Oct 31, 2007

A Halloween Commercial

Ok, maybe it makes you laugh now, but the original idea was to scare the kids. As far as I know, the campaign was effective and a lot of kids got scared of "Mr Yuk".

For all those of you that (like me) have no clue what Mr Yuk was about the story goes like this: it was conceived in 1971 as the mascot for the poison center at the Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh. His image appeared on small green stickers that could be affixed to any container of poisonous substance. The Mr. Yuk stickers were bold and obvious with a phone number for emergencies and the face of a green disgusting "Mr. Yuk"

This is the commercial that bring awareness of what Mr Yuk means... a commercial that was meant to be scary and that I am sure it was at the moment! I find it lovely but I guess it could have scared me 30 years ago.

Thanks to Rob for letting me know about this part of the USA pop culture! :)


Oct 30, 2007

McDonalds - Japanese Style?

Finally a different Ronald Mc Donald!

This is a Japanese ad, I couldn't get much more info about it, but for a change... "I'm loving it!"

Of course we all know that you don't get THAT silhouette by eating at McDonalds..., but that is the beauty of advertising, isn't it?


Oct 28, 2007


Some days ago, Paulo sent me an interesting article: "Dumb But Profitable. 10 Million Dollar Ideas That Shouldn't Have Worked". I must confess that I find the article very amusing but a bit naive.

Since the Industrial Revolution it has been less and less about the product itself and more and more about a combination of things, being those things the market, the target, the positioning/communication, the marketing... and of course also the product, but the product has become just one small part of a bigger equation..., at least in the more complex/developed markets.

That is the catch with the artcle's list: those are purely "First World" products. They may look impossible to sell in my native country (Argentina), in Singapur, or in Nigeria, but if you just observe carefully the US market, you would find most of them not so hard to sell.

Let's pick a couple of examples from the list and run them through a vision of that combination I was talking about...

Product # 2 in the list is PickyDomains.com. According to the original article, "Hire another person to think of a cool domain name for you? No way people would pay for this. Actually, naming domain names for others turned out a thriving business, especially, when you make the entire process risk free. PickyDomains currently has a waiting list of people who want to PAY the service to come up with a snappy memorable domain name. PickyDomains is expected to hit six figures this year. "

Why "no way"? I guess the author doesn't know there is a complete and suppousedly profitable business around owning "good domains", so if you want to start a real business (not just being a domain speculator) finding a good domain has become really difficult. If to that you add the fact that the US is a fast pace economy with little time to "think" AND that politically correctness and watered down education is making the average individual less and less creative, it makes all the sense in the world to pay someone to find that good, catchy, easy to remind URL that I so desperately need.

Another ideas in the list are the Doggles ("Create goggles for dogs and sell them online? Boy, this IS the dumbest idea for a business. How in the world did they manage to become millionaires and have shops all over the world with that one? Beyond me.", says Dmitri in his blog) and the PositivesDating.Com idea, an idea that I personally find BRILLIANT, but that Dmitri sees from the standpoint of "How would you like to go on a date with an HIV positive person?".

Now, lets look into both ideas from the US or the First World point of view. Europeans are having less kids and more pets. In both the US and Europe the expenditure on pets has increased steadily, and (sadly) pets are in their way to be products themselves, that owners want to "accesorize" (if you have doubts they are products, remember the hypoallergenic cats!). So for one reason or another, because the dog is our baby or because is another accesory, we may be willing to spend on goggles made for especially for them. Of course if you live in China, where dogs are sell on the street food market because they are also on the menu, that product doesn't make sense. If you live in any third world where dogs are loved but still considered our helpers it will not make sense either but for economic reasons. In most of those countries, U$ 20.00 is far too much money to spend on our loved dog if it is just about a fashion statement and not their health.

Positives Dating is a great idea but also more First World than Third World, just because the expectancy of life for HIV positives in the developed countries as well as the quality of that life, is way better in the 'first world' than in 'non developed' countries. Is that difference in quantity and quality in htir life that will give some HIV positives the time, willingness and means to use a site for dating purpouses.

