Ruminations on tech, the digital media, and some golf thrown in for good measure.

Archive for the ‘brand’ Category

Dave Drove A Ford

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“Dave drove a Ford.”

This year's SuperBowl ads sometimes left little to the imagination, yet also provided some needed optimism about the future of the American dynasty...along with the slingshot babies and beer-retrieving canines.

That’s all the ash-colored gentleman who survived the GM “Apocalypse” in last night’s SuperBowl advertising lineup had to say.  And then Ford pounced, trying to convince GM to pull the ad from SuperBowl rotation, arguing it was misleading.

Finally, some SuperBowl advertising drama!

As promised, I was on a JetBlue plane flying back to Texas from California last night.  The pilot joked before takeoff that he would get us up and off the ground as soon as possible, so we could get down to the business of watching the game, and then fate played a cruel joke as it took several longgg minutes for the DirecTV satellite to kick back in so we could join Al and Chris.

So, I missed a number of the early SuperBowl commercials, but being the faithful marketing pundit that I am, I went back and watched them all this morning.

I’ll give the overall year in SuperBowl advertising a “B-.”  Better than past years, but still plenty of upside available based on the inventory I watched.

Without any question, the most impactful spot of the evening was the “Imported from Detroit” spot starring Clint Eastwood.

He had my attention from the moment I heard it was him, and the message was powerful, couldn’t have been in better context, and was the kind of economic and America cheerleading ad we could stand more of these days.

What was it trying to sell?  Cars?  American exceptionalism? Detroit?  All of the above?  Yes.

Beyond that, I try to think of those moments that were not only funny or interesting, but stuck with me and pulled their brand along with it.  Remember, advertising’s supposed to sell!

So, here we go…

The moment the baby in the infirmary in the E-Trade ad responded, “Speed dating.”


Jerry Seinfeld trying to buy some poor schmuck’s Acura, a spot which also saw the return of the “Soup Nazi.”

The cute little rescue dog ad rescuing people from thirst by getting them a Bud Light, titled “Herewego.”

The nice, big dog from Doritos who blackmails its owner with a bag of chips so as not to spill the beans about the missing cat.

The speed racing bulldog Mr. Quigly, who outpaced all the greyhounds in a commercial for Sketchers (although I don’t remember the specific shoe!)

And then there was that really subtle, yet memorable, message from Telaflora.com about Valentine’s Day: “Give and you shall receive.”


But there’s little doubt, the night belonged to the automakers.

11 out of the 36 spots I counted were from car purveyors, not including the “Imported from Detroit” spot starring Eastwood.

Not all of them were funny, and certainly not every single one of them was memorable, but they were there, en masse, in the aggregate as a seemingly strong industry spending big money to pitch their latest wares.

That seemed to be a message in and of itself, a resurgent car market as leading indicator for an even more resurgent economy.

And as Clint Eastwood reminded us all, it’s only halftime in America.

Written by turbotodd

February 6, 2012 at 3:55 pm

Smarter Consumers, Smarter Commerce

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Happy Belated Mother’s Day to all you mothers out there around the world!

Here’s hoping you enjoyed the one day of the year you’re officially recognized for all the other days you do so much for your children, your husbands, your families, and your communities.

Here in Austin, it was a nice, not-too-terribly-hot weekend, although you can feel summer’s advent quickly creeping on.  And still hardly any rain to show for our otherwise delightful spring (although we’re hoping that will change this week!)

There won’t be any escaping the heat in the info tech IPO market.

Reuters is reporting this morning that LinkedIn, the business social network, is looking at floating nearly 8 million shares in the $32-35 range, which would net nearly $150M U.S. in its offering.

At that price, LinkedIn’s valuation would come in at around $3 billion, ahead of Facebook’s own IPO. LinkedIn earned $15.4M in 2010, against net revenue of $243M, but when you consider the more upscale, white collar audience LinkedIn largely serves, one has to wonder if there’s not more utility and upside just waiting to be tapped in all those B2B connections.

Maybe they should hire someone to make a movie about them?

No celluloid will be needed for Apple, Google, and IBM, which finished first, second, and third in this year’s BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands, billed as “the most comprehensive annual ranking of brand value.”

You can download the report for the full skinny, but the headlines that jumped out at me are mostly macroeconomical in nature.

Hey, anywhere we can get some good news, right?

First, most sectors in the report “grew in value” compared with 2008, pre-recession levels.

The Top 100 brands increased 24 percent during that period, “demonstrating the resilience of leading brands and suggesting the economy has shifted from recovery into real growth.” In fact, the report goes on to note, the Top 100 brands have added $500B in value since 2008.

The report also notes changing consumer behaviors, perceptions and values.  “Brands will continue to feel the impact of the recession-accelerated shift to considered — rather than conspicuous — consumption.”

It goes on to note that “consumers emerged from the recession more skeptical and savvy and more empowered by digital technology to search for the best prices and most trusted reviews…These developments influenced the ways brands communicated with consumers, increasing investment in social media, as ‘engaging’ replaced ‘targeting’ in the marketing lexicon.”

So, this new world reveals a more empowered, engaged, and considered consumer…what’s a poor brand to do?

I’d suggest you get on over to the part of our Web site that talks about the idea of “smarter commerce.”

As the smarter commerce site suggests, customers increasingly approach a sale empowered by technology and transparency.  They have more extensive information from more sources than ever before. They expect to engage with companies when and how they want, in person, online, and on the go.

And they want these methods to tie together seamlessly.

On the smarter commerce site, you’ll find a video overview explaining the concept, as well as several case studies and a presentation from the recent Impact conference to help you learn how IBM is helping its own clients adjust to these new realities.

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