Friday, April 11, 2014

Creative Victories

My students all know Eighmey's Rules of Advertising. Number One is "For any piece of advertising to work, it first must be seen.  And, to be seen, it must be different."

"How different?" is always a good question.  Sometimes creative victories come in small packages.

This full page ad in a current national magazine shows the creative team won the day with their idea for this playful Easter-time recipe reminder from Jell-O.  Corporate clients usually go for the just the facts.

Congrats to the folks at CP+B.

   Copyright © 2014 by John Eighmey. All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Advertising and Sustainability

The German company Followfish has adopted a forward thinking approach by applying a conservative philosophy.

This company focuses on proven sustainable fishing practices to foster a healthy and vital fish population. It also provides customers with full information on the sources of ingredients of the food products it sells.


In this commercial, we see a child's magnetic fishing game employed as a metaphor to depict the consequences of indiscriminant industrial fishing practices. The copy line at the end of the commerical is "Follow the true taste."

In this ad, the tomato mirrors the company logo pointing to its own place of origin on a map to demonstrate the ingredient tracking codes on the packages. Consumers can use the codes to identify the sources of the ingredients, following the pathways of true taste from the fisheries and farms to themselves.

This is path-making advertising for sustainable business practices.

   Copyright © 2014 by John Eighmey. All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Advertising and Young Children

The Federal Trade Commission has established that it is an unfair or deceptive practice to portray children engaging in unsafe acts that may relate to unreasonable risk or harm (In re Uncle Ben's Inc., et al., 89 F.T.C. 831, 1975). The matter involved a commercial showing the face of a young girl coming very close to a boiling pot on the front burner of a stove.

Now, almost 40 years later, we see child safety remains an issue for the "front burner" when it comes to advertising management.

By way of perspective, the 1956 Refrigerator Safety Act stated that it is unlawful in the United States to sell household refrigerators that cannot be opened easily from the inside. The reason for this law was that refrigerators can be lethal to children.

In 1956, hundreds of children were being accidentally suffocated playing in refrigerators. Often the incidents involved two children climbing inside to play, then becoming trapped.

The law has proven effective. In 2010, the National Center for Health Statistics reported that there were 31 accidental suffocations of children aged 5 to 9. The number of accidents specifically involving refrigerators was not reported separately, but clearly there are far fewer such deaths than in the 1950s.

Nevertheless, safety issues remain when it comes to young children and refrigerators. A Google search for "refrigerator child locks" will return 873,000 results in less than a half second.

Clearly parents remain concerned, and playing inside refrigerators is not recommended for safety reasons.

  Copyright © 2014 by John Eighmey. All Rights Reserved.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Advertising and Corporate Inspiration

The Coca-Cola Super Bowl commercial has sparked a great deal of public discussion. The commercial  has many admirers, and some detractors.

But, value-oriented advertising is nothing new on the American scene.

In 1956, General Electric ran an advertising campaign about the American economy. This GE magazine ad frames the ideals of the United States in an economic context.

The ad copy stated:

"We in America believe in high wages, high productivity and high purchasing power. They must occur together. One without the other defeats its own ends, but together they spell dynamic growth and progress."

In the 2014 Super Bowl, the Coca-Cola commercial celebrated the dynamic vitality of the diverse American society.  Singing America the Beautiful in their own languages, youths of diverse backgrounds express their deep dedication to the dream that is America.

Advertisers of all kinds have an interest in an America that lives up to its economic and social promise. The campaigns by GE and Coca-Cola remind us all of the the promise of America, and that progress is truly our most important product.

  Copyright © 2014 by John Eighmey. All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Super Bowl Advertising Reaches New Heights

In the 1950s Dinah Shore simply invited us to "See the USA in a Chevrolet." This was an example of a classic celebrity endorsement. A famous and well regarded person spoke on behalf of a brand.

Today, during the 2014 Super Bowl, we saw this concept of celebrity endorsement rise to new heights.

In the 2014 Chrysler Super Bowl commercial Bob Dylan, the risk-taking, visionary, intellectual, folk-rock icon reminds us what our nation is. Dylan spoke about originality, conviction, accomplishment, and legacy. With a driving rock beat, he honored "the heart and soul of every man and woman working on the line."


This commercial goes so far beyond celebrity endorsement as to redefine what endorsement advertising can be.  In this commercial, Dylan not merely endorses the brand, so much as he embodies the brand. Dylan, through all his work, has shown that he has a unique and incisive capacity to see what America is and what at its best America can be.

For the third year in a row Chrysler has won the Super Bowl advertising sweepstakes. Advertising quality is a leading indicator of a company's core values, managerial strength, and prospects for the future. This is a company to watch.

  Copyright © 2014 by John Eighmey. All Rights Reserved.

Friday, January 31, 2014

Super Sunday Sunday Advertising

Super Sunday is our national day of hoopla and hype.

This Sunday, over a hundred million people will turn to the big game to watch the best football players match play for play, in the midst of leading advertisers who have invested millions hoping to break through all the clutter and excitement.

What kind of commercial will win the day?

Over the now 48 years of the Super Bowl, Budweiser stands out as the most consistent bet when it comes to the national popularity polls of big game ads. So perhaps this one will prevail on Sunday.


Budweiser clearly knows about the cognitive theory of empathy.

The brand symbols of the Budweiser clydesdale horses and the dogs that guard them are highly likable. We relate to them as though human characters in a play. We identify with the dedication of the young dog, the anxiety of separation. We rejoice in the outcome.

Other than winning the advertising super sweepstakes, the payoff for Budweiser resides in the concept of "attitude toward the ad." We enjoy the advertising, and we like the brand that makes us feel good about the world and ourselves.

  Copyright © 2014 by John Eighmey. All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Year Six of the Psychology of Advertising

Welcome to the beginning of year six of authoritative observations on how psychological concepts and theories better inform our understanding of the effects of advertising.

I began this blog in January of 2009. Since then, thousands of people all over the world have been coming to these pages for psychological perspectives on advertising. The topics range widely, often triggered by a striking new ad or commercial that just appeared somewhere in the wide world of advertising.

The two most widely read posts in 2013 registered quickly with visitors to this site, moving into the top five of all posts.

The most widely read post appeared the weekend of Labor Day. My September 1 post was titled "Advertising and American Core Values."  It featured a 1956 General Electric print ad that framed the ideals of the United States in an economic context.

The ad copy stated:

"We in America believe in high wages, high productivity and high purchasing power. They must occur together. One without the other defeats its own ends, but together they spell dynamic growth and progress."

These words support the General Electric corporate slogan of that era, "Progress is Our Most Important Product."

In 1956, General Electric clearly understood, as did Henry Ford a generation earlier, that workers and consumers are the same people, and as such they are the leading force of the nation. Indeed, in 1914 Henry Ford paid workers $5 an hour when the going rate at the time was half that amount. His company remains arguably the most continuously successful automobile manufacturer on the planet, clearly contravening the payroll policies of many companies today.

Here is yet another example of the power of advertising to reveal who we are and what we can be.

The second most widely read post in 2013 concerned "The Discipline of Account Planning." This post shared critical perspectives on the definition of this important position in strategic planning and creative development.

Be sure to visit my August 22 post for a detailed discussion of the important underlying framework that is essential to successful account planning

Who knows what 2014 will bring?

Surprise is one of the many joy's of working in advertising. This important intersection of art and commerce is always about what's new, what's relevant, and what works.

Thanks for reading. And, one thing's for certain, there will be Super Bowl commentary in a few days.

   Copyright © 2014 by John Eighmey. All Rights Reserved.