The USA is for us, the outsiders, the ones coming from non developed countries, Generousland. And GenerousLand is not just about the famous American Dream, but also about a mix of rich economies, spoiled individuals, different timing and boring lives that give good and 'bad' products an equal chance to sucess.

If you agree with the author of the article thinking that these ideas shouldn't have made it... think again! Think in terms of market, niches, target, and communication, place them in the developed world and last but not least remember that in the '70s a rock sold as a pet was THE thing to have. If that could make someone a millionaire, why wouldn't any of these products?

Paulo-->email--->MadConomist---> Original Article (Dumb but profitable...)


Oct 21, 2007

Little Engineers

Great Norwegian ad. I can picture my other half and his brothers when they were that age doing almost the same... :))

Seems that Engineers are sought everywhere!



Oct 20, 2007

Anti Oops Products

More and more we use email and IM's at work and even for the best of us (ahem, ahem) is becoming very difficult to avoid screwing up from time to time by sending an IM or an email to the wrong person... you know, those moments when you hit "send" and right after you shout "Sh*t!"

Not always the the problem is the wrong recipient: sometimes you send the email to the right person but under the wrong influence (I am not talking alcohol necessary, I was thinking more in the lines of anger, frustration or any of those feelings under which writing emails should be forbidden).

Last week I came across BigString a service that allegedly can have your email on a leash. You send it to the wrong person? Delete it now, even if it is in their inbox already! Wanted to add something but it was sent already? C'mon, you can do it!

Of course my first thought was I HAVE to try this product.., but as happens often with me, my second thought was "is this the only one?". So I made a quick research and the answer, to my surprise, is no. Apparently, there are at least 10 services out there that offer something similar. The complete list is available at "ThinkAbdul", a.k.a Techno(dot)Blog.

Now my life has become more complicated. I would like to test the 10 of them, but I am not sure I have the time and energies to sign up for the free account with all of them. So, I will try one, probably BigString (mostly because I like their logo) :) and I will write about he experience.

Meanwhile, if ANY of you have tried any of the other services, or if you are willing to try them and let us know your experience, it would be great. I mean, these services should be way more popular than they are, so I am really curious about how easy they are to use and how good they are at the end.

If you are using one of them, please send your review. The good part is that you always can delete the email later... ;)


Oct 18, 2007

Don't Drink and Drive...

A great direct marketing campaign. So far one of the better ones I have seen, took place in Portugal and apparently the agency was FCB.

Pretty cheap campaign, incredible effective (50% increase of the phone calls!) and the natural receiver of press coverage.

Everything is explained in the video, enjoy!


A Matter of Perception...

There is no doubt that the Bush Jr. Administration (or lack thereof...) has changed the perception the entire world has about the US.

Now, for those that have ANY doubts about this fact, take a look at this Brazilian ad that made the shortlist at the Cannes Festival.

The product, a blender. The concept, "Mixes everything perfectly".

Each ad uses two pictures in the blender and the final result in a glass.

In one ad the final product is Clinton....,

...in the other ad the final product is Bush...

Uhm, mmmm... let me analyze this for a second... is not the best of Clinton's pictures, still... what I read between the lines is:

1. Washington (an intelligent, eloquent statesman) + Hugh Grant (a seductive, charming guy that was caught in a sex scandal) = Clinton

2. Bush Father (a stiff sanctimonious guy) + Alfred Newman, the MAD character (dumb, idiot funny one) = Bush Jr.

You still don't think there was a change in the general perception? You think that is just because I am a girl that I would rather go with the eloquent, brilliant, charismatic one?

Arrived via: AdFreak.com (AdWeek)---> Adsoftheworld.com--->Advert-Eyes


Oct 17, 2007

Let's Make a Deal

The most common question I got from friends, foes and strangers is:

"How in HELL did you find THAT?"

Seems that the "found via" that I normally include with a link to the original site where I found "THAT" (whatever that is) is not enough. They want to know how I arrived to that website.

The truth is that I have 4 or 5 starting points but because I am very curious I can jump from site to site through the most unexpected links until I arrived to 'something' that catches my attention or makes me think and... a post is born!

