Pepsi’s New Face

I’d have to say that I am impressed with the new Pepsi campaign. Pepsi is known for incorporating a famous spokesperson into their campaigns and running with them as long as people like it, (e.g., Britney Spears).  This usually works for a while but people tend to go back to drinking their beloved Coca Cola. Pepsi has never really had command of the market. The new television spot, aired earlier this month, really inspires young people to live life to its fullest. Through this commercial, the inspirational feeling of living in the moment will come after buying a Pepsi product and enjoying every last sip.

The aspect that makes this Pepsi campaign different than the rest is that it offers an experience rather than just a product. Before, Pepsi paid influential people to advocate for their brand in all parts of the campaign: print, TV, radio, and online. This intervening audience influences the target to make buying decisions in favor of the brand, in this case Pepsi. Even this last Super Bowl ad for Pepsi was forgettable; remember King’s Court anyone?

This ad does not incorporate a spokesperson though. The entire spot shows the experience of a hot dusk night in a place like NYC or at the beach, at a concert, a fashion show, where young people play and exuberate happiness “in the moment”, all while drinking Pepsi. Fun; they are having so much fun. Nicki Minaj’s “Moment for Life” is playing through the duration of the spot, which reiterates that Pepsi will be apart of those special moments.

I think that this ad campaign might be more successful because it incorporates a song rather than an individual and relates drinking Pepsi to a larger audience who don’t have faces. It could be anyone, including you.


Working with a Difficult Client

I am sure that working with a difficult client is an integrated part of working in this industry. It is hard to avoid the situation where you and your client have conflicting interests or you just cannot connect on a professional level.

As part of my public relations capstone class, our professor assigns real clients from the local area that are in need of a communications plan, with pr teams from our class. These clients volunteer their time to collaborate with us in the hopes of creating complex strategies and tactics to attack their market. Granted, we as students are working for free, much like any internship; but the client receives professional grade work.

Although this might seem like a great opportunity, mainly because you don’t have to apply to work for the clients or go looking for this opportunity, the clients are sometimes not easy to work with. My pr team had the privilege of working with the most difficult client out of them all. The problem with our client is that she came into this project knowing that it was a school project, therefore treating us like students rather than professionals. Although our interests and visions were on target, we had difficulties staying in contact and executing a majority of the planned primary research due to prior plans by the client.

The number one goals for any agency or firm is to keep their client happy; mostly by throwing at them communications and marketing plans that will give them maximum return on their investment. Clients however, take into consideration much more than that. There is a culture and partnership that comes with working with a client and the best work comes out of those special relationships. Experiencing working with a difficult client gives pr and ad teams strength and knowledge of how to approach a good client or better the relationship with an old one. I cannot wait to create these relationships with clients I will work for professionally.

Motivation in the Workplace

As Facebook Incorporated approaches its high profile initial public offering on Friday, a large number of San Franciscans are expecting to become cash multi-millionaires in a matter of minutes. This brings about several issues that could arise in the transition to a publicly traded corporation, especially for a company like Facebook.

One key issue that arises when that amount of money is put on the table is motivation. When you first start out and are working for a cause, your motivation to succeed is extremely high. The drive of those who worked for Facebook at its beginning was incredible. They stopped at nothing to get what they wanted. Now they have it and are about to be rich. What is that outside factor going to do to affect the motivation of Facebook employees?

This is how non-profits function. Non- profits gain support form outside sources by way of donations and grants, which then go to fund projects. Employees get paid very little but their work ethic is extremely high because they find passion in what they do. Money takes away from the enthusiasm and excitement that drives people to work for a cause.

Facebook thus far has run on insider trades and funding. Now that shareholders will have their hands in the company, that initial drive to produce great work will start to diminish. The motivation of the company to achieve maximum potential will now grow dim in the light of millions of dollars. The only motivation or employees after the IPO will in turn be to acquire more money for either the company itself or to return to shareholders in dividends.

Obviously, this situation is all hypothetical because Facebook’s IPO has not occurred yet, but due to past occurrences with the same idea, motivation might end up being Facebook’s next big issue.


Fiat Argentina Steps Over the Line in Giant Cleavage Commercial

I was reading my favorite advertising blog, AdFreak catching up on the latest in advertising, marketing, media, and design news and I came across the ads of the world section. I immediately stopped scrolling down the page when I saw a screen shot of huge cleavage with a tiny man sticking out of them on David Kiefaber’s blog post.

Leo Burnett Argentina created this campaign to promote Fiat’s Palio as “the car for the best time of your life.” Kiefaber responds to this tagline with “Even if you’re the kind of shallow moron who would count your girlfriend’s bob job among those times.” He continues to relate “the best time of your life” to other superficial likings that some men might find intriguing. Yes, it’s true the stigma for car companies in advertising is to relate their cars to women. That is a proven way to attract men to buying cars. Although this ad might fly in South America, there would be a huge backlash if aired in North America; not only because of the blatant disregard to class but for ripping of a scene from the most iconic American film seen today, The Big Labowski. (please laugh)

This brings attention to one of the main components of creating an advertising campaign. You must take into consideration your target market. This ad could not be successful in North America due to the nature of the American public. They feel it necessary to censor these kinds of videos to protect children and feel proper. It is a stigma to be less open to these topics. In Latin America, however, the public is more lax in responding to commercials such as these. Even in the Spanish soap operas you will encounter a significant amount of sexuality. This public is more open to it and open about it to others. It is just in the culture.

