Friday, March 27, 2009

The Wonderful World Of Photoshop

Photoshop and its image altering brethren have opened up a brave new world to advertising and the rest of the media arts. It has allowed artists to create scenarios that were unthinkable before. And for this, image-altering programs have been a boon for the media arts.

At the same time, these programs have been used to make people in magazines “perfect”. They have raised the bar on what is considered “beauty”. Raised it to an unattainable level. Image altering has grown so out of control in magazines that they just remove human anatomy. This month’s issue of Self has the below image.

Did you find the altering mistake? Check out the zoom in if you missed it.

Yes. The girl in the red bikini has no belly button. Some artist went so altering crazy they just decided to remove the belly button. No big deal right. For a magazine that has a slogan of “you at your best”, they should really pay more attention to things like this if they insist on using altered images.

What do you think about image altering of people? Do magazines go too far?

-The Ultimate Account Guy

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Hyundai Genesis Online Event

Yesterday I watched the Hyundai Genesis online event for the launch of their new Genesis Coupe. This event was no different from other launch events. They spoke about the new vehicle, compared it to competitive vehicles and explained all the techie goodies that are in the car. The thing they did that I liked was making the event open to the public online.

Most of these events are held for the media only. This gives Hyundai a chance to reach out to the general public. With more and more people doing research about vehicles online, this is a great way to grab a captive audience for an hour and talk to them about why Hyundai is the right choice.

The Q and A session at the end gave the whole event a round table feel. The three representatives from Hyundai took questions from both the audience in the room and online viewers. It made it feel less like an infomercial and more like a discussion with the public.

All in all, I think they did a great job of taking an event that has been done for years, putting it online and opening it up to a whole new audience. At the same time, this added very little cost to the event, but gained more potential customers.

Check out the recording here

What do you think about online events like this? Why don’t more companies do this type of thing for launches?

-The Ultimate Account Guy

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

And Then There Was One

So, the two-job experiment is over. Too much time and not enough sleep. I give all the credit in the world to people that work two jobs and manage to do it for more than 2 weeks like I did.

That being said, I’m going to dive back into my little pet project here. I think I’ve got some good stuff in the works. First out will be a series of “How To” posts on Power Point Presentations.

Keep an eye out for updates.

-The Ultimate Account Guy

Monday, March 23, 2009

Back In Action

So I picked up a part time job as a back up plan. With everything going on in the advertising world, I didn’t want to be caught with my proverbial pants down if I should be laid off. Because of that I haven’t been able to write much the past couple weeks.

Now that I’ve adjusted to the lack of sleep in my new schedule, I’m excited to get back to writing some. To get me back in the flow of writing, I thought I would start off with an interesting fortune I found in my fortune cookie the other day.

The lucky numbers are pretty basic and I’ve seen the “learn Chinese” feature before. But never have I seen such an odd word to learn. Disease! Really? Is that a word you want people to find after they’ve eaten food and are about to enjoy a wonderful dessert? Maybe someone has an awesome sense of humor. Or maybe it was a disgruntled employee. Either way, it was an interesting conclusion to my meal.

What do you think? Is this an oversight or a wicked trick?

-The Ultimate Account Guy

Monday, March 9, 2009

Nasonex Voice Over

Nasonoex uses Antonio Banderas as the voice of the animated Bee in their commercials. I’m interested to find out the thinking behind having a Hispanic voice over for their Bee. Generally companies like to use the voice of their general audience as the voice over in their spots. Nasonex isn’t targeted only at white, middle America, but at the same time it isn’t solely targeted at a Hispanic audience.

It must be effective as he’s been the voice of the Bee for a number of years now. I find it a very intriguing selection.

Does anyone have any insights into this decision? Anyone have any first hand knowledge in the situation?

-The Ultimate Account Guy

Friday, March 6, 2009

Visa Lets You Go… And Spend Money You Should Be Saving

Visa kicked off their new campaign, “more people go with Visa”, recently with a spot during American Idol. The introductory spot does a good job of communicating their new tag line. The Seahorses, Jellyfish and the rest of the sea life dance and play together seamlessly. The music melds with the sea life to give the feeling of an underwater ballet.

