Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Analyse Your Ad Copy

Tom Wanek is an author, blogger and a Wizard of Ads Partner.

His book, Currencies That Buy Credibility is a great read.

I follow Tom on both Twitter and his You Tube channel.

When I am writing copy I make a point to visit The Carlin Ad-Speak Calculator on his website.

Find out if your ad copy sells or is just a bunch of platitudes.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Social Media and Seinfeld

You have to love Seinfeld.

For a show about nothing, not a day goes by that I find myself saying, "that right there is a Seinfeld episode".

It would be interesting to see Seinfeld in the social media era.

George would be creeping out girls from college on Facebook.

Elaine would be all over blogging, pinterest, vine, yada yada yada..

Kramer had so many cockamamie ideas like perfume that smells like the beach and making your own pizza, that he would be all over every social media startup.

And Jerry, well he would just be Jerry.

There was an episode that kind of reminds me of social media and all the gurus.

It was the reservation episode.

"Anybody can take a reservation but holding the reservation is the key".

If you are going to brag about how facebook done properly beats traditional media then you better be prepared to show examples.

Otherwise all you really have is a theory about....nothing!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Random Whys From The Weekend

Why is it that three different weather companies can't give us the same forecast?

Why can't you find a decent nail clipper?

Why do gas prices drop the week before a long weekend and then go up days before the long weekend?

Why do you change Donna to Dawna?

Why are you still using QR Codes?

Why aren't we hearing more about Bitcoins?

Why are using words like "transparency" in your ads to describe your business?  (You will have to let that  sink in!)

Why aren't you reading George Tannenbaum's blog,

Why CBS? You cancelled a very funny show.  I guess I was the only one watching!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Random Whys From The Weekend

Why did you produce this ad Coors? Should have come with a manual.

Why do you have to stand in line with your friend when you aren't buying anything?

Why is it I have yet to hear someone say they are engaging with a product on social media?

Why can't other airlines be like Air Canada and lose my luggage not once but twice on the same trip?

Why can't Air Canada just grow up and be like Westjet?

Why does Kia use hamsters in their ads?

Why do companies buy facebook likes?

Why is American Idol still on the air?

Why Premier Sellinger are you allowing the Manitoba Public Insurance Corporation to pay the outgoing CEO $180 an hour as a consultant after you gave her a 6 figure compensation package to retire?

Monday, May 5, 2014

Random Whys From The Weekend

Why am I getting notifications on my LinkedIn that people love my picture?  Creepy!

Why doesn't the Manitoba NDP Government match every dollar given for worthy causes at their provincially run Liquor stores?

Why does the NHL let NBC interview coaches during the game and not during intermissions?

Why do dress shirts say wrinkle free when they have wrinkles?

Why do hockey commentators say, "pretty good save"?  Since when are there degrees of saves?

Why does Pepsi produce crappy TV ads?

Why do businesses create facebook pages and promote them instead of promoting their own website?

Why the Insurance Brokers Association of Manitoba President's Dinner is one of the best events of the year. They surprised the attendees this year with special musical guest KD Lang.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Some Random Whys From The Weekend

Why will Evander Kane make 6 million next year?   Jonathan Toews will make 7.5 million and has won two Stanley Cups, an MVP, a world junior hockey championship and a gold medal for good measure.

Why does Hollywood make crappy movies?

Why are you buying into the social media bullshit (thanks B.J. Mendelson for a great book on social media)? Walk the aisles of any store and pick a product social media made.

Why do cellular phone companies and cable companies treat long term customers like garbage?

Why do government offices make it impossible to reach a live person?

Why was my garbage collected on a stat holiday and my recycling was not?

Why did the City of Winnipeg Forestry cut branches down on all the trees on my street but not pick up ALL the branches?  (Thanks for the mess.)

Why do people pierce their ears and leave holes you can drive a semi through?

Friday, April 18, 2014

Ad Aged: A Thursday poem.

Ad Aged: A Thursday poem.: Whatever happened to hashtags? They were going to takeover the planet. You wouldn't just read an ad. You'd interact and scan it. ...

Monday, April 14, 2014

Some Random Whys From The Weekend

Why can’t you find a good set of windshield wipers?

Why do ad agencies insist on turning advertising from an art to a science?

Why do ads use words like, “they say”? Just tell me who they is!

Why isn’t golfer Miguel Angel Jimenez not doing  TV commercials? 

Why does Old Spice produce crappy ads?

Why do politicians use the excuse to increase something on the fact they there hasn’t been an increase in years or better yet, “we are still lowest in the country"?

Why didn’t the tall foreheads not put a dome on Investors Group Field?

Why doesn’t the Winnipeg Blue Bomber football team hire a good public relations person? Staying hush on the water damage is….damaging!

Why does the NHL let players on the shootout come to stop?

