Advertising as Education

Old ads look funny to us today in part because advertisers believed the purpose of ads was to educate consumers about the product. Direct hard sell didacticism resulted in repetitious ads, heavy with product attributes.  Today few ads include product information; most ads work by creating associations, such as with celebrities, making emotional appeals, or…

In-House Ad Agencies: The Future?

Will marketers be shifting more of their advertising in-house and away from traditional advertising agencies? A recent report by the Association of National Advertisers found that more than half of the companies surveyed were developing their advertising strategies within the company rather than relying on outside agencies. The two factors contributing to this shift are…

Funning the Sponsor

The Colbert Report has satirized sponsorship. The show has also actually integrated sponsored products. As viewer, it’s sometimes hard to tell which are for real–that is, paid for by an advertiser. In this episode, Colbert razzes the brand managers at Nabisco/Kraft for sending him a memo about the (in)appropriate ways to integrate Wheat Thins into…

Branded Entertainment, Past and Present

At BBDO, where I was Visiting Professor in June 2013 for the Advertising Educational Foundation, I gave a talk about my research into branded entertainment of the past and into the present. My talk previews my forthcoming book, A Word from Our Sponsor. You can find the slides and video of the half hour talk here.