Tuesday, October 26, 2010

It's not a PUMAAA

It has been quite a while since I wrote a blog post. I am not going to make up any crap about being busy studying for the LSAT or that my internet was down because Comcast is run by a bunch of low functioning chimpanzees (this is probably an insult to even low functioning chmpanzees...sorry). No, I am not going to do that.

What has really been going on? I have been somewhat lazy and gotten complacent ever since I may or may not have passed a certain revenue threshold that may or may not have resulted in me receiving some financial considerations from a certain company via this blog AND that revenue stream may or may not have been reset causing me to go into a state of blogging hibernation.

With that said, I am back and back for the right reasons this time around. And after admitting to being lazy, I am going to get back into the swing of things with what I find to be the easiest kind of advertising post there is. Talking about a video/ad that I think is either good or bad.

The following is a video produced by PUMA. I have always thought that PUMA does a good job of capturing a little bit of that what so many brands try so hard to do but fail...being "cool".

Watch this video and then see my thoughts below. Or watch this video and then move on to Deadspin.com to check out Brett Favre's dong. Either way, just watch it...it's cool (see what I did there?).

What I think is so genius about this video is very simple. It combines humor with emotion.

We all love funny videos and funny commercials, but often times humor ads are forgotten quicker than we realize. This video isn't necessarily laugh out loud funny, but it certainly makes you smile and/or chuckle because it makes you think back to times you have had with your buddies.

I was going to relate this to college, but honestly I think the video hits home with anyone that has ever been to a bar or bowling alley or friend's basement (so hopefully everyone ever...). It may make you think back to a hilarious time five years ago when you stole the pool balls from a random house party you were at because you lost to some Ahole wearing a pink shirt (and perhaps you had consumed a few bowls of loud mouth soup...either way). Or it may make you think back to just last weekend when you hit three shots in a row to send a game of beer pong to overtime.

Regardless, I think PUMA does a great job here of associating itself with what many people consider to be some of the most fun times they ever had and will continue to have.

And to that I say PUMA...well played.

One love, one heart.

Eric McPherson

Twitter: @EricWMcPherson

Thursday, August 12, 2010

The TV Predicament

This post was inspired by a conversation I recently had with my good friend "The Hittman". We were talking about TV shows we have watched and shows we plan to watch in the future, and I posed this question.

Is it more enjoyable to go back and watch a TV series that has already concluded with the ability to watch the show in its entirety at whatever pace you want? Or is it more enjoyable to watch that same show once a week as it airs on TV so that you can be a part of the conversations that go on by the water cooler, on Twitter, etc. after big events and eventually the series finale?

I recently finished the series, The Wire and it was absolutely one of the best shows I have ever seen. But after I watched the series finale, and I didn't know what to do with myself because I wanted to discuss the conclusions and characters with other people (I may or may not have done something really nerdy and gone back and listened to a podcast between two people that had just seen the series finale of The Wire when it actually happened...don't judge me).

Then I started thinking about LOST. I watched the final two seasons of LOST week to week as they aired on ABC. If you watch LOST you probably know that one episode a week is just not enough...having to stop after just one episode is like taking a bite of a delicious Chipotle burrito and then having to save it in the fridge until next Tuesday at 8:00PM.

Fortunately I watched the first 4 seasons of LOST via DVDs which got me thinking. Was that week of getting to discuss the series finale and not having to worry about the ending being spoiled worth the agony of not getting to rip through the show in the same fashion that I did in seasons 1 through 4? Honestly, I haven't decided yet. I think I may have stumbled upon the perfect way to watch a popular TV series. Wait until it is announced that there is an end date to the show, then start watching it and catch up with a season or so to go in the series. Obviously this is easier said than done and to be honest, pretty lame to put this much thought into how to watch a TV show...but whatever, I want credit for this genius idea.

This mental debate also led me to another conundrum.

As technology advances there are more and more ways to watch TV shows on demand (DVR, HBO on demand, cable on demand, netflix, HULU, etc.). But at the same time the technologies for discussing TV shows and having shows spoiled for you are also increasing at a similar rate (Twitter, Facebook, smart phones, texting, blogs...hate to break it to you but SPOILER ALERT...Ross and Rachel got back together). So as it gets easier to watch a show whenever you want it is also becoming necessary to watch a show as soon after it airs as possible in order to avoid any chance of becoming the victim of a spoiler.

