Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Are TV Spots and Commercials Too Loud? Louder Than the Programs? You Need to Know About the New CALM Act.

For years people have complained about the commercials or TV spots which are too loud.

Advertising agencies produced the spots louder. They wanted their clients’ ads to stand out.

Programmers and station management wanted their promos to stand out.

The FCC (Federal Communications Commission) is turning down the volume on TV ads.

By December 2012, the new FCC rules and the Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation (CALM) Act will require advertisers and networks to adopt best practices to ensure their commercials and promos don’t SHOUT at higher, louder volumes than the programming.

It is being argued that promos and ads are making pitches to consumers in a similar fashion. Even though a promo may not involve a direct pay-for-play arrangement, it is argued that the intention is the same.

Under CALM, the burden is on cable operators, satellite operators, telcos and stations to ensure that the content they carry complies with this new legislation.

Now you can turn the volume up or down. Just not both during the same 30 minutes of your favorite show. 

How Many Advertising Agencies Have Worked And Will Work For Burger King? BK Is Looking Again For Agencies? Really, Again?

That is not new or news.

According to AdvAge, BK is looking again. Really.
BK has every agency compete, and by adding more agencies there is more competition. The move means that the new and "old" agencies would have to compete against one another for projects, which has been happening more or less each quarter, for each new campaign.

It’s using McGarryBowen (lead creative agency), Mother, Ogilvy offshoot - David, Pitch, Pereira & O'Dell; and appears to be looking for others. They could be looking to increase "same-agency" sales.

What's more interesting it that there have been sales gains. BK is showing signs of reversing a long decline in same-store sales.

The news of more agencies competing is surely unfortunate for McGarryBowen, which signed on with Burger King as the main agency in ‘11.

McGarryBowen hasn't appeared to have had any work run since the end of the first quarter, after Burger King announced that it was adding Mother, David and Pitch as general-market agencies.

There doesn’t seem to be much "partnership" and more of  "vendor, project based" relationships for BK.

As BK shops for agency "vendors," just watch out that shops may not want more project work, as that works against them for bigger opportunities in the same category.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Good for Nike and Bad, Really Bad, for LeBron

For Nike its $315 shoe has one of the Nine P’s/9P’s  “Promotion” built right into it; for LeBron the shoe has “Stupid” and “Dumb” all over it. For his image, it's just not smart Marketing.

LeBron James' signature shoe or Nike’s high-end version of his shoe is priced at plus $300. That’s what the WSJ has reported. Nike says it has not released its price. Estimated production of 25K to 50K pairs. By the way, his most expensive LeBron IX shoes currently go for $250.

Nike gets to tout its new technology. Every major media outlet has done stories on the LeBron X. That is excellent for Nike. Nike says the top model will cost more "to reflect the Nike+ technology embedded in the shoes."  Well, that overall Promotion, with no advertising, just publicity is excellent for Nike, but not for James.

Now for LeBron. LeBron who was riding high after winning the NBA championship and the Olympics’ Gold medal is in another PR nightmare. Remember the ESPN's Decision crafted by LeBron and his team of high school buddies. Just a plain, dumb, avoidable marketing mess, with legs.

Not sure everyone knew but NBC TV viewers watched LeBron wear the shoes at the London Olympics.

Last week the National Urban League asked parents not to waste their money on an "empty status symbol." Marc Morial of the NUL said "To release such an outrageously overpriced product while the nation is struggling to overcome an unemployment crisis is insensitive at best."

We were at a 1A baseball game in June with the Cleveland Indians’ Captains when they flashed (mere seconds) LeBron’s picture to get more noise. They got huge boos.

Nike is introducing a new LeBron X shoe, just as the public and sports enthusiasts were starting to like him again.

As for “Targeting,” the Nike+ shoe is positioned to elite athletes and consumers who want to track how far they run and how high they jump.

LeBron doesn't really get it (his best, overall public and marketing image) even now. In the court of public opinion he’s going in the wrong way. Again.

1 For the Nine P’s/9P’s© go to