All posts tagged Advertising



Jan 2017

The Art of Persuasion in Trump’s America

Friday’s inauguration brings with it a palpable sense of doom – reckless cabinet picks, a blatant disregard for intelligence, personal lawsuits, fire, brimstone, the whole nine (just look at how mean those eyes are).

But like any other red-blooded, self-absorbed American, you have to wonder, “what’s in it for me?” What can President Trump do for an average, middle class, white, advertising stiff, like Self. Of course, most of us in the industry seem deeply opposed to having a bigoted, misogynist, greedy game show host for a president – at least that’s the view from inside our bubble.

We say, “chin up, fellow advertisers!” This could be our golden age.

Think about it. We live in a time where lying is not only fine, it can earn you the vote (or the purchase, or the respect), of millions of Americans. All you have to do is,… lie. Make up the craziest shit you can imagine. Soda that makes you live longer. Cars that go 100 miles per second. Shoes that give you handjobs. It’s all fair game.

No longer will we be held accountable to the “product warnings” or hand-cuffed by lengthy “terms and conditions.” Borrr-ing. Just make it up. Nobody cares! And be sure to promise change – you don’t even have to deliver on it, just promise. In recent testing, consumers eat empty promises up and never even bother to question them.

How many times has one of your great ideas been killed because it included  “inaccurate representations of the product,” or an “over-promise” of the benefit. Bah! This is Trump’s America. We can over-promise whatever the hell we want. 

So tough as it may be to see fellow Americans of various backgrounds lose their civil liberties, and sad as it is may be to watch rampant drilling destroy the planet, and scary-as-cancer it may be that our twitter-happy commander-in-chief could provoke a world war scenario, don’t let that hamper your craft.

Be bold. Be creative. Be questionable. These are questionable times all you masters of persuasion. And the last I checked, it’s our job to exploit the times.  

This is our time to make advertising great again. 



Feb 2014

Selling The Olympic Spirit

Just before the Olympics started, the advertising industry was treated to a little taste of what would be forcibly shoved down our throats for the next two and half weeks – a tv commercial featuring aspiring athletes, and what they go through to get to the Games, followed by a corporate logo that has absolutely no relatable context.

But this first one, a 2-minute spot from PROCTOR FUCKING AND GAMBLE!!!, got us.

And it wasn’t just because it had been a whole two years since the last time our heart strings were pulled by this cheap marketing ploy. Why had we fallen for it? Again?

The answer is, this one was made by Wieden and Kennedy and they do it better than anyone else. And even though P&G has no more reason to slap their corporate logos on at the end of a spot about striving for gold than Visa, McDonalds, Coke, Cisco, or any other marketing giant doing it, P&G got us.

They got us to tweet out the spot, #BecauseofMom, admitting to all of our followers that they got us. They got us with their well-crafted, real-life story-telling, to which every human watching could relate. They got us to watch two minutes of CPG advertising.

And as dirty as all that felt, just knowing that W&K could bamboozle us like that by employing the same well-worn formula as everyone else, only better, we at least have a good argument for doing better ourselves, pushing our clients and the work to a higher level.

Perhaps just striving to be the best advertiser out there is the only connection we need to feel the true Olympic spirit.



Nov 2013

Let’s Monetize Some Content

The newspaper industry is going bankrupt. Music labels can’t get fans to pay for their product. And everyone blames the internet.

Tonight I was prevented from reading a New York times recipe – one I desperately need for Thanksgiving – because I reached my 10-page limit for the month. I refuse to pay 99 cents a month for an online newspaper (though I would pay 99 cents per issue if I could somehow have that one issued delivered to me immediately). I would also, quite happily sit through a 30 second banner ad to see that recipe. And, on the other hand, I pay Spotify $5 per month to avoid a few annoying radio spots.

These are the absurd personal choices I make. And why aren’t I allowed that?

The best content providers attract an audience and get paid, either through subscription or advertising. And the advertisers get people who actually choose to expose themselves to a sponsored message. Everybody wins.

So,… what seems to be the problem?



Sep 2013

Last Night Went Viral

It’s no longer enough for TV’s funny men to get out on there every night, deliver eight minutes of stand-up, and then hope we’re still around after the commercials for more scripted filler before the guests arrive.

If the Conans, the Fallons, the Kimmels and the Colbert’s aren’t producing some viral worthy snippet of content at least once a month, anyone of them could quickly reside in the “Where Are They Now Files” (Leno and Letterman excluded by their own lack of  relevance and Stewart gets a pass because he’s Stewart). One can only imagine the tremendous strains this puts on the writing rooms (cue remake of the Larry Sanders Show).

But, advertisers want eye-balls. So if any one of these guys are getting said eyeballs, both in real time, and  in the days and weeks ahead, well, that suddenly becomes the media buyers norm.

The conversations go something like this:

NBC MEDIA SALES GUY: Have you seen what Fallon is doing with the toy instruments. That Xylophone is bringing us 12 million Youtube views everytime he busts it out. Boom!

JACK LINKS MEDIA BUYER: Hm, that seems pretty good.

VIACOM MEDIA SALES GUY: Yeah, if you like your audience going to Youtube for content. We like em at Colbert dancing around to Get Lucky brings us 1.5 million views. Basic cable, brah!

JACK LINKS MEDIA BUYER: Is that better? I’m confused.

ABC MEDIA SALES GUY: Kimmel’s got the time slot and the network. And now he’s got all of Kanye’s followers.

JACK LINKS MEDIA BUYER: Wait. Kanye’s got a show?

So for all you advertising creatives out there, like Self, just remember, your clients only expect something viral like, every month, or so. These guys have to do it every night.