>A rather strange website

>This week on my drive to work I heard about a new website, ZestyCleveland.com. If you aren’t frightened my men with braided pigtails, this may be something Clevelanders can use. It is aimed at the unusuals for Northeastern Ohio – where to go, what to eat and what is going on in and around Cleveland.

For example, they have a “Zesty Ipod Dance” tonight in Tremont. The description of the event reads: “Participants should bring their Ipod’s and meet at Lincoln Park to engage in Dance-related activities at the park before joining in a “Congo-Line” down to and through the Tremont Art Walk scheduled for this evening too.”

Is anyone else confused on this event? In breaking down the event into “iPod” and “dance” I envision a crowd of people all dancing with their iPods on, playing their own music. But this event sounds like it’ll be more of a load-our-music-on-your-iPod-and-dance event.

Hmm. I’m still confused.

I guess this is just another example of “are you saying what you want to say?”

>Dear Mr. Vernon…

>How many of you have seen this back to school JCPenney commercial?

Quick, name that 80’s flick! If you said The Breakfast Club, you are right on.

This commercial is quite clever and instantly brought a smile to my face remembering the movie… complete with a new, trendy version of “Don’t You Forget About Me” (originally performed by Simple Minds).

Then, I had to ask myself something. Why in the world are they basing their commercial off of a 1985 movie?

Oh my… they are targeting MY generation! As a single girl, with no children, I guess I wasn’t appreciative of anything but the overall entertaining theme.

In looking at it from someone my age (or slightly older) with children going back to school, I would consider taking them to JCPenney to go shopping simply because of their unique advertising.

Does anyone else feel the same way?

>Backwards advertising

In conjunction with last week’s blog on WDOK’s Christmas in July celebration, Rob remembered David Letterman’s “Morning Show” from years ago set out to confuse the public.

In this video from 1985 shows David Letterman’s set portrayed as a morning show rather than his typical late night display.

What other backwards advertising have you noticed?


>Thou shall not endorse unhealthy advertising!

>Marketers across the country are getting a harsh wake up call from the FTC. From an article recently released, there is a great concern for childhood obesity in the United States – and the FTC is blaming markterers.

Although this report is from 2006, advertising “bad” products to kids is nothing new. For years celebrities have been endorsing products harmful to children’s (and everyone else’s) health. For those of you who are thinking it’s because “the times are changing” or because “children nowadays don’t have good influences” – you are mistaken. I challenge you to think back not so long ago when you were my age and some of your favorite actors were endorsing cigarettes. What ever happened to those celebrities anyway?

Funny you should ask. Here is a small sampling of the celebrities who endorsed the Chesterfield brand of cigarettes and what happened to them.

Ann Sheridan died of esophageal and liver cancer in 1963. She was 51.
Betty Grable died of lung cancer in 1973. She was 56.
Bing Crosby died of a heart attack in 1977. He was 74.
Ed Sullivan died of esophageal cancer in 1974. He was 73.
Joe DiMaggio died of lung cancer in 1999. He was 84.
John Wayne died of lung and stomach cancer in 1979. He was 72.

It is interesting to note, Chesterfield claimed their cigarettes left you with a fresh taste in your mouth and helped to keep you vibrant and active.

My, oh my.

Any predictions on how Justin Timberlake will fair eating McDonald’s food he lovingly endorses?

Surely, Donovan McNabb will be fine eating his Campbell’s Soup, right?

And where where will Nelly be in 30 years from drinking his Pimp Juice energy drink?

In your opinion, what products that are around today will be deemed unhealthy in the future?


>WDOK’s Christmas in July weekend

>Driving in to work this morning I had my radio scanning my programmed channels as usual. “Indians playing the Twins this weekend…” [SCAN] “The Akron police department was especially busy last night…” [SCAN] “Rudolph the red nosed reindeer, had a very shiny nose…”

Wait a minute, it’s July – not Christmas!

As part of 102.1 WDOK’s Christmas in July promotion they are celebrating Christmas early this year – all weekend long! I listened as an endless amount of callers made their claims on why this was a good or bad idea. When a caller opposed their ideas, Trapper Jack rang Christmas bells in hopes the gentle ringing would ease them in to the holiday spirit.

The whole promotion is very nicely played, however. WDOK’s website is decorated with their holiday themes complete with falling snowflakes.

