Blog Archives

Does Mercedes Benz Need ‘Sympathy?’

Even if you weren’t paying attention to NFL football on Jan. 20, if you had the game on, Merkley + Partners’  TV spot for long-time client Mercedes Benz likely made your head snap to attention.


In what is being called a teaser for the automaker’s Super Bowl spot in February, the ad plays the Rolling Stones’ song “Sympathy for the Devil.”  Although the spot is beautifully produced and has a perfectly suspenseful set-up, the use of that song is curious to say the least.  A rock ‘n’ roll classic, yes, but a lighthearted little ditty? Absolutely not. And how could it be when “Lucifer” is the first-person narrator?

Why would Mercedes Benz or any brand want to be associated with the following imagery?

I rode a tank
Held a general’s rank
When the blitzkrieg raged
And the bodies stank 

Or this:

I shouted out,
Who killed the Kennedys?
When after all
It was you and me

None of those lyrics actually plays in the Mercedes spot but consumers can finish the song in their heads once Mick Jagger’s familiar yowl is heard at the beginning of the song.

In an eerily prescient article back in November, Brenda Fiala, SVP, Strategy at Blast Radius, wrote in Mediapost about how the Rolling Stones “brand” has become downright respectable now that they’ve been a band for 50 years. “Let’s face it: The Rolling Stones aren’t just a band, they’re a brand in the same pantheon as Coca-Cola, Mercedes-Benz and Chanel.”

The question is, how respectable is Mercedes Benz now that it has appropriated one of rock ‘n’ roll’s most notorious songs?

Pizza! Pizza! Or Not…

Congratulations are in order for Brenda Fiala, SVP, Strategy at Blast Radius, a DGC client. She appeared on the Today Show this morning [Oct. 16, 2012] to comment on the backlash against Pizza Hut. The fast-feeder’s recent promotion promised free pizza for life to an audience member at tonight’s second presidential debate between President Barack Obama and GOP candidate Mitt Romney if that audience member asked the two men which they preferred: pepperoni or sausage as a pizza topping.

“The debate is not about whether Pizza Hut’s campaign is humorous or not,” Fiala said on Today. “The debate really is, is it appropriate for a brand to insert itself commercially into a public forum?”

The debate will be televised live from Hofstra University.

The Hit Board Friday Feature

One of the most rewarding aspects of being a publicist is seeing a client in the news.  And at DiGennaro Communications, that happens quite a bit: We are fortunate to have many clients with interesting points of view who, as a result, get significant amounts of “ink”—the physical and digital kind.  To more fully salute and celebrate our clients’ thought leadership, we are launching a weekly blog series recapping some of our clients’ most notable media coverage.  Here is a summary from last week:

In this video interview with International Business Times, Rapp Chairman Global Chairman and CEO Bob Horvath discusses Olympics-related advertising trends and touches on the upcoming presidential election.  Overall, the industry is seeing an incremental ad spend of $5 billion to $7 billion for the May-November 2012 period because of these two events, Bob tells reporter Marias Krystian.
Speaking of major events, the 50th anniversary of Marilyn Monroe’s death was August 5. Brenda Fiala, SVP of strategy at digital ad agency Blast Radius, penned a piece last week for the MediaPost Marketing Daily blog on Marilyn’s legacy. Brenda eloquently writes: “Our fascination with Marilyn will likely endure for another 50 years or more, and her brand value will continue to increase, if her own star power is allowed to shine and fill our hearts with the wonder and sympathy for the woman who lived.”

In this Adweek piece, New Media Metrics Co-Founder and Principal Gary Reisman discusses the differences between blacks and whites when it comes to brand loyalty. African-American consumers are more emotionally attached to brands than whites, especially when it comes to media brands, according to the latest New Media Metrics study.We also saw some significant campaign news this past week.

Featured here is a MediaPost/Marketing Daily article about a new campaign for the Kimberly-Clark Scott brand led by Chicago-based Trisect, an ad agency with a “retail-first” approach.  Aaron Noffsinger, a Trisect creative director, says people have a value radar, or “value sense,” for which Scott wants to rewards them.

The ad industry is nothing without its people. In this Ad Age column, Nancy Hill, president-CEO of the American Association of Advertising Agencies (the 4A’s), explains the need to educate young people about career opportunities in our industry. Nancy cites an Arnold Worldwide study that found that young people don’t know how they can apply their tech and entrepreneurial skills to advertising. In an era where high-tech companies such as Google and Facebook get so much play, the ad community needs to eagerly welcome and train tech-savvy young recruits.

Interested in seeing additional media coverage generated by DGC?  Check us out on Twitter and Facebook, and check out our blog next week, when we will have another such round-up.

And if you liked this article, please share it. Thanks!

Cannes Lions Day 3: Round Up

Goodby Silverstein & Partners held a panel in Cannes about the launch of the new Chevy Sonic… The San Francisco-based agency also picked up a Mobile Gold Lion– for the Chevy Game Time app. More details on the work can be found here… Congratulations to WPP’s MediaCom, whose offices in Germany, Israel and the U.S., won a combined total of six Cannes Lions this week: In the “Other Consumer Products” category, MediaCom Germany nabbed a Silver Lion for its Hasbro campaign, “Office War: Helping Germany Have Fun at Work.”  A Bronze went to MediaCom Israel in the “Best Use of Ambient Media (Small Scale)” category for its “Danger! Dog Poop” initiative for Mokesh – The Coalition For Mine-Free Israel. MediaCom USA and its WPP sibling Grey Group won a Gold Lion for the Canon “Project Imagin8ion” campaign. Three other Bronze Lions went to MediaCom on campaigns for Mars Wrigley, VW and P&G… Blast Radius was in Cannes represented by, among others, Jeroen Matser, Head of European Strategy, and Gurval Caer, CEO and president. Click here to learn what inspires Matser’s creativity and Caer’s thoughts about digital—“Digital is dead,” he says. “Long live engagement.”



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