Category Archives: advertising

Vote for Your Favorite Advertising Icon and Slogan

USA Today and Advertising Age are sponsoring this year’s Advertising week Walk of Fame. In the inaugural year of 2004, five icons five slogans were selected; in subsequent years, it’s been two and two. Last year’s icons were the Geico Caveman – disappointing to me, given the more established choices available – and the Serta (mattress) Sheep. the slogans were “We deliver for you” (US Postal Service) and, in an interesting pairing, UPS’ “What can brown do for you?”

Here are this year’s icon nominees (with year first used, if noted):

AOL Running Man (2003) – seems unlikely; a now-marginal player
Big Boy (restaurants) (1936) – now that’s an icon, though I always thought of it as a regional chain
Budweiser Clydesdales – I only see them in Super Bowl ads; doesn’t quite seem right
Burger King (2004) – not only do I find that plastic “the King” character creepy, it makes me LESS likely to buy the product. Whereas the nominated slogan, “Have it your way”, is quite appealing.
California Raisins (1986) – seems like a short-lived fad
Captain Morgan (rum) (1944) – I’d consider this one
Crash Test Dummies (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) (1985) – would have thought Vince and Larry had been around longer
Doublemint Twins (Wrigley gum)(1939) – seems more like a concept than actual icon with a specific look
Fruit of the Loom Guys (underwear) (1975) – maybe some day
Jolly Green Giant (1928) – actually was my second choice; after all, he is, you know, GREEN
Keebler Elves (1968) – another one that needs to wait its turn
Little Debbie (snack cakes) (1960) – someday
Maytag Repaiirman (1967) – I think I have a bias against humans as icons
McGruff the Crime Dog (1979). AND the National Crime Prevention Council’s “Take a bite out of crime” is up for best slogan; I think I’d be more inclined to vote for the slogan. Maybe someday.
Michelin Man (1898) – should win on seniority alone
Mr. Clean (1958) – iconic; my third choice.
Mr. Mucus (Mucinex) (2005) – WAY too new, and I didn’t even know 1) that he had a name or 2) the name of the product, though I’ve seen the commercial dozens of times
MSN Butterfly (2002) – I happen to think it’s boring and unmemorable
Roaming Gnome (Travelocity) (2004) – too new, and mildly irritating
Ronald McDonald (some restaurant chain) (1963) – if I were to pick a human, this is who I’d pick. Wouldn’t pick the slogan “I’m lovin’ it,” though; never liked it.
Smokey Bear (U.S. Forest Service) (1944) – another Top 5 choice; too bad I can only vote once. And the slogan, “Only you can prevent forest fires”, is also top five.
Subway Jared (sandwiches) – if picking a human like the Maytag guy was problematic for me, picking an actual person like Jared just won’t fly with me. But the slogan, “Eat fresh”, I’d consider.
Test Man (Verizon Wireless) (2002) – “Can you hear me now?” Yes, practically in my sleep. Too new, too human.
Toucan Sam (Froot Loops cereal) (1963) – I actually have a stuffed Toucan Sam. But there are characters more identified with their specific product.
Vlasic Stork (pickles) (1974) – they really used the real Groucho Marx in the early commercials! I did not know that. Top 10 choice.

But my pick is:

Snap, Crackle, Pop (Rice Krispies Cereal) (1941) – not only are these readily identifiable with their brand, they come with a nifty song (LOVE that counterpoint) with interesting lyrics.

Besides, I’m a cereal eater and I consumed a lot of Rice Krispies over the years, although almost none since I discovered that it is pretty much nutritionally void.

I’m not going to go through all the slogans, but I will give you my top three:
3. “Priceless” – MasterCard and 2. “Got milk?” – California Milk Processor Board; both of these have been so widely parodied as to become almost generic. But I’m picking the newspaper I’ve often read, “All the news that’s fit to print” from the maybe-not-as-venerable-as-it-used-to-be New York Times, a motto that’s also been spoofed (“All the news that fits,” e.g.).

I do feel slightly guilty, though. As a business librarian, I probably should have voted for “I Love New York”, if only to keep the award from going to “Virginia is for lovers” or Las Vegas’ “What happens here, stays here”. Here’s one downstate ad, plus a whole slew of commercials linked here.

