Category Archives: Advertising

Miller Lite Selects Familiar Song for New Miller Time Spot

Miller Lite recently relaunched their tried and true “Miller Time” campaign with a series of new spots. One of those spots features a very catchy song, How You Like Me Now, by The Heavy. It’s the classic case of a great song becoming discovered by being paired with a high-profile commercial with a heavy media spend supporting it. I had yet to hear of the song or the band before hearing it during a commercial, and after hearing it in the ad I thought about the brand every time I heard the song.

The problem for me (and Miller Lite) is that I first heard this song in the 2009 Super Bowl spot for the Kia Sorrento, not the 2012 spot for Miller Lite.

Why do brands feel the need to latch on to songs that have already been used in very prominent ads? Think about the reach the Kia Sorrento spot had. Don’t you think it would be smart for Miller Lite to select a song that people don’t already associate with another brand? And even if you didn’t associate the song with Kia, you probably had already heard that song by now, right? I think it would have been a much better play for Miller Lite to go with a track that was cool and felt right to listen to before a night out on the town, but had not yet been discovered. If they did that, people would hear the song and associate it with Miller Lite, and they would look at the Miller Lite brand and think, “Damn, these guys are purveyors of awesome music.”

Often times, music gets overlooked during the production of broadcast spots, and that’s not a good thing. When you treat the music selection for commercials as an afterthought, you increase the chance of your commercial becoming an afterthought.



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Advertising Introduces Music to the Masses

Working at an ad agency in the Live Music Capital of the World means being treated to a lot of free concerts. Aside from the awesome bands that play at our agency parties, we have groups come into the office all the time for a midday show in the hopes that (among other things) someone who’s working on a commercial will say “Damn, that song would go perfect in the new (insert brand) spot.” When said situation plays out, it’s a beautiful thing for both band and brand – more-so now than ever before.

With YouTube and Shazam being a part of our everyday lives, it’s easier than ever to figure out who is behind the great music in certain commercials.

The last time this happened to me was earlier this week, when a fairly new Internet Explorer commercial caught my eye…I mean ear.

Now, I’m not very music-forward (especially for an Austinite), so there’s a fairly good chance many of you already know who Alex Clare is – I had no idea. Anyway, he’s a British singer-songwriter whose song Too Close caught my attention during an episode of The Big Bang Theory. It’s a pretty badass song, and you can find it on his debut album, The Lateness of the Hour, pictured below along with the accompanying music video for the song. Isn’t advertising great?

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Kashi Go Lean Protein Claim A Stretch

9 grams of protein to 6 in the average egg

I want to be clear: I love Kashi cereal (Cinnamon Harvest to be exact), and I love my eggs. That is what makes this a difficult post to write.

The way Kashi advertises their Go Lean line of cereals irritates me just a tad. Here’s the ad for your viewing pleasure (this one’s kind-of old, but the campaign/claim continues, as I saw an updated spot this morning).

If you only took away one thing from the above ad, it is that Kashi Go Lean Crunch has the same amount of protein as an incredible edible egg. “True, but” are the first two words that came into my head after hearing that claim. Those are also the first two words that came into my head when Kanye West interrupted Taylor Swift’s Grammy speech to say that Beyonce had one of the best music videos of all time, as in “True, but this is not the time or place to make that argument, Kanye.” Sorry. I got off track there for a second.

Kashi Go Lean Crunch has the same amount of protein as an egg. If you’re measuring by the number  in grams that’s on the label, then yeah, it’s just as good (even better) than an egg. But there’s no mention in the ad of what kind of protein you’re getting in the box. Here’s the label.

CONTAINS WHEAT AND SOY INGREDIENTS. Boom. There’s the one thing that turns me off. While both egg and soy protein contain all the essential amino acids, they were not created equal. Here’s a quick breakdown from comparing egg and soy (and whey) proteins in a different way:

Egg Protein

The average egg contains 6 g of protein and contains about 70 calories. Eggs are a low-cost, high-quality protein and an important source of choline. Most protein powder is made from egg whites, which contain protein without the fat found in the egg yolk. All proteins are rated for their “biological value,” which measures how quickly and how well your body can use the protein you consume. According to Wageningen University in the Netherlands, “Egg white protein is considered to have one of the best amino acids profiles for human nutrition.” Although many foods contain all amino acids, the protein in egg whites is the most bio-available — meaning you body can use all of its protein quickly and efficiently.

Whey Protein

Whey is a by-product of cheese making. When casein is separated from milk by curdling, the watery remains are whey. Look for whey protein isolate, which is strictly the protein, with all other components of the whey removed. Whey is a complete protein — meaning that it contains all amino acids. It’s particularly high in the amino acid leucine, which may help to build lean muscle tissue.There is slightly more leucine in whey protein than in egg protein. Whey protein may be a better choice than egg protein post-workout when your body needs quick energy and fast protein synthesis. However, it isn’t absorbed as well at other times.

