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Category Archives: Media

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Disruption in Marketing & Advertising: Trust in Digital Media

Posted in Advertising, Digital, Direct Marketing, Marketing, Media

As mentioned, at BAA I gave a presentation on how disruption is permeating advertising, media, and marketing today. Today I will share with you the second installment of this three-part series…

One of the biggest issues facing advertisers, marketers and agencies today is the concept of “Trust.”  Not “Trust” in the context that advertising lawyers usually consider – the truth and falsity of advertising claims.  Rather, the issue is “Trust” as it relates to digital media.  And this issue relates to brands as well as media buying agencies.  Digital media is an integral part of all marketing and promotion today, and marketers and their agencies are part of that process and have responsibility for it – and may even have … Continue Reading

How Dan’s Papers Have Helped Shape “The Hamptons” Brand

Posted in Advertising, Marketing, Media

It may be hard to believe now, but there was a time in the 1970s when residents of the Hamptons felt that the area could use some publicity.  Enter Dan Rattiner, founder of Dan’s Papers, a weekly lifestyle publication covering the Hamptons with a whimsical voice that isn’t afraid to have a little fun.  Miffed that the Hamptons, the setting of the novel Jaws, had been replaced in the movie by Martha’s Vineyard, Dan put an attention-grabbing hoax on the front page of one of his weekly papers, the East Hampton Summer Sun.  He ran an open letter from the Chief of Police, urging donations to a “raw meat drive” that would help satisfy a shark that was currently eating … Continue Reading

From Springsteen to Restaurants to Louis C.K – Charitable Giving is Alive and Well

Posted in Marketing, Media

The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff sang New York, New York; Louis C.K riffed on rats doing it in the subway; and Bruce Springsteen auctioned off two guitars, a lasagna dinner and a motorcycle ride. That was just some of the goings-on at the 8th Annual Stand Up for Heroes charity show, which raised $6 million to help post-9/11 vets and their families.

In addition to the Boss’s “guitars n’ lasagna” package, this year’s Stand Up for Heroes featured some other new fundraising wrinkles.

One was Dine Out for Heroes, an initiative led by Peter and Penny Glazier of the Glazier Group of restaurants, in which more than 200 participating restaurants donated a dollar for every meal they … Continue Reading

SoulCycle is Spinning Its Way Across the Country

Posted in Advertising, Marketing, Media

Candlelight, loud music, and the chance for a potential celebrity sighting – it sounds a bit like a nightclub, or at the very least a trendy bar. While all of the above are nightlife commonalities, they are also a key factor in the success of SoulCycle – an intense, full-body workout done on a stationary bike.  The brand has turned “spin class” into one of the most successful fitness trends around, generating a cult-like following among its devotees, which include Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Jake Gyllenhaal, and Charlize Theron just to name a few. In addition, celebs such as Lena Dunham and Oprah have even held SoulCycle birthday parties.

SoulCycle has set itself apart from other fitness trends in a … Continue Reading

VIZIO Turns a Medium into a Community

Posted in Advertising, Marketing, Media, Social Media

Social media can be challenging with its many channels and niche audiences. Where does a brand start? And how do brands tie their efforts together? VIZIO, the nation’s largest seller of flat panel televisions, answered these questions by creating its own social network, called Fandemonium.

By leveraging a sponsorship begun in 2010, VIZIO first launched Fandemonium at the 2013 Rose Bowl game; encouraging fans to cheer and jeer plays for a chance have their pictures displayed on the stadium jumbotron.  Fandemonium participation – including store check-ins as well as viewing and writing product reviews – is rewarded with points that members can redeem from VIZIO, or one of its Fandemonium partners, which include Hulu, Netflix, and ESPN.

The genius behind … Continue Reading

Advertising Week – Lights, Camera, and Action

Posted in Advertising, Digital, Marketing, Media

It’s hard to overstate what a “thing” Advertising Week has become. Since it was launched in 2004 by the late Ken Kaess, then chairman of the 4As, Matt Scheckner, and a team that included Burtch Drake, Ron Berger, and Mike Donahue, the conference of advertisers and advertising professionals now comprises more than two hundred and fifty events and more than one hundred and ninety seminars and workshops over four days. This year’s attendance is expected to exceed 90,000 people.

