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Marty’s Marketing Minutia

This week's obituaries, oddities and obfuscations.

by on May.01, 2009

Why is this car here? The answer is hidded in the story. This Pontiac is for sale at

Why here? The answer is hidden in the post. This Pontiac is for sale at

My first new car and first car ad account was Pontiac

I was recruited and came to work in the Hills of Bloomfield for MacManus, John and Adams (MJ&A), not to work on one of the agency’s General Motors accounts — Pontiac, Cadillac, GM Corporate and Mr. Goodwrench — but as the account supervisor for Hush Puppies shoes. I had been the advertising director of a major, multi-brand-gender shoe company.

There’s a back-story of how Hush Puppies with that big, slobbering, ungainly Bassett Hound living logo account morphed into my working on Pontiac, so please allow me a little reflection.

The account, I learned the first day, that was in deep you-know-what.  Hush Puppies parsimonious veep of advertising in Rockford, MI was going justifiably nuts over wastrel profligate budgets, hated the creative, wanted exciting “VW-type” advertising, thought the agency team ineffective and was threatening to fire MJ&A, unless they hired someone with shoe industry experience to supervise the account.

Courtesy of Hush PuppiesThat would be me. 

“Get the damn account in line,” I was admonished by Chuck Adams, the president of the agency.  Lovely first day. And it wasn’t even lunch time.

The second day was worse. I got the client’s side of the story in a very long meeting, and it was not nice. The client told me, “Shape up the agency or it’s fired.” (more…)

Marty’s Marketing Minutia

This week's raves, rejoinders and remembrances of things past.

by on Apr.24, 2009

Country Music Video Dramatizes Plight of Detroit’s Auto Workers

I’m not a big fan of country music, other than Willie Nelson, but there’s a recent country music video homage to the Detroit’s devastating automobile industry’s economic and personal abyss by country star John Rich.

Called “Shuttin Down Detroit,” the emotional, touching, poignant music video stars Kris Kristofferson as a laid off auto worker and recent Oscar nominee, Mickey Rourke is his shop buddy. Through series of well produced, acted and directed scenes Kristofferson’s story unfolds. Inter cut among the acting of two real pros is John Rich, photographed in a dismal empty factory singing his original lamentation about the industry’s economic woes, affected auto workers and Wall Street.

It’s tough stuff. Click here. Also on You Tube same music but with images and graphics added obviously by a native Detroiter. has also put up another country and western song about the collapse of Detroit. (more…)

Marty’s Marketing Minutia

This week's assortment of news, views and schmooze.

by on Mar.13, 2009

Hamsters Star in New Kia Soul Commercial

Late last month millions of Gen X & Y’s movie fans were treated to the newest animal stars in a commercial — hamsters. Yes, those cute, but not too cuddly, rodents have hit the big screen in the prelude to a multi media advertising launch of the Soul, Kia’s newest entry in the smaller car market.

Hamsters running in exercise wheels are a familiar image of mundane sameness, stifling repetitiveness and bland boredom, but suddenly the stars life is changed as the new Kia Soul enters their lives. Everything is changed to stimulating events and activities. The cute – well sort of – hamsters are costumed actors reacting and enjoying the change in their less stimulating lives.

Kia’s longtime advertising agency, David & Goliath has created a fun-filled commercial with an amazing assortment of visuals that are fun to watch while munching on that $10 package of buttered popcorn and drink and getting into the groove of the music. This is a new way to replace sameness and the new Kia tag line, “A new way to roll,” works beautifully. The 60-second commercial is running in a couple thousand movie houses until the full campaign breaks on April 1.

I hate commercials in movies, but the target audience of the Soul dominates the local multiplex theatres weekend after weekend after weekend. And while I’m certainly not the target market either, this is a very clever, well produced cinema commercial. Click here to check it out! There will be more info on the Soul campaign next week including comments from Michael Sprague, marketing vice president of Kia Motors America,

GM Ends Long Relationship with Documentarian Ken Burns

General Motors was forced to end its ten year financial underwriting of Academy Award winning film maker, Ken Burns because of its ongoing attempts to conserve cash in the Great Recession.

Just another unwanted consequence of GM's troubles.

Just another unwanted consequence of the troubles at GM.

Burns was another casualty of the General’s mounting financial woes, but it is also a major loss to millions of viewers of his carefully crafted, interesting, entertaining and educational movies about American life and lives. The range if titles in indicative of the appeal: The War, Jazz, Lewis & Clark, Frank Lloyd Wright, Mark Twain, Statue of Liberty, Baseball, Brooklyn Bridge and many others. His last for GM is a history of our National Parks set to air in September.

GM’s support and financial aid for a variety of cultural institutions, events and activities has enriched millions of lives. It was not largess, nor was it commercial. It was a corporate dedication and commitment to add to our lives. We all will miss this support.