The part that confuses me is why are they promoting their check card as a tool to help you spend easier? Now is when you should be saving money. Now is when I want it to be as hard as possible to spend money. I understand they have a product to sell but why not promote a different aspect of you check card. Security would be a great thing to promote. Identity theft is a huge problem right now. On top of the fact that people just don’t feel secure in any aspect of their lives. They especially don’t feel secure with their finances.

A quick trip to the Visa Check Card site reveals a ton of features that would be great right now. Zero liability, fraud monitoring, identity theft assistance, even rewards would be better than promoting the ease of spending.

What do you think? Is Visa seeing something I’m not?

-The Ultimate Account Guy

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Gatorade’s Double Life

Gatorade is in a unique position. On one hand, athletes all over the world are using Gatorade as part of a nutrition plan, to fuel and recover before and after workouts. On the other hand, from the days of wanting to be like Mike, kids and want to be athletes have also been drinking it. Some just like the taste. Others think it’s the edge they need to finally make their dreams of going pro come true.

Seeing as how the country has been taken over by a fitness craze the past handful of years, you would think that Gatorade would be dancing in the rain. Until you read the nutrition facts on the bottle and realize the amount of sugar in Gatorade. And you wondered why it tastes so good.

The sugar is fine if you are training for the Boston Marathon or if you are Kevin Garnett tearing through the NBA. But if you are Kevin “six-pack”, the sugar in Gatorade is a split rail on your train ride to fitness.

So, like any good business, Gatorade created a low calorie version of their product, called G2. They’ve expanded their product lineup to appeal to all athletes, professional and not so professional.

I found these two print ads in this week’s Sport Illustrated. They are laid out side by side in a double truck. Each layout is unique enough to stand out on its own but at the same time works seamlessly with the other as a combo.

The Kevin vs. Kevin setup appeals to both athlete and non-athlete at the same time. With Kevin Garnett standing intensely on the court in the NBA Finals on one side you get the sense of Gatorade being used at the peak of the sports world.

With Kevin “six pack” standing triumphantly outside of the pool after a workout, you get the sense of Gatorade being used at a more pedestrian, yet no less important aspect of life. It tells the guy down the street who is struggling to stick to his New Year resolution that it’s ok to drink the lower calorie Gatorade whether you are at the top your sport, or the top of your one-man swim team. Each “athlete” is using Gatorade as the spark they need to be the best they can.

What do you think about these layouts? Do they speak to both sets of “athletes”? Does showing the regular guy down the street make people want to drink Gatorade?

-The Ultimate Account Guy

Monday, March 2, 2009

It's The Little Things That Matter

A couple weeks ago I wrote a post entitled It's The Little Things That Matter. I have found another example of this very idea. Only this time, it’s a negative example.

While reading Branding Only Works On Cattle by Jonathan Salem Baskin for a review I will later post on this blog, I stumbled upon an example he uses.

“Nissan’s launch of its new Altima sedan in 2006 featured a kid living in his car for a week (commercials, website, virals, blog). It was celebrated as novel, new-media thinking, targeted exactly at the attitudes and interests of Generation Whatever…”

He goes on to say that despite being all of the above-mentioned things, the campaign didn’t generate the amount of sales Nissan was hopping. This is a good point brought out by the author, except for one thing. The launch spot he is referring to was for Sentra. It was called 7 Days in a Sentra.

Now I haven’t finished the book yet, so I will hold my thoughts on it until the end. But how can I really believe anything this guy is saying when he can’t even get supporting examples correct?

Believe me when I say that I make more than my fair share of mistakes. If you look through this site I’m sure you can find plenty of grammatical errors or typos. But to credit a campaign, that you are bashing, to the wrong vehicle is a sign of a lack of attention to details. If, as I’m saying, details are what make a campaign or creative great, then this book is off to a rocky start.

What do you think about this type of error? Am I being to nit picky? Is it the bigger idea that matters and not the specific vehicle?

-The Ultimate Account Guy