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For when I need more than 140 characters to finish a thought on marketing, media or message.


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FLASHBACK: Remember Ellen Feiss? From Apple’s ‘Switch’ campaign?

EDITOR’S NOTE: This post was originally published in July 2011. I’m reposting as a courtesy to the readers who arrived here after googling Ms. Feiss. 

It’s amazing the distractions a student can find doing research on YouTube. I stumbled on one of Apple’s 2002 “Switch” adsTBWA\Chiat\Day‘s followup campaign to 1998’s “Think Different.” The “Switch” ads, directed by Errol Morris, supposedly featured real people who had switched from a PC to a Mac, “telling their story in their own words,” according to the press release. The ads were simple, shot against a white background, and were ripe for parodying

In this clip, high school student Ellen Feiss tells us how she lost a “really good paper” while working on her PC. And although the success of the “Switch” campaign has been debated,  it’s nine years later and I remember Ellen Feiss and her paper. I bet others do, too — which should settle any question over the campaign’s success.

Consider this: It’s hard to remember in 2011 how difficult that sort of imprint would have been to achieve for Apple, despite its re-emergence in the market the late 1990s with the iMac G3. PCs still ruled in 2002; the iPod — having been released only in late 2001 — had not yet saturated mainstream society. There was no iPhone. Tech was not that personal yet. The term “viral marketing” wasn’t used in everyday conversation. YouTube was still three years away. Even so, Apple and Morris got our attention and piqued our curiosity: “Have you seen the new Apple ad? What’s up with that girl? Is she real? Is she high?” Despite the speculation, we were interested in what she had to say — and we knew the brand she was promoting and still do.


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Toyota Venza girl angry about Triscuits

EDITOR’S NOTE: This post reflects my interest in advertising as a marketing student. No agencies or products are endorsed. The opinions expressed here are mine and in no way reflect the opinions of my employers.
 
Our heroine from the Toyota Venza commercial can be seen in the new Triscuits commercial.
 

 
That’s all I have to say about that right now because I have to go to dinner.
 

Like this commercial? Hate it?

 

Tell me why! (No registration required.)

 

Like the ad? Show Allyn Rachel the love on her Facebook page.

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RELATED: Toyota Venza Girl plugs eBay

 

EARLIER: Toyota Venza Girl on Yahoo!

 

EARLIER: More on the girl in Toyota Venza commercial

 

EVEN EARLIER: Toyota Venza: ‘That’s not a real puppy’

 

RELATED: How Lady Gaga helped me get off Facebook

 


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Nielsen: Top U.S. Web Brands in 2011

Nielsen reports that Google is still the top web brand in 2011, followed by Facebook, which is where Americans spend the most time online. According to Nielsen’s Q3 social media report,  Facebook users spent 53.5 billion minutes on the site in May 2011. (I bet I work with some of those Facebook enthusiasts.) It is also the top social networking site through mobile devices: 46,500,000 unique audience members.


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Toyota Venza girl does an ad for McRib


ED’S NOTE:
This post reflects my interest in advertising as a marketing student. The opinions expressed here are mine and in no way reflect the opinions of my employers.
 

UPDATE 8-12-12:Toyota Venza girl is angry about Triscuits.

 

UPDATE 11-03-2011: Like the ad?
 
Show Allyn Rachel the love on her Facebook page.

 

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I think I’m going to change the name of this blog to the Allyn Rachel & Other Stuff Blog. She’s all you people want to read about this year!

J’s Pages commenter Sarahbelle tipped me off that the “Toyota Venza girl” is also featured in the new commercial for the McRib, another bewildering food marketing success.

The McRib ad is a clever bid for mobile users, much like the new eBay ads. In the McRib spot, newlyweds Rachel and a Steve Zahn lookalike are about to embark on their honeymoon when he gets a text that the McRib is back! (“I’m gonna miss it!”)
 

 
 

I married a 14-year-old!

 

~ Allyn Rachel,
as McRib Bride

 
The ad does a great job of showing that all the characters have obeyed McDonald’s call-to-action for mobile users: “Get the word out: McRib is back!”

And it’s worth noting the spot fails to answer the question: What the hell is a McRib?

