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Aflac Duck Takes Backseat in New Campaign

The iconic Aflac duck, which scored highly in a recent consumer awareness study and boosted brand recognition from 12 percent to 90 percent since 2000, has be relegated to background status in a new ad campaign from the insurer. In the new ads, part of a $50 million ad campaign, the duck will not utter its signature "Aflac" quack and will appear only in the background. Conversely, the duck will now become part of the company's logo.

The duck his risen to M & M character/Mr. Peanut/Tony the Tiger status. While recent research conducted by Aflac points to a need to further explain what Aflac does, messing with well known icons is always a risky bet. The new ads will now follow the out of place, "Gee, I just got hurt and can't work so Aflac is going to help pay my bills" conversation between two people that never occurs in real life.

by Steve Hall    Dec- 3-04    

LA Affiliates Scared of 'Phil the Sore', AIDS Group Complains

All things lead back to Janet Jackson's nipple these days. For fear of FCC retribution, LA broadcasters have refused to air a Los Angeles County health agency-funded AIDS Healthcare Foundation ad that features two gay men the morning after and an oozing cartoon character representing syphilis. The Foundation has filed a complaint with the FCC and is seeking clarification from the TV station as to why the ad was refused.

For its part, KCBS Spokesman Mike Nelson said, "We consider the prevention of sexually transmitted diseases a serious matter," KCBS spokesman Mike Nelson said in a statement. "It is an issue that we have addressed and will continue to recognize through fair, accurate and balanced news reporting and the broadcast of public service announcements. With that said, we do not believe the spot we received was appropriate for our broadcast TV audience."

The ad was set to air on NBC's Will and Grace and during late night programming. The groups were able to get several cable stations, whose content is not regulated by the FCC, to air the spot.

by Steve Hall    Dec- 3-04    

TV Journalist Blog Launched to Promote Marketer B Rolls

While the launch of a weblog is always welcomed, MediaPost calls into question the motivation behind recently launched NewsBluntly. The articles themselves, which comment on the inner world of television reporting, are fine. It's the blog's association with TheNewsMarket.com that has caused concern. TheNewsMarket.com is a site containing a vast collection of b-roll video marketers provide and hope television journalists will use for their on-air reports. The latest additions are promoted on the blog. While TheNewsMarket.com has a disclaimer clearly stating the footage come from corporations, the blog does not. Is it a big deal or just another new blog marketing tactic?

by Steve Hall    Dec- 3-04    

Adrants Wants Your Opinion on Advergaming

There's a discussion brewing in an Adrants Network Forum on Advergaming. Members are sharing their thoughts on effective and appropriate use of advertisng in games and who's doing it properly now.

If you work in game design, place ads in games or are just interested in the topic, join the discussion here. If you are not a member, use this pre-approved invite link here to sign up.

by Steve Hall    Dec- 3-04    

Toyota Ad Demonstrates Effects Of Good Air Conditioning

We're all familar with the embarressing (to women) and enjoyable (to men) effect cold air has on the female body. In a new ad, Toyota has extended this well known effect to demonstrate the power of its air conditioning. We think it's in Spanish but we're not sure.

by Steve Hall    Dec- 2-04    

MTV Asia Campaign Gets Freaky With Schoolgirl Panties

Fleshbot (NSFW) points to an ad for MTV Asia which mirrors the supposed trend of Japanese schoolgirls selling there panties on eBay to middle aged sickos. Of course, in the ad, the panties are not really coming from hot little schoolgirls but from a far less hot source.

by Steve Hall    Dec- 2-04    

Agency Launches Viral Game to Promote Self

UK-based direct digital marketing agency Inbox Digital has developed a viral game called Speedy Santa in which Santa's sleigh is dragged around a race track with a computer's mouse. The race is timed and if Santa veers outside the track, he crashes and returns to the start. Upon playing, we came to realize we need a much better mouse because it certainly could not have been the user that caused so many crashes.

The game also allows players to create private leagues. Four friends can be invited to play the game and a real-time league table keeps players up to date on who has the best time. The game is accompanied by a small logo for Inbox Digital which leads to the agency's website which is designed using a book-like layout.

by Steve Hall    Dec- 2-04    

BrandBuzz Launches LG Transit Campaign

Following the phone-as-fashion theme of LG's ongoing ad campaign, BrandBuzz has launched a month-long transit campaign in New York City. The campaign includes station domination posters at the 59th and Lexington subway station, bus wraps and taxi tops. The posters contain the headlines, "I Need a Little Black Bag to Go with My New Phone," and "I Can't Wait for Him to See Me in This Phone." Additionally, viral-like posting are part of the campaign with text such as, "You sat next opposite me...On the 6 train around 2PM, Tuesday...wearing a purple hoodie, jeans skirt and an LG slider phone...Let's talk...Joe...917-575-3669." The phone number leads to a casual voice mail message by a guy who says, among other things, "if you are the girl I saw, please call me."

Anytime "real" phone numbers are used in ads, response is pretty much guaranteed because no one really knows who will be on the other end.

Some callers to this number will win LG mobile phone prize packages.

by Steve Hall    Dec- 2-04    

SpongeBobs Stolen From Burger King New Guerilla Marketing Tactic

SpongeBob SquarePants inflatables sitting atop Burger King restaurants in a joint marketing deal which began November 11 to promote the SpongeBob SquarePants movie have been reported stolen in ten states. While two teens apparently owned up to stealing one inflatable in Maryland, Burger King officials report they are disappearing nationally.

One Adrants reader surmises its one of the grandest guerilla marketing schemes yet attempted by none other than viral advertising poster child Crispin Porter + Bogusky, a Burger King ad agency in Miami. If this is true, it has certainly succeeded in garnering huge national play in the media. Currently, Google lists 228 news articles on the topic.

UPDATE: Burger King is now offering a one-year's supply of free Whoppers, salads or any other item on its menu as a reward to anyone with information leading to the safe return of SpongeBob.

by Steve Hall    Dec- 2-04    

CNN Campaign Makes Network Look Stupid

We're sure you've all seen the new CNN campaign featuring Wolf Blitzer, Anderson Cooper, Lou Dobbs and Christiane Amanpour attempting to do their thing while interacting with a bunch of idiots. While this attempts to position the on-air personalities as intelligent, it fails CNN miserably belittling the network and minimizing the importance of CNN's primary goal - to deliver serious, quality news. A fight about the pronunciation of Iraq? Botulism at the local deli more important than Blitzer's world events? Please. While humorous, CNN has damaged its image with this campaign when, in the wake of two network anchors departing, leaving a gaping news hole, the network could have positioned itself as the new evening news leader.

Instead, this campaign confirms its place as runner up to the networks.

UPDATE: Slate doesn't like the campaign either calling it "boring, misguided and insulting."

by Steve Hall    Dec- 2-04    

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