And with that I must wish you all a Merry Christmas and happy last weekend in July.


>"(Blank) the Roo"


Let me paint the picture for you: It was a snowy day in late 2005 and I was driving around the University of Akron on Route 8 by Buchtel Avenue. I looked up and saw The University of Akron’s newest marketing campaign: an angry faced Zippy with the words, “Fear the Roo!”

I couldn’t help it, I burst into laughter. This was one of the funniest things I had seen in a very long time, considering Zippy is usually displayed with a smile. I immediately called everyone who would find this as entertaining as I did… then I realized, that’s a REALLY catchy marketing campaign.

Why the change? Suddenly The University of Akron’s athletics exploded in the Mid-American Conference. The women’s cross-country team, the men’s soccer team and the football team all won Mid-American Conference titles. The soccer team even earned a national ranking while the football team went to the Motor City Bowl.

Recently I was driving around The University of Akron I noticed something, again. (You know, where you see something but then it really doesn’t sink in until you see it again?) This time it was Akron’s “Rock the Roo” campaign featuring Zippy in sunglasses adorning EJ Thomas Hall.

This advertisement is set to showcase Akron’s array of concerts, performances and other art events. This perked my interest in just how many “(Blank) the Roo” campaigns were going on with The University of Akron. In doing very minor research I noticed they have a “Boo at the Roo” event centered around a Halloween concert.

And just recently, they have added “Do it Now for the enviROOment,” a way to encourage college students to become involved with Earth Day celebrations.

Hmm. That is pushing the whole Roo campaign just a little in my opinion. I am in favor of Zippy going green, but don’t you think even she would be a little tired of being slogan-ized. Here is my thought pattern on the Roo campaigns:

Fear the Roo: Hysterical
Rock the Roo: Cute. A little cheesey, but cute.
Boo at the Roo: A little childish.
Do it Now for the enviROOment: Pushing the limit.

Have any of you seen the billboards or apparel? (Certainly if you know me you have seen my “Fear the Roo” hooded sweatshirt!) What are your thoughts on this marketing campaign… and mostly, is enough enough already?


>Meet Dave Tanks

Recently, Katy wrote about her frightening experience with Meet Dave. You can read about it here.

So remember that old saying… advertising just kills a bad product faster? Read about how the movie tanked in its first weekend! All that marketing for nothing.


>Behind the Mask


Have you heard about the faceless people popping up at different events? This picture caught my attention one day.

Thanks to Splash for the photo. Here is the original article reporting the aliens. Speculation that these “faceless people” could be famous people trying to fool the paparazzi or perhaps a marketing stunt (and you know I hate that word “stunt!”).

Well in fact the mystery is almost solved. As reported by this article, the faceless people even have their own website. The website www.facelesspeople.com features a small logo directing you to Group Lotus’ main website – check out those hot cars!

So now the countdown begins until the new Lotus Eagle car is revealed. I think this is a brilliant campaign that uses all sorts of tools such as sparking curiosity and speculation through special events and online. To-date, I haven’t seen any banner ads or other vehicles advertising this campaign although I’m probably not the target audience.

So do you love it or think this is just plain creepy? Post your thoughts!


>Wait, that can’t be right…


Was that really Eddie Murphy’s head on the back of a car?

Indeed it was. This past weekend on my way to Cleveland I saw a giant Eddie Murphy head on the back of a car. “Oh, I thought those were only in California!” Exclaimed my brother from the back seat of my car. Did I miss something?

It turns out as part of Eddie Murphy’s new movie, Meet Dave, there is a huge (pun intended) advertising campaign for the country to meet Murphy’s character, Dave, by driving behind his head on highways all over the country. This advertisement sure caught my attention.

It also drove me to think about the other memorable vehicles turned into advertisements throughout the years. The following are a few of the ones that stick out in my mind.

Oscar Mayer’s Wienermobile has been entertaining drivers since 1936.

Red Bull started the energy drink craze in 2000 and quickly gained the attention of caffeine junkies everywhere with their assorted vehicle advertising soon after.

This Dunkin’ Donuts truck sure would make anyone want a donut with chocolate icing.

According to a Flickr user, this Budweiser car was driving up and down Woodward Avenue in suburban Detroit during the 2007 Woodward Dream Cruise. Samples were given out to promote Budweiser – however, the samples were of root beer.

What will they think of next?