Written by Andrew Bordeaux on Thursday, December 20, 2007
Every now and then, a commercial comes along that really makes you stop and take notice. This year we saw a good amount of those, and entertaining ads from companies like Geico and Dove made us smile, laugh, and think about our culture at large. Then there were the commercials that annoyed us. Badly.
Some of the following ad spots were a good laugh the first 400 times we saw them, but then we began to pick them apart. Some of them just stunk from the beginning. Regardless of the reasons, here are the commercials we'll be glad to forget about in the new year.
12) Burger King - Whopper Freakout
If there is one thing old men, housewives, and emo kids can agree on, it's that the whopper freakin' rocks. This fact, however, didn't stop Burger King from having a little "fun" at the evangelists' expense.
Apparently, their game plan was:
If that doesn't say "we love our customers," what does?
Want to avoid these types of mistakes? Speak with a professional business plan writer today.
Leslie Feist was one of our favorite indie musicians in 2007. For those of you who've been out of the loop, indie songs are supposed to be approximately 50% cool and 50% catchy. That is the balance Apple was looking for when they enlisted "1, 2, 3, 4" to help hawk their new iPod line. Unfortunately, this tune ended up being too catchy, and then, painfully annoying. Now, Feist's microscopic-yet-highly-choreographed prance in tight Canadian spandex is the lone redeeming value to these commercials.
10) Volkswagen - Eos
This is when the otherwise-pleasant Wilco-scored Volkswagen ads jumped the shark. No dude, you are NOT the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man.
Are you starting a new business or seeking to grow an existing business? Contact a Growthink business plan consultant for complimentary consultation.
9) Astelin - Doo Wop Allergens
"Don't let allergens or irritants do you in..." Gee, thanks docs! Oh wait, you're not doctors. You're a barbershop quartet that sings about allergy medication! Hmm, well you do have the Astelin logo unevenly dispersed across your sweaters, so you must know what you're talking about...
8) Coke -
How dare they emasculate
7) Axe - Bom Chika Wah Wah
There were a handful of similar ads from Axe this year, but this one was especially heinous. This girl's mother must be so proud.
Growthink's business plan consultants can help you avoid these mistakes with a professional business and marketing plan.
6) Target - Hello, Good Buy
Target's commercial featuring the Beatles song "Hello, Goodbye," which repositions the song as "Hello, Good Buy," is the worst thing to happen to John Lennon's music since Yoko Ono. On the other hand, McCartney probably had to make a move to prepare for those gargantuan alimony checks that'll be fueling Heather Mills' checking account: And honestly, who has time to write a song called, "Hello corporate ignorance Licensing Fees, Goodbye Artistic Integrity!"
5) I Know Who Killed Me (Movie)
Um, What? Not only do we not know what's happening in this commercial, we don't want to know what's happening in this movie. Fortunately, neither did the rest of America.
4) Snickers - Super Bowl Commercial
While the goal of a Super Bowl commercial is to grab the attention of the masses, this spot is just slightly less controversial than: "Don't Be Gay. Eat a Snickers."
The agency that put this commercial together did wonders for the Snickers brand, which will now and forever be associated with chest hair antics and mild homophobia. Good job, gang!
3) HP - The Hands of a Seinfeld
Jerry Seinfeld is an American Treasure. There is no amount of celebrity, however, that makes it ok for him to repeatedly drench us in a river of shameless self promotion. Ok, we get it: You're wife has a cookbook and you made an animated movie about bees. You're life is awesome.
All we're saying is, next time Seinfeld is on screen for more than a minute, it better be as part of a Seinfeld reunion show.
Growthink's professional business plan writers can help you avoid these types of mistakes.
2) Redenbacher - Orville returns?
Really? A dead guy with an mp3 player... selling popcorn? That it seemed like a good idea to anyone, let alone a team of people is the surprise of the year. We got chills every time we saw this creepy, creepy ad. To say that it was in poor taste is a gross understatement.
1) Cingular - IDK, My BFF Jill?
Cingular's commercial was pretty funny for a week or two. If we hear one more person say "OMG", "INBD", or "IDK my BFF Jill," though, we just don't know what might happen.
As 2007 draws to a close, we can only hope to say farewell to the Astelins, Whopper withdrawal, and overhyped bodysprays. Who knows what the New Year will hold for us in commercial land? There will undoubtedly be branding faux-paus, moments of poor taste, and scantily-clad attempts to seperate us from our hard earned dollars. Just remember advertisers: we'll be watching.
Written by Andrew Bordeaux on Monday, December 17, 2007
Written by Jay Turo on Tuesday, December 4, 2007
Amidst the daily deluge of negative news regarding current business and economic conditions, it is important to look at the big picture: namely the very bright, long-term outlook for business and entrepreneurship in our global, Internet age. A recent interview with Ted Leonsis – the current Chairman of Revolution Money - a new Web 2.0 payment platform and credit-card service and Vice Chairman Emeritus of AOL (and one of the key executives that fueled AOL's Internet rise in the 1990's), drives this point home.
"It's the greatest time to be an entrepreneur," was Ted's core theme at a recent Wharton Entrepreneurship Conference. Leonsis also made a number of prescient points regarding our current "three-screen world" – a world in which entertainment and commerce play out on computer screens, TVs, and mobile phones:
Just as significant, Leonsis says, is the "happiness business," which involves "getting out of the I, I and I, and really seeing where you want to fit into the bigger world."
