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P&G Bows Chip-vertising

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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

by Steve Hall    Jun- 9-04    




LookSmart Launches Affiliate Deal With Berkley

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.

by Steve Hall    Jun- 9-04    




Slate Hates AT&T's New Campaign

ATT's Racially Correct Ad

Commenting on AT&T's new $200 million ad campaign and particularly one of its television spots, Slates' Seth Stevenson gives an Adrants-worthy review saying, "...the worst thing (not just with the spot but with the whole campaign) is that the central, defining, overarching element ? is a punctuation mark! It's a $200 million media buy that's built on a freaking ampersand!"

Calling the campaign's attempt at racial harmony, Stevenson comments on the faces in the spot that "stare directly into the camera, and convey to us that their lives are made better with the help of a multinational services company.

Sometimes these spots will cut away from the faces (often to a skyscraper or bullet train), and sometimes the faces give monologues. Either way, the central visual concept is high-contrast racial juxtapositions (a shtick that hasn't been thoughtful or eye-grabbing since Benetton did it 15 years ago); the target mood is "uplifting"; and the result is utterly numbing and indistinguishable because it's so completely played out by now. Thanks, AT&T, for adding to the pile."

We're with you Seth.

by Steve Hall    Jun- 8-04    




Hot Women Lure Men to Read

Called "Good Booking Girl," Penguin Books has launched a street marketing effort in which a sexy model will prance the streets in search of men reading a selected Penguin Books title. Each month, Penguin will select a different book for promotion and award 1,000 pound ($1,837) to men found to be reading the title. OK, so now men, who already display an innate clumsiness during everyday gawking, will be challenged to gawk, walk and read all while hunting down the hot Penguin Books' chic. Drivers, watch out for stumbling, horny men with books.

by Steve Hall    Jun- 8-04    




Get Your Marketing Paws Off My Tween

A special interest group has sent a letter to the FCC today requesting the body force market researchers to turn over tween-focused studies to determine whether collection of online data aids marketers in targeting kids. While the studies are gathered, the group has also asked the FCC to place a moratorium on interactive advertising targeted to kids.

by Steve Hall    Jun- 8-04    




School Committee Gives In, Accepts Bus Advertising

Calling it "not ideal" yet adding it "will help keep a teacher in the classroom," Seekonk, MA School Business Manager Joseph Delude announced the school district unanamously passed a policy allowing advertising on the town's school busses. The move was made partially because the school district will not receive any state aid for buss transportation next year. Many more cash-strapped towns will go down this questionable road as well finding it diffucult to resist advertiser's dollars in the face of negatively lopsided school budgets.

by Steve Hall    Jun- 8-04    




White House Delayed $226 Homeland Security Ad Campaign

An article on AntiWar.com by New York freelance writer Daniel Forbes claims Tom Ridge delayed for 17 months the $226 million Homeland Security advertising campaign to coincide with the launch of the Iraq war. Rather than launching the campaign months after 9/11 when it would have been most useful, it launched in February 2003 less than a month before the bombing of Iraq began thereby delaying delivery of important public health information. In an e-mail exchange, Forbes summarized his article by stating that -- cloaked by the ostensible public service message of terrorism preparedness -- the rhetoric in the ads served to whip up public sentiment for war.

by Steve Hall    Jun- 7-04    




The Big Idea Dies A Slow Death

Randall Rothenberg writes in Ad Age about the death of The Idea - what he calls the "hallmark of modern marketing." From Volkswagen's "Think Small to Alka-Seltzer's "I can't believe I ate the whole thing" to the Jolly Green Giant and Tony the Tiger, the icons and ideas brands once stood on are quickly disappearing yielding to product placements, celebrity endorsements and event marketing.

The big idea was supposed to be a great concept that would last for years and be branded into the psyche of the consumer. Now, it's all about the latest, coolest here-today-gone-tomorrow marcomm trickery. Gerbals shot from a cannon. The Lingerie Half Time Show. Subservient Chicken. All good ideas - if they were a part of a larger, longer lasting campaign. People of a certain age will be able to not only sing the jingles they heard over and over and over as kids but they will actually be able to remember the product. Not so with many of today's advertising efforts.

Rothenberg explains, "They (marketers of old) understood the value of a 'unique selling proposition,' but saw additionally that integrating the USP into a well-crafted narrative could make it live in the hearts and minds of consumers forever. It's telling that our memories of the best of these campaigns still evoke the marketers themselves."

Now, it's about Britney Spears and Thalia and Tiger Woods and Beyonce and Jessica Simpson and Outcast and supermodels and Keira Knightley and David Beckham which would be fine if they stuck with one campaign for a period of time but they don't. It's all about money, exposure and cool factor.

by Steve Hall    Jun- 7-04    




Adrants Named Best Individual Advertising Weblog

Adrants has been named best individual weblog on general marketing and advertising topics by industry publisher MarketingSherpa. The survey was conducted during the month of May with more than 800 MarketingSherpa readers examining and voting on 29 Blogs in six categories. In the individual advertising weblog category Adrants was up against well known weblogger Seth Godin among others.

Adrants was launched by Boston-based advertising professional Steve Hall in March 2002 as a means to maintain contact with the advertising industry during a period of personal unemployment. Reporting on the brilliance and idiocy of the media and advertising industry, Adrants has grown from a personal hobby to a small business with 2,000 newsletter subscribers and over 5,000 unique daily visitors bathing in subversive comment on the questionable, the absurd, the new and the noteworthy. It's popular appeal is likely the tangential topic matter not found in mainstream media coupled with an odd propensity to include a plethora of Maxim-like photographs any respectable advertising publication would surely deem salacious and un-newsworthy.

Upon winning this coveted awards, aspiring publisher Steve Hall plans to accelerate his grandiose plans for growing the Adrants empire potentially including hostile takeover bids for old media giants Ad Age and AdWeek or the launch of an ad agency that values something other than the tired :30 spot. But, today, in celebration of this honorable industry achievement, he'll just head over to the local hospital for a routine colonoscopy just to make sure the path is clear for more great Adrants content.

From his hospital bed, Mr. Hall said, "I'd like to give a big shout out to all of you who saw some redeeming quality, however small, in the oddness of what is Adrants. Much appreciation. You rock. Now quit wasting time reading this excuse for news and get back to work while I finish my colonoscopy and get back to ranting."

by Steve Hall    Jun- 7-04    




Husband's Snoring, Kids Are Asleep, Women Go Gaming

A report from Digital Marketing Services found women over age 40 spend the most time of any demo online playing games. Perhaps sick of the whining husband or the crying kid, Moms are logging on to find a relaxed community and escapism from life's stresses. Fourty three percent of gamers are women and advertisers are ignoring them and going after the hot male 18-34 demo. For months, I've seen a Mom I know popping onto my AIM window after midnight routinely. Now I know why. Ad Age covers this phenomenon and delves into some of the games and sites that women frequent.

by Steve Hall    Jun- 7-04    




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