At the time of this writing, this HD version had 379 views, the SD version 2,546. There were 8 likes, 1 dislikes and 7 comments.

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See more of Allyn Rachel’s work on YouTube, Twitter, this blog and other Web 2.0 outlets.
 

UPDATE 10-27-2011: Allyn Rachel on Twitter

 

EARLIER:Toyota Venza Girl on MSN

 

EARLIER: Toyota Venza Girl on Yahoo!

 

EARLIER: More on the girl in Toyota Venza commercial

 

EVEN EARLIER: Toyota Venza: ‘That’s not a real puppy’

 


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eBay polishes its new act in ‘Salon’ commercial

ED’S NOTE: The commentary here reflects my interest in advertising as a marketing student. No products, services or agencies are endorsed. The opinions expressed here are mine and in no way reflect the opinions of my employers.

Not long after I wrote about the Toyota Venza Girl in the eBay “Blue Jeans” commercial, I caught another ad from the “When it’s on your mind, it’s on eBay” campaign. Even after I write about an advertising strategy, I like to find commercials “in the wild.” I have a very short attention span, and if a TV ad catches my attention as I’m studying/doing laundry/cleaning/blogging while half-watching a show I recorded, that tells me other people are likely to be noticing, too.
 
(Post continues after video.)
 

 

She was here once. She had toes like a sloth.

 

~ Snarky pedicurist on tabloid celebrity in eBay commercial

 
This time, we the consumer get to eavesdrop on 20somethings as they get their weekly mani/pedis in “Salon,” a 30-second spot with an ADHD-inspired script that shows how quickly we can fall in love with those “amazing shoes” we see in US Weekly or Talentless Bimbos Daily or whatever rag we’re force-fed while strapped to a chair at a salon. Our heroine — the targeted “shopping enthusiast” — uses her eBay app to find “this heel” that is “so fabulous!” (“Mine! Look at that!”) She was fast with the swipe, and no sooner had we found out Maui’s mom built a yacht lake house for her pug, our mobile shopper had purchased what was on her mind: the amazing shoes she saw just seconds ago in the tabloid.

For readers who didn’t catch the last post, the “When it’s on your mind, it’s on eBay” campaign” is designed to expand the ecommerce giant’s footprint in mobile commerce, a daunting task for a company seen primarily as an auction marketplace. With the “Buy It New. Buy It Now” call to action, eBay (NASDAQ: EBAY) urges shoppers to take advantage of the 62% of 200 million live listings that are “fixed price,” and the 70% of those products that are new. (Like the new jeans that actress Allyn Rachel orders in the “Blue Jeans” commercial.)

According to the press release announcing the campaign, eBay is targeting the “shopping enthusiasts,” the category of shopper who are most likely to shop using mobile devices. The first step in reaching those shoppers is through legacy media: Six 30-second TV commercials began airing Sept. 14 on national cable network shows including Top GearSportsCenter,Tosh.0The Daily Show with Jon StewartTop Chef and The Rachel Zoe Project — about the time Googlers started hitting this site looking for more information about the actress in the “Blue Jeans” ad.

At the time of this writing, this “Salon” clip (uploaded Sept. 13, 2011, on YouTube) had 12,336 views, 39 likes and 36 dislikes. A fan’s comments tipped me off to the name of the woman playing the “shopping enthusiast.” She is Kestrin Pantera, an actress, producer and voice-over artist who has a band and studies at the Groundlings. You can read more about her on IMDB.

About the eBay YouTube Channel
(As of Sept. 26, 2011)

  • Channel Views: 185,968
  • Total Upload Views: 1,724,434
  • Joined: Oct. 30, 2005
  • Subscribers: 1,272

 
AGENCY: Venables Bell & Partners, the folks who convinced us that Slim Jims are “mantastic!”
 

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EARLIER: Toyota Venza Girl in eBay ‘Blue Jeans’ ad

 

EVEN EARLIER: Toyota Venza: ‘That’s not a real puppy’

 


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Toyota Venza commercial: ‘I’m pretty much killing it out here’

ED’S NOTE: The commentary here reflects my interest in advertising as a marketing student. No agencies or products are endorsed. The opinions expressed here are mine and in no way reflect the opinions of my employers.

