12 March 2012

Digital Distractions II

I wasn’t planning on doing a Digital Distractions II – but there are so many digital distractions that it’s difficult to be distracted. 

Bob Hoffman aka The Ad Contrarian continues not to distract me. Two recent posts:

imageFacebook is like the telephone. It's great for chatting, but not terribly good for selling.

One of the most remarkable things about it is the blind faith that marketers continue to have in it despite its questionable record as a marketing vehicle.

That’s because only 0.051% are distracted.  The rest aren’t distracted.  They refuse to engage!!!  How selfish of them.

More from The Ad Contrarian:

Interactivity: Get Over It
imageIt turns out that people on line react to ads the same way people off line react to them -- mostly they ignore them. And when they do bother to read them, they overwhelmingly do not interact with them … While people are interactivatin' like crazy with each other, interactivity with ads is miniscule. Bastards.

Those are strong words.  I merely said that they were selfish.  Bob The Big Bully.

Another piece that didn’t distract me:

Twitter & Facebook share a problem: Proving social ads work
By Mathew Ingram
The point is that Facebook is a social medium, not an advertising one … You interrupt social conversations with commercial messages at your peril.

I hope this will be the last time for awhile where I won’t be distracted by digital distractions.

06 March 2012

Digital Distractions

Advertisers are getting wise to the drawbacks of marketing in the digital nest.  From 2007:

Positioning Magazines for Baby Boomers

Federal Express

There are active and passive parts of our day. Without getting into too much psychobabble, as you get older the passive side needs more nourishment. It’s not really passive. It’s focused absorption. At some point you have to climb out of your frenetic digital nest and concentrate on one thing. It might be reading a book, watching a TV show or movie, listening to music, looking out the window.

Or immersing yourself in a magazine.

This isn’t ‘down time’ (that would be sleeping), but nourishing your psyche by absorbing and not actively being involved in what you’re doing.

I’ve updated this theme a few times:

…. And the more people use smartphones, the less they’ll tolerate silly graphical doodads mucking up their small  screens.

imageADWEEK: Magazines Pull Back on Tablet Bells and Whistles
Tablets will become much bigger, lighter, and will be on your coffee table.  You’ll lie on the couch and pick it up, reading your favorite magazines, newspapers, or whatever.  A passive experience.  Simple, straightforward advertising will not be considered invasive.

What’s the newest news?  Not much – but worth a gander:

Finding Your Book Interrupted ... By the Tablet You Read It On
image… That adds up to a reading experience that is more like a 21st-century cacophony than a traditional solitary activity. And some of the millions of consumers who have bought tablets and sampled e-books on apps from Amazon, Apple and Barnes & Noble have come away with a conclusion: It’s harder than ever to sit down and focus on reading.

imageBack to my point about magazines: People subscribe to and buy special-interest magazines not only to read the articles, but to peruse the ads for products related to their interests. Women reading Oprah Magazine, the PLUS Magazines in Europe and Canada want to know about the latest in fashion, make-up, food, exercise and health products.  People subscribed to National Geographic or Smithsonian want to know about themed vacations,  museums, luggage, and traveling products/services.    

Digital interruptions are headache-inducing.  Not so with magazines. Advertisements are welcomed and appreciated.  They are integral, seamless extensions of the magazine  experience. 

29 February 2012

Memo to H.R: Boeing Gets A Bargain

imageBoeing and Microsoft.  They  dominate the business news in my hometown paper. (Actually, it’s not really my hometown paper.  Here’s my hometown paper.)

An inspiring article/obit this weekend:

imageAlbert Seifert, 91, worked at Boeing through seven decades
By Atia Musazay
Employees at Boeing's Auburn Fabrication Division remember coming into work at 5:30 a.m. and seeing their most senior co-worker, Albert Seifert, already there, doing what he liked best: building sophisticated tools and equipment.

What knocked me out:

In 2001, he created a highly useful tool — the Laser Trim Cell — a device that employs a laser to cut stainless-steel tubing…

So Mr. Seifert was eighty years old when he crafted a complex piece of equipment.  The original 2002 article from Boeing:

imageFrom the B-17 to lasers, Al's been there
By Phyllis Miller
… "Al is one of the guys to whom you can take a project and be assured you will get what you designed," … "He is wonderful in providing the tooling expertise, but also in helping younger designers understand what works in the production environment and what doesn't."

Daniel Nydegger, who has worked with Seifert for more than 20 years, agrees. " I believe that when he comes to work, the company gets a bargain," Nydegger said. "A lot of the engineers come to him for advice because of his longevity and the skill level that he has. If Al suggests something, they listen."

