Archives For Armchair Marketing


“If you talked to people the way advertising talked to people, they’d punch you in the face.” – Hugh MacLeod

“Today, getting people to hear your story on social media, and then act on it, requires using a platform’s native language, paying attention to context, understanding the nuances and subtle differences that make each platform unique, and adapting your content to match.” – Gary Vaynerchuk

“Sponsored Posts”cartoon | Tom Fishburne: Marketoonist.


Social media participation campaigns that trigger a real-world outcome are extremely compelling in world of disposal likes, retweets and video views.

Although it’s downright impossible to connect wearing a holiday sweater with being a designated driver, this new phygital campaign from Budweiser (client) is the latest real-world extension of social participation.

Building on new holiday sweater in-store display and holiday packaging, Budweiser UK extended the campaign into digital/social by building the Knitbot, a tweet-powered knitting machine—to knit ugly sweaters for designated drivers that pulls #jumpersfordes tweets to power the machine (as Adweek explains, jumper being British for sweater, and des being short for designated drivers).

This is an idea reminiscent of GE’s Social Fridge at SXSW 2010 that unlcoked with 10 Foursquare Checkin-ins.

One extension I would like to see is having the actual tweets woven into the sweater, and mailing a tweet-powered sweater to one follower a day.

Regardless, kudos to the BW UK team for thinking outside of the loom on this one.

In the spirit of my post on How advertising turned anti-consumerism into a weapon, you have to check out what Burger King is doing with preroll ads.

Everybody hates preroll ads, so they did 64 preroll ads about how bad preroll ads are: Burger King has a Counterintuitive Solution to Your Deep Hatred of Pre-Roll Ads.

Burger King Preroll

This is exactly what that Aeon article is about!!!

These ads want to be our friends — to empathise with us against the tyranny of the corporate world they inhabit. Just when we thought we’d cottoned on to subliminal advertising, personalised sidebars on web pages, advertorials and infomercials, products started echoing our contempt for them. ‘Shut up!’ we shout at the TV, and the TV gets behind the sofa and shouts along with us.

As a consumer, I love the subversive and disruptive nature of this strategy. As a marketer, I see the bar being raised further yet again. Time to step it up!

As the content and brand messaging worlds coalesce upon a cluttered marketplace, the competition for attention for leisure time entertainment means the same old tricks simply won’t sell.


The legacy entertainment companies, faced with decreased ticket and album sales — and a decreased priority in our culture, given the rise of mobile, gaming and social media — are trying some new things with Anchorman 2, and we could all learn a lesson of how to reboot an old marketing model with new tricks.

In my experience, we almost always let the talent in our marketing campaigns set the engagement terms at the smallest denominator possible. We get a full-day; maybe 1.5. Or for a year-long campaign, maybe 5-10 days over 12 months. And you better not ask them to tweet something that’s not in the contract, meet with a blogger, or do a YouTube video shout-out if it wasn’t line-itemed in the addendum.

And why should they? They are being paid for a turn-key experience.

In the case of Anchorman 2, the talent is fully immersed in the experience over the long-term beyond the typical late night talk show tour — including unique native advertising experiences, social media gamification, user-generated content, animated gifs on Tumblr, and hello – did you see that Dodge Durango spot (Dodge Durango sales have increased by 59 percent since Ron Burgundy started appearing in ads)?

Of course, Will Ferrell and his cast mates have way more to gain from supporting the campaign over the long-term than a paid endorsee does when doing a satellite media tour or product endorsement. And there’s a lesson there for marketers, too. The more skin in the game, the harder the talent will try and the more they will give. Then we have to give them the opportunity to do more – beyond SMTs and paid tweets.

Kudos to Paramount for raising the bar and engaging their talent beyond the traditional.

For us, now that they’ve executed all of these new strategies, these should be off the table. The next film, marketing strategy or PR campaign we tackle needs to raise the bar again, innovate further and help us get even further away from the lazy tactics that for sure are DOA in today’s cluttered culture.

Will Ferrell’s Anchorman 2 Is Changing the Way Movies Are Marketed | Adweek.

It seems almost quaint, now that popular culture is riddled with knowing, self-referential nods to itself, but the aim of advertising used to be straightforward: to associate a product in a literal and direct way with positive images of a desirable, aspirational life. How we chortle at those rosy-cheeked families that dominated commercials in the post-war era. Nowadays, we adopt the slogans and imagery as ironic home decor — wartime advertisements for coffee adorn our kitchen walls; retro Brylcreem posters are pinned above the bathroom door. But our reappropriation of artefacts from a previous era of consumerism sends a powerful message: we wouldn’t be swayed by such naked pitches today.

Satire has long been acknowledged as a paradoxical crutch for a society’s existing power structures: we laugh at political jibes, and that same laughter displaces the desire for change…

We all like to think that we’re above the dark art of advertising; that we are immune to its persuasive powers. But the reality is that, though we might have been immunised, it is not against ads: it is against dissent.

via Advertising turned anti-consumerism into a weapon – Adam Corner – Aeon.

The Return of Logo Culture in Fashion

There’s definitely a difference between joining a conversation — transparently — to add value vs. sparking a conversation with a high likelihood of negative fallout…

8 Hijacked Hashtags Gone Horribly Wrong or Right.

Also, writing these punditry posts in rapid order is becoming a full-time job (ala today’s When Facebook Was Down, Brands Pounced).

Try explaining this profession to your great grandma, “So when a company messes up engaging with their fans and followers in social media, I try to be first to write a post about it…. and they pay me for that.”

David Carr has a new piece about native advertising and the pros/cons of sponsored content. The headline says it all.

My take: instead of sounding the death knell each time something from the past changes, wouldn’t we be better off evaluating what’s exciting about the future and working toward it? Journalism must continue to adapt.

I got through the first episode of Newsroom last night but won’t go back. Beyond the pacing, dialog and overacting, the opening credits romanticize an era that’s completely dead. And that’s fine. But let’s please bury it and move on.

PS: I also love this oven metaphor:

In a sense, Forbes has come up with an oven that makes its own food — something of a grail for publishers — with abundant content for readers and all manner of marketing opportunities for advertisers.

via Storytelling Ads May Be Journalism’s New Peril –