Why doesn’t Winnipeg Mayor Sam Katz forego on hiring more communications people and hire a good public relations person to help the Mayor with his speeches  so he never again says, “to be honest with you” when answering questions?

Friday, April 4, 2014

And The Survey Says

Surveys can be useless.

Especially the ones that ask you to rate from 1 to 10. 

One being not likely, 10 being most likely.

Most surveys are long and boring.

Isn’t it easier to have three questions?

Did we help you find what you needed?

How did we do helping?

What could we do better?

Either way you have to know that if you help me, I share.

If you don’t I share.

2-9 is a long way.

Or to put it another way, a load of bs.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Who Is Not Buying New Cars

According to, The share of new cars purchased by those aged 18-34 dropped 30% in the last five years, 

AARP reports that 50+ drivers purchase 6.2 million new autos each year, while 18-34 year olds account for 1.3 million. That’s a remarkable 400% 50+ advantage.

Tom Libby reports in his Polk blog that, "The much-coveted new vehicle buyers age 18-34, sometimes referred to as millenials, are a dwindling group.  Five years ago they accounted for 17% of all new vehicle buyers and now 11%". 

In his post, The Great Debate: Do Millennials Really Want Cars, or Not?, Bob Tuttle of Time says that,  "one theory has it that the generation that came of age with the Internet and smartphones thinks cars are pretty lame."

Bob Hoffman, The Ad Contrarian continually blogs about how the automobile industry is in love with this market that doesn't buy new vehicles.  From his post, Cats Who Want To Be Dogs,

"People over 50 buy 62% of all new cars, but are not in any auto maker's media target. Auto makers typically buy 18-49 years-olds or 25-54 year-olds.

In other words, auto sellers direct about 100% of their effort at 38% of the market and about 0% of their effort at 62% of the market." 

Yet with all this data the automobile industry continues to target the shopper who represents  about a third of all new car buyers.

And if you are going to hand your ad agencies multi million dollar accounts, you could at least ask for some creativity.  Four car manufacturers TV ads all have current top 40 songs on the radio as the music beds in their ads.  

Talk about sheep.

Nissan is using Bruno, Mazda has Capital Cities, Kia Soul features Lady Gaga and Fiat has Pharrel Williams with P. Diddy, Sean Combs, Puff Daddy or whoever he wants to be this year.

Robin Williams plays Sam Roberts in the TV comedy, The Crazy Ones a show about an ad agency Williams owns with his daughter.  Roberts is an old school ad agency guy.

In one episode he chastises the concept for an ad saying, "It's annoying and obvious.  There is enough visual pollution in this world."


Monday, March 31, 2014

Some Random Whys From The Weekend

Why do men have hypenated names?

Why do retail businesses rarely answer their phones?

Why do politicians not lose their jobs when they lie?

Why do businesses have people with no social skills in positions dealing with the paying public?

Why do car manufacturers put more gizmos in our cars to play with and distract us from driving?

Why do social media gurus think that people want to engage and have conversations when we have screeners like voice mail, call display and a do not call list.

Why do governments cut social programs for addictions yet increase avenues for addictions like gambling?

Why do people drive like it's always Sunday?

Why do businesses think  because they have been around for a long time they don't have to advertise?  Stop the presses and tell that to McDonalds, Coke, Pepsi, Ford and GM.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Great Ad Copy Advice From The Wizard Of Ads

If you sell advertising  and in particular radio, one of the best resources you owe yourself to subscribe to is the Monday Morning Memo from Roy Williams.

Roy is the founder of the Wizard Academy and is known as the Wizard of Ads..

I was lucky to have Roy speak to our radio group a few years back.

He's penned a trilogy of must have books on advertising.

Roy also has a number of Wizard partners

Tim Miles is one of those partners.

Tim writes a blog, The Daily Blur and its also a blog you should subscribe to.

Here is a great post on the 10 Basic Steps to Ad Writing.

Enjoy and thanks Tim.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

CVS Pharmacy Customer Service

I forget when I reached out to CVS Pharmacy online to ask them about instructions to a 4 in 1 Heart Rate Monitor that didn't come with any instructions.

Without the instructions I can't work the darn thing?  

I couldn't find a You Tube video to show me neither.

And before you ask if I googled the instructions, I did and nada!

I have no kids at home to show me how to work this thing  so I sent CVS an email for a set of instructions.  

I mean how long would it take them to email me instructions.

So it was about 7 days ago that I sent the request from their contact page.

A response came today and they need the sku number.

I hit reply and there you go, the sku number.

Now here is the good news.

I should hear back in 5 business days!

What happened to all the engagement and conversation?

I am looking at 12 days for some instructions.

The Pony Express would have had me my instructions in three days!

Monday, February 10, 2014

This Diamond Ring

I saw this sign in Cash Converters.

