Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Coldplay Plays Free Shows at Madison Square Garden in New York and Brixton Academy in London to Coincide With New Album: Viva La Vida

Here's another escalation in the "free" marketing war started by Radiohead last fall with their pay what you want for In Rainbows.
Coldplay has announced that they'll be playing two free shows this June to coincide with the release of their new album Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends. Sounds like a Gabriel Garcia Marquez novel to me. One show at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Another at Brixton Academy in London. I like this idea...this ain't no car park or record store or Apple store These look to be full fledged concerts in real arenas. More details to come tomorrow...and I'll be back with them. We'll see what it takes to win. In the meantime go to coldplay.com and download the free single, Violet Hill...available for a week starting at 12:15 PM UK time today. So what do you think? A good promotional idea? Do you hate Coldplay and can't comment? Or love them?

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Photoshop Contest: Marlboro Product Placement Ad and the Catholic Church

Catholicism and its traditions have dominated the news following the Pope's recent visit to the U.S (quite justifiably, all kidding aside). So now's the time to roll out the best product placement for the church I've ever seen. Advertising is a bizarre business (believe me I do it every day for a living) and product placements, in my mind, generally are obvious and annoying. That's what's so great about this theater of the absurd Photoshop. Thank goodness the Pope's advance men covered up every single Yankee stadium sign before Sunday's mass.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Volkswagen (VW) Funeral Spot: The Best TV Spot Ever with Creative Credits

Here is, in my mind, the best TV spot ever created. Produced by Doyle Dane Bernbach in 1969, at the height of the remarkable agency's creative power, it typifies the magnificent "Think Small" campaign the agency created for Volkswagen. The primary rule of advertising that was broken: don't touch death...it's the third rail of advertising. Very few have tried again. That's because it's so damned hard to pull off.

What a remarkable concept...a spot narrated by a dead billionaire cynically commenting on the key players in his funeral procession (Roy Grace drew his inspiration from seeing an actual lineup of cars). Iconoclastic idea. Executed flawlesssly. Fabulous casting, a terrific voiceover from a dead man and spectacular camera work, especially the brilliant helicopter shot that concludes the spot--with the Volkswagen Beetle very appropriately trailing the procession.

Praise these people, some in memoriam:

Art director: Roy Grace
Designer: Roy Grace
Copywriter: John Noble
Director: Howard Zieff
Agency producers: Susan Calhoun, Don Trevor
Production studio: Howard Zieff Productions
Cinematographer: Lawrence Williams Jr.
Client: Volkswagen of America

Friday, April 4, 2008

Protest in the 60's and 70's Versus Today: Talkin' Bout My Generation

Earlier this week I received a letter from an intern who worked for us at Jugular Advertising last year. S is from Lafayette College, my alma mater. We both participated in a McKelvy House program there that focused on topical issues. The topic last Sunday was whether and why the 60's and 70's were the gold standard of judgement for protest...while there was less activism from this generation. S asked what my view was. It's below. Take a look at her email at the bottom of the string and then my response (think it's long, but worth it but, hell, I wrote it...I'm biased). It's dedicated to the memory of the remarkably articulate giant of a man Martin Luther King who was assasinated FORTY years ago today. King's speeches are monumental moments in the 20th century New Media of live political television.

Hi S:

I did get this, and I'm not ignoring you. Things are just crazy busy. I wanted to get you a somewhat considered answer.
Funny...I had seen the Friedman article when it originally ran. For some reason, I think his daughter goes/went to Williams.

Here's what I think and feel free to share it with anyone you want down on High Street (McKelvy = the best part of my experience at LC). I really don't think the generations/times are directly comparable at all. They appear to be but there are some tremendous differences.

- When we were in Vietnam there was not a volunteer army like there is now in Iraq. Essentially you would be conscripted unless you had a credible excuse. Most of us did not want to go die in a rice paddy for a questionable "domino theory" which propped up Vietnam way beyond their deserved status. So...we were personally motivated to convince the government not to send us off to die. And we were loud and noisy about it. Lots of us. And our girlfriends too.

- We were in the midst of a remarkable period of political assassination that rivaled the Roman republic (John Kennedy on 11/22/63...the day that defined my generation I believe). More unbelievably, the murders of Robert Kennedy (6/6/68) and Martin Luther King Jr. (4/4/68...MY, MY 40 years ago Thursday) in the spring of 1968 LESS than two months apart. Robert Kennedy was an enormous loss at the worst time. Gunned down the night of his victory in the '68 California primary, he would have been the Democratic Presidential nominee. In November he would have blown Nixon away. He represented the last best hope of my generation in so many ways. Even more than his brother. Clearly anti-war. Clearly Kennedy charismatic. Clearly the guy who chased the Mafia as Attorney General in JFK's cabinet (many people asked then, and now, were JFK and RFK both mob hits?). The result: massive disappointment, rage and a desire among students to take political action.

