Category: Advertising

Speak more better with Nespresso

Before the holidays, Nespresso began running a new TV spot in France, featuring the country’s favorite American: George Clooney. Produced by Lowe Stratéus in Paris, it was the latest installment in a long-running saga of ads. Interestingly, the commercial was in English, and was broadcast with subtitles.

My ears always perk up when I hear English on French TV. But this time a hackle was quickly raised. About 28 seconds into the spot the woman says: “I always imagined you to be much more…” at which point George cuts her off and says: “taller?

“I always imagined you to be much more taller” (my emphasis). Ouch.

But recently a new 30-second version has begun airing. And lo and behold, the problem is gone.

I wonder what happened? Did someone spot the mistake and have it fixed? Or was it inadvertently nixed when they trimmed the spot down to 30 seconds?

I have a theory. According to a press release, the ad was scheduled first to run in 13 European countries (none of them English speaking) followed by Australia and Israel. Could it be that the phrase went unnoticed in the first batch of countries, but when it finally made its way down under someone noticed the verbal slip-up and had it edited out?

Whatever the case, the original version is still on the Nespresso Youtube channel. I wonder when they’ll get around to fixing it?


On scent and semiotics

Take a quick test for me. I’ll say a word and you tell me the first thing that comes into you head. Ready? Jersey What did you think of? A U.S. state? A sports shirt? A Channel Island? A dairy cow? A knit fabric? Well, the luxury brand Chanel is hoping for the latter. It recently

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Contextualized targeting has limits

Trying to contextualize advertising on mobile devices has its limits. I’m a regular users of the NYT iPhone app. Over the few months I’ve started seeing advertising for French products and services, which isn’t a bad idea. But it’s important to get the demographics right. For example, trying to sell me a debit card for

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Disintermediation of the ad agency?

“…the magazine’s job within Bloomberg is to create added value to the terminal business.”

This quote comes from a short but thought-provoking post by Noah Brier, one of the few bloggers that I read on a regular basis. I find it interesting because I think one of the fundamental obstacles to the widespread acceptance of content strategy is the advertising industry mindset.

Publishers used to run ads to generate revenues that supported their selling of content (journalism) at a loss. Advertisers used to spend money producing ads to sell their products and services. But what happens if advertisers publish content to add value to their products, like Bloomberg or Red Bull are doing? What’s left for the advertising agency?  Smells like disintermediation to me.

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