Real Media Riffs - Wednesday, Mar 19, 2003

No Countdown: If you’re looking for the countdown clock, find another commentator and website. I’m here to talk about the ad business. No disrespect meant to the other bloggers and more qualified war experts.

Hold On There, Cowboy: I thought Pam Murtaugh, an analyst and marketing guru, coined a great phrase when I spoke to her earlier this week. She referred to the Miller Lite “Catfight” ads as a representation of the “new American Cowboy” mentality. Mention “cowboy” in the ad world and I immediately conjure up the Marlboro Man. Although it proved to be inappropriate as we found out more about smoking, it was effective. The new American Cowboy, according to Murtaugh, is a guy who doesn’t care about political, sexual or societal conventions. He’s his own guy. He’s Hugh Hefner without the silk pajamas. However, after attending the AAF Advertising Hall of Fame luncheon, I don’t think this current cowboy mentality will get very far. It struck me that the people and the ads that make a long-term impact are the ones that at least tip their hat to convention. But at the same time they stay true to the goal of individualism. Coca Cola’s campaigns do that. Pepsi’s do that. A-B does it. Nike does it. Now that Miller has taken its Catfight campaign to a newer, even more brazen level, I don’t think it’s a Hall of Fame candidate. But it is the cutting edge right now.



And Phil Dusenberry Can Pick Pepsi For Every Table: Here’s an idea for the AAF. Next year, instead of serving the standard hotel luncheon fare (which was good yesterday, don’t get me wrong), let’s do what they do at The Masters Golf tournament. At The Masters, the previous year’s winner picks the menu for this year’s “champion’s” dinner. Why not let Dave Thomas (represented yesterday by his widow) pick next year’s AAF luncheon menu?

Parting Shot: Having said I would steer clear of war talk, I can’t help relating my unbounded joy that Joan and Melissa Rivers’ coverage of the Academy Awards red carpet will be “toned down” this year on E!.

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