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Congratulations to Rance Crain on his analysis of recent Budweiser TV commercials (AA, Jan. 22). His remarks are timely and on the money.

After measuring the sales effectiveness of more than 100,000 TV strategies and commercials during the past 22 years, we know that "eye measurement, likability and memorability" are meaningless as measures of sales effectiveness. Instead, the only criterion which should be used is the commercial's sales effectiveness. What will it do for the client's sales or market share?

When Anheuser-Busch or any other advertiser uses ".*.*. cute little spots featuring frogs, ants and horses playing football .*.*." it means two things to me. First, the advertiser stands an excellent chance of squandering millions of dollars on the production and airing of commercials. Secondly, this kind of so-called creativity is a huge disservice to the advertising industry.

My company's philosophy has always followed that of the legendary David Ogilvy, who said that the only reason consumers buy a product is that it promises a benefit. He also said that anyone spending their advertising budget to entertain a consumer is a "bloody fool."

Reginald B. Collier

CEO, Research Systems Corp.

Evansville, Ind.

Re: Bob Garfield's Rally's Big Buford commercial review (AA, March 4):

No stars? I am crushed. But with unarrested adolescent glee, I console myself with the double-digit sales increases Rally's has experienced since our Big Buford commercial started running. It seems most people love this advertising.

Perhaps some unfortunate physical shortcoming has prevented Mr. Garfield from making a possible association.

Ed McCabe

McCabe & Co.

New York

Take a chill pill, Bob. The ad may be tasteless, but I sure wish I had a "Big Buford." Thanks to Ed McCabe for keeping us a step ahead of the Buchanans (and Garfields) of this great country.

Mark H. Cohen

Premiere Interactive Media

New York

Well, you asked for reader comment on your new format.

A magazine has a responsibility to lead the reader through its pages, letting them know what its editors think is important, what is real news and what is buzz. A good magazine does this through graphics, page design, headline size, etc. Ad Age did it for decades.

Guys, it is the emperor's clothes of publishing-you have been deluded by some yuppie design firm into believing you have really improved readability. Well, you haven't.

James H. Quest

Quest Associates, Stamford, Conn.

It's the newer, hipper, '90s kind of thing (design-wise) for Ad Age. Darn good for a business news mag-although not exactly cutting edge like, say, Raygun or Alternative Press-but I just couldn't imagine Rance "Daddy-O" Crain with a nose ring, or Bob Garfield with that shaved head-goatee look. Wait a minute, we might have something here!

Jim Coufalik


Regarding Rance Crain's column "Bring back Harry & Louise" (AA, Jan. 29):

Perhaps the reason the Republicans can't demonstrate the benefits they offer to the "average Joe" is because there aren't any.

Perhaps Republicans are painted as "uncaring, unfeeling champions of the privileged class, ready and eager to snatch away the entitlements of the elderly and the destitute" is because they are.

Perhaps you have forgotten Republican Reagan Economics is the cause of our deficit.

Perhaps you're willing to gain at someone else's loss.

Perhaps you and Newt should stay out of politics.

Robert N. Cauley Jr.

Charlestown, Mass.

Rance Crain longs for the return of Harry and Louise to spark the Republican Party in its quest for the presidency in 1996. Sure, Rance, let's have more innuendoes and downright lies from this great TV team-as they did on the health insurance issue two years ago.

Then we can get a Republican in the White House to help the Republican Congress continue its attack on the environment and low-income groups.

Edward M. Stern

Scottsdale, Ariz.

Referring to the letter "Nascar is on target" (AA, Jan. 29), I have no quibble with the headline; both Nascar and NHRA are excellent sanctioning bodies in auto racing. Nor do I have a problem with a person expressing his opinion; everybody's entitled.

I do take exception, however, to opinions being tossed out as fact. And here are some facts that were not taken into consideration:

In response to "[IndyCar's] appeal is too international, whereas the American consumer cannot relate to all of the foreign drivers": In 1995, one in four households tuned into an IndyCar-sanctioned race, according to Nielsen Research..

As for "the Indy drivers do not have the fan support for their sponsors. .." Sponsorship Research International has just compiled the cumulative results of its yearlong national telephone survey including the opinions of more than 12,000 U.S. adults. The results show that Nascar and IndyCar racing are tied for fan interest: Each sport received a 33.1%.

While I only study the IndyCar audience, I can tell you that the 2.26 million fans who came to IndyCar-sanctioned races in 1995 were more than twice as likely as the average American to be college-educated, with average household incomes of almost $52,000 (the average American household income is around $36,000).

Nancy Miller Lewis

Market research director, IndyCar

Troy, Mich.


In "Men's Journal shift in focus looking good" (March 11, P. S-10), in which the publication was named one of Advertising Age's Best Magazines of 1995, the accompanying photo caption neglected to identify Executive Editor John Atwood, pictured third from right. Also, in "Hot seat a comfy fit for Carter" (P. S-11), Vanity Fair's correct ad page total for 1995 is 1,412.


Address letters to Advertising Age, Viewpoint Editor, 740 Rush St., Chicago 60611. Fax: (312) 649-5331. E-mail: [email protected]

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