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The folly of election ad spending

authored by Amy Paxson

I read two articles today in the newspaper that were not related, but fascinating when you consider them in relation to each other.  The first one was about the level of spend in Massachusetts for political advertising.  With Election Day still more than six weeks away, local and national candidates and their supporters have spent about $46 million on ads in Massachusetts.  In the next six weeks, the amount of advertising is expected to be an avalanche from which we viewers can’t possibly escape.  Multiply that times 50 states and it is truly mind boggling to think about how much money is spent on wasted political ads.

Why wasted, you might ask?  That bring me to the second article, which talks about how almost no one is swayed by a political ad.  People know who they are going to vote for and that’s how they vote.  Nothing Mitt Romney says in an ad is going to all of a sudden cause an Obama supporter to vote for him.  And I’m sure the Romney supporters feel the same way about the Obama ads.  Almost no one in America changes their mind about a candidate based on political advertising.

The Big Ad Gig

authored by Amy Paxson

Has anyone noticed that there are some nights where there is actually NOTHING else on TV except reality shows? On every channel. American civilization (and I use that term loosely) has embraced the notion that quality entertainment is deciding the fate of strangers as they compete in everything from losing the most weight to having the best voice to eating a bucketful of maggots. So, why am I surprised by The Big Ad Gig?

Klout and Why Marketers Should Care

authored by Sharon Sprague

Klout, the site that measures people’s online influence on a scale of 1 to 100, has recently revamped how it calculates Klout scores along with some new features and site redesign. Klout states on their website that these new changes “will help you understand, shape and earn recognition for being you.” Love it or hate it, it looks like its gaining momentum. The company has generated more than 100 million Klout scores and hopes to build more clout through these new changes.

Happy Birthday Andy Warhol

authored by Brad Pruett

Yesterday was Andy Warhol’s 84th birthday. Few have had a more lasting (and controversial) impact on pop culture and advertising than he did. Successful commercial illustrator turned artist, Warhol turned soup cans into icons, and became the subject of the largest museum in the US dedicated to the work of a single artist, The Andy Warhol Museum in, Pittsburgh.

A gymnastics civility lesson, and more ads

authored by Amy Paxson

I know I’m supposed to be commenting on the advertising, but let me just get something out of my system first.

I watched Gabby Douglas’ unsuccessful bid for a medal on the uneven parallel bars last night, where she stalled out on the top, took a step on the landing and placed eighth out of eight competitors.  But it wasn’t the cute little “flying squirrel’s” fiasco that bummed me out as much as watching that snooty Russian Aliya Mustafina’s reaction.  She was actually smiling at Gabby’s misfortune.  Downright smirking, in fact.  I was horrified. The Olympics are supposed to be about sportsmanship, about a shared love of sport with other nations.  Mustafina takes the bad diva rap that women’s gymnastics already has to a whole new level.

Conversely, I’m surprised we haven’t had more coverage on Sam Mikulak’s performance last night.  Granted he placed fifth in the vault, which isn’t all that newsworthy.  But he should win a gold medal for sportsmanship.  He enthusiastically watched and applauded all his competitors.  He cheered for South Korea’s Yang Hak Seon, who went on to win gold.  After a particularly impressive vault and stuck landing by Yang, Mikulak went over to him and said, ”Give me a hug.  That was awesome, man!”  I wondered if Yang speaks English and understood the compliment, but he happily accepted the hug.  THIS is what the Olympics are all about.

The two-week ad orgy known as the Olympics

authored by Amy Paxson

I’ll admit it, I’m an Olympics junkie. Every two years, you can find me glued to my TV for two weeks watching sports that I would never even consider watching outside of the Olympics.  Seriously, in the last winter Olympics, I think I probably watched ten hours of curling.  And while the commercials themselves don’t quite have the anticipation factor of the Super Bowl, it is in fact a two-week ad orgy, with $1 billion in Olympics-related advertising committed.

Twitter translates the mood of the London Olympics

authored by Brad Pruett

Photo by WILL OLIVER/AFP/GettyImages

By now most people likely to read this blog know that Twitter is quickly becoming the go-to source for real-time news for many of its 140 million users. And no event quite matches the Olympics for news creation. To grease the skids for all the anticipated tweeting about to take place around the Olympics, Twitter has created a special page dedicated to the Olympics: http://www.nbcolympics.com/twitter-tracker/. Through an agreement with NBC, Twitter will aggregate all tweets from participating athletes and their families, NBC journalists and commenters, and fans.

Why Community Banks Need to Embrace Social Media Now More Than Ever

authored by Sharon Sprague

Being in the advertising and marketing industry, I have the good fortune of being surrounded by early adopters, media mavens and new media experts. As a result, I find myself operating in my own little utopian marketing bubble. So when I hear clients say they don’t see the value of adopting a social media strategy, I realize these words are being said more often than not. Especially when it comes to financial institutions, in particular, small community banks. Community banks are going to be more averse to social media largely as a result of regulatory concerns, reputational risks, and the perception that it takes a lot of time and energy for something that has yet to prove a significant ROI.

Why most of your fans are not seeing your Facebook posts (and what you can do about it)

authored by Sharon Sprague

Facebook regularly rolls out new features and changes almost as often as your friend from high school changes her profile picture (maybe).  These changes to Facebook are sometimes made very publicly (Timeline) or often times very quietly. One such under-the-radar change was the new feature of “promoted posts”. Launched on the heels of its controversial IPO, “promoted posts” allow businesses to get posts in front of more fans – but for a fee. Facebook has always generated revenue by selling data to advertisers in the past. Now it is looking at its users as a new revenue stream. And this may not have been contentious if it hadn’t been for one of its most popular users – George Takei. George Takei (beloved Mr. Sulu from Star Trek and definitive Facebook power user with over 2.1 million fans), posted this last week:

Sorry state of the industry

authored by Amy Paxson

As we speak, the advertising glitterati are gathered in Cannes to celebrate themselves.  I have to admit, I’m a bit of a Cannes wannabe.  I’d be hard pressed to think of something that would be more fun that watching the best advertising on the planet followed by cocktails on the beach and dinner on the patio of LeVoilier.  But besides the awards and frivolity, Cannes provides lots of interesting and useful content.

One such program is “Ending the Agency Talent Rotisserie,” presented by two execs from Deutsch’s LA office, about how to reduce the more than 30% annual churn that plagues our industry.  Now, you have to admit, there is a little irony here, in that Deutsch has a bit of a sweatshop reputation.  But then again, what agency doesn’t?  (VOX of course is the exception.  Maybe that’s why I don’t go to Cannes?)

Deutsch promoted their session with a series of entertaining videos, featuring agency personnel complaining about their jobs, but we only hear a bit of what they’re saying because most of it is profanity that is bleeped out.  And while the videos are cute, they do reflect an interesting dynamic in the world of advertising: Employee abuse.