Thursday, May 19, 2011

Cliffs Natural Resources: The Case of the Bush-League (or Incompetent) Ad Agency.

As an advertising professional, I'm not happy with “lazy.” Especially when you're going to run your campaign as full pages and digital placements in the Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Globe and Mail and other business and trade media across at least four continents.

Read about this new “Together. It Starts Here.” ad campaign for yourself online. In a nutshell, though, it's announcing that Cliffs Natural Resources has completed its immense expenditure in acquiring Consolidated Thompson Iron Mines Limited:

The advertisements feature a dramatic photo of two identical mining trucks, one bearing the Cliffs logo and the other bearing the Consolidated Thompson logo. The advertising campaign is designed to reinforce Cliffs' brand as a growing, dynamic global industrial company supplying raw materials to steelmakers around the world...

Now here's the sloppy part: The trucks are NOT identical, they're the same truck – the same photo of an immense mining dumper that's been flopped – reversed – and incompletely retouched.

Look closely, starting with the backwards image of the badge on the trucks' grills. Even though the company has spent $4.9 billion Canadian dollars on this acquisition, it apparently decided it couldn't stretch to a few hundred C-bucks for its ad agency to get the retouching job done proper. Or maybe this campaign is the production of an in-house marketing unit?

As was said in The Princess Bride: “Boo. Hiss.” Send this outfit back to the bush league where it belongs.

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