- At a recent Public Relations Society of America seminar, PR professional Steve Rubel and journalist Pamela Parker discuss the role of weblogs in public relations and marketing.
- New York Times' Nat Ives analyzes Howard Stern's recent announcement regarding his move to Sirius satellite radio in 2006.
- Kawasaki has decided to switch agencies from FCB Worldwide to O'Leary and Partners, Irvine, CA.
- In a surprising revelation that Americans even care about politics, 43.6 million tuned into the Cheney Edwards debate, the most watch VP debate since 1992. Of course there are 250 million Americans who chose not to but who's counting.
- Amy Coor's MediaPost Out to Launch column reviews recent campaign launches from Yahoo, Ambush Makeovewer, Captivate Network, Corbis and Clairol.
Hoping to fatten up America and perhaps finally reveal the secret behind Beyonce's behind, McDonald's has enlisted the help of recently re-grouped Destiny's Child as spokesgroup for the calorie laden fast food marketer. The threesome will appear in a new collection of McDonald's ads and, in turn, McDonald's will sponsor the group's new worldwide tour beginning in spring 2005 and called, predictably, "Destiny's fulfilled and Levin' it." "We're lovin' the chance to work with McDonald's and know that together we'll create lots of fun and cool surprises," gushed Beyonce Knowles or more likely McDonald's PR people. "McDonald's shares our passion for music, so we can't wait to start connecting to our fans -- McDonald's customers -- all over the world."
Conde Nast is bailing out Gruner & Yahr Publication's ailing YM and will cease publication following the December-January issue rolling the teen magazine's circulation into Teen Vogue's circulation. Accordingly, Teen Vogue will increase its rate base from a planned 650,000 to 850,000 for the February issue. Thank God there's one less teen magazine to destroy teenage girl's self esteem by perpetuating unattainable perfection.
Following a grueling debate between viral marketing firm DMC Founder Justin Kirby and Britain's Interactive Advertising Bureau CEO Danny Meadows-Klue, the International Viral + Buzz Marketing Association has announced a viral manifesto which cut's through the clutter and clearly defines viral marketing.
Basically, it calls for clear target identification, enjoyable and valuable delivery of message and encouragement to share messages with others. Additionally, the manifesto calls for fostering genuine enthusiasm for a brand, acknowledging it is the recipients themselves, not the marketer, who spreads the message and the treatment of consumers as partners in the marketing process.
Continuing its streak of alternative advertising methods and to promote Virgin Atlantic's Upper Class Suite, Crispin Porter + Bogusky has created a ten minute video, called "Suite & Innocent," filled with every conceivable porn double entendre in existence from bad acting to character names like Miles High and Summer Turbulence to cheesy dialog like "seven more inches" of legroom and orgasmic "oh, oh, oh" pronunciations of the number of zeros on million dollar check.
The video is being distributed, appropriately, on the LodgeNet Entertainment Corporation Adult Desires pay-per-view hotel channel.
- There are those who believe CEO weblogs will change the face of marketing while saving millions. We agree.
- Publicis Chairman Maurice Levy offered the kind of compliment only and an agency exec can make saying , "It's a competitor whom we respect. It's a strong competitor on the French market, a bit less strong globally, which has lots of qualities and so for the market in general it would be best if Havas stayed independent."
- Wonderbra model Eva Herzigoza launched her own fashion line Tuesday in Paris.
- Seems NBC's excitement over Olympic ratings was off base according to a Mediaedge:cia study that found ratings to have increased only three percent over Sydney's rather than the nine percent NBC reported.
In January of 2006, Howard Stern will finally be able to legally tell the FCC to fuck off. That's when Stern will move to censor-free Sirius satellite radio taking a five year, $500 million deal.
With just 600,000 subscribers, Sirius has a fraction of Stern's current 12 million listener base but his move is sure to quickly and dramatically increase that figure. While this may be a welcome move for both Stern and Sirius, the censorship of commercial radio actually added to the allure of the show. Many times, it's what we can't say and can't see that makes those things all the more desirable. With everything hanging out on satellite, the desire may be less potent.
AOL, still, sadly, trying to convince consumers they are the best channel through which to experience the Internet, will debut a new campaign and new logo tomorrow in The New York Times, Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal. MarketingVOX notes the tagline has not yet been finalized and is being bandied about like a hockey puck among senior execs.
Capitalizing on the explosion of weblogs and the rapid growth of RSS, SBC has launched Project D.U. (digital universe), a desktop RSS reader populated by feeds from weblogs in six categories. Believed to be the first branded RSS reader that comes complete with pre-loaded content, Project D.U. was developed to bring unique and different voices, along with SBC's brand of course, to a wider audience. With Yahoo's recent embrace of RSS in its new My Yahoo, RSS is fast becoming the preferred mode of information dissemination on the Internet.
Project D.U. was conceived by Dallas-based TracyLocke Director of Digital Initiatives Todd Copelvitz. Prominent bloggers in the six categories were approached and recruited by yours truly (to whom money was paid) along with others at TracyLocke. We tried to identify blogs with strong personal voice like Tony Pierce's Busblog and blogs with focused subject matter like David Hauslaib's Jossip or Jessi and Tom's Big Bad Boat Blog.
Project D.U. users can add their favorite rss feeds as well.
Obviously, SBC intends to garner broad brand recognition and sell some product from this effort and there's no shame in that. What's unique is the project's win-win position providing long term branding for SBC, unique and different information for consumers and increased notoriety for those bloggers participating in the project. Participating bloggers are paid a small fee in exchange for Project D.U. pulling their RSS feed and adhering to minor guidelines. TracyLocke expects about 500,000 downloads of the reader by early 2005.
Following its recent price hike and not to be outdone by Budweiser who just jumped in the Starbucks sandbox with its new caffeine-laden BB beer, Starbucks is now teaming with Jim Beam to create a line of Starbucks-branded liquor to be sold at retail and in bars. We're certainly intrigued by this trend of conflicting drugs ripping our insides apart as the urge to pass out battles the urge to jump up and down like a coke-addled teenager heading back to class after snorting line or two in the bathroom. And yes, this news was originally announced back in April but a trend really isn't a trend unless there's two so forgive us our desire to manufacture.