Jumping on the viral marcomm blog hippy-trip, Oxygen Network has launched a cute little blog written by the mysterious "Jane" to promote it's twenty-something girl power show "Good Girls Don't." Laced with cutsey phrases like "wow, am I sick. woke up with the sorest throat ever ? as if a golf ball is lodged on the left side" and "OMG, saturday night we spent five hours trying to find a club that�s SO cool it has no name, no address, and no phone number," blogger Jane tries to clue us in to the oh-so-dramatic life of what "20-somethings really say, think, and do."
Now if Jane, like a real blogger, would use permalinks, we might actually be able to give some linky-love to her witty repartee.
Apparently to maintain the advertising "hip-cool" thing and make things interesting, Wieden + Kennedy President Dan Wieden asks college students in an advertising workshop he teaches at the University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication to do challenging and off beat things to build confidence. This year, he's asked one student to strip down and go streaking, asked another straight student to convince his parents he's gay and asked yet another to create a commotion in a mall just to attract a crowd.
So let's get this straight. He's asked a student to break the law. Another, to lie. And another to make a fool of himself. Gee, sounds a lot like advertising. And it's all under the guise of building character, overcoming fears and preparing for the challenges one might face in business.
Predictabley, college administrators have been taken by Wieden's guru status and gush profusely about the benefits of this questionable means of education. "I think there's an ongoing process here," said UO SOJC Dean Tim Gleason. "I think Dan has presented them with a rather interesting challenge."
Perhaps it would be worth considering preparing students in a way that would help alter the world's perception of the ad industry - currently equal to that of car dealers and dial-a-lawyers.
UPDATE: Gleason eats crow: "It is clear that some students found themselves in a position that resulted in behaviors that are inconsistent with the mission, ethics, values and vision of the School of Journalism and Communication and the University of Oregon. For that, I express my deepest regret and accept full responsibility."
In there continuing attempt to stir controversy, international undergarment maker Sloggi has placed two billboards showing four models with their G-string-clad asses facing outward above the slogan, "It's String Time" near two England Mosques knowing full well they'd get press for doing it. If you live in England and want to check them out, the two mosques are located near Rochale Road in Bury, Lancashire and near Harehills Road in Leeds, West Yorkshire.
England's Advertising Standards Authority has received several complaints to date and issued a wrist slap telling Sloggi to, "take more care with the placing of similar posters." As tantalizing as this tactic is, it's almost boring. Sloggi has done this severaltimes before. It's a basic strategy of theirs - place barely dressed hot women in locations where they will offend and get tons of press coverage.
Hillary Clinton and Condoleeza Rice are pictured in a trailer for the upcoming "Stepford Wives" movie. In the ad, the two are shown morphing from professional women into happy homemakers. It also spoofs Clinton's claim she's be a stay-at-home-mom years ago. I think it's brilliant. Predictably, one mid-western woman who taped the spot, Becky Reynolds, didn't think it was funny saying, "It's just inappropriate, and it needs to be stopped." Humor needs to be stopped? Try taking your head out of your PC ass and laughing for once.
Defamer found a newsfeed this morning entitled "Tupac Alive in Hollywood Hills?" Yikes, the dude's been dead for years. The feed came from an anonymous blogger who claims to have seen Tupac while walking in a neighborhood above Hollywood Boulevard. Of course, the post has since disappeared but, like any good reporter, Defamer saved it here.
Is he dead? Is he alive? Is it a Shug Night/Biggie Smalls/Tupac Shakur marketing ploy? Hmm...
Believed to be heir- apparent to the top Coca-Cola executive post, Steve Heyer was passed over for the position by E. Neville Isdell and has decided to leave the company. In a letter to the company about Heyer's decision, Isdell wrote, "Steve and I have been discussing the future for some time now. Yesterday, we had a good conversation, during which we both agreed on a number of things, including that we both love this Company and we want to do what's best for it. We also agreed that Steve -- not surprisingly -- has his own personal goals. He's got things he wants to accomplish ... and given all he has done for our Company over the past few years, we should all help Steve achieve his objectives. That?s why Steve and I agreed that he could best realize his aspirations outside of the Company, where he plans to take advantage of the limitless opportunities for a talented executive of his caliber."
What Isdell meant to write was "Nya, nya, I beat you sucker! I got that top spot you wanted so badly and now you have to eat shit and suffer the public relations ingratitude of 'realizing your aspirations outside the Company.'"