And talk about spanning generations, last year, in addition to a parade and Advertising Week reps opening the trading day on the floor of the NASDAQ, the conference featured presentations as diverse as Sabrina Calouri, ‎Vice President of Digital & Social … Continue Reading

State of the Creative Series: Interview with the Chief Creative Officer at 360i

Posted in Advertising, Marketing, Media

So far in the “State of the Creative” series, we’ve heard from Chief Creative Officer’s at: Ogilvy & Mather North America, Weber Shandwick, and GREY. This week we continue to examine what it means to be a creative in today’s world…





I sat down with Adam Kerj, Chief Creative Officer at 360i, to discuss the state of the creative today.


QIn this new era of data and technology, what has been the fundamental change for creatives? AWe have more insight into consumer behavior than ever before, and we are living in a world exploding with content that needs to resonate for consumers to care and to be inspired to share.  Creatives are now using digital… Continue Reading

State of the Creative Series: Interview with the Chief Creative Officer at GREY

Posted in Advertising, Marketing, Media

Continuing with the series on the “State of the Creative,” we reached out Chief Creative Officers at some of the world’s leading ad agencies on: What it means to be a creative in today’s world? How many “legs” does an idea have to have when advertisers and marketers are targeting various demographics, each using multiple media devices and social media platforms? And does having all that data mean you or anyone else knows how to use it?




I sat down with Tor Myhren, Chief Creative Officer at GREY, to discuss the state of the creative today.

QIn this new era of data and technology, what has been the fundamental change for creatives? ABroader thinking and a… Continue Reading

State of the Creative Series: Interview with the Chief Creative Officer at Weber Shandwick

Posted in Advertising, Digital, Marketing, Media

As mentioned last week, we got to wondering, what does it mean to be a creative in today’s world? How many “legs” does an idea have to have when advertisers and marketers are targeting various demographics, each using multiple media devices and social media platforms? And does having all that data mean you or anyone else knows how to use it?

We posed these questions to Chief Creative Officers at some of the world’s leading ad agencies and will be posting their responses here over the next few weeks. Together, they should give us an interesting take on the state of advertising creative today.



I sat down with Josh Rose the Chief Creative Officer at Weber Shandwick to … Continue Reading

Likeable Applies the Lessons of Social Media to Branding

Posted in Digital, Marketing, Media, Social Media

Marketers promote, entertain, celebrate, and explain. In other words, they talk. But Dave Kerpen, cofounder and chairman of Likeable Media and founder and CEO of its sibling company, Likeable Local, believes that a different skill is needed in a media landscape increasingly driven by social media – listening.  And by listening, Kerpen means more than just using social media channels to respond to consumer questions and complaints.  He sees listening via social media as a means to tell stories and engender authentic conversations with and among consumers and to promote conversations that strengthen and reward brand loyalty.

In a lot of ways, it’s the next step in the evolution of branding. Branding started with the idea that companies and products … Continue Reading

Changing How We Watch Changes How We Sell

Posted in Advertising, Digital, Media

In just a few short years, DVRs and video-on-demand have dramatically altered how television is watched. In 2006, fewer than two percent of households owned a DVR. Now, more than half do. The use of DVRs has changed along with market-growing penetration. Instead of just being time-shifters, many viewers are effectively becoming collectors, stockpiling so many shows on their DVRs that they don’t have time to watch them all. As a result, they’re also watching shows later, at a time when it’s convenient to them.

As The New York Times reported recently, this fall’s television season saw a surge of viewers watching shows four to seven days after the initial air-date. Broadcasters and cable networks typically base their ad prices … Continue Reading

Brand Activation Association Marketing Law Conference: Demonstrations

Posted in Advertising, Marketing, Media

We’re all familiar with the classic product demonstrations in television commercials: who hasn’t seen re-enactments of the super-absorbent paper towel, or the dish detergent that cuts through grease with a single drop?

