We/I/Adrants will be moderating a panel at BlogOn, called "Can Advertising Be Social?", October 18 in NYC. The panel will focus on "social media" but concentrate on weblogs as both a medium through which to advertise and as a standalone element that is part of a larger ad campaign - like the recently launched Vespa blogs or the long running Stonyfield Yogurt blogs. Even character blogs. Basically, it's a panel about how blogs fit into marketing and advertising programs. I'm looking to fill two panel slots with client-side marketers who have used blogs in their marketing mix. The agency side will be part of the panel too but that slot is filled. So if you are a marketer and want to share your insights and success at a big, two day blog conference in New York City, please express your interest in the Comments section.
John Brock points us to a Radar piece on luxury toilet paper, how it's taking off in Europe and how may or may not in America. Granted the so-called luxury market - those folks who pay obscene amounts of money for luxury branded stuff when normal stuff would do just fine - is growing rapidly and Toilet Paper World President Kenn Fischburg says the notion is "not dissimilar from enjoying different kinds of wine, a chardonnay versus a cabernet," we're not buying it. No one wants to wipe their ass with a Gucci handbag.
To promote the new season of CBS Sports' The NFL Today show, Concrete Pictures has created "The Pixel People," a campaign which features a bunch of animated characters in supposedly funny, off-the-wall skits. "The Pixel People" consist of "The Blimp Dudes," voiced by Two and a Half Men's Charlie Sheen and Jon Cryer, "Footballhead Guy," "The Hippie Chick," "The Yuppie Lady," "The Cheerleader" and "The Football Family." The campaign will air throughout August and September with :10's, :20's and :30's. Spots can be viewed here.
You have to wonder if this stately gentleman of circa 1800 and something would have ever envisioned an ad such as the one that appears over his shoulder. My, how times have changed. It makes you wonder if we've moved forward or backward.
Gawker points to a questionable image used in a Comcast ad promoting its high speed internet service. As Gawker eloquently headlines, "We Know the Internet Is for Porn, But Still." Hmm. It's kinda like that snowball facial ad for Vodaphone that ran last year.
To promote a special line of Nike AirMax shoes for French footwear retailer Courir, several videos illustrate the power of air mostly by blowing a lot of Styrofoam packing material around and blowing the clothes off a model the campaign lovingly refers to as "La Bimbo." Yes, it's all in French but the videos make their point.
Jeffrey Hedquist, President and Creative Director of Hedquist Productions, Inc. in Fairfield, IA, wants to hear the worst radio commercial in America so he can give it an award in a new competition his company is hosting called The Sow's Ear Award.
Hedquist said, "Send me the worst radio commercial you've ever heard. Maybe you cringed as you heard it on your way to work this morning, maybe your competitor created it, maybe you did it yourself because one of your clients 'forced' you, or maybe it was written by your client. On the other hand, maybe you're the client and an agency, production house, or broadcast station created a monster for you."
Hedquist is offering two prizes to the winning entry. The person whose entry is chosen as the Sow's Ear, "worst of the litter" gets a free copy of the "60-Second Copywriter" CD & workbook containing one-minute techniques for creating better radio. The winner also receives "A Treasure's Trove" fantasy audiobook produced by Hedquist Productions for the New York Times' best-selling book of the same name. Get the details here.
While I've had no problem with my Dell Inspiron 8600 over the past two years I've had it, Jeff Jarvis entered Dell Hell a while ago which got so bad he had to write a letter to Dell Chief Marketing Officer Michael George to get attention. Jarvis recounts the trials and tribulations he went through to get Dell's customer service to come to his aide. They didn't and he wrote about it. People read about it. Lots of people but, apparently, not Dell. They have this hands-off approach to weblogs treating them as ignorable rantings of the few and the unimportant. Jarvis explains to Dell and to any marketer wondering about this whole blog thing why they should pay attention to blogs and how they should join the conversation about their company rather than attempt to control it with anachronistic, uninformed marketing logic. All marketing directors should read what Jeff has to say, pay very close attention to it and act accordingly. Lest, one day, you'll wake up and quietly, all your customers will have left your store.
Popular Weblogs Inc. Network blog Engadget appears to be breaking the terms of its contract with Google's AdSense program. The AdSense program allows website publishers to place up to three ad units on a single page. Blog Herald points to self professed blog comment spammer David Naylor who says he found six placements on an Engadget page. Our research on this page show similar results. We found 5 standard ad units and one, we think, text link.
A very large scrolling screen shot of the entire Engadget page is here for review. We've asked Weblogs Inc. Network President Jason Calacanis to comment but have not yet had a reply. Recently, Calacanis claims the blogs in the Weblogs Inc. Network were on track to reach $1 million in Google AdSense revenue this year. Perhaps, now we know how.
Upon further reflection, some speculation in is order. It would be silly for Weblogs Inc. to jeopardize $1 Million by breaking Google AdSense terms. In fact, another Weblogs Inc. blog, Autoblog, is running far more than 3 ads on a page. Keeping that in mind for a moment, Weblogs Inc. was the first company to run Google's RSS AdSense ads before it was offered to the general market. Make your own conclusions.
UPDATE: In Comments, Jason Calacanis explains and claims, in fact, Weblogs Inc. is not violating Google AdSense terms.
Leveraging frustration with rising gasoline prices, Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) has placed a billboard campaign anyone at the gas pump can identify with.