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Reality Advertising Cuts Through the Corporate Blather

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!"

by Steve Hall    Aug-20-03    




Slow and Gassy Grandma Reference Causes Complaints, Yields Success

In this week's Ad Age TV Spots of the Week, my own agency's work is featured. RDW Group of Providence Rhode Island created a series of :15's for the Roger Williams Park Zoo. These spots were created by copywriter Wendy Boffi and art director Jeff Dahlberg. Ad Age shows two of the :15's with the first featuring a spitting fish and the second a tortoise. The tortoise, of course, is given the "slow and gassy grandma" analogy.

The gassy grandma spot was so "successful" the Zoo received complaints saying today's grandmothers are not slow and gassy, they are cool and hip. People asked that the spot be pulled. To which we said, it's a joke, get over it. Besides, the campaign's run is complete so you're out of luck.

Other spots this week include a pre-movie commercial from another agency I worked for, Leo Burnett, featuring a Quasimodo-like character for Keebler's Cheez-It; a boring car commercial for the Nissan Z; and a dude with body odor so bad he knocks over the foosball figures for Right Guard.

by Steve Hall    Aug-19-03    




Marketing Food 'Body Sushi' Style

Old trend but fun: 'Erotic Sushi' Bar Serves Up Tantalizing Treats

by Steve Hall    Aug-19-03    




Alicia Silverstone to Star in NBC Series, Strict Wardrobe Requirements

Alicia Silverstone will make her television debut in a new NBC series this Fall called "Miss Match". In the series, she plays a lawyer who ends up becoming a matchmaker to her clients. Silverstone is a Vegan and as part of her contract with NBC, she will not wear wool, leather or silk which poses challenges to Roberta Haze, the show's designer.

This list of items Silverstone will not wear is long, however, she will wear old leather shoes since they were made a long time ago and are, according to her, grandfathered from current animal rights offenses. Convenient thinking.

by Steve Hall    Aug-19-03    




Virgin Mobile Spoofs Orange in Viral Campaign

England's Virgin Mobile launched a viral campaign, called Red Academy, that spoofs competing mobile service provider, Orange. Orange had recently run a campaign extolling the virtues of the company's phone trainers who educate users about Orange's extended digital phone features. The Virgin campaign pokes fun, stating that people don't really need all those digital bells and whistles - less a set a trainers - since phones are really for calling people.

This is another in the ongoing battle between the two mobile phone giants and is representative of the type of head-to-head comparative advertising that is sorely lacking among many companies. European companies, in particular, often have to avoid direct comparisons to conform to local ad laws. The campaign was created by Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R and was seeded and tracked by DMC.

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by Steve Hall    Aug-19-03    




Vote for the Sexiest Female Blogger

Completely unrelated to advertising is this poll for The Sexiest Female Blogger. Matt Moore of The Blog of the Century of the Week (yes, that is the name) is running the poll. Strangely, most of these female bloggers do not have pictures so how are we to vote effectively? Should we determine how "sexy" their writing is? Yea, yea, being sexy isn't all about looks but it's a pretty big part.

Anyway, I've cast my vote for the Madpony Sisters and have provided you with some visual inspiration for you to do so as well. More pics here and here and here and here.

Vote here.


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by Steve Hall    Aug-18-03    




Brooks Brothers Launches New Ad Campaign

Struggling clothier, Brooks Brothers is launching a new $6 million fall print campaign featuring images of 16 urban landmarks such as the Washington Monument, the Brooklyn Bridge, and the Capital. In front of these images will be classically dressed models in the usual Brooks Brothers garb with taglines such as, "Before there was the Brooklyn Bridge, there was Brooks Brothers."

Ads will appear in Vanity Fair, Architectural Digest and Departures. Transit posters will be placed throughout New York Grand Central Station and Wall Street subway station. Washington D.C will also receive coverage.

The campaign is handled in-house under the direction of Claudio Del Vecchio who bought the business in November 2001 from British retailer Mark and Spencer.
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by Steve Hall    Aug-18-03    




Small Dog Electronics Spoofs Bravo's Queer Eye

Waitsfield, Vermont-based Apple retailer, Small Dog Electronics has spoofed Bravo's Queer Eye For The Straight Guy.
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by Steve Hall    Aug-18-03    




Networks Fight Over Britney Spears Appearance

First NBC had her, now ABC does. Apparently, Britney has backed out of a an NBC 'Dateline' exclusive interview with Maria Shriver and opted instead to appear in a prime time holiday season special on ABC including a November 13 interview with Diane Sawyer.

"ABC pulled out all the stops for Britney. They see it as a war with NBC, and they want to win. ABC promised Britney her own special, plugs on 'Good Morning America' and 'Entertainment Tonight' and nonstop coverage of her new album, 'Britney,' " a New York Post source reports.
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by Steve Hall    Aug-18-03    




Apple Switch Campaign Says Macs Are Better For Porn

This spoof of the famous Apple Switch campaign claims Macs are better for collecting porn
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by Steve Hall    Aug-15-03    




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