I do say. What is up? Obama Campaign Resuscitates Bud’s Wassup Campaign to Land a Punch

Posted by tom klein October 27, 2008 at 11:47 amcheck my bait, election 2008

from the baitshop

Budweiser had a hit in the original Wassup TV commercial. The Obama campaign has brought it back to life, but now uses the ad’s main characters to paint a picture of how things have changed (for the worse) over the last 8 years. What really works here is the humor. For those who remember the initial campaign, it’s instantly recognizable. For those who never saw it, we’ve included here both versions (the original and the remake). If anyone needed to be reminded of the hurricane Katrina debacle, the recent / current stock crash, home foreclosures, or health insurance problems – this ad does a good job . . . amazingly without being too much of a downer.

who’s it for?

The humor and the ad have very broad appeal. Given that Bud ran this ad, it’s probably well known at the very least to anyone who watches ESPN or sports on TV.

why is it being done?

For the Obama campaign, it’s important that they avoid coasting to the finish. Things didn’t work out too well 4 years ago for the prior nominee. This ad probably helps motivate some of those Gen Y voters and targets the well known Obama weakness among older men.

are the fish biting?

The fish are slapping fins on this one.

where to from here?

Early voting has already begun in many states.  Everyone wonders what ingredients might make up an “October Surprise.” Conspiracy theorists . . . talk amongst yourselves.

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The weirdness buzz grows Microsoft’s Jerry Seinfeld and Bill Gates “Buddy” Ad Review No. 2

Posted by tom klein September 12, 2008 at 6:15 amtelevision


from the baitshop

At the risk of overloading you with Microsoft news, there’s a second and even stranger Microsoft buddy ad that just came out, featuring Jerry Seinfeld and Bill Gates. In this one, Jerry and Bill are hanging out with a family, trying to get a sense of what normal people do (because of course they’re both so loaded that they don’t have a grip on reality).  You could say that they’re conducting an ethnographic observation (something that our friend Don Norman would no doubt approve of!).  If you were hoping for the punch line . . . you’ll be disappointed.

who’s it for?

The traditional Microsoft target is the CIO.  This is not targeted at the corporate buyer. As soon as they get to some kind of message, maybe the target will be clear. It’s probably oriented toward a younger, tech savvy audience.

why is it being done?

Have you upgraded to Vista? Yeah, that problem. How many of you Zune owners out there?

are the fish biting?

Fishes are standing there with there mouths opening and closing. Huh?

where to from here?

Wait around for ad no. 3 or something else to deliver the real message. Of course, check out the first ad if you haven’t seen it yet.

If you believe the gossipy Valleywag, Microsoft has decided not to move forward with this line of creative.

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A commercial about . . . nothing Microsoft’s Shoe Carnival – Jerry Seinfeld and Bill Gates – TV ad

Posted by tom klein September 11, 2008 at 8:31 amtelevision

from the baitshop

Microsoft has been Apple’s punching bag for what seems like forever. Apple has invested hundreds of millions of dollars behind both the I’m a Mac ads as well as the ubiquitous iPod ads. We’re so cool . . . it’s painful. Lumbering giant Microsoft saw its weird VIsta launch fall flat. On the other hand, its Zune ads were actually much cooler than the product.

Microsoft has brought in the big gun – Jerry Seinfeld – in an effort to make its brand more relevant, and assumedly to address the thousands of slights dished out by the folks in Cupertino.

When you spend a few hundred million bucks and you’re the giant in the business, anything you do gets attention. This ad does that, though it doesn’t really sell much of anything.  Jerry Seinfeld has a weird series of interactions with Bill Gates in a shoe store and the parking lot afterwards.

This is no doubt setting up a series of ads that we can only hope make more sense. This doesn’t tickle the funny bone, doesn’t make much sense, and isn’t something that we want to see over and over again. We are talking about it, but I’m not sure that conversation alone is enough to address Microsoft’s brand deficits. Only time will tell if this turns into something more interesting – but the pilot episode doesn’t inspire a lot of confidence.

who’s it for?

The Microsoft target is the CIO.  Remember that Jerry Seinfeld is actually TOO OLD and has been off the air for too long to be relevant to Gen Y.

why is it being done?

Have you upgraded to Vista? Yeah, that problem. How many of you Zune owners out there?

are the fish biting?

Well, there’s some chatter, but the fish are probably just scratching their little heads with their fins, wondering what sort of drugs were involved.

where to from here?

The truth is out there. Well, maybe.

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Vote to change our world American Express Member Project display ad and social network review

Posted by vishi.gondi August 26, 2008 at 7:28 pmcontests

from the baitshop

American Express has setup a site where users can submit their ideas to change the world – call The Members Project. Any Amex cardmember can submit an idea and vote on other ideas. Non-members can’t vote, but can invite others. The winning ideas will get $2.5 million in funding from American Express. Ideas can cover a wide range of categories – Arts and Culture, Community Development, Education, Environment and Wildlife and Health. This is a unique effort to build a social network to support a worthy cause . . . all the while building the American Express brand.

who’s it for?

We found this ad on Lifehacker and other sites heavily trafficked by active online users. The campaign is targeting the young and socially networked . . . naturally.

why is it being done?

Do a little good, shine a little light on the green card folks.

are the fish biting?

Looking at the activity on the site, it does seem to be working.

where to from here?

Go ahead and create, share, and promote your ideas for how to change the world. Be sure to vote by Sept 9.

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What a wonderful world Don’t Know Much (about the economy) TV ad review

Posted by tom klein August 25, 2008 at 4:40 pmcheck my bait, election 2008, television

from the baitshop

Well, we’re past the season of niceness and biographies. Now is when the fun begins. Everyone knew that this quote would come back to haunt Senator McCain. And so, here it is.

This ad features a well-known, though somewhat dated tune by Sam Cooke.  Even though neither candidate seems to know that much about business (well, neither, it seems, has ever managed a business), it’s always fun to catch a politician in a moment of unscripted candor. Ads like this should teach everyone a lesson.

Yes, and for anyone feeling cranky and slighted, we realize that a President can’t possibly know everything about everything.

This ad tries to do too much and would have been stronger if it had stayed focused on explaining why John McCain was RIGHT when said that he didn’t know much about economic issues (if that is in fact the main point of the ad).

who’s it for?

The much coveted swing and undecided voter.

why is it being done?

The other shoe had to drop. There it goes.

are the fish biting?

Hard to say, though shouldn’t Senator McCain at least get some credit for being honest (or maybe he was pretending to be honest – drat, how can you ever know)?

where to from here?

More ads to come, though only the swingers will see them.

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