Quite the Catch 22.

I don't normally ask (beg...whatever) for comments but I am very curious if anyone else cares or has thought about this topic. So please leave your comments for I would love to hear your take.

One love, one heart

Eric McPherson

Twitter: @EricWMcPherson

Friday, July 16, 2010

This Post Has Turned to Diamonds

I just want to jump on the Old Spice bandwagon and agree with pretty much everyone else that the Twitter, YouTube video promotion they did this week was amazing. If you haven't heard, Old Spice took the main character from these ads...

And had him answer questions in short YouTube videos such as this...

The turn around was really fast, they did over 300 videos in two days. Needless to say it has been quite popular around the interwebs. My take is this...

When looking back, many of the first websites in the mid 1990's were awful. Then sites like Yahoo, Amazon, eBay, etc. began to emerge and pave the way with groundbreaking ideas for how to utilize the internet.

Sometimes we forget that Twitter and iPhone apps and other social media outlets are in their beginning stages. We will probably look back and think a lot of the first apps and twitter promotions were stupid. But Old Spice really made some headway this week in how to use Twitter and YouTube for the power they have. I guarantee you this is only the beginning...so to that I say look out and well done Old Spice. I'm on a horse.

One love, one heart

Eric McPherson

Twitter: @EricWMcPherson

Thursday, June 17, 2010


For a long time there was an understanding in place that hard alcohol companies would not advertise on TV. If you haven't noticed, that trend has changed quite a bit in the past 5 years or so. Today the TV airwaves are littered with ads for tequila (ish), Whiskey, Rum, you name it.

I'm sure there are plenty of people that claim they can taste the difference between Smirnoff and Absolut, but lets be mature here...booze, for the most part, tastes the same. Therefore, there is great opportunity for advertisers to be the main point of differentiation between the vast array of booze brands. A lot of companies are struggling with this.

The following is a description of an ad for hard alcohol, can you tell me which brand?

A semi crowded room, it's kind of dark, there are a lot of "attractive people", some people are dancing, some people are laughing, there are guys playing cards, some of the guys have carefully crafted scruff on their face, the girls are not dressed for church, a guy with a deep, throaty voice is reading something about having a good time or the olden days when "men were men", you find yourself wondering if parties/gatherings like this actually exist.

That's right, there are a lot of ads like this and they do a terrible job of differentiating their brand from the other brands that are doing the exact same thing.

I really have no problem with Kettle One as a brand or product (I actually think their bottle is pretty sweet) but if you replaced the Kettle One brand in this spot with Belvedere, Grey Goose, Stoli, etc. would you even notice?

Or you can replace the throaty sounding dude with some weird music...

As long as these companies are going to continue this trend of advertising on TV and taking whatever lumps that come with it from the powers that be/other groups that might get upset over hard alcohol being advertised on TV (this is a whole other topic, personally as long as they don't advertise during Blues Clues, it doesn't really bother me) they might as well do a good job.

This is an example of a brand that understands its roots and the platform it is built on. If you replaced the brand's name in this ad, it would no longer work...at all...some of these other companies could learn a thing or two from Jameson.

Booze is all about image and once people of age can afford to look up from the shelves with the Karkovs and Admiral Nelsons of the world there lies a great opportunity to build brands that are "cool" or "retro" or "classic" or "modern" or whatever else is the differentiating trait for why someone tries or chooses one Whiskey over another. Because I think we know that for the most part a lot of this stuff tastes pretty similar, but that doesn't mean that they are perceived the same way or that they make us feel the same way (not in a literal drunk way but in an emotional I feel cool or I feel happy or I feel as if I'm balling like Jay Z while I sip on this Crystal kind of way).

People are passionate about strong brands and often times it goes well beyond the actual functionality of the product...booze is no different (just ask me if I've ever gone sailing with the Captain before...yea I capitalized it).

One love, one heart.

