Game Over: Twitter Mentioned In 50% Of Super Bowl Commercials, Facebook Only 8%, Google+ Shut Out


This is interesting. It might make Facebook a more pleasant place to be (but a lot less profitable) if advertisers don’t tie their advertising campaigns to it. On the other hand, if the marketing monkeys have decided Twitter is their platform of choice, it’ll become horrible and we’ll all leave.

According to my count, Twitter was mentioned in 26 of 52 national TV commercials — that’s 50 percent of the spots that aired during CBS’ game coverage. Facebook was mentioned in only four of those commercials — about eight percent. Google+, which is reportedly the No. 2 social network in the world, wasn’t mentioned at all.

YouTube and Instagram were even mentioned once each, by Hyundai and Oreo, respectively

via Game Over: Twitter Mentioned In 50% Of Super Bowl Commercials, Facebook Only 8%, Google+ Shut Out.

Via daringfireball

Backlash over plan to extend TV advertising


“By its nature product placement allows marketing to be integrated into programmes, blurring the distinction between advertising and editorial, and is not always recognisable. Studies show that children are particularly susceptible to embedded brand messages and these operate at a subconscious level.”

Their concern was echoed last night by Prof Steve Field, chairman of the Royal College of General Practitioners. He said: “As a consumer I’m worried that the quality of drama programmes will suffer because there may be a focus towards selling a product rather than developing a storyline. But as a doctor, I’m really worried that programmes could be selling alcohol and unhealthy foods, especially sweet foods and fatty foods targeted at children.

via Backlash over plan to extend TV advertising |
Media |

The Font War: Ikea Fans Fume over Switch to Verdana – TIME



Those of you who think I am strangely obsessed with fonts are always sceptical when I claim that lots of other people share my obsession. Well, the IKEA adopts Verdana story has now appeared in Time magazine, and I’ll have you know that I have nothing to do with it.

The Font War: Ikea Fans Fume over Switch to Verdana – TIME. Snip:

Others seem mystified by the choice to eliminate one of the chain’s key identifying features. “The former typeface definitely better reflected Ikea’s design philosophy, giving it a very special, unique flavor that actually fit the company’s style,” says Vitaly Friedman, editor in chief of the online Smashing Magazine, which is dedicated to Web design. “With Verdana being used all across the Web, Ikea’s image not only loses originality, but also credibility and the reputation that the company has built since the 1940s.”

Here’s another take on the controversy: Why, Ikea, why? Snip:

Like many other critics of the switch I would counter that Verdana was specifically designed for use online. Why didn’t IKEA just switch to Verdana online and keep the typographically superior Futura for their print applications? I shudder at the thought of hovering Verdana-emblazoned billboards and bus stop ads.

The best marketing investment they ever made


If you ever wondered whether people smoking on film are being sponsored to do so, the answer is that they probably were. (I wonder if Patty and Selma in The Simpsons are being paid?) But what an investment! Watch a Hollywood film from the 1940s today, and those Big Tobacco dollars are still paying dividends, making smoking look cool.
BBC NEWS | Health | Hollywood paid fortune to smoke.

Microsoft Advertising Campaigns


I’m a bit late to this story update, but Charles Arthur in The Guardian has been writing about the internet-famous adverts for Microsoft which feature Bill Gates and Jerry Seinfeld.

Now, I only have to look at Jerry Seinfeld to start thinking of things that make me laugh. Just as some people recite Monty Python sketches from 40 years ago, my head is full of Seinfeld catch phrases such as, “Not that there’s anything wrong with that,” and “Serenity Now!” The headline in the Guardian story, “I’m out!” ought to raise a chuckle in any Seinfeld fan.

On the other hand, anyone who knows me knows that I hate the MS Windows operating system, which I have always thought an affront to good taste and functionality. I also dislike Windows software like Excel, Word, and PowerPoint: there’s always a better way.

So, these ads. The first one, set in a shoe shop, was self-consciously wacky. I quite liked it, because I like Seinfeld, and if there’s anyone who can make a virtue of acting with Bill Gates, it’s him. The second one, now, “New Family” is truly excellent. I watched it several times. I really like that strange little world they created there, in which Jerry Seinfeld and Bill Gates try to get in touch with reality by moving in with a regular family. It’s still trying very hard to be wacky, but it does work.

The ads also look absolutely fabulous if you watch them on the Microsoft web site.

But when Bill Gates says, at the family dinner table, “Didn’t we have this yesterday?” and Seinfeld mutters, “Put some cheese on it,” I can’t help thinking that this is a little too close to what Microsoft are trying to do with this advertising campaign. Like any great dictatorship, they’re less interested in changing the product/message than they are in banging on about it until everyone submits. It really is the same old Microsoft (Vista is still astonishingly unpopular, upgraded versions of Office won’t play nicely with older versions etc.), and these ads are, well, cheesy.

I’m also not sure why I’m seeing so much of Bill Gates since he supposedly retired. This is like Tony Blair turning up at the Labour conference. It’s time to move on, really, it is.

But the fatal error in these campaigns is that they’ve dropped them already and moved on to other things, one of which is the “I’m a PC” video you can also see on the MS site.

The problem here is that “I’m a PC” refers specifically to the Apple marketing campaign (which in the UK was acted by comedians Mitchell and Webb). By responding to this campaign, Microsoft are effectively admitting that Apple had a point. It’s defensive, and a great example of protesting too much. You’re in danger, with a campaign like that, of inviting people to make the same comparison that Apple were asking them to make – and getting the same answer.

Still, I really did enjoy the Gates/Seinfeld double act.