Porn star Jenna Jameson has graced one of Times Square's displays this week with an ad that is sure to cause comment. She's up there promoting her web site and her production company.
The 48-foot high, 32-foot wide billboard faces Broadway between 47th and 48th streets. An eight-foot side panel announces, "See Jenna Now" with an invitation to visit her on the Internet at ClubJenna and to promote the studio that distributes her films, Vivid Entertainment Group. The current visual will be on display for three months and then will be replaced by a new slogan and sexy photo of Ms Jameson.
The billboard is owned by Artkraft Strauss of New York City and has been co-leased by Ms Jameson's company, ClubJenna, Inc. and the studio that distributes her films, Vivid Entertainment Group.
Listen closely and you can already hear the conservative groups whine about this one.
Three years ago, Coke, in an effort to persuade Burger King to run a national promotion for its Frozen Coke product, gave a consultant $9,000 pass out in Richmond, VA to clubs an non-profits telling them it was to buy value meals if the kids finished their homework.
While this was happening in the background, Burger King ran a two week test campaign offering a coupon for the Frozen Coke to test its appeal prior to national roll out. The catch to redeem the coupon? You had to buy a value meal.
Apparently the scheme was cooked up by two mid-level Coke managers without the knowledge of top executive. Plausible deniability, of course. This just illustrated the lengths to which some marketers will go to insure the achieve a bigger slice of the pie.
What you see in ads is not always what was originally photographed. Photoshop and other photo altering tools are used to a greater degree now to acheive sometimes un-lifelike results. Original and then re-touched:
See more here.
Reality advertising is a trend in the making. Some corporations are beginning to think using an ad agency might not be the best way to create an ad campaign. Ringo.com, a networking site like Friendster and Ryze have put out an RFP to members of Fark, a community weblog, asking Farkers to create an ad campaign for the company. Ringo is offering a $1,000 prize to the winning entry.
In essense, the method is somewhat close to a testimonial in giving the creative a very "real" sound, yet doesn't require the simplistic I'm-a-believer format. Either this is a cultural blip, like flash mobs, or it's a sign of things to come. As most advertising is stale, exuding no real personality, this may be the industry's natural reaction. Especially in cases where dumbed-down ads result from the analysis paralysis created between client and agency, this is one way of routing around the problem.
On Up2Speed, Rick Bruner commented on an iMedia article on how Coke and Visa were asking real people to script ads. Perhaps Ringo will end up with some great ads and reality advertising will move from trend to practice. But, if Ringo ends up with a bunch of cruddy submissions, it might be forced to turn to flash mobs.
Already the submissions are coming in. Foxyg offers this tagline to Ringo: "Ringo -- It's like a circle jerk... without the jerk!"