Friday, February 27, 2009

The Marketing Power of Tiger Woods Is Amazing

Tiger Woods has been out of golf for the last eight months recovering from knee surgery. And now he’s back and advertisers want to make sure you know it.

Golf and the PGA Tour existed without him. They managed to hold everything together and put out a good product for the last eight months. I understand that golf was around way before Tiger, and it will be around way after Tiger. But never have golf and the PGA Tour been more popular. Tiger is such an integral part of golf and the PGA Tour that I found three different ads celebrating his return in the last two days.

The first is a TV spot from Nike showing all of the happy competitors celebrating their time to shine while Tiger is out. And then reality hits them as Tiger walks into the locker room and steals the glory from their grasp.

The second is a PGA spot in which Tiger whistles and ties his shoes. Nothing else. Doesn’t hit a drive. He doesn’t sink a putt to win a match. He just ties his shoes and whistles. And he doesn’t need to do anything else. These thirty seconds of Tigerness lets you know that he is back and that’s all that matters.

The third is a print layout in this week’s Sports Illustrated by Gatorade. Another simply stated phrase. “Welcome Back Tiger”. In the upper right hand corner is the Gatorade Tiger (his flavor) logo. This is probably a client directed add in. But notice even in this logo Tiger is bigger than Gatorade.

All three ads have one thing in common. They push their products aside to celebrate Tigers return. Of course these companies are looking at this as a chance to garner a little good will and do a little branding at the same time.

But what it really says to me is that golf needs Tiger Woods. It says these advertisers need Tiger Woods. It says that Tiger Woods is a very powerful marketing tool.

What do you think about these ads? Are they a waste of money for the advertiser? Does the branding and good will from these spots justify the costs?

-The Ultimate Account Guy

Thursday, February 26, 2009

American Ingenuity Still Exists

I found this video. Has nothing to do with advertising but it gave me hope that we still have people (children) using their brains to think of ways to better the world.

Pretty cool idea. Good execution and he got a nice cash prize.

-The Ultimate Account Guy

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

A Sponsorship Worth The Money

NASCAR has gained a new sponsor this year in Outside of the usual car/team sponsorship, they’ve done something new to make their sponsorship dollars work extra hard for them.

Everyone knows the trivia questions that are asked during sporting events. They’re fun, interesting and break up slow sections of the sporting event. Usually, the announcers ask the question that is sponsored by so and so company. They wait a predetermined amount of time and then give the answer while mentioning the sponsor’s name again. has flipped the script on the traditional in game trivia question. During NASCAR races the announcers ask the typical trivia question sponsored by Instead of giving you the answer fifteen minutes later, you have to go to to get the answer. This adds an interactive element to the trivia question for the viewer. It makes it more of a game.

For, it drives traffic to their site. It gives the viewer incentive to go to the site and try out their unique format of search engine. Most of all it’s different. They found a way to take a mainstay of the sports television world and make it new and interesting.

Will this new sponsorship allow to steal some market share from the big boys? What do you think about this new trick for an old dog?

-The Ultimate Account Guy

Monday, February 23, 2009

Has The Down Economy Affected NASCAR?

Whether you think NASCAR is grown men making left hand turns for three hours. Or you think NASCAR is an edge of your seat, three-hour thrill ride, you can’t ignore the marketing machine it has become. From the national TV deal, to the multitude of sponsors smeared all over the tracks and cars, NASCAR has grown and so has its sponsors.

This got me thinking. In a down economy where companies are cutting advertising budgets left and right, how much of an affect would this have on NASCAR. It undoubtedly has had an affect in team mergers, team layoff, NASCAR layoffs and tracks lowering ticket prices.

Yet with race two of the season starting as I write this, the down economy hasn’t had that much of an affect sponsorship wise. Sprint is still sponsoring the highest series. DuPont, Pennzoil, Budweiser, Home Depot, all the big boys are back for car sponsors. There were a couple smaller teams that had issues getting sponsors, and had to wait until the last minute for someone to step up. But they were able to get sponsorship.

Is this a testament to the popularity of NASCAR? I think it is. The majority of the sponsors are targeting males, 24-58. Who watches NASCAR? Males, 24-58. The entire race is basically a moving billboard hitting its target audience for three hours. TV viewing audiences may even increase during this down turn. With more and more people cutting back their spending, the couch and TV is becoming a more often used form of entertainment.

These companies must be seeing results from the money they are putting into their NASCAR sponsorships or they wouldn’t continue putting out the money for them, especially when every penny is being scrutinized.

One question I would love to know the answer to, is whether or not the race teams had to drop their sponsorship prices? This isn’t public information, so there is no way for me to find out. But I wonder; if in an attempt to keep the loyal sponsor, did the teams drop their asking price?

-The Ultimate Account Guy

Friday, February 20, 2009

How Do You Get Freelance Account Work?

