The Sunday Herald asks the question, providing the answer in two articles supporting the opposite answers YES/NO. Tina Korup (managing director of edoMidas Leadership Development) supports the NO party, saying CEO should not link their personality to a product. First of all, says Korup, CEO come and go, furthermore a CEO in ad could impact staff morale (“No CEO should be bigger than the company. As soon as a CEO puts themself in a television advertisement, they’re taking the credit and the glory for the achievements of the business’s hardworking employees. That’s very demotivating for the staff.”). On the other side, Campbell Laird (founder of brand consultancy Three Brand Design) says CEO in advertising can prove very effective for building the brand of a business since today’s chief executives have the skills and personality to carry off starring in the company advertising.
Do you remember Bill Murray flying to Japan to promote a whiskey brand? Well, the happy hour for Hollywood stars starring in Japanese Tv commercials is almost over. They haven’t disappeared yet, but they aren’t as requested as in the past. The LA Times has an excellent article on the evolution of the advertising market in Japan, saying there isn’t a unique explanation for their decline. Some advertising industry analyst say this is due to the reduced ad budgets. Some other explain that, because of the Internet and the globalization, Japanese people no longer need American pop culture highlighted through Tv ads, because they have it just one click away. Whatever the reason, the fact is that Japanese agencies are increasingly turning to more affordable Japanese talents. The other option is to hire Korean stars, who are becoming more and more popular now that the drama series called “Winter Sonata” has achieved an incredible success. Tomoko Kamiguchi of Dentsu Casting & Entertainment, explains the cultural change:“Five years ago, two years ago even, I could never have imagined this happening. After ‘Sonata my clients are all looking for synergy with this Korean drama. The Japanese market has changed. We have accepted Asian talent. After ‘Sonata,’ we no longer have an allergy to Asia.”
Having recently moved to The Netherlands to start a new job, I was particularly happy to read that Amsterdam is emerging as a plucky player in the global advertising market. An article on the IHT points out the advertising market is flourishing, not only at local level but most of all with international accounts winning. In Amsterdam you find, among the others, 180, Wieden + Kennedy, StrawberryFrog, KesselsKramer and Selmore. I’m here from three weeks now, (but I’ve been studying here in 1999) and I can really tell Amsterdam is an excellent place to live (and work) in. The people is really nice, there are a lot of cultural events and things to do to keep your mind alive and kicky, everybody speaks English (but I’m already learning Dutch), there are no cars in the city center and you meet people from all cultures and backgrounds. Let’s go Dutch
Advertisers targeting Chinese people at the next Olympic games in Beijing in 2008 will have to think different and forget about the traditional “soft and fuzzy”. Quoted on The Guardian, Tom Doctoroff, the chief executive of advertising agency JWT greater China and area director of north-east Asia says:“Don’t go soft and fuzzy in the western humankind brotherhood tradition. Chinawill view the games with completely different eyes. Chinese revere and fear winners. You should directly link the product with the conquering spirit of the victors”.
The Chinese market is huge and therefore extremely attractive, but brands need to learn playing by the rules, the rules provided by the government but also the rules set by the Chinese culture and tradition.
Product: Germany. Target: Germans. Looking at the surveys, 89 percent of French and 79 percent of Russians have a favorable view of Germany. Unfortunately, the same surveys say only 64 percent of Germans perceive their own country in a positive way. This is an issue the government will try to solve with a $20 million advertising and public relations campaign. As The International Herald Tribune explains, a business and government-funded group called FC Deutschland (Fan Club Germany) in soccer fashion has been created and further similar initiatives will start soon. The advertising campaign, branding Germany as “The Land of Ideas” will target Germans but also Americans, who apparently haven’t a good opinion of Germany since it objected to the US-led invasion of Iraq. Scholz & Friends will handle the creativity.
Even fat women and ugly men can be the models in advertising. After years of sexy bodies and beautiful faces, eventually “normal” people starts starring in ads, ending the age of perfection in advertising. Business Week points out that just like it’s happening with reality Tv, advertising tries to get real, to help consumers identify with real stories and therefore perceive products as real also. Dove, Eileen Fisher and now also Nike are among the brands following this new trend. As the article points out, reality ads might not change mass perceptions of beauty, we can expect the trend to continue as they fuel sales and draw connections with people who see the ads.
On The Guardian, Tess Alps writes an excellent article on advertising in the age of terrorism. Commercial sense and sensibility investigates the relationship among advertising and tragic news, looking at the reaction in the UK media industry following the July attacks, but also taking a wider and “theoretical” perspective. Among the points touched in the article, the author wonders whether different media have different impact on audience perception of an ad placed closed to a tragic news.One of those clichéd truths is that TV is a more emotional medium and print a more rational, analytical one. This might suggest the presence of a print ad on the same page as a report of terrorist attack is going to cause less offence than a TV or radio break. I think that is so, but not just because print is usually less emotional. A still image can sometimes be even more powerful than moving film. Various papers have covered the recent discovery of photographs from Hiroshima, yet the appearance of ads on opposite pages has neither diminished the editorial nor damaged the commercial message – something to do with the reader’s voluntary selection of what to look at, I guess.
As an Italian soon relocating abroad to start a new job, I certainly enjoyed this article published on Mediaweek, presenting the the Ethnic Representation in Agencies report authored by COI senior campaign manager Mehboob Umarji. According to the study published last June, ethnic minorities account for only 8% of the media and creative agency workforce and almost half of those staff can be found in back-office functions. The research points out that the agencies which embraced diversity were also the most successful in terms of new business wins. Colin Colin Gillespie, managing director of All Response Media, shares his opinion on the issue:“From my perspective, the real key driver for getting ethnic minorities involved in more front-line roles, where they are able to have an impact on marketing strategy and creative development, is the background these people come from. The society we live in is very diverse and to be a media planner/buyer in the 21st Century, one needs to have experiences and, ideally, backgrounds which are reflective of that.”
The alternative to Google AdSense, the advertising program for (big) and small publishers is just around the corner: Yahoo! has started testing its own solution inviting 2,000 bloggers to join the program. The New York Times reports Yahoo says its new small-site service will let a Web site specify what categories of advertising it does or does not want on a given page.
Sunday Timesreports drinks companies have been ordered to hire uglier men for their advertisements in Britain, to avoid suggesting there is a link between boozing and sexual success. According to guidance issued by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) men who star in alcohol ads that target women should be “balding” and “paunchy” rather than “attractive and desirable”. All right, fine, but what about the use of sexy women? The new alcohol advertising rules have been launched in the UK at the beginning of June.
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