Archive for Advertising

Wrong. Hairy and wrong.

Posted in fashion, Marketing, advertising, ethics with tags , , , on November 16, 2012 by marketingheart

Good cause. Bad taste. Poor communication. Fail. Thanks PETA…really didn’t need this.


Can hate be good? A happy trip down memory lane courtesy of Honda

Posted in Marketing, advertising, ethics, Uncategorized with tags , , , on August 19, 2011 by marketingheart

Can hate be good? Can hate be great? Can hate be something we don’t hate?

Those are the brilliantly thought-provoking questions posed by Weiden & Kennedy UK in their delicious 2004 commercial for Honda featuring surely one of the best advertising tunes if not THE best, ever written. The campaign launched Honda’s first diesel engine. Enjoy (and get the kids along if you have any)…

Hate something. Change something. Make something better-r-r-r…….Such noble sentiments expressed so joyfully simply! This is an ad that feels like it made the world a better place. One of the writers, Michael Russoff, said:

Grrr” had a great response when it broke. Before long, people were whistling it in the street. Most memorably, there was a call from someone who ran a drug rehabilitation clinic. She loved the philosophy of “Hate Something, Change Something,” and felt it could inspire the group of drug addicts she was working with. Many people think advertising is shallow because there are so many shallow ads out there. “Grrr” says you can be thoughtful without being worthy. You can say something interesting and be entertaining about it. If people are going to give you a big budget to go and make something, you should be doing something useful with that. You have an opportunity to change the way people think about something.”

The idea for the ad originated with a comment made by Honda lead engineer Kenichi Nagahiro who had long resisted diesel on the grounds that the engines were smelly, noisy and bad for the environment. In fact he once said he hated diesel engines. So, when he finally designed one, it was destined to be quiet, clean and environmentally friendly.

The campaign, called Grrr, centred around a 90-second television and cinema advert, but also comprised newspaper and magazine advertisements, radio commercials, free distributed merchandise, and an internet presence which included an online game, e-mail advertising, and an interactive website. It’s sung by Garrison Keillor, American author and voice artist, along with its Wieden + Kennedy writers and whistlers Michael Russoff, Sean Thompson and Richard Russell, under the band name “Be Nice to the Pigeons”.

Grrr was both a critical and financial success. It was the most-awarded campaign of 2005, sweeping awards ceremonies within the television and advertising industries, including the year’s Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival, from which it took home the Film Grand Prix—considered the most prestigious honour in the advertising industry. The campaign proved popular with the British public, and Honda reported that its brand awareness figures more than doubled in the period following the campaign’s debut. Overall sales of Honda products within the UK increased by more than 35%, and sales of diesel-engine Accords shot from 518 units in 2003 to 21,766 units in 2004.  Adweek magazine picked the ad as the overall commercial of the decade in 2009. The story behind the making of the ad can be seen here.

The test of a great ad? I showed my kids this ad when they were very young and when they got computers they both asked for the ad to be put on their hard drives. And you know what? All these years later they still play and love the ad.

And so do I.



Advertisers don’t want to change the world. Well they failed on THAT score!

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on February 28, 2011 by marketingheart

I’ve been having an interesting discussion on ad industry site Mumbrella about the use of stereotypes in advertising, which led me to a realisation.

In keeping with the prevailing head-in-the-sand position taken by the ad industry, my debater posted “Advertisers on the whole aren’t trying to change the world, they just want to stand out and sell product at the lowest possible investment.”

My response is that of course selling product changes the world! Every transaction that we encourage causes a cycle of production – often utilising finite natural resources; consumption – often not good for our health; and waste. And that’s to say nothing about the cultural impact that advertising has on us.

Marketers and advertisers have to  understand this, have the balls to acknowledge it and at the very least do what they do with eyes open. I’m not naive enough to think that we can change our entire industrial/consumption models overnight, but it’s imperative that we open discussion and contemplation about such things if we are to even bother looking for more sustainable models. PLEASE watch this incredibly important video:

Advertising, less sexy than ever?

Posted in Marketing, advertising, ethics with tags , , on December 21, 2010 by marketingheart

Cool quote I came across in the context of a discussion about social media and earned media: “Advertising these days is like sex; only losers pay for it”.

Quite a nice follow on from author Avinash Kaushik’s famous gem: “Social media is like teen sex. Everyone wants to do it. No one actually knows how. When finally done, there is surprise it’s not better.”

Well, like it or not, advertising has always been intertwined with sex, so in the spirit of Christmas I share with you some of my favourite loser sex ads
sexy ad

sexy ad

sexy bmw

sexy deli