Image Credited to alongcamemusic.com
Jingles are an advertising staple. Wait. What? Maybe they were in the 1950′s. Back in the golden age of advertising, jingles were a fast way to stay in the mind of the consumer. Then came a period where jingles steadily declined, until they were almost extinct. In today’s society, a jingle is just a jingle. We have music where ever we go. With car radios, iPods, Pandora and Youtube, music is readily available with little to no effort. Back when jingles were the newest thing, music was not as accessible. It was limited to radio, or if you were lucky enough to have a record player. Long story short, since music was less present back in the day, jingles were able to stand out.
Even though jingles are not a strong advertising force anymore, there are some companies who have opted to use them. It is true that many of the companies are using it as a way to jump back to simpler times. Some companies like Stanley Steamer and Empire Today still use the same jingle they have been using for decades. I feel for these brands it is affective, as it is something that many people know and they automatically connect back to the brand. There are also some companies that decided to use jingles as a new tool. There is one example that I am willing to bet my life savings (to be honest, it is not much!) that most people know. National American University. Even saying the name causes an eruption of annoying music in my head. Even though this jingle caused a wide array of annoyance, it created a strong connection, which the school later used to its advantage in a later commercial. Similar to this is educationconnection.com. Anyone who has watched TV after midnight on any given night, it is likely that you have been exposed to the singing college student pushing for students to find potential colleges and scholarships on this website. It is equally annoying (and I usually mute the TV at this point), but again it creates the same connection.
So after all of these decades why are jingles coming back? I have a theory. I have no idea if any of you will agree, but since you are here I am hoping you will at least consider it. Over the past few years, singing themed movies and TV shows have exploded. American Idol, X- Factor, Glee, Burlesque, Phantom of the Opera, Rent, Chicago, Moulin Rouge and The Voice have been everywhere within pop culture. I think this has caused a shift back to the jingle. People are starting to pay attention to music again, instead of automatically tuning it out and absently bobbing their heads. It is yet to be seen if the jingle will make a full comeback, but just like many music stars, it is possible.
Image Credited to dailygalaxy.com
Everyone knows that people who belong to different generations think differently. The baby boomers think differently then the gen xers, same with the gen yers, and let us not even start on those millenium kids. This has been a fact throughout the ages. The big question is how can two different generations merge? The advertising industry can usually handle generational shifts, as the industry naturally tends to follow trends and grow with society. That is the industry. What about the people within the industry? That does not go as smooth. In many discussions I have had with various industry professionals, I have noticed vast differences, even within the same focus area.
Overall, the creative teams tend to be able to mesh at a more successful rate. Things tend to be more standard at that aspect of the industry. Standard software, standard programs, standard colors, standard practices. The account side of things is totally different. Each agency, indeed each individual, looks at it differently. Each person has their own personal touch on how best to interact with clients, how best to explain things, and how best to portray themselves. The generational gap is more like the Grand Canyon.What really strikes me is how people in different generations view things. That is one reason why I write this blog.
A member of the older generation will look at a problem and see it as a rigid and linear idea. They will almost always approach it in the same way. Even though creatively they will ” think outside of the box”, they will stick to the same routines in order to accomplish this. Those of us who are apart of the younger generation look at things in a completely different way. When presented with a problem, we try and look at it from all angles, and to take that even further, we try to understand every angle. We see problems as a fluid and ever changing creature. No two problems are ever the same, so why should we tackle two different problems in the same way?
Now obviously I am generalizing in this entire post, but this is an issue for us younger generation members as we search for ways to start our careers. The true problem for us, is how do we tackle the problem of the older generation not understanding how we work and how we think about things? That is a very tough question, and if any of you have an answer please e-mail me because I would like to know!
