Another Ray show, with 50% less EVOO

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For the last two weeks they've been coming. We can see them from the windows of Adages HQ. They stand in a line across the street, quietly waiting ... waiting ... waiting. For whom do these people wait? For Rachael Ray, of course. As if she weren't ubiquitous enough, what with the four Food Network shows, umpteen cookbooks and her own "Everyday With Rachel Ray" magazine, the always-chipper Ray is launching her own talk show Sept. 18. And taping is going on across the street from our offices. Despite the two-a-day tapings, Adages has yet to venture into the studio. But we did actually bother to go down to street level and check out the line. There we found Joe Murena and Jessica Careccia, from Smithtown, N.Y., who'd come into the city for the day to see the show. We also discovered Cassie Fulmer and three friends, who'd come all the way from Cincinnati just to see Rachael. They showed up at 10:30 for the 2:30 showing. When Fulmer-who watches all the shows ("30-Minute Meals" is her favorite) and subscribes to the magazine-said she really liked Rachael Ray, one of her friends chimed in with, "When she says that, what she really means is she really, really loves her."

To which we say: HOW COOL IS THAT!?!

Enough is enough

For a month now, the offices of Ad Age have been inundated with box after box after box of Red Hot candies. To the folks at The Economist: We get it. You're red hot. And you're outselling both Bonnie Fuller and Oprah Winfrey at Barnes & Noble and Borders. Fine. But we simply can't have anymore cinnamon-flavored candy-and the hot sauce and other spicy condiments-hanging around the office. Four huge boxes of candy per recipient is not only ridiculous but it has our dentist concerned. So, please: Stop.

$25,000 grand slam

A few weeks ago, Adages wrote about a contest being held by Topdot Mortgage, in which one lucky winner would have up to $25,000 in mortgage payments taken care of if the New York Mets hit a grand slam in the fifth inning. Topdot VP Adam Brow was feeling fairly confident about the contest since grand slams, especially in the fifth, are pretty rare. A string of near-misses shortly after the contest started rattled him a little. And then, on Tuesday, Aug. 22, Carlos Delgado stepped up to the plate and launched one out of the park against the St. Louis Cardinals. And Tim Tripp of Levittown, N.Y., was the big winner. Oddly enough, since he neither rents nor owns-he lives with his parents-Tripp will be given $25,000 in cash. Tripp, a lifelong Mets fan, wasn't even listening to the game at the time. But Brown was. "I was listening live and I just knew it was going to happen," he told Adages in an e-mail. "I could just feel it."

Agency.com cuts the mustard

Agency.com's viral pitch to Subway Restaurants may have been misguided, but now we'll never know whether it would have worked.

After spurring international debate by creating and posting a pitch video on YouTube.com, the shop pulled out of the review before it could learn whether it made the cut. "Simultaneous pitches, combined with a delayed decision by Subway, resulted in a potential conflict of interest with another prospective client," wrote the agency in a statement.

Of course, Agency.com declined to name the other prospective client, citing a nondisclosure agreement with the company it sees as a better opportunity than Subway's estimated $2.5 million online business.

Tony Pace, chief marketing officer of the Subway Franchisee Advertising Fund Trust, confirmed the interactive shop's withdrawal. "They created a lot of awareness for our pitch and we thank them for that," he said.

We guess that's something, especially after the drubbing the shop got from critics. While it received kudos for being gutsy, Agency.com was practically laughed at for the execution. The majority of readers (61%) polled by Advertising Age questioned the wisdom of posting the video.

Pulling out "may have been a face-saving move," said one executive close to the situation.

And the brave little shop will have to think fresh for some other marketer.

Contributing: Kate MacArthur

Line up at kwheaton@crain.com
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