Letters, Dec. 1, 2008

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Coors revival not due to ad spot

I'm writing to comment on the Ad Age article that gives credit to DraftFCB for the resurgence of Coors Banquet ("Marketing 50: Coors Banquet," AA, Nov. 17). I'm not sure your article states the story correctly.

Sure DraftFCB created the ad, which was basically a reincarnation of previous advertising done for the brand years ago. That much is true. But is it responsible for the brand's comeback?

The true brains behind the resurgence was Integer Group, which originally recommended the change back to Coors Banquet and the tan can back in 2003. The initiative began in 2004 with what was called the "Original Movement," which included a change back to its original name and packaging. The initiative was based upon the team's recommendation to jump on the "nostalgia" trend that was emerging around the country. The initiative was supported by grass-roots initiatives with the surfing community in California, as it was discovered that this small, influential group was drinking the beer, actually had a particular fondness for the nostalgic notion of the beer and referred to it as "Banquet." The initiative included a clothing line that was seeded with influentials and sold in Urban Outfitters. Bar initiatives included using glassware and barware that also resembled the original. And if I'm not mistaken (and I might not have this part exactly right), all of this was supported with out of home in specific markets.

Not until after the brand had some momentum was DraftFCB asked by the client (this was not an initiative they devised themselves) to create traditional advertising that supported the initiative. In addition, the spot was not created for consumers; it was designed to support the distributor network and only ran a minimum number of weeks, hardly enough to be lauded as the reason for the resurgence of the brand.

I'm sure you're wondering how I know all of this. I was actually the brand planner who was part of the team that started the Original Movement at Integer Group and have continued to keep close tabs on the brand since the initiative began to track its success.
Melissa Wilhelm

U.S. to be cool again

RE: "What You Say: Do You Think 'Brand America' Will Bounce Back With the Obama Administration?" (AA, Nov. 10). Brand America has got a bit of tarnishing (at least from this foreigner's point of view) but now it has every opportunity to be as cool again as it was in the U.K. when Blair took over (cool Britannia never happened under Major).

America for foreigners is a parallel, fascinating universe of Las Vegas, '70s Dodge Challengers, paparazzi shots of celebrities walking with car keys and Starbucks cups, Apple Macs, "Mad Men" and Kings of Leon. Having lived here for two-and-a-half years, I think Americans can get very down on themselves, but you can't offshore American creativity and the masterful way they tell a story.

It's a really strong identity and a really interesting USP. I think we're going to see the world rediscover America very, very soon.
Alicia Kan

Atwitter about Twitter, Motrin

RE: "How Twittering Critics Brought Down Motrin Mom Campaign" (AdAge.com, Nov. 18). As a mother, I did not find this ad offensive. As someone who works in the industry, I did find it disturbing that a funny and clever piece of work could fall victim to the ire of Twitter Nation and be yanked out of circulation. Over the years, there has been much worse advertising that women have been subjected to, and there will be worse to come. Being accused of using a baby as an accessory is nothing compared to stereotypes that continue to prevail in advertising when it comes to women.

I don't agree that we are witnessing the consequences of a mistake. I believe we are watching the reactionary use of technology to stifle creativity.
Trista Perez
At Large Films
Portland, Ore.

The reaction shows the power of social media and how influential moms are in their communities.

The ad was offensive to many because it equated babies to fashion accessories. Just a few years ago, baby-wearing was not as ubiquitous as it is today.

Baby-wearing was seen as an "alternative" parenting style and not always portrayed positively by the mainstream media or even accepted by parenting professionals/ doctors. So this ad opened a sore wound and showed a clear lack of understanding of recent history and its audience's values.
Isabel Kallman
Alpha Moms
New York
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