“Old” people with the cool new Venza are horseback riding now! A lesser-known commercial for the Toyota crossover features a 20something worried about her parents now that she has moved cross country. (“It’s the worst thing that has ever happened to them.”) And as she’s “killing it out here,” her parents are zipping along the countryside in their Venza, only to ditch it to go horseback riding.
 

 

What do they do every day without me there?

 

Are they eating?

 

~ 20something in the Venza ‘Cross Country’ commercial

 
Despite the return to the range, the point is the empty-nester parents just “keep on rolling.”

For those of you who may be wondering why I’m writing about this commercial that was posted in early July, it’s because it’s getting more air time, which means I’m getting more search-engine hits from people looking for it. So I aim to please; I’m a slave to Googlers this way.

At the time of this writing, this clip on YouTube had 15,378 views, 39 likes and 2 dislikes. The most notable of the seven comments:
 

That’s the cleanest barn I’ve ever seen.

 

~ Anonymous YouTube commenter

 
Yes, it was. Especially to shelter horses.
 
AGENCY: Saatchi & Saatchi, LA.
 

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About the Toyota YouTube Channel
(As of Sept. 26, 2011)

  • Channel Views: 4,837,162
  • Total Upload Views: 15,624,245
  • Joined: March 5, 2008
  • Subscribers: 10,650

 

RELATED: Toyota Venza Girl plugs eBay

 

RELATED: Toyota Venza Girl on Yahoo!

 

RELATED: More on the girl in Toyota Venza commercial

 

RELATED: Toyota Venza: ‘That’s not a real puppy’

 


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FLASHBACK: JUST IN: Toyota Venza girl does an ad for eBay

UPDATE 8-12-12: Allyn Rachel, aka the Toyota Venza girl, is angry about Triscuits.

 

UPDATE 11-03-2011: Like the ad? Show Allyn Rachel the love on her Facebook page.

 
Toyota Venza Interactive Ad on YahooED’S NOTE: This post reflects my interest in advertising as a marketing student. The opinions expressed here are mine and in no way reflect the opinions of my employers.
 

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UPDATED with details 9-20-2011

Googlers have been hitting this site to see whether the “Toyota Venza girl” is also featured in the recent eBay commercial entitled “Blue Jeans.”

She is — as you can see here. I don’t have any information about this clip right now, but I’ll see what I can dig up. She plays Susie, the daughter with the super hip mobile device iPad.

(Post continues after video.)
 

 

This commercial is part of eBay’s “When it’s on your mind, it’s on eBay” campaign designed to expand the ecommerce giant’s footprint in mobile commerce, a daunting task for a company seen primarily as an auction marketplace. With the “Buy It New, Buy It Now” call to action, eBay urges shoppers to take advantage of the 62% of 200 million live listings that are “fixed price,” and the 70% of those products that are new. (Like the new jeans that actress Allyn Rachel orders in the commercial.)

According to the press release announcing the campaign, eBay is targeting the “shopping enthusiasts,” the category of shopper who are most likely to shop using mobile devices. The first step in reaching those shoppers is through legacy media: Six 30-second TV commercials began airing Sept. 14 on national cable network shows including Top Gear, SportsCenter, Tosh.0, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, Top Chef and The Rachel Zoe Project — about the time Googlers started hitting this site looking for more information about the actress and the “Blue Jeans” ad.

At the time of this update writing, this YouTube video (posted Sept. 17) had 1,271 379 views, 3 1 likes and 0 dislikes.

AGENCY: Venables Bell & Partners, the folks who convinced us that Slim Jims are “mantastic!”

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See more of Allyn Rachel’s work on YouTube, Twitter, this blog and other Web 2.0 outlets.
 

UPDATE 10-27-2011: Ally Rachel on Twitter

 

EARLIER:Toyota Venza Girl on MSN

 

EARLIER: Toyota Venza Girl on Yahoo!

 

EARLIER: More on the girl in Toyota Venza commercial

 

EVEN EARLIER: Toyota Venza: ‘That’s not a real puppy’

 

RELATED: How Lady Gaga helped me get off Facebook