Heyer shot back in his own statement writing, Coke "is on a well-conceived strategic course and is hitting its stride both financially and operationally. With outstanding new senior leadership coming on board, this is the right time for me to pursue new opportunities."
Of course, what he really meant to write was, "That fuckin' Isdell stole my fuckin job! With that yes-man running Coke, the shit's gonna hit that fan and I hope it lands on his face!"
Rad deodorant maker Axe is out with another odd ad campaign. This one leads men to believe women want to date their armpits. That is if their armpits are made dry with Axe deodorant. The images are a bit freaky showing women hanging with headless armpits with feet.
SF Gate Columnist Mark Moford cuts to the point of the campaign, "Screw emotional connection. To hell with chivalry and cooking her breakfast and remembering to bring the condoms. You really want to score with the babes? It's all about the sweat glands, dude. Huge, dry ones. With feet."
He doesn't like the campaign but humorously describes the mentality of these poor women in the ad, "And our chick, she really wants this armpit, is hot for this armpit, is caressing it and tickling it and wrapping her silky smooth arms and legs around it, stroking it, craving it, clearly about to let out a mad yelp at any moment and tear off her skimpy outfit and throw the giant hairy armpit to the floor and mount it and scream out sweet Jesus's name."
While the campaign might be a bit odd and even gross it is intriguing and eyecatching. Sure, it's sexist and stupid as revealed at the website where you can choose your own deodorant by selecting from odd female traits, but it sure kept me involved for a while and what marketer doesn't love that.
Keeping with their line up of "Boy" products, PointRoll has launched TomBoy, an on-web page ad unit combining several multimedia types including video, audio, animation, flash, Java, etc. Able to work with any design tool, the TomBoy claims to have a limitless file size quality . So beware. There's more onscreen antics coming your way. Check out the promotional video of the hip-hop, jive-mouthed TomBoy rappin' up a PointRoll jam.
In a presentation at the Cato institute called 'Kids, Cartoons and Cookies: Should We Restrict the Marketing of Food to Children?", Association of National Advertisers' Dan Jaffe made a panel presentation citing food advertising is not the cause of the current "fat kid syndrome." His presentation along with other panelists cited research that says television viewership among children has gone down, inflation-adjusted television ad spending has dropped from 1993 to 2003 and the number of food and restaurant ads has dropped from 1993 to 2003. Another panelist cited research that found kids eat what their parents eat.
While it would be fun to slam big fat advertisers for selling fat to our fat kids thereby making them even fatter, it's just not fair. Advertisers will do anything and everything they can do to move their product even if that product is unhealthy. And it's no secret fast food is unhealthy.
So why are kids so fat? Truth be told, it's the parents. Parents need to kick their kid's asses off the couch, off the computer, off the Game Boy and get them outside. Sign them up for tennis or soccer or swimming. If that's too expensive, tell them to ride their bike around the neighborhood or just take a walk. The fact that many families are single parent families or families where both parents are working doesn't help. Time is limited. It's very easy to give in to marketing and cultural demands.
Because we are all so busy, it's easy to lay blame elsewhere. When there's no time for a parent to filter life's experiences and converse about healthy eating habits, it's easy to lay blame on marketers. In an ideal world every piece of marketed food (and every other product in every other category imaginable) would be good for you and cause no harm. Unfortunately, we live in a capitalistic society where the sole purpose is to do whatever one can do to make more money whatever the cost. In this money-drives-everything world, we have to do our own to protect our own. Don't blame the marketer. They are just doing what they have to do to remain viable in a capitalistic society.
Proctor & Gamble is selling ad space on its Pringles potato chips. It's first client is Hasbro who will use the medium to promote its Trivial Pursuit Junior board game. Questions and answers will be imprinted on the chips. Adland points out this is not new. Image courtesy of The Hidden Persuader
Search company LookSmart has entered a deal with the University of California, Berkeley, under which LookSmart will develop a branded web search property for Cal Athletics that will support the university?s athletic programs while supplying search results to Cal students and alumni.
Beginning this summer at CalBears, CalBearsSearch and via a toolbar application, CalBears Search? will provide results powered by LookSmart?s search engine. Each time users click on a paid listing, a portion of the revenue will go to support Cal Athletics. CalBears Search? will also feature free access to LookSmart?s full text article database.
Cal Athletics will promote CalBears Search to Cal?s 20,000 faculty and staff and 165,000 alumni living in the Bay Area through an integrated radio, print and interactive marketing campaign.