Favorite Posts of the Week: Target at Times Square, Yahoo PPC, and Network Solutions Domain Hijacking

It’s only partly a Minnesota theme this time. What can I say?

First, Target (picture courtesy of this Flickr photo of a 20 x 20 ad at Times Square):
Target Ad at Times Square

Jason DeRusha covered the story as this snow angel ad winds up being dedicated to promote winter active wear. Some didn’t see this as a snow angel, but more of a girl’s crotch on Target’s bullseye at Times Square.

Amy Jussel and Lisa Ray from Parents for Ethical Marketing (from the Twin Cites) definitely have something to say. My first impression wasn’t that it was a “spread eagle” pose, but can definitely understand that others took it that way.

This is a debate in itself, but Ed Kohler gives some good input regarding this. It’s a very informative post, yet provides so much laughter it will make you cry (scroll down to see his own Target ads).


PPC Advertising – the Yahoo Search Marketing blog provides the three biggest mistakes regarding using their search marketing (PPC) platform. The three mistakes they list are:

1) The Rank Amateur Error
2) The Traffic Report Error
3) The 24/7 Sales Pitch Error

The bottom line is to track your conversions and to make sure your site is worthy of it.


Thinking of checking out domains to buy? Don’t do it with Network Solutions.

Bill Hartzer shows how Network Solutions automatically registers domains after you search for one to buy. Then, they get to sell it to you for a premium. Pretty sweet.

Example, I just checked out pauljahnsucks.com at Network Solutions:

I suck?

I’ll check the same availability on GoDaddy now:

Domain taken - 30 seconds later

Go figure. 30 seconds later, it’s now unavailable.

add to YahooMyWeb add to del.icio.us


4 Responses to Favorite Posts of the Week: Target at Times Square, Yahoo PPC, and Network Solutions Domain Hijacking

  1. Amy Jussel with Shaping Youth, of the S.F. Bay area here (thank gawd I don’t live in the Twin Cities w/this absurd brouhaha; poor Lisa Ray in Mn., judging from the wacko-factor backlash I’m getting out here on the coast!)

    Guess it’s getting the microlens because of the mildness of the ad in comparative context, but hey, they never offered ‘context’ because they wouldn’t return the freakin’ call to comment!

    Frankly this is a ‘non-story’ for the positive social change work we’re doing here at ShapingYouth…we’ve covered blatant instances of ‘sexualized ad slop’ (media loves that line for some reason) so this one pales by comparison.

    The only ‘news’ here is the normalization of objectification via a family firm, mega-retailer who then dissed ‘non-traditional media’ when I called to fact-check their motivation, and see if they were playing the ‘feign cluelessness but be as crass/clever as you can’ advertising card.

    I wish the ‘mainstream media’ & blogosphere would either elevate the dialog to a much larger context of objectification/ambient advertising and the impact on pop culture, or bury it in the circular file of corporate idiocy and customer service blunders to learn from.

    As it is, ‘tarzshay’ could easily inspire copycat corps to mirror the tactics of free press controversy as an ad strategy.

    Out of thousands of our posted topics (using the power of media for positive change, Twitter fundraising to send orphans to college in 24 hours, Age of Conversation global social media raising $11K for children’s charity) worthy media literacy, ecology, nutrition, and global counter-marketing programs for kids, THIS is the blog post that’s pulled for ‘mainstream media’ attention?

    What a shame. What a loss. What a lousy target. sigh.

  2. holly says:

    Target spends so much time working to promote their brand, yet very little time working to fix it. Looking at this issue from an Online Reputation Management view, Target could have done some pretty amazing things by actually holding the conversation online with Lisa. This allows them to give their point of view and shows that they care about what the customer is saying. Avoiding it (or in this case snubbing it) makes them appear to be false in all of their “family-Friendly” claims.

    There are numerous examples of companies who have answered their customers pleas instead of avoiding them and had it work greatly in their favor (Ex: A few years ago Chevrolet held a contest to for consumers to create a commercial for the Tahoe. 90% of the ads created were about how terrible the Tahoe is for the environment. Instead of removing the less than favorable ads, Chevy responded saying that they were working on something to help make the Tahoe more environmentally friendly and appreciated the feedback. They also stated that they offered the Tahoe for people who need room for multiple passengers and did not want a minivan. Green bloggers praise Chevy for this reaction to this day and the Hyprid Tahoe just won Green Car of the year.

    It would have taken the same amount of effort to explain themselves as it would have to say you don’t matter to us you are not our target market. Simple as that.

  3. Paul says:

    Good points, Holly. And it seems like a simple “it’s a snow angel” reply would take seconds. Amy might have wanted more but at least she wouldn’t have been snubbed.

    Amy, too bad to hear about the backlash. Seems rather silly.

    There was a segment regarding the Target ad (I think DeRusha reported on it) on the news last night. I was part online/part watching TV while they were interviewing someone. I’m guessing it was Lisa, but I’m not positive.

  4. Yes, it was Lisa…and alas, people keep mixing us up…(to further confuse things, I guess the reporter was named Amy too…)

    Not that it matters much I suppose, because we’ve both been enduring ranting maniacs disrupting our businesses…but in my case, it’s beyond silly, it’s downright sad, since we’re up for various research grants right now and the scrutiny will no doubt make nervous-nelllie sponsor types opt out based on being tied to this ‘controversy’ that isn’t worth the ink. sigh.

    And people wonder why I’ve kept our org in ‘stealth mode’ for so long…sheesh.

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