Busblog writer Tony Pierce puts forth the idea of the sponsorable photo essay. A photo essay, one of the things Tony is famous for, is composed of several sequential pictures with commentary that form a story line. You can check out some examples here and here and here and here and here.
Tony advocates the sponsorship of photo essays through the use of banners, text ads and full screen ads. I say take it further and create a well crafted photo essay that embeds (product placement/brand integration) the advertiser in the photo essay itself. Just as online viral ads have been successful so could well thought out photo essays. Smart marketers should try it. Better yet, smart bloggers should try it, find sponsors and get paid.
Absolving themselves of responsibility, a recent study by Reveries concluded that one half of marketers place the blame for America's fatness squarely on the shoulders of consumers themselves. While the slanted survey in the sense that no marketer really wants to admit their fat-filled cream puff could ever make a consumer fat, it is refreshing to see blame placed where it should be. No one is shoving Big Macs down consumers throats. Consumers do it themselves. Yes, the marketing engine is very loud and the fact that no one cooks anymore both contribute to the expanding waistline of America.
The facts are simple. Coffee is hot and it will burn you so don't sue a company because they make hot coffee. Food with a lot of calories will make you gain wait so don't eat a lot of calories if you don't want to be fat. Is it really that hard for people to take responsibility for their own lives? Do we need to sue each other all the time for idiotic reasons? Use your head. That's what it's for.
Jim Meskauskas writes a thoughtful piece on MediaPost countering the irrational fear among the ad community of TiVo-like technology's ability to skip ads. The point he drives home is that most people are scared of technology and too lazy to take the effort to put PVR technology to use. He likens it to the scare advertisers experienced when the VCR was introduced. Well, the VCR is still flashing 12:00 and is not being used to record TV shows and skip the ads as was originally foreseen. He claims there is too much importance being placed on the early adopters of PVR technology.
"Do studies show that current PVR households skip vast quantities of ads? Sure. Are current PVR households actual vectors of 'time shifting' within the television-watching time-space continuum? Certainly. Are PVR households representative of the rest of the human race and indicative of a trend? Highly unlikely. Saying that current PVR households are ad skipping time-shifters and they set the pace for the rest of the world is like saying that astronomers who have telescopes in their house do more star-gazing and so therefore star-gazing is going to be the next big thing."
Middle America is where its at when it comes to determining what's really going on and most of middle America has not even heard of TiVo. Advertisers can breath a sigh of relief for the time being and go back to placing their :30's.
A FOX owned billboard across from CNN center tells Connie Chung that CNN needs her back as her replacement, Paula Zahn is doing even worse than Connie did. Furthering the pun, FOX news spokeswoman Irena Briganti said, "We thought this would lift the morale and bring a few smiles to the faces of the CNN staffers in Atlanta."
CNN, of course, did not comment.
Coke has launched its first long form advertainment program on TiVo's Sound Check, and area filled with video and music content. This is the first of what is sure to be many more advertisements that attempt to be entertaining - so much so that they are sought out by viewers as if they were actual programs.
The video features Sting, Mary J. Blige, Ashanti (Yum! Oh, sorry) and Leona Ness in interviews, recording sessions and performances.
French Thong Campaign Gets Rise From Ad Body
Thongs are on the front page again. France's advertising industry watchdog, hardly a paragon of political correctness, yesterday took the exceptional step of asking a leading underwear manufacturer to yank a nationwide poster campaign for thongs because it was deemed degrading to women.
The Advertisement Verification Bureau (BVP) demanded that Sloggi take down a poster showing three young women writhing in minuscule, multicoloured G-strings as if poledancing in a strip club, saying the campaign, which has drawn complaints from across Europe, was unacceptably sexist and not in keeping with a recent drive by the industry to clean up its act. The BVP is made up of agency representatives and big advertisers and can request all it wants but it has no enforceable authority. There is concern in the French advertising community though that there will be call for enforceable government regulation if the recommendations of the BVP are not heeded.
Further outcry surrounds one of the boards placement near a highschool. There is a debate raging across the country regarding the proliferation of thong wearing highschool girls and that the racy attire is overly tempting to potential child abusers as well as its further streotyping women as sex objects.
Concern Over Thong Wearing Highschool Girls
"Many headteachers have banned the accessory altogether, which is a very good thing," said former Education Minister, Segolene Royale, a mother of four. "As far as boys are concerned, the string reduces young women to little more than their bottoms. Bodies are being exposed like vulgar merchandise. We shouldn't be surprised if girls are being sexually harassed or subjected to sexual violence."
As hot as thongs are to look at, their causing guys to rise up in the middle of class may not be the best thing for the educational process. Triumph, manufacturer of Sloggi thongs, has so far refused to take down the campaign.
A similar Sloggi campaign in England last Summer also casued a stir.
The FCC has ruled U2 singer Bono's utterance of the phrase "fucking brilliant" on live television following the band's Golden Globe win in January, to be an acceptable and "fucking brilliant" use of the word. Given the context of the statement and that it "did not describe sexual or excretory organs or activities," the FCC was cool with the singer's "fucking brilliant" outburst. Conversely, the Parents Television Council did not think is was "fucking brilliant" for the FCC to make the "fucking brilliant" ruling that saying "fucking brilliant" was, in fact, a "fucking brilliant" thing for Bono to say.
In a MediaLife article, Jeff Bercovici says soon-to-be-sold New York Magazines needs a swift kick in the ass as it has become "dull and formulaic." Once "hip and influential" the magazine has become "stale and boring by focusing on by-the-numbers service journalism to the exclusion of weightier reporting and commentary."
A Former New York editor blames much of the downward spiral on former Primedia chairman Tom Rogers saying, "Tom Rogers pretty much micromanaged the editorial of that magazine. What he didn't get was that the reason service works there is that there's an assumption on the part of readers that the people producing it are hip and in the know. But if you only do service, it's going to lose that quality."
New York Magazine's yet-to-be-determined buyer will have some serious work do to following the acquisition for the magazine to regain its once illustrious perch.
Canadian born pseudo country singer Shania Twain along with Jim Belushi, Denis Leary, Keifer Sutherland and Cuba Gooding, Jr. will be part of a new campaign launching today to raise awareness of the NHL. The tagline of the new campaign, "Get It?" , will complete the commercials which show footage and explain the game in layman's terms. Spots will air on ESPN, ABC in the U.S. and on CBC and TSN in Canada.
Shannen Does Comedy
TV actress Shannen Doherty, who has been dogged by a so-called "bad girl" image for years, is looking to make her first foray into comedy. The former "Beverly Hills, 90210" and "Charmed" star has inked a deal to headline a show about a young woman who is stuck with a reputation of being headstrong and nasty but is nice and fragile at heart. Hmm...sounds familiar. The show will be produced by Pariah TV for NBC.
Doherty's persona on the Fox hit "90210" in the early 1990s blended with her highly publicized offscreen exploits and reports of clashes on the set. She exited the WB's supernatural drama "Charmed" in 2001 after a couple of seasons amid reports of difficulties with her co-stars.
The only comedic experience Doherty has had to date was during a guest appearance on "The Ortegas," also produced by Pariah. Doherty is currently host of the ridiculous Sci Fi Channel's hidden-camera series "Scare Tactics." Here's hoping she does well with comedy.