Stupid PR Tricks: Toyota Dealers Recall Ads, to Punish ABC

Toyota has been making a show of contrition for the acceleration problem that led to a massive recall of several of its models, buying a humbled Super Bowl ad and apologizing publicly. But one group of its dealers is working hard to blow any positive credit the company may have earned, pulling its ads from ABC stations to punish the …

The Most Awesome Negative Ad of All Time

Tom Campbell claims that he is a sheep. But I, Carly Fiorina, maintain that he is in fact a wolf! And a pig! And a man wearing a sheep costume! Tom Campbell—I declare thee ManWolfSheepPig! (Thus doing Al Gore’s South Park nemesis one animal better.)


The bonus of this California …

The Super Bowl Ad You Must See

…and by “you,” I mean “I.” Super Sunday is still three days away, but I already know what I’m waiting for. Ladies and gentlemen, introducing Muno from Yo Gabba Gabba!, one bad-ass sock monkey, and friends for the KIA Sorento:


One more preview after the jump. What are you looking …

James Brown Takes One for the Team

During the ten minutes or so I happened to tune in to the pregame of yesterday’s Jet-Colts championship game, I saw something that I could have happily lived my life without seeing: CBS pregame host James Brown interviewing the eTrade baby for his predictions on thegame:


Jay Leno Is #1!


…in product placement!

From the get-go, The Jay Leno Show has been a business strategy first, an entertainment program second. And while its business success is debatable—it’s certainly cut costs for NBC, but often pulls no more viewers than Jay got at 11:30—Nielsen has …

Lazy TV Viewers to the Rescue!

Remember those DVRs that are supposed to be killing the TV business by letting people skip advertising? Turns out they’re killing the TV business somewhat more softly than previously thought. Or maybe even helping it.

The ultimate outcome is still hazy, but the effects of DVR on TV have become more complicated because, as Bill Carter

Cougar Town Marks Its Territory

No, Courteney Cox hasn’t gone into a new line of work. This sign—snapped a block and a half from my house—is part of a stealth campaign for Cox’s upcoming ABC sitcom Cougar Town. Cox’s character, besides being an older gal with an eye for the younger fellas, is also a real-estate agent, which career must have seemed pretty hot and au …

But Wait—There's More! Billy Mays' TV Show to Live On

I was on vacation when infomercial pitchman Billy Mays died, but beyond the obvious jokes (see this post’s headline), it was good to see him get his due at the end. Whatever you think of their products, advertisers, for better or worse, have an underappreciated effect on the culture of TV. Infomercials, in their way, are the essence of …

He Had a First Name. It Was O-S-C-A-R.

Oscar Mayer, the purveyor of meats who shared a name with the company he chaired, died Monday at age 95. It’s a little odd to feel nostalgia for the passing of a man who, I would guess, most of us did not know except for the name attached to his products. But Mayer’s company, and his name (actually his family name; he joined the family …

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