Freelance work is a part of the advertising world. Creative Directors, Copy Writers and Art Directors, all do side jobs. And I’m all for it. It’s a great way to make some money on the side, while at the same time sharpening your advertising skills. There are smaller companies all over that need good, cost effective creative to help them grow their business. Freelance work allows for both parties to benefit.

I’m such a big fan of freelance work that I’ve tried to pick up my own. I answered a Craigslist posting from a small company looking for some help with their marketing. After designing an awesome Power Point presentation, that only The Ultimate Account Guy could design, I ran into a hurdle.

The hurdle came in the form of limitations of the account realm. As an account guy, I can set up campaigns, I can find great media outlets, I can do everything possible to get great, consumer ready creative into the market. The only problem is, I can’t create the creative.

My solution to this was to team up with an art director that I know. Have her do the creative. I’ll do the account work. We’ll be a mini agency.

Problem with that is for both of us to make money that makes it worth our time, we have to charge more than we would like. A much more viable option is for a small business to go straight to an art director and work with him/her. Which is what this business did. I can’t blame them. Especially in this economy, going with the most cost effective way is the only way to go.

So my question to you is, have you found a viable way to get freelance work as an account person? If so, how?

-The Ultimate Account Guy

Thursday, February 19, 2009

I’m Going to Disney World, and I’m Bringing Reebok With Me

As companies make money, they become bigger. As companies become bigger they make more money. It’s a great cycle of capitalism. At some point though, companies become so big they can’t get out of their own way.

I hate when this happens in advertising. A company gets a big break through, or wins an award. Two months later you see a commercial or print layout touting their accomplishment. That’s great, but what happened during those two months that kept this from coming out a month and a half ago?

This print layout, I found in Sports Illustrated, from Reebok is a great example of a big company being nimble enough to accept and embrace a quick moving moment that doesn’t come around very often.

It just so happens that in a big football game a couple weeks ago, Santonio Holmes won the game and the MVP award, while wearing a nice, shiny pair of Reeboks. Two weeks later, poof, we have a great print ad depicting a pair of Reeboks making the game winning catch in the biggest game of the year.

This print ad is great. It takes a fantastic moment in sports history, that had very little to do with the shoes he was wearing, and puts the spot light on Reebok.

As an account guy, I appreciate this print ad even more. The simplicity is amazing. You take a still shot that was taken by someone else. Create some great copy to go along with it and ship it out the door. The cost is minimal and the impact is far reaching.

Kudos to Reebok and the agency that created this ad.

-The Ultimate Account Guy

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Fall Down and Break Your Crown

Companies are very protective of their brands. And rightly so. Their brands are what keep them moving; keep the gold pieces in the coffers. But sometimes, they become too protective. They become afraid to let their brands be shown in any kind of light that isn’t pristine and magical.

Because of this, I was very excited to see this Crown Royal print ad in this weeks Sports Illustrated. It’s a great, simple, well-communicated ad. If your bottle of Crown breaks, you feel very sad, sad enough to cry. That’s how good it is.

I applaud Crown Royal for having the foresight to see that showing a broken bottle of their product is not a detriment to their brand. That when you trust in your agency good things happen. Even if it is with a broken bottle.

What do you think? Are companies to protective over their brands at times?

-The Ultimate Account Guy

Monday, February 16, 2009

It's The Little Things That Matter

Most of the time advertising is looked at for the messaging and design. But matching the characters and the environment in the spot to the target audience is one of the most important aspects to a successful spot. This is something the Ultimate Account Guy looks at a lot. When this aspect is off, it leads to a feeling of something missing. It’s a nice finishing touch to complete the painting.

The Bisquick Shake n’Pour spot is a great example of matching the casting and set design to the target audience. They resisted the urge to go with the gourmet kitchen with the six burner stove and stainless steel appliances that is so prevalent in many of the foreclosed houses these days. They resisted the urge to go with the primped and polished mom. You know the one I’m talking about. The one that wakes up with perfect hair and make up fully done.

They selected an actress that if you saw walking down the street, would look like any other mom. She’s the happy, dutiful mom that is excited to be able to give her children a breakfast they’ll love and doesn’t have to worry about messing her Prada shoes.

The kitchen design is even better. This product is not going to be used by a lower income family because it costs a little more than the other mix. This product will not be used by a wealthy family because they do not make name brand pancakes from a plastic bottle. Who is going to use this product? Middle America. And that is exactly who this kitchen is patterned after. The classic white sink, white counter tops and white stove reeks of flowing plains of Kansas, or the rolling hills of North Carolina.
All in all, I think this is a great spot. It’s not going to win any awards. But it does what advertising is supposed to do. It makes the consumer aware of the product and its benefits and it does a great job of it.