Eric McPherson

Twitter: @EricWMcPherson

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


So apparently I am being lazy and just sharing sweet videos on here lately. The iPad has a lot of skeptics but also has a lot of believers (it's selling at a rate faster than the iPhone when it first came out...so yea, I think it's here to stay). I'm a pretty big fan of the new iPad ads (sometimes called iAds) on TV because they are addressing a big issue that many people have with this crazy device...what exactly does it do?

Here is another video that addresses how an iPad can be used but in a completely different way...and it benefits Velcro manufacturers as well, which is nice.

iPad + Velcro from Jesse Rosten on Vimeo.

So if you have been drinking the hatorade and saying iPads are dumb, maybe you still think so but I gotta believe now that velcro is involved you may have reduced your hatorade intake and increased your "maybe iPads are sick wit it after all" odometer.

One love, one heart

Eric McPherson

Twitter: @EricWMcPherson

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

If you don't know now you know

There is a lot of talk right now telling everyone about how important social media is, the great impact it has, how fast it has and continues to grow, etc. At times it is hard to understand these implications without putting any real numbers or facts behind them. I was an attendee recently at a talk given by a dude by the name of Josh Klein, (smart guy) and he shared an amazing video with the group. If you are a social media advocate and at times have a hard time explaining its magnitude to others, I recommend you take a look at this video and pass it along accordingly.

I personally have no problem with those who do not want to be a part of Facebook, Twitter, etc. but what I do have a problem with is those that automatically think something of that nature is stupid without giving it any thought. Even if you personally don't like Twitter or whatever other social media outlets you hear about; it would be wise to acknowledge their existence and the significance they have to the future of social trends, business and who knows what else as they continue to evolve.

One love, one heart

Eric McPherson

Twitter: @EricWMcPherson

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Tim Teboner

WARNING: This post has nothing to do with advertising just in case that is the only reason you ever read these.

I had an interesting discovery over the weekend; let me take you back a few weeks to explain.

As a Vikings fan I have never been more terrified during the NFL draft than I was this year. During the first round of the draft I suffered from anal seepage over the possibility that if Tim Tebow was on the board the Vikings might take him. Many of my friends from college are Packer fans. Throughout the week leading up to the NFL draft, many of these fudge packing friends of mine took the time to send me texts, BBMs, BMs, etc. stating how hilarious they thought it would be if the Vikings took Tim Tebow.

I did not find this to be hilarious.

So when the Broncos inexplicably moved up and took Tim Tebow, I and the rest of my Viking fan brethren wiped the collective sweat off of our collective brows. I received texts from friends all thanking the higher powers that be that the Vikings would not be taking Tim Tebow. At that time I was rather narrow minded in not realizing that there might actually be people out there, Vikings fans included, that wanted to draft Tim Tebow. Not only that but with equal desperation that I did not want to draft him.

I realized that one of the common denominators for people I know that did not want Tim Tebow was age. All these people I speak of that were in the Tim TeNO camp...


are around my age.

My brother is a sophomore in high school and over the weekend he told me some interesting things. He wished the Vikings would have taken Tebow, he would have bought his jersey for sure and his opinion was that I was just jealous of Tim Tebow and that's why I don't like him.

Needless to say I Peter tapped him and told him to never to speak that way to me again. But this got me thinking, why does my brother like this clown? I also found out that many of his friends were also hoping that the Vikings would have drafted Tim Tebow. I even got first hand analysis from a few of these rug rats that they felt Tim Tebow would be a great player in the NFL and that they were still considering a jersey purchase.

This baffled me.

They think that Tim Tebow is the best college player ever and that he will be awesome in the NFL. I think Tim Tebow was a product of a great college system, defense, etc. and will suck in the NFL.

They love Tim Tebow's "intangibles", leadership and passion. I can't stand the way he runs around the field like a frantic person and cries after he loses, cries during press conferences and cries when his mom won't let him play for just 5 more minutes.

They think Tim Tebow is a great person who goes on mission trips and spreads his great wisdom to kids. I think he is so full of crap that if you look closely enough you can see a little bit of crap dribbling out of his ears. I am not a huge fan of famous people leveraging their fame to spread their beliefs (I will leave it at that because I do not want to use this medium to spread my own moral beliefs or anything of that nature).

Butt rather than (see what I did back there?) rant about all the things I don't like about this guy that I have never met, I ask this question...

Why would high school kids be pro Tim Tebow and young adults be anti Tim Tebow?

