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Pop Ups Live! Microsoft Blocker Defaults to 'Off'

You can hear the primal, celebratory Howard Dean-like scream of advertisers and networks who make their living off of much hated pop up ads. The beta release of Microsoft's service pack 2 for Internet Explorer sets it's pop up blocking feature to "off" by default. This service pack is the first release of what will become the next version of Internet Explorer which, as reported, will have a pop up blocker baked in. Many where hoping the pop up blocker would be on by default.

"The plan for it is to be off by default, although since it's still in beta, we can't say for certain," said a Microsoft spokesperson. "The outcome will be based on user feedback."

A welcome reprieve for some. A dreaded nightmare for others.

by Steve Hall    Jan-26-04    




AdVent: The Dumbest Things Ad People Have Said

Ask Wapling over at Ad Land wants readers to "AdVent." She's looking for the dumbest, funniest and most idiotic things you have ever heard your client or agency say. Have some fun. Recall those crazy meetings. Remember the time you wanted to strangle someone. Do it all here.

by Steve Hall    Jan-26-04    




TiVo: Some Execs Get It, Some Don't

"Worrying about it doesn't take up too much of my day," says NBC Entertainment President Jeffrey A. Zucker. "I know its coming -- and it will be important -- but it's not coming this fall."

That's the mentality of many network executives in the face of the biggest viewing shift to hit television since its inception. It's an insane mentality especially when Yanke Group predicts one in five households will have TiVo-like technology in their homes by 2007.

Expect to see a lot more in-program, on-screen promotion and product placement as the smarter execs start to figure out how to counter attack the TiVo monster.

by Steve Hall    Jan-26-04    




Howard Stern Scares Barbara Walters Into Quitting ABC's 20/20

Although an unlikely reason, the recently reported news story announcing Howard Stern's hosting of a prime time ABC news special nay have contributed to Barbara Walters deciding to quit ABC's 20/20. Officially, the word is she says she wants more time with family and friends or to write a book. If that was the case, she'd have quite years ago. It's well known, she's had a rivalry with Diane Sawyer who was given the Howard "scream" Dean interview instead of Walters. Either way, this will make Howard Stern very happy.

by Steve Hall    Jan-26-04    




Porn is Taking Over American Media

Ad Age sums up American media and marketer fascination with all things porn. From Ron Jeremy on "The Surreal Life" to Jenna Jameson almost nude dioramas in Times Square to HBO's "Pornucopia: Going Down in the Valley" American media is loving it's porn. If this is true, why is it still so hard for Hollywood movie makers to embrace sex in movies rather than quick cutting away from it all the time? Are they afraid we will squirm in our seats?

by Steve Hall    Jan-26-04    




Advertisers Make Fun of Mars Mission Difficulties

Ever the comedians, marketers are taking stabs at the Mars mission difficulties by incorporating them into their ads. Spirit Airlines is running an ad with the headline, "Spirit to Mars? Sure, but our fares are $1.2 billion less." Audi ran an ad showing a newspaper headline saying, "Mars rover still stuck. Quattro all-wheel drive. You never know when you'll need it."

Shame on you, you snarky advertisers.

by Steve Hall    Jan-26-04    




New Zealanders Hate Redheads

In really, really important news today, red headed New Zealanders are up in arms over an ad campaign that supposedly reinforces negative stereotypes about men with red hair. In the ad, as a man approaches a teacher after thinking she has made nice comments about his ginger (red) hair when in fact she was commenting on Coruba Ginja rum, the teacher says shockingly, "Get your pale freckled hands off me!"

One complainer said the commercial "is mocking people like myself in a nasty fashion. The advertisement will add to the atmosphere of denigration that currently exists in New Zealand towards red-headed males and I am sick of dealing with the repercussions of such ill-thought out humor."

Who new hair color was such a big deal.

by Steve Hall    Jan-26-04    




It's not Mad, It's What's For Dinner

Playing on Americans short memory and ambivalence toward anything not directly in their own backyard, the National Cattlemen's Beef Association has launched a new ad campaign that will appear on television and in print. The launch date of the campaign was postponed two weeks following the mad cow disease scare. The ads won't mention mad cow and the group is confident that steps have been taken to contain the problem. Actually , when they saw that the problem originated in Canada, the group said, "screw it, it's their problem, not ours."

by Steve Hall    Jan-26-04    




Shaloooooom! Jewish Wassup Commercial for Whitefish

Spoofing the once popular Budweiser Wassup ad campaign is this commercial for Whitefish. Basically, a bunch of very Jewish gentlemen have fun saying "Shalom" to each other. I don't know if this is new or if this has been floating around the Web for a while.

by Steve Hall    Jan-25-04    




American Pop Stars Don Gladiator Gear in New U.K. Pepsi Commercial

Sure to be a rockin' hot spot, Britney Spears, Pink, Beyonce and Enrique Iglesias go head-to-head in a new Pepsi television ad soon to roll out in the U.K. Set in a Roman amphitheater, the spot in the soft drink maker's "Dare for More" campaign will feature the female artists dressed in gladiator costumes, while Iglesias will appear as the emperor Caesar. You'd think one hot chic would be enough to tempt a guy into drinking Pepsi. Three might be so overwhelming that guys won't even remember what the commercial was for.

Called "Gladiators," the spot was directed by Tarsem Singh, who directed the 2000 feature film "The Cell," as well as such music videos as R.E.M.'s "Losing My Religion," En Vogue's "Hold On" and Deep Forest's "Sweet Lullaby." According to the promotion on Pepsi's U.K. Web site, the clip uses Queen's "We Will Rock You" as its theme.

Along with the ad's upcoming premiere, Pepsi is staging a We Will Rock You performance at an undisclosed London theater on Monday (Jan. 26). Tickets are being distributed to fans through a contest on the Web site.

In the fall, Iglesias signed a one-year worldwide sponsorship agreement with Pepsi, which includes sponsorship of the artist's 2004 tour. Spears has been involved with the company since 2001, while Beyonce signed on the following year. In December, Pink became the latest to join the soft drink manufacturer's stable of pop music spokespersons.

See more pictures of Britney, Beyonce, Pink and Enrique making the commercial here.

by Steve Hall    Jan-24-04    




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