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Boston Leverages Convention Ad Campaign to Boost City Image

The city of Boston will launch a large pre-convention ad blitz, called Celebrate Boston 2004, taking advantage of its unique position in the national spotlight. Boston is home to this Summer's Democratic national convention and permanent home of Democratic front runner John Kerry. The two biggest ad agencies are handling the work; Hill Holliday and Arnold Worldwide. Detailed campaign plans will be announced Monday but the campaign will appear both locally and nationally. For the local portion, agency services and well as media placement are being donated. Apart from media advertising, the campaign will also include many neighborhood festivals and concerts designed to distract residents from the fact that the entire city will basically be closed to them for the duration of the convention. If the Big Dig made Bostonian's commutes difficult, the Convention will render it nearly impossible. But it's all for the good of the city's national brand.

The campaign will highlight Boston's deep history including the Revolution and abolitionism as well as its position as a center of educational excellence, technological development and medical marvels. Former Boston Celtic Bill Russell will appear in ads and speak at planned campaign events. Boston Mayor Tom Menino appointed former venture capitalist Chris Gabrieli to over see the campaign's development. Boston, Hill Holliday and Arnold - this is your chance to kick ass. Don't let us down.

by Steve Hall    Apr- 4-04    

The Viral Charts Announces 2004 Viral Advertising Awards

UPDATE: While the event described below would surely have been interesting to attend, alas, it never occurred. But bigger and better this are coming on the viral front from these folks. Forgiving their "adolescent transgressions" for a moment, the future yields two new entities. The first, is the launch of a new viral marketing firm. Asa Bailey, founder of the Viral Chart has launched a viral consultancy called ASABAILEY. The independent consultancy will service clients in the advertising, media, PR, fashion and the music industry. The second, is a "grown up" relaunch of the Viral Awards. Events will be held in London and New York this fall and next spring. Additionally, the Viral Chart will also re-launch and to incorporate a tracking mechanism whereby advertisers interested in monitoring viewership of their viral campaigns can contract with the Viral Chart to track the campaign.

ORIGINAL POST: Sure to make Leo Burnett role over in his grave, viral ad agency The Viral Chart has announced its own Cannes Ad Fesitival, the 2004 Viral Advertising Awards. The event takes place June 20-26 at Cannes Beach. I've been invited to go, and I would, but unless someone pays my way, I'll be vicariously watching from the posh headquarters of Adrants.

by Steve Hall    Apr- 4-04    

Skechers Does James Bond Does Jet Li

by Steve Hall    Apr- 4-04    

Cat Gets Head Cut Off in Ad, Ford Has Hissy

When a bunch of agency creatives get together and brainstorm a new ad campaign, some of the racier concepts get left in the conference room after the campaign is approved by the client taken to the market. When Ford had Ogilvy and Mather create a campaign for is new SportKa, one of racier and un-approved concepts found its way virally to market. The concept is a clip - based on an originally "approved" concept for the SportKa showing a pigeon getting his due when trying to land on the hood - that shows a cat getting its head cut off by the cars sunroof. (View it courtesy of Viralmeister)

In typical corporate denial, Ford is decrying this concept as "abhorrent" saying, "It was done as a proposal somewhere deep down in the bowels of the agency. As soon as we saw it we said absolutely not. We are appalled - this is not something we want to be associated with." But one can be assured they are quite pleased it is floating around the web, receiving press from the distinguished Financial Times of London and the equally distinguished Adrants located in a quaint little prep school town called Groton.

by Steve Hall    Apr- 2-04    

Wieden & Kennedy Launches Ad School

Independent Wieden & Kennedy has launched a school, called 12, for aspiring advertising professionals. It's a 13 month program in which student will do real work for real clients. While any good school should cost good money, and this one does at $13,000 a year, it seems strange that an ad agency would make someone pay to work on their clients. While clients worked on by 12 students will be charged a reduced rate, Wieden will still pull in that fee as well as the $13,000 per year for each student in the program. Sounds like Wieden is getting a good deal here. OK, I'll admit there's something in it for the students as well.

by Steve Hall    Apr- 2-04    

Advertisers Play Catch Up to Media Fragmentation

A new Yankee Group study of consumer media habits identifies the rapid spread of media fragmentation and consumer audience segment's multi-tasking approach to media consumption. This growing fragmentation yields a double edged sword for advertisers. Fragmentation and multi-tasking begets deeper and more effective targeting yet creates daunting marketing challenges.

by Steve Hall    Apr- 2-04    

P & G Launches 'Communications Planning' Review

Procter & Gamble has launched an agency review which calls for the "redesign its media planning agencies into communications planning agencies." Acknowledging its concerns over waning audiences and increased costs of traditional media, P & G, in an agency review, will ask agencies to re-create themselves to embrace a broader range of consumer communication. An early adopter of media optimization, P & G's agency request for a broader approach to consumer planning, which, in essence, would include anything a consumer comes into contact with, asks agencies to rely less the traditional "tonnage" approach to media and more on "non-media" approaches such as product integration, video game advertising, package design, SMS marketing, IM advertising and musical tour sponsorships.

While this harkens back to many of the pontifications we have heard before regarding P & G's desire to revolutionize its approach to marketing, this time, albeit slowly, it might stick. Agencies and media shops are averse to change but two billion media dollars gets attention. One can't help but hope P & G's pontifications become reality.

by Steve Hall    Apr- 2-04    

Richard Branson Copies Trump's 'The Apprentice'

Not to be outdone by his American counterpart, British entrepreneur Richard Branson will launch his own reality series on FOX. Temporarily called "Branson's Big Adventure," the series will follow Branson and six contestant around the world for six weeks as they face various challenges. The loser, rather than being fired, will, appropriately, be left on the tarmac as Branson and the winners fly off to the next destination on one of his Virgin airlines planes. The winning price has not yet been determined.

by Steve Hall    Apr- 1-04    

Weblog Aggregator Kinja Launched

Kinja, creation of Nick Denton and Meg Hourihan, has launched. Kinja is a site that pulls together content from many weblogs into a website that is customizable by the user. Denton explains the site is designed for those who do not know or care to know about RSS, a method of pulling content from many blogs into a desktop program or website. Kinja provides a easy to understand layout with simple categories to click into and browse. Or, one can create a custom layout pulling posts from weblogs of one's choosing. It's an admirable effort to bring weblog content to the masses.

by Steve Hall    Apr- 1-04    

Revlon Launches Adver-Movie

Starring Revlon spokeswomen Halle Berry, Julianne Moore, Jaime King and Eva Mendes, director Scott Hicks has created a two minute mini-movie for the cosmetics company. In the movie, the four women are shown in narrative segments with Revlon products playing a role.

The Movie, another in this increasingly long line of adver-movies, will debut in New York by the end of this week then roll out on the Internet and in movie theaters.

View the Adver-Movie here.

by Steve Hall    Apr- 1-04    

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