Got a 2013 Top Ten for Us, Doc?

DrAdsforProfileWell the Doc opened up the old mailbag today and here’s what poured out.

Dear Dr. Ads,

I’ve noticed that a lot of media outlets have picked their Top Whatever Ads of 2013 in recent days.

There’s Adweek’s Mostapalooza featuring The Ten Most Sexist Ads of 2013, The 10 Most Epic TV Promos of 2013, The Ten Most-Viral Ads of 2013, and The Ten Most Watched Ads on YouTube in 2013.

Then there’s USA Today’s Top 5 ads of 2013.

Among many others.

Any way you can sort this out for us, Doc?

– H.D. Dromedary

Dear H.D. Dromedary,

We’re guessing you’d be most interested in Adweek’s 10 Best Ads of 2013, which slots this spot at #4:



But – all due respect – we have to agree with Adweek’s choices for the top three.

Guinness Basketball:



RAM Farmer:



And #1, Dove Real Beauty Sketches:



That’s some moving marketing, yeah?


What’s Up with the ‘Appreciative New Yorkers’ Bloomberg Brownnose Ad?

DrAdsforProfileWell the Doc opened up the old mailbag today and here’s what poured out.

Dear Dr. Ads,

Say, that’s some magnificent ad on the back page of Saturday’s New York Times A-section, yeah?

In case you missed it:


Screen Shot 2013-12-21 at 1.47.36 PM


Is that a beautiful record of accomplishments for a man to leave behind or what, Doc?

– Mickey B

Dear Mickey B,

Yeah, whatever.

First thing – all those boldface l‘s in the ad above? They’re not there in the print version.

Not to mention the ad overall is the worst piece of typesetting this side of Shakers, Glendale.

Representative sample:


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Do we have a double-f problem here or what?

Regardless, let’s look at the content of the ad close-up.


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As for those Appreciative New Yorkers, here’s what you get at #appreciativenewyorkers on Twitter, and here’s what comes up on Facebook (i.e. nothing).

Of course, there’s always

Which the Doc assumes consists of one Michael Bloomberg.

Until proven otherwise.


What’s Up with the Pantene ‘Bossy’ Ad?

DrAdsforProfileWell the Doc opened up the old mailbag today and here’s what poured out.

Dear Dr. Ads,

I was reading the New York Times the other day and stumbled upon this full-page ad.


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Good question, yeah?

– Shining Strong

Dear Shining Strong,

This has been going on forever, hasn’t it?

But it still works for selling hair products, which are the defining factor in determining workplace competence, right?

TV spot for the campaign:



In addition to #shinestrong, Pantene is also rocking #WantThatHair.

So maybe it’s not so much about being bossy as about looking boss.


What’s Up with the NYT Anti-Union Teacher-Bashing Ad?

DrAdsforProfileWell the Doc opened the old mailbag today and here’s what poured out.

Dear Dr. Ads,

This New York Times ad is so unfair!


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It’s the American Federation of Teachers’ fault that Latvia, Estonia, and Vietnam have really good school systems?


A little help here, eh, Doc?

– Randi W

Dear Randi W,

This whole campaign is the brainchild of Rick Berman, a Washington lobbyist who describes himself as “President of Berman and Company, a Washington, DC-based public affairs firm specializing in research, communications, and creative advertising.”


Berman has founded several leading non profit organizations known for their fact-based research and their aggressive communications campaigns.

A long-time consumer advocate, Rick champions individual responsibility and common sense policy. He believes that democracies require an informed public on all sides.

Informed about everything but his client list, that is, as this segment on MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow show several years ago revealed.



As per usual, Berman has established the requisite non-profit front groups to funnel his fees through. There is, of course, the Center for Union Facts, which paid for the Times ad. There’s also, which Berman baked special for this teachers union jihad.

The day after the Times ad ran, American Federation of Teachers president Randi Weingarten went on Megyn Kelly’s Fox News show to defend the beleaguered public school educators.



Not surprisingly the Center for Union Whatever hit right back with a rebuttal.

And round and round they go.

Given that Berman’s essentially a corporate grifter and the AFT is the most unyielding outfit this side of Syria, how about we just call this a draw?


What’s Up with the ‘Reform Government Surveillance’ Ad?

DrAdsforProfileWell the Doc opened up the old mailbag today and here’s what poured out.

Dear Dr. Ads,

I don’t read the New York Times much (I’m a Washington Post kind of guy), but I happened upon Monday’s edition and here’s what I saw.


Picture 3


That’s some Murderers’ Row, eh? But don’t you think there’s a big name missing? I’m talking about a company that collects mountains of information the government could find useful in determining what people might do next, or what like-minded people already have done.

See where I’m headed here, Doc?

– Jeff B

Dear Jeff B,

The Doc feels your pain. We’ve never gotten over losing the Acting Surgeon General gig to Rear Admiral (RADM) Boris D. Lushniak, M.D., M.P.H., who’s a total hack.

