Sales Here with Cynthia Harley

Communications student exploring sales and advertising

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What happened to the jingle?

As mentioned in a previous post detailing the declining popularity of television ads, I love TV jingles.  Part of me certainly wishes that jingles were more often incorporated in advertising campaigns.  After all, if the only people watching television ads anymore are the Baby Boomers, then I think product jingles need to make a comeback in a big way.  The thing is I’m being completely serious because I know from living with my grandparents the resonating impression a good jingle can leave on a generation. 

I’m certainly not a Baby Boomer but this Woman’s Day article ( The All-Time Catchiest Commercials made me recall some of my favorite jingles. 

The first being Meow Cat food’s “Meow, meow, meow…” jingle.  And for those of who remember the ad I’m referring to, you’ll also recall that there’s no much more the lyrics except meow.  Which if you ask me is the brilliance in it. 

The second jingle on the list that caught my eye is the Folgers coffee tune of, “The best part of waking up is Folgers in your cup.”  I think part of the appeal of this jingle is the emotional tie that I have to the product because my granddad drinks Folgers instant coffee. Not so much a fan of instant coffee, definitely a fan of rhymes in jingles.  I think product like instant coffee warrants a level of cheesiness, there’s nothing wrong with playing into brand perception. 

My all time favorite commercial jingle didn’t make the Woman’s Day article’s list.  It’s the K9 Advantix flea line tune.  It’s one of those ads, where whether you like it or not when it comes on you catch yourself singing…

Hello Mother
Hello Father
Fleas, ticks, mosiquitos
really bother
thank for the package
thats why I’m writing
k-9 Advantix quickly stopped all the biting!

Swimming Hiking
And tent pitching
They’re not biting;
I’m not itching!
Can’t wait to show you
all my new tricks!
Thanks again for sending me K-9 Advantix!!!

Who knows considering my propensity for the jingle aspect of advertising maybe I’ll one day be writing catchy jingles or slogans.  I do have a knack for rhyming… 


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Winter Olympic 2014 Ads

One must admit, even as an aspiring marketer, the advertisements for a special television event can be the most entertaining part of said event.  In the case of the Sochi Olympics I question certain companies logic behind heavily advertising during the Olympics.  Don’t get me wrong I love McDonalds as much as the next American; I will gladly laugh at anyone who says they don’t like fast food but I certainly don’t equate Olympic athletes and fast food in the same schema. 

McDonald’s intertwined their Olympic geared commercial (athletes biting into their gold medals and then into chicken nuggets) with a social media campaign promoting “fan packs” of chicken nuggets.  Great, advertise during the Olympics, obviously everyone is watching but for me I’d like to see more correlation between product and Olympic theme. 

Also, it appears Coca Cola has done it again by producing a special event ad that is raising some eyebrows.  In their Olympic ad they depict Olympic skier Ted Ligety’s success to a Coke before every race.  Once again, I’m an advocate for caffeine and sugary drinks but I have to say this is yet another company that seems to not mix well with the Olympics. 

When I think of Olympics and advertising I think of sports equipment, cameras, smartphones, Under Armour and cold weather gear, not energy drinks, fast food and certainly not alcohol. Once again, advocate and fan of the last aforementioned item on the list but it doesn’t go together.  Like stripes and polka dots, these things will never go together or equate athletic success in my mind.  So don’t bother stretching a marketing concept that far.  To me a huge number of viewers isn’t worth cheapening a brand simply to get an advertisement viewed.  And the more I analyze public reaction to certain ads I’m beginning to disbelieve the old adage bad press is better than no press at all.           

Overall, I think their are certain products that just aren’t meant for advertising during certain events. Have you seen any Sochi Olympic commercials you found absolutely absurd? 


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Demise of the Television Commercial

With the ever prevalence rise of viral social media campaigns, television advertisements are becoming a thing of the past.  The newer and more modern a product is, the more likely their main audience is bypassing right by ads.  The classical demographic of age 18-49 are more often than not watching their shows on Netflix, Hulu and HBOgo.  So that leaves the classical commercial in the dust. 

There are some industries that have increased their TV ad budget within the last third quarter of 2013 sales, according to the trends section in  Honda alone increased their TV ads by 135%, one would assume for the Olympic time rush.  While fast food chains like Dunkin’ Donuts and Subway decreased their ad sales by 22% and 17% respectively.  Now one can only imagine a possible shift in their target advertising demographic, perhaps changing to those who can utilize their mobile apps for coupons.   

One could analyze the massive amount of TV advertising statistics on for days.  However, my big question remains what exactly is going to happen to television commercials in the future.  For that matter even the near future?  As one of the aforementioned devout streamers on Netflix I find myself not being annoyed by repetitive commercials.  Let alone even being able to recall a commercial I particularly enjoyed because they simply are no longer on my radar. 

