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Paris Hilton to Sell Smell

Fort Lauderdale based Parlux Fragrances has signed a deal with celebutante and reality TV star Paris Hilton to develop, manufacture and distribute a line of products in her name. It may not have legs according to Andy Dehnart who notes "she's very late-2003 and early-2004, and we're almost to mid-2004, and it's definitely now Lindsay "whoa" Lohan's era." I think we'd all agree considering the size of Lohan's....I mean the sizeable collection of her support-challenged-upper-body pictures bouncing around the web. A poll over at ThatsJustNotRight certainly places Lohan atop some of her peers.

by Steve Hall    Jun- 1-04    




Energizer and Pat Benatar Help Deaf Yuppies

As the baby boom generation ages, important issues such as thinning hair, incontinence, sagging body parts and hearing loss are less able to be ignored. While battery maker Energizer can't help with all the aging generation's problems, it hopes to help some by using eighties rocker Pat Benatar make hearing aids (and their batteries) cool.

With the very un-hip headline, "It's Hip to Hear," 51 year old Benatar says, "From Aerosmith to the Rolling Stones, our music defines us, but all those years of rockin' are beginning to take a toll." Now if only eighties hottie Debbie Gibson could do something about those damn colostomy bags.

by Steve Hall    Jun- 1-04    




Nokia's Lifeblog Enables Mobile Weblogging

Mo-blogging or mobile weblogging is not new. Posting to a weblog from a mobile device can already be achieved through using a Handspring Treo as Jeff Jarvis does or another similar device. With the launch of Nokia's Lifeblog, the company is simply making it easier albeit proprietary to a specific Nokia phone. The service, which will work with the 7610 imaging phone, will automatically save and categorize photos, video, text messages and other mobile media for later viewing and sharing.

by Steve Hall    Jun- 1-04    




Kellogg's Pop Tarts to Sponsor MTV's 'Dumb Ass'

Following a seven year marketing hiatus, Kellogg's will promote its Pop Tarts product on MTV's "Dumb Ass" in the U.K., a show combining the best from "Jackass," "Viva La Bam" and "Wildboyz." The deal includes product placement, mention and an online promotional element.

by Steve Hall    Jun- 1-04    




Dotomi Network Places Control in Consumer's Hands

There's a new opt-in ad network in town and it aims to hand control of marketing over to consumers. Dotomi has launched Direct Messaging which, boiled down to its most simplistic terms, provides opt-in, on-page banner advertising tying a marketer and its customer database to consumers who join the Dotomi network. The Dotomi system, through partnership with publishers, delivers personalized banners to consumers who have selected to be part of the network.

One assumes, publisher that are part of the Dotomi network will promote this feature to consumers on their sites as a means to control ad clutter and to marketers as a means to deliver highly targeted messages. An initial demo of the U.S. based system yielded a Pets.com banner that was customized to the point of knowing my dog's name. Clearly, this is just the start but the possibilities are encouraging.

Dotomi conducted a pilot launch of Direct Messaging last March in Israel, and the service rapidly grew in popularity and currently serves ads from 65 top-tier marketers on 95 percent of the local publishers. The results were quite good and revealed that Dotomi Direct Messaging campaigns generated between seven and thirteen percent click-through rates. Nothing to sneeze at.

Dotomi was founded by Yair Goldfinger, who created Instant Messaging and currently serves as Co-founder and Chief Technology Officer at Dotomi. Running the company as President and CEO is John Federman, formerly of several CGMI divisions.

by Steve Hall    Jun- 1-04    




Mel Karmazin Resigns Viacom

Citing the standard need to "pursue other challenges," Mel Karmazin resigned Friday as President of Viacom. Chairman and CEO, Sumner Redstone said in a conference call that Karmazin had mentioned frustration over the company's sagging radio division and that the company might dump the division. Karmazin will be succeeded by MTV's Tom Freston and CBS' Leslie Moonves.

More likely, Karmazin's exit was the result of a bunch of bitchy old men too stubborn to get a long.

UPDATE: Viacom Chief Details Succession Plans

RELATED: AOL Wants Mell Karmazin

by Steve Hall    Jun- 1-04    




Consumers Bombarded With Advertising, Ad Model Broken

Please, I've Seen It All

The average consumer can't go through a day without seeing 3,500 commercial messages. That's a hell of a lot of clutter for one individual to sift through but that's the reality of today's advertising marketplace. From guerilla marketing to all forms of "street furniture" advertising to human sandwich boards, advertising is inescapable unless one were to move to the Moon. Even there, one could probably see the screaming lights of Times Square with Jenna Jameson yelling, "Visit my website! Buy my videos!"

With media fragmentation comes advertiser use of that fragmentation in the increasingly difficult war waged to win the valuable consumer eyeball. This fragmentation has given way to more unique forms of advertising that fall into the guerilla marketing space but even these efforts are getting tired. Once novel, tactics such as forehead advertising, invertising, advergaming, dogvertising, adverblogging, blogvertising, bloodvertising and bravertising are now old hat. Other methods such as school bus, in-school and police car advertising are considered only out of financial desperation. Clearly, the model is hurting.

It is important for marketers to make sure their efforts do not become old hat. Trouble is, it's like a flushing toilet with marketers trying desperately to invent their next move in order not to be sucked down the vortex of extinction. It almost makes one pine for the pre-cable, three network, Clear Channel-less radio, Look Magazine days of old. OK, not really, but do I really want an advertiser offering to paint my house for free in exchange for allowing that paint job to include the advertiser's logo gracing the front of my house?

by Steve Hall    Jun- 1-04    




Google Threatens B-to-B Publishers

B-toB magazine publishers are the latest group to see threat from the Google giant. At the recent annual American Business Media conference, IDG CEO Pat Kenealy advised attendees that Google should be considered a real threat to their business model citing Google's popular and growing contextual advertising programs. One conference attendee put it bluntly, "If Google can slice and dice [information] and give highly qualified users to very targeted advertisers, then what do you need a trade publication for?"

UPDATE: Underscore Marketing's Tom Hespos says not to worry - you can't search until you know what you are looking for and B-to-B mags help in that area.

by Steve Hall    Jun- 1-04    




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