TIME Advertising

Say Goodbye to the Famous Goodyear Blimp

Maryland Terrapins v Miami Hurricanes
G Fiume—Getty Images

Say hello to the Goodyear semi-rigid dirigible

Long since blimps stopped being useful, besides as floating billboards, America still associates the airship, somewhat ironically, with the tire company Goodyear.

But according to the Associated Press, the Goodyear Blimp — technically called The Spirit of Goodyear — has been retired and will be replaced by another set of airships, although they technically won’t be blimps. That’s because they will include a fixed structure that holds the gas-filled balloon in place.

“It’s a brand new design. It is a much larger airship. It’s a semi-rigid dirigible,” Goodyear’s Priscilla Tasker told the AP.

If you spy the blimp on TV, say hovering over your favorite high-profile sporting event, you likely won’t notice a change, as the airships will look similar to previous incarnations, and they’ll still be used as a means to take overhead camera footage.

TIME Media

See 19 Vintage Magazine Ads That Capitalized on the End of World War II

Whether honoring veterans or looking forward to peacetime production, these companies had a message for the 1945 consumer

The Japanese surrender in World War II—which was promised on Aug. 14-15, 1945—ushered in a period of national upheaval in America. The nation’s major companies were eager to capitalize on the changed mood. As these ads that ran in TIME during those weeks show, everyone from office-supply companies to cigarette makers tried to use the news to tailor their pitches. They appealed to veterans looking for new stability, to housewives who had kept the home fires burning, or to businesses starting the process of converting back to a peacetime economy.

TIME marketing

5 Reasons Donald Trump’s Brand Is So Wildly Powerful

Branding experts try to explain why people love Donald Trump

People can’t seem to get enough Donald Trump. The real estate tycoon turned reality TV star turned presidential hopeful is leading recent polls among Republican candidates, despite an ongoing litany of controversial comments that would likely have torpedoed a traditional campaign.

It may not exactly be Trump’s platform that is attracting voters. He’s been purposefully vague on the campaign trail about how he’ll fix the many problems he sees in America. His campaign website appears to talk more about his success as a businessman than his specific plans for the White House.

That’s likely all by design, according to marketing and advertising experts. The very things Trump is doing that look like political suicide are only reinforcing his brand as a no-nonsense boss who does whatever he wants. It’s an image he’s been cultivating for decades and which now seems to be resonating with a large number of American voters.

Here are five Trump attributes that brand experts say define his personal brand:

He’s an ‘Outlaw’

Marketing experts can categorize pretty much any brand (and politicians are certainly brands) into one of 12 archetypes based on research by the Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung: Sage, Innocent, Explorer, Ruler, Creator, Caregiver, Magician, Hero, Outlaw, Lover, Jester, and Regular Guy/Girl. Most politicians are either all-knowing Rulers or spread-the-wealth Caregivers.

MORE: Here’s Roughly Every Controversial Thing Donald Trump Has Ever Said Out Loud

Trump is better categorized as an Outlaw, according to Edward Boches, professor of advertising at Boston University. He doesn’t operate according to the traditional rules of politics and is openly hostile to his adversaries, much like the freewheeling boss character he plays on his reality TV show The Apprentice. “A lot of people wish they could be that egotistical and get away with it,” Boches says. “We’re not necessarily envious but enamored by that, the fact that someone can pull that off.”

…but he’s also a “Creator” of wealth

Trump’s brashness would get him nowhere if he didn’t have a track record to back it up. With no political record to speak of, Trump uses his wealth as proof of his credentials. That also makes him a “Creator” as a brand archetype and could make him seem like a more accomplished figure in some voters’ eyes compared to lifetime politicians. “Being a creator–building things out of nothing–and doing it on your own terms, are inherently American,” says Boches. “They represent independence and a desire to get ahead. I think people really gravitate to that aspect about him.”

He’s a symbol of success

In everything from reality TV to rap songs, Trump’s name and face have become a kind of shorthand for wealth and success. He’s created a sense, real or not, that there’s no sector he can’t conquer, including the political arena. “As a brand, the fact that he has success at such a high level, people probably think that that can translate into any endeavor that he takes on,” says Tor Myhren, worldwide chief creative officer of the ad agency Grey. “That’s very attractive to people.”

