Category Archives: Advertising

Screw SEO, Give Me Some of That Rapture Traffic

Need traffic to your site? Just pick a date using a bunch of random bible quotes and some numerology and BAM! 350k visits.

Rapture Traffic GraphYou know how I know the Familyradio nut jobs really believed the world would end? No ads anywhere. They missed a big opportunity to monetize all that rapture traffic. They could have used those adsense clicks to finance more billboards.

Just for giggles, the before and after. I was really hoping to see a new page that said something like “Hey, it did happen but none of us made the cut either”.

Before Judgement Day
After Judgement Day

Worst Living Social Offer Ever

This is just so bad I had to share. My wife got this email offer through Living Social and forwarded to me for a laugh. Not that I have anything against Yogi, I mean I do loves stealing pic-a-nic baskets, but this is probably the worst attempt at marketing a resort property I have seen in awhile.

Worst Living Social Ever

So, come on down and see a golf cart parade kids! Is this really the best you could do to represent your Yogi themed resort property? Where is the pic of the 300 ft water slide or the other awesome stuff listed? I am not sure if the Living Social people put this together or the marketing people for the resort, but this email does not make me want to stay at Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Camp Resort. And what is up with the prices? $88 for two nights of tent camping? Apparently there are enough suckers out there though, 119 people have already signed up. Kind of makes me think that people are at the point where they will consider buying anything that comes through the Groupon or Living Social pipeline.

I’m not sure what type of parent books these kind of themed vacations with their kids, but I know I am not the type. Aside from the blatant consumerism, it seems kind of lazy. It’s like people just do not want to make the effort to make a regular vacation interesting so they go somewhere were it is done for them. Then again, maybe I’m just being my typical overly cynical self. I just know that there are better things going on in the Blue Ridge Mountains than watching Yogi lead a golf cart parade.

Art & Copy

I love documentaries and Netflix streaming has them in abundance. Unfortunately, a lot of them are just too damn depressing. Not so with Art & Copy. This movie tells the story of modern advertising and the creative minds that have influenced all aspects of advertising from the sixties through today. No conspiracy “advertisers are brainwashing little johnny to eat nothing but McDonalds” bullshit. Just a lot of awesome stories by some really decent, creative people who think corporations can sometimes be more than just a “pet food company”.

It was great seeing some of these ads from my youth and hearing the stories and the process behind them. Turns out, the best people in the ad business don’t rely on focus groups or algorithms to determine what goes into a successful campaign, they just go with their gut and cry and scream until the CEO’s let them have their way. That’s something I can get behind.

It’s available on Netflix instant watch and who knows when Mad Men will be back on, so go watch it.

Marketing to Baby Boomers

My job involves marketing products to an older demographic and so I try to stay up to date on any studies that may give me some insight. While browsing around (great source of marketing information), I recently came across this AARP white paper that presents some post-recession data on the over 50 crowd. Each year AARP conducts a survey of their 35.7 million members and publishes some of the results. Some of the stats they present are quite alarming but there are also some positive take-aways if you are marketing to the over 50 crowd.


The Bad

  • Average pre-recession tax sheltered retirement savings for those over 50 – only $45,000.
  • Less than 9% of Boomers own bonds or stocks outside of their employers company. About the same number planning a trip to Hawaii.
  • Between 2008-2009, 18% of unemployment claims were filed by those 55 and older.
  • Younger Boomers, age 45-54, saw a 45% decline in their net worth.
  • 36% of Boomers said that they would not be able to afford to retire.

The Good

  • 22% of Boomers are self employed and have 3-4 employees.
  • Boomers spend more time online than any other demographic. According to Google, that means 56 million people spending 91 billion minutes online each month.
  • Boomers spend more on home renovations and have increased spending during the recession.
  • Boomers accounted for 38% of desktop computer purchases and 34% of tablet purchases in 2010.

So, the Boomers are tightening their belts and not saving for retirement but they are buying iPads and renovating their homes. There is a lot more information and additional case studies included in the full report which you can download for free at

What industry blogs or sites help you with your job or business?

Mad Men Future Uncertain, Two and a Half Men Renewed Until the End of Time

After reading that the fifth season of Mad Men is still up in the air, I had to go find a few Mad Men related parodies to cheer me up. It was that or start a revolution. I know, this is just Hollywood posturing and there is no way AMC’s staple series will not be coming back. Just thinking about being denied a fifth season while Two and a Half Men has just been guaranteed to infect the airwaves until 2021 is enough to make that vein in my forehead explode. By the way, Warner Bros. gets 2 million in licensing for each episode of that POS, the same amount that Lionsgate gets for each ep. of Mad Men. Never underestimate the lack of taste and sophistication of your fellow Ameerkin.

Creepy Kids in Advertisements

I love old ads that are inappropriate, in poor taste, or just wrong by today’s standards. Among the many sub-genres of politically incorrect or just plain creepy adverts, there is the creepy kid niche that is one of my favorites. Apparently, kids turn into raving lunatics at the mere site of their favorite foods, have a craving for barbiturates, and are most happy when carrying firearms.

Tenderoni Advertisiment
Boy Eats Spaghetti
Old Nembutal Advertisment
Girl Loves Ham

Toddler with Blunderbust

Crazy for Fig Newtons

Crazy for Bread, Crazy!
Help me mommy! The words are touching me!

Hand Painted Advertising, A Forgotten Art

There are still a handful of artists out there keeping the art of hand painted, large scale advertisements alive. Only a few decades ago, all building and billboard size advertisements were painted this way. Now, most are printed on vinyl pieces and glued piece-meal to the sides of buildings or billboards in a most un-artistic and impersonal way.

Up There, by Malcolm Murray, chronicles a group of artists working on a Stella Artois campaign in NYC. The campaign portrays the Belgian Pouring Ritual in a series of  nine 20 x 50 ft paintings on the side of a SoHo building. All nine paintings were  made in 21 days and the end results are captured beautifully at the end of this short documentary.

Champale Anyone?

Champale - 1966 Ad
Champale - 1966

Not too long ago I discovered, a site that, among other things, chronicles the evolution of print advertising and has thousands of magazine ads spanning the entire history of the medium. As a marketing geek, all be it a search marketing one, I find myself pouring through these old ads for inspiration and, more often than not, laughs. I thought that I would share my most recent gem of advertising history – Champale.

Never hear of Champale? If you haven’t, then shame on you. It is, after all, the Champagne of malt liquors. Some quick background: Champale has been in constant production since 1939 and, not too surprisingly, is currently made by Pabst Brewing Company. It comes in four, yes four, flavors: Golden, Pink, Dry, and Red Berry, which makes it the kool-aid of alcoholic beverages. But this post is not about the drink, it is about the marketing strategy.

Champale - 1971 Ad
Champale - 1971 Going for the dumb white guy demographic

Champale ads from 1964 through 1989 and it is a fascinating study of how a company adjusts it’s message to two separate demographics. It is also an interesting look at how white “Mad Men” viewed black culture and how they tailored their ads to show a lifestyle that their studies probably told them black people aspired to. Personally, I am white and I was not around then so I have no idea if these ads represent the idea of a dream lifestyle for the average black person circa 1966 but I have a feeling that they probably do not. Continue reading Champale Anyone?