Re: "Miller spots prove to be the cold duck of beer advertising" (Ad Review, AA, March 18): Interesting comments. Being Hispanic myself, I've often been amused at all the upscale communities with Spanish names but full of non-Spanish residents. I joke with my wife, "They like Spanish things, just not Spanish people. Except when they need a gardener or waiter."
I know it might sound strange to Bob Garfield, but that's how it feels to us. And from the comments [in the Miller beer commercial] of that successful boxer, I'm not the only one who feels this way. It's definitely nothing racist against white people, though. It's more the product of being treated like second-class citizens all your life. If he were, he might understand. When it doesn't matter what you do, you still don't feel like you fit in. And sometimes you are treated like you don't.
Thanks for the interesting article, though. Keep up the good work.
Carlos A. Campos
Miller's ads just turned the tables
Bob Garfield shouldn't get his pants all in a bunch just because the tables have been turned ("Miller spots prove to be the cold duck of beer advertising," Ad Review, AA, March 18). These spots speak truth, a truth he will never understand because he is too distant from the realities of the fastest-growing minority in this country. Besides, by recognizing that these spots are "aimed principally at the Latino market" he only makes his own shortsighted observations look even more thin. Of course he doesn't get it. It's painfully obvious. But he does not need to share his own shortcomings with the rest of the world. It makes him sound like a whiner. And nobody likes a whiner.
The real issue behind agency megamergers
Agency megamergers undoubtedly have a solid reason behind them: As commissions and income have fallen, one certainly needs the scale to minimize costs and increase profits.
The real issue in my mind, however, is: "Why have commissions and income fallen?" The only coherent answer I can find is that we have not proven our value to our clients. So they pay us less. In short, we haven't proven how we, as an industry, get results.
Over the past year or so, I've read probably almost every post-1995 paper published in the World Advertising Research Center site (www.warc.com, home of AdMap, Esomar Abstracts and the Journal of Advertising Research) touching on response to advertising, theories of advertising, effective frequency-you name it. I have also done some large tracking projects for some of our clients. The answer, so far, is, "Well, we sort of know that advertising works and we sort of know how advertising works, but we are not exactly sure."
Maybe now that mega-agencies have the mega-income to match, we will see progress in this direction and get one or two groups to cooperate and fund a definitive study of how advertising really works.
Most of our clients invest huge amounts of money in R&D, marketing research, product research and more. It's time we do the same and reinvent the business.
Exec VP-Int'l Media Director
Foote, Cone &Belding Worldwide
Homework not done in mLife campaign
Picture this imaginary scene from six months ago: We're watching focus groups where consumers are shown concept boards of the AT&T Wireless mLife campaign. First person: "This is for MetLife, right?" Second person: "Yeah, the colors are the same." Third person: "It's all about people needing insurance." Ogilvy & Mather creatives and AT&T Wireless marketers nod and agree to redo the concepts. Instead, we got this from AT&T Wireless: "There isn't the remotest chance that AT&T Wireless' use of `mLife' could in any way confuse consumers [with] MetLife's brand." After all, "we have invested millions of dollars and months of efforts in our `mLife' brand campaign." This translates as: "Oops."
Rance Crain says the similarity between mLife and MetLife branding is an example of the "unintended-consequences school of advertising" ("Unintended results haunt AT&T Wireless , Taco Bell," Viewpoint, AA, Feb. 25). When you forget to do your homework, there are better adjectives to describe the consequences.
Highland Park, Ill.
True test of advertising
I just read James Murphy's Letter to the Editor ("Results answer criticism of change to Accenture," Viewpoint, AA, Feb. 11), responding to Rance Crain's Jan. 28 column `"Accenture' seemed foolish; now it seems a stroke of luck." I can't believe what I am seeing.
Mr. Murphy [Accenture's global managing director-marketing and communications] says "our ads generated the largest change in stated purchase intent, which is the only true measurement of effective advertising." I'm sorry, but the "only true measurement of effective advertising" is the cash register actually ringing, not people saying what they might do (with all due respect to Zyman Marketing Group [which named Accenture "the true advertising victor" of the 2001 Super Bowl]). Also, Accenture has a fairly limited target audience (decision-makers at a certain group of corporations). What percentage of the Super Bowl audience did this segment comprise? A microscopic segment.
For "just 5%" of their global media spend, as Mr. Murphy put it, they could have invited each one of these decision-makers on a weekend retreat to Grand Cayman Island and pitched them personally-with probably a lot better, and certainly more measurable, results.
* In "Coors distributors cheer new FCB spots" (Late News, April 1, P. 1), Ron Askew was misidentified as Coors Brewing Co. CEO. He is Coors' chief marketing officer.