He speaks his mind

Trump has called Mexican immigrants rapists, mocked prisoners of war and made disparaging remarks toward women during his campaign. Those are the kinds of incendiary faux pas that would sink a regular campaign. But Trump hasn’t backed down from any of his statements, which may make him even more appealing to a certain sect of voters. “Middle America abhors the idea of political correctness,” says Mike Sheldon, North American CEO for Deutsch. “They feel victimized by all the victims out there. In a way, I think he’s like their secret microphone.”

He feels authentic

In an age of ongoing Washington gridlock and high partisanship, there’s a sense among many that every high-level politician has compromised their ideals at some point or another. Trump has no political record so opponents can’t say he’s flip-flopped on issues. And since he’s funding his campaign himself, voters may perceive him to be separate from the typical moneyed interests that control Washington. “We’re attracted to his lack of sponsors,” says Sheldon. “It’s like a NASCAR vehicle with no logos on it.”

TIME Advertising

Yahoo Is Going Old-School With its Latest Move

Yahoo Reports Quarterly Earnings
Justin Sullivan—Getty Images A Yahoo! billboard is visible through trees on July 19, 2011 in San Francisco, California.

Not your typical maneuver

After four years, Yahoo is bringing back its signature San Francisco billboard that became an iconic landmark for drivers along Interstate 80.

That billboard, if you remember, was a charming hark back to those 1960s-style motel signs that dot highways across America. Commuters heading towards the Bay Bridge would be greeted by Yahoo’s previous yellow-and-purple “check-in” billboard, complete with a “vacancy” sign and a tagline that read “Where the World Checks In Daily.”

Now, Yahoo is replacing that sign with more generic Yahoo branding, according to the company’s Tumblr page. To mark the company’s 20th anniversary, the first weekend will feature the line “It’s Good to be Back.” Subsequent editions will promote product offerings and local events.

The sign can be seen here in comparison with its predecessor:

TIME Research

Here’s How Sexy Advertising Backfires

Researchers say that titillating content can, in fact, hurt sales‚ not help them

The first nude print ad was published in 1936 for Woodbury Soap. It featured an undressed woman lazily lying at the beach, her arm positioned at just the right angle to shield her breasts from view. It followed the old advertising adage that sex sells.

But that no longer holds true, according to a new study released by the Psychological Bulletin. Brad Bushman, a communications professor at Ohio State University and a co-author of the study, says it’s not that sex and violence don’t grab our attention—of course they do. In fact, paying attention to such things are evolutionary responses that are necessary for survival (being attuned to safety threats prepares people to protect themselves; finding opportunities for mating keep the species going).

But just because they grab our eye doesn’t mean the ad translates into sales.

“[A]dvertisers think sex and violence sell, so they buy advertising time during sexual and violent programs, and in turn producers continue to create sexual and violent programs that attract advertising revenue,” the authors write. But when a person is being shown a product—say, laundry detergent—with a sexy backdrop, it’s not the detergent that’s capturing the attention so much as the action onscreen. Sex is distracting, Bushman says. “We have a limited capacity to pay attention to cues.”

Bushman and his co-author, Robert Lull, found 1,869 articles in two databases that had historically studied consumer response to sex and violence. Researchers weeded out studies that didn’t directly address consumer response, didn’t have a control group, and didn’t look explicitly at the effects of sex and/or violence on the consumer.

“In the best case scenario, sex and violence doesn’t work,” Bushman told TIME. “For advertisers, it can actually backfire, and people will be less likely to remember your [product]. They might report being less likely to buy your product if the content of your program is violent or sexual.”

No surprise, some demographics respond differently to sexy or violent ads. Women tend to remember products from provocative ads; men tend to be distracted by sex or violence and not remember the product. Older participants were turned off by violence and sex; younger consumers were more likely to respond to it.

Still, taken together, the researchers conclude this: “Brands advertised in violent contexts will be remembered less often, evaluated less favorably, and less likely to be purchased than brands advertised in nonviolent media.”

TIME Advertising

Microsoft Is Using Cute Babies to Sell Windows 10

And also Ethan Hawke

The launch of the latest Windows operating system is slated for July 29 – and Microsoft has enlisted the help of babies and Ethan Hawke to pitch the product.

Hawke, the actor and star of the Oscar-nominated film Boyhood, provides the voice-over for a series of ads that introduce the new Windows 10, an upgrade that will be offered for free to existing customers for the first time.

