Finalist: Dumbest Commercial of 2014 – Gain Flings – Expert Marketer Tim Burt Critiques

First, the commercial.

What’s the thing you remember the most? The singers?

Were you anticipating when they would appear next?

Yet, that’s not what they want  you to recall when you’re in the store.

They have a (potentially) great product, combining Oxy-Clean and Febreeze with the power of Gain laundry detergent.

But unless you catch the approximately 4 seconds (13%) they devote to that selling point, you’ll miss the point of this commercial completely.

This is a classic example of modern advertising where the “entertainment value” of the ad completely overpowers the selling point.

If I were to ask you in a week when you’re buying laundry detergent at the store what product had the singers, and why you should buy it, I’d be surprised if hardly anyone recalls “Gain Flings.”

Tim Burt


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How Radio And Television Stations Unknowingly Sabotage Their Own Sales – Tim Burt Explains

The formula for advertising success from Don Draper

If you’re a business owner who has been approached by a sales representative from a radio or television station, tell me if this sounds familiar:

You’ve agreed on an advertising schedule, the amount you’re going to pay is settled, and then the discussion turns to the actual commercial.

The radio/t.v. person will say, “let’s create an ad that ‘cuts through the clutter.’”

What they’re really saying is “every other advertisement, and all the non-programming elements on our station is just unwatchable, unlistenable garbage.”

That pits them against every other sales person from that particular company.

Of course it’s not going to be your commercial that is the “clutter”, right?

That’s the “other” guy who is driving away the audience with their terrible advertisement.

When, in fact, if you don’t follow some basic, simple, proven rules, your commercial will become “clutter.”

Those basic rules are (which I’ve covered on this blog extensively):

  • Give the audience one thing to remember about your business
  • Give the audience the one way you want them to contact you
  • Don’t do what’s cute, do what sells.

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How To Use Hypnosis Techniques To Create Mind-Blowing Advertising – Tim Burt And Wendi Friesen free webinar

One of my powerful advertising weapons is using hypnotic techniques in the commercial.

Wendi Friesen is a world-renowned clinical hypnotherapist who has used these same techniques in her own radio ads.

On this free webinar, Wendi will join me to share some devastating tips that you can use in your own advertising, or for your radio and television clients.

Learn powerful hypnotic advertising techniques from world renowned clinical hypnotherapist Wendi Friesen on my free webinar June 25th.

Sign up here:

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Why The Beastie Boys Sued Monster Energy Drink. Marketing Expert Tim Burt Explains

If you’ve attended my “Marketing Intervention” seminars, you may remember the section called “Don’t Get Sued.”

In it, I discuss using copyrighted music illegally in advertising.

If you believe that your business or your client’s business is immune to copyright infringement litigation, then you can stop reading this right now.

PRO TIP: This applies to every business around the world.

The Backstory

The makers of Monster Energy Drink made a video to commemorate their “Ruckus In The Rockies” event.

The real kickers: this video was not a commercial, and only appeared on YouTube.

Monster used three songs from the legendary rap group “The Beastie Boys” in the video, without their permission.

Once word about this got to the Beastie Boys, they were not happy for a few reasons:

  • One of their founding members, Adam Yauch, died in 2012. His will stated that none of the group’s music would be used in advertising.
  • Since The Beastie Boys became famous as a trio, the fact that they’re now a duo means they can no longer release albums or tour – effectively eliminating that money stream.
  • They sued a toymaker “Goldieblox” in 2012 for using one of their songs (“Girls”) without permission in a video, and settled out of court. The Boys have been down this path.

Internal Miscommunication

Here’s a direct quote (bold added):

“Monster claimed that an employee at the company thought permission had been granted.”

Thought permission had been granted?

There is zero excuse for an ad agency or Monster not knowing whether they had permission.

A simple Google search would have turned up the litigation from Goldieblox in 2012.

I’ll See You In Court

In New York City on Thursday, June 5, 2014, the The Beastie Boys” were awarded $1.7 million in their lawsuit against Monster.

That’s $633,333.33 per song illegally used.

We’ll Appeal The Ruling

Attorneys for Monster say they’ll appeal, which they have every right to do.

I hope (and believe) they’ll lose that ruling, too.

As well they should.

Why Did This Happen?

1) Ego.

2) Miscommunication

3) Laziness.

Now the Boys are (deservedly) richer from these three simple mistakes that Monster (or their advertising agency) made – from which there is no excuse.

See how well the “I didn’t know” excuse flies in a courtroom.

The Bottom Line

1) If you don’t know that you can legally use something in your advertising – don’t.

That goes for music, images, the names of other businesses (as a landmark or reference point), etc.

Anything that could have a copyright attached to it.

2) Do your homework. It might just save your wallet, and your company.

Even though I’m not a huge fan of the Beastie Boys music, I cannot applaud loudly, or long enough on their behalf.

Tim Burt

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[video] Toyota’s U.S. Same-Sex T.V. Commercial – Marketing Expert Tim Burt Critiques

First, the ad:

The Good Points

  • “The discounted price was right on the window so there was no negotiation”
  • “Just one person handled everything so it was really fast”
  • “They had the exact car we wanted”

Those are exact quotes from the “buyer” in the driver seat.

Going by just those three points, they are all are very strong selling points (or Unique Selling Proposition – a.k.a. “USP”).

This particular dealer has set themselves up as “one-stop car shopping” without driving all around town or scouring the internet for the best deal.

As for reflecting a “slice of life” (or realism) of the ad, you can certainly empathize with the woman in the car on per pure excitement for buying the new car.

Bonus points for using “unexpectedness” when the other woman opens the front door of the house to see the vehicle. That certainly was a twist.

Needs Serious Improvement

Does the conversation that the woman was having on the phone sound anything like you have ever said in your life?


It sounds as though she’s reading from the car dealer’s brochure or talking points.

However, if she had said that to her spouse directly after she stepped outside, then it would be more realistic.

But the verbiage would have been slightly more believable and not as “sales-ish” if she were talking face-to-face.

I would still have altered the USP points to make it more realistic.

The Fatal Flaw

A friend of mine shared this on Facebook, which is how I was made aware of the ad.

The overriding comments below the video are (paraphrasing) “good for Toyota for making an ad like this.”

The sentiment is about “breaking an advertising barrier” as opposed to the selling of the car itself  – and the dealership.

Remember those three points that I highlighted earlier? They’re pretty strong selling points.

Sadly, what’s being recalled is the tone of the commercial.

Will this will boost the sales of Toyota’s, much less at this particular car dealer in Oakland, California?


But I do give them credit for taking a bold step.

If the stated goal is to bring same-sex couples to their dealership, great.

However, I think their three natural selling points should be strong enough to bring in customers.

Tim Burt

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Motel Six – Twerking spot

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[free webinar] The Six Mistakes That Ruin Radio And Television Commercials

If you own a business that is advertising right now (or about to), or you sell or create commercial advertising, I have a special treat for you.

Learn the 6 deadly mistakes that cost businesses money on this free, no hype, no sales pitch webinar.

It’s May 7th, and you can register for it here.

In fact, I reveal two of them on the video even before you sign up.

Register for the webinar by clicking here.

After you register, you’ll get a PDF CHEAT SHEET that you can save and use for future reference.

Just go here to register!

Tim Burt

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