Do I have a theory? Of course I do. High school kids are dumb and still have football aspirations of their own like being a great leader on the field, just like Timmy (this is great, people should have aspirations, but high school kids are still dumb...when I was in high school, I was dumb). Young adults know that their athletic careers have most likely passed them by (besides softball, pick up basketball games and being the self proclaimed king of bags) and see through Tim Tebow's facade of BS.

Clearly Timmy boy has quite the following because it was just announced today that his jersey was the #1 seller in the month of April. My guess is if you see someone wearing a Tim Tebow jersey it will be a naive, pimply faced kid who is racking his brain trying to memorize the Pythagorean theorem for his or her upcoming geometry test.

Honestly, there is no way I can write about this without being completely biased. So yea, I am completely biased about this and will fully admit to it because I really can't stand Tim Tebow.

Before this gets any rantier please feel free to express your own thoughts on Mr. Teboner or don't.

I promise to put a smile on my face and come up with something more uplifting next time.

One love, one heart

Eric McPherson

Twitter: @EricWMcPherson

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Smaahht aka Different

This past weekend I went to Boston where a friend of mine goes to Haahvaahd and hangs out with smaahht kids. On the plane ride out there I read a book that just came out called "Different" written by Youngme Moon. Coincidentally Youngme Moon teaches marketing at Harvard (let me know if you want me to go back and write this whole thing with a Bahhstan accent because I will). Unfortunately I did not run into Youngme while I was out there.

It's possible that I have a "honeymoon" phase going with this book since I just read it but nevertheless I am going to say that it was one of the best "marketing/business" books I have ever read. I kept finding myself thinking about examples of brands and companies I work with and relating their stories to the examples and theories laid out in the book. I also stopped multiple times to just think. So yea, I would say it's a book that makes you think.

I don't want to get into too much detail about the book because beyond my saying that it is an awesome book I don't want to get all reviewie. However, I will quickly elaborate on one example just to give an idea of what this book gets into.

Some of what Youngme Moon writes about in this book is brands that stand out. She refers to one of these groups as "Reverse Position Brands". An obvious example of this type of brand is Google. In the mid to late 90's Yahoo, AOL and other search engines from the Ace of Base era battled to add more features and more stuff to their homepages in order to stay neck and neck with each other. Along came Google who decided to not include any of those features users were used to.

This was a ballsy move at the time.

Google had faith that people would get over the fact that it didn't provide those things and embrace what it did provide which happened to be, wait for it.....different (see what I did there?).

That is a game of just the tip of what this book is all about so if you think the way I just described that was dumb just keep in mind that the person who wrote the book isn't me...it's a person that teaches at rather high-end university.

Lastly, I bought this book on a whim because it has one of the best promotional videos ever, in my humble opinion.


Sorry if this post comes off as sales pitchy but it's very common in the advertising industry to talk about "breaking through the clutter" and other cliche crap like that. This book does a great job of addressing those issues in a way you don't think about or read about every day.

One love, one heart

Eric McPherson

Twitter: @EricWMcPherson

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


A few months ago I wrote a post centered around the opportunity for a major company (I used McDonald's as my example) to make a bigger impact at a hockey game I attended via their board advertising. As you may recall I thought it would carry much more weight if McDonald's spent whatever they had to and bought up half the space and created a "cool" ad, rather than being buried among 100 other small, cluttered ads/logos.

Fast forward to April 12, 2010.

I happened to be a part of history...by that I mean I went to the Minnesota Twins home opener at Target Field (they gave me an official cardboard thing as proof that I was there...I spilled a little bit of malt cup on it...further proof I was there...classic). In the fourth inning I noticed a McDonald's ad for their third pound angus burger encouraging folks to grub with two hands. The ad extended half way around the park. Granted this was a digital ad making it a much more logical medium to execute what was basically the exact idea I previously had but nevertheless alwaysthemore it was nice to see a once half baked idea in a fully baked state.

We've all seen plenty of these ads so don't fret, I'm aware that McDonald's isn't doing anything groundbreaking. I just appreciate when a company uses a new medium or method to execute the delivery of a message. I honestly never eat at McDonald's (it makes me crap myself) but I still respect a lot of their messaging and communications. Ba da ba ba baaaa....

