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I'm Gonna Miss Those Bare Midriffs...

Britney backlash? New crop of teen pop queens reject sex-symbol status.

Since Britney Spears arrived on the music scene three years ago, pop music has molded its teen queens according to three Bs -- blondness, beauty and bustiers.

But a new crop of female singer-songwriters is challenging the notion that you have to bare your navel and cavort in tight clothes to be sexy and successful in pop music. Over the last year, Michelle Branch, Vanessa Carlton and Avril Lavigne have been dominating the charts by putting more of the focus on their music.

From boston.com


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by Steve Hall    Jul-26-02    




Don't You Love the Web!

Boston.com / Education Yale accuses Princeton of Web prying.

WASHINGTON - Yale University officials yesterday called on the FBI to investigate unauthorized snooping by members of Princeton University's admissions staff at a Web site Yale set up to inform applicants if they had been admitted to the Ivy League school.

From Boston.com
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by Steve Hall    Jul-26-02    




Responsibility to My Creditors? Who Are You Kidding?


So this is what fiscal responsibility is all about today...

�Chapter 11 enables us to create the greatest possible value for our creditors, preserve jobs for our employees, continue to deliver top-quality service to our customers and maintain our role in America's national security," said John Sidgmore, president and chief executive officer of WorldCom, in a statement following the company�s chapter 11 filing.

So now it's about "creating value" for those owed money buy WorldCom? Creating value? They don't want value, they want their money!

This all sounds strikingly familiar to a client presentation by a clueless agency wind bag to an unsuspecting client:

"This new brand essence will enable you to create the greatest possible value to your target audience, preserve your current customer base, continue to deliver top-quality service to your customers and maintain your role as the leading provider of bullshit in your market space"

Not far off from reality is is?


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by Steve Hall    Jul-26-02    




THIS is scary shit!

BBC NEWS | Science/Nature | Space rock 'on collision course'

And we all thought Armegeddon and Deep Impact were just movies...


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by Steve Hall    Jul-25-02    




Oh...and to Get More Hits on This Blog...

From DM News May 20, 2002

"Abercrombie and Fitch defends its carrying of thong underwear in children's sizes from criticism by parents, a spokesman said. An Associated Press story Friday quoted parents accusing the New Albany, OH, cataloger of being "Fredrick's of Hollywood for pre-teens and teen-agers." However, A&F spokesman Hampton Carney said the products have not generated significant numbers of complaints.
The thong underwear comes in sizes for ages 10 to 14 and does not come in small sizes, he said. "It's just a fun fashion accessory," Carney said. "It's been very well received by our customers."

Abercrombie & Fitch has a history of controversy with its products and catalogs. In April, it removed a line of T-shirts and apologized after Asian groups claimed the products reinforced negative stereotypes. In June 2001, A&F fended off calls by the lieutenant governor of Illinois to boycott the company to protest sexual content in one of its magalogs."


You have to wonder if it's the marketing perverts or market demand that drives stuff like this. Hey, I'm all for thongs but I don't want to be caught leering at a girl in a thong only to find out she's 10!


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by Steve Hall    Jul-25-02    




Worth Repeating

Finally, we can ditch all that "edgy" and overly "cool" creative that basically just took up space and time with not much additional benefit.

Guess what? Kids are smarter! Bring on the No Bullshit approach. Ads that actually mention and describe what the product is. Good God, not in the advertising world! We can NEVER be too upfront about what we're selling. It might be too boring! Well, time to change. Yup, according to a survey done by YouthStream Media Networks as reported in Media Post, the next generation wants a practical, no nonsense approach to marketing. Check out these stats:

- Students rated practical advertising messages as "extremely" or "very" important, with "honesty" (90%), "product information" (86%) and "description of actual pricing" (71%) getting the strongest responses.

- The more superficial issues traditionally considered vital to this demographic group received far fewer positive ratings, with "celebrity endorsements/models" (6%), "irreverence" (14%) and "coolness/edginess" (31%) among the least favored qualities.

- When it came to personal finances, 47% said they are "more likely" to save money in the current economic climate, and 31% are "more likely" to put off major purchases.

