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Video Gaming Becomes A Profession

With gaming a booming industry, colleges are know offering courses in video game design. Perhaps it will eventually dovetail with optometry when we are all walking around with video games embedded in our eyeglasses or contact lenses. As for the advertising aspect, imagine a lingerie-clad model writhing sexually across inside your eye as you walk through the mall causing you to make a beeline for the nearest Victoria's Secret.

by Steve Hall    May-12-04    

Young Men: No One Knows Where They Are

All kinds of studies have come out saying young men aren't watching TV any more. But some studies say they are watching more and others say they are playing games instead. What's a media planner to do? Read this MediaPost article and find out.

The bottom line, though, is fragmentation is occurring at exponential rates. There's too much media to choose from. While some welcome it, others are overwhelmed by it. Television isn't going away. It's going to change with the times. It will chase the money just like any other good business.

by Steve Hall    May-12-04    

Adrants Daily Down

In case you are wondering why you haven't received your Adrants Daily newsletter in a day or two, it's because the email program is taking some sort of unplanned vacation. When it gets it's ass back where it should be, you'll be sure to begin receiving what passes for advertising news again.

by Steve Hall    May-12-04    

Random Holding Company Name Generator Not Aimed At IPG

Here's a good one.

Seeking to pre-empt a potentially ugly Madison Ave. dust-up, Bernard Urban, President of Urban Advertising, today vehemently rejected speculation that his agency's Random Advertising Holding Company Name Generator (R.A.H.C.N.G.) is aimed solely at the Interpublic Group of Companies.

Denying the claim, Urban said, "We're merely celebrating our independence. If the people at IPG are concerned that we're trying to mock, humiliate or expose them in particular, their fears are completely unfounded."

The R.A.H.C.N.G., which is hosted at www.urbanadvertisng.com, randomly spits out potential holding companies using a proprietary algorithm. A few names it has generated include "Fat and Lazy Mega-Corp, International"? and "Expense Account Driven Holdings Universal."

As of this morning the agency, which handles projects for SIRIUS Satellite Radio, International Masters Publishing, Avidyne, Marriott and Conde Nast had not spoken directly with any holding companies or agencies concerning the R.A.H.C.N.G.

But Urban, who once worked for IPG agency McCann-Erickson said, "It's only a matter of time."? He then added "We in no way intended to hurt their feelings. Honest."


by Steve Hall    May-12-04    

A Little Jailbait For Your Over-Sexualized Self

Here's an interesting ad for the Cannes Festival that capitalizes on what Defamer calls the "American jailbait craze." Not far off the mark though with the latest explosion of Lindsay Lohan's overflowing boob and nipple shots and the Olsen Twins countdown clock.

by Steve Hall    May-12-04    

Teaser Billboard Causes Curiosity

A billboard teaser campaign running in South Bend IN has people wondering what it's all about. The teaser is placed on Adams Outdoor billboard but no one at Adams is talking. Adams Outdoor Manager Mike Cannon would only say, the billboard is meant to show the "power of outdoor" and demonstrate Adams' "creativity, impact and results." Uh Oh. Sounds like a house ad campaign to me. We'll find out soon enough.

by Steve Hall    May-12-04    

Coke Launches GPS Coke Can Promotion

This Summer, Coke will randomly place 120 GPS/cell phone equipped Coke cans throughout their North American distribution. Called the "Unexpected Summer," the sweepstakes hopes to build sales for the ailing Classic line.

Consumers who find one of the 120 cans can use the embedded phone to call and register for prizes such as a new Chevy Equinox SUV, a chance to win $1 million from Harrah's and Disney vacations. Once registered Coke "search teams" will use GPS to find the individual and surprise them on a random day within a specified three week period. Others can view the locations of the 120 cans on the promotional website. As one of the ads promotion the sweepstakes eludes to, you better have all your clothes on when the "street team" gps's your ass.

by Steve Hall    May-12-04    

Dittie Tampons Launches Stigma-Free Ad Campaign

Start-up Dittie LLC has launched a new line of tampons that dispenses with the staid medical tone that most other manufacturers have used for years. Using colorful packaging and guerilla marketing, Dittie hopes to breath new life into the category and take some market share from the big guys.

Founder Barbara Carey saw that the category was stale and without style. Additionally, she went against the notion that a woman's menstrual cycle is an ailment positioning the product in a way that celebrates rather than shuns this natural female event.

Working with Alloy's AMP Insights, the one million dollar campaign includes new packaging, a sampling program in schools and doctor's offices, ads in girl's bathrooms, school newspapers and hallways. There's even a street buzz team. The Dittie web site includes areas such as "The bathroom Stall" which offers a discussion community, "Fun and Games" which includes Tampon Bowling and a section where IM icons and Dittie Desktops can be downloaded.

by Steve Hall    May-11-04    

Adrants To Become Famous With Your Help

Excuse this little commercial. Adrants has been included in a MarketingSherpa survey of the best marketing weblogs. With your help, Adrants could walk away the winner in its category. So please do your part. Visit the survey and give credit where credit is due. Ok, OK, I'll admit Adrants isn't the only place you can go to get advertising goodies but it's more fun than Ad Age, right? Oh wait, Ad Age is great. I love Ad Age. Where would Adrants be without Ad Age?

Vote for MarketingVOX too. It rocks. It's another blog I'm involved with and it's edited by the great Tig Tillinghast.

by Steve Hall    May-11-04    

Video Game Advertising Needs Balance

Gamers can see a marketing ploy coming from a mile away. As advertisers imbue video and online games with ads and product placement, a certain degree of caution is advised to avoid backlash. If done incorrectly, it devalues the game and the characters within the game.

According to SMV Group's Play VP P.J. MacGregor, there's a right and wrong way to do video game advertising. The right way is to respect what he calls the "value exchange" between player and game. The marketing message should not disrupt this exchange.

In an email exchange MacGregor clarifies the "value exchange" approach to video game advertising, "...if Coca-Cola wants to extend it's association with the World Cup by connecting with the worlds most popular video game audience, placing billboards around the stadiums isn't going to cut it...but, if Coke offered the gamers a "refreshable" soundtrack (12 new music tracks that gamers can download into their game) and/or a massively multiplayer World Cup tournament (for cash/prizes etc.) in exchange for their presence/involvement in the game I tend to think that gamers will see that as acceptable...or perhaps even cool."

This approach dovetails with SMV Group Rishad Tobaccowala's creed toward consumers, "Consumers are god and marketers must pay tribute. In a sense, respect the consumer.

Furthering the "value exchange" proposition, MacGregor adds, "'Product placement' and 'advergames' aren't the direction that this space is heading - the medium is far more malleable and the audience is extremely finicky so it requires far more creative solutions. It requires that we 'pay tribute'."

With over 60% of all U.S. households playing one form of a game or another, finding acceptable methods to use this medium as a marketing channel become increasingly important.

by Steve Hall    May-11-04    

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