One love, one heart

Eric McPherson

Twitter: @EricWMcPherson

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

March Madvertising

March Madness is often a popular place to showcase "cool" advertising because of how many people crowd around their TVs, congregate in bars or check the games while they are supposed to be working.

After fully indulging in March Madness this past weekend I started to really ponder the future of TV advertising during live sporting events. As we all know the technological world is rapidly changing with kids and their facebooks, tivos and twitters. So how far away are we from the majority of TV consumption being done through a DVR or online?

I happen to believe linking laptops to TVs enabling one to watch LOST on abc.com but on a big TV or having that same capability through a PS3 or whatever other device is going to be a trend that takes off in the next 5 years.

If that DVR/online TV world becomes a reality, is there any other type of programming on TV that will remain appointment viewing? Live sporting events are actually protected by other technological advances (smart phone, blackberries, etc.) to stay as appointment viewing. It's too difficult to hide from the world in order to not find out who won or lost so generally sports fans would rather check the scores on their phone if they are not able to watch the game.

This makes me wonder how expensive the spots on all major sporting events are going to become. Ratings during Sunday night football on NBC were huge this past fall and I can only imagine the effect that is going to have on prices for the fall of 2010. I also imagine smart marketers are going to have to start really planning ahead when using the live sports medium considering the eventual increase in demand.

Perhaps creative minds will take a different approach and actually focus on things like increasing the popularity of certain live sporting events for the sake of creating more "beach front property" aka effective TV advertising space.

I don't know if there are really any hard conclusions to make at this point regarding this matter but there are is definitely stuff to think about it that will become more relevant faster than we might think.

One love, one heart

Eric McPherson

Twitter: @EricWMcPherson

Sorry for the lame title....had to do it

Monday, March 8, 2010

Crashing the Boards

I went to the hockey game between the Minnesota Gophers and the Wisconsin Badgers on Friday. The Badgers won and honestly hockey isn't high on my sports priority list so I'm not too upset over it. Also, I'm officially mad at gopher hockey fans because an old guy in a gopher hockey shirt yelled at me to "SIIITTT DOOWWWNNN" when all I was doing was returning to my seat (there had been a short stoppage in play that turned out not to be long enough for me to get to my seat before play started up again...sorry old guy).

Anyways, being the advertising nerd that I am I was intrigued by the companies and ads that surrounded the boards within the rink. Normally the Target Center does not host hockey matches (I kept calling the hockey game a match just to upset people that love hockey and I will continue to do so now) so I'm guessing these boards may have been old or borrowed (or brand new...what do I know, but I believe one of the only other times the Target Center uses a large sheet of ice is for epic events like Blues Clues on ice).

The boards had quite an array of companies including national brands like McDonald's and Wendy's and a local construction company. Most of the space was taken up by company logos with a few exceptions of actual ad looking messages/images. What got me going was how crowded and overwhelming the space was. There was a new company every 5 feet and it was really hard to focus on a specific brand. It reminded me of walking through the enclosed part of the Washington Avenue Bridge at the beginning of fall semester after all the clubs had painted their new image/logo/message on the wall and how it was barely possible to keep up with all the images while walking to good old Wiley Hall (for those of you that did not go to the University of MN this probably makes no sense but just go with it).

I thought to myself, if I was McDonald's and had a advertising budget similar to the cost of the new Dallas Cowboy's stadium, I would pay double whatever half of the board space was currently going for and come up with something really cool that takes up half that board space. Now maybe the gopher hockey team has too many sponsors for this to be plausible, but if I am McDonald's and I do, insert really cool ad that takes of half the board space, I have people leaving the game saying thins like "I wish the gophers hadn't had that goal taken away by having a man in the crease, and did you see that thing McDonald's did with the boards?" You might even ignite the "cell phone" effect where people bust out their fancy phones and snap pictures or even shoot videos that might end up on YouTube.

To me this is a classic "cluttered advertising space" case that presents an opportunity to do something different.

That's all I got.

One love, one heart

Eric McPherson

Twitter: @EricWMcPherson

Friday, March 5, 2010

Do Something Positive

This post is completely random and off topic but my post ideas have been running a little thin lately (or I could give the old excuse that I have been really busy which may or may not be true but really aren't we all sick of hearing that?).

