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MTV Refuses to Air 'Super Size Me' Ads

MTV, fearful of losing fast food media dollars and citing the ads as "disparaging to fast-food restaurants," will not air ads promoting the Samuel Goldwyn Film "Super Size Me.The film follows director Morgan Spurlock for 30 days as he ate nothing by McDonald's food.

UPDATE: MTV has rolled over and will now air the ad after all.

by Steve Hall    May-27-04    

Drug Companies Sponsor Branded News Content

Not able to find enough places to spend their vast media budgets, drug companies are now turning to branded news content. This summer, major market TV stations will begin airing "Headline Health," a health-related news segment that will, under the guise of news, blatantly promote the drug companies offerings. The program was developed by MediZine and Daily Health Feed. The wall comes down even further.

by Steve Hall    May-27-04    

Trump Sells Visa Check Cards

In this week's MediaPost Out to Launch column by Amy Coor, a new campaign for the Visa Check Card is featured. In the spot, Donald Trump loses his card to a dumpster and has to go retrieve it while a voiceover explains card holders are not liable for charges on a lost or stolen card.

by Steve Hall    May-27-04    

Corel Launches Humorous Video Campaign

From bashing the Microsoft "helper" icon to babies peeing in a Trump-like boardroom, Corel has launched a collection of viral videos called seewhogotfired in support of its WorPerfect 12 product.

Having just returned from AD:TECH, several of the sessions focused on the growth of broadband and the growth of the online video as an advertising format. While many are just plain odd, more and more mainstream video ads are likely to make their way to the web. The success of this ad format is largely due to its "lean forward" nature. Viewers are seeking these videos out and choosing to view them rather than being given no choice such as with a television spot.

by Steve Hall    May-27-04    

DMC Launches 'For Fox Sake' Viral Video

DMC has launched its second viral effort for the International Fund for Animal Welfare. The video, created by Velocity Advertising and Maverick Media, urges the UK government do ban hunting foxes with dogs.

In a comic spoof of a real-life fox hunt, the clip features a man dressed in a fox costume on the run in the city, chased by a pack of pretend dogs and a huntsman in a Landrover. The clip ends with hard-hitting shots of the real-life outcome of hunting. Viewers are then urged to click through the film's end frame to the IFAW site where they can email their MPs (representatives) to help lobby the UK Government to fulfill their pledge to ban hunting with dogs.

by Steve Hall    May-27-04    

AD:TECH - The Morning After

AD:TECH bluelithium Party

The third day of AD:TECH is usually sparsely attended and today was no exception though the few sessions that did occur where fairly well attended. Roaming The Palace Hotel's lobby and hallways and attending sessions where about 200 attendees down from a high of 4,000. Many attendees had either left to catch their flights home or where still sleeping off Tuesday nights bluelithium party at Ruby Skye.

The final day of AD:TECH is always a bit of a downer. After entertaining pitches from exhibitors, sitting through numerous conference sessions, attending multiple parties per night and visiting with business partners and friends, a fog clouds the mind as one makes their way home trying to process the onslaught of mental stimulation over the previous three days. For some, tomorrow means heading back to work. For others, it means continual networking in search of the next gig.

During one party on the last night, an "email marketer" leaned into my ear at 2AM and excitedly said, "I have three billion international opt-out email addresses all for eight cents per name." Thankfully, there were far more enjoyable things that happened that night aside from hearing a spammer's sales pitch such as converse with friends old and new, entourage party hop, dance until the sweat was pouring, and hang with one particular person who embodies the word "fun," makes the party and made mine

So now it's back to writing about the crazy world of advertising and looking forward to the next AD:TECH bash. See you there.

Image courtesy of Chris Eaves.

by Steve Hall    May-27-04    

AD:TECH - Tuesday Night Party Report

Following the closing of the exhibit hall and with no on-site vendor-hosted parties, the hotel bar filled to capacity. Several found their way across the street to the Atom/Shockwave party where there were prize drawings every half hour, with one of the first prizes won by consultant extraordinaire Tia Fix. Many regulars appeared.

The Yahoo Vodka Luge

After the Shockwave party, people headed up Geary to the Hotel Monaco for the Yahoo party which was one of the few parties where one could actually carry on a conversation without losing a larynx. Delicious finger-food was passed and an ice sculpture-funnel was used to serve drinks.

Dinner at Grande Cafe

After a bit of dinner, it was off to the two big events of the night. The bluelithium AD:TECH Wrap Up Party at Ruby Skye and that "other" VIP party. Even before entering Ruby Skye, the throbbing could be felt. As one followed the winding dark hallway towards the dance floor, the throbbing grew ever more powerful until one was engulfed in sound that shook the body to the bone. Two dancers gyrated on their raised platforms as did the throngs of sweating bodies on the main dance floor. It was truly a sea of dripping human sweat. For relief, there was a tiny, enclosed, air-conditioned balcony room that overlooked the dance floor that had a party of its own going on courtesy of two female dancing conference attendees.

