Please find the notes and links to books and articles for:
What Happened To Advertising? What Would Gossage Do?

Ch. 1 – Branding

1. Being the only dot-com without a dot was remarkable, given that in those days even hardware companies and telcos went out of their way to be perceived as “.coms”. Sun Microsystems bragged that they were “the dot in dot-com“. Not the ones to be outdone by anybody, in France Telecom started posing as France Très cool.

2. The “pipe” is also called in other ways such as vertical bar, Sheffer stroke, vertical line, vertical slash, etc.

3. Nor with our custom-made proprietary company font for all our corporate communications. I kid you not. We had our own proprietary, custom-made font for all the oh, so very important Corporate Communications coming from a Start-up nobody had ever heard of. Ah, those were the times!

See all the Notes for Chapter 1

Ch. 2 – Interactive Advertising

1. Cox, Jim, American Radio Networks: A History, page 123.

2. John Wanamaker was the founder of the department store that went by his name, the first in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and one of the first in the United States.

3. For click-rates around the world, please see a study by Smart Insights.

See all the Notes for Chapter 2

Ch. 3 – Dear Miss Afflerbach

1. Harrison, Steve, Changing the World is the Only Fit Work for a Grown Man, pages 76-79. For the Shirtkerchief, or was it a Shirtkin, or a Napchief, ad, see also the picture and the text of the ad.

2. Gossage, Howard Luck and Harris, Miller, Dear Miss Afflerbach;: Or, The postman hardly ever rings 11,342 times.

3. “Is advertising worth saving? From an economic point of view, I don’t think most of it is. From an aesthetic point of view I’m damn sure it’s not; it is thoughtless, boring, and there is simply too much of it”. Gossage, Howard Luck, as quoted in Goodby, Jeff and Bendinger, Bruce, The Book of Gossage, page 4.

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Ch. 4 – Social Media Marketing

1. The Hungarian author, playwright, poet, journalist, and translator Frigyes Karinthy was the first proponent of the theory of the “Six Degrees of Separation”.

2. When the WELL came around, the catch-all buzzword was “community”. As Jacob Nielsen said in 1997, “One of the latest buzzwords to agitate the Web is ‘community’. In fact, most Web sites have less sense of community that a New York City subway car”. Mendelson, B. J., Social Media is Bullshit, page 86.

3. What is Web2.0? A brilliant marketing stunt. Please see (in Italian) “Il Web2.0: una brillante operazione di marketing”. Metitieri, Fabio, Il Grande Inganno del Web2.0, pages 19-23.

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Ch. 5 – Butter… You Talking to Me??

1. Of course, it is Robert De Niro who is asking You talking to me?? in Taxi Driver. Thanks to Carlo Andrea Pattacini for the link and for the title of this Chapter.

2. Please take a look at “La stessa foto di Toto Cutugno ogni giorno“, or “The same exact picture of Toto Cutugno every day”. And please take a look at what The Washington Post had to say about it.

3. Please see for example what Nigel Rahimpour has to say about the “engagement”, or lack thereof, of people on Social Media with brands.

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Ch. 6 – Lies, Damned Lies, and ROI

1. Think about media companies, who have been successful with their Facebook strategy: they all kept their own websites, of course, and they use Facebook to push people to their websites, not the other way around.

2. You don’t own Facebook and you’re not in control. See Camisani Calzolari, Marco, Escape from Facebook.

3. All this is so wrong and so stupid. It seems to misunderstand the fundamental change we have witnessed: that on the web – not just on Social Media – everybody can talk: Your Company’s Urge To Tweet Is Wrong.

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Ch. 7 – The Real Value of a Facebook Fan

1. Nice job, Business Insider! I added a few extra estimates to their list. Unfortunately, the study by npENGAGE is apparently offline at the time of writing.

2. Not only do the people at Syncapse have trouble understanding the difference between correlation and causation; in the Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds world they live in, BMW’s Facebook Fans are valued $1,613 each.

3. For what it’s worth, I disagree with both their reasoning and with the figures they give.

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Ch. 8 – Quod Erat Demonstrandum

1. No, I don’t want to be friends with my butter, a presentation by Nathaniel Perez, Global Head of Social at SapientNitro.

2. Please see: Banco do Brasil Transforma Internet Banking em Orkut.

3. My 2 cents’ worth on banks that want to be “social”.

See all the Notes for Chapter 8

Ch. 9 – What Would Gossage Do?

1. See Harrison, Steve, Changing the World is the Only Fit Work for a Grown Man, pages 58 and 63. Do you think this is not a big deal? It’s huge: it means that you’re not trying to impose your point of view, but that you’re open to inputs from your readers; it means that you’re fooling around, and you know it. Compare this with what Unilever is doing on Social (supposedly social) Media: they create, or at least used to create, when “distribution” was free, at least 360 posts every day on Facebook for their various brands. Creativity and social sharing? Really? It seems much more like the Military-industrial complex at work to me.

2. Robert Gutnam, trained as a Sociologist, focused his work on the field of Architecture.

3. It is very rare for people in Advertising to indulge in talking about the nature and the limits of the business: not just the technicalities (the hows) but also the reasons why. Ogilvy and Bernbach, for example, were much more interested in just creating good advertising. Apart from Howard Luck Gossage, two notable exceptions are George Lois, a very prolific writer and the author of the wonderful What’s the Big Idea?, and Jerry Della Femina, who expressed his dissatisfaction with people in the higher hierarchies in Ad Agencies: “They never talk about advertising. That’s a funny thing. These cats talk about advertising only at creative review board meetings”. Della Femina, Jerry, From Those Wonderful Folks Who Gave You Pearl Harbor, page 105.

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Ch. 10 – Make Lemonade

1. Not merely in the sense of turning analog dollars into digital pennies, as Jeff Zucker famously said, but in the sense that it’s a totally different world, one in which what companies have to say gets drowned out by the more interesting things we talk about with one another. And a world in which trying to push one’s message or acting hip on Social Media will only make things worse. One of my favourite cases of a company trying to exploit the dynamics of the Web and Social Media comes from Kellogg’s, which is giving away free spoons with one’s name engraved on them and is asking people to share their “selfies with their spoons“. A selfie with a spoon? Wow. How do you call this? Chris Locke of Cluetrain fame spoke of MTDs, or Marketing Transmitted Delusions.

2. 15 percent said that folks can market to us; 46 percent said it depends on the context and 39 percent said never. Furthermore, only .51 percent of “Likers” actually posted any brand-related content of any kind, including so much as a single comment. Even so-called high-interest brands, such as Harley-Davidson, Ford Mustang, Louis Vuitton, Chanel and Jack Daniels all registered below 1 percent. Garfield and Levy, Can’t Buy Me Like, pages 118-119.

3. Sure, Coca-Cola scored big with their “Happiness Machine” videos. But the Pepsi Refresh Project, apart from not helping Pepsi sell more sugary water, was blasted, their effort accused of being similar to the phony corporate social (ir)responsibility campaigns of tobacco companies. United Airlines had big problems of its own with the YouTube hit song “United Breaks Guitars”. And so did McDonald’s, with #McDStories, the hashtag Forbes called a bashtag.

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