Friday, November 28, 2008

Retailers To Consumers: "Buy or Else!"

Consumer Behavior/Retail Misbehavior
By Kevin McIntosh

With Black Friday here and having just experienced the largest single month drop in retail sales ever retailers are getting more desperate than ever.

U.S. Treasury Secretary, Henry Paulson, began to show some signs of stress at an emergency press conference this morning, screaming, "Somebody just freakin' buy something you stupid idiots!"

There is speculation that the U.S. will call on financial relief from the largest source of wealth known in the world–the Olson twins.

Meanwhile, General Motors CEO, G. Richard Wagoner Jr., is in line to call personal finance talk show host, Dave Ramsey, to see if Dave can tell him where he can get a moonlight gig delivering pizzas that will pay around $20 million a week.

Satire courtesy of:
Kevin McIntosh, The Ad Agency Survival Guide

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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Innovative Ideas For Your Ad Agency's Clients In The Great Depression 2.0

Marketing directors wait anxiously in line this week at the "Should You Advertise During A Recession?" conference in New York.

Tired of clients who can't decide if they want to advertise during the recession? Offer them some can't-miss innovative ideas to market.

As part of my little economic rescue plan, here are some innovative product ideas I've come up with to help bail out your clients in different industries:

The Furniture Industry
The Roosevelt New Deal Collection: A collection of 8 bare pine wood planks, a saw and 32 nails. Promotion tagline: "Help Rebuild America." Start by building a bench for waiting in the soup line.

The Auto Industry

The 2009 Ford Mustang: Literally, it's a mustang horse. Leather saddle seat optional. 1 horse power.

The Housing Industry
The McBox: A McMansion-sized cardboard box, available up to 20,000 square feet. Includes a 2,000 square foot garage for the SUV you can't give away and a hitching post for your 2009 Ford Mustang (see above).

The Consumer Electronics Industry
The iStarve: A smart phone with a stove top burner app. Simply place your can of pork and beans on the phone screen and in just 2 hours, you're eatin' like Jay Bush. For faster cooking times, simply use a MacBook laptop computer which can overheat to temps of 200 degrees or more.

The Banking Industry
The Mattress Stuffer Account: Available in Queen and King size. $35 service fee for non-sufficient stuffing.

The Health Care Industry
The Do-It-Yourself Colonoscopy: For once, the cleansing preparation stage will seem like the easy part.

Kevin McIntosh is a freelance copywriter and brand strategist in the Nashville market. His work can be seen at

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How To Woo Consumers In The Middle Of An Economic Firestorm-Part III

The Johnnie Walker Striding Man spot by the Bartle Bogle Hegarty agency.

Keep Inspiring
by Kevin McIntosh

In an earlier blog post last month, How To Woo Consumers In The Middle Of An Economic Firestorm, Part 1, I discussed the changes we're seeing in consumer behavior in the Post-Bailout Economy.

Between the threats of job loss, business loss and possibly home loss, consumers are stressed, anxious, scared and maybe even in some cases, hopeless. And while you find levels of these emotions in any economic climate, as my article cited, the signs are strong that those emotions are running higher than ever.

We are in the business of changing consumer perceptions. Is it possible that we can change their perceptions about the economy? Can we give them hope for the future?

The Johnnie Walker Striding Man spot by Bartle Bogle Hegarty seems to do just that. The spot reminds us of the hard-working spirit of people world-wide that has led to progress over the past 100 years. The greatest 100 years of progress in the history of mankind.

The original spot above broke earlier in the year, but I just saw it for the first time last month. And I believe it couldn't be more timely than right now.

The sepia-toned footage, mixed with a persistent music cadence suddenly made me think of the Depression Era and how hard it must have been.

But the spot moves through stories of progress, including early flight and the space walk, and concludes with "Who knows where a stride will take you?" Between the music and the powerful imagery, as I first watched the spot, my worries about the economy shifted into more positive thoughts.

More specifically, the spot made me realize, we're living in the present. We have no way of knowing what could happen tomorrow or next week. We can assume it will be the worst. Or we can contemplate the possibilities of the positive changes that might come about as a result of our current economic crisis. Changes like alternative energy development that could solve our problem of dependence on foreign countries for oil. Or innovations here in the U.S. which could revive our manufacturing sector.

A crisis such as what we're experiencing around the world can be scary. But the burning desire to persevere life's challenges can push us to become more innovative than ever.

In short, the Striding Man spot is a testament to the amazing power of the human will to conquer the impossible. We built a city as monumental as New York. We've walked on the moon. We went from the Great Depression to the Internet. All in less than 100 years. Which leaves me to think, "Wow, if we could do all of that, just imagine what we can achieve in the next 100 years."

For those of us in the business of brand advertising and marketing, it's an inspiring reminder of the power of emotional branding.