Also at the site: the WOF game

Voting ends at 6 p.m., Eastern Time, Friday, September 18. Only one vote per computer.

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And speaking of voting:
Corey Ellis, a local coordinator for Barack Obama last year, is running for mayor of Albany, among many races here and across the state; the primary in New York State is today from noon to 9 pm upstate and from 6 am to 9 pm in New York City. Here’s a Metroland story about Corey Ellis. Also, the Times Union endorsement of Jerry Jennings while noting that Mr. Ellis is right on many of the issues; most curious.
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And speaking of curious:
Kayne West. Oy!
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I’m sorry that Patrick Swayze died – somehow I ended up seeing this Barbara Walters special, with him and his wife talking about fighting his cancer – but actually I’ve managed to miss every movie that he made, even the ones I had planned to see such as To Woo Fong and Dirty Dancing. Well, except Ghost, which is feeling just a bit too on the nose right now.

ROG

1000 Cuts

Have a feeling that we just don’t understand.

On a business librarians listserv I’m on, someone was seeking information about the expenditure of single women – the “Carrie Bradshaw” types. (That’s a reference to the lead character in Sex in the City for you guys who poo-pooed the series’ social significance.) Unbidden came these testimonials of women who went shopping for a new car or other large purchase with their father/husband/boyfriend, made it clear that the woman is the customer, and yet all the customer service people directed their attention to the man. In fact, one of the storyteller was the father, who notes that his daughter is the car nut and all he knows how to do is open the hood and sigh when something’s not working. To a person, the purchase was not made.

There was a Snicker’s ad in the UK that got axed as potentially homophobic. I can only imagine some people crying out, “it’s only an advert,” and that people are being “politically correct” or “don’t have a sense of humor” or “how to you even know thee protagonist is supposed to be gay?” Well, I remember the Snickers Super Bowl ad where they toy with a “Brokeback moment”, so I tend to be suspicious. The ad did bother me, especially the tagline, “get some nuts.”

Disney is working on its first black princess. Imagine my ambivalence about THAT. But the vitriol that shows up in the comments, especially those of the “get over it, it’s only a cartoon” variety, as though images don’t matter I found profoundly disturbing and annoying.

I guess what I wish for is that people try to see things from a perspective that’s not their own.
***
Someone on a Methodist listserv wrote this: “I get so much junk email from so-called ‘friends’ that I am a frequent user of snopes.com and truthorfiction.com. Unfortunately, when I confront these ‘friends’ with what I found out about the emails they have forwarded me, they act as if I have insulted their religion. Which
makes sense, because I have. The emails that they forward have become their religion.
Junk email has replaced whispering as the means of spreading false rumors. It is time for the Church to take a stand against this sort of thing. Sermon anyone?”
***
From my spam e-mail folder: “New reports show men are sex hungry”.
Mingle2 – How Sexually Experienced Are You?21

ROG

New Coke QUESTION

I’m wondering if you can think of examples where a company either has a popular item/service which a company has wrecked. Or in alternative, taken a bad situation and made it worse. I’m thinking specifically of American Airlines, who wants to charge $15 for the first bag on the plane – they are already charging $25 for the second – thus insuring people trying (and generally failing) to squeeze even more stuff in the overhead bins. Not to mentioned increased time at the screening line. I’d prefer if they just raised their rates by $15. Or a company that’s changed a logo or advertising slogan from a good one to a forgettable one.

And it doesn’t have to be a big company. How about those comic stores that limited, or worse SOLD, the free comics available on Free Comic Book Day? Last year, for my work blog, I wrote about business signs that bug me. What are your pet peeves?
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Oh and speaking of ads, here’s a quiz someone sent me yesterday. I got 20 of 20, but I don’t know if some of the responses are generational or not:
Here’s a little quiz to see how much you remember about some less-than-important things from a few decades back. It’s just for fun. Even the wrong answers may bring back a memory or two. Have Fun.