Still, we’re not really sure you fit into the picture painted by Monday’s, er, Washington Post.

Big tech companies lash out at government snooping

NSA Surveillance-Tech.JPEG-0bd40

WASHINGTON — Silicon Valley is escalating pressure on President Barack Obama to curb the U.S. government surveillance programs that vacuum personal information off the Internet and threaten the technology industry’s financial livelihood.

A coalition that includes Google, Apple, Yahoo, Facebook and Microsoft lashed out in an open letter printed Monday in major newspapers and a new website, .

Twitter Inc., LinkedIn Corp. and AOL Inc. joined Google Inc., Apple Inc., Yahoo Inc., Facebook Inc. and Microsoft Corp. in the push for tighter controls over electronic espionage. The group is immersed in the lives of just about everyone who uses the Internet or a computing device.

Oh, wait – you’re also “immersed in the lives of just about everyone who uses the Internet or a computing device.”

But you’ve been marginalized like some Mom ‘n’ Pop-Up site.


Anyway, the bottom line is this: The tech giants are urging the government to stop glomming onto the megadata they mine.

They want it all for themselves.


What’s Up with the NYT ‘Philomena Gets Her Irish Up’ Ad?

DrAdsforProfileWell the Doc opened up the old mailbag today and here’s what poured out.

Dear Dr. Ads,

The new film Philomena has opened to great reviews, except maybe for one, as this New York Times movie ad noted on Thursday.


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Don’t you think it was incredibly brave for the moviemakers to highlight that critique, Doc?

Don’t you?

– Harvey W

Dear Harvey W,

For starters, here’s Kyle Smith’s New York Post review:

‘Philomena’ another hateful and boring attack on Catholics

Film Review Philomena

With “Philomena,” British producer-writer-star Steve Coogan and director Stephen Frears hit double blackjack, finding a true-life tale that would enable them to simultaneously attack Catholics and Republicans.

There’s no other purpose to the movie, so if 90 minutes of organized hate brings you joy, go and buy your ticket now.

For the rest of us, the film is a witless bore about a ninny and a jerk having one of those dire, heavily staged, only-in-movies odd-couple road trips.


But here’s the thing: That review ran two weeks ago.

So maybe the Times ad is more calculated than irritated.

From Wednesday’s Deadline Hollywood:

Weinsteins Decide ‘Philomena’-NY Post Dust-Up Makes For Great Ad Copy

Gotta hand it to Harvey: When he sees an angle to boost the profile of his movies, he goes for it. The Weinstein Company is placing an ad in tomorrow’s New York Times referencing the skirmish between NY Post reviewer Kyle Smith and the real-life Philomena philomena__130725102945-275x169Lee, the subject of the distributor’s Oscar-season pic Philomena directed by Stephen Frears and starring Judi Dench as Lee. That’s the rift Deadline’s Mike Fleming Jr. told you about first last week by publishing Lee’s response to Smith’s review that called the pic among other things an attack on Catholics.  The NYT ad excerpts Lee’s letter to Smith that Fleming ran full and comes complete with a a call to action — “Decide For Yourself” — even though the movie’s been in the marketplace since the week before Thanksgiving.

Yeah – decide for yourself.


What’s Up with BlackBerry’s ‘Department of Defense’ Ads?

DrAdsforProfileWell the Doc opened up the old mailbag today and here’s what poured out.

Dear Dr. Ads,

So I’m reading the New York Times the other day and what do I see but this full-page ad:

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Wait – BlackBerry? Gold standard security? Aren’t these the same bozos whose market share has fallen to 1% in the U.S. and zero in China?

So how do they wind up in the same sentence as the US Department of Defense?

Tell me that, Doc.

– Chuckie H

Dear Chuckie H,

Clearly, national security is the last refuge of scroungers.

From Fox Business:

New research on Monday revealed that BlackBerry’s (BBRY) share of the U.S. smartphone market recently inched below 1%, as the handset maker grapples with disappointing sales of new phones.BBRY

According to Kantar Wordpanel ComTech, BlackBerry held market share of just 0.8% for the three months ended Oct. 31. The news is worse in China, where the Canadian company now has no share of the market. BlackBerry’s strongest showing is in Great Britain at 3.3%.

BlackBerry once pioneered the smartphone industry, but its fortunes quickly turned amid competition from the likes of Apple (AAPL) and Samsung.

Regardless, BlackBerry has a spiffy new website and a chirpy interim CEO who spends most of his time whistling past the mobile graveyard.

From BGR:

BlackBerry tries to shoo off vultures in latest open letter

BlackBerry is tired of rival mobile device management (MDM) companies circling its body like a swarm of ravenous vultures. In an open letter to enterprise customers posted on Monday, interim BlackBerry CEO John Chen said that his company is “very much alive” in the enterprise mobility space and that businesses shouldn’t listen to MDM vendors who want them to throw away their BES.

