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Conference to Illustrate Benefits of Video Game Advertising

The Advertising in Games Forum, April 14, 2005 at the Metropolitan Pavilion, in New York City, plans to explore the creative and audience targeting potential of video games as an advertising medium. The Forum will feature a keynote presentation by Mitch Davis, CEO of Massive Inc, the creator of one of the first video game advertising networks, as well as executives at industry leading game companies, technology companies and agencies.

Attendees will hear how brands can make use of the rapid expansion in new video game formats and technology platforms to reach target demographics and achieve ROI and tracking objectives. Attendees will learn how to address the increasingly fragmented gaming audience through a variety of alternate creative treatments; how the unique format of on-line ads affects creative and overall campaign costs; how to manage long development cycles for games; how ads can add realism to games, and how the relationship between the ad agency and the developer/publisher can be managed to mutual advantage.

by Steve Hall    Mar- 4-05    

Gillette Campaign Bathes Singapore Subway Station in Matrix Green

To promote its M3Power razor, Gillette and its media agency MindShare, cast a green glow on one of Singapore's busiest subway stops, City Hall MRT, by placing green transparency over most of the station's lighting. The station domination campaign also included the placement of station poster featuring spokesman David Beckham. If anyone from Gillette or MindShare have images, please share.

by Steve Hall    Mar- 4-05    

Martha Stewart to Benefit From Jail Time

Writing in Business Week, Diane Brady examines the market's reaction to Martha Stewart's time in jail and her release today. Brady says Stewart's company stock is up, Stewart stand to collect a big paycheck upon release, TV appearances and series abound (The Apprentice: Martha Stewart) and book deals are in the making.

by Steve Hall    Mar- 4-05    

Video On Demand Boggles Some, Not Adrants

At the AAAA's Conference in New Orleans this week, Comcast CEO Brian Roberts discussed his company's adoption and rollout of video on demand and how that will enable both Comcast and advertisers to serve the specific needs of individuals. During his speech, Roberts announced a partnership with Rentrak Corp. which will yeild monthly VOD metrics including counts for VOD-enabled boxes per market, views per month, unique box views per month and total monthly minutes viewed.

Discussion from the panel netted little additional insight into the understanding of VOD's potential for sustaining an advertising model.

To us, it's simple. VOD will simply be a video version of the Internet's point and click navigation scheme. Watch a program, see something of interest, click on it, show pauses, shifts to video of item of interest and so on. Product placement won't have to be so blatant. If a viewer likes what an actor is wearing, driving, eating, touching, etc., click on it and get more info about it. In fact, marketers won't pay for the actual product placement but, rather, pay for the link to the screen/video that contains more info on the item.

Of course, marketers will still engage in product placement efforts so that their product appears and can be clicked on. It's not a perfect model and we know you'll shoot holes right through it but we think it has potential.

by Steve Hall    Mar- 4-05    

Man Stands Out With Pot Noodle Horn

Assuredly among many, one of the advantages women have over men is their ability to become "interested" in someone without visibly "announcing" it for all to see. In this video for Pot Noodles, this poor chap, walking into a bar, has a very large public "announcement" in the form of The Pot Noodle Horn. At first, he denies to his friends he has The Pot Noodle Horn but then proudly displays it for all to see, embraces it and blows it loudly. He then scurries off, returns, disheveled but relieved, though with a bit of Pot Noodle "evidence" spilt on his clothes. Despite the description, this is perfectly safe to view at work.

by Steve Hall    Mar- 4-05    

Pop Up Purveyors Disrespectful of People's Preferences

One of the major reasons people use pop up blockers or switch to browsers like Firefox which have built in pop up blockers is to, no doubt, block pop ups. Serving pop ups is one thing. Ignoring people's preference to avoid them as a whole different animal. Companies that circumvent a consumer's choice to block pops by deploying anti-pop up/under blocking software are scum in our book. We use Firefox. Until recently, the past year and a half or so have been blissfully pop-free. A month or so ago, we have seen the resurgence of the pop while using Firefox. We don't like it.

Today, while visiting Dictionary.com, we were presented with a pop under. We forget the advertiser but we do know Advertising.com serves on-page banners to Dictionary.com. It's known that pop ups and unders do not always emanate from specific sites but from behavioral profiles built up over time so we aren't sure Dictionary.com or Advertising.com had anything to do with the pop.

Later today, while loathe to do so, we found it necessary to visit DrudgeReport. Sure enough, two pop unders appeared. This time, we paid more attention and saw that Tribal Fusion served the pop for Emode's Tickle. The other pop was one of those obnoxious flashing banners, this time, for travel site Travasaurus. We can't confirm who served that one but we sure like Drudge a lot less now that we did before.

Respect for peoples choice to opt out of seeing pop ads seems like a no brainer. It's sort of like answering "yes" to a waiter after he's asked if you're finished with your meal only to have him scrape what food might be left on the plate and jam it down your throat. It's just not a nice thing to do. Why is it so difficult for companies to grasp that concept? And we're not buying that whole argument that pops, like telemarketing work so they must be a OK. Times are changing. People aren't going to stand for this shit. Advertisers and sites should not stand for it either.

by Steve Hall    Mar- 3-05    

Virgin Mobile Launches 'Pee Strip' Insert

one of our Canadian readers sent us this magazine insert for Virgin mobile which asks readers to cut out a strip of paper from the insert and pee on in like a pregnancy test. As if anyone would actually do this is of no matter to Virgin Mobile. On the back of the insert, Virgin Mobile assumes the test was taken and asks, "Did you test positive for the Catch?" The "Catch," apparently, refers to competing cell phone provider's practice of tying discounts and promotions to loopholes or catches. The back of the insert lists symptoms of the "Catch" as "monthly billing discomfort, "unsightly hidden fees," irregular growth in rates" and "paralyzing contractual obligations." Of course, the offer close with Virgin Mobile's catch-free cell phone plan. We'll give it notice for being different. Larger images are here and here.

by Steve Hall    Mar- 3-05    

WeatherBug Launches Weblog

Leading the next great corporate marketing trend, desktop weather company WeatherBug has launched a weblog.

The goal of the weblog, it seems, is to address customer concerns and to offer insight into the weather gathering and weather reporting process. Since weather is high on everyone's daily news troll, a blog about the process might make sense.

by Steve Hall    Mar- 3-05    

Vegas Red Casino Launches Second Viral

Yesterday, we pointed to a video for Vegas Red Casino which showed a guy going to the doctor's office for his oversized right arm due to playing too many slots. Today, the second video, created by Keta Keta, illustrates playing the odds at Vegas Red Casino is much safer than playing the odds with a fan

by Steve Hall    Mar- 3-05    

Saatchi Picks Ups Pieces After Mass Exodus

Following the exit of General Mills Account Director Mike Burns and the 16 others who followed, Saatchi Worldwide has begun to rebuild naming Pete Johnson senior VP and creative director. In an unlikely scenario, General Mills is encouraging the group that left to at least speak with Saatchi about returning.

Obviously, there's deep secrets afoot here. Seventeen people don't up and leave without good reason. Not that anyone will do so, but we'd sure appreciate hearing little truth from anyone of those 17 former Saatchi staffers or others who have real facts surrounding the event.

If you are so inclined, we're happy to grant anonimity. Find us here.

by Steve Hall    Mar- 3-05    

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