See our annual rankings of the most celebrated work, marketers and agencies, plus insights from the winners.
May 19, 2008
If you're acquisition-minded, now is a good time to be in the ad-agency business.
May 05, 2008
New technology has empowered the consumer to call the shots, and that goes against editors' traditional view that they know what's best for readers.
April 21, 2008
Maybe we need products to convince us that our society and country can regain past glories that make us feel better about ourselves as a nation.
April 07, 2008
In his acceptance remarks at the Advertising Hall of Fame induction, Allen Rosenshine delivered what he called his equivalent of President Eisenhower's parting shot to "beware of the military-industrial complex." Allen's admonition was: "Beware those who would have us believe that advertising has become irrelevant. It always was, and always will be, as relevant as we make it. The geeks will not destroy us. Only we can do that."
March 10, 2008
What concerns me most about some of the ad blogs that have been in the news these days is that their anonymity can lead to real troublemaking -- as can anonymous sources in the general press.
February 25, 2008
In Uruguay, you can drive up to a busy intersection in Montevideo (or the resort Punta del Este) and the traffic light turns red. Hanging next to the traffic light is a rectangular screen about 3.5 feet by 2 feet that immediately starts flashing a sequence of images and messages in a very intense red against a black background. The messages move sideways like the signs do on Times Square.
February 11, 2008
My daughter Heather's solution to the Sears meltdown: Be more like sibling Kmart.
January 28, 2008
If tough economic times are ahead, advertising has to change. Claims had better reflect reality because consumers will become especially cautious and critical.
January 14, 2008
Advertising Age editor-in-chief Rance Crain interviews Newsweek chairman Rick Smith in this first episode of the new Ad Age video series, "Executive Session With Rance Crain." In the nine-minute video, Mr. Smith discusses the dramatic impact that the exploding world of blogging, instant analysis, consumer-generated content and opinion overload is having on the core reporting function of mainstream media journalism. "Talk is cheap," he said. "Opinions are cheap. Reporting is extraordinarily expensive. All news organizations are under cost pressures these days, and too often it's the reporting that's getting sacrificed."
December 10, 2007
Al Ries and I have come up with the only practical solution to the Mexican immigration problem. Merge with Mexico.
November 26, 2007
Tylenol had a lot to lose when it shifted gears and tried to show how the product was much better than cheaper alternatives because it was made with love.
November 12, 2007
It's time for the second installment of Ask Rance. Keep those questions coming, readers.
October 29, 2007
Do you ever wonder about the story behind the commercial -- who did the music, whether it was a tough shoot with a lot of outtakes? Well, so do I. And I'm trying this Q-and-A format to answer questions about marketing strategies that have piqued my interest and, I hope, yours. Of course, these questions are my own, but I'd be very pleased to try to answer yours in subsequent columns.
October 15, 2007
One of the biggest challenges ad agencies grapple with is how to differentiate from their competitors. It's basically a losing battle because most agencies end up looking and acting just like the other guys. So the main difference is who can offer the lowest price.
October 01, 2007
Because advertising in Russia is a relatively new phenomenon, and most consumers regard it with the same disbelief they did communism, there is much more discussion about its social and ethical implications. I find that very refreshing, and I submit we should emulate the Russians in this regard.
September 17, 2007
I asked two of the organizers of the Worldwide Advertising Forum in Moscow last week what they were trying to accomplish. "We want to start to think in other ways," said Boris Eremin, president of the Russian chapter of the International Advertising Association. His colleague, Vladimir Aksionov, VP of IAA's Russian chapter, laughed and added, "To start means that we haven't done anything up to now."
September 03, 2007
The series of Chinese product recalls, especially the Fisher-Price debacle, has the capacity to spawn a new Ralph Nader, according to the former Washington editor of Advertising Age, Stan Cohen, who was my first (and best) boss. And, I would add, the interest-rate manipulation schemes that triggered our current housing meltdown only add to that impetus.
August 20, 2007
The subprime mess is, in large part, a failure of communications, and communicating effectively and clearly is the job of advertising -- at least it should be. The sad truth is that many financial marketers don't want prospective home buyers and mortgage holders to understand the downsides of their transactions -- that interest rates can go up without notice, that buyers are taking on too much debt, that housing values don't always go up.
August 06, 2007
Dow Chemical Co. has a modest goal for its corporate ad campaign: to be acknowledged as the largest, most profitable and most respected chemical company in the world. The "Human Element" push, now a year old, has boosted Dow's brand-equity rating, as measured by Core Brand, 25%, but here's how Dow's CEO Andrew Liveris reckons the campaign will be successful: when a Dow employee in a bar anywhere in the world can tell the guy next to him where he works and get the response, "Oh, Dow. That's good."
July 23, 2007
Is there any correlation between the rapidly eroding fortunes of the Big Three auto companies and their consistently terrible advertising? Most car advertising is pretty pedestrian, but the U.S. makers generate some of the worst examples.