Hells Angels Sue Saks, McQueen Design Over Trademark.

Posted by truecreek on October 27, 2010 under More Dam News | Be the First to Comment

I wouldn’t want to piss these guys off.

By Don Jeffrey

The Hells Angels motorcycle group sued fashion design house Alexander McQueen and retail chain Saks Inc. for trademark infringement for selling handbags, jewelry and clothing using the club’s death-head design.

Hells Angels Motorcycle Corp. said McQueen’s company, New York-based Saks and retailer Zappos.com Inc. have been selling infringing products in stores in California and online, according to a complaint filed yesterday in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles.

The motorcycle club said it has been using the death-head mark, a skull with wings, since at least 1948. The Hells Angels have authorized the use of the marks on jewelry, apparel and “promotional and entertainment services,” according to the complaint.

More on the story here.

TV Spots Shrink to Match Attention Spans.

Posted by truecreek on under More Dam News, Research | Be the First to Comment

By Emily Fredrix

And now, a word from our sponsors. A very brief word.

TV commercials are shrinking along with attention spans and advertising budgets. The 15-second ad is increasingly common, gradually supplanting the 30-second spot just as it knocked off the full-minute pitch decades ago.

For viewers, it means more commercials in a more rapid-fire format. For advertisers, shorter commercials are a way to save some money, and research shows they hold on to more eyeballs than the longer format.

“It used to be that the most valuable thing on the planet was time, and now the most valuable thing on the planet is attention,” says John Greening, associate professor at Northwestern University’s journalism school and a former executive vice president at ad agency DDB Chicago.

So instead of seeing a lengthier plot line, viewers are treated to the sight of, say, the popular “Old Spice man” riding backward on a horse through various scenes for just 15 seconds.

Or the “most interesting man in the world,” the suave, rugged, Spanish-accented character pitching Dos Equis beer, appearing just long enough to turn his head and weigh in on the topic of rollerblading. (Verdict? A deadpan “No.”)

The number of 15-second television commercials has jumped more than 70 percent in five years to nearly 5.5 million last year, according to Nielsen. They made up 34 percent of all national ads on the air last year, up from 29 percent in 2005.

Commercial-skipping digital video recorders and distractions such as laptops and phones have shortened viewers’ attention spans, says Deborah Mitchell, executive director of the Center for Brand and Product Management at the University of Wisconsin. Viewers are also watching TV streamed on sites like Hulu, where advertisers have less of a presence.

Read the entire article here.

So When Will This One Reach the Supreme Court?

Posted by truecreek on October 26, 2010 under More Dam News | Be the First to Comment

For years, companies have had to make decisions regarding proper usage of their customer information.  Kudos to Amazon for fighting this one. Why would the state need to know what we are reading, what we buy and what we listen to?  You would think all they would care about is how much we spent with Amazon. That’s it.

Read the article here.

If this is appealed, I wonder if it might just make it to the Supreme Court?

AMC’s “The Walking Dead” Stunt. Brilliant?

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Today’s zombie commute in NYC must have been really something to see.  Hopefully, there were enough of them on the streets to really make a visual impact. Probably one of the more inventive uses of social media that I have heard about.

By Deepti Hajela

As if the morning commute wasn’t odd enough, intrepid New Yorkers trying to make their way to work on Tuesday had to battle past hordes of the walking dead.

Two dozen zombies, their clothes spattered with fake blood, were staggering up and down the block outside Madison Square Garden. Downtown, others shuffled across the Brooklyn Bridge.

Some pedestrians looked startled or amused by the ghost-white actors with bruised-looking eyes. Some people ignored them entirely. Others whipped out their cell phone cameras.

Horror movie fan Linda Emery was thrilled to see the creatures.

“I’m into zombies, anything with zombies,” said the 58-year-old home care provider from Brooklyn. It made a change from her usual commute.

“You see a lot of stuff, but not this stuff,” she said.

Erik Machado, an audio engineer heading to work in New Jersey, was unfazed and passed by the scene with nary a glance at the nightmares walking around.

“Gotta commute, gotta go where I gotta go,” the Queens resident said.

The stunt was part of a campaign in 26 cities worldwide promoting the Halloween premiere of the AMC television series “The Walking Dead.” The show is being broadcast outside of the United States on Fox International Channels.

It’s Dems vs. the GOP for Brand Domination.

Posted by truecreek on October 25, 2010 under More Dam News, Research | Be the First to Comment

Well, it was bound to happen.  Someone was going to look at the relationship between a brand and a political party. Perfect study for this time of year, don’t you think?

This is only the top 10 for each and the only thing I don’t see is Apple on the list for the Dems. To me, that would be a no brainer, but I’m sure it’s on the big list somewhere.

I love Craftsman tools, but big with the liberals?  Don’t know about that.

Fox New Channel the #1 brand with a bullet for the GOP. Who would have guessed?

Jackass 3-D Opens With $50m, Setting October/Documentary records, While Red Scores $22m.

Posted by truecreek on October 18, 2010 under More Dam News, Opinions. Everyone has them. | Be the First to Comment

Now, I’m no fan of the Jackass series of TV and films, but you just cannot argue the fact that they can get the eyeballs.  And 3-D had to help.

