Friday, June 17, 2005

June Commentary

Results for the MP3 Digital Music player naming contest, Adcandy contest, and Coffee Contest will be posted next month.

Adcandy Commentary on Da Vinci Code Contest:

There is good controversy, and then there is bad controversy. Regardless of the plot of Da Vinci Code, insulting Christianity is not the kind of controversy the makers of the film or book want. Big parent corporations own the Da Vinci Code, and they want to sell it as entertainment, not as a spin on the truth or to offend any religion. Remember, when writing a slogan, what you believe IS NOT as important as trying to sell the product your are writing for. The good slogans made me want to see the movie, regardless of whether I'm Christian, Buddhist, or Atheist.

For the people who submitted anti-Da Vinci Code slogans, I have a couple of things to say. One, although I respect your opinions, we do not post negative comments of any kind on Adcandy. (We do this for legal reasons, but you may put your negative opinons in the "explanations" box. ) There are other sites for that, including Adbusters etc for parodies.. We love freedom of expression and parody, but Adcandy is not a vehicle for negative comments. Two, it's an interesting exercise, one used in rhetoric and debate classes, but try to argue the opposing point of view. Adcandy is not a political site. If you were offended somewhat by Da Vinci Code and and found yourself working for Universal Pictures, what would you do? The challenge is to sell the product.

After reading hundreds of slogans written by the public, I've identified some common pitfalls of novice slogan-writers.

Common Slogan-entry problems:

1. Too Long! If you can't fit your slogan in the provided-for space, don't use shorthand -- rewrite it! Unless you are John Updike, try to keep it to one sentence. Also, if you have multiple ideas, input them as different entries.

2. Using a celebrity name. This is known as an endorsement. Endorsement suggestions can be made in the suggestion/marketing contest.

3. Trashes the competition rather than promoting the product: "Because (Competitor) Sucks!" is not a great slogan idea.

4. Recycling old ideas or cliches. I don't want to point fingers or name names. You know who you are.

5. Using "generic" terms: For the MP3 player naming contest, we've received many submissions like "The Music Player." That's like McDonald's coming out with a new sandwich called "The Hamburger."

6. Using a variation of a competitor's trademark: Let me pose a question: If you were the makers of the iPod, would you sue a competitor who came out with a digital music player called the "Eye Pod?"

Things that are acceptable, but you should try to avoid:

1. Rhyming. Maybe this is just my pet peeve. (Besides the expression "pet peeve.") Sometimes rhyming works. Sometimes. Mostly, it's just obvious, lazy, & boring. "You're in Luck at Starbucks!" Gimme a break.

2. Using the name of the product in the slogan. This usually goes hand in hand with the rhymers. Try this exercise: Write your slogan with the brand name included. Now remove the brand name. Does it still work?

3. Using incredibly esoteric references. Congratulations, you received a Masters in Ancient History. But very few people are going to appreciate your reference to the Sumerian goddess of cleanliness in your Tide slogan.


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