Sky Full of Bacon

Why Ad Agencies Are Doomed

A month ago Menu Pages reported on a StoveTop Stuffing promotion in which hot, steaming samples of stuffing would be stuck in your face at bus stops, the assumption being that Prohibition is still on and therefore no one is going to be so hung over that they will immediately coat the interior of their bus shelter with puke at the sight of mealy, chewed-looking hot stuffing at 8 am.

Now The New York Times has inexplicably declared this promotion one of the best things Madison Avenue did all year.  Let’s think for a minute about what this promotion involves.  A cup of hot stuffing, a spoon, and someone passing it out.  (Okay, and some cooks somewhere in a rented banquet kitchen.)  And here is how the New York Times describes the collection of great powers necessary to pull off this feat:

Agencies: Draft FCB, part of the Interpublic Group of Companies; JCDecaux North America, part of JCDecaux; and MediaVest, part of the Starcom MediaVest Group division of the Publicis Groupe.

Does this sound like an industry that could turn on a dime, get some people out on the street, and boost your sales pronto? Or does it sound like one that started planning this work of genius in 2005, and still wasn’t sure if they were ready to hit the street this year or needed to do some more focus group testing of the concept and some more drawings of the cup design and some more work on the tagline and some more Powerpoints about overall stuffing consumption trends?  Don’t answer that.  And don’t shove stuffing in my face at bus stops.

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