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Walter F. Cameron Advertising, Inc.
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A Promotion That Really ‘Sucked’
September 22, 2014
By Mark Preiser

Hoover_MarketingThere are good promotions and bad promotions – but it took Hoover vacuum’s European arm to come up with what many regard as the worst promotion of all time. The promotion was so ill-conceived that Maytag, Hoover’s parent at the time, actually had to sell the company. I had heard about it before, but found the details in a 2011 article by Evan V. Symon, titled “The 5 Biggest Disasters in the History of Marketing Ideas.”

In the 1990’s, Hoover had the bright idea of offering in the U.K. two round-trip airline tickets to Europe or the U.S. with the purchase of a vacuum. Back then, Hoover’s upper-level vacuums were a bit pricey. The thinking was that the two free airline tickets would encourage customers to move up to those pricey models.

What actually happened? People who didn’t even need a vacuum were buying them…sometimes many of them. Why? The minimum cost of the vacuum to qualify for the promotion was 100 pounds. The minimum price of two round-trip flights was considerably higher. So every time someone bought a vacuum and collected the tickets, it cost Hoover a lot of money. Now I’m guessing it doesn’t take a Paul Samuelson or even a second rate economist to understand that this was not a good plan.

Before I reveal the results, I want to share another promotional disaster highlighted in that article. The perpetrator was the Silo retail chain, which found itself overstocked with stereos. Their crack team decided to get a bit edgy in their ad by offering the stereos at a discount price of “299 bananas.”

The term “bananas” as a synonym for dollars hadn’t been popular for decades; so naturally the joke was lost on most who saw the ad. But that didn’t stop dozens of people from marching into the store with 299 actual bananas – retail value at the time: about $40. The chain had to honor the offer. What did they do with the bananas? Since food banks don’t take perishable items, hopefully there was a zoo nearby.

Now back to our big winner….er, loser of the day: Hoover wound up losing 50 million pounds in what many people believe to be the world’s worst promotion. (One British pound fluctuated somewhere between $1.15 to $1.30 for most of the 1990’s, so you can do the math.) It was so bad that claims for the tickets were never fully settled until years later – and, as mentioned, Maytag had no choice but to sell the company. Perhaps Hoover’s then-“braintrust” had difficulty grasping the concept that it is not good practice to give away value higher then the cost of what one is selling.

As in all cases, one hopes some good did come out of this promotion. I’m guessing it prompted a bit of unusual tipping from frequent fliers: “Great haircut, Sam. I’d like you to have this Hoover….”

 Visit Site: http://www.cameronadvertising.com/a-promotion-that-really-sucked/
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Redefining Wholesome

September 8, 2014

By Cameron Advertising
For those who still think making a profit and making a difference are mutually exclusive, we present Honey Maid. This past spring, the venerable graham cracker brand launched a spot depicting a variety of non-traditional families enjoying its products: a single-dad family; an interracial family; a rock n’ roll-playing, tattooed family; a military family; and, strikingly, a two-dad family..

Read More: http://www.cameronadvertising.com/redefining-wholesome/

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Protected: Creepiest ad icon of all time?
august 21, 2014
By Mark Preiser

Recently I attended The Battle of The Burgers at the South Street Seaport. After sampling 15 hamburgers, my thoughts traveled to…no, not Tums and Pepto Bismol, but hamburger advertising. What popped into my head was the oh so creepy Burger King. So I was wondering who the creepiest icon might be.

According to a blogger named JELLIO, the Burger King came in second, so I’m thinking what form of creature could be creepier. The answer: Carvel’s Cookie Puss. According to the writer, “…you can still hear 10 year olds turn to their mothers and say, ‘Mom, what the hell is that?’” Still, number two in creeposity is quite impressive.
My research led me to another interesting fact. According to Rosie Louis, who blogged about the 10 creepiest commercials, the 1963 television debut of McDonald’s Ronald McDonald ranks number two in all-time commercial creeposity. She explained that the origin of Ronald McDonald can be traced back to 1960′s local radio personality Willard Scott – who later, of course, became a national personality on the “Today” show. Scott played Bozo the Clown on WRC-TV in Washington, D.C. At the time Bozo was the hottest children’s show. When Bozo went off the air, the local McDonald’s people asked Scott to come up with a new character to take Bozo’s place. The initial incarnation of Ronald was beyond creepy. The character is reminiscent of a grade-B black-and-white sci-fi character from the late 50’s or early 60’s. The paper cup nose and cardboard tray hat are particularly charming accessories.

