It has been a year since the CALM Act was officially implemented and promised to curb the volume on those raucous commercials that manage to eke out an extra few decibels from your television. Paul McNamara at Network World has taken a look at some of the data to try and decide whether or not the law has actually had any effect. According to the FCC, there are fewer complaints this year, although in this case, “fewer complaints” still means about 20,000. More →
Research In Motion released the first set of commercials from its new “Be Bold” advertising campaign on Thursday and while the ads feature new faces, they are nearly identical to the campaign RIM has been running for months. The Waterloo, Ontario-based smartphone vendor was quick to point out that the team of four awkward superheroes that starred in an infographic RIM recently posted were not part of its upcoming advertising blitz, but perhaps they should have been. RIM’s new ads feature BlackBerry devices in real-world situations and they do a good job of showcasing key features like BBM. What the ads are not, however, is different or memorable. RIM’s new CEO Thorsten Heins named the company’s marketing strategy as one of the first orders of business he plans to address in his new role. With an exciting new breed of devices like the BlackBerry London on the horizon, marketing and advertising will be more important than ever for RIM as the company continues struggling to maintain its footing in key markets. A pair of Be Bold ads can be viewed after the break. More →
Samsung’s new run of television commercials is the start of a wider effort to make the company’s products the apple of the U.S. consumer’s eye. The ads, which mock iPhone users for their obsession with Apple products, attempt to present Samsung as the smarter, cooler alternative. On a larger scale however, Samsung is hoping to create a fundamental shift in the way its products are viewed by consumers. “Especially in U.S., people are obsessed with Apple,” head of Samsung marketing Younghee Lee told AllThingsD in a recent interview. “It’s time to change people’s attention.” Lee is looking to shift consumers’ obsession to the East, and to figure out “how I can engage with consumers from the bottom of their heart, and not just be a big and functional and rational and reasonable brand.” While mocking consumers’ unhealthy love of one brand in an effort to create an obsession with another is a curious strategy, Samsung’s attempt to reinvent itself as a global smartphone leader is having a clear impact — the company reported a record holiday quarter during which it shipped an estimated 36.5 million smartphones worldwide. Three of Samsung’s recent commercials can be viewed after the break. More →
A company called Cellrderm has taken Microsoft to court over its Windows Phone “Really” advertisements, according to Adweek. Cellrderm, a gag company that creates commercials for a fake Cellrderm “cell abuse aid” product, argues that it owns the copyrights to the creative content used in Microsoft’s ads and that Microsoft copied its work in its “Bedroom” and “Bathroom” commercials. You’ve probably seen the ads on TV: in one, a man is too busy on his phone to pay attention to his wife in the bedroom. In another, an executive drops his phone in the urinal and reaches to pick it up. “The Microsoft commercials copy both the sequence of events and the character interplay found in the Cellrderm commercials,” the company wrote in the lawsuit, which was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida. “The Microsoft commercials also copy other copyrightable expression, including but not limited to clothing, gestures, character appearance, camera angles, and other visual elements from the Cellrderm Commercials.” Cellrderm is seeking damages and has asked the court to block Microsoft from airing the commercials. More →
As we prepare to finally get our first taste of Sony Ericsson’s Xperia PLAY here in the U.S., we can’t help but think back and remember Sony Ericsson’s hilarious Web-only spots starring Kristen Schaal. We laughed, we cried, and we even readdressed them in a feature covering gaming as a differentiating factor for Sony Ericsson moving forward. It has been a couple of months since the spots first ran but they’re still racking up hits on YouTube, and we’re happy to report that BGR has managed to obtain a blooper reel containing outtakes from the filming of these promo spots. As funny as Schaal was in the videos, we’re sure there are hours of hilarious outtakes hidden away in a studio somewhere. While we do our best to hunt down all the footage, hit the break for a quick compilation of outtakes from the Schaal promos. More →
Dear ad firm that put together Sony Ericsson’s latest round of Xperia PLAY promos: thank you. In its latest effort to garner some attention for its upcoming gaming Goliath, Sony Ericsson brought actress and comedian Kristen Schaal on board to go over some of the Xperia PLAY’s finer points. In the spots, Schaal uses the Xperia PLAY to shoot herself in the face, watch furry kittens, score a triple-kill, check herself out on YouTube and even… edit some spreadsheets. If you haven’t seen them all yet — and even if you have — hit the break to watch five different promo videos. Trust us, you’ll be glad you did. More →
At this point, it’s looking like few people actually care about T-Mobile’s “4G” network, real or fake. The carrier continues to push its HSPA+ network online and in television commercials as the main selling point versus the competition. Despite its 4G ad campaign, however, T-Mobile shed 318,000 contract customers last quarter while iPhone sales were through the roof. But “the iPhone 4 is a 3G phone,” T-Mobile proclaims in its State of the Smartphone report. “True story. Despite the ‘4’, both the Verizon and AT&T iPhones run on 3G networks,” the carrier adds. We’re not sure when this massive 4G push might start to pay off, but we sure hope it happens soon because the nation’s No.4 carrier is starting to look a bit silly. More →
Finally, Congress passes a piece of legislation that citizens on both the right and left side of the political spectrum can get behind. Late yesterday, Congress approved the CALM (Commercial Advertising Loudness Mitigation) Act, which “requires TV advertisers to ensure their ads don’t play at a volume louder than regular TV programming.” The new bill requires ad makers to use “industry technology” to prevent the volume annoyance from occurring.