- When students were asked how they would use a hypothetical $10,000 gift, the most popular response was "pay off credit card debt or student loans" (36%), followed by "put it in the bank" (26%).

Oh, and don't worry, I still believe in building a brand :-)


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by Steve Hall    Jul-25-02    




At Last...Some Good News About Online Media

Some good news about the online advertising world to counter yesterday's grim look :-)

Marsha Geller of MediaPost discusses a study done by DoubleClick stating that the top three Internet sites deliver more reach then the top three broadcast outlets.

************************************************************
Just an Online Minute... Thursday, July 25, 2002
************************************************************
While the most exciting topic of conversation this week may
be the blurred line between online content and advertising,
DoubleClick released the results of its Cross Media Reach
Study earlier this week, which are much more valuable.
Click below to read the rest of Just an Online Minute...
http://www.mediapost.com/eNewsletters.cfm?Nid=1882&s=163021

************************************************************
Comments? Questions? Email me at masha@mediapost.com.
************************************************************

Masha E. Geller
Editor in Chief
MediaPost Communications
masha@mediapost.com
www.mediapost.com

Now that's news I like to read about!


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by Steve Hall    Jul-25-02    




Online Headaches

It's no wonder that there are so many dissenters of the online media. The two previous posts are only a micro tip of the iceberg that is the complexity of the online marketing world.

I once heard a little factoid that stated: For a new product (or anything for that matter) to succeed, it must be 10 times more simple then it's previous version.

Keeping that little tidbit in mind, turn your thoughts to the online advertising medium. 10 times easier? How about 100 times more difficult! Oh yea, you can micro measure it to death but we are years away from that being a simplistic process. We create this complexity ourselves. There are just too many choices out there for user and advertiser.

The beautiful thing about this medium is that it will self-correct. It always has, it always will. The Internet will be what users want it to be or they simply won't use it.

So here is the solution: Simplify, don't stupefy.

Oh, and here's another theory. If you all saw the movie, A Beautiful Mind, one of Nash's theories had to do with viewing the solution to a problem more widely then what might be the most desireable solution. Take the scene of him and his college buddies in a bar. Four girls walk in. They all of course want the most beautiful girl. But....what happens if that is the course of events? The possibilities of success for all involved greatly diminish if it simply becomes a game of may the best man win.

That is what is happening online. Advertisers are getting aggressive with tactics (Sony's so called online advertising campaign, pop ups, pop unders, Shoskeles, etc.) and publishers are accepting it. Users are simply getting frustrated and mad. The whole experience becomes a lobor and not a joy. People will put up with barriers only for so long before they move on to the next thing. Few may win in the current mode of operation, but many more could if we adhered to the basic principles of the Nash Equilibrium.


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by Steve Hall    Jul-24-02    




The Law Of 3... Or Why Are Things Still So Complex?

We just can not seem to define this interactive medium we all love to hate or love to love. Read Cory Treffiletti's article and then you try to define it!

************************************************************
The Online Spin - Wednesday, July 24, 2002
The Law Of 3� Or Why Are Things Still So Complex?
by Cory Treffiletti
************************************************************

Here is an exercise that I think it would behoove each of us
to undertake� Put down that piece of paper and stop typing
for a moment. Please take a deep breath and then explain in 3
sentences or less what is interactive advertising?

What do you think? Read the rest of the Spin and
post your comments at:
http://www.mediapost.com/eNewsletters.cfm?Nid=1874

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by Steve Hall    Jul-24-02    




Let's Get Analytical

In Jeremy Lockhorn's article on ClickZ entitled, Let's Get Analytical, he condems the CTR (as we would all agree) and rightly offers some back end measurement techniques we should all employ when considering an online campaign.

If we are to be serious about the medium, we must be serious enough to pony up to the available metrics in which to gauge the success of a campaign. The online medium has been much maligned over the years as not living up to it's promise. No wonder, as it has yet to meet that promise. This can change though. It will take a LOT of work as the measurfements can get very technical causing serious data overload. We just need to take those extra steps if we ever want this medium to survive.


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by Steve Hall    Jul-24-02    




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