” per 60 second ad has been sufficient. Then I realized that the ad I wasn’t for Bank Mutual but for the Mutual Fund Store. . Not all that effective for the store, but they did a bang up job of reinforcing the Bank’s slogan.

I’d be surprised if The Mutual Fund Store knowingly copied the phrase. Most likely the ads work for all of their stores outside of Wisconsin, but someone – the local investment guys, the radio station or some of their investors should have tipped them off within a few minutes of the first ad playing. While it might be a hassle producing a special commercial for two of your locations it would be a great investment of time and money. And you can take that to the bank.

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