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Let the games begin!

Posted by Olivier Blanchard

Is it just me, or are the winter Games a lot more fun to watch than the summer Games? Good thing I can blog and watch TV at the same time. (Um... It is a good thing, right?)

Okay. Here are my top three picks for today:

1) Jennifer Rice's piece on how brands can capitalize on customer ego. Here's a slice:

"So yes, this really is all about ego. We don't like to admit that we need our ego stroked, that we want to be recognized and feel important. But hey, it's a fact AND it's a huge motivator for purchase (like L'Oreal's tag line: "It's more expensive, but I'm worth it.") Obviously all fashion, cosmetics, car companies, etc. are playing on Esteem, but (..) any company can meet this need.

How could your brand boost your customers' egos and make them feel special?"

Excellent question. read the rest of the post here.

2) Grant McCracken's brilliant post about financial institutions and their uneasy relationship with marketing. I actually found myself wishing it were longer. (Can we please have a part 2?)

I would give you guys a taste, but it's better whole. (So go read it.)

3) Being Reasonable's Tim Pollak takes a look at the Superbowl advertising debacle from yet another angle:

“The reason for creating and airing most commercials – to sell something – is ‘almost taboo’ in the Super Bowl setting.” “Almost taboo”? This astonishing quote came from the respected chairman of a major agency. You’d like to attribute it to a momentary lapse in judgment, but it’s actually the prevailing point-of-view in the advertising community…

Rather than being treated as the biggest mass marketing event of the year, the Super Bowl has become a kind of Cannes Festival for the masses.

(Except that the Cannes International Film Festival emphasizes quality and talent, as opposed to big budgets... But that may have to be the subject of a whole other post.)

"When marketers have the singular opportunity to reach 90 million consumers in a TiVo-proof environment, at the price of $2.5 million per 30 seconds, it’s indefensible to forfeit the opportunity to broadcast your most compelling product message."

Can I hear an "Amen?"

Tim makes an interesting (and frightening) assertion in his post:

"Yet somehow, agencies and advertisers have become co-conspirators in a cutthroat competition to make their ads – and not their products – the heroes of the day.

Now there is nothing inherently wrong with advertising awards shows. Like any industry convention, they are designed to be self-congratulatory and make the participants feel good about themselves and their chosen profession. But they have very little to do with the business of advertising…and spending at the tune of $83,333 per second is too serious a business to be left to monkeys and Whopperettes."

No kidding. If I were a Superbowl XL advertiser, the very notion that I might have spent $2,500,000 to finance an ad that will do more for my agency of record's bottom line than my own company's would be enough keep me up at night for weeks.

The problem isn't limited to the Superbowl either. It's been going on for a while now. There's nothing wrong with an agency getting noticed for its fantastic work. Quite the contrary. But the client MUST always come first. This isn't even up for discussion. Obviously, while some agencies still follow that simple rule, many big names in the industry don't, and that's alarming.

(Worse yet, their self-aggrandizing ads aren't even that great. Shame, shame, shame.)

Anyway, check out the whole post here.

There's a lot more great stuff on the network, but we'll get to it tomorrow. Until then, be good, and enjoy Day 1 of the Winter Games.




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