Once a haven for stress free rumination, the men's public rest room has been under siege by marketers desperate to get their claws into unsuspecting consumers at all costs. Following other wiz-related bathroom advertising, I Heard It Media Group in Hartford, has launched WIZ RADIO, a pre-recorded audio production that plays in the restrooms of twenty-five establishments. Consisting of comedy, trivia, and advertisements, the feed is updated and changed monthly. In addition to the on premise audio, is WizRadio.com, a website for searching nightlife, dining, entertainment, career search, singles connection and shopping. Advertisers in the Hartford market are Coors, Guinness, Miller, Hartford Advocate, LIA Hyundai, and Travis Mortgage. The product is scheduled to be in all major cities across the United States by June 2005. Soon, earplugs may become as important as toilet paper.
As an extension of the mobile billboard, BikeBillboards.com has launched a new form of mobile billboard that is towed behind a bike instead of a truck. We look forward to the grudge match between mobile billboard truck drivers and bike billboard riders as they jockey for position at the latest trade show.
In an odd effort to promote its couch potato inducing selection of home electronics, Best Buy has launched Slothmore Institute, a website full of ideas to help consumers sit on their asses, be more lazy, make more excuses and buy more products. The 888 number is particularly amusing.
British beer brand Carling is now sponsoring subway musicians who appear in the London Underground paying them money and placing branded marketing materials around the performers.
U.K. Sun editor Rebekah Wade has ordered the paper's sports desk to drop all mention of football (soccer) sponsors from its coverage in the latest salvo in the ongoing rights battle between newspapers and the game's governing bodies. The move, which is sure to enrage sponsors such as Barclays and Coca-Cola which have shelled out millions for the naming rights to the leagues, comes as the two sides have failed to come to an agreement on the terms under which the game should be covered by the press.
Burger King, with the help of Miami's Crispin Porter + Bogusky, is doing strange things with chickens again to promote their chicken menu items.
This time, rather than bossing around a garter-clad chicken, visitors to Chicken Fight can pit "TC" aka Tendercrisp Chicken against "Spicy" aka Spicy Tendercrisp Chicken against each other in a boxing ring. It's not as engaging as the Subservient Chicken effort a few months back, which, admittedly, would be hard to top but it's amusing enough. It appears there's a networked, multi-player version arriving soon that may effect (Ed. affect?) the pass-along of this viral effort more quickly than the standard email a friend feature.
The purpose of the site is to promote a "real" fight between the two chicken characters on DirecTV November 5 at 10PM. We question, though, how the effectiveness of this campaign will be measured and suggest that, perhaps, fight winners be given redeemable coupons which could then be measured in stores as well as, ideally, increase sales.
We particularly love the disclaimer copy at the bottom of the site for those law-suit happy, animal loving morons. "No real chickens were harmed in the making of this advertising campaign. Burger King Corporation does not endorse or condone animal cruelty in any way including chicken fighting. The chicken characters featured in this advertising campaign are just actors wearing a chicken costume." No shit.
EA Benelux (Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg) has launched a unique stunt to promote The Sims 2 in the country where Big Brother was born.
Beginning tonight, a family will enter a house of glass, located in Utrecht, the Netherlands, for four days. During those four days, the family can be followed from the web, but anyone can also come to the house and watch them live. The family, two adults and two teenage sons, can be given assignments from the internet (hat is if you speak the local language), which makes them just like Sims. EA earlier on launched a campaign to find the Dutch family that will appear in the house. Calling all voyeurs.