You are currently browsing the archives for January, 2013.

Is Coke’s 2013 Superbowl Spot Anti-Advertising?

You know advertising has an identity problem when even actors in Coke commercials view a Coke billboard with distain.

Getty, Luminate Partner Around Image Metadata

Yesterday Luminate (my employer) and Getty announced a partnership in which the companies will share image metadata. From NY Times:

Just viewing images of celebrities like Kim Kardashian might satisfy some Web surfers, but a new partnership between Getty Images and Luminate, a company that specializes in making digital images interactive, is bringing a new experience to more inquisitive viewers.

Digital photographs from Getty are typically tagged with basic descriptors of who or what is in the photograph — small bits of information known as metadata. Luminate will take those photos and append additional metadata, including, for example, Ms. Kardashian’s Web site, Twitter feed or related articles about her. When a user hovers over an image, the information will appear on the screen.

Luminate’s Related Tweets app running on Entertainment Tonight:

Dish Network, CBS and the Asterisk

Dish Network ran a full page ad in the A Section of today’s New York Times to announce the commendation they almost received at this year’s CES. Here’s what went down, according to The Verge:

On Friday [January 11], news broke that CNET had been forced by its parent company CBS to remove the Dish Network’s Hopper set-top box from its “Best of CES” awards due to ongoing litigation between the two companies. CBS has been battling the Dish Network in court over the Hopper’s ability to skip past commercials automatically (NBC, ABC, and Fox are also taking action).

The bottom half of Dish’s ad explains the asterisk:

Now there’s an ad that’s doing double duty.

Product Placement in Trash Talk: The Strange Case of Honey Nut Cheerios

(Image credit: Honey Nut Cheerios site.)

Since the beginning of time (or at least since 1934) cereal makers have put athletes on their boxes to move more product, and they’ve worked those boxes onto the set of movies and TV shows to create implied endorsement. More recently we’ve seen all manner of stunts to seed social media with branded conversations — from Twitter gimmicks to racy campaigns in other countries in hopes that social media will bring a campaign to US shores, along with a paper trail that points the blame at some maverick local agency.

Now Honey Nut Cheerios has us all asking if they’ve grafted product placement, celebrity endorsement and social-media wizardry into one miraculous marketing ploy: Did they hatch a “branded appearance” scheme to insert their cereal inside some NBA trash talk?!

According to Ad Age:

We may never know for sure what Kevin Garnett said to Carmelo Anthony in a bout of trash talking during the Knicks-Celtics matchup last week at Madison Square Garden. But we do know what the internet thinks he said: “Your wife tastes like Honey Nut Cheerios,” referring to Mr. Anthony’s wife, La La Anthony. Mr. Garnett and Celtics coach Doc Rivers have denied this, but regardless of whether it’s true or false, it drove a lot of Twitter mentions for Cheerios last week, which was up 122,000 comments over its average, good for No. 1 on this week’s Brand Chatter Chart.

And while Carmelo Anthony is now on record as a fan of Honey Nut Cheerios, I can’t imagine General Mills, the make of Cheerios, could have staged this stunt. Your wife tastes like Honey Nut Cheerios?! If, in fact, that’s what Kevin Garnett said, it’s intended as a crass insult of some kind. Even if I don’t have a precise understanding of how exactly the insult works, it does suggest there’s trouble — or at least some unconventional arrangements — in the Anthony household. Not exactly the kind of stuff Honey Nut Cheerios generally aligns itself with.

New Coca-Cola Ads Confront Obesity

Next week Coke will air several new commercials that address rising obesity and the perception that sugary soft drinks contribute to the problem. The ads will suggest ways to burn off 140 calories and recommend a beverage diet that includes more of the sugar-free alternatives. But it doesn’t sound like Coke will be taking any direct responsibility for the fact that people drink too much of their liquid goodness. From Salon:

Coca-Cola said its ads aren’t a reaction to negative public sentiment. Instead, the idea was to raise awareness about what the company has done and the work it plans to do in coming months regarding obesity, said Stuart Kronauge, general manager of sparkling beverages for Coca-Cola North America….

In the ad, a narrator notes that obesity is an issue that ‘concerns all of us’ but that people can make a difference when they ‘come together.’ The spot was produced by Brighthouse and Citizen2 and is intended to reflect Coca-Cola’s corporate responsibility among cable news viewers.

There’s nothing untrue about that — it’s not like Coke is forcing us to drink its soda. But that sounds a little evasive, no? A bit like the argument my gun-enthusiast friend once gave me when I blamed gun deaths on guns: Guns don’t kill people, he told me, bullets do — guns just make them go really fast.

Hidden Logos Revealed When Things Steam Up

New sunglasses from Parabellum reveal their logo only when the lenses are steamed up. What a fun idea. As NOTCOT puts it, “Much like leaving messages in the bathroom to appear when things get steamy…. playing with these sunglasses will have you breathing on glass everywhere in hopes of a secret message. And of course, you can see through them perfectly when wearing them normally.”

(Note: A quick survey among the editorial team here at ChasNote concluded that none of them have ever left a message on a bathroom mirror for “when things get steamy.” But then again they all deny using SnapChat too.)

Tide: Detergent of Choice Among Dealers

Last year my daughter’s 4th grade science project involved splashing cherry juice on scraps from a white cotton t-shirt, and testing the cleaning power of various laundry detergents. She emerged from the lab unable to perceive a difference among the contestants — the popular brand (Tide), the eco-friendly brand and the generic alternative from Safeway. They all performed about as well as the control wash, nothing but cold water.

Tide meanwhile is 50% more expensive than other similar liquid detergents, and shoppers still buy twice as much of it as its nearest competitor. And it’s not just winning the mindshare game among the coveted Chief Household Officers, either. Jugs of Tide — not just any brand of liquid laundry detergent, mind you, the National Retail Federation’s report calls out Tide specifically — are disappearing from store shelves and ending up in the hands of drug dealers.

From New York Magazine:

As the cases piled up after his team’s first Tide-theft bust, [Organized Retail Crime Unit sergeant] Thompson sought an answer to the riddle at the center of the crimes: What did thieves want with so much laundry soap? To find out, he and his unit pored over security recordings to identify prolific perpetrators, whom officers then tracked down and detained for questioning…. It turned out the detergent wasn’t ­being used as an ingredient in some new recipe for getting high, but instead to buy drugs themselves. Tide bottles have become ad hoc street currency, with a 150-ounce bottle going for either $5 cash or $10 worth of weed or crack cocaine. On certain corners, the detergent has earned a new nickname: ‘Liquid gold.’ The Tide people would never sanction that tag line, of course. But this unlikely black market would not have formed if they weren’t so good at pushing their product.

I’m going to ask my daughter to re-run her experiment. I mean, how can anyone say Tide isn’t the most bad-ass of laundry soaps?!