Advertising Is Dead… Long Live Advertising!

Advertising Is Dead… Long Live Advertising!

George Parker is the perpetrator of Every week he shares his opinions on the advertising world with PSFK.

George Parker
  • 22 december 2009

Remember my column of last week? Which I am assuming, somewhat hubristically, that you might have already read. That would be the one in which I mentioned the interview on the Fox Business News channel with Kevin Roberts, the unfortunate inventor of the “Lovemarks” scam, and co-incidentally the CEO of Saatchi and Saatchi, who during the course of the program stated… “The single most important and effective media is television… And it always will be!” So, here’s my question… Does he still hold that dumb-assed opinion, after the recent news in the ad-trades that Pepsi has shitcanned all of its 2010 Super Bowl TV ad budget to focus on the new Pepsi Refresh Project? Because what makes this announcement particularly dramatic is when you consider that Pepsi was by far the single biggest advertiser during last year’s Super Bowl, and that they have, without a break for more than twenty three years, used one of the major televised events of the year to blow dumpster loads of money on mind numbingly bad spots with bimbo celebrities like Britney Spears and Cindy Crawford, flashing their accoutrements, to promote the ersatz benefits of sweet carbonated beverages to the fucktard, teen population of America.

Yes, we constantly hear that major brands are investing more of their dollars in non-traditional media and marketing at the expense of mainstream media, but this is the biggest single shift we have seen to date.

The ad trades are making a lot of noise about how this may be a risky strategy for Pepsi by providing a great opportunity for Coke to come in and dominate the TV stage during one of the most watched events of the year. Personally, I think that’s bullshit when you have as saturated a market as colas, coupled with the ferocious brand loyalty they each enjoy (even though, personally, I think they both taste like battery acid.) Yeah, the day after the game, when they do those stupid polls on who had the most memorable or entertaining ad, Coke may win some kudos, but I guarantee it won’t make a single Pepsi drinker switch to the competition. Besides which, as most people can rarely name what brand was being advertised, half the people watching a Coke ad will probably remember it as a Pepsi ad.

As for Pepsi leaping onto the social responsibility bandwagon with its “Pepsi Refresh Project,” They really need to take some of those millions they’re not blowing on the Super Bowl and get to work on the site, ‘cos right now, it really sucks and looks like a MySpace wannabe with a few feel-good videos thrown in alongside the obligatory tee shirts covered in Pepsi logos. Which is yet another illustration of how some of these major brands jump into new and social media, ‘cos they’ve heard it’s the right thing to do… But they basically don’t get it, so they usually manage to fuck it up. However, when they do finally get it right, and they will, that’ll be just one more nail in the coffin lid of traditional advertising.

George Parker is a guest columnist for He is the perpetrator of, which is without doubt, one of the most foul and annoying, piss & vinegar ad blogs on the planet. He is the author of MadScam and his new book, The Ubiquitous Persuaders, which is currently setting the ether ablaze (and which you can order now on Amazon). He will continue to relentlessly promote the crap out of it until you are forced to stab yourself in the eyes with knitting needles.

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