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Starcom Mediavest Named Ad Age's Global Media Agency of the Year

After battling furiously to win the $350 million Coca-Cola media review last year as well as its unique approach to research and media planning, Ad Age has named Starcom Mediavest its Global Media Agency of the Year.

by Steve Hall    Feb- 9-04    

Stolichnaya Brings Back 'StoliBride'

In another viral advertising campaign, Stolichnaya vodka brings back StoliBride, a play on the once (and perhaps still) Russian bride trade. Visitors can enter their bride requirements such as hair color, eye color, breast size (hey, it's a game) and StoliBride will find a match for you. While there appears to be a very large database of very attractive women, you may not like the results of your search. Try it.

by Steve Hall    Feb- 9-04    

Recording Academy Fights Back With Music Anti-Piracy Ad

On the heels on Pepsi's Super Bowl ad wagging 100 million free songs in from of the RIAA's face, the Recording Academy will launch an ad campaign during the Grammys that says downloading and sharing music over the Internet (without paying) is just plain wrong. Pepsi bought there way into the minds of teenagers by buying songs for them. The RIAA is pissed. There is a valid point that if no one ever pays for music, it won't be produced and therefore it won't exist to be downloaded in the first place. The other point, of course, is that music is free. It will be created for free out of the goodness of the musician's creativity and be there for anyone and everyone to appreciate.

by Steve Hall    Feb- 8-04    

The Great 'Super Bowl Boob' Over Reaction

Is Teenage Hotness OK?

Mark Harris writes in this week's Entertainment weekly about the hypocritical reactions to Janet Jackson's breast-baring spectacle. Harris asks why CBS, MTV and the NFL are freaking out over the exposed breast and forgetting that, in the very same half-time show, there was crotch grabbing, flag desecration and the portrayal of women as "use-and-toss" prizes for playas.

Seeing a boob is basically harmless compared to the ongoing cultural degradation fueled by marketers and pop stars going for the lowest sexual common denominator just to achieve another percentage point of market share. Having just watched "Thirteen," the Evan Rachel Wood/Nikki Reed/Holly Hunter movie about a thirteen year old who succumbs to cultural peer pressure, I felt very queasy during a scene in which the two thirteen year olds go shopping while images of provocative marketing imagery were intercut. While I'm all for hot looking women, it made me sick to see the relationship between racy marketing messages and the uncontrollable desire of young girls to achieve this over-the-top, culturally induced sexual hotness two minutes after they are out of diapers.

Or Is This Better?

Our culture is this way because nudity and sex are so shunned and hidden that finding either becomes the sole point of existence for many. Everyone wants what they can't have or don't see on a regular basis. Our media culture can't seem to carry on an open and frank discussion about sex so any discussion that does take place is wrapped in a blanket of humor or ridicule or sensationalism. Britney kisses Madonna because "oh my God" it's just so wrong. Janet exposes her breast because "oh my God" it's just so wrong. Who gives a crap if a girl kisses a girl? Why are we all so skittish about nudity? Is there anything really wrong with sex or nudity? After all, we were born nude and humans lived on this earth a lot longer without clothes than with. So, what's the big deal? As a culture, we have not figured out how to have an open and constructive discussion about sex and sexuality so we make a joke out of it. We "tee hee" our way through nude scenes in movies or we quickt cut aways because it's too embarressing. We pontificate about the evils of nudity and sexuality while ignoring or glorifying violence in video games. In effect, we are saying it's not OK to be sexy but it sure is OK to rip the head off someone's shoulders.

So if I seem to be all for more nudity and sexuality, why was I "queasy" about the "Thirteen" scene? Because those girls are traveling down a path manufactured by marketers without any explanation from their parents or other grownups as to where that path may lead and why they might want to think twice before they walk down that road.

by Steve Hall    Feb- 7-04    

'Crash Different' Hilarious Apple Spoof

This spoof is very much for those who hate Macs. Even if you love Macs, it's quite hilarious. Check it out.

by Steve Hall    Feb- 7-04    

'Ring Back Tones' New Mobile Marketing Medium

As part of the "advertising is everywhere" trend, the ubiquitous telephone ring, not the one you hear when your phone rings but the one your hear in your ear when you make a call, is becoming an ad medium. Dubbed "ring back tones," mobile phone companies are jumping on this and offering music, celebrity greetings and jokes to amuse callers as they wait for the phone to be answered.

Record companies are jumping on board too, taking advantage of the ring time to offer clips of songs and earn royalties while doing so. It may not be long before cell phone companies begin offering reduced or free phone service in exchange for consumers listening to ads, instead of rings, while they wait for their call to be picked up.

by Steve Hall    Feb- 6-04    

Ad for 'Touch' Deoderant Illustrates Power of Touch

This ad for "Touch" deoderant from Axe somehow relates the product to a guy's ability to titillate and undress women without touching them. Hmm. Regardless of the magic here, the women do seem to be enjoying it.

by Steve Hall    Feb- 6-04    

'The Apprentice' Will be Back This Fall

With a clear ratings winner, NBC has decided to pick up "The Apprentice" for another season.

by Steve Hall    Feb- 6-04    

Labatt's Blue Facial Suckage Ad Causes Controversy in Canada

A Labatt's Blue Lite Beer ad that ran during the Super Bowl in Canada is causing some controversy and CanWest Global Communications Corp.'s Global television is not clear yet on whether or not it will allow the ad to run again. In the ad, two women in a nightclub engage in a long facial suck after one womenl says, "I love your lip gloss" and the other says, "Well, have some."

Both the network and Labatt Brewing have received many comments, both positive and negative, about the ad. View the ad here. Thanks to Adrants reader Charley Brough for sending this one in.

by Steve Hall    Feb- 6-04    

adidas Launches Global Brand Campaign

With the tagline, "Impossible is Nothing" and featuring 22 athletes such as Muhammad Ali, Kevin Garnett, Tracy McGrady and David Beckham, adidas is launching a year-long global advertising campaign. The campaign will center on television but roll out across other media. Work is done by 180\TBWA.

by Steve Hall    Feb- 5-04    

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