So, let's make a deal: I will include at the end of the each posting a "xxxx---->yyyy---->zzzz" in a smaller font, that will let you know how I arrived to THAT. Now, just the last site (zzzz) will be an actual link, as it would take me too much time if I have to trace down my steps, links et al!

Capisce? From now on, when you see at the end of a post a:
...it simply indicates how I arrived to "THAT" :-)


The Value of Words (part I)

I am a sucker for words... or better said for the use of the 'right' words. In fact, I think that the thing that I suffer the most from being here in the US is that my knowledge of English is not as good as my knowledge of Spanish (duh, of course!). When I express this feeling, here and there people would compliment me on my English, and I know is not that bad...but I am used to be in command when it comes to words!

Let's face it... you can't be a witty, sarcastic smart ass if you can't play with words and "shoot them back" in less than2 seconds! So sometimes I feel like I've lost part of my personality just by not having the 'exact' word in the 'exact' moment: I do have the 'exact' thought but not always I can translate it to words in English at the desire speed and in some cases if they are not said at the right moment, they are not worth saying.

I have much more to say about the subject of words. I love words. I value them, I cherish them. I enjoy a good speech, to hear the right words at the right moment with the right cadence, intonation and context. I hate to see how the average vocabulary in use (in both English and Spanish) seems to have been shrinking by the minute over the last 10 years.

For now I will let you enjoy a short Spanish commercial that pokes fun at just THAT fact!

(the English subtitles are mine, trying Mojiti for the first time)


Oct 16, 2007

PC vs Mac (the South Park version)



Oct 15, 2007

"Blog Action Day" (from Paris)

My "call to action" asking for 'green ads' was more successful than I expected. Either people care about the environment more than it seems or I need to shout for help more often!

It doesn't really matter, I am glad it worked. So this material was sent by Dan from Paris (not to be confused with Dani from Brazil). He generously sent me three ads about the environment, all of them print ads.

I must confess that this first one freaked me out a bit because it includes an URL and when I type it in, I found out that it was pointing to a site (blog) that I have visited a couple of times already. So I am not sure if the ad is real (was printed somewhere) or it was an idea never published. I liked it anyway, and I am sure that Dan can give us more details about it... here it is:

He sent another one, very simple, that focus on the concept of biodiversity, I can't read who the company/sponsor/brand is, but here is the ad:

Finally, he sent a more "intellectual" ad that has a very interesting concept. It reminds us that whatever we do to save the environment we also need to make room for human activity. I translated the copy below the ad.

If we say environment, what do you see?


You see a tree. But paradoxically, you should see an industrial challenge too. Because today we need to know how to reconcile human activity and environment. The increasing use of water and energy, the production of waste and the growing of cities, all need an industrial solution. A great company has made of this, their job. Is the job of Veolia Environment.
Veolia Environment. Because taking care of the environment is an industrial challenge.

I like the idea mostly because it is real. We need to protect the environment and at the same time be able to grow... what is without any doubt, a big challenge.

PS: Dear friends make sure you read the comment, as it includes more information about each ad.
(Thanks Dan for the material and the info!)


My "Blog Action Day" ... (Part I)

My 2 cents to the Blog Action Day Campaign will be in fact represented by an old English ad trying to make people aware of the importance of water for our everyday life as well as the fact that we tend to waste it...

But stay tuned. I have just received some more ads from our readers, so in a couple of hours I will include more ads from different parts of the world!


I Guess a Business Ticket...

...allows you to hijack a plane!

I am not sure how many of you actually remember this, but AA and United decided not to provide real cutlery anymore (you know, real, as in made of metal) in their flights after 9/11 as part of their new 'security measures'. Really? Was that decision made for our own security? Or was it for their pockets security? Wasn't it just the perfect excuse for Airlines to cut costs?

In fact, AA provides real cutlery in some of their flights at least in the BOS-CDG (Boston-Paris) Business Class seats (as in the picture at the top).

