Writing on an Adrants forum, Kevin Glennon brings a contrarian but common sense point of view to the practice of viral advertising. Glennon claims viral is not intended. He says it can't be planned and is a response, not an intent, to a piece of work that happens to be worthy of passing along. He claims there's no difference between a viral campaign and a successful campaign, writing, "You do not create viral campaigns or efforts. You try to create them. Just like you do not create successful ones. You try to. You can launch something funny that gets 20 hits, and it's not viral. Launch something that explodes into 200,000 hits overnight, and yes, it's viral. It's not viral until it's successful. Anybody who tells you otherwise is robbing you blind."
While Glennon's point of view is certainly true in many respects, the notion of viral marketers as enablers of viral activity - those that implement tactics to increase the likelihood an execution will spread - can't be completely dismissed. It's true that the best viral activity is organic but many creative pieces do find their way around simply due to a little "push" from these enabling companies. They may not go far after the initial push unless they are well received, thus successful in Glennon's words, but they wouldn't go anywhere at all without the push in the first place. It's an intriguing catch-22.
Adrants readers Steven Hirst points us to this new commercial, billed as unreleased and called "Ouch!", for Xbox which pits an ex-girlfriend and an ex-boyfriend against each other in increasingly ridiculous stunts to make the other jealous. Thankfully, Xbox Live is there to offer a healthier form of combat. The ad is served from a site that asks a few questions about the spot, asks viewers what's the most painful thing they've done and collects contact info for entry into a drawing for prizes that include an Xbox consoles with video camera and games, a Samsung TV and a Samsung MP3 player.
It's a nice tie in between the notion of X's fighting and Xbox's ability to provide a platform for the fight. Clearly, someone at LAVA Communications, the agency that created the piece, wrote a creative brief that plainly illustrated the product benefit.
Extending its brand, the California Milk Processor Board has signed deals with apparel manufacturers MJC Corp. and Cutie Pie Baby to create lines of Got Milk? branded men's boxers and baby clothing respectively. The MJC line will be sold through Wal-mart and the Cutie Pie Baby line will be sold trough Babies' R Us, Buy Buy Baby Baby Depot and Federated stores. There are plans for a an MJC women's wear line which will be sold through Target.
Adrants reader brings to our less than sports-minded attention a stunt Chevy pulled during Tuesday's Major League Baseball All-Star game during which FOX cameras panned, in feigned innocence, over a fan banner that read HHRYA.com. While broadcasters Joe Buck and Tim McCarver bantered back and forth about the banner, apparently, no one realized it was a paid placement for the new Chevy HHR vehicle directing people to a website that, according to The Register, was swamped and offline for for thirty minutes. The site is a repository for people to upload pictures of themselves with the letters HHR somewhere in the photo.
TV Guide.com has launched a yet another orgasm-themed viral called "Fusebox" which, using a computer monitor and a flat screen TV, illustrates the attractiveness of TV Guide online content. According to discussion in an Adrants forum, it has not been well received by the industry. From the wide screen take over to load times to relationship to the brand, many found the effort underwhelming.
Fusebox, Inc. Creative Director, whose company created the spot and who, commendably and in an uncommon practice, placed this work up for discussion in front of a naturally voracious and opinionated audience, has promised to heed the advice of his peers during the creation of the next three spots in the series. Join the discussion here and offer your opinion. We know. We know. It's pain, but you have to join the network to read the forum.
Following Thomas Early, who got 14 months in prison, Siefert will be tasting the inside of a cell as well and, quite humorously, as part of her sentence, will have to draft a written code of conduct for the advertising industry. Eighteen months in prison ought to remove any versions of adver-babble that might remain in her brain.
MediaBuys, an online media buying club, has relaunched it Media Store, replacing its Single Buy program to deliver steeply discounted media to buyers within a 24 hour period. For buying members interested in purchasing single placements of television, radio, magazine, newspaper, out of home and interactive - as opposed to full campaigns - media sellers will provide predetermined discount packages from which to choose.
In early June, Land Rover launched a campaign themed, "The New Rush" to promote the launch of the car company's new Range Rover Sport. It incorporated a website virtual cityscape along with outdoor. To attract attention to the campaign, Land Rover had a soft drink, called, appropriately, "The New Rush," made and distributed to the media and other promotional channels. It's tasty "concoction of B vitamins, caffeine, water and fruit flavors" and it's better than most soft drinks available at retail. The Adrants offices received our flat of the drink and we're lovin' it. Oh, wait. That's McDonald's. Sorry, Land Rover. We're....uh...rushin' it. Yea, that's it. Thanks.
This week, in yet another effort to save sagging circulation figures, The Boston Globe Launched Sidekick, a new, tab-sized section billed as "your guide to a better day." The section will be inserted in the main paper appear Monday through Friday. The section will include an enhanced television review section, more comics and puzzles and an interactive feature which will publish Boston.com reader-submitted content, including pictures and message board commentary. Capitalizing on the poker craze, Sidekick will feature two poker columns. The section is being distributed within half priced editions of the Daily Globe in an obvious bid to build readership and subscriptions for the main daily.
Earlier this week, the Sidekick was promoted with a bit of street distribution activity. Though in a completely different category, we have to wonder what T-Mobile and Danger, make of the Sidekick mobile device, think of the Globe's choice of name for its new paper.
McDonald's is doing the Neopets thing again. Beginning July 8 and running until August 4, 2005, twelve Neopets species from Netopis will be placed in McDonald's Happy Meals and Mighty Kids Meals. This is the second annual Neopets promotion with McDonald's.
Neopets is the online youth community where members can "explore new worlds, play games, enter contests, and interact with each other in an entertainment environment." The McDonald's Neopets Happy Meal and Mighty Kids Meal collection has twelve new species of Neopets in seven different colors. Each Neopet that comes with a McDonald's Happy Meal features a virtual prize code, which can be entered online in exchange for prizes, such as "fuzzy slippers" or Neopoints. Each Neopet also includes a "Petpet" clip.