Advertising is constantly using celebrities to endorse brands. Whether it is using Tiger Woods to use and be vocal about Nike ( Nike kept him even after his scandal, talk about brand loyalty!), or having Fabio star in a run of commercials for margarin, celebrities are everywhere. What I find interesting is when two totally different brands end up using the same celebrity. Megan Mullally is a broadway superstar. She has played numerous roles and has a Tony award under her belt. Let us also not forget Karen Walker from Will and Grace. The first brand to use Megan Mullally’s extraordinary singing talents was M&M’s. Before you read on watch the video embedded above. She strapped on various fashionable outfits to match the colors of the candy and sang in various styles to reflect them as well. What can I say, this commercial gives me goosebumps. It just feels so natural. It flows smoothly and fits Mullally perfectly. At the time this commercial came out, Mullally was in the middle of her role as Karen Walker, and you could definitely feel the character come out during this 30 second masterpiece.
Children’s Hospital. Shortly before she started this role, Mullally starred in a commercial for I Cant Believe Its Not Butter ( Fabio eat your heart out!).This video is also embedded above, so you know, watch it. Just like the M&M commercial, it is a musical number. This one takes place in a grocery store when Mullally is contemplating on whether to buy the tub of margarin. Suddenly a musical number erupts onto the TV screen and it ends with Mullally humming the tune on her way to purchase the product. As always, her performance was amazing, however, the commercial itself felt un inspired and forced. The flow of the spot was jerky at best, and did nothing to make me want to buy it ( in fact it pushed me to purchase Country Farm Instead). I think one of the vital things missing is a character. Granted, Mullally is a character all by herself, but she is not playing a character in this spot, which makes her less appealing ( for the record I feel very blasphemous for saying that.) If she would have reprised her role as Karen, or at the least used aspects of Karen, it would have come off as more interesting. Heck, anything is better then Fabio.
After Mullally officially put down the pill bottles and vodka filled thermoses of Karen Walker, there was a break before she started playing Chief in Adult Swim’s
Both commercials were done well, and have seen success. It generated buzz and allowed people to associate feelings and emotions to the brands, which is good. I find it interesting that people seem to still like the M&M commercial better, even though it is years older. Over all, I understand that I Cant Believe Its Not Butter was trying to be a little more youthful by using someone who has been famous closer to today’s time, but maybe it was not enough. I guess we will see. All I know is I will continuously watch anything that this amazing woman is in, even if she tries to sell me a coffin.
Image Credited to bnet.com
There are countless ad campaigns that have created a character in order to incorporate a face to the brand. Many of them are vastly successful: Tony the Tiger, Snap, Crackle and Pop, the Trix Rabbit, the Energizer Bunny and many more. Many of them are successful not only within the scope of their specific campaign, but many have moved on to become cultural icons worthy of being parodied by Family Guy and South Park. Over all, I like when a brand creates a character to embody what they stand for, and help get a message across. I find it interesting. However, every once in a while, a character comes along that absolutely drives the populace mad, yet still connects with them and helps the brand gain brand recognition. The best example that comes to mind is Mr Whipple. Most Baby Boomers shudder at that name since he was detested, yet he sold millions of rolls of Charmin. I would like to say that we have found our generation’s Mr Whipple.
Flo. It is true that she has helped make Progressive an even stronger brand presence in the insurance market, and even has become a cultural icon. Last year she was a very popular Halloween costume, and on Facebook she has garnered more than 3 million fans. What about her makes her so tempting to the faceless mass of insurance shoppers? Well she is quirky, random and ultimately, she is human ( how can the Gecko and the Duck compete?). This does not make her likable however. As Whipple proved decades ago, for a character to become an icon, it is not always true that it will be loved. Being despised will allow just as much fame as being adored.
Flo is able to do pretty much everything that has to do with Progressive. She goes camping in RV’s, she drives jet ski’s, assists people saving money with a click of a remote ( which is way over used by that particular industry), and recently she can ride a motorcycle all day without messing up her perfect retro hair in a helmet. The reason I do not like her is because she is too perfect. There are no flaws with her. At the least Whipple was an old cranky grocery store manager. If Progressive where to just insert some tiny flaw, one tiny character flaw, then maybe I would hop on the Flo is awesome boat. Until that happens however, I will be waiting with water balloons for anyone sporting a retro wig wearing all white and a name tag.