With Bobby's death, as I look back now, I believe the college population rose up to bear his standard as the most vocal critic of the war was gone and a fairly united student body had to carry the torch. The rage spilled out in the streets of Detroit, LA, and at the Republican and Democratic conventions that summer (read Norman Mailer: Miami and the Siege of Chicago). Way beyond the Pentagon March in '67 (read Mailer's The Armies of the Night, the best book ever written about protests during the period).

As a sidebar Mailer sat in that tiny room (my room) at the top of the back steps on the third floor of McKelvy. He needed some quiet time to focus for a Colton Chapel talk in October of '03. The subject: the Watergate break-in which led to Nixon's resignation. So he haunts the damned place.

- The soundtrack of '65-75 is also a critical difference. Yes...you have "Intervention" by Arcade Fire now and I watched 20,000 energized people sing along with their Bush/Iraq protest anthem last October at Randall's Island. But from Dylan to Country Joe and the Fish to the Dead to The Beatles to virtually every band....you found songs of protest. So you sat in your room with your friends and listened...carefully. And many took action.

- The broad prevalence of drugs was another element of the mix certainly--amazingly prevalent then as now. But, as narcotics they changed the protesters mental and physical state freeing them to take action with less forethought, There was also (and I always point this out cause it humanizes things) an element of let's get high and go to the protest and have some fun. Let's act out...let's jump in some bushes...let's hassle the ROTC guys. Let's stir up some trouble. Doesn't everyone like to, especially at 18 or 19? That can't be ignored. Funny, I pointed this out when invited back to McKelvy in 1981 or 1982 to discuss this very topic of the 60s in the living room. I remember sitting under the fireplace.

So...wow...your question certainly touched a chord. This could be a thesis and plenty have been written on this topic. But hope that helps you out. Let me know what you think. My advice...you're in 2008 and have to protest wildly different issues. You'll just have to do it in an equally engaged manner that's appropriate for today.

Write back sooner than three months later. What are you doing this summer? And GO to see Salmon Rushdie tomorrow night...I was hoping to come up but don't think I can find the time, unfortunately.


Scott Lackey
Co-Founder & Strategic Director
260 W 39th St.,18th Fl. I New York, NY 10018

On Mon, Mar 31, 2008 at 12:02 AM s@lafayette.edu> wrote:
Hey Scott,

There was a McKelvy discussion tonight titled, "Talkin 'Bout My Generation" which was mainly about how my generation perceives itself and how previous generations perceive us. From the comments made it was obvious that college students from the 60s and 70s were being held as the gold standard for how politically active my generation ought to be. As a former McKelvy student, I wondered if you had any thoughts on my generation's activism versus those of McKelvy's past. Below there is a link to an article from the times that started this whole discussion if you're interested.

Sorry it took me so long to respond to your previous email but your question about coming back to Lafayette stumped me. Coming back here after everything I learned and experienced was scary and incredibly difficult. After a few weeks back, I started to remember all the valuable things the school has to offer and started to readjust to living on a college campus. Gloria Steinem came to visit and I had the chance to meet her which helped. And since I finsihed all my requirements, I am free to take any course I want next semester.

In other news, Jugular made it back on the home page as a slide show this time. Hope all that publicity is going good for business. Oh, Tell Jeff I said hello if you get the chance and good luck with the intern search.




Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Rock Music Marketing in Email Blasts from My Chemical Romance

I love the email text below in every imaginable way because it looks and feels like it's real, No corporate bs for this band. No carefully composed emails from their publicists. This is a real-world, down and dirty message from Mikey Way, my Chemical Romance's bass guitarist and younger brother of Gerard Way the group's lead singer. When it comes to English usage this is unbelievably off key...including the typos like "in released." But it's totally in keeping with the bands brand image: gritty, honest, down and dirty. Love it. Read it...you'll have fun. I like MCR even though I've been told I'm too old for them. Forget that...they're a great band.

A Message From Mikey Way
My Chemical Romance to me
Mar 31 (3 days ago)


Hello to all,

The other day, I was given the new Drive By record by my dear friend Todd Price. For those of you who are unfamiliar , he sings and plays guitar in the band. I had been eagerly awaiting this record quite some time. Their initial release floored me. It's everything about music that I love. Amazing and honest rock songs. Todd has the uncanny knack to write the kind of chorus that I'm jealous. Upon listening to their record "A Delicate Situation" I was knocked on my ass once again, and I expected nothing less. If this band isn't gigantic by the end of the year, then there's no justice in the world.. On april 8th, " A Delicate Situation" in released and I recommend you all make a B line to the record store and grab one. The songs are sure to be ingrained in your skull for quite some time.




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