The Evolution of Advertising

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Just some decades ago these ads were working for the public… nowadays can you imagine the revolution they would bring?

Offensive vintage ads that would never fly today

Facebook – not just a trend, it’s now crucial for your Business

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Facebook is just a little girls’ pastime” my dear Entrepreneur, if you still have this vision of Facebook, it’s time to change it! Facebook has become not only good for your business but crucial for a successful communication strategy.

This incredible communication machine has moved on from the simple features as stalking your friends or commenting your girlfriend’s photos, to a sophisticated tool with an incredible list of apps that can definitely make a difference on your communication campaign: for starters… Facebook is free as most of the features that you can use to improve the communication of your business, idea, service, product, whatever… Instead of spending thousands of Euros in fancy posters, leaflets or outdoors, you can plan a whole promotion campaign through Facebook and not spending a cent!

I will give you an example of a really successful campaign that happened recently here in Portugal: the Order of Physicians in Portugal elected his chief representative, José Manuel Silva. He won against the other candidates through a promotion campaign exclusively focused on Facebook. They didn’t even handled a leaflet! The candidate’s profile reached more than 2000 followers in just a few days. They even managed to get younger Physicians to vote, something that usually doesn’t happen. This promotion campaign was managed by the communication Agency, “Agenda Setting“. (Portuguese speakers you can read more details here).

This was just a small example of how this sometimes underestimated social network can really make your communication work and just with the basic tools. There is a wide range of new functions that can be implemented on your companie’s Facebook profile: product display windows; galleries; contests, sweepstakes, etc.

Just to give you a small hint, this is a list of 9 awesome apps that can help you in your communication campaign.

So stop judging the book by it’s cover, there is a lot more to Facebook than meets the eye…

Another success story for all those Portuguese entrepreneurs that are taking their first steps onto the Facebook World.

Lingerie keeps getting better and better

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Lingerie Ads just keep getting better and better…

One of the few industries that manages to create creative and hilarious commercials with that touch of seduction that we all die for. Seduction is an art and this commercial nails it for sure!

Agent Provocateur – “Love Me Tender” in HD from Greg Williams on Vimeo.

Fashion insanity or PR flaw?

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The last 2 fiascos on the fashion industry are seriously compromising its sanity and liability: the Ann-Taylor Agency photoshop massacre and the MAC-Rodarte ignorance. Seems like the world of fashion is going through a tuff period or is it?

Recently Ann Taylor Model Agency decided to add some dynamics to its website and implemented roll over behaviors on the models’ pictures: when the mouse rolled through the pictures they would change and show the original picture without photoshop retouching. Very neat, cool feature to implement on the website if it weren’t for the massive deformation of the models’ photographs. What Ann Taylor Agency did was basically publish to the world their poor photoshop retouching expertise and their lack of respect for the female body. The proportions you see in the pictures are utterly impossible and transform those beautiful female bodies into Escher‘s mazes! Many famous fashion designers and collections had their catalogs’ photos taken and edited by Ann Taylor‘s photoshop retouching masters, including the Ralph Loren catalog cover that as you can see is perfectly natural and humanly possible.

The second fiasco, also very recent, involves MAC-Rodarte from the Mulleavy sisters, two young successful fashion designers a little too eager to reach the top and make their statement. MAC and Rodarte gathered to launch a new make-up and clothing collection inspired and named after the border city of Juárez, Mexico. Nicole Phelps from style.com commented about the Rodarte Fall/Winter 2010 collection “[T]hey became interested in the troubled border town of Ciudad Juárez the hazy, dreamlike quality of the landscape there and the maquiladora workers going to the factory in the middle of the night“. Lovely you would say… Well the thing is that Juárez is known for being one of the most dangerous cities in the whole world: more than 500 women have been murdered in the Mexican border city of Juárez since 1993 and 1,500 people were killed so far this year and 5,700 since 2008, largely a result of the drug war. The result of this “dreamlike” collection was a tasteless, twisted paraphernalia of Juárez eye-shadow, lip gloss, nail polish and clothing that suggest carnage, blood in the desert, blood of abducted, raped, strangled women…

Driven by the thirst of fame or not, the Mulleavy sisters might have ruined a big part of their credibility due to this tasteless and unthinkable make-up and clothing collection.

My question is… both of these failures were they caused by fashion’s twisted mind or by a major lack of wisdom from the PR professionals that work on both of these companies?

Although I think fashion is growing dangerously extreme, I think this shows the incompetence and lack of knowledge of Ann Taylor‘s and Rodarte‘s public relations offices. The website content has to go through the PR professionals (or at least they should) how could a communication expert let anyone publish the “un-retouched” photographs from the models? It’s the same as stating “Hey! Behold the respect and love we have for human female bodies… not”! Same situation goes for the MAC-Rodarte fiasco: PR experts are supposed to be the right hand of the CEO, giving advice on the collections and how should they be launched. Of course good PR professionals know their history and have a wide cultural overview, predicting all potential cultural, historical, political, philosophical offenses and advising their clients according to this knowledge… not what happened with the eager Mulleavy sisters.

So… if you’re a business owner, be careful with whom you hire as your PR expert for they might lead your business to success or drown your business in shame…

Related Coffee Cups:

MAC and Rodarte Press Releases

More Ann Taylor’s Models with ridiculous proportions

The 100 most effective Brands online

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I was doing my morning updates and e-mail check, when I came across with this statistics from “The Heardable” – an online tool that helps evaluate brands’ effectiveness online – that gathered the 100 most effective Brands online.

The service “The Heardable” provides is very high rated and establishes valid comparisons between the companies and businesses that subscribe to it. But I’m not here to make propaganda for their service, but to share with you an interesting fact that I came across when analyzing the data on the article.

Apart from Fox News (14th place) and CBS News (23rd place), the first half of the list is made of brands that aren’t that well-known apart from their online communities and services. Major brands that have been around for years are underestimating and ignoring the power of online branding: if they’re so popular outside the web, why aren’t they investing on the web where they are loosing ground for newcomers. What better way to engage with your  clients than through social media? What better way to create buzz and build networks?  We live in a world where we can’t ignore the web, the main tool for globalization. Major brands are still neglecting the fact that an online brand strategy is a vital part of the success sustainability equation