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Posts Tagged ‘Clever Advertising’

The Bluths Are Everywhere

If you care even a little bit about the late lamented TV show Arrested Development (I do), then you probably know that Netflix has produced a new season of the show, due for release on May 26. In case you didn’t know, however, some clever folks at Netflix (or its ad agency/P.R. firm etc.) are covering all the bases: here’s a screenshot for a new New York restaurant I came across yesterday while ordering lunch from Personally, I think the delivery minimum is a tad high:

FREAK Shots: That's One Way to Reduce Sugar

Freakonomics reader Jerrod Savage sends in a couple images that seem to show a rather unwholesome advertising strategy. (Don Draper certainly wouldn’t ever pull something like this.) What happens when you reduce the size of a container of Nesquik chocolate syrup by 33 percent? You also reduce the sugar content by 33 percent, magically creating a healthy, low-sugar alternative!

One-Second Commercials

I remember as a kid growing up watching TV, every once in a while someone at the station would make a mistake and start the wrong commercial. It would run for a second or two, and then the person in charge would realize the mistake and immediately cut to some other commercial or to the actual show.

When Corporate Sponsorship Backfires

From the Wall Street Journal: “When British bank Barclays PLC agreed to shell out ?25 million ($39 million) to sponsor London’s new public bike-rental program, it envisioned the marketing benefits of seeing its sky-blue logo draped on thousands of cycles around the city.”

Quotes Uncovered: Well-Known Advertising Slogans

Two years ago, I asked for suggestions for the most memorable advertising slogans of recent years, to help with the next edition of The Yale Book of Quotations. Let me repeat my “bleg” from that time, and ask again for suggestions.

What's in a Name?

The determinants of one’s demand for a product are covered in every introductory economics course. Independent of prices, my income and my general preferences, I also consider the cuteness of the product’s name.

What Are the Limits of Unbranding?

Celebrity endorsements have been popular for a long time, but fashion experts are repotedly now practicing a new marketing strategy loosely known as “unbranding”: “Allegedly, the anxious folks at these various luxury houses are all aggressively gifting our gal Snookums with free bags. No surprise, right? But here’s the shocker: They are not sending her their own bags. They are sending her each other’s bags! Competitors’ bags!”

Why It's Good to Get Your Commercial Banned From the Super Bowl

Not many people have a lot of money to throw around these days, so how is the recession affecting ad spending on the super-expensive Super Bowl? Even after NBC lowered its ad prices, reports the Associated Press, FedEx and General Motors pulled their TV commercials, and Playboy isn’t having its annual Super Bowl party. A 30-second Super Bowl commercial can . . .

Diet Coke is 99% Water (And That Is Now a Good Thing)

Back in the day, when people noted that Diet Coke was 99% water, it was an insult. The point was that water was free, and Diet Coke was just free water plus a little bit of artificial this and that — so you would have to be a fool to pay so much for it. Of course, times have changed. . . .

Buy This Book or He Will Crush You

Our British publisher, Penguin U.K., continues to delight and astound us with their marketing cojones. How would you like to come across this new poster in the Tube? It is perhaps not surprising that Penguin won a big marketing award this year for their work on Freakonomics. It should be noted that the “3 million copies sold” refers to worldwide . . .

The FREAKest Links: Brush Off That Virtual Suit & Tie Edition

Via the Wall Street Journal: Employers are starting to experiment with using Second Life to conduct job interviews. Candidates can create avatars and set up meetings at virtual job fairs in which they “communicate with executives of prospective employers as though they were instant-messaging.” Popular Science has released its annual “Ten Worst Jobs in Science” list, topped by Hazmat Diver, . . .

The Economics of Martha Stewart Living

BusinessWeek recently reported on the creative product-placement deals that daytime TV shows employ. The highlight of the article is Martha Stewart — the self-described “most trusted guide to stylish living” — discussing with pure candor her capitalizing ways: “I like to inform people about good things.” Stewart’s syndicated NBC show, which airs daily at 4 PM, is currently lagging in . . .

Cocaine (the Drink) Banned; Is Opium (the Perfume) Next?

Several months ago, we blogged about a controversy over a high-caffeine drink called Cocaine. Now it has been pulled from shelves nationwide. Its producer, Redux Beverages of Las Vegas, was disappointed — and, based on this quote Redux partner Clegg Ivey gave to the Associated Press, a bit confused: “[W]e intended for Cocaine energy drink to be a legal alternative . . .

This Space Available

We have written before about advertising in strange places — on fresh eggs, on airplane barf bags, on time itself. There is now an effort to advertise in [the place we used to think of as] the final frontier: space. The Wall Street Journal‘s Andy Pasztor has this to report: California Rep. Ken Calvert, ranking Republican on a House Science . . .

This Isn’t Cheating, Is It?

Here’s an interesting Wall Street Journal article by Carl Bialik (“The Numbers Guy”) on how authors (and their public-relations firms) try to push a book to No. 1 on or Barnes& For $10,000 to $15,000, you, too, can be a best-selling author. New York public-relations firm Ruder Finn says it can propel unknown titles to the top of rankings . . .

Tomorrow’s News Today

A couple days ago, Levitt and I were in Orlando for a lecture. Driving down the freeway, I spotted a flashing billboard for the Orlando Sentinel. The first screen was headlined “TODAY:” and trumpeted the current issue’s lead article. Then the next screen flashed. It said “TOMORROW: RIOTS IN PARIS.” Tricky business, I thought, trying to predict tomorrow’s news. The . . .

A Freakonomics Quiz

We haven’t had all that much contact with our British publishers, Penguin U.K. But they seem startlingly proactive. First there was the billboard campaign in the London tube. Now there’s an online Freakonomics quiz. It’s true that the quiz plays pretty fast and loose with the material in our book but it would be churlish (for us at least) to . . .

Freakonomics in the Tube

As surprised as we have been by the success of Freakonomics in the U.S., we are doubly surprised by its success in the U.K., where it has been at or near the top of the non-fiction charts. (Last I saw, the only other American book on the charts was Daniel Coyle’s Lance Armstrong’s War — retitled in the U.K. as . . .

A Correction of Sorts

Here’s what I wrote a few weeks ago, just as we embarked on a short California book tour: Earlier in this space we asked if book ads work; now we are led to the next obvious question: how about the author’s tour? Can it possibly be worth all the money and time it takes to fly two people across the . . .