As usual, it all sounds vaguely familiar:

07 May 2010
Memo to H.R: Older Brains = Smarter Brains
… A new book makes the case that our brains can age as well as a vintage French burgundy; many of our most important cognitive functions actually improve with age … as Strauch’s book makes clear … older workers can provide valuable brain power to an organization.

I'll leave you with a quote from Rosser Reeves:

Old Masters and Young Geniuses
"No, I don't think a 68-year-old copywriter can write with the kids. That he's as creative. That he's as fresh. But he may be a better surgeon. His ad may not be quite as fresh and glowing as the Madison Ave. fraternity would like to see it be, and yet he might write an ad that will produce five times the sales. And that's the name of the game, isn't it?"

22 February 2012

The New Millennium Tales on AEF Must-Read List

imageWay back in 2005 I was boggled when The Advertising Educational Foundation chose my book as a Classroom Resource:

imageOnly twenty-five titles have been chosen over the last six years. They include A BIG LIFE (in advertising) by Mary Wells Lawrence (Alfred A. Knopf), How Brands Become Icons by Douglas B. Holt (Harvard Business School Publishing Corporation), and Contemporary Advertising by William F. Arens (The McGraw-Hill Companies).

imageI’m boggled again (although not quite as boggled since I can only take about 1/90th of the credit for this one).  AEF has included The New Millennium Tales on its Recommended Must-Read List.

You’ll have to scroll a bit to reach it:


imageOK … maybe I’ll take a wee bit more credit than just 1/90th of it.  Yours Truly suggested to Kevin Lavery that he submit the book to Marcia Soling for consideration. 

Pilgrim Chuck is chuffed to be represented on both AEF’s book lists.

imageAnd the online Wall Street Journal mentioned The New Millennium Tales.  Very heady.

Congrats to all Pilgrims who told tales.  And a special thanks to Ms. Soling and The Advertising Educational Foundation. Visit them on Facebook.

15 February 2012

Barbara Hannah Grufferman on Anti-Aging

There’s a new voice (and beautiful face, if I may be excused for being a tad philogynous) talking lots of sense:

imageBarbara Hannah Grufferman is the author of The Best of Everything After 50: The Experts’ Guide to Style, Sex, Health, Money and More, a resource book which addresses many of the concerns of women over 50…

Ms. Grufferman is the latest in a long line of fascinating and intelligent women “of a certain age” (whatever that means).  Scrolls and scrolls, parchment or ether, would be needed to list them all.  A few off the top of my head:  Myrna Blyth, Marti Barletta, Gail Sheehy, Mary Furlong, Carol Orsborn.

I stumbled upon an excellent piece along with a short, trenchant video (produced by my friends at Growing Bolder):

imageIs The Anti-Aging Industry Bad for Our Health?
Barbara Hannah Grufferman
A new study finds that the absence of older women in magazines wreaks havoc with our self-esteem. It isn't limited to just the images on the covers: An analysis of editorial and advertising images reveals that despite proportions of older readers ranging as high as 23 percent, magazines (even those supposedly geared to women over 40) show older women infrequently, if at all. Magazines geared toward older women generally show young, thin, wrinkle-free women on their pages . . . an "ideal" that's impossible to sustain, even with the use of Botox, fillers, or plastic surgery. Now experts are saying these media messages threaten to cause eating disorders, low self-esteem, and loss of sexuality in post50 women.

Find more inspiring video, audio, and images at Growing Bolder.

Botox.  That sounds familiar.  From 2003:

imageDon't call them old
By Jean Starr
Chuck Nyren is a leading creative consultant, copywriter, and columnist, who focuses on baby boomer demography, sociology and culture.

"Not wanting to get/be/look older isn't anything new. However, baby boomers will do it a bit differently," he said. "Looking and being healthy will be more important than toupees and botox. While botox and the like are getting a lot of press, I'm guessing only a small percentage of people are using stuff like that. Being able to ride a bike, play tennis and garden will be more important than looking good and feeling (bad)."


imageTwiggy & Me
Way back in July 2009, NostraChuckus mentioned something about Twiggy’s airbrushed Olay ad in one of his lantern and shadow shows.


It won’t hurt you to watch the first minute of this:

2007 European Tour

Anti-aging?  What’s wrong with that?

The Best Anti-Aging Products, Services, and Activities: Guaranteed!

There’s also something called Graywashing.

And the advertising industry screwing up:

Boomer Backlash II
If every time someone over fifty sees a commercial targeting them and it’s always for an age-related product or service, pretty soon their eyes will glaze over, they’ll get itchy and grumpy.

But more importantly, isn't it time to rise up and demand that the media - and the advertisers that support magazines, television, and radio - change how they engage with us?”

It’s people like all the ones I’ve mentioned who for years have been challenging the myopia of media and advertising.

Keep plugging away, Ms. Grufferman.