14 March 2008

ING's "Your Number"

I've always liked the clever ING bench ads. Sometimes they went a bit too far, tried to be too cute – but overall a top-notch campaign.

Their new campaign gives me the heebie-jeebies. It’s pod-people ostentatiously (or obliviously) carrying around large orange numbers signifying what they might need to retire.

First of all, are Baby Boomers retiring? Some are – but most will keep on working and contributing to society. So there really isn’t a Your Number.

The web site is truly yucky. Not only a pain to use (pure flash), it’s slickly condescending. Again – a couple of pod people walk in and start talking at me without my permission (I hate that). The guy stumbles around with his hands in his pockets waiting for me as I stumble around trying to figure out what the hell he wants me to do. It turns out to be not much, really. I’m supposed to type in a few meaningless numbers, answer a few questions. Pretty silly.

And if you click around – all that tiny, wishy-washy, white copy on orange background. (And it's all centered - a huge no-no.) Is it possible to make it any more difficult to read?
The New York Times has a take on it all:

Will baby boomers feel shackled to a bright orange number, dollar sign in front, that represents the often-stressful concept of how hard they must work to maintain their lifestyle in old age? When people watch an older couple tuck themselves into bed with the orange number between them, will they view it as a ball and chain between the sheets?
So does Zac Bissonnette:

I just wonder whether the old financial planning models for baby boomer retirement will work. I can comfortably say that none of the baby boomers I know are planning to retire in the conventional way that their parents did -- golf in Florida. My mother tells me frequently that she plans to work in some capacity for her entire life, and I think many of her contemporaries will do the same, by choice. This is the generation that brought us Woodstock, and I would expect that many will "retire" from their careers to pursue part-time work with a socially-conscious edge. If ballroom dancing and big bands were nostalgic for their parents, this generation may be more inclined toward activism and community service.

12 March 2008

NAAS Selects Advertising to Baby Boomers

The National Academy on an Aging Society has selected Advertising to Baby Boomers as a marketing and advertising resource for its organization and members.

Also on the list (scroll to bottom):

Brent Green's Marketing to Leading-Edge Baby Boomers
David Wolfe's Ageless Marketing
Dick Stroud's The 50-Plus Market
Mary Brown/Carol Orsborn's BOOM

11 March 2008

Millennium's CIRCUS 6

It's always a gas contributing to Millennium's colorful (colourful?) agency organ, CIRCUS:
The start of a new business year provides the perfect annual opportunity for a fresh start or at least to embrace some 'progressive modification'. Will you dare to be great in 2008? Or will you prefer to repeat into old age the formulae that worked in your youth? In the last month of 2007, IMMN provided direct access to World Wide Wisdom through a webinar - the first but not the last. The long arm of the Internet also made it possible for US-based mature market guru, Chuck Nyren, to see UK work for VW Passat and file his disapproval by e-mail. French-English fusion Veronique Briant shares her international experience on the value of profiling. French-educated relationship
counsellor Carol Martin-Sperry calls it how she sees it for those in their Third Age, where the spirit may be willing but the flesh still needs a tweak. Former international adman David Wethey turns to recent US medical research to add his analytical insight to sex by numbers. Currently in Cape Town, Richard French shares his fears of failing to recover his just rewards in a US Court. Plus Tony Hertz, Lyn Middlehurst, Michael Hinchliffe, Mike North, Nicholine Hayward, Richard Butt, Brian Palmer and David Banks. Enjoy!

At the moment the latest issue is only available as a hardcopy for subscribers (it's free). I slimily finagled a PDF from the publishers, and extracted a few images - along with Reg's introductory text. Eventually the whole thing should be on the Millennium web site. A few past issues are available as PDFs (click the Mature Market box and you'll find CIRCUS.

For now, if you are not a subscriber you'll just have to feel deprived. (Although if you beg me, I might send you the PDF - although Millennium'll probably get mad at me). I'll post when the latest issue is available on their web site.

Earlier posts of mine about CIRCUS:

Circus: The Millennium Group Newsletter

Millennium's 50+ Marketing Mag Now A Free Download

New Issue of Circus Magazine

New Issue of Circus Available as PDF

Update March 25: Adrants Blogs CIRCUS

06 March 2008


Here's something I've been hearing about for awhile - but only in whispers. And it was strange hearing names like Mary Wells, Lesley Stahl, and Liz Smith as wisps, as vapor. Finally - the real virtual thing:
Boldface in Cyberspace: It's a Woman's Domain

The site's five founders, also women of a certain age, are longtime friends and media live-wires: Ms. Evans, formerly the president of Simon & Schuster and an ex-publisher at Random House; Ms. Smith, the gossip columnist; Mary Wells, the advertising executive behind memorable campaigns like "I Love New York"; Peggy Noonan, the political columnist and former presidential speechwriter; and Lesley Stahl, the television news reporter.
But there was no hint (at least for me) of this:
In addition, the founders have signed up some boldface friends to contribute to the site, including Ms. (Candice) Bergen, Joan Juliet Buck, Whoopi Goldberg, Marlo Thomas, Lily Tomlin, Joan Cooney, Judith Martin, Sheila Nevins, Julia Reed and Jane Wagner.
I have no comments about this. Haven't seen it, I'm not the target market. I'll just say it's great that Mary Wells Lawrence is all over it. She's a heroine of mine. I talk about her in my presentations, and often show a famous spot or two that she produced:

Visit wowowow.com.

02 March 2008

BRAND BUSTERS by Chris Wirthwein

Authors send me books to review. I'm on the lists of a few publicity outfits. Here's the last one they sent me. Every so often my publisher mails me their authors' offerings. If I like them, I blog them.

A new peppy palomino in the Paramount stable is Chris Wirthwein:
Brand Busters: 7 Common Mistakes Marketers Make
No matter how good a marketer you are, it is easy to slide into behaviors that ultimately make your marketing less effective. Chris Wirthwein has identified the seven most common mistakes made by marketers of technical and scientific products and he explains how to avoid them. With wit and passion, he helps you learn how to overcome the mistakes of marketers of technical and scientific products and how you can learn from these mistakes no matter what kind of product or service you are offering. You learn how to avoid the mistakes and get on with efficient marketing and advertising.
What's fascinating about Mr. Wirthwein is that he comes from the world of B2B scientific and technical advertising/marketing. We don't hear from too many people with his background and expertise - and there are lessons to be learned. (Seven, he says - but there are actually dozens.)

I'm a sucker for anybody steeped in the history of advertising, and Chris liberally quotes Claude Hopkins, Rosser Reeves, David Ogilvy, Bill Bernbach, and others.

Not to put you off - but this marketing guru also draws inspiration from Shakespeare, Maslow, and a few hoity-toity folks I'd never heard of.

The best part: Chris Wirthwein is a top-notch writer. He knows how to tell stories, keep you engaged - rare for a business book. The last one I read that was as well written is already becoming a classic.

And Chris can be quite entertaining. His take on ROI dogma is just short of hysterical, referring to it as Return On Illusion. I may steal that.

Brand Busters will be around for quite some time. Probably longer than most - since it's been selected as a Classroom Resource by The Advertising Educational Foundation.

Take a peek at the back cover blurbs.

You can purchase Brand Busters directly from the publisher or on Amazon.com.

And if you do - sit back, crack the cover, and click here for the full-blown Wirthwein Multimedia Spectacular.