Archive for September, 2009|Monthly archive page

Visa spot is freaky, but not super.

In Ad Creative on September 14, 2009 at 12:08 am

I remember some ancient copywriting book that suggested–somewhat seriously– “if you have nothing to say, sing it.” Well, there must be at least one copy of that book still on the shelf at Visa’s ad agency. Because a current spot for the Visa Debit Card uses the iconic “Super Freak” track first recorded by Rick James in the early ’80s. Catchy. Infectious. And pointless.images

I admit to mixed emotions here. I like music in commercials, and part of me thinks that if you can get people humming along with your commercial, nothing else matters. But the professional in me disagrees — it does matter.

And I’m certainly no purist. Heck, I once used the old ’60s hit  “Good Lovin'” (reworded slightly) for a bath tissue campaign! But it made sense, both marketing-wise, and because the product name appears more than once in the lyrics. But I challenge you to tell me exactly what “Super Freak” has to do with using a Visa Debit card. If there’s a connection, I’m sorry to admit — I don’t get it.

Sure, it’s fun to watch some of the characters “bopping” to the tune. And the announcer makes some vapid attempt to connect the dots. (“We all have a little freak in us.”) But freaks don’t write checks? Freaks don’t pay cash?  Am I somehow a freak if I do use your card to shop online?

Someone help. I still like the song (it reminds me of  the movie  Little Miss Sunshine.) But it makes absolutely no marketing sense to me for the Visa Debit Card brand. I used to enjoy the overproduced commercials showing commerce grinding to a halt when some loser tried to pay by cash or check.  Those made sense. To me, this doesn’t. I’d like to hear your thoughts!


Bad ad or bad strategy? Wendy’s just wings it.

In Ad Creative on September 5, 2009 at 9:44 pm

Okay, that’s it. I’ve seen it enough times to annoy me, so I have to comment. I like Wendy’s food. But I find their latest commercial silly and strategically misguided.  The first half of the spot features chicken wings being served at a sports-bar type of establishment. bbq-chickenWendy’s attempts to ridicule the whole scene through a smarmy, overplayed waiter with gleaming teeth carrying a plate of wings to a table. Cartoonish little words and symbols  — representing “flair” — settle onto the plate along the way, jacking its price up into double figures.

Cut to a plain, rather uninspiring shot of Wendy’s wings with their $3.99 price tag. (No flair in that scene, I’ll be the first to admit.)  But here’s my problem, Wendy’s. You’re trying to compare apples and oranges; Mercedes and Chevy; Peoria and Paris.

Let’s talk about that “flair” you so dislike.  Now, “flair” is what servers Read the rest of this entry »

Don’t fret, United: a social media opportunity is knocking!

In Social Media on September 3, 2009 at 9:35 pm

Recently, I noticed an interesting story about Dave Carroll, musician whose guitar was damaged by baggage handlers (literally before his eyes) as he awaited departure on a United flight from Halifax to Nebraska. Obviously, I don’t know the real details, but it appears that United turned a (tone)deaf ear to his complaints. In frustrated response, he promised a song trilogy about the matter, posted with video accompaniment to  YouTube. The second of the three has just been released. The songs are fun, and the videos offer a nicely “quirky” production value and humor. So, five million YouTube plays later….

Dave_head200401At t his point Carroll and his band (The Sons of Maxwell) are having too much fun and getting too much reaction to settle for a simple guitar repair. United’s belated efforts to make amends have been greeted with “thanks, but no thanks.”  And at this point, not much the airline Read the rest of this entry »