The State of The Union :--) Can Superman & Clark Kent Save The Madison Avenue Trade Marketplace?
This weekend's SuperBowl is the pinnacle; the crown jewel of the entire sports marketing business and is always one super show. It's no coincidence that another super show, The Super Show, the annual Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association: (SGMA) International show is held this time each year.
This year's Annual International Show, which ran from January 23-through 25 in Orlando is to sports marketing as the CES is to consumer electronics. Attended by thousands of sports marketing people from all around the world, it's where sports marketing insiders conduct the ever increasing consumer interest in sports marketing products, as well as sports as entertainment.
With so much going on, we asked two superstars in their own right, Superman and Clark Kent to sit down and talk to us and each other on the status of the sports marketing and media business in 2006. Boy, are we glad we did. Their conversation threw us a curve ball on what's going on in their related businesses. We had no idea the problems they face as we enter the 2006 sports media season.
You're definitely a Baby Boomer if you recollect the line, "Does anyone remember laughter"?
If you don't, it's a classic that singer Robert Plant of Led Zeppelin often added to his "Stairway To Heaven" anthem when he sang it live in-concert, following up the line "And the forests will echo in laughter".
If one looks at this year's "Time Persons of the Year" cover, (sponsored nicely by Chrysler), many of the flower-powered culture's forests, front lawns, back yards and country-club golf courses should all be echoing in laughter as Generation "V-W" -- The alphabetic '60 & '70's generation before Gen "X or "Y" -- can look with pride on the social activism these 3 gifted late boomers have taken, since that fateful summer of love in 1967.
Back then, a VW bus was a badge of anti-establishment; giving hippies the opportunity to travel in groups. Unlike cars, the buses had curtains, to provide privacy as they flew down the highway. Some of society's elders born in "the greatest" generation often speculated quizically and cynically that those curtains in the back of the bus were used cover up the "sex, drugs and rock n roll" going on behind the driver. They were probably right!
What Were They Thinking? Maybe this:
Forgive our "tongue in cheek" discourse here. In our view, this "PSA" is best critiqued with Shakespearian-like irony, similar to Marc Antony's "Brutus is an honorable man").
As we all know, the purpose of PSA's is to provide a close-up of important community-based medical issues confronting society, with particular attention in the teen segment.
Recently, Close Up launched a new campaign aimed at youth which many on the street are applauding. A leading agency manager was quoted during an Advertising Week function last week, stating, "The Close Up PSA Campaign attempts to shed light on an all-too-embarrassing physical ailment, commonly referred to as TASTY.. Its communication solution should receive "special recognition" for its creativity and tasteful treatment."
Those seeking to learn more about this increasingly serious medical condition, TASTY is short for TASTTY-CAKES, a largely ignored compulsive oral-hysteria-based behavior found among sweater-clad American teens.
Medically, TASTTY-CAKES ("TASTY" for short) stands for:
Closer up, not everyone agrees. On one side, Close Up's campaign has been plagued with controversy. Family-values advocates accuse the brand as using offensive and exploitive actions of a sensual nature which promotes promiscuity. They say the campaign is a blatant attempt to sell product using the lowest common denominator.
However, during Advertising Week festivities last week, many attendees expressed their view that it's the exact opposite. They believe the creative approach Close Up used to bring attention to this situation actually reflects the similar values and approaches Madison Avenue culture is known for.
The campaign received much buzz. Agency creative directors and account planners were particularly vocal, commenting that the campaign is mis-understood. They challenge what they refer to as "overly zealous groups" who are not in touch with contemporary American cultural values. "Close Up's efforts are in fact a brave attempt to promote family values. It's an example of the social responsibility of business too infrequently found in the market community today," said one Advertising Hall of Famer.
Surely you know the Film, "American Beauty". One of the key lines voiced by Lester Burnham - our favorite trade magazine reporter - played by Academy Award winner Kevin Spacey, reflects that "My life is like a commercial." Who can't relate to his experience at least once or twice in your Madison Avenue career?
However, the line that kills us and depicts Madison Avenue even more is voiced by Ricky, the kid next door, "Never underestimate the power of denial."
Besides possessing great lines, the film does an excellent job at communicating how preconceived notions about people and things can lead to risky business. We see this very much like the state of behavioral marketing in the 2000-o’s. In our opinion agencies or clients, or media companies who continue for one reason or another to use yesterday's data base methodologies - giving it the confidence to make brand media recommendations - should have their heads examined.
Talk talked, & Hearst walked,
Her cool editor's wit once ran loose & ruled
By James Willoughby
Why The Tears?
We've become urbanite temperamental beasts of burden, wandering amongst a cluttered landscape of utility.
We pleasure ourselves uniting communication and artistic expression.
Our hunger for stuff makes us gear sluts, thirsting after the newest bio-functionality extensions.
How did this happen?... the endless dose of clutter and Borg-ification of modern society.
Our world of gear has consumed the best consumers we've ever known and left them withered quivering saliva piles on the floor of Best Beast. We all know that gear is important. Hell there's a magazine named after it. Gear does so many things for us in this life.
The new fall catalog is out. Oh look, a new breed of cardigan which wicks away sweat leaving you dry and comfortable while still being breathable and airy yet warm and comforting! Oh, my gosh I've never seen one of those before. These are not at all like the warm breathable sweat wicking plastic cardigans they had last year, I must have one.