YesBut points out Bubblicious bubble gum has added a new feature to it website called Bubblicious Virtual Buddy. It allows you to pick a character, style them, call an 800 number, record a message which is then spoken by the created character. The entire creation can then be emailed to a friend. Similar to Wedding Crashers' Trailer Crashers promotion, this should make for some interesting inter-teen communication.
In a move that seems counter to the online advertising giant's genesis, Google has purchased print ads in technology magazines including PC Magazine and Maximum PC and has resold portions of full page ads to online AdWord advertisers. The ads, which contain five to six advertisers contains a URL which points to an online version of the ad page. The ads do not contain a Google logo but only the descriptive copy on the top of the ad, "Ads by Google" and "Google advertisers offer these products and services" at the bottom.
Finally, common sense has prevailed and humor may be reborn. Adland points to an ad for UK Powerleague which shows a woman playing with a hamster in a ball until her boyfriend comes in, does some soccer moves and boots the ball out the window with the hamster still inside was not banned by the UK's Advertising Standards Authority. While one complainant said the ad could encourage animal cruelty, the ASA said it was all done in fun and is clearly not condoning animal cruelty. Humor people. It's called humor.
To persuade hipster fools to spend $200 on a pair of jeans, Levi's has enlisted the help of Andy Warhol, the granddaddy of all things hip. Called "Warhol Factory X Levi's," the jeans are priced between $150 and $250 and will be available next Spring.
General Motors has signed a deal with computer maker Itronix to manufacture a Hummer-branded laptop, ruggedly designed for those who work outside or just plain love all things Hummer. Priced at $2,988, the laptop isn't cheap but it is said to survive repeated 30 inch test drops and remain functional.
Apparently the only human alive who still believes professional wrestling is real, World Wrestling Entertainment Chairman Vince McMahon is upset over an ad for Spike TV's Ultimate Fighting Championship which says, "What's real? Pro wrestling? No. Boxing? Not anymore. The UFC is real!" The ad aired during a Spike TV broadcast of WWE RAW angering McMahon. Perhaps to save itself from the wrath of McMahon, Spike TV removed reference to pro wrestling from ads aired during WWE RAW but left the reference in ads aired during other programming.
Bucky Turco reports Scion's latest hip hop promotion, NEXT UP, an unsigned emcee search, has recently faced backlash from the very community it was trying to reach. The car company disqualified an emcee because of his politically charged lyrics about President Bush and the war. The track, entitled Black Gold, is an obvious reference to oil and the war.
The rap artist, Bavu Blakes, was willing to alter his lyrics a bit so he could advance to the next round of the competition and potentially win a $50,000 marketing deal, but Inform Ventures, the marketing company handling the promotion for Scion, said he was disqualified because his lyrics were too political.In fairness to Scion, Bavu entered the "underground" category rather than the "political" category but many still believe Bavu was censored.
Leveraging the misery of others, eBay has, according to Animax, purchased hurricane relief-related keywords on Google to hawk hurricane Katrine t-shirts. Like the stereotypically crass car salesmen of old, eBay, in the midst of a search results page full of Katrina hurricane relief fund listings, eBay is shamelessly selling t-shirts.
UPDATE: In comments, it is clarified that this is an affiliate ad placed by a party other than eBay itself. Still, the average consumer would never know that and would clearly see this as an eBay ad thereby placing the company in a less than respectable light. If eBay, or any other company, can't control how their brand is referenced in online advertising, it's clearly indicative something's very wrong with the system.
Without kids and still doing the Hollywood singles scene, albeit with older men because she thinks guys her age are too immature, Jessica Alba has decided to launch a line of baby clothing to help style-conscious parents make their kids look as hip as they do. Naturally, as with all things celebrity, a portion of the proceeds will go to charity - in this case, orphanages and women's shelters. The brand is set to launch next April.
With the increase in websites that require registration to fill their databases with valuable demographic information which is used to properly target advertising, privacy advocates have increasingly spoken out against the practice and fake registration credentials web service, BugMeNot, continues to grow. Now, a site called Internet Advertiser Wakeup Day has launched a petition which vows to, on November 13th, have all signers register fakes details on sites the have deemed the top ten offending sites: nytimes.com, washingtonpost.com, latimes.com, ajc.com, chicagotribune.com, dallasnews.com, nypost.com, philly.com and mercurynews.com.
While no one likes to be interrupted with registration when all one is trying to do is read a simple article arrived at through another link, there is value to the registration process. In it's current state, though, it's a mess. Much work needs to be done and much explanation of the value of registration to the consumer needs to be done as well along with making the entire process far simpler. Shedding insight on the issues and suggesting a speedier, aggregated process, Underscore Marketing President Tom Hespos offers his opinion on MediaPost.