Saturday, July 16, 2016

Ashley Madison Comes Back Swinging....


After being hacked and having exposed some high profile marrieds Ashley Madison is back with a slick 3-some of TV spots to try to entice users back into the club. Using upscale cinematography and original sound tracks sung soulfully solo, AM tries to ratchet up production values.

Now they are even expanding the possibilities. Suggesting in one spot perhaps you and your significant person might like to join the Swing Set.

Now my imagination always runs to the weird and wonderful on this note because I am a movie fan and when I think of swinging it always calls to mind for me the scene in Borat where Sasha Baron Cohen walks into what looks to be a sleazy, gaudy suburban basement replete with the requisite cheap genuine imitation wood panelling, garish lighting and everyone going at it doggy-style. As he walks through fully clothed, no one seems to care and he is asked if he wants to join in. It's raw and hilarious.

So who goes to an Ashley Madison. That's the first thing I always ask myself when I see this stuff.

But the answer is really obvious.

It's the silent majority of course.

Silent within their relationships. Silent about their relationships. And most of all, silent to themselves about why such a service is something they think they need to make their lives more interesting or alive or more complete or whatever they seem to not be getting from their significant person.

My reaction, aside from the sordid factor, is sadness.

This campaign is sad.  The people this appeals to are sad. These spots are sad.
It's sad to me that we live such isolated lives even with the person who is supposed to be our person.

Now Ashley Madison is trying to broaden their reach so to speak, by encouraging polyamorous hookups.  In other words:  threesomes, foursomes, moresomes whatever.....with both partners now participating...one assumes.

In this commercial, the woman kisses her comatose male partner. Cut to some semi-social scene and  what I first took to be a waitress turns out to be the hookup....looking at them in an inviting way....is pure sleaze.

It just all ends up looking and feeling tawdry despite the production values....

It would be really difficult to work on this kind of account unless you can just ignore the desperateness about this service. And whoever did the creative tried to interject some sort
of empathy into it I think.

But at the end of the day, it is selling cheating....with or without your significant person knowing.
And I think most of us want to believe that we would never be using this service. But sadly, there is
a big market out there.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Chipotle needs to divorce themselves from themselves....



I have been following the Chipotle story ever since Edelman blatantly stole the scarecrow and storyline from The Wizard of Oz and cobbled it with the wonderful song from the original movie version  Roald Dahl's Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory in a desperate attempt to position themselves as far away from the idea of them being a typical fast food franchise as they could.

If anything, it did the opposite.

Now in its latest animated allegory we have the simple story of competition. It drags on for-ev-er with each side getting bigger and bigger....of course. Until finally both have reached the saturated market point and decide to join forces i.e.; "marry" and save the world with what they want you to think is an anti-fast food franchise.

But is really just another fast food franchise.

My problem with this all along is their lack of honesty. Not just with their position in the marketplace but to themselves as an organization.

Who do they think they are kidding?

Chipotle is a fast food franchise. Yes, they may offer "local" lettuce or tomatoes etc. when in season but generally they operate like everyone else. Once a week that big truck filled with prefab, readymade, and sourced from the lowest bidder foodstuffs rolls into their receiving areas and unloads....just like every other QSR.

Plus E-coli and cocaine have sent this brand into a death spiral. And recovering from any of these
is not an easy fix. Especially e-coli...people don't easily forget something like that because the odds are it can happen all over again so fast.

I have only ever been in a Chipotle once. And that was just to see who they are and how they do operate as a food place. It is nothing special. And nowhere did I see anyone chopping any vegetables or doing anything remotely to suggest this is a freshly made alternative to fast food.

I don't see a bright future for this brand. Quite honestly I am amazed it is still doing as well as it is.

Whoever suggested them doing this "love" story as they are calling it, should be fired. It lends nothing to furthering their brand's image to the consumer. The content of this 'love' story is just a pander piece to Chipotle's management, to reassure them that their brand is still intact and is in fact 'different' from all the other franchises. But it doesn't work. The premise doesn't work. And never did.

This company needs a strong agency that can turn it around.

My understanding is the client is difficult...you can see that by the work.
There is no ad agency attached to this brand....again you can see that.
There is no real grasp of who they are as a brand....again you can see that.
And this is a real case history of a floundering brand in a desperate place ...

Chipotle will it see the light themselves and seek a strong agency to help them turn things around???

Stay tuned....