In the so over category, Joe Tamargo has joined the legions of odd soles selling off their bodies on eBay as moving billboards. We're not even going to bother summing up recent stories on the trend. There everywhere and easy to find. Wait til you hear the one about the pregnant woman who is selling her tummy to advertisers on eBay.
The Mister Softee brand has, forever, been identified by its truck's trademark jingle. Mayor Bloomberg has proposed a ban to eliminate the jingle as part of the city's noise code but Mister Softee execs claim that would put the company out of business. However, a compromise has been reached that allows the company to play its jingle while its trucks are moving but not when they are parked. While the reduction of the, to some, annoying, Mister Softee jingle may help reduce city noise a bit, the physical removal of horns from every New York City cab would certainly make greater headway toward a quieter city.
MediaGuardian reports commercial director Stuart Fryer directed the hotly debated Volkswagen Polo viral ad in which a suicide bomber detonates his bombs within the vehicle. The spot has been linked to a London-based creative partnership called Lee and Dan who are currently being sued by Volkswagen for their part in the creating of the ad.
Fryer claims the spot was created and shot for use on a show reel and was never intended to be seen by the public. Fryer explains saying, "I just wanted it for show reel purposes, not seen by millions of people around the world. I don't want to offend people, I just want to make advertisements. I wanted to show it to the Saatchis and BBHs of this world. Little did I know that the advert that I made would be sent out on the internet and create such a fuss - it's shocked me."
Volkswagen is approaching the legal aspects of this a bit better than PUMA did when it was caught off guard a couple years ago by an unsanctioned ad. PUMA decided to sue all the bloggers who wrote about the story and posted images of the ads rather than trying to figure out who created the ads and sue them.
We're thankful times have changed.
Why no hair transplant company hasn't tried this approach before is beyond us but we can now thank (or hate) Medical Hair Restoration for riffing on eighties hair bands to promote their hair restoration service. The campaign includes three :30's featuring the ficticious band, The Hair Dudes, which poke fun at other self-improvement products hawked to hair-challenged men and suggest a full head of hair is the only path to well being. The spots can be viewed here.
A comment under our story on the Omaha man who sold his forehead to California-based SnoreStop through an eBay auction for $37,375 is rumored to be a well organized public relations stunt. The rumor states the daughter of SnoreStop CEO Melody de Rival actually went to college with the Omaha man, Andrew Fischer, and the two set the entire thing up together. In the comment section, David Hume writes, "Do you believe everything you read in the papers? Watch this story unfold. When is the guy getting paid? In one payment or in 12 monthly installments, as agreed upon. And who is going to see his forehead? This entire thing was very iffy and scammy and media savvy, they even had a PR firm ready to give out photos in a jiffy. Who arranged all this to happen with such magic speed? Again, don't believe everything you read in the papers. And stop snoring!" We must admit, it has been one of the more well organized, better covered eBay stunts in recent memory. We've placed clarification calls to Crier Communications, which wrote the original press release on the news and to SnoreStop.
UPDATE: The Omaha man, Andrew Fisher, has written Adrants claiming the sales of his forhead to SnoreStop is no stunt and was not planned in advance as a publicity stunt. He writes: "In fact no, I have never been to college in my entire life, nor have I ever met this girl even to this day. Where or how this rumor got started I do not know, but I can assure you I have never even heard of SnoreStop before this auction.
How did the PR company get my picture so fast? Let me think. I took a digital picture of myself, and then emailed it to them. Follow? This is just a rumor made up by someone who is jealous of the fact that I had a good idea that worked out very well for me. I have added this question to the FAQ page on my website as well to prevent this rumor from spreading. Not everything in life is a conspiracy.
Just one day after agreeing with FOX not to air a spot that pokes fun at last year's Super Bowl "wardrobe malfunction," Budweiser has, itself, released the spot on the web heading off the underhanded efforts of those who would have spread it virally anyway. It was probably the right choice not to air the ad. Not because it might catch the attention of the FCC or any cause group but because it's simply not a very good commercial. It plays like a joke that has been told millions of times before by someone who still thinks it's funny. It might have been funny if it ran during the Oscars last year. This year it just screams like a wannabe, "Dude, isn't this hilarious?" View the spot at Budweiser's site.
We heard the broadcast and it was clearly a joke albeit an insensitive one. New York WQHT Morning DJ Miss Jones and her Hot 97 team have been suspended for airing a song making light of the disaster. Set to the tune of "We Are The World," the song is filled with racial slurs such as "chinks" and Chinaman." The song first aired January 18.
Emmis Radio President Rick Cummings said, "What happened is morally and socially indefensible. All involved, myself included, are ashamed and deeply sorry." You can hear the song here.
An Anheuser-Busch Bud Light spot poking fun at last year's wardrobe malfunction, set to air during the Super Bowl, will not be seen after FOX and Anheuser-Busch execs met to discuss the potential backlash. In the spot, a man, backstage at last year's half time show, uses Jackson's dress, hanging over a chair, to get a better grip opening his bottle of Bud Light. This apparently damages the dress. No doubt, this spot will be released on the web anyway for all to see.
Anyone over at DDB Worldwide that wants to get that ball rolling, feel free.
Recently, Dennis Publishing's Maxim launched a site called Endangered Man which highlights some of men's traits and why man must be added to the Endangered Species list. The kitschy, tongue-in-cheek site contains a petition addressed to United States Secretary of the Interior Gale Norton and Director of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Steve Williams arguing why man should be added to the list. The site is filled with humorous man references including mans' favorite tools: The Sanity Retention device (satellite dish), The Veal Chunk Transfer Device (fork), The Freestyle Landscaping Device (motorbike), The Rent Money Acquisition Machine (foosball table) and the Cheerleader Viewing Device (arena scoreboard.
The site is quite involving following the style of documentary-like, Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom-style references to man's habits and lifestyle and why they should not be left to extinction. Ironically, it's Maxim's circulation that's in greater danger of extinction.
Marketers and those that work for them continue to under estimate the resourcefulness of inquiring minds. Either that or they are just lazy when it comes to covering their tracks. Earlier this month, a strange site called Two Headed Dog launched with images, games and videos, all "two headed dog" themed. We, and others, eventually surmised it was related to MTV2. We were right.
Today, an email pointed us to an Animated Republic message board posting by "Daikun" who picks up on how another poster "Albright" saw a promotion for the Two Headed Dog site on GameSpot's On the Spot. "Daikun" then looked at source code of the promo - just as someone who recently cracked a GM online promotion did - and, whadda ya know, right there in the code was reference to MTV2. We may never know whether this was the result of sloppy project management or whether the code was "leaked" intentionally. Either way, MTV2 is up to something.