So who’s number one? According the same writer, it’s another clown: Krinkles the Clown. Krinkles replaced Post Cereal’s “So-Hi,” a Chinese boy named because he could only reach “so high.” Marjorie Merriweather Post, owner of Post at the time, felt Krinkles was a safer and far less insulting alternative. The blogger commented, “Our nightmares beg to differ. I saw the commercial and haven’t slept since.” Of course, it could simply be a case of indigestion….

Go to the site:
http://www.cameronadvertising.com/creepiest-ad-icon-of-all-time/

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A Coke by Any Other Name
August 8, 2014
By Betsy Stevens

It seems that I learn about the latest and greatest marketing trends from my daughter, who is 9. The newest thing on her radar turns out to be the “named” Coke bottles. In this summer campaign, the company is replacing the iconic logo on their cans with 250 popular names. Your summer vacation can be spent trying to hunt down your own name on a Coke can. Luckily, my Olivia found her name in the first few weeks. She proudly displays the used bottle on her bookshelf in her bedroom.

If your name is not on Coke's most popular list, don't worry. Over the summer, Coke crews are making 500 stops around the U.S., where they will customize a Coke mini-can especially for you.

This is on the heels of another brilliant campaign, in which Coke deployed a unique plastic cap on their bottles that could only be opened when fit together with another bottle’s cap and then twisted. Thus you needed to have (or make) a friend to be able to drink your Coke. This campaign made an appearance on college campuses so that college freshmen could share a little friendly conversation.

Please go to www.shareacoke.com/#bottle 

Go to the site: http://www.cameronadvertising.com/a-coke-by-any-other-name/
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TD Canada Gives Back


August 4, 2014

By John Twomey
 
For ages, the banking industry has tried very hard to overcome its (in many cases well-earned) reputation as monolithic and impersonal. TD Canada Trust has done exactly that, with a heart-warming look into its relationship with its customers.
Regardless of how you may feel about banks, you have to admit, this piece is a brilliant 3:56 slice of good cheer. And social media and the blogosphere agree. With almost 4 million views in the first few days of the campaign, comments such as “…I’m moving to Canada” and “… hands down the best commercial I’ve ever seen…good to know there’s still great people in this world” dominate comment threads.
How did TD do it? The customers were hand-picked. All were long-term bank clients who were well known to branch staff. They were asked to come in to participate in a focus group to evaluate a new ATM system. They didn’t know they were coming in to receive specially selected extravagant gifts. The reactions are all real.
So what do you think? Is this an example of a financial institution effectively breaking down the barrier of impersonality, or is TD Canada overplaying the schmaltz card? As far as we’re concerned, it’s getting a little dusty in here.

Go to the site: http://www.cameronadvertising.com/td-canada-gives-back-2/

#TDthanksyou
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Counter-intuitive Best Practices for Social Media
By Cameron Advertising

Social media has been on the front burner of many marketers for some time now. What’s interesting is that many of the things we think we know about using social media really don’t hold up when you look at actual statistics. Kevan Lee, posting on the Fast Company website, recently took a look at the latest social media stats and discovered some results that are counter-intuitive. Here are a few of them:

read more:http://www.cameronadvertising.com/counter-intuitive-best-practices-for-social-media/
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Samsung’s $18 Million Selfie
July 9, 2014

By Betsy Stevens

For those who haven’t seen Ellen DeGeneres’s selfie from the Academy Awards, where have you been? The photo was supposedly tweeted so much that it broke Twitter. The moment surrounding the snapping of the selfie was fun and appeared to be unscripted. It seems that’s not the case, however.

read more: http://www.cameronadvertising.com/samsungs-18-million-selfie/
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