Friday, October 22, 2010

No joy in Austin

AdAge is reporting the split between GSD&M and BMW effective December 31st of this year. After all the changes we've seen this year, a car company leaving its agency hardly seems like news.

While several critics, myself included, have been less than complimentary about the "Joy" campaign developed by GSD&M, what makes this announcement really interesting is that according to GSD&M, it was their idea to break it off. Right.

GSD&M told a high profile client generating tens of millions of dollars of revenue for the agency to take a flying leap. So much for truth in advertising.

The other statement that got my attention is that GSD&M said there will be no layoffs as a result of the loss. Oh really?

In the agency business, you basically staff one employee for every $150,000 of revenue. So being conservative and saying GSD&M was earning $10,000,000 a year in fees from BMW that would fund the equivalent of 67 full-time employees. Either they were badly understaffed and underserving the client (a reason for the split?) or they are willing to lose a lot of money while they look for replacement revenue. I doubt Omnicom is going to let that happen.

Who knows where the account will end up. One can only hope that wherever the business lands, BMW gets back to being BMW again.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Broadway Vince

Here in Wisconsin, Vince Lombardi isn't just the former football coach of the Green Bay Packers. He's a legend, an inspiration, and yes, a saint.

Now that New Jersey transplant who's done more for Wisconsin's image than aged Gouda is the subject of a Broadway play.

Based on David Maraniss' excellent biography "When Pride Still Mattered," the show opens tonight and is the first partnership between the NFL and a Broadway production. With this kind of marketing muscle behind it, some are predicting the production will be as unstoppable as Lombardi's patented power sweep.

I'm skeptical because most Broadway ticket purchase decisions are driven by women.

But who knows. The play has exceeded my expectations so far. If you told me play about football, with a Pepto-Bismol swilling protagonist, set in an NFL locker room would even make it to Broadway, I might answer using the immortal words of Vince himself...

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Speed Demonettes

An insurance consulting company has recently released a list of the top 10 ticketed cars per 100,000 miles driven in the U.S. over the past year. Not surprisingly the list includes a couple of AMG Mercedes, the VW GTI and that rolling bastion of invincibility and ignorance, the Hummer H2.

What is surprising is that the number two car on the list is the Toyota Camry. In fact, Camry owners are 3.5 times more likely to get a ticket than the average driver. The other interesting finding is this is due in large part to the women of a certain age who drive this car.

According to this study, women in their 50s, when no kids are in the car, are particularly likely to drive over the speed limit and apparently they aren't very good at spotting public safety officers. Who knew?

On the bright side, when they're pulled over, they can claim they're victims of sudden unintended acceleration.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

I can't learn if I'm asleep

Last night I attended a presentation hoping to learn a few things about design for manufacturability. (Don't I lead an exciting life?) The presenters were all smart, had great experience and interesting things to say. The problem is most didn't say it interestingly.

Two of the speakers fell into the trap of using their PowerPoint slides as their presentation instead of as an aid to their presentation, literally reading the information right off the slide. They should have just emailed me their slides. It would have saved me a lot of money in gas, I would have received just as much information, and the people at my table wouldn't have had to put up with my snoring.

Presenting is about the exchange of information and ideas, and that happens when you engage the audience. Reading the bullet points right off your slides isn't going to get it done.

So as a public service and to ensure I never have to sit through a session of PowerPoint abuse ever again, I'm including this link to Seth Godin's mercifully short but supremely excellent guide on how to use PowerPoint effectively in your presentation.

Please read it, use it, share it with your friends, and together we can rid the world of bad PowerPoint in our lifetimes.

Monday, October 18, 2010

BK aims low

When I first saw this Burger King commercial, I thought it was was odd. But since I'm clearly not the target I didn't think much about it until last night.

I was out at a bar watching Sunday Night Football and one of the spots in this campaign came on. I was interested in the reaction of the other patrons since many were males under 30. Their response was unanimously negative. I heard words like "awful", "idiotic" and "dumb" describing the spot.

In spite of this, BK's breakfast sales appear to be on the rise according to this article from MarketWatch

When I was a kid they used to say, "Sex Sells." Apparently now, "Stupid" does as well.

Addendum: Clearly stupid does sell. Exhibit B: "Jackass 3D" did an estimated $50 million in box office over the past three days, the best opening weekend this year since "Inception."