Google Ad Project Updates Classic Alka-Seltzer and Avis Pitches


As part of a project by Google, Alka-Seltzer is turning its famous commercial with a guy who says "I can't believe I ate the whole thing" into a video clip styled like a 1970s sitcom.As part of a project by Google, Alka-Seltzer is turning its famous commercial with a guy who says “I can’t believe I ate the whole thing” into a video clip styled like a 1970s sitcom.

A project by Google to reimagine classic advertising campaigns from the 1960s and 1970s for contemporary sensibilities — and technologies — is proceeding with work for two additional brands.

The effort, called Project Re:Brief, last month brought out its reworked versions of the 1971 “Hilltop” commercial for Coca-Cola, in which a chorus sang of its desire to “buy the world a Coke and keep it company”; and a Volvo campaign from 1963 that carried the theme “Drive it like you hate it.”

Google is to introduce on Friday its updates of the 1972 commercial for Alka-Seltzer about a gourmand named Ralph who moans, “I can’t believe I ate the whole thing” and the “We try harder” campaign for Avis car rental, which began in 1962.

The goal of Project Re:Brief is to change minds on Madison Avenue about new technologies in general, and Google products and services in particular. The idea is to demonstrate that Google Maps, Google Mobile, Gmail, YouTube and their gaggle of siblings can help create advertising that is emotional as well as rational.

For instance, for Alka-Seltzer, the idea is to imagine the rest of Ralph’s day, beyond the meal where he “ate the whole thing.” Video clips, titled “The Day Ralph Ate the Whole Thing,” are styled like a sitcom from the ’70s; the actor playing Ralph was cast because he resembles Milt Moss, the actor who played the part in the original commercial.

Each video uses interactive display and mobile ads, and each ad impression is personalized for a viewer depending on factors like location and time of day. (For instance, if it is lunchtime, Ralph may be seen eating lunch rather than breakfast or dinner.)

For Avis, consumers will be invited to write online about their experiences renting cars with Avis. The words and phrases they use will help Google generate personalized video clips that can be shared with friends and family.

For Project Re:Brief, Google is working with some of the creators of the original campaigns like Paula Green, who was at Doyle Dane Bernbach when she worked on “We try harder” for Avis, and the creative team of Howie Cohen and Bob Pasqulina, who were at Wells Rich Greene when they worked on campaigns for Alka-Seltzer.

Google is also involving three of its agencies in the initiative. They are: Grow Interactive, which serves as the lead digital agency for Project Re:Brief; Johannes Leonardo, part of WPP, the creative agency; and Nexus Productions, the animation agency.


Apple’s Marketing Success

Apple’s Marketing Success

“Even though Apple never sold directly to consumers before they opened that first store ten years ago in Tyson’s Corner, Virginia, Apple now boasts some incredible bragging rights for its retail channel:

  • Apple operates over 360 retail stores which employs over 40,000 people;
  • Apple plays host to more than a million visitors every day;
  • Apple’s retail operations are on track to generate more than $20 billion in 2012
  • Amazingly, Apple’s stores average over $7,000 per square foot which is more than twice the former gold-standard Tiffany & Company.
  • It is estimated that Apple’s Fifth Avenue store generates over $35,000 per square foot making it the highest grossing retailer in New York – ever.

Amazing what great Apple marketing and great customer experiences have done for Apple…Apple Stores are the highest performing stores in retail history!”

This shows another way social media has become such a huge part of our society. More and more companies use Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube to advertise. Now also I have seen banners and ads on intagram.


Yesterday, sometime during the evening (at least in New York), Liz Gannes tweeted her post about Instagram and it reminded me how quickly I fell in love with the service. She and I had talked a lot about the service. My belief was that Instagram (or something like it) would emerge and become a big social platform.

Om says he bets that there’s an open opportunity to build a photo-sharing service that’s “designed from the ground up from the perspective of a mobile user” with “a more immersive, two-way service” as compared to the desktop.

She was referring to my previous post on Instagram when the company, Burbn, shifted focus to photos.

The company is right to focus on Instagram, which has potential – mostly because all of us love sharing pictures and congregating around visuals. The continued popularity of Flickr, the skyrocketing usage of Facebook Photos are ample…

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Gieco commercial

Gieco is probably the only company that can successful advertise the way they do. They have so many different variety of commercials from the cavemen to the gecko to the piggy. The only thing it seems their commercials have in common with each other is that they are funny and therefore memorable. Their marketing strategy seems to be working for them.