Blue Lithium Dancer

Following a stellar trapeze act, bluelithium launched into an ill-advised PowerPoint presentation that was rife with technical difficulty and complete lack of audience attention, proving again that alcohol and business presentations do not mix. All in all though, a good time was had.

After bluelithium quieted down, the party moved up the street to the Cliff Room, a high-ceilinged, low key bar with lots of comfy chairs making late night conversation pleasurable.

For complete AD:TECH coverage, visit the AD:TECHblog. Images courtesy of Rick Bruner

by Steve Hall    May-26-04    

AD:TECH - Broadband Video Explored As Replacement For Television's :30

Monday's first Media Matters Session, Leveraging Interactive and Broadcast and Aggregating TV Audiences Online was led by moderator Matt Wasserlauf, President and CEO of Broadband Enterprises. The panel included ESPN Motion Director and General Manager Ed Davis, CNET Networks VP Business Development Chas Edwards and AtomShockwave CEO Mika Salmi.

The theme of the panel rested with broadband's ability to deliver television quality video over the web. CNET's Edwards said research has shown that television-style ads viewed online are far less annoying than the same ads viewed on television. He cited Yankelovich research stating 64 percent of consumers are "pummeled" by ads and 77 percent of TiVo users skip commercials yielding an "opt-out culture." which calls for the more opt-nature of the web. Edwards reviewed CNET's Instream ads and how the site has plans to replace most of its images with video.

AtomShockwave's Salmi jumped in and explained his AtomFilms and Shockwave offerings which he described as "pre-roll" and claims use of these technologies has delivered click throughs from nine to eleven percent.

ESPN Motion's Davis said his company (as did Salmi's) decided to design ESPN Motion as a downloadable, rather than streaming, application to insure the quality of video delivery and so that the company can better manage resources by controlling the download process. Davis hinted at a soon to be released "send to a friend" feature which will allow ESPN Motion users to forward videos to those that do not yet have ESPN Motion installed.

None of the three speakers did a great job at tying their technologies back to advertiser's needs. Sure there were some examples but other than the knowledge that television commercials can now be placed on the web, not much else was offered.

by Steve Hall    May-26-04    

AD:TECH - Broadband Advertising Moves From Theory to Practical Application

Monday's second Media Matters session, Impact of Brand Exposure Duration, was led by Broadband President and CEO Matt Wasserlauf. The panel included MSN Streaming Video Evangelist Todd Herman, Maven Networks CEO Hilmi Ozguc, Carat Interactive EVP Karim Sanajabi and RealNetworks Chief Strategy Officer Richard Wolpert.

Carat's Sanajabi began by saying media consumption in the 80s and 90s was about choice. That has now moved to one of control with consumers able to select only the media they want to consume. This, he claims, is a benefit for the growing segment of online video advertising. Sanajabi reviewed a Carat campaign for the launch of Adidas' "Impossible is Nothing" campaign which incorporated video ads on Yahoo and MSN. The campaign generated five million video-views and lifted brand awareness by six percent. A campaign promoting MTV's Sunday Stew cam in at an attractive CPM of $3.17 and generated a 50 percent lift in tune-in.

CNET's Wolpert discussed his companies expansion of Rhapsody into video and is exploring "pre-roll" ads to offer free music video downloads.

Maven's Ozguc tried to launch a full screen video, which bombed most likely due to hotel bandwidth limitations rather than technology issues. Yet, that is one sign that hints infrastructure isn't quite there to fully deliver this technology. Ozguc reviewed two campaign's which used Maven's technology. The first, for the movie "Master and Commander," offered high quality downloads of the movie trailer and behind the scenes footage. The effort generated a very high 26 percent click through to buy tickets. The second, for musician Ben Harper, centered on a "send to a friend" feature which offered the sender a free unreleased single to download. Harper's label, Virgin, saw their database of Harper fans triple.

MSN Video's Herman said Microsoft's efforts center on building a bridge between television advertisers and the web. MSN's efforts hope to allow consumers to control, condense and combine online video offerings. Herman pointed out online video advertising can offer fresh reach as many broadband users watch less TV and less clutter as broadcast television has over nine minutes per hour of advertising.

In all, this session was fairly content-rich, with many practical, real-world examples provided.

by Steve Hall    May-26-04    

AD:TECH - Networks Will Bring Scale to Contextual and Behavioral Marketing

The session on Packaging Online Audiences was moderated by Interep Interactive SVP Tim Mahlman. The panel included Mass Transit Interactive CEO Jason Heller, Wall Street Journal Online Advertising VP Randy Kilgore, Tacoda Systems CEO Dave Morgan and Revenue Science SVP Peoduct Marketing Omar Tawakol.

While much of the session was bogged down by long-winded statements that could have been made in less than half the time, the panelists were in agreement that behavioral targeting and contextual targeting are not in competition. The two will work towards bettering the ability of advertisers to increase relevancy. The biggest change coming to the targeting category will be the formation of behavioral and contextual ad networks. Mass Transit's Heller said this move to networks will make it easier for advertisers and agencies to scale their behavioral and contextual efforts.

by Steve Hall    May-26-04    

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