Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Good Ad, Bad Ad

People in the Ad world all want a memorable ad. The problem, I think is that a memorable ad does not make it an effective one. Even ads that I love have little connection with the brand, or even worse, get in the way of a really great product.

I think the Mac vs. PC ads are kind of like that.

It was fairly clever at first, but know I feel like a voyeur watching a bad Jr. High Election debate. I really don't care about Vista problems and I don't think Apple gets any traction by talking about their competitors, when they could just show us cool pictures of their lovely machines and we will drool and buy them. They plug into the desire that pushes a consumer forward (as do their original ipod silhouette ads).

Here is another case in point: Holiday Inn Express.
Good ads? Great ads? Well they are totally memorable ads, but all they tell us is that a really clever agency came up with some good creative. Holiday Inn Express = Smart. Does this make you want to consume this product? I want to be smart, and furthermore, I want people to think I am smart, but it doesn't move me.

Here is the thing, the Holiday Inn Express brand is a new product. Previously my brain put Holiday Inns in the same category as Best Western: Cheap, family motels where you pull the bed spread off when you walk in so as to not make contact with the stains. But the new ads aren't much different than their older ads which had a similar message(and were very clever).

I stayed at an express a few weeks ago and discovered that they are much closer to the Marriot line as far as quality goes. They have a standardized set of accommodations including really fantastic beds, nice linens and a selection of firm or soft pillows depending on your preference. Everything about the place is restful and they have this nice graphic touch labeling everything (towels=soft, soap= cleanse) This may just feel like a cutesy decorating touch, but it is a little detail that you notice when you stay that assures you that your lodgings are going to be what you expected.

Doing a fair amount of travel for work, I am going to prefer this brand to others, but not because of the ads, which I like, but because the experience is much different, and better than I expected. I am surprised that they have done nothing, advertising-wise to express the difference between the Holiday Inn Express and the Holiday Inn Family Resorts. There is a series on the breakfast bars which is nice, but nothing to really distinquish the brand (P.S. the breakfast bar is really pretty okay, at least a half-step above the regular "continental breakfast" spreads). The desires that push me when finding a place to stay when I am traveling for work are generally: rest, security and price. I find that the HI Express is pretty competitive in all three. So maybe that is why I wish the ads did their job better.

Or maybe it's just because I have been staying at Holiday Inn Expresses and I really am that much smarter and can improve their ads for them now.

Any other ads out there that are funny/memorable, but don't move you as a consumer?

Company Blog

My company, Kineto Pictures Inc., started a blog a while ago. Laura, our office manager who is also a talented and clever writer, updates it regularly. So if you want to see what we are up to and check out some fun links, go here.

Friday, October 24, 2008

More Moderation in all things

Come on guys, no body running for president is a terrorist, or a criminal, or an idiot.

They all misspeak, they have all shook hands with someone they don't agree with and have probably spoken at events that you wouldn't attend. But enough with the invective already. I am growing tired of the politics of calling your opponent a fool, a liar, or a thief.

Neither of our candidates are saints. I wish more of the debate was about their policies of governance. No matter whom is elected, they will probably spend less time working towards the cause that you believe in and more time trying to patch together a broken economy, and trying to find enough money to simply run the government.

I don't think there is a more apt time to reflect on JFK words, now is not a time to ask our country what it can do for us.

I still believe in an honorable American ideal, maybe it is like Plato's chair and doesn't really exist, but I think we are still a people willing to work to build it.

Either way, I'd like to encourage you to vote, but also to do a little ready, studying, thinking and praying. You might come to a different conclusion than me, but that's what we can do for our country.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Moderation in all things

I added comment moderation a while ago. While I like people to feel that they can post whatever they'd like I do have family members come here and I got a few comments on my couches post that contained a few choice words (not of my choosing).

I might go back to the old way, but this is just an FYI if you post and wonder why your comment doesn't show up immediately.

Also, it is much easier to comment when you aren't using a reader. I forgot to mention that. I don't comment nearly as much as I used to.


I kind of like this blog world. I have found though that how I interact with it greatly alters my experience. I use to have everyone bookmarked and I could wander for hours checking on un-updated blogs and discovering new ones. Bloglinks are the new friendoffriends.

Now I use a reader (googlereader) which is far more efficient, but it does change some things. One, I don't have to sort through so many before I find someone who has updated. Two, I can follow a lot more blogs. But the third thing is what makes me wistful, to wit: I am less likely to stumble upon a new blog unless someone links to it in the body of their post. So I miss that, but maybe it allows me to actually get work done during the day (I follow about 70 blogs). I think that this kind of "success" in the blog world has also got to inhibit the blogs ability to make money (I don't see banner ads anymore).

This different kind of interaction has also made me think about critical mass. If a blogger doesn't post much I forget about hirm (him/her), but my reader remembers, and when they come back to life, I can follow them again. But there are a couple of blogs that I really like that post WAY too much. I followed the serif for a long time (graphic design is one of my secret-wish jobs), and even though they have great taste over there and are posting a lot of interesting content. There are just TOO many posts on a daily basis for me. Now that might just be me, but I think any more than one or two posts a day is about my limit. The Sartorialist (THE fashion blog) hits that maximum about right, but anymore and I might have to remove him as well. I am only a casual observer of both fields (though I might use concepts gleaned from either in my work). Personal blogs can hit critical mass pretty easily. I think though, that ideally once a week is a nice figure, especially if everyone didn't update on the same day (Right now there is a deluge of Monday updaters, whom I theorize are trying to prove that their weekend was the fabuloustest, or who simply need to put off starting the work week as long as possible by blogging).

My other pet peeve is people that write really long blog entries (even if I like the content), so maybe I should end this now.