1. What builds strong bodies 12 ways?

A. Flintstones vitamins
B. The buttmaster
C. Spaghetti
D. Wonder Bread
E. Orange Juice
F. Milk
G. Cod Liver Oil

2. Before he was Muhammed Ali, he was…

A. Sugar Ray Robinson
B. Roy Orbison
C. Gene Autry
D. Rudolph Valentino
E. Fabian
F. Mickey Mantle
G. Cassius Clay

3. Pogo, the comic strip character said, ‘We have met the enemy and…

A. It’s you
B. He is us
C. It’s the Grinch
D. He wasn’t home
E. He’s really mean
F. We quit
G. He surrendered

4. Good night, David.

A. Good night, Chet
B. Sleep well
C. Good Night, Irene
D. Good Night, Gracie
E. See you later, alligator
F. Until tomorrow
G. Good night, Steve

5. You’ll wonder where the yellow went,

A. When you use Tide
B. When you lose your crayons
C. When you clean your tub
D. If you paint the room blue
E. If you buy a soft water tank
F. When you use Lady Clairol
G. When you brush your teeth with Pepsodent

6. Before he was the Skipper’s Little Buddy, Bob Denver was Dobie’s friend,

A. Stuart Whitman
B. Randolph Scott
C. Steve Reeves
D. Maynard G. Krebbs
E. Corky B. Dork
F. Dave the Whale
G. Zippy Zoo

7. Liar, liar…

A. You’re a liar
B. Your nose is growing
C. Pants on fire
D. Join the choir
E. Jump up higher
F. On the wire
G. I’m telling Mom

8. Meanwhile, back in Metropolis, Superman fights a never ending battle for truth, justice and…

A. Wheaties
B. Lois Lane
C. TV ratings
D. World peace
E. Red tights
F. The American way
G. News headlines

9 . Hey, kids, what time is it?

A. It’s time for Yogi Bear
B. It’s time to do your homework
C. It’s Howdy Doody Time
D. It’s Time for Romper Room
E. It’s bedtime
F. The Mighty Mouse Hour
G. Scooby Doo Time

10. Lions and tigers and bears…

A. Yikes
B. Oh no
C. Gee whiz
D. I’m scared
E. Oh My
F. Help Help
H. Let’s run

11. Bob Dylan advised us never to trust anyone

A. Over 40
B. Wearing a uniform
C. Carrying a briefcase
D. Over 30
E. You don’t know
F. Who says, ‘Trust me’
G. Who eats tofu

12. NFL quarterback who appeared in a television commercial wearing women’s stockings.

A. Troy Aikman
B. Kenny Stabler
C. Joe Namath
D. Roger Stauback
E. Joe Montana
F. Steve Young
G. John Elway

13. Brylcream…

A. Smear it on
B. You’ll smell great
C. Tame that cowlick
D. Greaseball heaven
E. It’s a dream
F. We’re your team
G. A little dab’ll do ya

14. I found my thrill…

A. In Blueberry muffins
B. With my man, Bill
C. Down at the mill
D. Over the windowsill
E. With thyme and dill
F. Too late to enjoy
G. On Blueberry Hill

15. Before Robin Williams, Peter Pan was played by

A. Clark Gable
B. Mary Martin
C. Doris Day
D. Errol Flynn
E. Sally Fields
F. Jim Carey
G. Jay Leno

16. Name the Beatles

A. John, Steve, George , Ringo
B. John, Paul, George , Roscoe
C. John, Paul, Stacey, Ringo
D. Jay, Paul, George , Ringo
E. Lewis, Peter, George , Ringo
F. Jason, Betty, Skipper, Hazel
G. John, Paul, George , Ringo

17. I wonder, wonder, who

A. Who ate the leftovers?
B. Who did the laundry?
C. Was it you?
D. Who wrote the book of love?
E. Who I am?
F. Passed the test?
G. Knocked on the door?

18. I’m strong to the finish

A. Cause I eats my broccoli
B. Cause I eats me spinach
C. Cause I lift weights
D. Cause I’m the hero
E. And don’t you forget it
F. Cause Olive Oyl loves me
G. To outlast Bruto

19. When it’s least expected, you’re elected, you’re the star today…

A. Smile, you’re on Candid Camera
B. Smile, you’re on Star Search
C. Smile, you won the lottery
D. Smile, we’re watching you
E. Smile, the world sees you
F. Smile, you’re a hit
G. Smile, you’re on TV

20. What do M & M’s do?

A. Make your tummy happy
B. Melt in your mouth, not in your pocket
C. Make you fat
D. Melt your heart
E. Make you popular
F. Melt in your mouth, not in your hand
G. Come in colors

ROG