When I saw the "Diet Coke Break" spot, I found myself wishing the man had acknowledged the women admiring him! What Carol Moog had to say makes a lot of sense, however; there are other ways of seeing it.
My own reason for not having the man look at the women would be that for some women (and men) this would raise other anxieties. For women, sexual feelings in such a context may engender guilt if there is the possibility of acting on them. For men, some may like the woman to be sexually aggressive while others experience performance anxiety and find it aversive.
The trick is to know which fears are universal and likely to be more trouble than they're worth, if triggered by the commercial. This includes what analysts mean by transferences.
To have a woman ogling while he is oblivious to it may be the safest way to go, while emphasizing the relationship of the man to the Coke rather than the women. Not a lesson in relatedness, but eliminating troubling transferences.
A letter writer in your March 14 issue, saying pay-per-view lacks marketing, states: "Try and find out what's playing on Time Warner Cable in Manhattan" and goes on to critique the publication that comes with his monthly bill. He cites that it looks like a bill stuffer. Well, guess what? It is a bill stuffer! As for being allegedly "tiny," the centerfold of that very bill stuffer has a remarkable wingspan (12-1/4 inches), which is larger than most newspaper ads and larger in width than TV Guide would be. Too bad Ad Age did not check the facts.
The real marketing miracle is that the Time Warner Home Theatre guide is 12 pages delivered with the consumer's monthly invoice without increasing postage costs.
As for PPV marketing, the reality is that by the time a motion picture reaches the PPV window it has already passed the theatrical window and the home video window. Studios allow cable operators to sell movies on a consignment basis. The operator does not pay for the feature upfront like a video store does, and home video revenues to the studios exceeds that of PPV revenue. When the balance shifts to PPV, then more money could conceivably be allocated for promotion. And yes, part of the PPV title recognition comes from the previous windows.
Exec VP, Premium Channels
A major and unique component of "Jurassic Park's" marketing strategy was neglected in your fine celebration (Special Report, AA, March 21).
With Messrs. Spielberg and Crichton's personal urging, Universal linked their promotional efforts to the only nonprofit devoted to dinosaur science and education, the Dinosaur Society, which advised closely on the science content of the film.
Universal published more than 1 million copies of a special edition of Dino Times (which you pictured). And it cooperated with the society's internationally traveling Dinosaurs of Jurassic Park exhibit.
Founder, Dinosaur Society
East Islip, N.Y.
Regarding your article on Efficient Consumer Response and pay-for-performance (AA, March 21): I love the idea, but I fear these programs are paying for the wrong performance.
Pay-for-performance is the idea of using scanner data to offer retailers X-cents for each unit sold during a specified period. What PFP doesn't do is reward promotion (advertising or displays, as opposed to price promotion). When stripped of its high-tech veneer, PFP is simply a rebate.
The grocery channel does not need more rebates, in whatever form-it needs to build brands. Brand-building need not mean inefficient, overpriced national advertising, however. Both retailer and manufacturer can build their brand names by employing well-planned promotional allowance programs.
It will be interesting to see how the credibility of the new Dallas Cowboys will impact the endorsement value of the team as well as their key players. The old Cowboys were coached by Tom Landry, a legend worthy of the Hall of Fame, and Jimmy Johnson, a legend in the making. Their styles were different but they both radiated strong measures of positive credibility that increased the endorsement value of their team as well as every player they coached.
Now some new questions have suddenly leaped into the arena. Who would buy sneakers endorsed by a professional athlete willing to play for Barry Switzer, a man with such a questionable background in coaching that six years went by before anyone would dare to insult America by hiring him? Who would a marketing strategist recommend as best to endorse a product: Barry Switzer? Or Jimmy Johnson? A player who speaks highly of Barry Switzer? Or a player who speaks highly of Jimmy Johnson? A team coached by Barry Switzer? Or a team coached by Jimmy Johnson?
Jerry Jones has taken an action that many marketing people will have to examine with care. The Cowboys do not have the same "blue chip" endorsement value today as they did a month ago and if this is the start of the trend, it won't be long before the endorsement value of the entire NFL starts to decline.
Regarding the criticism of the Feb. 21 back-page Penthouse ad (Letters, AA, March 28): This kind of anti-human attitude makes me hang my head in despair.
Have we all gone insane? What is the object of male erotic interest supposed to be, if not women? I think it was Lenny Bruce who suggested chickens, trees, mud. To each his own.
Men get pleasure from seeing, hence Penthouse; women from feeling, hence romance novels. This is natural and nothing to be ashamed of. ... Perhaps there once was a race of creatures that scorned its sexuality. Where are they now?
Mark John Astolfi
The Wireless Works