Check out the story behind DJ Danger Mouse's The Grey Album over at Gorillamask. It's an ingenious mix of the Beatles White Album and Jay-Z's Black Album. It's an interesting fusion of musical styles but EMI, claiming Beatles copyright control, isn't happy about it and has pumped out a bunch of cease and desist letters asking stores and websites to take the album down. Of course, in true form, consumers the world over have raised their collective middle finger to EMI and are file sharing the crap out of this baby.
Brandport has launched a service that pays college students to watch ads on the Internet. Student's are asked to watch TV spots, listen to radio commercials, look at print and online ads, then answer a five question survey and receive $0.25 to $0.50 per viewed ad. While the service is designed to help marketers reach an elusive target audience, Brandport's offering can also be used for ad/copy testing.
Brandport CEO Kivin Varghese claims this pay to view model builds strong brand alliances between student and marketer because students have said they respect advertisers who are trying to reach them in this very straightforward manner. This is another example of the growing trend towards permision marketing. An agreement is created between marketer and consumer to the end benefit of both.
More Important: Money or Love?
When I first started watching FOX's "My Big Fat Obnoxious Fiance," I new it would be funny and at the same time very very cruel. It was both in spades. Steve did a hilarious job doing whatever he could to make it very difficult for Randi to prove to her family that this wedding was real. And he did it all while pretending not to be in on the joke and an actor to boot, but a willing participant with an entirely fake family of his own to convince this wedding was real.
Tonight's finale was some of the cruelest television and cruelest human behavior I've ever seen. To put a family through a wedding, the most stressful event in anyone's life, and play it as fake while lying that it is real was horrific. I must say though, the end of the final episode made for some of the best 15 minutes of reality television I've ever seen. Sweet as she is, it felt very dirty that Randi would put her family through all of this just for money. It was sickening. Even when all the jokes where out and FOX gave Randi and the Coy family $500,000 each (more than originally planned), it still felt dirty. Sure they all made light of it once the truth was out and everyone hugged and kissed and cried and understood but that didn't remove the cruelty of it.
In the end, Steve, speaking for FOX, tried to pass the outcome off as some sort of display of love for family when it was still really all about money. I can't imagine what must have been going through Randi's mind during this show as it moved closer and closer to wedding day and the lie grew bigger and bigger as did the cruelty of it all. The show really dug into the gut of human emotion and the things people will put themselves and their families through for money.
All that said, I thought it was one of the better reality series and yes, I'd watch something like it again.
LeBron James, just 19 years old, has scored another sponsorship deal with Bubblicious bubble gum worth $5 million bringing his sponsorship pot to $135 million. This deal follows his $90 million deal with Nike, a $16 million deal with Coke, an $8 million deal with Juice Batteries and others.
This isn't obscene. Not at all. It's only insane when you realize that this sum, rather than being used for over-priced marketing, could be used to fund several third world companies for years. Here's an idea. Why doesn't Nike sponsor, say, Ethiopia. Or any other suffering country in the world. Why couldn't an ad campaign based on that sort of good will be as successful as you standard, run-of-the-mill sports figure campaign?
In this really weird commercial spoof for Nutri-Grain, which looks like a cross between the Howard Dean Scream and a Clint Eastwood movie, an office worker takes a taste, quits his job and makes others do and say really weird things.
In his Ad Age column this week, Scott Donaton calls for the re-definition of advertising, the acknowledgement that it's about consumer touch points - not about above the line or below the line tactics, and for an end to the reliance on the :30 commercial and the restrictive measurement system that has been built up around it.
I think many people would agree with Scott's line of thinking including myself. The hard part is breaking old habits and the huge industry those habits have built and make a determined effort to act rather than just talk.
Perhaps now there is a valid reason to use the sexiness of exposed tummys in ads for reasons other than sensationalistic arousal. In this ad for Zelnorm, a drug for irritable bowel syndrome, the voiceover says "If you feel bloated, twisted or constipated, you may have IBS with constipation." Sounds like a standard drug ad but the visuals prove otherwise. The camera pans from belly to belly and written on the stomachs of each women are the benefits of the drug and how it works. It is eye catching and playful yet serious in nature making it of the best drug ads to date.
Thanks to Adrants reader Ankesh Kothari for pointing this out.
A new friend-of-a-friend media sharing network has launched. Called Mediachest, the service allows you to create and maintain a list of all your media (DVDs, CDs, Books, Games, etc.) and share them with others in the network. The service hopes to create social networks based on similar media habits and allow access to a media library larger than any single person could afford to own. It's just like borrowing your friend's CD except you know have potential thousands of friend's CDs and other media to choose from. Mediachest, if successful, could put a big dent in the DVD, CD purchase and rental business.
Adrants just keeps growing and special thanks goes out to those sponsors who have decided to go along for the ride. First, there's Hugh MacLeod whose "cartoons drawn on the back of business cards" are inciteful, funny and ever so in tune with pop culture. There are four sponsors who have come to Adrants via BlogAds, the weblog ad network. There's the American Consumer Opinion Online group which will pay consumers to share their ideas and thoughts with major corporations. There's GoatCactus Software who is giving Apple's GarageBand music studio a run for its money. There's BAGnews who produces topical lunch bag cartoons and is promoting a "George Bush AWOL" campaign. There's Oceana, a non-profit, international advocacy organization dedicated to restoring and protecting the world's oceans who wants you to see the ads Google banned that called attention to Royal Carribean Cruise Lines alleged trash dumping. And finally, there's Alt Terrain, who sponsors the Adrants Daily newsletter and provides alternative media and custom non-traditional marketing campaigns.
Please take a few and check them out over on the right hand side of the page or from the links in this post. Both Adrants and these companies will appreciate your doing so. OK, commercial over.
Wendy, Where Are You?
In an effort to recoup brand equity two years after the death of spokesman and founder, Dave Thomas, Wendy's is launching a new character, dubbed "Mr. Wendy" to be the face of the brand. Mr. Wendy is presented as an emphatic fan, who's enthusiasm for the fast-food chain's grub has lead him to embark on a self-appointed public crusade to spread the news nationwide.
For thirty years we've been hearing about Wendy, but Wendy never shows. Wendy Wendy Wendy. Who the heck is she? And if the company is so hardpressed for a new spokesperson, wouldn't she seem like the most obvious choice?
Ad Age reports that Don Calhoon, executive vice president for marketing at Wendy's, said the new brand spokesman is "a sort of new but unconventional champion" who "doesn't follow the 'rules' of a spokesperson." But, he said, "we could certainly never replace Dave or would try to. Dave was the official spokesperson and the founder of our company. He stood for all that Wendy's was about. Mr. Wendy couldn't be further from that if he tried."
One can only imagine what has become of Wendy and why, after all this time and the death of her father, she remains absent from the advertising. It can't be good.
Posted by Adrants Contributor Alison Kosakowski of Powell.