“Consumers will no longer have to experience being blasted at,” said Rep. Anna Eshoo, a Democrat from California. “It’s a simple fix to a huge nuisance.”
The bill currently awaits President Obama’s signature. Once enacted, commercial makers will have one year to comply with the new law. More →
The deed is done…Apple has finally killed off the “Get a Mac” ad campaign. Nowhere to be found on its website, all of the roads that once led to the ads featuring Justin Long and John Hodgman redirect visitors to a page entitled “Why You’ll Love a Mac.” Curiously enough, the “Why You’ll Love a Mac” pages feature basically the same talking points that the TV spots went over ad nauseum. What Apple has planned next is unclear, but let’s hope it actually shows the product in use and doesn’t just go over tired old clichés that only appeal to smug Apple fanboys that suffer from confirmation bias.
Apple’s “Get a Mac” TV spots featuring Justin Long and John Hodgman may soon be a thing of the past if the suspicions of its two stars are correct. During an interview with AV Club, Long was asked about the future of the now iconic commercials that have been on the air since 2006. His response? “You know, I think they might be done. In fact, I heard from John, I think they’re going to move on. I can’t say definitively, which is sad, because not only am I going to miss doing them, but also working with John.” It’s a bit of a shame considering how hilarious they once were, but on the other hand Apple is in serious need of a fresh approach to all of its ads. We mean, if Palm can do it…
You know those God awful Palm Pre ads you haven’t been able to escape from for the past year? Well it looks like they’re going to go away for good because it has been revealed that Palm has cut all ties with Modernista, the advertising agency that created the terrible spots. No word yet who or what Palm with be going with for its next ad push, but we can’t imagine it could get any worse.
Thanks, Christopher! More →
Avril Lavigne. Luke Wilson. Whoopi Goldberg. Those three names don’t exactly jump out and immediately connect with us when we see them. And isn’t that the point of advertising? The point of branding? To connect to something, identify with it, and relate to it. Sure jazzy music and clean visuals (or dark, ominous tones with scary eyes) will help liven up your advertisement, but if you’re bringing a celebrity in to help, why don’t you make sure the celebrity is someone that people actually care about? I don’t mean to knock on Luke or Whoopi as I’m a fan of both (Canada can have Sk8ter chick), but while they might be intended to reach a certain demographic, in actuality they don’t help, they hurt. People pass it off as something they don’t care about. There’s no instant reaction or memorable moment that people will immediately remember or associate with any of those commercials. More →
Apple’s “I’m a Mac” ads were awesome when they first came out; witty, fun, amusing and effective. Now they’re just plain boring. Cupertino’s creative crew is seemingly running on fumes at this point, and in what we would think is a pretty major spot for the team — Apple’s response to Microsoft’s successful Laptop Hunters ads — it swung and missed big time. The new Apple spot beats the same old virus drum and then in the final movement of this tour de crap, Puddy hands the shopper a card and says, “When you’re ready to compromise, you call me.” Good call guys. In the midst of a recession where the name of the game is compromising luxury for necessity and functionality, that’s the road you chose to take. Grade: F. Hit the jump for the commercial.