A new campaign for British Airways launched today in the New York area with outdoor ads containing British words such as Chuff, Cheers, Kip, Queue, Readies and others, each of which contains a URL that link to a word-specific microsite allowing the visitor to test their knowledge of British slang. All this is to clue in Americans before they hop on a British Airways flight to England for a vacation.
The New York City-area outdoor campaign - the airline's largest - ever in North America - features over 60 different words that will be strategically placed near the object or idea the word defines. All the ads are done in British Airways blue and topped by the line "Go With Those Who Know," first introduced in a British Airways leisure TV campaign in September 2004. In addition to wallscapes, phone kiosks and deli bags, the outdoor and out-of-home work will be found on highway billboards, postcards, bar coasters, menu boards, window posters and outdoor café umbrellas, again with fitting British words that "match" the occasion or the setting. Even London-style taxis will be wrapped with the creative work focusing on the legendary chattiness and service of the London cabbie. Images from the campaign can be viewed here.
Capitalizing on Mothers Day and aligning world hunger with babies suckling big breasts, a video, called ForMothersDay, with uniquely relevant lyrics and visuals, reminds us 10 million mothers will go hungry in America on Mother's Day and one out of four kids will go to bed hungry. The video leads to the America's Second Harvest - The Nation's Food Bank Network fund raising website which calls attention to National Hunger Awareness Day June 7.
UPDATE: As many have pointed out, this could very likely be a brand highjack.
Scooter maker Vespa, working with CooperKatz, is launching two customer-written weblogs focused on encouraging more Americans to take up scootering. Vespa is accepting applications for bloggers and will "hire" two bloggers each for the two blogs they are launching. One blog will focus on urban mobile lifestyle and the other will focus on the journey of life - getting from point A to point B - existentially rather than physically.
John Keehler of Random Culture comments on the continuing insanity of product placement by pointing out a movie trailer for the new Samuel L. Jackson, Eugene Levy film, The Man, in which there are product placements for USA Today and Blockbuster. Assuming the trailer scenes are actually part of the movie, this is not entirely a surprise. Although, it wouldn't be out of the realm of possibility that companies repping USA Today and Blockbuster certainly urged/paid New Line to include these scenes in the trailer since it's likely more people will see the traier than the movie itself.
A Salt Lake City teaser billboard campaign for, it is assumed, a children's orthodontist containing the URL www.uglykids.info was taken down by Reagan Outdoor after many people, who typed in www.uglykids.com by mistake, were whisked to a page full of porn links. Sexually frustrated Utah resident jokes aside, the campaign, while pulled by Reagan, is still running on competing billboard company boards. The proper link leads to a site containing a video of children, filmed in shadows, confessing to the distress experience because of their ugly teeth.
That's My Dress, Bitch!
All women know the most horrific experience one could ever find themselves in is to show up at a party or an event wearing the same clothing as another women. In one spot, called Times Two, for Bacardi Silver, created by davidandgoliath and highlighting social situations saved by the Bacardi Silver Manual," two women, upon seeing each has the same dress on, consult the manual and get creative with their clothing. A few rips and a tear later, the two women, pleased with their new creations, toast each other with Bacardi Silver.
Another spot features a guy stumped at the "I do" part of his wedding ceremony only to be helped out by his friends, who consult the Bacardi Silver manual, asking their friend, "Do you like nachos?" to which he replies, "I do."
Yesterday, Business Development Institute held a seminar entitled, "Blogging Goes Mainstream: Is Your Company Ready?", which examined how weblogs can benefit marketers. The largest theme at the seminar was that weblogs create conversations and, to take advantage of these conversations, marketers should join the conversation rather than try to manage it. In a world increasingly filled with consumer created content, created outside the control of big media companies, marketers must subdue their desire to launch the typical top-down, scream from the rooftops marketing campaign. Rather, marketers can leverage consumer created content to listen to what's being said about their brand and join the conversation, just as one would at a cocktail party, rather than attempt to control it.
Debuting tonight and featuring Melania Trump, is the 22nd Aflac Duck commercial. The new spot is the third installment in a new series of Aflac television ads created to educate consumers on the specific benefits of Aflac insurance. Developed by the Kaplan Thaler Group, "Experiment" joins two ads from earlier this year, "The Broken Leg" and "Pet Shop," in showcasing the duck outside its typical one-word role.
"Following five years of saying only 'Aflac,' we believe viewers will enjoy seeing the Aflac Duck talk," said Dan Amos, chairman and CEO of Aflac. "The commercial gives the duck a voice in a very clever and entertaining way. We were pleased that Melania Trump was available to help the duck talk about the benefits of Aflac with glamorous appeal."
We are breathless with anticipation.
But I Am Emoting!
She can't act but she can sure snag a multi-million dollar advertising spokesmodel contract - or at least her agents can. Mischa Barton, thespian-challenged O.C. hottie, has extended her current agreement as spokesbimbo for the Keds division of Stride Rite through 2007 and added international duties as well. As part of this agreement, Barton will appear in the footwear company's print, television and outdoor advertising campaigns, direct mail, in-store materials and online in North America and around the world, as well as make personal appearances domestically and abroad on behalf of the brand.
Reading from a publicist cue card, Keds Corporation President Shawn Neville said, "We are thrilled to extend and expand our successful relationship with Mischa through 2007 and across all international markets. Mischa personifies the Keds brand essence of authenticity, classic style, confidence and cool. Together, the Keds team and Mischa will continue to create product and marketing that reflect this essence and help Keds re-connect with its rich heritage and become a leading active lifestyle brand around the world." How deep inside the head does the hammer have to be implanted before PR people realize real people don't talk like this? And, when they are forced to, they are made to sound like idiots.
Put a business guy and a tech guy in one room and it's just a disaster waiting to happen. In a classic commercial versus Utopian discussion of whether ads should be placed in RSS feeds, Calcanis and Winer go at it dissing barbs left and right. Winer doesn't think Calcanis has the "right" to have a business that involves RSS nor does he think Calacanis has the "right" to pay bloggers (with income generated by ads in RSS feeds) to publish their content. Accompanying the insanely questionable notion of that logic, Calcanis tells Winer, "You can cry about it all you want, but this train has left the station and you're still at the ticket counter bitching about why you even need a ticket."
The conversation is largely pointless. It's just version 37.8 of the same old "free versus pay" bitch session that's gone on since the first ad was scrawled on the wall of a cave. The conversation will never be resolved. There is no answer. People hate ads but they also hate to pay for content. RSS is simply the current whipping boy until the next new delivery medium comes along. One thing is certain. Where there are people, there will be ads. Get over it.