Madison Ave Insights

A David in the Land of Agency Goliaths

Posted in Advertising, Digital, Marketing

Sometimes it seems like the advertising industry is nothing but a land of Goliath’s – Goliath’s that are bent on marrying or eating one another.

David Angelo launched the David&Goliath agency in 1999, he and his agency have had enormous success by “thinking like David,” being nimble, resourceful, creative and brave – and fiercely independent. I’d also add “slyly funny” to that list of descriptors. David&Goliath’s Super Bowl spot for the Kia Sorento poked fun at over-the-top Super Bowl ads by having former James Bond star Pierce Brosnan dodge owls and a moose on a snowy mountain road. AdWeek’s Tim Nudd listed it among his five favorite ads of Super Bowl XLIX. David&Goliath’s spot for last year’s Super Bowl – … Continue Reading

Broadway Embraces Star Power, Creative Marketing

Posted in Advertising, Marketing

Timing is everything on Broadway, and with and with the new season kicking off, it’s an opportune moment to check in on marketing practices on the Great White Way.  The talk of the theater world this spring has been Fish in the Dark, the Broadway debut of Seinfeld co-creator Larry David.  The play broke advance sales records to the tune of $13 million, providing further support for the notion that star power goes a long way in selling theater tickets.

Stars bring built-in audiences with them, making their presence alone an effective marketing tool for producers.  Indeed, a glance at Broadway’s current lineup confirms that many productions are adopting the tactic of staging productions that have already established their … Continue Reading

LatinWorks Gets Creative for Hispanic Audience

Posted in Uncategorized

Hispanics are the largest and youngest minority group in the United States, and you can bet that major advertisers want to reach them.  Actually, an agency called LatinWorks did make that bet, opening its doors in 1998 with a focus on “cultural branding” and creative work that spoke to a Hispanic audience.  The bet has paid off handsomely; LatinWorks now has more than 170 employees, more than $200 million in billings, and offices in Austin, TX and Detroit, MI.  The agency’s explosive revenue growth (32 percent in 2013) helped land it the number nine spot on AdAge’s 2014 A-List.

Also helpful: standout creative work that has brought in a slew of awards (including multiple Cannes Lions) and accounts (Dominos … Continue Reading

Hornet Helps Differentiate a New Player in Health Insurance

Posted in Advertising, Marketing

You can argue about whether the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) is the most successful expansion of the social safety net since Lyndon B. Johnson’s Great Society or the end of America as we know it. You can argue about that. I’m not going to go there. But one undeniable fact of the Affordable Care Act is that it has greatly expanded the market for health insurance advertising.

Prior to the ACA, most working adults who had health insurance got it through their employers, and so most health insurance marketing was directed at those employers. Since the ACA came online, millions of Americans who previously did without insurance are now health insurance consumers. To date, 11.5 million people … Continue Reading

Dos Equis is Bucking Beer Trends by Going Mobile

Posted in Advertising, Digital, Mobile

These are challenging times for major beer makers. Beer sales in the United States have fallen by about 4% since 2008, with the biggest declines being experienced by some of the largest brands. Bud, Miller High Life and Miller Lite have lost a quarter of their sales volume. Some might chalk this up to the encroachment of craft brewers, but while sales of craft beers have grown by roughly 80%, they still represent only 7.6% of beer sales nationwide. A recent article in Forbes suggests that the real reason for the decline in major brand beers sales is that the Baby Boomers who drink them are drinking less as they age, and millennials, partly because the major beer brands have … Continue Reading

Environmental Marketing Needs To Get Real

Posted in Advertising, Environmental, Marketing

As you know, Davis & Gilbert produced our 2014/2015 Lessons Learned Practical Advice document, where our lawyers highlight major developments in the marketing communications industry, and offer tips and best practices for marketers and their agencies in 2015. To view the full 2014/2015 Lessons Learned Practical Advice document, click here. This week, I wanted to share with you the section I co-authored with Matt Smith on environmental marketing.

2014 was another active year for environmental marketing claims, as consumers showed an increasing willingness to change their purchasing behavior based on environmental impact, and regulators made good on their promise to ramp up enforcement. Although the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) sent a strong message to marketers that it takes environmental … Continue Reading

The ANDYs – Honoring the Heroes of Advertising

Posted in Advertising, Marketing

We all need heroes and people whose bravery, commitment and skill make us feel like there is good in the world. These people inspire us to do our own best work and be our own best personal and professional selves.

That’s a point not lost on The International ANDY Awards. Launched in 1964 by The Advertising Club of New York, the ANDYs honors creatives who’ve done especially bold and courageous work. That’s an increasingly tall order in these days of tighter ad budgets, more conservative clients, and campaigns that have to address a variety of new media channels while still excelling at old school print and television.

And the ANDYs had great fun with the idea of brave heroes in … Continue Reading

2014 – A Banner Year for NAD Challenges

Posted in Advertising, Direct Marketing, Marketing

As I mentioned a few weeks ago, Davis & Gilbert produced our 2014 Lessons Learned/2015 Practical Advice, where our lawyers highlight major developments in the marketing communications industry, and offer tips and best practices for marketers and their agencies in 2015. To view the full 2014 Lessons Learned/2015 Practical Advice document, click here. This week, I wanted to share with you the section I co-authored on the National Advertising Division of the Council of the Better Business Bureaus (NAD).

Despite recent news reports implying that marketers are taking disputes to federal court with greater frequency, 2014 proved to be another banner year for the NAD. Eighty-eight competitor challenges were filed with the NAD in 2014 – a considerable increase … Continue Reading

A Look at the European Advertising Landscape

Posted in Advertising, Digital, Marketing

Even if (or maybe because) your last exposure to European advertising was a heavy metal cough drop commercial from Finland, you may be wondering how things are going over there across the pond. In general, I think the answer is, “Things could be better, but they were a lot worse.”

Ad spending is a kind of economic indicator. When a business, or a sector, or an entire economy heads south, ad spending is one of the first things to get cut. The European Union (EU) has been slower out of the Great Recession than the United States and ad spending didn’t return to growth until 2013, and even then it only grew by only 2.3% in 2014, according to a … Continue Reading

Regulators Continue Their Focus On Disclosures

Posted in Advertising, Marketing, Regulatory

2014 marked a year of significant change in the marketing communications industry.  To help understand these changes, Davis & Gilbert produced our 2014 Lessons Learned/2015 Practical Advice, where our lawyers highlight major developments in the marketing communications industry, and offer tips and best practices for marketers and their agencies in 2015.

Over the next few weeks, I will share with you a few pieces I authored on the topics of: FTC – Regulatory and State, Emerging Hardware – Robots, Drones and Connected Devices, and the NAD. To view the full 2014 Lessons Learned/2015 Practical Advice document, click here.

 FTC – Regulatory and State:

The regulatory landscape in 2014 was marked by a continued focus on the importance of clear, … Continue Reading