The store sells second hand goods.

The ring is appraised at $111,3000.00 and selling for half price.

I am guessing the seller is sending a message.

Then again I am thinking there are opportunists out there.  At three months salary for a ring, whoever bought this ring is going to be a catch for someone.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Tune Up For Your Website

Today it is easy to get caught up in the latest social media platform.

But are you taking care of the inside of your business.

It is very easy to let the digital media hucksters convince you that the the "delivery platform" is crucial to your business.

If you have a website, here are is a great lesson for every retail business from Manley Miller of The Wizard of Ads. 

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

How Much Is The Commission On Super Bowl Ads

That is what my posse watching the game asked.

Too much, I said.

Deep down I am jealous I wasn't selling four million dollar TV ads.

But lets face it, Super Bowl advertising has become bragging rights...for ad agencies.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Digital Media; Permission Or Interruption

It would revolutionize the ad world.

It was about engagement.


It would strengthen your brand.

"Permission marketing is the privilege (not the right) of delivering anticipated, personal and relevant messages to people who actually want to get them."

So about those ads that pop up and block the page I want to read.  

Who gave you permission?

Why do you hide the x to close the page?

In fact when I am trying to close your ad, all you make me do is want to hate your product for taking up my time.

And by the way I have never clicked on one of those ads.

Maybe, accidently trying to close the ad.

But most likely one of the few reasons you see any click-throughs is because of "bots".

And don't get me started on having to sit through your ads on You Tube.

Conversation my.....

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Can You Tell The Difference

It was a tagline in an old ABC detergent commercial

Does it work today?

If your name is Walmart, yes.

Remember, all things being equal, transactional advertising loses to the big boys almost all the time.

Your advertising needs to focus on how you can solve a client's problem instead of a bunch of platitudes about your business.

Here is an example of how the little guy can compete with the big boys in a very competitive for Chabluk's Plumbing and Heating in Oakbank Manitoba.

The spot features the owner and he delivers a strong positioning statement that he may not as big as the big boys but he is small enough to answer your call.

When was the last time you called the big boys and your call wasn't re-routed to a call centre ?  And possibly a call centre in another country?

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Who Buys Cars

You would think its a million dollar question.  It isn't.

Ad agencies continue to produce TV ads targeting to young people but they don't buy as many cars as boomers.

Christina Rogers wrote a piece in the Wall Street Journal this past August about who is buying cars.  

"Last year, buyers 55 and older accounted for more than 40% of all new car sales, up from 33% in 2008 while buyers between the ages of 18 and 34 represented only 12% of new-car purchases. And that is down from 14% five years ago, according to" writes Rogers.

So if young people are not buying cars why do ad agencies continue to produce TV ads targeted to those that buy fewer cars?  

If you have watched any NFL game in Canada this season you have heard the Bruno Mars song, "Locked out of Heaven" a bazillion times in the Nissan Pathfinder ad.   Bruno is also a very hot contemporary artist so they are paying dearly to use his song.

And in true lemming fashion the ad agency for Mazda has decided to kill another top 40 song in their latest TV ad.  

They say things happen in threes.

Who is the next lemming?

Monday, January 6, 2014

Sports Announcer Who Use $$$ Instead Of Time

A buck 32 left in this period!

When did this become acceptable.

When I pay for something, the cashier doesn't say that will be an hour and 45 minutes!

Grow up,

Friday, January 3, 2014

Follow Up To Future Shop Online Service

Sorry to hear. At busy times & for fast selling items, the online checker may not be 100% current. Pls check w/store directly.

This was Future Shop's response a day later about my tweet about their online service.

If this was your social media department, would they still be working for you?

How would you have handled this? 

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Is Your Online Store Working

I was online at new year's day looking for a printer.

Found one.

They allow you to reserve the item for 24 hours at the store you choose, providing they have it in stock.

They do.

Click, click send and my printer is ready the next day.

Or so I thought.

I showed up the next day.

Chap asks if I received the email confirmation.


Oh that is going to be a problem, he says.

Its noon and he tells me he is back logged with about 300 emails to send out.

They don't have the item he doesn't know if they will be getting any in.

I figured I would look for another.

My smart phone goes off.  It's his email.

That hit the wrong nerve.

I find a store manager.

Tell him my story but of course I am getting what he can't do for me.

It reminds me of the Seinfeld episode where Jerry was trying to reserve a car.

And if Future Shop knew how to take a reservation I would have that printer.

And by the way Future Shop, while I was in your store today I tweeted my complaint.

Three hours later I tweeted again about it.

Last time Future Shop tweeted?

New Year's Clearout SALE on NOW! SAVE up to $1000 on TV's and much more. Jan. 1 & 2. Shop now!

So who is minding the online and social media store at Future Shop?

Anyone?  Bueller?