So, how does it work? By paying more, you can have access to real metal cutlery, therefore you are allow to be a security risk? Ok, if you look at them in the picture you can see that they are small and very inoffensive looking, so I guess you would probably have a really hard time trying to threaten anyone with them...but, if Business Class can cut their meat with metal, why coach can't? Do terrorists only fly coach? (sigh)

It seems to me that 9/11 was the perfect excuse to downgrade and that the decision really had little to do with security. Nevertheless one of the good things that the internet has done for the general public is that we, as the consumers, we can know more, research more and fight back.

So for example if you travel a lot by plane and you are sick and tired of the food that you are served (or how it is served) now you can know beforehand what meals are normally served in each airline, what their "special" meals are (if you are vegan or diabetic or...) and you can compare notes, and make more informed decisions, using Airlinesmeals.net. You can also send them the picture of the meal you got in your flight, so it will be published and will help more people know what to choose and what to avoid if they are picky with meals or they are planning long trips.

The site is not really new but they are going through a redesign phase that will hopefully make it more user friendly.... because I must confess that it is not the most easy site to navigate, even when it is worth taking a look.

BTW, what took me there? Their good collection of airline's old print ads! (couple of them, below).

Out of curiosity... what was the worst thing you were served in an airplane ever? In my case it was a weird dehydrated algae that I got many (many) years ago flying in Japan Airlines. It has been almost 20 years, but I still remember the taste.... Not my cup of tea, for sure!


Oct 14, 2007

"Green Blog" Day

Tomorrow is Blog Action Day. A neat idea, well described in their tagline:

"What would happen if every blog published posts discussing the same issue, on the same day? One issue. One day. Thousands of voices."

Blog Action Day is about the environment. I will join the challenge, so (hopefully) I will post some good ads related to environmental causes. I have a couple in mind, but I have to find them.

Meanwhile, If you have one that want to share, please send me the lead, I will appreciate the contribution (and of course will name the source!). And if you want to participate with your blog just visit their website and sign up...

Bloggers Unite - Blog Action Day


Oct 12, 2007

People I Like...

Don't ask me how, but yesterday I ended up in a site that is called Gawker Artists where a group called Vinchen was displayed.... and I do not know who they are but I like them already!

According to their blurb, "Vinchen wastes time creating reminders for things people would rather forget. In doing so Vinchen hopes to reinvigorate our atrophied sense of outrage and rouse us from the comfortable stupor to which we have grown so accustomed. Vinchen's intention is to redraw the way we receive our surroundings by adding to or removing from what ordinarily goes unnoticed; to create a spectacle hidden in clear view."

With a logo that reminds me a bit to the one of ¨Vendetta¨ (the comic made into a movie this last year) they are the type of people that I like... they work with graffittis and other media, being sometimes antagonistic, but making a point.

This is what they have to say about creativity...


War and Peace

No, I am not talking about Tolstoy. Just about the news. The man who could have been the US President two elections ago, just won the Peace Nobel Prize.

Meanwhile, the one who won (stole?) the elections two elections ago, would be the most firm candidate to get the War Nobel Prize if there was one.


Oct 9, 2007

The Art of Recycling (updated)

In this case, old watches became tiny motorcycles. (Is like the "Transformers" for grown ups!)

I found these two different artists are showcased in Taringa.net. I believe one is Brazilian and the other one Argentinian but I am not 100% sure. Each one has its own style, but both have extremely nice final designs.

These little motorcycles are pieces of jewelry by themselves.

You can see more pictures here and here.

UPDATE: they are all from the same artist, that is a Brazilian Advertising Exectuive from Santa Catarina, Jose Geraldo Pfau Kings . Via Boing Boing


Oct 8, 2007

Passionistas, E-fluentials, or "The" Consumer's Voice

According to a recent article in Adotas, "highly-engaged consumers are more likely than most to create and share content online about issues they are passionate about and even the brands associated with them". The study, called “Passionistas: The New Empowered Consumers” was made by Yahoo and MediaVest and suggests that "should marketers tap into this community, they would find a 'unique opportunity to engage these credible, influential advocates to spread brand messages through digital media'".

