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March Adness Part 4: Consumers on the Prowl

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We’re finally there… the last of our four regions. From Minneapolis, MN, home of
the largest Mall in the country, The Mall of the Americas, it’s the Consumer
Products Region.
1) Apple – “1984”
8) Levis – “501 Blues”
Apparently the revolution was televised after all. To introduce the Macintosh, Apple ran what has become an icon in the advertising industry, the “1984” ad. It only ran once, during the Super Bowl, but it effectively positioned Apple as the alternative to the mainstream, a position it still claims, despite its growing marketing share. On the other side of the fence is an American classic, Levi’s 501 jeans. From the era of wine coolers and a singing Bruce “Bruno” Willis, the campaign made Levis hip again, despite stiff competition from the “designer” brands of the day like Calvin Klein and Jordache.
Winner: Big Brother beats the Blues.
4) Timex “Takes a Licking”
5) Alka Seltzer – “Plop Plop Fizz Fizz”
A great tag versus a great jingle. The Timex campaign established their product as stylish, yet durable by placing the watch in fantastically perilous situations. To Alka Seltzer’s credit, this is one of the best jingles of all time. Whether you have ever used the product or not, everyone can sing along. And while their mascot Speedy didn’t stand the test of time, the catchy tune did.
Winner: Timex keeps ticking in the tournament.
3) DeBeers – “A diamond is forever.”
6) Energizer – “The Energizer Bunny keeps going and going and …”
De Beers single-handedly created the diamond engagement ring tradition around the turn of the 20th century… no small feat. And by reinforcing the myth that diamonds don’t break or depreciate in value (they do), they forever tied together love and diamonds. To Energizer’s credit, the Bunny campaign has become a part of the lexicon in America. When someone says “he’s like the Energizer Bunny,” the reference is lost on no one. Eventually the spots
perfected the art of misdirection by interjecting the bunny in spots that seemed to be for other products, a clever creative device. The campaign has proved flexible over the years and is still effective today.
Winner: In an upset, Energizer keeps going into the next round.
2) Nike – Just Do It
7) Calvin Klein – Nothing comes between me and my Calvins.
Nike is now an American advertising juggernaut. They are one of the very few products that can run a spot without identifying themselves with anything more that an icon… the swoosh. In the short span of 36 years, Nike has become as familiar as Coke and McDonalds, thanks in no small part to their Just Do It campaign, featuring a who’s who of celebrity athletes, from Andre Aggasi, to Bo Jackson, to perhaps the biggest product spokesman of all time Michael Jordan. Nike’s opponent in the first round is a Lolita in denim. While the spots featuring an underage Brooke Shields proved successful, they also sparked controversy. I guess the old adage is true; there is no such thing as bad publicity.
Winner: Nike runs away with this one.
Well, there you have it. The field has been narrowed down to 16. Check back Friday and we’ll narrow down the field to a Final Four. And remember, if you disagree with my picks or think I’ve left a deserving campaign out, post a comment here and let me know.

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