NHL, Discover Playoff Marketing Wants Fans To Spend A ‘Day With The Stanley Cup’

DateFriday, March 23, 2012 at 08:22AM

By Barry Janoff

March 23, 2012: As part of its activation as an official partner of the NHL, Discover Financial Services is taking the most symbolic part of the playoffs and offering it to fans and consumers.

Beginning today, people can tell the NHL and Discover why they deserve a day with the Stanley Cup by entering a “Day With The Cup” contest. The promotion will be supported by multi-media marketing, including TV, print and Internet.

TV ads scheduled to break during hockey broadcasts on March 25 will feature Phil Pritchard, one of the men charged with the handling and care of the Stanley Cup. Discover and the NHL also will unveil videos of Pritchard and the Stanley Cup offering “unique insight on the Stanley Cup’s history and travels throughout hockey-centric towns in the U.S.”

Now through April 12, marketing will direct people to a dedicated Web site, where they can submit an original photo “that best demonstrates their passion for hockey, along with a 1,000-character or less description that answers the question, ‘I deserve a day with the Stanley Cup because . . . ‘” (Full details here.)

Visitors will also be able to vote for their favorite submission, with the top three moving on to the final competition.

From April 17-21, visitors to the Day With The Cup Web site will be able to vote on the three submissions that have received the most votes, with the winner to be unveiled on May 6.

A two-minute documentary showcasing the winner of the “Day With The Cup” will be revealed in June during Game One of the Stanley Cup finals.

Discover has been the official card of the NHL since 2010. This past season, the deal was extend for five years. The alliance has been featured in TV ads in which Peggy, an inept customer service rep from a  fictitious rival company, is unable to help such NHL players as Tim Thomas (pictured) and Patrick Kane.

“Our alliance with the NHL has been terrific,” said Jennifer Murillo, vp-brand communications for Discover. “There is a lot that we have in common, starting with the loyalty that fans have for the NHL and that cardholders have for DIscover.”

This year’s activation is a follow-up to the 2011 Discover “Your Kid Could Win a Day with the Cup” social media video contest.

“We wanted to expand upon last year’s contest and to leverage our relationship with the NHL to make this ‘Day With The Cup’ even bigger and better,” said Murillo. “We expect the involvement of fans over the next two months to be pretty amazing. And that is exactly what the NHL and Discover are looking for.”

Google Ventures’ Big Data Bet




| April 11, 2012, 10:00 am

Google Ventures, the independent venture capital entity financed by Google, is building the internal data sciences team that is at the center of its investment philosophy.

The latest hire, Hazem Adam Ghobarah, is, like many others at the venture firm, a former Google employee. Mr. Ghobarah spent six years at Google, most recently in the quantitative research and modeling part of its advertising business. He will look for investment opportunities in the data analysis business and work with the firm’s existing companies on ways they can gather and make use of lots of information.

“This is part of an entire team we are assembling,” said Bill Maris, the managing partner at Google Ventures. “We have an internal quantitative team. Adam underlines the importance of this.”

It should not be too surprising that a Google-created entity should have this bent. Google, along with Web pioneers like Yahoo and Amazon, was crucial to the creation of the emerging Big Data industry. By tracking things like consumer clicks and the behavior of thousands of computer servers working together, they amassed large volumes of data at a time when collapsing prices for data storage made it attractive to analyze. They also captured information from nontraditional sources, like e-mail, leading them to create so-called “unstructured” database software like Hadoop and MapReduce. Versions of those are now used to store and analyze other kinds of data.

The ways in which Google analyzed Web traffic to predict patterns are increasingly applied to other fields, as that data moves online. Mr. Ghobarah believes that biology is an increasingly attractive area.

“We keep coming back to life sciences” as an investment field, he said. “In a given year, you have 200 million pathology slides. If that gets online, it is a Big Data problem.” One Google Ventures company, called DNA Nexus, uploads and analyzes genetic information. Part of the company’s edge is that it is able to store its ocean of data inside Google, where it most likely takes little space in Google’s data centers.

Google Ventures, of course, is hardly the only venture firm accelerating its Big Data business. Greylock Partners, where LinkedIn’s founder, Reid Hoffman, is a partner, has hired DJ Patil, a former LinkedIn executive, as its data scientist in residence. Another firm, Andreessen Horowitz, has spread money across several Internet sectors, including businesses like Factual that support data science by ensuring data quality.