How do we define a demonstration?  Well, a demonstration is just that: a way for advertisers to show the product functioning as it actually would, as objective “proof” of performance.  As such, it is especially important that demonstrations actually consist of a true and accurate portrayal of the product.  When the FTC began bringing enforcement actions concerning advertising demonstrations in 1959, it encountered cases where products or props had been doctored, enhanced or replaced to achieve the desired performance, and the advertiser had not disclosed any modification.  Even … Continue Reading

Brand Activation Association Marketing Law Conference – The Reasonable Consumer

Posted in Advertising, Digital, Marketing, Media

This week, leading lawyers, legislatures and marketers attended the 35th Annual Brand Activation Association (BAA) Marketing Law Conference in Chicago. At BAA I gave a presentation titled, “Journey to the Center of Advertising Law: Knowledge, Insights, and Practical Tips on The Most Important 2013 Advertising Developments.” Over the next few days, I will share with you three video clips from my presentation. Let’s dive into the first one…

How do we determine “reasonable consumer” behavior?  This is an increasingly important question in a world where the consumer population comprises people with differing views, perspectives, education levels, and experiences.  The “reasonable consumer” is crucial in advertising law:  this person interprets advertising, determines what claims are actually being made, decides whether there … Continue Reading

How to Ensure Compliance under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act

Posted in Advertising, Digital, Direct Marketing, Media, Mobile

The FCC has changed its rules to require “prior express written consent” in order to auto-send commercial calls or texts. Failure to comply can open violators up to private lawsuits, and to damages awards of up to $1,500 per violation.  So what should be done to avoid pricey violations?

First, there needs to be written consent before commercial calls or texts are sent. While this rule revision was primarily meant to address robocalls, the interaction of this priority requirement with the need for “writing” means that it will have a special impact on commercial texts.  Notably, advertisers cannot send messages to consumer numbers pulled straight from interactions that begin offline (for example, from a responses to an on-TV exhortation to … Continue Reading

A Candid Conversation on the Economic Outlook & Agency Midyear Forecast with TBWA\Chiat\Day’s Neal Grossman

Posted in Advertising, Marketing, Media

2013 has certainly been a landmark year, and we have seen both social and financial gains dance across the headlines of various news publications. We watched as the S&P 500 hit an all-time closing high of 1,682.50 in July, and we watched history be made with the United States Supreme Court’s ruling on DOMA.

While I still do not have access to a crystal ball, the fiscal outlook for 2013 will certainly determine a large portion of the way the growth within the Advertising Industry, among other industries, will play out.

The Way I See It I see the industry continuing to evolve to adapt to changing consumer trends, marketer needs and media evolution. I see the advertising industry continuing… Continue Reading

“Canning the Spam” – The FTC on Mobile Spamming

Posted in Media, Mobile, Technology

Spamming has taken a new form in this era of mobile phones and text messaging.  In addition to fighting the clutter in our e-mail inboxes, we are also faced with clutter on our cell phones.  In the words of the FTC, text message spam is a “triple threat.”  First, mobile spam often uses the promise of free gifts or product offers to get you to reveal personal information such as bank account, credit card, or Social Security information.  Alternatively, clicking on a link in a text message can lead to the installation of malware that collects information on your phone and sends it to a third party.  Second, the spam can lead to unwanted charges on your cell phone bill. … Continue Reading

Box-Office Hits to Best-Sellers: Scholastic Inc. Shares Marketing Strategies Around Film Adaptations

Posted in Advertising, Digital, Marketing, Media

Gatsby.  His name has been forever immortalized through the words of       F. Scott Fitzgerald.  For most of us, it conjures up memories from high school English classes, but now it’s being broadcast all over in ads and trailers for surrounding the film adaptation.  The Great Gatsby’s big movie turn got us thinking about how marketing strategies around blockbuster film adaptations impact book sales and play into the publishing industry.  Some of the biggest flicks to hit silver screens in the past few years have been adaptations from books – Harry Potter, Twilight, The Hunger Games, Silver Linings Playbook. And of course, this practice is nothing new. Even Gone with the Wind is an adaptation of a book. So how do … Continue Reading

Television Sweeps Periods: Still relevant or outdated?

Posted in Advertising, Digital, Media, Social Media

I talk here on Madison Ave Insights a good amount about digital, social media, and mobile advertising trends and developments, and how they are changing the industry.  Advertisers are shifting dollars from traditional print and television to online media outlets and novel platforms – that is no question.  However, televisions are still in nearly every home in America, tuned to leading sitcoms, special programming, news, and sports.  So, how do advertisers determine which programs are worth allocating ad dollars to in order to reach target audiences?  Cue Sweeps periods.

