About the Steve O Zone

Friday, September 20, 2013

The Long A.A.R.M of Steve O...


Assemblage of 


Musings of an over-caffeinated, slightly ajar yet well-meaning writer/content creator and strategist.

Before I get to today's A.A.R.M., I wanted to make reference to the title. It is merely my very SEO-unfriendly title I use from time to time when I just want to spout off on anything that's on my mind. 


Fans of Seinfeld, of which I am most assuredly one, will instantly recognize the name Jackie Chiles. The Johnnie Cochran-inspired attorney is one of the classic of all the Seinfeld recurring characters.

Well apparently the folks at Jim Beam feel, that despite the show being off the air for 15 years and counting, Jackie Chiles is still relevant and as such can help move product.

Oh sure there's a philanthropic angle to this campaign but Jackie Chiles? Really?

Look don't get me wrong, I love the character and I am as nostalgic as the next guy but why do I get the feeling this is another example of someone at the client (Jim Beam) saying to someone at their agency they're a big Seinfeld fan and how 'bout we do something Seinfeld-related with one of their characters? 

In other words, the client likes Seinfeld. The agency wants to keep the client happy so they concoct an idea whereby they revive Jackie Chiles and thus the client can meet and mingle with someone they've loved, albeit a fictional character just so they can tell everyone they made a commercial with Jackie Chiles.


In keeping with the nostalgia theme the Wisconsin Department of Tourism decided they too wanted to tap into what once was and reached out to local sons the Zucker brothers to create an ad touting the benefits of visiting their great state.

The idea for the ad, cue the nostalgic theme music, is reunite two characters from their classic film, Airplane.

So the Zuckers got back together with their partner Jim Abrahams in Los Angeles recently to begin shooting the commercial which will feature Robert Hays and the legendary Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. 

Here's some stills from the set courtesy of The Business Journal:

This is NOT the first time they've gone to the Airplane well, however, as this spot below which aired earlier this year starred Hays and was directed by David Zucker. 


Anyone who knows me knows that I am a firm believer in the power of social media from a branding, advertising and marketing perspective. 

However from time to time we see the dark side of social media and such was the case not long ago when Facebook inadvertently used the image of a young girl who had hung herself in a Facebook ad for a dating service.

The girl, Rehtaeh Parsons
, hung herself in April as a result of cyberbullying, according the New York Times

The NY Times article reported that the site which used the photo, ionechat.com, "apparently pulled news photos of Ms. Parsons off the Web after reports of her suicide and used them without authorization in the ad. The owner of the site, which has been shut down, told The Toronto Sun that he had used the photo by mistake and wasn’t aware of the girl’s background. Facebook said it had blocked the company from submitting future ads."

In a statement following the removal of the ad in question Facebook said "This is an extremely unfortunate example of an advertiser scraping an image from the Internet and using it in their ad campaign. This is a gross violation of our ad policies and we have removed the ad and permanently deleted the advertiser’s account. We apologize for any harm this has caused.”

Look, there is enough blame to go around here. I realize Facebook has no way of knowing if an otherwise innocuous image someone submits for use in an ad is that of someone who took their own life. 

But something clearly needs to be done to ensure this never happens again.

There's lots of smart people working at Facebook and surely they can come up with a way to prevent this from occurring in the future. 


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