This is not really new. Some years ago Burson and Masteller "identified a group of online movers and shakers who shape the opinions and attitudes of the Internet community. We call them the e-fluentials. This group, representing 10% of the online population (approximately 11 million users), reaches more people on more topics than the average online user...". (I took the test and of course I ended up as an e-fluential, I guess in my case is more a personality thing than anything else...) :))

But this isn't new either, is just another twist on the good old "word of mouth" value. A main reason why advertising, marketing and PR work better when they do a good job at identifying the correct target and that it works even better when they make a special effort to reach inside that target to get to the 'influentials, e-fluentials or Passionistas'.... At the end of the day, if you get the right people to talk or recommend your product because they truly believe in it, that is a GREAT achievement and your money was well invested.

When it comes to communications, marketing and advertising, the really 'new' stuff is the media and the production of that media. The complexity on how to deliver a message has grown with the market of course, but the basic, key, strategic values haven't changed so much: they are just a bunch of old, good, basic concepts wrapped in new words..., words like "passionistas".

If you are interested in the subject, read more about:
Passionists at Adotas
E-fluentials at their website
Word of Mouth at WOMMA or at BzzAgent


Oct 5, 2007

The Mom Song (part II)

As promised, here are the lyrics that prove that the International Conspiracy of Moms (see previous post) is real. Enjoy it while watching the video again....

"The Mom Song"

Get up now
Get up now
Get up out of bed
Wash your face
Brush your teeth
Comb your sleepyhead
Here's your clothes and your shoes
Hear the words I said
Get up now! Get up and make your bed
Are you hot? Are you cold?
Are you wearing that?
Where's your books and your lunch and your homework at?
Grab your coat and gloves and your scarf and hat
Don't forget! You gotta feed the cat
Eat your breakfast, the experts tell us it's
the most important meal of all
Take your vitamins so you will grow up one day to be big and tall
Please remember the orthodontist will be seeing you at 3 today
Don't forget your piano lesson is this afternoon so you must play
Don't shovel
Chew slowly
But hurry
The bus is here
Be careful
Come back here
Did you wash behind your ears?
Play outside, don't play rough, will you just play fair?
Be polite, make a friend, don't forget to share
Work it out, wait your turn, never take a dare
Get along! Don't make me come down there
Clean your room, fold your clothes, put your stuff away
Make your bed, do it now, do we have all day?
Were you born in a barn? Would you like some hay?
Can you even hear a word I say?
Answer the phone! Get off the phone!
Don't sit so close, turn it down, no texting at the table
No more computer time tonight!
Your iPod's my iPod if you don't listen up
Where are you going and with whom and what time
do you think you're coming home?
Saying thank you, please, excuse me
makes you welcome everywhere you roam
You'll appreciate my wisdom someday
when you're older and you're grown
Can't wait till you have a couple little children of your own
You'll thank me for the counsel I gave you so willingly
But right now I thank you not to roll your eyes at me
Close your mouth when you chew, would appreciate
Take a bite maybe two of the stuff you hate
Use your fork, do not burp or I'll set you straight
Eat the food I put upon your plate
Get an A, get the door, don't get smart with me
Get a grip, get in here, I'll count to three
Get a job, get a life, get a PHD
Get a dose of,
"I don't care who started it!
You're grounded until you're 36"
Get your story straight and tell the truth for once, for heaven's sake
And if all your friends jumped off a cliff would you jump, too?
If I've said it once, I've said at least a thousand times before
That you're too old to act this way
It must be your father's DNA
Look at me when I am talking
Stand up straighter when you walk
A place for everything and everything must be in place
Stop crying or I'll give you something real to cry about
Brush your teeth, wash your face, put your PJs on
Get in bed, get a help, say a prayer with mom
Don't forget, I love you (blow kisses)
And tomorrow we will do this all again because
a mom's work never ends
You don't need the reason why
Because, because, because, because
I said so, I said so, I said so, I said so
I'm the mom, the mom, the mom, the mom, the mom!!
Ta da!!!



Ad Bakery

One thing I love about the web is the fact that one thing takes you to the other with just one click. So if you are an extreme curious person as I am, you can go from Shakespeare to the (allegedly) more viewed video in YouTube in just 4 clicks.