The Way I See It I see Sweeps, which are a data-collection periods used to determine local viewing information and provide a basis for scheduling programs – what gets renewed and… Continue Reading

Brand Mascots Come to Life on Social Media

Posted in Advertising, Digital, Marketing, Media, Social Media

A few weeks ago, Chester Cheetah, the beloved “spokescat” for Cheetos, joined Twitter as @ChesterCheetah with a campaign to reach 50K followers.  And when he does, “a family gets a kitten.”  Chester Cheetah is just the latest of many brand mascots that have taken social media by storm in recent years.  Furthermore, digital media is allowing brands to create more developed story lines and detailed backgrounds for their mascots, resulting in consumers becoming more drawn to the characters, and, of course, to the brand and product they represent.  The insurance industry has made quite a splash with its brand mascots, including the GEICO Gecko and Allstate’s “Mayhem,” launching YouTube channels and earning verified Twitter accounts (i.e., celebrity status).  Creating such … Continue Reading

POM Wonderful

Posted in Advertising, Marketing, Media

Guess what? When it comes to the claims you make in your advertising, substantiation matters – a lot. The FTC’s recent Final Order against POM Wonderful (POM) in which it found nearly 40 claims made by POM about its pomegranate juice products to be false and misleading based on the absence of proper substantiation, should leave no doubt that the FTC takes the issue of claim support very seriously. And the fact that most of POM’s challenged claims – claims regarding potential health benefits of the products, including that consumption could help treat, prevent, or reduce the risk of heart disease, prostate cancer, or erectile dysfunction – were not actually express claims, but rather implied claims (from both the wording … Continue Reading

What’s Next in 2013: A Lesson in Trendspotting with Marian Salzman

Posted in Advertising, Digital, Marketing, Media

Spotting industry trends and making forecasts for a year ahead is a challenge, especially in an age of constant change and technological developments.  The way I see it, in terms of trends, it is critical to seek out the best when you need to spot trends and discern the real change elements at work.  After offering my year in review and looking back at the trends in 2012, it’s time to also look ahead.  We are at the dawn of a new year – a year filled with potential and uncertainty.  So, let’s get some clarity on what the future holds.

The Way the Industry Sees It

I had the pleasure of speaking with Marian Salzman, CEO of Havas … Continue Reading

Take Me Out to the Ball Game, Advertisers

Posted in Advertising, Media

Ahh, America’s favorite pastime. Hot dogs, peanuts, jerseys, and Big League Chew. We have all heard the call at the stadium – “Beer here.”  Major League Baseball commands attention, defining summer for sports fans and inflaming longstanding hometown rivalries.  I live in New York City, though I was raised outside Boston.  Talk about a rivalry – the Yankees and Red Sox – though not a good year for the BoSox this year.  Every home run, broken bat and strikeout adds up to the biggest baseball event of the year: the World Series.

The World Series is one of the key tent pole events of the advertising year.  It is important to big brands and advertisers.  Sports is a great way … Continue Reading

Paid for by Ron Urbach: 2012 Election Season for the Advertising Industry

Posted in Media

Ask anyone in Ohio what they’re least excited for during the home stretch of this year’s Election season, and I bet you they’ll say the non-stop television, print, and online advertisements from Obama, Romney, and other Ohio politicians trying to win the battleground state. At the Democratic National Convention in August, the crowd cheered and laughed when Obama said he was even tired of saying, “I’m Barack Obama and I approve this message.”  Election season always means a surging tidal wave of political advertising. The 2012 elections are expected to break records for ad spend – after the 2008 elections hit a new record as well. According to Kantar CMAG, the United States will see 43,000 political spots a day … Continue Reading

Privacy and the FTC: Inside Perspective from FTC Commissioner Julie Brill

Posted in Digital, Media, Privacy

On Thursday during Advertising Week in New York City, I hosted an event called “Mission Impossible: Truth & Privacy – The Future is Now,” featuring Commissioner Julie Brill of the Federal Trade Commission, along with Frank Abagnale, one of the world’s foremost authorities on fraud and identity theft (you may know him best from the film Catch Me If You Can – he was portrayed by none other than Leonardo DiCaprio), and Jonathan Salem Baskin, Co-Author of Tell The Truth. Privacy is an issue everyone is talking about these days, and I wanted to share with you some of the thoughts and issues discussed during the session at Advertising Week. Click here to view a video of Ron’s conversation with … Continue Reading