To preface this very random post I have to explain that I am commissioning a March Madness pool (on Yahoo for $10, if you are interested in joining send me an email or text or call or send a carrier pigeon and I will get you the info). Part of my commissioning duties are to remind people that they need to pay up or they will get booted from the group come tournament time. One of my tactics for this particular duty is mass texting, which usually includes what I believe to be hilarious quips and threats (in all likelihood the texts are probably just annoying but that's neither here nor there nor over there).

So I sent a mass text to a bunch of the people that are signed up on Yahoo who have not signed up to pay through the third party account. One of these persons is an old friend of mine from when I worked for the fine City of Bloomington mowing grass and taking down diseased trees. This friend has been living in Arizona for a few years so we do not contact each other too often. However, I must say that he is quite the prankster which definitely contributed to what follows (he used to hide on top of the warehouse where we kept the mowers and pour buckets of water on people as they walked inside...classic). Maybe I am the only one who thinks what follows is funny but apparently I had the wrong number for who I thought was my old friend. The following text messaging conversation has not been altered in any way, of course nobody would have any way of knowing that but just trust me it hasn't...enjoy.

Me: "I see a lot of you have signed up for the March Madness pool on Yahoo but not to pay on leaguesafe (third party site)...16 days until the deadline to pay, you were warned..."

Anonymous person I thought was my friend: "Pay for what?!!! I don't even use Yahoo, you have the wrong person. Take me off your list please. Thank you."

Me: "You are lying, I will boot you from the March Madness Yahoo group so fast..."

Anonymous person I thought was my friend: "I am going to report you if you threaten me any further. Why would I lie about a March Madness group. That is nuts. I have not signed up for anything lik"

Anonymous person I thought was my friend (he or she ran out of characters): "e that in my life. Do not harass me any further. I have no idea who you are and this is scaring me."

Me: "You are signed up for a March Madness pool...stop lying"

Anonymous person I thought was my friend: "if I was signed up for that, that would mean I wanted to be in it, so you wouldn't be hearing this. I am an honest person. You must have the wrong person"

Anonymous person I thought was my friend (he or she ran out of characters): ". Will you please leave me alone now. If you text me again, I am going to report you to the police for harassing me for NO reason. I would rather not hav"

Anonymous person I thought was my friend (he or she ran out of characters): "e to do that, but I will if I have to. Do something positive."

Now maybe you are thinking I am a jerk and should have left this person alone after one text or maybe you are thinking I should have been meaner and taken this way further just to get this person to use more hilarious verbage. Either way, I think "Do something positive" is just a phenomenal line and wanted to share it with anyone who might be interested.

That is all I got, if the person I interacted with via text message reads this...I hope this falls under your category of "positive"...cause I did it.

One love, one heart

Eric McPherson

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Be Observant

I'm going to saddle up and get back on my high horse here with some advice I once received mixed in with my own thoughts. As you probably gathered from the title it pertains to being observant (or perhaps you were not able to pick that up in which case you should really take this advice seriously).

As I was driving home yesterday I pulled up to a stop light near my place of residence. There was a homeless person standing there holding a sign, a common site at many busy intersections in Minneapolis. Being the curious natured fellow that I am I tried to read the sign but got frustrated instantly. The sign was probably about 12 X 8 inches and had approximately 30 words on it. 

Now I could lie and say that the first thing I thought of was how sad it was or how I felt compassion or something sappy like that, but I've seen a thousand of these people and these signs and so sue me but I do not get that sort of reaction.

Rather, the first thing that popped into my mind was, "That homeless guy's sign has way too many words on it." This thought progressed to me pondering what I would write on a sign in hopes of getting money should I be standing on the side of the road at an intersection. I thought something to the point and simple would be much more effective like "Please help" or "Homeless" or "Hungry" or even "$". 

From what I gathered this particular guy's sign was claiming he was not a criminal or a drunk or on drugs, etc. I thought to myself even if all that is true and if whatever the rest of the sign says that I didn't get to is true you cannot tell your life story on a small piece of cardboard. The short term goal is to get people to roll down their window and hand you some money or some food. I have no proof that my simplistic signs would be more effective than this guy's lengthy sign but that's not really my point. 