A Canadian flag waves in front of a Blackberry logo at the Blackberry campus in Waterloo“You’re hearing a lot of noise in the market about BlackBerry,” Chen begins in his letter. “MDM vendors are undoubtedly inviting you to webinars and enticing you to switch off your BES. We want to set the story straight about BlackBerry in the Enterprise, both for our existing customers and for those about to implement BYOD and MDM. We are very much alive, thank you.”

What makes the letter particularly interesting is that it indicates that BlackBerry really is waving the white flag in the consumer mobile device market and is going back to putting enterprise devices and services first.

Yo – the CrackBerry is dead. The only place it’s going is away.

What’s Up with the ‘Bees Can’t Wait’ Ads?

DrAdsforProfileWell the Doc opened up the old mailbag today and here’s what poured out.

Dear Dr. Ads,

I saw this ad in the New York Times (and the Boston Globe) the other day and I just don’t get it.


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Here’s the sting:


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Save Bees?

Do you understand what they’re talking about, Doc?

– Honey Trap

Dear Honey Trap:

Not really.

The home page reprints the newspaper ad, whose body copy says this:

Honey bees, native bees and other pollinators are responsible for 1 out of every 3 bites of food we eat. Bees pollinate 71 of the 100 crops that make up 90% of the world’s food supply. Many fruits and vegetables, including apples, blueberries, strawberries, carrots and broccoli, as well as almonds and coffee, rely on bees. These beneficial insects are critical in maintaining our diverse food supply.

Honey bee populations have been in alarming decline since 2006. Widespread use of a new class of toxic pesticides, neonicotinoids, is a significant contributing factor. In addition to killing bees outright, research has shown that even low levels of these dangerous Screen Shot 2013-12-04 at 1.21.08 AMpesticides impair bees’ ability to learn, to find their way back to the hive, to collect food, to produce new queens, and to mount an effective immune response.

This week, 15 countries are imposing a two-year restriction on the use of several of these chemicals. As you know, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates it will be 2018, 5 years from now, before it makes a decision on this deadly class of pesticides.

We request an immediate moratorium on the use of neonicotinoid pesticides.

Bees can’t wait 5 more years – they are dying now. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has the power and responsibility to protect our pollinators. Our nation’s food system depends on it.

Almonds. Who knew?

And then there’s this:


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Just for the record, here are the goo-goos who want to Save the Bees:


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The Saving America’s Pollinators Act, eh?

That’ll become law right about the time Dr. Ads becomes Surgeon General.


What’s Up with Patagonia’s ‘Worn Wear’ Ad? (Blacklash Friday Edition)

DrAdsforProfileWell the Doc opened the old mailbag today and here’s what poured out.

Dear Dr. Ads,

I was reading the New York Times on (Black) Friday when I came across this full-page ad:


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That’s a real head scratcher, isn’t it, Doc? They’re saying we don’t want you to buy our clothes, we want you to . . . have bought our clothes.

Does that make any sense? What kind of business are these people in?

– L.L.B.

Dear L.L.B.,

Yeah, the Boston Globe ran the four-color version of the ad, where the jacket looks even funkier.


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So it was all about the Black Friday Worn Wear Party, which featured the documentary film Worn Wear (118,619 YouTube views).



Patagonia has launched The Common Threads Partnership (Reduce. Repair. Reuse. Recycle. Reimagine) that’s designed “to reduce excess consumption and give the planet’s vital systems a rest from pollution, resource depletion and greenhouse gases.” The website says over 60,000 people have taken The Pledge.

Kind of reminds the Doc of the Media Foundation’s annual rub-their-face-with-a-brick Buy Nothing Day, which is also tied to Black Friday. The  anti-consumerism group would try to run an ad like this in the ramp-up to Shopapolooza:



Uh-huh – what TV station in its right mind is going to sell time for that? Can’t you just see the conversation after the spot airs:

Retail guy: Are you out of your mind? I just spent $100,000 on your station telling people to shop like crazy the day after Thanksgiving, and then you turn around and tell them not to? What the hell!

Station guy: Oh, right.

Then again, as Peggy Noonan noted in her Wall Street Journal column this week, a sort of Blacklash Thursday movement has emerged.

There has been a nice backlash on the Internet, with petitions and Facebook posts. Some great retailers refused to be part of what this newspaper called Thanksgiving Madness. Nordstrom did not open on Thanksgiving, nor did T.J. Maxx or Dillard’s. P.C. Richard & Son took out full-page ads protesting. The CEO was quoted last week saying Thanksgiving is “a truly American holiday” and “asking people to be running out to shop, we feel is disrespectful.” Ace Hardware said, simply: “Some things are more important than money.”

P. C. Richard & Son ad: