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Playboy to Go Digital

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Placing jokes about digits aside for a moment, lad-mag granddaddy Playboy will launch a digital addition of the magazine with its October issue on September 13th. The digital addition will be powered by Zinio Systems. As with the print edition, the digital version will be available for subscription and single copy sale. While Playboy does have a website with some of the magazine's content, Zinio systems will reproduce the magazine online exactly as it appears in print. Playboy's Lingerie is already produced digitally by Zinio.

Hoping for further worldwide reach, the move is more likely in reaction to the publication's declining numbers. Year-to-date ad pages are down 15 percent, the magazine missed its 3.15 million rate base by 35,002 and newsstand sales are down 23.2 percent. Zino says circulation of digital editions, on average, amount to five percent of print circulation. All other variable being equal, that brings an additional 157,500 readers though, likely, a considerable percentage of digital subscribers will come from canceled print subscriptions lessening the increase.

by Steve Hall    Aug-26-05    
Topic: Magazine, Online, Publishing



Mary-Kate Olsen May Become Calvin Klein Spokesmodel

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The MSNBC gossip folks are reporting Mary-Kate Olsen may be speaking with Calvin Klein about becoming the clothier's new spokesmodel. Seems a fitting job for a college and food-challenged celebu-billionaire. Of course, no one at Calvin Klein is talking.

by Steve Hall    Aug-25-05    
Topic: Brands, Celebrity



Hot Models De-Cry Turtle Egg Aphrodisiac Consumption

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To persuade Mexican men not to illegally consume turtles' eggs which they believe to be aphrodisiacs, the California-based group Wildcoast has launched an ad campaign featuring models with bulging breasts with the headline, "My man does not need turtle eggs because he knows they don't make him more potent." Unfortunately, few women are as hot as those found in models and, correctly or incorrectly, some men may feel the need for a little boost with sexual arousal.

As is always the case with these campaigns, anti-women-as-sex-objects group are speaking out against the campaign. The National Women's Institute, while behind the effort to end consumption of turtle eggs, feels the campaign portrays women as sex objects. But, stepping back for a moment and looking at this from a basic, instinctual perspective, women, for most men, are just that: sex objects. Now we don't mean that in a bad way and before the hate mail rolls in, putting aside the whole notion of human's higher intellectual yearnings, men are innately programmed to be sexually attracted to women. There's no changing that.

This ad (see another here), although created with an unrealistically hot model, is simply reinforcing the natural sexual desire a man has for a woman (yea, yea, there's the whole homosexual thing but that's another subject) and, by association, saying aphrodisiacs are unnecessary. The ad is using basic human emotion to appeal to men's basic human needs to deliver an important endangered species message. Does anyone really think an ad with a bunch of dead turtle on a beach would be more attention-getting?

by Steve Hall    Aug-25-05    
Topic: Campaigns



Arbitron to Measure Podcasts

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Arbitron recently used its Portable People Meter technology to measure podcast listenership. In mid-July, the measurement company encoded some podcasts from Clear Channel's Z100 which listeners using PPM-enabled headsets downloaded and played. Arbitron's Portable People Meter President Pierre Bouvard said, "Podcasting is a very different distribution system for traditional radio and the successful test of the PPM should further build confidence in how well it works with all types of audio programming. The state-of-the-art encoding system used in the PPM does a better job of identifying alternate distribution platforms and time-shifted audio content than any other approach to portable electronic audience measurement that we've seen." Inevitably, just as is now happening with television spots, podcast ads will be tagged and measured as well.

by Steve Hall    Aug-25-05    




Dish Network to Copy Half.com Town Naming Stunt

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AdFreak reports the "marketers begging towns to change their name" trend, originated by then Half.com VP of marketing Mark Hughes is showing no signs of slowing. Like television and movie producers latching on to a past success rather than attempting original thought, the marketers over at Dish Network are offering free service to all residents of any town willing to change its name to Dish.

by Steve Hall    Aug-25-05    
Topic: Brands



Michigan to Toyota: Keep Your Cars Out of Our Town

Japanese car maker Toyota had plans to shot a spot called, "Toyotaville" in the neighborhood of Cherry Hill Village in Canton, Michigan showing a Toyota parked in every driveway. That's not exactly the sort of thing you try to do in America's center of the automotive universe unless your an American car maker. Resident said "sorry, not in my backyard." The deal ended. One canton resident told the Canton Observer, "Maybe I'm just old-fashioned. I don't understand the excitement of Toyota in what is traditionally and what will hopefully continue to be Chrysler, Ford and GM country. Southeast Michigan, rightly or wrongly, was built on the automotive industry. I feel like there should be some loyalty to dance with the one that brought you."

by Steve Hall    Aug-25-05    
Topic: Brands



Yahoo: Oops, You Can't Advertise Today

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Following a weekend overhaul to its search engine ad system, Yahoo has been having difficulty allowing marketers to make changes to their ad campaigns and, worse, some ad campaigns have stopped running. Yahoo search spokesperson Gaude Paez told MarketingVOX Wednesday evening that the upgrade caused "unexpected issues," and that their engineers were working around the clock to fix the problem.

MarketingVOX reports the problem seems to be affecting advertisers of all sizes and, when attempting to open an account Wednesday night, was presented with the error message shown in the image.

by Steve Hall    Aug-25-05    
Topic: Online



Adrants Readers Invited to VMAs. Ad Age, AdWeek Not

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Here's a fun promotion by NightAgency for the upcoming, Diddy-hosted Video Music Awards airing Sunday, August 28:

"Diddy and Adrants invite you to the biggest party ever. The dress code must be respected! You must wear your finest gear. You must get your hair done! So, Adrants readers, please do not invite the rest of your friends like AdAge & Adweek, this invite is for you only. You have been selected. It's an honor to be part of history in the making. This will go down as the greatest party of all time! So please respect and adhere to all above said rules."

Part of the promotional website allows yo to create a customized invite, indicating who you'd like to invite as well as who not to invite, to send to your friends. All in good fun.

by Steve Hall    Aug-25-05    
Topic: Celebrity, Online, Promotions, Television



Old Navy T-Shirts Butcher Asian Culture

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Asian expert Tian has taken Old Navy to task for their apparent lack of cultural knowledge in the creation of several t-shirts which butcher culture such as associating the Japanese rice wine sake with the Great Wall of China and describing a black t-shirt with images of Asian men in black masks with a Ninja star as a Karate t-shirt rather than, correctly, a Ninjutsu t-shirt. Seems America's great melting pot has forgotten the rest of the world has many varied, distinctive cultures that don't wish to be melted away by American marketing tricks. Tian does tell us Old Navy customer service reponded kindly and apologetically when the Sake t-shirt was brought to their attention writing, "It was not our intention to cause any offense. Please accept our apologies for any concern created by our product."

by Steve Hall    Aug-24-05    
Topic: Brands



Study Measures Ad Viewership, Campaign Duration Too Long

Perhaps forcing Nielsen to more quickly move its plans to measure commercial rather than programming, The PreTesting Company has is currently conducting a 2,500 Omaha home test of its MediaCheck Project Wannamaker (nice reference to the 50/50 statement), which measures ad viewership rather than program viewership, found most people tire of a campaign's commercials after just two weeks indicating overexposure and poor creative hurt TV campaigns the most. The study also found that DVR-equipped homes did not skip commercials any more than non-DVR (by changing channel, etc.) homes.

The company has plans to roll out a national, 50,000 home study and is is talks with cable operators to incorporate the measurement technology in set top boxes. Hello? Nielsen? Hello?

by Steve Hall    Aug-24-05    
Topic: Research, Television, Tools



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