Jackass 3-D grossed a whopping $50 million in its debut weekend, setting several records and setting punditry tongues wagging in the process. First of all, the film bested the $48.1 million opening weekend for Scary Movie 3 in 2003, taking the October opening weekend record. Second of all, the opening figure is far and away the best opening weekend for any kind of non-fiction/documentary film in history. If you count this series as a documentary franchise (which I do), then the third entry is now the fifth-highest grossing documentary in history in just three days. It stands behind Jackass: The Movie ($64 million), Jackass Number Two ($72 million), March of the Penguins ($77 million), and Fahrenheit 9/11  ($119 million).

While the franchise has mediocre legs (part one had a 2.9x weekend-to-total multiplier in 2002 and part two had a 2.4x multiplier in 2006), thus making $100 million+ not quite a sure thing yet, there is little doubt that the film will end its domestic run as the second-highest grossing documentary/non-fiction film of all time. Still, 3-D films seem to have better legs than average (witness the useless My Soul to Take dropping just 53% in weekend two, as well as the inexplicably strong holds of Legends of the Guardians, now at $46 million), partially because they keep the bigger auditoriums for longer periods of time. If it can manage a mere 2.4x multiplier, it will in fact surpass the Michael Moore anti-Bush epic.

More here.

Kit Kat Turns 75.

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For the lovers of Kit Kat.  Happy 75th Birthday!

From PopSop:

Kit Kat, one of the most successful brands produced by the Nestlé company, is celebrating its 75th birthday. The name of the iconic chocolate ‘fingers,’ approx. 540 of which are consumed every second around the globe (according to the Guinness Book of Records as of March 2010), dates back to the 17th century and originates from a London-based literary and political club called Kit Kat, the abbreviated name of pastry chef Christopher Catling, the owner of a pie shop where its meetings were held.

More here.

Rumors of Broadcast’s Death Greatly Exaggerated.

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By Julia Boorstin, CNBC

After years of moaning about the death of broadcast TV as viewers move online and to cable, the broadcast business is looking pretty healthy.

For one thing, advertising is back — CBS CEO Les Moonves said this week that ad rates are up 30 percent from Upfront Ad sales rates.

Considering that this year’s Upfront showed high single digit gains over last year, that’s significant progress. Second, networks have managed to secure that all important second revenue stream– retransmission fees from cable and satellite TV carriers.

More about Rumors of Broadcast’s Death Greatly Exaggerated here.

Southwest to Attack Rivals’ Flight-Change Fees.

Posted by truecreek on under More Dam News, Opinions. Everyone has them. | Be the First to Comment

Personally, I’m not a fan of Southwest. Just not my cup of tea.  But obviously, they have done a wonderful job of positioning themselves as the champion for the little guy/gal. The bag cops campaign was a good one, hitting the major airlines hard with a message that highlighted their collective greed in such a humorous manner. But for a lot of people, this is no laughing matter.  Fees are killin’ them.

From AP:

Southwest Airlines is giving its “bag cops” a break.

Southwest has been running a heavy dose of TV commercials boasting that unlike most other airlines it lets passengers check two bags for free.

But the airline said Friday it will launch a new TV commercial designed to boost sales on its website. The ad, featuring singing and dancing employees in Chicago, is important to Southwest because its flights don’t appear on online booking websites such as Orbitz and Travelocity.

Also, Southwest is seeking actors for commercials that will target airlines that charge customers up to $150 to change their itinerary. Southwest doesn’t charge a fee for changing flights on a ticket.

Southwest spokesman Brad Hawkins said the airline hasn’t decided when or how widely the new campaign will run.

Brett Snyder, who blogs about airlines as The Cranky Flier, said the change-fees ads will probably be less effective than Southwest’s long-running “bags fly free” campaign. He said travelers know that they will get charged for checking a bag on other airlines, but they don’t know if they’ll ever need to change their itinerary.

A Moment to Reflect.

Posted by truecreek on under Opinions. Everyone has them. | Be the First to Comment

My father, Joseph E. Young Sr., died last month after a long battle with Parkinson’s disease. He had just turned 81.

To say we had a wonderful relationship is really an understatement.  He was a great man, hard-working, loyal and dedicated. I learned so much from him.  I will sorely miss our time together but know that some day,  I will once again sit with him under a tree on beautiful summer day.

As you would expect, his death took my eye off the ball for a while. For some strange reason, I just didn’t see the need to post or update.   I remember reading  Elizabeth Kubler-Ross’ “On Death and Dying” back in high school.  If true, the five stages seemed to all happen at once.  Part of me understood the situation and the rest of me didn’t.

Yes, you do feel numb.

What I didn’t expect was the impact small memories would have.   Every day you see or hear something  that stokes the fire within.  Just writing this post and looking at this picture reminds me so much of the fun we used to have together.

But for me to get back in the swing of things, it’s vitally important that I get back to doing what I enjoy most and that’s working hard in the ad business.  It’s time to scour the Internet for interesting articles, compelling research and  great creative work.

So if it’s OK with you, here we go.