Mike Jeffries, CEO of Abercrombie & Fitch, made some comments in 2006 that certainly made his fashion brand sound nothing short of uber-elitist. Now,áthoseácomments are coming back to haunt him and his brand. And it looks like they will do some permanent damage.
It's one thing to be honest. But anyone from the UK will know what happened to Ratner's jewelers when their CEO, Gerald Ratner himself, made the following comment:
"We also do cut-glass sherry decanters complete with six glasses on a silver-plated tray that your butler can serve you drinks on, all for ú4.95. People say, "How can you sell this for such a low price?", I say, "because it's total crap."
Ratner's lost over $500 million in value, which spelled the end for the chain. It changed its name to the Signet Group, but the damage was done.
Now, although Abercrombie is not a purveyor of cheap clothing, the CEO has committed the cardinal sin of advertising. He ignored his brand. There is nothing wrong with being honest, but really, his opinions of "fat people" and "ugly people" are not opinions you want tied to your multi-million dollar empire.
People are donating Abercrombie clothes to Goodwill left and right. Sales are dropping. Soon, A&F will stand for Assholes and Fascists. You can read more about this right here. But in a word...disaster.
Juggling. We all do it on a daily basis. áBut if the creative director is not up to scratch, you will see some people juggling 15 balls, while others are throwing one against the wall in a scene from Cool Hand Luke. How does this happen? Check it out, right here.
We've recently looked at the 1940s and 1950s, very briefly, to see what advertising was doing at that time, and how it reflected culture and news events. Now, it's the turn of the 1960s. And thankfully, the advent of DDB made the sixties a much better decade for truly memorable advertising. Read more here.
I'm sure you have seen the spot for Hyundai, showing a failed suicide attempt. If you haven't, you can read about the whole thing here (and click on this link if you must see it). Personally, it's one of the worst ads I have seen in a long time, considering the product and the client. But what do you think? Let us know in the poll below.
In our three-part look at advertising from decades gone by, we look at the fifties. An era of apple pie, huge cars and idyllic family scenes. Well, it also happened to be a time of even more sexism, racism and controversy. Of course, hindsight is always 20/20.
Sorry for the lack of the question mark in that headline, but it would have ruined the quote. It was not said with any kind of hesitation, it was said proudly and publicly in an ad for Hardees Burgers...back in the 1940s. Sure, times have changed, but it only really dawns on you by how much when you see that kind of advertising. And the copy that goes with it? Wowzers...
"We all know a woman's place is in the home, cooking a man a delicious meal. But if you're still enjoy the bachelor's life and don't have a little miss waiting on you, then come on down to Hardee's for something sloppy and hastily prepared."
You can see more examples of WTF advertising from the 1940s right here.
Really looking forward to this one. It is, after all, based on something we all know well. That the difference between so many rival products is next to nothing. It's all about the marketing.
There's no denying the outrage and shock the nation is feeling after the terrible incident that happened on Monday, April 15th. It will takes months for things to calm down, and for those involved, and those who lost loved ones, it will never go away.
As far as advertising goes, it is a time to show some sensitivity. That is not a word often associated with this industry, but when things like this happen, it needs to happen.
Examine the ads you're creating, or the ones you already have out there. Be aware of the mood of the general public. And if your client wants to use this event as a launch pad for something self-serving, please, stop them. Tragedy should never be used for profit. Read more here.
Forget Wolfmother's "The Joker and the Thief." The skunk and the bear is what it's really all about, when it comes to the ad business anyway.
You all know of the skunk. Not exactly a powerhouse of an animal. It weighs about 14lbs fully grown, the same as a large cat. It's not very fast. It's not what you'd call one of nature's elite creatures.
Compare it to the bear. The black bear, not the grizzly which is just enormous. The black bear can weigh 500lbs. It can run at a healthy 25mph. It has an insane sense of smell. It is an awesome predator.
A skunk should be a nice, easy target for the black bear. An appetizer. And yet the black bear keeps its distance. It is, in fact, afraid of it.
And as a small business, you should really take a leaf out of the skunk's book.
So, it seems only fair that I follow up my slating review of those products you buy from a 1-800 number, with products that actually were worth the call. Here's the list of six products you can buy witháconfidence.