Morning Update: Facebook u-turns on blind ad; Sorrell on Mediapalooza; How VW squandered its legacy; KMart’s ridiculous Xmas ad


AdWeek: How Volkswagen Just Squandered 55 Years of Great Advertising

Volkswagen missed the boat. The chrome strip on the glove compartment is blemished and must be replaced. Chances are you wouldn’t have noticed it; inspector Kurt Kroner did.”

In 1960, Volkswagen ran what may have been its most famous ad ever: Lemon. The one-word headline described a 1961 Beetle that would never make it to a dealer. It had a mere blemish, enough for VW engineer Kurt Kroner to reject the vehicle and inspire Julian Koenig, the DDB copywriter partnered with legendary art director Helmut Krone, to pen the famous ad.

The copy mentions 159 checkpoints and a willingness to say “no” to cars that don’t cut it. It concludes with the argument that Volkswagens maintain their value better than other automobiles.

The Drum: Sir Martin Sorrell: Clients can’t treat agencies as banks or insurers

Sir Martin Sorrell has expressed his concern over clients treating agencies as “banks or insurers” as he commented on the ongoing spate of media reviews.

Over the past few months, the likes of Coca-Cola, Unilever, L’Oreal and Johnson & Johnson have all put their massive media billings up for grabs, causing what Sorrell describes as an “enormous strain” on WPP – the incumbent on several accounts – as it effectively tries “to run two trains on time”.

“[Are the reviews] because of transparency, a rebate issue in a non-rebate market, because of  a lack of trust, media fragmentation, or because media is the biggest line item in PNLs? Probably an amalgam of all these things but whatever the reason, it’s put an enormous strain [on us],” he said.

AdAge: SC Johnson Taps PepsiCo Exec as First Global CMO

Ann Mukherjee, PepsiCo’s president for global snacks and insights, is leaving the company to become the first-ever global chief marketing officer for SC Johnson, Ad Age has learned. Simon Lowden, CMO for PepsiBeverages North America, will replace Ms. Mukherjee at Pepsi.

With Mr. Lowden promoted, Seth Kaufman, who is senior VP for the Pepsi and flavors portfolio in North America, will take on the new title of CMO for Pepsi Beverages North America.

The Guardian: Facebook makes U-turn after banning RNIB’s ‘degrading’ sight-loss ad

Facebook has performed a dramatic U-turn, lifting a ban on a campaign by the Royal National Institute of Blind People that it claimed was “degrading”.

The hard-hitting ad, which aims to promote the need for sight-loss advisers in every UK hospital, asks viewers to think about how they would feel if their health was under threat.

RNIB launched the ad on its YouTube channel on 14 September and subsequently tried to run it on Facebook.

Techcrunch: Facebook Starts Letting You Add A 7-Second Looping Video As A Profile Pic

To keep its decade-old social network lively, Facebook is introducing five big changes to user profiles, which are viewed 4 billion times per day:

  1. The option to pin Featured Photos to the top of the profile
  2. Temporary profile pics
  3. Easier visibility controls for About info including a new 100 character Bio field
  4. A mobile-centric design with centered profile photos plus big sections for photos and friends
  5. The ability to use a 7-second looping video as your profile pic.

The features begin rolling out and testing today for some users.

Creativity: JetBlue Encourages New Yorkers to Steal in Latest Fun Stunt

JetBlue has made a name for itself delighting NYC 9 to 5-ers with its fun out of home stunts, including a deceptively keen talking billboard and a Coke vending machine that rewarded the generous with free flights. This time, the company is encouraging New Yorkers to outright steal to promote itself as “New York’s Hometown Airline.”

With the help of its agency Mullen Lowe, this week brand placed 185 gift vouchers in public spots all over New York’s five boroughs. But they were kind of hiding in plain sight–the vouchers were giant peel-off posters that people literally had to tear down in order to redeem.

Digiday: Kmart trolls scrooges with ‘ridiculous’ holiday ads in September

For the second year in a row, Kmart is the first major retailer to begin campaigning for the holidays. Yes, Christmas is 86 days away, and it was 81 degrees in New York City yesterday.

In its aptly named “Ridiculous” holiday campaign, released at the beginning of September, wreaths and string lights twinkle in the background as Kmart associate “Kmart Kelly” explains that while thinking about the holidays already may be ridiculous (wink), two payment programs — layaways and leasing — will help shoppers budget smartly for the season.

“We want to help our members manage budgets, especially for Christmas toys,” said Kmart’s vp of communications, Jamie Stein.


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