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Archive for December, 2005

Is Madison Avenue Advertising a Total Fraud?

December 5th, 2005 by Bob Bly

There are certain industries with inherent flaws that make them, at best, marginally effective.

Traditional book publishing, with too much product (almost 200,000 new books published each year) and returns from bookstores to publishers in the 30% to 50% range, is one of them.

I believe that the ad agency business as practiced today also has a built-in flaw that dooms the majority of it to mediocrity at best, and an outright drain on corporate productivity at worst.

Reason: despite protests to the contrary, Madison Avenue, as evidenced by national ad campaigns, has as its primary objective creativity, not sales.

Example: the Six Flags TV ad campaign with the crazy dancing old guy (rumored to be a young woman in makeup) was the talk of the ad agency world ? widely acclaimed for its humor, energy, and cleverness.

But, according to Parade magazine (8/21/05), after spending a stomach-churning $72 million on the campaign, Six Flags reported the results: no increase in attendance ? and not a drop of added revenue.

That?s a return on investment (ROI) of less than zero, putting Six Flags $72 million in the hole on this marketing boondogle.

Or do you have a different view? Maybe you think the dancing guy was worth it because it ?gained attention? or contributed to ?branding.?

Or maybe you think Six Flags is the exception, not the rule ? and Madison Avenue really, truly does care about making the cash register ring, not just winning Clio awards.

What say you?


Category: Advertising | 110 Comments »

Is Selling Christmas Trees on the Web a Good Idea?

December 1st, 2005 by Bob Bly

So far, it seems not.

Mark Host, a recent Fordham University graduate, launched to sell Christmas trees online with $20,000 of his own savings and a $10,000 loan from his dad.

To date, he has sold only five trees.

But as an article about Mark in the 12/1/05 issue of the Daily News notes, most people don?t buy their tree until mid-December.

So it?s too early to say whether the business will work.

Now, many of the readers of this blog are Internet marketers, so let me ask you guys:

What advice do you have for Mark to make his Internet-based Xmas tree business a smash success?

And what can he do with the site to make money on the off season ? which for Xmas trees is every month of the year except December?


Category: Online Marketing | 158 Comments »