With integrated product placement and traditional :30 advertising, Home Depot has made an agreement with Lifetime to sponsor its new reality series, "Merge." The hour long show will follow a couple as they move in together and merge their belongings. The series will premiere Friday at 8PM then settle into its regular time slot at 11P on Fridays. Lisa Rinna of soap opera and "Melrose Place" fame will host.
Here's hoping this is not another Nick and Jessica disaster.
Scotch Hopes For Comback
Bailing on recent efforts, Chivas Regal and Johnnie Walker are back with new ad campaigns. The new campaign have shifted away from selling the scotch category to promoting the individual scotch brands. Sales of scotch have been in decline but there are signs of an upswing and the two marketers hope to capitalize on that.
There's Only So Much I Can Give
Mothers Against Genetic Engineering in Food and the Environment (MAdGE) launched a billboard campaign in Auckland that shows a four-breasted woman hooked up to a GE branded milking machine. The campaign calls attention to the practice of genetically engineering cows to deliver more and different kinds of milk.
"New Zealanders are allowing a handful of corporate scientists and ill-informed politicians to make decisions on the ethics of GE. Our largest science company, AgResearch, is currently putting human genes into cows in the hope of creating new designer milks. The ethics of such experiments have not even been discussed by the wider public. How far will we allow them to go? Where is the line in the sand? Why is the government lifting the moratorium on GE when we have not even had a public debate on ethics?" said Alannah Currie Madge founder and billboard designer. Thanks to Adland for the link. View larger image here.
New York Magazine's New Weblog
Today marks the ascent of Elizabeth Spiers into the world of corporate blogging. OK, it's not as bad as it sounds. Really, it's a good thing. Spiers, formerly editor and voice of snark for New York's Gawker - a "mix of media, gossip, entertainment, fashion, and real estate snippets", has launched The Kicker, a weblog for New York Magazine. The Kicker will deliver "news and commentary about the people, trends, and events that define New York culture."
On this first day, Spiers is already taking about culturally important items such as Tina Brown on turning blond for TV, Paper Magazine's single minded reliance on Chloe Sevigny for content, the demise of parties at Details Magazine and why she left Gawker for The Kicker: office supplies and Lexis-Nexis.
That Hooker Meant Nothing
Whether they are together, split or secretly married, Jen may not want to watch Ben in this U.K commercial for L'Oreal Elvive Vita Max shampoo. In the spot, BenLo puts on his typical "aw shucks" smug face and says, "This is a very dangerous job...for my hair" while he commences take after take of facial suckage with a J-Lo look-alike.
It's better than Gigli. Really.
In today's MediaPost Real Media Riffs, the theory is put forth that Bon Brennan may have left his management post at Leo Burnett to return to his media roots. Perhaps after appropriate non-compete periods, Brennan will return as a force in the media world. I don't doubt it. I worked for him as a Starcom media director for two seconds during Leo Burnett's acquisition of technology focused TFA during the dot com hey day.
He's a smart, forward thinking guy whom some people say can be somewhat intimidating. I saw none of that intimidating personality as Bob welcomed my outsiderish self into the Starcom media director family making sure I was aware of Chicago happenings while stationed in Boston. Along with Jack Klues, Bob built Starcom into the media force it is today. There's no reason why this man could not do the same thing again. I wish him well.
I'm Cool. Really, I Am
The sex-laden lad magazine category that includes Maxim and Stuff has been getting all the press lately but there is another category of magazines worth exploring if you are interested in reaching the 18-24 year old demo. It's a category of magazines focusing on the "trend conscious outsider" who's living the hip urban lifestyle and yearning for confirmation of their cool factor. These magazines include Anthem, The Fader, Mass Appeal, Vice, While You Were Sleeping, and Tokion. Editorially, they are an eclectic mix of sex bordering on pornography with a bit of politics thrown in for good measure.
Intriguingly, the fact that these magazines exist and claim to cover "cool" makes them uncool. As we all know and as the author of this article points out, once something is deemed cool it is cool no longer and the readers of these magazines are just wanna-be cool hunters.
"The truly cool tend to come from outside this cohort and have no need of political or sexual prescriptions, much less magazines that tell them what they already know."
Moving past the "not cool because it's deemed cool" line of thinking, there's no reason why advertisers shouldn't tap this market. Let's face it, not everyone can be insider-cool. The "insider-cools" define cool yet represent a small number far too insignificant and far too difficult for a marketer to reach. The "wanna be cools" is where the money is at. They take cool and make it a trend. It's where the defining theory of cool becomes a reality that can be monetized.
Cigars For Caesars
In Amy Corr's Mediapost Out to Launch column this week, several new campaign launches are reviewed including a campaign to promote Caesars Palace featuring Cigars, blackjack and a group of babes enjoying a night out together.
Other campaigns this week include a Kellog campaign promoting Nutri-Grain Granola Bars with a mock marathon, a campaign for Subway featuring a dude in a cheerleading out fit, Timex's launch of its new tagline, "Life is Ticking," Computer Associates promoting its management software and PSAs from the AdCouncil for Give Kids the World promoting trips to Florida.
Brennan Leaves Burnett
Bob Brennan will leave Leo Burnett as President. Brennan had been at the post for three years after having held other management possitions at the Chicago-based ad agency. Burnett Chariman and CEO Linda Wolf will fill Brennan's role temporarily.
The agency has undergone many changes in the last few years having consolidated under the Bcom3 umbrella followed by the aquisition by Publicis. Brennan had been with Leo Burnett since 1982 holding positions in media and rising to CEO of Starcom/Mediavest prior to leaving media and taking the agency president position.
The practice of product placement whereby an advertiser secures a position within the content of a television show or movie has come under fire from Commercial Alert, a Portland, Oregon based consumer watchdog group founded by Ralph Nadar and Gary Ruskin. The group has filed a complaint with the FCC claiming marketers and networks that engage in product placement strategies are deceiving the public and has asked that guidelines be established.
The resurgence of product placement, popular in the 50's, is in reaction to the rising costs of commercial television time and declining viewership.