At Growthink, we echo Ted Leonis' sentiments that business and entrepreneurship are and can be the best drivers of positive transformation in the world, and that Internet technologies and the global economy are and will accelerate this transformation to dizzying speed.
Written by Jay Turo on Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Entrepreneurs and small companies often overlook two ripe sources for capital: federal grants and loan financing.
But instead of trading equity positions in their companies for thenecessary capital, entrepreneurs and small companies who pursue fundingfrom the Small Business Administration (SBA) and from Small BusinessInvestment Companies (SBICs) donít have to deal with an equitycomponent to their transactions. However, similar to individual ìangelîinvestor and VC financing, companies seeking SBA and SBIC financingneed a strong management team and value proposition, and a credible andexciting business plan to consummate a financing transaction.
That's because an SBA loan, regardless of whether it is a directloan from the SBA, or, more commonly, a bank loan guaranteed by theSBA, is essentially a bank loan. The benefits of it versus atraditional bank loan are that it offers a lower borrowing rate and asomewhat greater ease of attainment for startups and smaller businesses.
In most cases, the SBA will guarantee that 90 percent of the loanwill be repaid to the bank. As such, banks are taking on less risk andcorrespondingly are more flexible with approvals. The SBA does usuallyrequire that the founders of the company personally guarantee the loans.
Alternatively, Small Business Investment Companies (SBICs) areprivately organized corporations that are licensed and regulated by theSBA. Small or emerging businesses which qualify for assistance from theSBIC program can receive equity capital and/or long-term loans fromthese companies. Essentially, these companies provide their owncapital, which is then supplemented by federal funds, to the companiesthey fund.
In a testament to the great "multiplier" value of small businessinvestment, U.S. taxpayers benefit from the SBIC program as taxrevenues generated from successful SBIC investments have more thancovered the cost of the program. Equally impressive, over the last 20years, small businesses have created roughly three out of four net newprivate non-farm U.S. jobs, with a significant percentage of thesebusinesses initially seeded/funded by these government loan programs.
Written by Jay Turo on Tuesday, November 20, 2007
It's an easy trap to think of market research as a data point collections process when in actuality, it's a creative undertaking where synthesis, strategies, and ideas are paramount.
Written by Jay Turo on Tuesday, November 13, 2007
The tremendous clutter of 21st Century communication creates unique challenges in being heard above the noise when attempting to gather market research data. This is especially true when attempting to gather data via telephone surveying and/or email surveying on a stand-alone basis. For traditional telephone surveying, advanced voicemail and caller ID technologies have significantly reduced the percentage of connected market survey calls.
Written by Jay Turo on Monday, November 5, 2007
In our experience of assisting with their business plans more than 1000 startups, small businesses, middle market and Fortune 500 companies, we have noted the following common business plan pitfalls:
Pitfall #9: Not Including Successful Companies in the Competitive Discussion.
Written by Jay Turo on Monday, October 29, 2007
Does anyone do "early-stage investing" anymore? When we present deals to "early-stage" investors, we find their criteria to be more in line with the milestones of more established companies, and it sometimes seems like early stage is a non-entity.
I was encouraged by the news of Battelle Ventures and Allied Minds Inc., posted in The Deal here. The author mentions how both firms operate under unique structures which allow them to do true early stage investing in "pre-seed" technologies sourced straight out of research institutions and universities. Battelle only has one LP, the Battelle Memorial Institute, while Allied Minds raises money from shareholders in exchange for future equity with no specified time horizon. Perhaps these "special" circumstances allow them to take on more "risky" investments without having to answer to large numbers of LP's.
It makes me wonder if the traditional VC model actually works. What if traditional VC's could take the handcuffs off and get dirty with raw technologies and mad-scientists out of some futuristic research lab? What sort of companies would we start to see hit the marketplace and how frequent? What about timing issues and market relevancy?
"The greater the level of involvement and business expertise focused on early stage innovation, the more and higher quality of innovation we will see coming out in the marketplace" - Lesa Mitchell- VP for advancing innovation, Kauffman Foundation.
Written by Jay Turo on Monday, October 29, 2007
In 1995, Paul Graham co-developed the web-based application, Viaweb, which was subsequently acquired by Yahoo in 1998. Later, in 2002, he conceived a spam filter that inspired most current filters. Paul is currently a partner at Y Combinator, a venture firm that specializes in funding early stage startups.
In a recent article that Graham wrote entitled "The Hardest Lessons for Startups to Learn," Graham offers many insights and lessons that virtually all entrepreneurs can use.
Written by Jay Turo on Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Over the past several weeks and months, we've put together some entertaining "Just For Fun" articles related to business planning, marketing, and general business topics.
Here are links to those articles -- Enjoy!
Ask The VC
CCA - Art of Factoring
David Beisel - Genuine VC
How to Change the World
Kedrosky's Infectious Greed
Nate Whitehill dot Com
SpringWise - Cool Stuff!
Susan Wu - Venture Capital
Venture Capital Update
Young Go Getter
Products & Services
Growthink Around The Web
Best of Growthink
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