George Duncan

Marketing copywriter/consultant, author

Dotes Mcgoats?

From Watch Your Ads – A media memo by George Duncan

I dunno, but that’s what it sounds like in Sprint’s new ad featuring Malcolm McDowell and James Earl Jones elegantly dressed in black tie and spoofing “Lizzie and Kim” texting each other. Whomever they’re discussing is “a hottie”, says McDowell. “The hottiest of hotties,” agrees (Kim?) Jones. “A hottie times two hotties times infinity,” he adds. “Mcgoats,” counters McDowell. “Dotes Mcgoats” exclaims Jones (I think) in that “This is CNN” voice of his. On another occasion they’re “Chris and Craig” texting about going out. Maybe they will. No, maybe not. Well… Whatever the hell they’re saying, it’s a great piece. But I wonder how smart it is for Sprint to do a somewhat cynical sendup of their customers. Of course, I’m of the “jeezer geezer” generation, so what do I know. (Disclaimer: All quotes are approximate and mostly unintelligible.)

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The Meeting Starts at Eleven, Cindy

So says Annie as Cindy comes crashing through ceiling and lands on the conference table with a thud at Annie’s Stunt Agency in an ad for Capital One Small Business credit cards. Annie starts by grabbing a fire extinguisher and sprays a guy who’s on fire. Someone else smashes a chair across her back and then Cindy makes her entry. Finally, Larry comes flying through a window on a motorcycle. “I need your time sheets, Larry,” Annie calls out. Genius.

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Can or Will?

Ally Bank assures a CD customer that if their rates go up, his can too. Not “will,” but “can.” I’d look into that if I were him.

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All a-Twitter

If you like ads, you’ll love the new Twitter policy. They’ll soon be targeting you with ads based on the websites you’ve been visiting, according to Web Marketing Association’s Smart Briefs newsletter. They’ll use your account data to track you and feed you ads across devices. Whoopee!

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Through A Looking Glass, Backwards

Invesco’s ad has investors lined up in a bank-like setting. Couple steps up to the teller’s window and requests a pair of “hindsight ” glasses. Sorry, they’ve been withdrawn. They weren’t 20/20. Take this Invesco brochure instead. Similarly with “foresight goggles” and “kick me” shoes. Neat. Make mine 7 ½ D, please.

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All the News That’s Fit to Sell

The New York Times reports that The Great Gray Lady is turning to full color video. It’s a new website launching January 8th with “integration of video and photography with text.” User experience … yadda yadda…responsive designs…yadda yadda…reader engagement…yadda yadda…comments alongside  articles. And, oh yes; “content paid for by advertisers.” Oops. It’s called “native advertising” to hide the fact that the ads are designed to look like editorial content. Back in the day it was called editorial advertising. In a letter to employees, publisher Sulzberger said that native ads would be “clearly distinguished as paid posts.” You know, like those full page ads in the Times with “advertising” printed in flyspec condensed at the top of the page.

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Speaking of flyspec type, that fine print on the Vonage “$9.99/month” ad says, “For three months.” After that it’s$26.99 per month. Just so you know.

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