Kevin McIntosh is a freelance copywriter in the Nashville market. His work can be seen at

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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

How To Protect Your Client From Getting Hijacked On Twitter

Remember the cyber-squatters who rose to notoriety in the 1990's? These were the enterprising folks who rushed out and bought up every major brand name + .com domain they could before the major brands figured out what the heck a dot com was.

Well guess, what. It's happening again.

Only it's not dot com domains. It's Twitter addresses. And because the addresses are free (unlike dot com domains which back in the day could cost $25 or more to reserve for a year), squatters are reserving addresses as fast as they can type words out of the English dictionary.

One blogger reports that all of the basic words in the English language have already been gobbled up by squatters.

If you work in an ad agency let me ask you a question. Have you reserved the Twitter addresses for your clients? Or at least recommended that they reserve their Twitter addresses? And have you gotten your own Twitter address?

Granted, if your client has a major brand name like Coca-Cola, you'll have a case with Twitter for getting the Twitter address handed over to you. It still will be a bit of a headache.

But otherwise, it could be a major headache, especially if your client has lost out to a business with the same name.

Also, consider getting Twitter addresses in the name of your client's CEO and anyone else who may be the brand's chosen micro-blogger.

Oh, and while you're at it, I suggest you go ahead and get your 12seconds and Zannel addresses as they will offer video micro-blogging capabilities.

This could be a great way to start a dialogue with your client about micro-blogging on Twitter and other social media tactics.

If you work in an ad agency and have yet to figure out how Twitter can help your client's brand, then keep coming back to this blog as I'll begin to share with you more about how Twitter is changing marketing with micro-blogging.

Right now, I'm going to get to work finding cool Twitter addresses I can squat on.

By the way, my Twitter address is @macwriter (I chose that rather than my own name as 1. Someone did beat me to my name and 2. macwriter is my screen name on most of my online accounts).

Kevin McIntosh is a freelance copywriter in the Nashville market. His work can be seen at

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Trail Mix: Apple Video Banner Ads On This Morning's NY Times

Originally this morning's post reported that a November 8th post from Radar Online says Apple is ending its "I'm a Mac" campaign featuring Justin Long and John Hodgman, created by their ad agency, TBWA\Chiat\Day.

However, it seems the Radar article was wrong in reporting Justin Long had been dropped from the campaign and had I looked closer, I would have discovered it was wrong 2 years ago. My thanks to copywriter Tom Chandler for pointing that out.

I do hope you get a chance to see something in that campaign that was on the front page of today's New York Times online version.

It was a video banner ad that begins with Long and Hodgman discussing the latest Mac satisfaction survey, as they appear in a right hand column banner. Hodgman, then exits the banner as if walking up a set of stairs behind the actual NY Times content. He then appears in the upper banner as if he just climbed up into an attic at the top of the page. At this point he begins trying to move the satisfaction meter lever over, while still talking with Justin Long's character who's still in the lower right banner video ad.

I have to say, it's the most innovative use of online banner ads I've seen, perhaps ever.

Kevin McIntosh is a freelance copywriter in the Nashville market. His work can be seen at

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Monday, November 3, 2008

How To Launch Your Own Attack Ads

Make your own Attack Ad
Here's a little political ad I did for my write-in candidate in hopes of winning the overlooked "kindergarten" voter segment.

Not enough negative political ads for your taste this year? There's still time to get in your own.

Attack Ad Generator allows you to create your own negative TV ads for the presidential candidate of your choice.

Simply click and drag the photos and announcer voice over words you choose. And in minutes, you can have your own political ad.

The great palette of announcer voice-over words includes all the buzz words from this year's campaign: "Maverick," "Hockey," "Mom," "Bail Out," "Flip Flop," "Shady," "Old Boy Network," "Satan," "Weapons Of Mass Destruction," plus lots more.

Photo selections include pictures of John McCain and Barack Obama, as well as shots of atomic blomb blasts and terrorists.

One buzz phrase that didn't make the list was "Joe The Plumber." Mike Demors of, the creator of the negative ad generator, said the site was finished shortly before the Joe The Plumber incident.

Kevin McIntosh is a freelance copywriter in the Nashville market. His work can be seen at

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How To Blaze A Path On The Campaign Trail With Web 2.0

Consumer and business-to-business marketers aren't the only ones to start digging their heels into social media. Political candidates are starting to leverage the power of social networking and other social media sites as well.

The NY Times has a great article regarding the power of Web 2.0 and its use in the 2008 campaigns.

As YouTube did not exist in 2004 and Facebook had little awareness, this is the first presidential election in which these social media giants could be brought into the media mix. Even the relative new-comer Twitter has played a role.

What a difference four years can make.

Kevin McIntosh is a freelance copywriter in the Nashville market. His work can be seen at

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