Now, online networking has made everything easier and personally I am having more fun. A couple of weeks ago I decided that I HAVE to network a bit more, so I become more active in LinkedIn. A conversation there took me to AdGabber (another social network but for the advertising/creative crowd) and AdGabber took me to Ad Bakery.

AdBakery's slogan or definition is "your idea shop". More or less it is...., I mean is a place to look for already cooked ideas, real/professional ideas (as in part of a campaign that is showing somewhere) or 'not real'/amateur ideas (as in I have an idea for a product, here it is, do you like it?).

Anyway, is the kind of site that I will visit from time to time. I thought several times about about starting something like it (a bit more professional oriented) and I still think that with the right marketing could be a very interesting and popular place. They do not have so much material for now but I will be watching to see how it goes, and hopefully it may become another source of creativity.

Meanwhile, here is one of the TV commercials posted there. I really like it. Subtle, with that English 'sense of humor' that is sooooo special...


Oct 4, 2007

Sorry Mom!

Finally it has been proved: there is a worldwide conspiracy out there, barely known by the general public...

Composed by women of almost all ages, the International Sisterhood of Moms has its own code of conduct and their own book of examples and phrases to use with the kids that probably has been used for more than 300 years now.

I suspected that this Sisterhood existed since I was little. I remember hearing the mother of my best friends occasionally using the SAME words with them that mine was using with me.

Then I was in my late 20's I found out that some of the WEIRD things that my mother used to tell me when I was a kid were not just my mom weird ideas but some kind of extended knowledge. I discovered that friends that I have made at school and at work have gone through the same or very similar arguments with their mothers.

I remember getting together with some of my friends and finding out that our moms (that never met in their lives) have been telling us the exactly same things when we were kids.. things that in our little heads then didn't make any sense and that almost 30 years later still don't make sense to me.

But my very BIG surprise was when i found out that this "conspiracy of the evil mothers" was not limited to my country... it was INTERNATIONAL! One day, talking with Glenn (my husband, born in NYC but with Puerto Rican roots) I find out that his mother used the exactly same argument with him about his underwear, exaaactly the same my mother used with me. Now, remember, his family is from Puerto Rico, with origins in Spain, while I was born and raised in Buenos Aires with a mix of almost everything in my family (Italian, German, Jewish) EXCEPT Spaniard.

So how come both our mothers would reinforce the importance of clean underwear with the same (pathetic and weird) argument? We both have to hear "what if we have an accident and therefore our underwear was exposed to strangers and they found out it wasn't impeccable?" . Yeah. That was the argument. I remember thinking that if a car ever run over me I would probably have much more than my underwear in bad shape and that I surely hope that people would be more concerned about ME than about my not perfect underwear. Still, that was my mother weird argument and Glenn's mother weird argument what clearly show that they all learned from some occult book that is passed on to you the moment you become a mother.

If MORE proof was needed, this video says it all. Anita Renfroe mixed in 2 minutes almost everything that ALL moms use at some point or another... and of course times have changed but seems that instead of "do not read at the table!" the mantra now is "Do not text at the table!". Clearly nothing has changed SO much. The book is still valid.

Have a laugh, enjoy this video and tell me that you never heard ANY of these sentences, no matter where you were raised. I will ask for proof and 2 witnesses!

I am now in a quest to find the complete lyrics. I know she goes too fast for non English speakers *and for some English speakers too* so I will look for the lyrics and will publish them here. (update: here they are)

Sorry Mom, but seems that the International Sisterhood is not a secret anymore!


Oct 2, 2007

EggMedia & Literally Crappy Ads

Some people believe (the naive ones) that the visual pollution has arrived to its peak and that there are not too many places where advertising can go.

If you are one of those naive ones... think again! You obviously have no idea how many free spaces are there that could still be used!

Here, a couple:

Crappy ads at home (or may be the cleanest ads of all!)

Available at Just Toilet Paper

And they helped Colon (Columbus) present his ideas to the Queen of Spain, now they can help companies in Mexico:

Possible through Guevomedia (Eggmedia)

Look at the bright side: if you do not like the ads you can literally flush them down the toilet or break them and throw them in the garbage!