What do you think? Is this a good spot? Does matching the casting and environment to the target audience matter?

-The Ultimate Account Guy

Monday, February 9, 2009

Chevy’s advantage; real or make believe?

Chevy’s newest campaign is a full on assault on the competition. But they chose an odd way of bashing the competition. Normally when you take a shot at the competition, you pick an area where you directly beat them and go after it. If you have more horsepower than your top competitor, you say, “we have more horsepower than you”. It’s clean, it’s concise, and it’s effective.

But what happens when you don’t have an advantage in a meaningful area? Most brands choose not to attack the competition and instead focus on their own good points. Chevy on the other hand attacks the manliness of the competitions features.

In the first spot, Howie Long talks to the driver of a Dodge Ram about his heated steering wheel and manicured nails after being involved in a fender bender. At the very end of the spot, they throw in an EPA estimated 21 miles per gallon on the highway. What in the world does a heated steering wheel have to do with fuel mileage? Does Chevy really believe that making fun of the heated steering wheel on a Dodge makes their truck seem tougher, more manly and therefore more deserving of your hard earned money? Meanwhile a quick look on the EPA’s website reveals that the Dodge Ram gets 20 miles per gallon. Maybe that’s the real reason. One MPG isn’t a big enough advantage so they attack the manliness of the Dodge Ram and its owners.

The second spot is an even worse attack on a make believe advantage. In this spot, Howie Long makes fun of the tailgate step on the Ford F-150. His snide remark about leaving the “man step” down, does nothing to show an advantage that Chevy has over Ford. They cast a short, round, awkward person to use the tailgate, making it seem ineffective. And to top it off, they throw in a 100,000 mile or 5 year warranty at the very end of the spot. Ford has a 60,000 mile or 5 year warranty on its F-150. Why not use this as the basis to your spot. This is a legit advantage. Challenging the manliness of the F-150 and the tailgate step obscures the real advantage they have.

What do you think? Do these Chevy spots work in your mind?

-The Ultimate Account Guy

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

The Ultimate Account Guy’s most and least favorite commercials from the Super Bowl.

So everyone that has an advertising blog is legally obligated to do a recap of the commercials from the Super Bowl. I’m going to be a little different; at least I hope I am. I’m going to give you The Ultimate Account Guy’s most and least favorite commercials from the account guy perspective.

Most Favorite

The commercial that I think did the best job of combining humor and a good cause was the Pedigree adopt a dog commercial. Right from the beginning, they set a comical, yet slightly believable situation. The Rhino running through the door as the woman calls “Rusty” for a walk is perfect. The spot continues to build upon itself with animals that are odd but not so crazy that it’s unbelievable. There wasn’t a lion or tiger, which I really appreciated. The spot closes with a good link between helping a puppy with adoption and bringing joy into your life with that puppy.

Least Favorite

The commercial that I think did the worst job of combining humor and a message that consumers are interested in was the “confidence” spot. The spot itself isn’t terrible. It’s a good idea, but there is a disconnect between this ultra smart, self-confident individual and the consumer. I understand that commercials often ask you to suspend disbelief to accept, say a baby talking. But if I’m going to believe that someone as smart and confident as this person, the person who performed open heart surgery with a pen, needs help with confidence in buying a car, there needs to be a bigger pay off from the site. Did the site give him some fact that even the salesmen don’t have?

Now don’t get me wrong. Working in the automotive sector, I know that the buying experience is one of the biggest roadblocks for car manufacturers and dealerships. I just think the character was a little too out there.

What do you think about these two spots? Is my analysis way off? What were your most and least favorite spots?

-The Ultimate Account Guy

Monday, February 2, 2009

What is an account guy?

What is an account guy? (I use guy as a unisex word. Account girls, don’t feel left out.)

If you are an account guy, you know that the account side is the heart and soul of an advertising account. You know all the work that goes into keeping up with due dates, client meetings and materials checklists. Most importantly, you know the frustration of dealing with pompous, infantile, bloated ego creative teams.

If you are a creative guy, you know that the account side is like a vacation. You hang out all day, chit chatting on the phone with clients and every now and then you have to reply to email. You spend most of your day pushing your work off on the creative team.

The real roll of the account guy, for those of you that don’t know, is like a mother. You have to be equal parts encouraging caregiver and iron fisted warden. You have to be able to encourage creativity and at the same time keep the ever-wandering creative teams within timeline. You have to be able to translate client speak into creative speak. And be able to keep the creative team from quitting when the client asks for the logo to be made bigger for the fifth time.

So this is the daily chore of the ultimate account guy. Keep the ying and the yang of the advertising world in line. Some say it’s an easy task. Some say it’s an impossible task.

What do you think? How important is the account side to good advertising?

-The Ultimate Account Guy

P.S. The unavoidable best and worst commercials of the Super Bowl is coming. Check back soon.