01 December 2009

The Latest WOM On WOMM

Wouldn’t it be nice if this were my last post about WOMM?  I think it will be, since prattle marketing won’t be much of an issue from now on:

FTC Publishes Final Guides Governing Endorsements, Testimonials
image The revised Guides also add new examples to illustrate the long standing principle that “material connections” (sometimes payments or free products) between advertisers and endorsers – connections that consumers would not expect – must be disclosed. These examples address what constitutes an endorsement when the message is conveyed by bloggers or other “word-of-mouth” marketers.

imageSo all these posts over the last few years are now officially fossilized:

The Brouhaha Over WOMM (2006)

The Brouhaha Over WOMM Returns (2007)

What's Plaguing Viral Marketing (2007)

What's the Word? (2008)

Smart or Sneaky? (2008)

The Crystal Ball of Common Sense (2008)

My Blog Was WOMMed! (2008)

Internet Hero of the Week (2009)

Snake Oil In Cyberspace (2009)

Harris Poll & Advertising & Social Networking

5 Reasons Why 90% Of Social Media Efforts Fail (2009)

Believe it or not, there are more. But those are so fossilized that they yield little DNA.

Here’s a recent post by Dick Stroud:

Is the wisdom of crowds for the gullible?
A lot is made about the importance of word-of-mouth as a means of informing the decisions of older consumers. The connection is often made between WOM and the user generated commentary that litters web sites from delighted or aggrieved purchasers.

And here’s a sly, insightful fellow who seems to gag on WOMM even more than Yours Truly:

The Social Media Cesspool
image It seems like every company in America has a team of squids working furiously to pollute and manipulate the social media environment with crypto-marketing. These slimy creatures are busy...

  • leaving fraudulent reviews and comments
  • monitoring" conversations and trying to insert their hidden agendas in ways we can't detect.
  • spamming us with dishonest Tweets from nonexistent people

Social media is becoming so compromised by manipulation, its marketing value is suspect before it even gains traction.

For the umpteenth time on these ethereal pages, a slightly tongue-in-cheek quote from my hardcopy (they used to be called books):

imageWhen it all comes out in the wash, WOMM will be the best thing to happen to (silly retronym ahead) traditional advertising. Pretty soon, consumers won't believe anybody - even their best friends. They'll realize that they receive the most honest and straightforward information about a product or service from a TV commercial, radio spot, print ad, direct marketing collateral, or product web site. At least we don't lie about who we are and why we're saying what we're saying.

Remember this: Advertising didn't die with the invention of the telephone.

But don't believe me. This is just some blog, and I'm just some blogger. Who knows if someone's paying me to trash word-of-mouth marketing ...

One thing's for sure: You'll never know.

29 November 2009

Senior market is complex, lucrative

I get a big kick reading pieces like this:

Senior market is complex, lucrative
by Nick Iannone
image Nowadays, advertisements for scooters and mobility chairs, walk-in bathtubs, slip-and-fall security devices, hearing and vision aids, as well as pharmaceuticals treating anything from incontinence to ED have a tendency to assume advanced age as an integral part of the scenario. And, although statistics were used extensively in these ad formulations, trying to pigeonhole the senior market in the new millennium is marketing suicide.

It’s not that there’s much new here.  I’ve talked about most of what’s in the article in my book, this blog, during presentations and seminars.  The fun part is knowing that Mr. Iannone, who works for a marketing/printing firm, is on the front lines of a revolution that I predicted years ago.  Culled from Advertising to Baby Boomers ©2005, 2007:

image I’m proposing a minor revolution in the advertising industry, one that won’t trickle down but bubble up. It’s not a technology driven revolution. It’s a human one.

Secondary: Small-to-medium-sized advertising and marketing agencies.  They may squirm at first, even kick and scream—but eventually will be co-beneficiaries of this common sense revolution. Some may become the heroes and heroines of this reasoned paradigm.

More from the book:


The Preface, Introduction, and first chapter of Advertising to Baby Boomers are available as free downloads on Scribed:

Preface and Introduction

Chapter One

Bookmark and Share

23 November 2009

We have seen the future, and it is old and cool and wise.

I’ve been doing a bit of research about business etiquette and such in a country where I may be hosting a conference/workshop early next year. 

