Monthly Archives: January 2009

1984 – a superbowl like no other

the ad that started it allTwenty-five years ago an upstart “personal computer” company in Cupertino, CA, ran an ad that bet the entire year’s ad budget on one buy and one production. After the spot was bought and the ad produced, the board of directors unanimous opposition nearly resulted in its cancellation.

The result is consumer marketing history. If you had to pick one broadcast effort that caught lightning in a bottle, it would be “1984”.

Long enshrined in the advertising hall of fame, the creative product of agency chiat/day and director Ridley Scott’s darkly fertile imagination – obvious in hindsight when watching 1982’s cult classic “Bladerunner” – is still being viewed today, as fresh as the day it first aired.

Officially this was a one-shot air date. In reality, the cost per view is now measured in nano-dollars, thanks to the internet, and the iconic content is the holy grail of marketeers in search of breakthrough, viral and recall.

It would be five years before I had a Mac in front of me, a beige 512k brick at a Houston agency.

That year, Tampa’s first Superbowl was played just across the bridge and featured my favorite team back when I was still concerned with outcome – the gritty bad boy “Just Win, Baby” Raiders of Stabler and Sistrunk and Casper fame – clocked the ‘Skins on the arm of Jim Plunkett and the running of Marcus Allen. On Sunday it’ll all play out again, but safe to say there will never be another “1984”.

trek turns 34 – no slowing down

cw-08-bridgeCatch up on last October’s Cycle World Trek dual sport ride over on the site. I tossed in a short video and a couple of slide shows highlighting three days in the Sierra Nevadas during the 34th annual event.

physician, heal thyself

Ad Age reports today that automotive site edmunds.com has embarked on a self-styled industry PSA to kick start the moribund car market.

The quasi-campaign, which dots the car buying site’s hundreds of thousands of pages with banners pushing consumers to buy now, right now, is internally valued at $10-mil plus.

Why? According to Edmunds own ceo, it’s time to “give back,” with car sales the worst since 1992 and predicted to slump even lower.

Could the same concept work for the powersports channel? Could powersports media run their own version of in-house creative designed to motivate consumers? Worth a try is all we’re saying.

bye, bye bud – sob

inbev says bye bye to free sudsIt’s a sign. A sign of the times. Bud’s new owner, brewing giant In-Bev, didn’t waste much time shutting down the free flow of suds at theme park watering holes around the country.

As of the end of the month, patrons – for Tampa’s Busch Gardens tiks start at $70 plus $11 for parking – will no longer be able to stand in line for a free plastic cup sampler full of the brewing art.

More’s the pity. As a youngster, my memories of the park before the themes and even before the Busch brand were of a garden gnome forest, a couple of bird acts, climbing the stairs that led into the brewery exhibit and the pavillion payoff of gratis Bud at the end of the tour. The only limit then? All you could drink, just one at a time. And admission was free.