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The Ten Lowest Moments in Advertising

AdWeek takes a look back over the past decade at the ten most tasteless, offensive, and humorless ads. Who's tops on the list? Calvin Klein for its 1995 spot that featured pre-tens in underwear that bordered on kiddy porn. Other companies making the list include Nike, Kenneth Cole, Benetton, Midas, Toyota, and Sony. Check it out here.
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by Steve Hall    Jun-12-03    




Is Integration Dead?

For years, even in the face of media unbundling, the advertising industry has been selling the notion of the one-stop-shop integrated approach to handling a client's advertising business. However, a new study out by Ballester Consulting states 81% of advertisers ackowledge their agency's integrated serices but prefer to unbundle their business to best of breed experts.

Also, "only" 43% of those surveyed felt an agency's integrated services are "very important". [via Ad Age]
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by Steve Hall    Jun-11-03    




Radar Magazine Launches Second Issue and Trolls For Advertisers

Will Leitch, managing editor of Black Table interviews Maer Roshan, publisher of the new Radar Magazine. Roshan discusses the explosion of publicity surrounding the magazine's launch, his editorial approach, where Tina went wrong with 'Talk', his readers, and most importantly, that Elizabeth Spiers (I now know that's "spy-ers", not "speers" as in Britney...sorry I had it wrong, Elizabeth) of Gawker will become a regular contributor. Now, that alone is worth reading every issue of Radar! Excerpt:

Black Table: You were recently in Milan, "trolling for advertisers," as you said. Are you still fundraising? Who you going after? Do you have a magic number of cash you're trying to raise? We've heard Harvey Weinstein is an investor. Is that true? If it is, dude, what's with his skin?

Maer Roshan: I trolled pretty successfully, I guess. We came home with lots of new advertisers, and we're continuing to make steady progress on fundraising as well. In our first round we raised more than $1.5 million, at a time when squeezing money out of investors was as difficult as finding a three-syllable word in Lucky. We estimate that we'll need $10 million or so to take the magazine to profitability. It certainly won't be easy, but our launch issue was very successful, and the economy seems finally to be going our way, and there are lots of smart people helping out and lots of interest from intriguing quarters, so I'm feeling pretty confident. But who is this Harvey you speak of?
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by Steve Hall    Jun-11-03    




ReplayTV Removes Ad Skipping Feature

Under pressure to survive after emerging from bankruptcy, ReplayTV has decided to bow to the wims of big media. In their latest version of the personal video recorder, the ad skipping and send a program to a friend features will be removed.

But, will they really be removed or just "turned off" and how long before a hack is circulating around the web that will again enable the ad skipping function as there now is for TiVo? [via NYT (sub req)]
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by Steve Hall    Jun-11-03    




The Frustrated Art Director

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by Steve Hall    Jun-11-03    




Ads on Eggshells

No, this isn't the industry walking on eggshells. That's not possible. Advertising is too bold for that. It plows its way on to any open space that has any possibility of being seen by consumer. Now eggs are an advertising medium. I don't know when this company was founded but they will place your ad campaign right on an eggshell for you.

Just think, you can reach the bleary eyed consumer early in the morning with your commercial message. Perfect place for an orange juice company if you ask me.

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by Steve Hall    Jun-11-03    




Madonna and Missy Elliot Team Up For the Gap

Word is out. Actually it was out Monday. I'm just slow this week. Madonna and Missy Elliot have signed with The Gap to be featured in an upcoming ad campaign. Of course, there's no word yet on how much Madonna and and Elliot will be paid for their services.


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by Steve Hall    Jun-10-03    




The Coors Twins Are Back

Even though Elaine and Diane Klimaszewski, known as the Coors Twins, have not moved the sales needle in past campaigns, they will be back for another set of television commercials this Summer. In a sort of "climactic" crescendo, both Miller and Coors will have sexy babes in bikinis trying to sell beer.

