MIXED BLESSINGS






Executives in Trouble, Sniffing Minnesota, The Queen on Tour, Etc.





Among some agency people, it’s an article of faith that client marketing executives are the dregs of humanity. But a 12-year study indicates the marketing types are less dysfunctional than their colleagues in other parts of the corporation. Hagberg Consulting Group of Foster City, Calif., calculated the percentages of ‘executives in trouble’ in various corporate departments, based on co-workers’ evaluations of participants in the firm’s executive-development programs. (The wonderful phrase refers to those who are in peril of losing their jobs or whose careers have stalled.) Marketing executives were the least likely to be in trouble, with a mere 17 percent earning that label. At the opposite end of the spectrum, 44 percent of executives in research posts were judged to be in trouble. Evidently a lot of knowledge, as well as a little, is a dangerous thing.





Honors for Best Use of Ground Meat in a Non-Supermarket Ad this week go to a motorcycle-safety effort in Minnesota. The label lets readers know that the contents include ‘0% helmet, 0% leather gloves,’ etc. ‘And not a lot of common sense.’ Hitting the target audience where it lives, another execution in the campaign (via Martin/Williams of





Minneapolis) pictures the open road and terms it a ‘Tattoo Remover.’





When people think of horrific smells, they’re likely to envision the effluents of dark, satanic mills. But farm country isn’t always a bed of roses, either. That’s why Minnesota’s agricultural sector has turned to scratch-and-sniff advertising, as you can see here from a detail of an ad via Cevette & Co. of Minneapolis. ‘Don’t smell anything? That’s precisely the point,’ copy begins. ‘Reducing the odor of Minnesota livestock farms is one of the things our farmers are working on.’ Glad to hear it.





If an ad gives its readers a useful item, will they be more likely to buy the brand? Betting they will, Visix Software has spared no expense in helping its sleep-deprived audience catch some zzz’s at the office. Since the company’s software is so swift, programmers will now have time to doze (inconspicuously) behind their new SleepySpecs. A tough positioning to beat, eh? West & Vaughan of Durham, N.C., created the ad.





As if she weren’t busy enough addressing a new Parliament, the Queen of England has made time in her schedule to act as spokesmonarch for ESPN’s coverage of Major League Soccer in this country. Or so a batch of TV spots (via agency Ground Zero of Santa Monica, Calif.) would have us believe. In truth, the royal role is played by Michael McKean (of Spinal Tap fame), with a pair of Corgi commoners as supporting canines. In one spot, the Queen is shown performing the pre-game coin toss, inviting a player to choose ‘tails or my likeness.’ In another, she lauds Los Angeles as a city that’s ‘very Corgi-friendly.’ Still another spot has her declining the offer of a hamburger as she tours a tailgate party outside the Kansas City stadium. She explains her preference for Scottish salmon: ‘A bit like my husband, you know–rather bony, but definitely worth the work.’ In the campaign’s valedictory spot, the Queen sums up the experience of jetting from city to city on behalf of soccer. ‘Feel a bit like a rock star, I suppose. Last night, I even trashed the hotel room. Well, I threw a washcloth on the floor. For me, that’s trashing.’ It’s nice to know there’s a job awaiting her here in case the new Labor government boots her out of work over there.





Copyright ASM Communications, Inc. (1997) ALL RIGHTS RESERVED





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