A recent study by Bridge Ratings & Research found just eight percent of radio listeners who have owned an MP3 player for more than six months listen to radio less. While those who have recently bought an MP3 player do, certainly listen to less radio as they get comfortable with their new music source, the study suggest MP3 is not a radio killer. However, for the 12-18 demo, it may be. After owning an MP3 player for six months, 45 percent 12-18 year olds listen to radio less.
This Lincoln Navigator ad on page 41 of last Sunday's New York Times Magazine, according to bike racer, former bike messenger and Animal New York Publisher Bucky Turco, uses bike messenger's names, without permission, to promote the vehicle by attempting to create a relationship between messengers and SUVs.
Turco tells us, "Not only does this Lincoln ad hijack names of messengers who never gave permission, but just the idea that a NYC bike messengers having anything in common with a Lincoln is so far from reality. What is wrong with these idiots. Messengers hate cars. It's like using vegetarians to sell furs, it don't work. Who in the hell approved this creative?"
Bike messenger Squid, who is referred to in the ad, is a high ranking member of the NYBMA, and often referred to as "the bike messenger-general" never, according to Turco, OK'd the use of his name in this ad. Turco claims this is the second time Lincoln has run this type of creative, showing a bike messenger and then "throwing a few messenger names in with the copy for street cred."
Despite his image also appearing in an international version of the ad, without permission, a few months ago after declining to participate, Squid tells us he took no legal action. This time, he promises to do so.
Adrants reader Ed Misley wrote he just saw the documentary movie, "Enron: The Smartest guys in the room," and noted a prominent Coke product placement he thought quite odd. He writes, "During many scenes of Jeffrey Skilling testifying before congress they digitally edited a Diet Coke can (with the logo prominently facing the camera). Now because of how they cropped the scene, the coke can was almost the size of his head. Now I watch a lot of C-Span and I don't remember a time when I saw anything other than glasses and pitchers of water on the tables of those testifying. Why would Coca Cola Crop pay good money to have their product next to the bad guy?"
He continued, commenting upon a second product placement, "I also noticed a more subtle product placement of a water bottle, which I think was "Spring Hill" due to the green label but it was turned in such a way as to not see the label entirely. Was this a ruse to divert attention away from the suspicious coke can? This was during an exchange of words between Barbara Boxers and Jeffrey Skilling. Skilling had the blatant coke and Boxer had the subtle water bottle. The coke can appeared almost every time you saw Skilling testifying. I am not anti-adverting I just can't figure out why this would help either Coca Cola or the filmmakers."
Well, unfortunately, Ed, it's all about the money. While we haven't seen the movie and can't comment directly, we suspect somebody needed money, Coke had money, transaction happened.
While we had to fire up dusty old Internet Explorer for it to actually work, IBM, as part of its Rolland Garros sponsorship, is running in interesting Flash expand-o-banner which opens to reveal a customizable tennis player which you can pit against other online players. The scores of the actual tournament are displayed at the lower left of the banner. It was engaging enough to catch out attention which is a rarity. View here. You may have to reload a few times.
A French website promoting TransAtlantys, an undersea train providing eight hour travel between New York and Paris, was launched March 2 by DDB France and is causing a great deal of debate on discussion boards. Very likely, it's another viral marketing hoax. The site, which claims construction will start in June and take 11 years to complete, provides the opportunity for visitors to register for tickets. But, according to French speaking Adrants reader Richard Ollier, when you look at the conditions of the "Register to be the first", you have to claim your price before September 15, 2005 and travel between June 15, 2005 and December 31, 2005. There is mention of another date period between May 23, 3005 and June 2, 2005 but it's unclear what those dates represent. We're sure our French speaking readers will provide comment. Not to mention you folks at DDB France. We know you read us.
While we're no engineer, there is quite a bit of discussion on boards about the practical impossibilities of building such an undertaking and the speeds at which the train would have to travel to make the eight hour journey. Snopes has nothing yet but we're calling this one a hoax and will wait patiently for the true marketing goal behind this to rear it's head.
UPDATE: In comments, Adrants reader Bruno points out the travel site voyages-sncf.com is behind the hoax. A French story on the campaign is here.