Miller has the CatFight campaign and Coors is launching a campaign called "Rock On" that includes a spot called "Love Songs Summer" featuring the twins in bikinis surrounded by the usual Summer fare.. The campaign was created by Interpublic Group's Foote, Cone & Belding.

More from the New York Times (Sub Required)


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by Steve Hall    Jun-10-03    




Aggregation, Fragmentation and Weblogs

The media industry has been in a continual state of fragmentation for many years. This is generally a good thing in that it provides consumers with content that is specific to their interests. Fragmentation can, however, be very daunting to the consumer to actually find what they are looking for.

The flipside of fragmentation is aggregation. And aggregation is a powerful business benefit of weblogs. Weblogs are very focused in content and to provide that content, the author of the blog casts a wide net across all possible sources of that particular area of focus and aggregates all relevant content into the blog. This makes for easy, "one stop shop" access to particular areas of focus. And in an ever fragmenting media world, that is a good thing.

If you are marketing to specific audiences with a specific demographic profile and specific areas of interest, consider launching an "aggregation" weblog and deliver only the content that is of interest to that audience.


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by Steve Hall    Jun-10-03    




What is a Weblog? Why We Should Care

I just came home from a Jupiter seminar on weblogs. Specifically, their application to the business world. Like anything new and leading edge, the seminar was filled with "classic" or early adopter bloggers including Dave Winer, Doc Searls, and Dave Weinberger. Pictures (by Dan Bricklin) here.The purpose of the seminar was to get to the heart of how blogs can and are fitting into the world of business. How are they being commercialized? Should they be commercialized? Do they threaten mainstream media? And why do they matter in the first place? Many interesting and intriguing discussions surrounded these topics but none was more volatile and, dare I say, hostile, than one of the keynote speeches given by Tony Perkins, creator and founder of AlwaysOn and former editor in chief the now defunct Red Herring. Perkins claims AlwaysOn in a "super-blog" and described it as a "participatory journalism". He was the antithesis of the "classic" bloggers and represented the "commercialization" side of weblogs.

The usual argument ensued between those in the "classic" camp" and those in the "commercialization" camp. Perkins pleaded with the group for support in defining a blog but the group bit back claiming Perkins has already mis-represented what a blog is in interview with mainstream media. Here's the problem. The "blogoshere", which is the word used to refer to world of weblogs, has been around and has evolved into something fairly well defined. Some would debate that but among bloggers, there's a pretty good understanding of what a blog is. Adrants is a weblog if your were curious. "Classic" bloggers claimed the definition of a blog is being blurred by Perkins because he's not a blogger, he doesn't "get it", and he's describing his new endeavor as a blog when, by definition, it is not a blog.

Now, it's fine if he wants to go out and launch a company that is "based on" the tenets of a blog but to say that he has launched a "commercial" entity that is a blog is clearly wrong and may stunt the potential of weblogs as a business medium

Anytime an entrepreneur grabs onto something and takes it commercial, there are always going to be changes to the "purity" of the underlying platform used to take that entity to commercialism. There's a "dirtyness" to it. But that doesn't always have to be a bad thing. It just needs to be clearly defined for what it is. And Perkins definition of AlwaysOn is not correct. It's not a blog. It's BASED ON blog tenets but it's not a blog. Dave Weinberger states the problem quite well in a post to his blog from the conference:


Now we're fighting again over Tony's (Perkins) use/coopting of the word. The crowd is generally tired of the topic. I'm not, although this is no longer the right place to pursue it. For me, the issue is that we � the Blogosphere � have built something special, post by post, day by day. Tony is misappropriating our work for his own purposes. I have nothing against his purposes � I hope AlwaysOnline succeeds � but having him misuse and abuse the term "blog" makes it harder for us to explain what is special about the world we've built together. It harms the growth of blogging. IMO.

More from Jeff Jarvis.
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by Steve Hall    Jun-10-03    




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