Not that I’m going to memorize dozens of customs and trip over myself.  I’m sure they’ll want me to be myself (and that’s what they’ll be getting anyway whether they like it or not).

imageBut some knowledge of cultural etiquette is expected. From what I’ve read, it’s  impolite to point at people – and I might have to wear a tie.  I hope I can remember how to tie one …

One custom intrigued me: When you enter a room full of people you do not know, approach the eldest person first and introduce yourself.

Golly, gee. I spend half my working life trying to convince advertisers to not only introduce themselves to people over fifty – but to actually acknowledge their existence.

This might change.  Matt Thornhill thinks so:

We Have Seen The Future, And It Is Old image
Have you seen the advertising campaign for Dos Equis beer featuring "The Most Interesting Man in the World?" Each commercial depicts exploits from the "interesting man's" past, or he offers insight on a particular topic …

When I first saw the spot, I thought it was merely a throwback to David Ogilvy’s Hathaway Shirt and Schweppes campaigns:




Of course, I’m right.  But Matt makes some good points:

But what's after "cool?" Actually, something even more desirable for those ever-growing-older Boomers: the mantle of wisdom … Boomers will forever transform the role of older people in America. We will be seen as assets -- heroic, wise, visionary, inspirational.

I’ve talked about this, as have others:

Me vs. We Redux Redux
image Today, Baby Boomers are two or three times removed from being a “me” generation. What constitutes self-actualization when you are twenty-five is different than when you are fifty-five. In your twenties a person thinks they are the picture. As you get older, you see yourself more and more as a picture that is part of a bigger picture.

Talk to some folks in their twenties, thirties. They are now in that ‘me’ stage. It’s healthy, smart for them to be so. I was just like them thirty years ago, get a big bang out of them, admire their boundless creativity, energy – and self-obsession. These ‘me generation’ twentysomethings today will become a ‘we generation’ in thirty years.
Page 171, Advertising to Baby Boomers (c) 2004, 2007 by Paramount Market Publishing

From The New York Times:

Older Brain Really May Be a Wiser Brain
image When older people can no longer remember names at a cocktail party, they tend to think that their brainpower is declining. But a growing number of studies suggest that this assumption is often wrong.

Instead, the research finds, the aging brain is simply taking in more data and trying to sift through a clutter of information, often to its long-term benefit.

imageI hope Mr. Thornhill and the rest of us are on to something.  Of course, we’ll have to “sift through the clutter” first, and if we’re lucky we’ll come up with something approaching wisdom.

And – if I agree to do this presentation and workshop, I can always buy a clip-on.

20 November 2009

My Ad Council

From: Hilary R.
Sent: Thursday, November 19, 2009 1:24 PM
To: nyrenagency@gmail.com
Subject: Tina Fey + Social Media + Social Good + Innovation = My.AdCouncil.org

Hi Chuck,

image Wanted to put something on your radar that was unveiled last night by Tina Fey at the 56th Annual Public Service Awards Dinner - The Ad Council's “My Ad Council.”

... I've included the press release that went out this morning below:

imageAd Council Unveils New Website
Through My Ad Council, users can quickly and easily share the Ad Council's PSA videos and images via social media platforms.

OK – I guess I’m doing that now.

Mostly excellent work from some top agencies.  Great to see them pitching in.  I liked this one from kbs+p:

Even though “The Ad Council's campaigns are targeted to Americans of all ages” – I really didn’t get the impression that any of the spots specifically targeted an older age demo. (Oh, yeah – that’s probably because Baby Boomers are perfect and we don’t need to see Public Service Announcements.)

Actually, I’d like some PSA’s urging Boomers to volunteer for this or that.  Lots already are, and lots more would with some coaxing.

One more I liked from Draftfcb – puts a goofy spin on serious subjects:

Visit my.adcouncil.org and pass along some videos.

19 November 2009

Interactive Guide to Baby Boomer Marketing/Advertising Goes Copper

imageI made that up. 

On Scribed, my free Interactive Guide to Advertising/Marketing to Baby Boomers now has over 1000 downloads.  If it ever reaches 5000, I’ll scream that it “Went Nickel” – whatever that’ll mean. 

To help the cause, click:
An Interactive Guide to Baby Boomer Marketing/Advertising News & Resources

image And as I type my book has shot up from #5 to #3 on my publishers’ Bestsellers List. Don’t blink or you’ll miss it.


What should I do for an encore?  Probably just rest on my wobbly laurels.