Image Credited to adweek.com
In today’s society, every single person thinks they know exactly what advertising is. They believe that because they think they know what to look for, that they are immune to it. Not only is this idea ridiculous, but according to the book Buying In, by Rob Walker states that the exact opposite is happening. Most people who feel above marketing, specifically branding, usually fall prey to its seductive charms a lot easier. The only thing that this epidemic has influenced is that many advertisers are constantly trying to figure out ways to get their message across outside of the traditional ” In the box” media channels. The need for innovative messages, designs and media selections is becoming somewhat of an obsession within the industry.
People are exposed to thousands of ad messages a day, even if they do not realize it. Through this glittery and clogged haze, one brand was able to emerge as a true leader in innovative concepts. That brand is Target( I am not choosing Target because I am a Minneapolis Man through and through, though it does help just a tad!). Target was presented with the opportunity to put Missoni brand items into their stores. The question was how were they going to create the buzz that it was in fact there? Well Mother New York had the big answer, and boy was it big. Obviously what was needed was a giant 25 foot tall marionette named Marrina. Marrina blogged about the fashion world and visited fashion shows all over the country. She even made a stop at the biggest Target location the country ( In the heart of Minneapolis of course.) Marrina had a blog that she kept, and her phone could even take actual pictures. The pictures were uploaded to her blog and twitter feeds.
The big girl ( seen above) brought a huge amount of media attention to an already big launch by Target. People came from all around the Twin Cities to see her when she came home to Minneapolis. The buzz just could not have gotten any bigger ( unless she ate a mushroom to make her even bigger, but she may have eaten the wrong one and ended up normal doll sized.). Marrina was able to draw attention to the brand by not drawing attention to the brand itself. The campaign was 100% centered on Marrina herself, so many people did not know that it was from Target, or Missoni even.
These types of campaigns are the present and the future of the ad world. Obviously the traditional ” in the box” media and campaigns will always be around, but it is the highly innovated and interesting campaigns that will be talked about for decades to come ( at least within the industry.).
Image Credited to iPodhistory.com
Alright, so I know this is probably going to sound cliche and you may even be sick of hearing this, and honestly I guess this is not a single campaign, but any marketing and advertising that Apple puts out into the world ( a lot of which is viewed on Apple products, but that is neither here nor there) is exactly what I like to see. Apple does not over complicate things. They truly take to the idea of simplicity. Not only is their marketing simple, but their design of their products is simple, sleek and sexy. I have taken to call Apple’s approach to almost everything as ” The 3 perfect S’s”. The well known shadow people wearing and using the Apple products became a part of almost everything that Apple put out there. It is in their print ads, their gift cards and in their commercials. Apple has obviously mastered the idea of integrated marketing. The only thing I would like to see is shadow people running around the streets of major cities around the country handing out free products. Highly unlikely I know, but a guy can dream right?
Within the advertising industry, I have noticed that the agency usually tends to steal the thunder for any advertising success. In this case, I think it has been very different. True there are agencies that produced and have the credit for creating these executions that embody ” The 3 perfect S’s”, but it is Apple itself that gains the larger fame from this. Obviously within the advertising industry the tables are turned a bit as other advertising professionals look at TBWA Chiat Day with doe eyed wonder ( and more than just a little green eyed envy), but the level that Apple has been able to rocket itself out of near bankruptcy all the way to a dominating cultural icon ( PC you got nothing!) is astounding.
In a world of hyper designed products and ads, and the constant need to expand deeper and deeper into the social media platform, Apple has effectively been able to capitalize on the right points. Making their products and messages simple, Apple is able to focus on exactly what their consumers want, and quickly improves all of their products to better fit consumers desires ( I am personally waiting for a never ending battery on the iPhone 8). Simple design is out, but Apple is in with arguably the most simple designs. Is this a war that needs to be fought? Or is it just another ploy to conquer the masses? Either way, Apple has won, and will continue to win for a very long time.