Soy Protein

Soy is the most problematic of these three proteins. Soy is unique because it’s the only plant-based protein that contains all the amino acids, but it also contains isoflavones — an estrogenic compound that can affect hormones levels. It may affect thyroid levels and can raise estrogen levels in men. This often isn’t a problem if you use soy rarely, but daily supplementation may have side-effects. This is the best protein option for vegetarians and vegans.


A raised estrogen level is obviously a bigger concern for men than it is for women, and like the above info shows, it’s probably not a big deal if used rarely.

But soy is becoming more and more prevalent in our diets today, and in the case of this Kashi cereal, it’s competing against the egg to become the consumer’s everyday breakfast choice.

I’m not here to say that soy is the anti-christ and that you should avoid it at all costs. I’m saying that egg and soy are two completely different beasts with their own sets of pros and cons. According to Kashi, they’re exactly the same. That is false.

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Maker’s Mark Campaign Misses The Mark

For the past eight months or so, Jimmy Fallon has been popping up on my television talking about Maker’s Mark Kentucky bourbon in their It is what it isn’t campaign. After eight months, I have the same opinion I had at day one: I just can’t see this campaign being a success.

I commend the effort. You certainly can’t wear a pink oxford shirt instead of a blue oxford shirt and call yourself an innovator. It isn’t easy to stand out advertising spirits. Everybody can’t tell an inspiring story like Johnny Walker and expect sales to skyrocket. If you want to do something amazing, you have to do something really different.

A well-regarded brand of bourbon hiring a late night talk show host as spokesman is really different, but it’s the classic square/rectangle case: All squares are rectangles, but not all rectangles are squares. All extraordinary ads buck the norm, but not all ads that buck the norm are extraordinary.

Here’s the copy in full.

It isn’t Hip Hop. It isn’t Heavy Metal! It is definitely not Techno. So why is Maker’s Mark® a hit with so many people? Maybe it’s because even though we’ve never been cool, we’ve always been us – a full bodied whiskey that’s remarkably easy to drink. Just call us the unplugged bourbon. To quote our founder: “It is what it isn’t.™”

He describes a brand that is consistent. A brand that is true. A brand that has never wavered from what it believes in. On its own, that sounds pretty damn good.

The problem  is that the messenger makes the message utterly unbelievable. That’s Jimmy Fallon talking. That’s Jimmy Idiot Boyfriend Weekend Update Tim Tebow to Jesus Christ Fallon! He’s a celebrity. He’s cool. He’s funny. We’ve never been cool, we’ve always been us? It just isn’t believable. He’s reading copy that suggests he grew up sleeping in a bed with a white oak cask for a headboard. You gotta love the guy, but at this stage in his life he was not meant to deliver a marketing message for a Kentucky bourbon. I hate to say it, but he is what Maker’s Mark isn’t.

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Frank Sinatra Thriving in 2011

2011 has been a great year for Ryan Gosling, Bradley Cooper, Dirk Nowitzki and Frank Sinatra. Of course, Sinatra sets himself apart from the pack by being the only one I listed that had a great year posthumously.

It’s so true, though – at least from an advertising perspective. Ciroc Vodka, Nike and PacSun all used Sinatra tracks for ads in 2011. Check ’em out!

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Jane Seymour, The Open Heart Collection and Wedding Crashers

For at least the past three years, starting around Thanksgiving and running through Valentine’s Day, I’ve been witness to many ads for  Jane Seymour’s Open Heart Collection at Kay Jewelers. The ad goes something like “If your heart is open, love will always find its way in.” That’s sweet, right?

The problem I have with the campaign has nothing to do with the message itself, but rather with the message’s authenticity. Does anybody remember Wedding Crashers? Jane Seymour played the roll of Kathleen Cleary, the unfaithful wife of Treasury Secretary William Cleary, played by Christopher Walken. Wedding Crashers grossed over $285,000,000 in the box office and is on cable television nearly every week. I guarantee I’m not the only person who has a flashback to the below scene every time I see an Open Heart Collection ad.

Now, obviously the Open Heart Collection has been successful, judging by how many years I’ve been seeing these ads. Plus, it’s also worth noting that she’s cheating in a movie, not in real life. With that said, where is the line drawn when marketing a jewelry product intended for a significant other? Larry King wedding bands? Newt Gingrich engagement rings? Jenna Jameson anniversary collection? Just wondering…


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Wal-Mart Lady Tries To Be Target Lady…And Fails

That is Maria Bumford, the comedian and actress who has played the role of the Target 2-Day Sale Lady for the past two years. She owns the roll, and that positioning for that matter. Why would Wal-Mart want to compete with her?

Now, Wal-Mart’s entire holiday campaign doesn’t revolve around this lady, but it seems obvious to me that they were going for the Maria Bumford quirkiness. Why not do something different, Wal-Mart?


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