Even the ads that pop up before streaming a video on YouTube can be opted out of after five seconds of viewing.  Plus my pop up blockers filter out any random side bar advertisements.  It seems our modern society has grown past the method of muting out commercials.  Rather we utilize media that completely protects us from the hassle of TV ads.  But really are trading in TV ads such a hassle when you really think about it.  Don’t the ads on your free phone app prove equally as annoying?   

As someone who thinks the catchy jingles from vintage TV commercials are cute, I’d rather like to see them stay en vogue.  I would much rather have classical ads stay on the classical media of a television screen than inundate me on my smartphone or while trying to stream a specific video on YouTube. 

Do you think television ads will eventually be completely obsolete?   

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SEO Ad Campaigns

The latest trend for small businesses is hiring advertising agencies to oversee their entire social media presence.  Search engine optimization takes it one step further in tying together all of a business’s social media sites.  As well as, working towards making a business rank first in a Google search.  It’s no longer only about click through rates but being able to monitor the follow through for each unique user.  Did a potential customer get guided to your website because of a link on Facebook or Twitter?  Google analytic’s in combination with SEO can tell a business just that.  

Thinking of becoming an SEO expert?  This is how they form their campaigns…

1.  Research, research and more research.  The first thing is determining which keywords are most apropos for a business.  When forming a keyword database they keep the following in mind…

–  Keywords that already relate (using Google analytics)  

–  Brainstorm all encompassing keywords (as broad as possible) 

–  Think locally!  

2.  Use research to implement a keyword database 

3.  Monitor results and think of SEO as part trial and error.  Getting keywords when they aren’t receiving a lot of traffic to successfully pull up the business on the search engine.  

I think it’s important to know the basics of the process for anyone that wants to work in advertising because it seems that the wave of the future is incorporating social media into any campaign.  And even for local businesses they want their local customers following them on all platforms.  


Coca Cola’s America is Beautiful Super Bowl Commercial

For those of you who have not yet seen the ad that has been causing controversy for Coke

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Coca Cola Ad Prompts Patriot Uproar

Patriotism…the word and the way in which Americans choose to display it varies from person to person. The concept of what is unpatriotic has been prompted by, of all things, Coca Cola’s recent Super Bowl advertisement.  

The ad features “America the Beautiful” being sung in multiple languages and now it’s coming under fire for being unpatriotic.  Whether your opinion is one of disdain or appreciation, the commercial poses a whole other concern via a marketers perspective.  The question becomes, how universal should international businesses make their marketing campaigns?

Coca Cola is a pioneer of international marketing, be it that they are a recognized brand in virtually all countries.  For them the question is not where should they expand but where haven’t they expanded?  

The “America the Beautiful” ad could not be aired internationally with warm reception.  So why would Coke choose to air an ad that is neither solely American geared nor universal during the Super Bowl?  It simply doesn’t fit into any niche.  Moreover, the controversy surrounding the ad has completely taken away from the product. 

Sure, the company’s Twitter feeds are a buzz with comments.  I would have to disregard a controversial ad as the appropriate means for boosting social media presence.  However, I do not think the marketing specialists were expecting controversy.  I think Coca Cola was piggy backing off of their strong international ties, while simultaneously appealing to America’s cultural diversity. 

I believe there are only a select few brands who can get way with an ad causing a nationwide uproar without long-term ramifications.  After all just because a product is internationally recognized, does not mean it has the same brand image from country to country.  Coca Cola is lucky that their marketing strategy doesn’t involve much customization per market.  

I would love to know how surprised the corporate hierarchy of Coca Cola was by some American’s reactions to the advertisement.  I extend the question to you, is Coke’s 2014 Super Bowl ad offensive?  


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Commercialization of Valentines Day

Valentines Day…the mere thought of it for most 20 something’s warrants at least an eye roll. For a holiday that’s suppose to celebrate love, it doesn’t get much love itself. And perhaps that stems from the fact that the exact purpose and origins of the holiday are unknown. Rather Valentines Day is lost in a sea of hearts and mushy gushy advertisements.
To clear some myths up, yes there is a St. Valentines and yes the holiday is highly commercialized. However, no it was not purely made up by stores for the sake of profitability. The origins of Valentines Day commercialization began in the early 18th century in England, starting with the traditional exchange of homemade cards. By the 19th century “valentines” became mass produced and infiltrated other western counties in Europe and America.
By the 20th century when advertising hit it’s big stride in general, so did Valentines Day. Say what you want about the holiday but it gave way to the rise of other mass commercial holidays such as Halloween. It wasn’t until the mid 20th century that all companies began to use Valentines as a marketing tool. It was then, that the gifts extended beyond elaborate greeting cards into candy and flowers.
Americas concept of giving jewelry as a V-Day gift actually didn’t start until the 80s. Diamond companies implemented campaigns specifically for this day, which had been unheard of prior. It’s hard to believe that such a concept is so relatively new.
Although Hallmark card sales are still booming around for holidays, e-cards are the way to go in the digital age. Which begs the question will Valentines Day become an obsolete holiday in the 21st century?

Vintage Ad with Elizabeth Taylor

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