Taco Bell: “A” for Effort

Another interesting article I stumbled upon a few days ago.

This article had me reminiscing about Taco Bell’s most recent Super Bowl commercial.

I’m a fan of Taco Bell’s new “Live Mas” image. Are you?



UPDATE: One Day Later – “Monkey See, Monkey Do”

Just last night, I posted some updates on the Cheerios “Just Checking” commercial in my post “Monkey See, Monkey Do.” Today, I stumbled upon an article in AdWeek which shows Cheerios’s first commercial since this controversial spot in May along with some commentary on the Cheerios brand which I found interesting. It looks like comments on this video have not yet been disabled, though some commenters note the switch back to the stereotypical media portrayal of an all-white American family. One commenter shows frustration with the switch, saying, “So sad to see Cheerios fold to peer pressure… to appease hateful individuals. I guess its clear what target market is Cheerios aiming for.” Others appreciate advertisement for what it is: “Beautiful. Very touching.” Others still hold a grudge for the last commercial: “A European family having breakfast together such a beautiful thing. But the damage is done and irreversibly damaged your brand for ever. We never forgive and never forget.”

Will this commercial take Cheerios back to the down-low, as they prefer? Or will they continue to blow up our newsfeeds? Only time will tell.

Conversation Starters

Advertising has strayed from the method of simply presenting facts. Now, it isn’t only about getting the product or the message across, but rather about starting a conversation. Whether through social media or word of mouth, this is often how companies get their name out. This New York Times article, appropriately timed with today’s monumental decisions regarding the LGBT community, addresses the idea of advertisements as conversation starters. One Expedia advertisement noted in the article features a lesbian wedding through the eyes of the father of a bride. According to Expedia’s public relations director, this advertisement was not only meant to show Expedia’s support of this community, but was also meant to start a conversation.

“For Expedia’s commercial, the response has been ‘mixed,’ Ms. Gavin said. ‘There are a lot of folks who applaud us and a lot of folks who aren’t happy.’ That will not deter Expedia, she added, because she believes that time is on the company’s side. ‘In 10 years,’ she asked, ‘is this even a conversation we’ll have any more?'” – Stuart Elliot, The New York Times

Such advertisements are often controversial, but this is not a defining factor; the Dove ads in my article Real Beauty & Self Esteem caused a commotion simply because they were different. Regardless, any advertisement intended to get people talking is a somewhat risky endeavor; you can predict an audience’s reactions, but you can never be sure until the advertisement hits the public. Is the risk worth it? I believe it is. Look at Expedia’s case. Nearly one year after its release, it is still fulfilling itself.

Target Audience Says it All

My parents stumbled upon this article in USA Today the other day and forwarded it along to me. As a part of this target audience, I definitely agree with some of the statements made. What do you think are the best suggestions?

Cosmetics for a Cause

It’s a no-brainer: People like to buy products when they know they’re getting something more out of it, like a free gift. Today’s Advertising column in The New York Times discusses a project by Clarins, Macy’s, and FEED Projects that builds on this concept by rewarding not only the consumer, but also helping to feed the hungry children of the world.



I think that this is a great idea, because it sparks people’s desire to help others, and I like that the advertisement for the project focuses on the philanthropic aspect of the purchase, while still giving a clear answer to the common question, “But what’s in it for me?” I’m not a huge fan of the design itself, but I do respect that the creatives understood exactly what was necessary to get the message across.



Facebook Phone

“Facebook would like to be, literally and figuratively, as close to its users as its users are to their phones.” – Rebecca Lieb, analyst with the Altimeter Group

According to an article in today’s issue of The New York Times, Facebook will be releasing an Android-powered phone. As of now, details seem to be very hush-hush, but the intent is clear: Facebook wants to take over our lives. With a phone optimized for Facebook-usage, it is no doubt on the right track… But can Facebook compete with products from Apple and Google that are already Facebook-friendly?

Check out another article from AdWeek discussing the advertising implications. One quote describes the goal of the phone to be: “In the short term, a Facebook experience that is prominent and deeply integrated into the phone should help the company maintain a dominant leadership position in the social networking space.”

Social Media in Advertising

City Year Advertisement

I read an article in The New York Times the other day about “Ads that Speak the Language of Social Media.” In all honesty, I found most of the ads cited as trendy and relevant to be corny. Whether this is because these social media campaigns are developed through the voice of creative teams that are older and not as “fluent,” per say, in the language and nuances of social media, or because I am simply too picky, I cannot say. What it comes down to is that I, a part of the target audience, don’t find myself connecting to these ads.

However, not all hope is lost when it comes to social media related ads. Tonight at the subway station I saw this billboard for City Year, a nonprofit organization that supports the education of young urban students, that I found to be very effective. It shows a Corps member’s Tweet: “If kids who drop out are 8x more likely to end up in prison, do we open more prisons, or minds? #makebetterhappen.” I connect with this more subtle reference to social media much more than thumbs up signs and corny headings labeling a product as “your new must-have status update” (Sephora). Maybe it’s partly the heartfelt content, but I love this.

What do you think?