The ads tap into the film’s spirit of growing up in an ever-changing world, which for Microsoft, means one that is password-less, device-heavy and filled with helpful advice from voice assistant software Cortana. “They’ll do things their parents never even dreamed of,” narrates Hawke of the next generation of (Microsoft hopes) Windows 10 users.

“The first phase of the campaign is to just say, ‘Check out this new cool experience and what it means for Windows and Microsoft,'” Kathleen Hall, Microsoft Corporate Vice-President of Global Advertising and Media, told Adweek. “The next phase is about devices more going into the holidays.”

The Windows 10 launch comes at a critical time for Microsoft. The company’s stock fell 3.5% in after-hours trading Tuesday after investors responded pessimistically to the company’s latest earnings report, in which it posted its largest-ever quarterly net loss. While Microsoft’s fourth quarter revenue of $22.2 billion beat expectations, sales from its devices and consumer business dropped by 13%, with licensing revenue from its Windows software decreasing by 22% as its Windows XP nears the end of its product cycle.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella argued Tuesday that the launch of Windows 10 “will create new opportunities for Microsoft and our ecosystem.” Among the notable features of Windows 10 includes the welcomed return of the Start menu, the integration of Cortana into the operating system, and a new web browser called Microsoft Edge.


Hulu Might Be Introducing An Ad-free Option

2015 Hulu Upfront Presentation
Craig Barritt—2015 Getty Images Jerry Seinfeld speaks onstage at the 2015 Hulu Upfront Presentation at Hammerstein Ballroom on April 29, 2015 in New York City.

You'll be able to binge on Seinfeld, uninterrupted.

Hulu users who hate watching ads, you may be in luck. The streaming service may soon unveil a version that gets rid of advertisements. The catch: It’s for a price.

The Wall Street Journal reported that the new feature may be planned for as early as this fall, with it costing anywhere from $12 to $14 per month. The move comes as Hulu is attempting to become more competitive with Netflix, which currently enjoys the lion’s share of the television streaming market.

The option apparently has a codename of its own, “NOAH,” which stands for “No Ads Hulu, according to the publication, citing people familiar with the matter.

The number of Hulu subscribers pales in comparison to Netflix. The service, which is owned in part by Disney, 21st Century Fox, and Comcast, said it has about 9 million subscribers to Netflix’s 65 million. Meanwhile, Hulu may generate anywhere from $1.5 billion to $1.7 billion in revenue in 2015. Last year, Netflix garnered $5.5 billion, according to the newspaper.

Hulu did, however, make waves earlier this year when it announced it would start streaming all Seinfeld episodes.

TIME Retail

Google Is Making Shopping on a Smartphone Much Easier

Jewel Samad—AFP/Getty Images Google's lead designer for "Inbox by Gmail" Jason Cornwell shows the app's functionalities on a nexus 6 android phone during a media preview in New York on October 29, 2014.

A new "buy button" is coming to search results

Google is finally rolling out a ‘Buy’ button in its search results. The new feature, first reported back in May, is an effort to get users comfortable thinking of Google as a shopping destination, not just a conduit to other sites.

At a press event on Wednesday, the company announced “Purchase with Google,” which will turn the ads that appear at the top of search results into cards that let users buy products from directly within Google’s interface. After clicking an ad marked with “Buy on Google,” a user will be taken to a special, Google-built page that shows information about the product and a checkout button to pay for the item using the credit card stored in a Google account.

Google isn’t actually selling these products itself, but instead partnering with retailers who will handle order fulfillment. Google makes money on these ads using the same cost-per-click ad auctions that power its traditional search ads.

With its new buttons, Google is aiming to make it easier for users to buy products on mobile phones’ screens. “There is too much friction when we try to make transactions on a phone,” says Jonathan Alferness, Google’s vice president of product management for Google Shopping. He notes that conversations rates to purchase items are still twice as high on desktop as they are on mobile.

Google is rolling out the buy button as a small test with about a dozen retailers in the coming weeks, with plans for a larger U.S. expansion by the end of the year.

At its event, Google also outlined some other recent tweaks to the mobile shopping experience. These include improved voice search that will provide users more detailed information when they ask questions about products, info cards that prominently show product reviews and improved “deep linking” capabilities that will let users open a purchase page within a retailer’s app directly from clicking a link in a Google ad.