I agree with Kiefaber in his assertions toward this particular commercial. This ad attempts to relate a woman’s decision to get a boob job to a Fiat Palio. I don’t know how well those two concepts correlate but I’m sure this ad was not just created on a whim.

Culture Jamming

I took an alternative media class over last summer that really opened my eyes on different ways to communicate your message.

Culture jamming, which is term coined in 1984, is a tactic used by many people where a part of the anti-consumerist social movements to disrupt mainstream cultural institutions such as corporate advertising. A well-known group that is active in culture jamming is Adbusters. Adbusters describes itself as “a global network of artists, activists, writers, pranksters, students, educators and entrepreneurs who want to advance the new social activist movement of the information age.” They have numerous spoof ads up on their website that are designed to comment on popular culture.

Culture jamming is so much more than just “subvertising.” Many culture jams are created to expose the questionable political assumptions behind some of the commercial culture. As you can see from this example, different tactics include re-figuring logos, writing commentary on fashion and product images in order to challenge assumptions about the freedoms of consumption or lack there of.

Other forms of culture jamming can include transforming mass media to produce ironic or comical commentary about itself, using the same medium of communication as the original. An example of this could be an activist creating a President Obama or Kim Kardashian twitter account and tweeting about topics that make it seem like they are making fun of themselves, producing satire. The culture jammers are creating a space where they can spur reaction in the public against social conformity for example.

 I personally though this notion was intriguing because I had never seen or heard of anything like it. Culture jamming can have an effect on the public in very real way. If done correctly, jamming can hit people on an emotional level, which sparks thought; then generates action. Any good ad in general needs to be able to do this. Advertising is a function of consumerism, yes, but it is also an effective way of building the foundations of millions of companies in our world. Our world runs on capitalism and I doubt that will change in the near future. That’s just how it is. Culture jammers try to break that truth.  They incorporate satire and humor to change the views of publics to create change in society.

The Adbusters website is filled with spoof ads and different campaigns people could join everyday. Currently they are extremely involved in the Occupy Wall Street Campaign and continue to challenge the “restrictions” of consumerism in our world. I salute them for their efforts and I guarantee they will not stop in the near future.

The San Francisco Giants, 2010 World Champions: Team of Misfits

If you have read my bio on this site, or have ever met me even for a second, you can probably understand that I have a soft spot in my heart for the city of San Francisco. Because I love San Francisco and because I love athletics, throughout my lifetime I have come to endear the San Francisco Giants. They are my all time favorite sports team. I love going to AT&T Park, smelling those Gordon Biersch garlic fries, and watching Buster Posey hit a long one into the Bay. Yes, watching the Giants play, whether it is a day game or under the lights, is my favorite pass time. So it only seemed natural to write a blog post about this incredible team.

When the Giants were on their journey to win the 2010 World Series, the marketing department and some recognizable playoff announcers coined the term “team of misfits” as the season’s phrase. This ploy brought together the many playful nicknames Giants players received over the course of their stay in San Francisco. They include “Pat The Bat” for Pat Burrell, “The Freak” for Tim Lincecum because of his fashionably long hair, and “Kung Fu Panda” for their slugger Pablo Sandoval. These so called misfits conveyed the underdog story to the millions of Americans that watched baseball that year and won their hearts.

On the other hand, Giants announcers coined the term “Giants Baseball Torture,” due to the epic last minute wins by the team and scrappy nature in which they won. They literally would do anything to win. Prior to their 2010 race for the win, the Giants had only appeared in the World Series once since their arrival in San Francisco in 1958; signifying their performance up until then, hence the Cinderella story.

Every sports fan loves the underdog story. Marketing teams and advertising managers try to position their team in a light where they can get fans on board especially in the post season, because they can’t sell post season tickets to season ticket holders. They need to sell new tickets. They want to generate the fan base that recognizes the hard work and playfulness of their athletes. They want fans to notice that these professional athletes are just like them.  San Francisco succeeded in doing this. Their fans keep coming back for more, even now in the 2012 season where they are having a very rocky start. This team has enrobed a large dedicated fan base and that is all that is necessary to keeping a team alive. Go Giants!

Creative Week

Creative Week New York “is where advertising, design, and digital media collide with the arts. It’s about art and copy, concept and execution, pop-culture and high arts. It’s about awards shows, thought leadership, and presentations designed to honor, inspire and connect the creative community.”

This week of celebration brings together all forms and types of advertising as well as art in general to display to the world what this industry has accomplished in the past year. It all began when the non-profit advertising agency, The One Club, realized how many professionals it drew to New York each year for its annual “One Show” Festival and recognized the opportunity to create an organized convention where creatives could express themselves.

Many consider this get together the “unConference” meaning a flexible, participant driven answer to the traditional conference.  It calls for “debate, discussion, and interaction over the talking head presentations.” I wouldn’t expect anything less for Creative Week; a creative way to experiencing a conference because who really likes attending those traditional consultations where you sit and listen to keynote presenters all day, not ad people that’s for sure.

This year Stillwell Partners is collaborating with The One Club to provide an experience that will reach out to both ad people and creative people in general. New York will be bustling with industry professionals from May 7 to 11, which will be a gathering of many masterminds of brilliance. Anyone even considering going and has the means to participate should.  It will be the party of the year!