After I drove away and concluded my thoughts on this I realized wow, I am a huge advertising nerd. But at the same time I rationalized it by thinking maybe I am just an observant person. I believe this is critical when working in the field of advertising. As everyone knows people are exposed to thousands of advertisements every single day. Taking in your surroundings and thinking about "why this" or "why is something like that" should be second nature.

In my first semester of my junior year of college I had Marketing 3001 at the Carlson school of business. My professor was deemed by many as arrogant and kind of a jerk. I thought he was a pretty smart dude that had a lot to offer beyond learning about the 4 P's. I remember one day he went off on a tangent about your mindset if you are serious about marketing and advertising. He said things like "you need to live it, breathe it" He said, "it needs to become second nature, when you are walking down the aisles of the grocery store you should be fascinated by all that's around you". 

I really liked that professor, but at that particular time I thought this was kind of dumb. I was more concerned about the score of the Twins game from the night before.

I'm sure you know where this is going but here it is anyways. On a daily basis I find myself noticing things wondering how something got there or what other people think of "that". I don't just mean billboards and other advertisements but all kinds of things. I also find myself reminiscing about that day of class and thinking to myself that crazy old man was on to something.

I know I am being a bit hypocritical by saying you need to be conscious of being more observant and then saying it should be second nature. Perhaps it's something you can consciously do for a while and it can become subconscious naturally. I'm not going to lie and say I have any clue how it really works. Regardless, it's something to keep in mind because in the world of advertising and many other fields it is critical to be aware of the physical world around you, even if you don't always understand it.

I apologize for the lack of cool pictures, videos or links in this post; I did this on purpose (deep, I know).

One love, one heart

Eric McPherson

Twitter: @EricWMcPherson

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Wear a Seat Belt

This advertisement encouraging people to wear their seat belts has been getting a lot of positive feedback. One might even say that it is getting a lot of hype (at least in the online world). I really do not have a lot so say other than I could not agree more. Put simply, this is one of the best advertisements I have ever seen. It's also a great example of how emotional connection trumps the "sex sells" type ads, humor, scare tactics, etc. Those forms of advertising certainly have their place, but (watch out here comes the cliche) at the end of the day ads like this have the most impact.

If you plan on watching this and then not wearing a seat belt...don't kid yourself.

One love, one heart

Eric McPherson

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Suck on These....Taxes

It has been a while since I went the easy route and expressed my opinion on a commercial I saw on TV. This is where I would normally insert a stupid joke about how I am actually not going to do that and talk about something way more deep an/or abstract but actually I'm just going to talk about a commercial I saw.

My girlfriend and I were watching Community, this season's hit new comedy on NBC, and naturally we were utilizing the DVR to its max potential. Which basically means we recorded it and were fast forwarding through the commercials at three arrow speeds (you show me someone that can accurately fast forward at four arrow speeds and I will show you a liar or a true American prodigy).

Just after Joel McHale was done saying something hilarious the commercials came on and I hit fast forward quicker than Cool Hand Luke, when all of a sudden we both went "Whoa, what was that?" I proceeded to pause and rewind the commercial at one arrow speed in order to ensure precision and accuracy. It was a commercial that featured two of the characters from the show, the Spanish teacher (aka the Chinese guy from the Hangover) and the dean (the small, bald, nerdy guy). We proceeded to watch the commercial discovering that it was for TurboTax. The actors do the commercial in character which you can see below.

Earlier I was unable to find the video footage so I asked you to just imagine this clip is an ad for TurboTax.

As soon as I saw the ad I thought it would be a cool topic to write about. Apparently I was not the only one considering you can find much more qualified analysis here, here or here (or even here....IN THE FAAACE).

My point is this. There is a common cliche that the 30 second spot is going to die and there is another common cliche that the 30 second spot is not going to die because advertisers will become more creative. This is a prime example of why I am a member of cliche camp number two. I did not stop and rewind this ad because I work in advertising, I rewound it because I think that guy from The Hangover is hilarious and I didn't want to miss something that might wet my entertainment palette.

Go Vikings

I am with Coco aka Team Conan

One love, one heart

Eric McPherson

Follow me on Twitter @EricWMcPherson