TIME Advertising

Apple’s Very Different New Ads Throw Shade at Google

"If it's not an iPhone...it's not an iPhone"

Apple’s commercials have been renowned for decades, but every company misfires once in a while. That may be the case with the tech giant’s latest iPhone campaign, which breaks away from the heartwarming spots the company has become known for.

In the new commercial, Apple points out that it designs the “hardware part” and the “software part” of its phones. It’s a clear shot at Android phones, most of which run software designed by Google and hardware from a variety of manufacturers. “If it’s not an iPhone, it’s not an iPhone,” the spot concludes.

A second commercial in the same campaign points out that the iPhone comes with something “different.” The difference is that 99% of customers “love their iPhone”—implying that a smaller percentage of Android phone owners are satisfied with their devices.

The spots are unusual because Apple usually focuses on the functionality of its own devices, not putting down competitors. But with iPhone sales reaching record highs in recent quarters, the company seems eager to boast a bit.

TIME Advertising

5 More Ad Pitchmen Who Fell Out of Favor

The face of 'Subway' isn't the first to lose his employers' support

Correction appended, July 9

It’s been 15 years since Indiana native Jared Fogle lost 200 pounds by way of 6-inch Subway turkey subs, launching his fame as the face of the salad-and-sandwich franchise.

But on Tuesday, Subway suspended its relationship with Fogle faster than you can say “Eat Fresh” when federal law enforcement raided his house for evidence following the May arrest of the executive director of his foundation on pornography charges. The Subway pitchman has not been arrested, and is cooperating with authorities.

Unfortunately, Fogle isn’t the first face of a brand to fall out of their employer’s good books. TIME has put together a handful of the most notable, for reasons ranging from pot possession to off-color jokes:

“Dude, you’re getting a Dell” Steve

Now 35-years-old, Ben Curtis caught his big break in the early 2000s as Slacker Steve, the enthusiastic, stoner-esque star of Dell television commercials whose two foremost loves seemed to be Dell computers and the word “dude.” Curtis starred in 26 different commercials for the PC giant between 2000 and 2003—popularizing the catchphrase “Dude, you’re getting a Dell!”—at which point the then-NYU student was busted buying weed on New York City’s Lower East Side and fired from his acting gig.

The Voice of the Aflac Duck

Comedian Gilbert Gottfried had a famous eleven-year stint with insurance company Aflac as the voice of the company duck, whose most famous line was simply, “Aflac!” But when the notoriously boundary-crossing comedian took to Twitter in March 2011 to make jokes about the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, the Georgia-based insurance giant got into a flap and sacked him within the hour. In the 2005 commercial above, Gottfried tarred as both the Aflac duck and his owner.

The Geico Narrator

D.C. Douglas, a voiceover actor for Geico commercials, admitted to the Washington Post that he’d been a “doofus” back in 2010 after he left an inflammatory voice message for FreedomWorks, a Washington advocacy group closely tied to the Tea Party. Douglas was immediately fired from his most lucrative voice gig, and later made a spoof PSA entitled “Don’t Drunk Dial FreedomWorks.” In his voice message, Douglas asked FreedomWorks how many “mentally retarded” people they employed and what they planned to do when one of their members “does actually kill somebody.”

The “ShamWow” Guy

Israeli-American infomercial star Vince Offer, better known as the “ShamWow Guy,” rose to moderate fame in 2007 as the “jerky” face of a 8-for-$19.95 towel so absorbent it could hold ten times its weight in liquid. But when, two years later, Offer was arrested for striking a Miami prostitute who allegedly tried to bite off his tongue, audiences were less charmed by his rough-around-the-edges demeanor. Needless to say, Offer’s ShamWow days are over—but it seems he hasn’t given up on infomercials entirely.

Kevin Trudeau, Infomercial King

Motivational speaker and infomercial king Kevin Trudeau made big money over the past two decades as the face of his own brand, a range of self-help books including the 2005 bestseller “The Weight Loss Cure ‘They’ Don’t Want You to Know About.” But he also racked up some huge fines—$37.6 million, to be exact—for making false health claims, and in March 2014, landed himself a 10-year prison sentence for lying in his infomercials. Trudeau may have been the pitchman of his own products, but his face certainly won’t get much play from behind bars.

Correction: The original version of this story misstated the name of the voiceover actor in Geico commercials. He is D.C. Douglas.

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