Letters, Jan. 18, 2009

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Debating Dodge's Super Bowl ad buy

RE: "Dodge Suits Up for the Super Bowl" (AdAge.com, Jan. 13). Why should we disallow [this ad]? How many reasons do you want?

1.) My tax dollars were used without the courtesy of my vote.

2.) I have no health insurance. I can't afford it.

3.) We had no bailout and we're a small ad agency.

4.) This is a slap in the face to every American taxpayer. Chrysler was given $7 billion dollars of our tax money. President Obama once called Chrysler the "pillar" of the American economy. Then they have the temerity of stuffing the debt they promised to repay and buried it in a stack of bankruptcy. I wonder what President Obama thinks of Chrysler now? This is Chrysler's way of saying "Thanks for saving us, but now screw you, America. We're gonna use the money to pay for some Super Bowl ads."

5.) Now it's "business as usual," and it's time to pay millions of dollars in fees to an agency, then cough up a few more million to run the ads on network TV.

This is supposed to give me some sort of "warm fuzzy feeling," and the Super Bowl ad will make me rush right out and sell my Acura MDX sports utility vehicle and buy a Dodge truck? This is brand-building you say? I will never buy a Chrysler in my life after this and I will certainly not be recommending that brand to anyone I know.

Bart Wilson
Santa Fe, N.M.

It must be me, but what part of regaining market share and making the public aware of your products do people not understand? Yes, Chrysler was bailed out by taxpayer dollars and has not repaid any of it yet. But how are they supposed to if they cannot sell products?

In 2009 Chrysler was basically the most irrelevant car company in the U.S. It barely spent any ad money coming out of bankruptcy and lost significant market share. How do we expect them to ever repay taxpayer money if they don't sell vehicles? And to sell vehicles, you must make people aware of your product offerings. This is a bold and significant risk for Dodge to make, but I applaud them for doing so.

I haven't even mentioned the much-needed boost this will give to the media and ad companies creating the spot. Hopefully this will lead to more ad spending.

William Addison

TV still strong medium for ads

RE: "Planning Your Next Move in AdLand" (AA, Jan. 4). Settling in with my latest Ad Age, I looked forward to a perceptive analysis of the coming year. Instead, TV's challenge was oddly summarized as: "Can TV be used to reach smaller numbers of the eyeballs it regularly attracts?"

In truth, Ad Age's analysis should have started with TV's strong viewership.

Then, Ad Age should have reminded readers that the "death by DVR" of TV advertising has not happened. In fact, time-shifted viewing helps advertisers reach a larger portion of a show's audience and, when commercials offer meaningful information, allow viewers to back up and watch advertising a second time.

All this makes 2010 a year of outstanding TV opportunity. Outside of ad-agency ivory towers, TV is more vital for consumers than it's ever been as they watch an amazing variety of programming, capture it all through time-shifted viewing (with advertising), and get this all with an experience heightened by HDTV.

But perhaps most importantly for advertisers, as we enter 2010, TV has become an ROI medium. An excellent array of brand DRTV (direct response television) agencies have demonstrated that TV can be response-trackable and deliver an ROI.

I look forward to a more-insightful analysis of TV from Ad Age in the future.

Doug Garnett
Founder and CEO
Atomic Direct
Portland, Ore.

Terry Lovelock wrote Heineken line

It's not actually true to say Sir Frank Lowe wrote the line "Heineken refreshes the parts other beers cannot reach," whether on an airline sick-bag or not ("Original Mad Man Frank Lowe Leaves Red Brick Road," AdAge.com, 4 January). That particular distinction goes to the wonderfully zany CDP copywriter Terry Lovelock (and God knows what he wrote it on). What is true to say is that Frank inspired a whole generation of creative people to come up with stuff they never dreamt they had in them. He certainly did that for me when I worked at Lowe, London.
Adrian Holmes
Executive creative director

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