There seems to be rampant idiocy running through the outdoor industry these days as indicated by this image sent to us by our blunder-busting brand bluecoat, Bucky Turco. Following Viacom's placement of a McDonald's billboard directly below that of a childhood obesity board (though one person says it could be a PhotoShop job), Van Wagner Outdoor, in New York City, has placed a poster, at 1st and 19th, backwards on a phone kiosk. Perhaps intending to reach passing drivers as they look in their rear view mirror, the poster is an ad for Tim Burton's new Corpse Bride movie.
UPDATE: Van Wagner says, in Comments, it was an act of vandalism, writing, "we know it was vandalism because when OUR guys (yes, a Van Wagner employee) went to rectify the problem, they came to find all the bolts and the diffuser had been stolen from the unit. It's a ridiculous act of vandalism, as most are, but it was vandalism nonetheless." That said, debate continues to rage in Comments as to the validity of this explanation.
Bob Cefail and Laura Betterly, Chairman and CEO of In Touch Media Group have fired radio station 1340 WTAN in Clearwater, the station that hosts their business The Profit Doctors radio show because, apparently, the station had disabled the 1-800 call in number, an integral part the the show. In the meantime, the show, thanks to the rise of podcasting, will continue to be aired from their website, a move that, about a year ago, would have been inconceivable. Sure, no one's ever heard of Cefail and Betterly but that's irrelevant. What's very relevant is the rise of another medium that could potentially give radio a bit of competition.
Nike has placed several vending machines in Singapore, reports Adverblog, which dispense Footballs (soccer balls for those of us in the U.S.) as a means to promote the sport thereby increasing the need for people to buy football shoes, clothing and equipment - ideally from Nike.
To promote Courir, a chain of French footwear stores, Paris agency Mask has created Everyday Sneakers, a spoof site which features the fictitious Takeshi Mushido, a Japanese business man who claims his company has dramatically increased productivity because all his employees wear sneakers to work. He even sings a hip-hop tune to get the point across. The site includes a Mushido interview with a stuffy French talk show host, Mushido's philosophy and even a book, Everyday Baskets which further illuminates Mushido's philosophies. It's all got just enough tongue and cheekiness to work.
Jumping on the consumer-generated media trendlet, Geico has launched Golden Gecko, a contest in which people can submit 15 second movie trailers featuring the Geico Gecko. Geico isn't calling them commercials but the rules state all submissions become the property of Geico so it wouldn't be surprising if a winning entry did become a commercial. Prizes range from a $5,000 grand prize which includes lots of electronic gadgetry an a 7-day stay in Hawaii to $2,000 first prize which includes a stay at the winners choice of four lesser locations to second and third prizes which involve wide screen TVs and portable DVD players.
We know there's a few restless creative in our midst who could used a nice trip to Hawaii so dig out those precious, brilliant concepts that were horrifically killed by the client and re-tool them for Geico. And win.
Almost a year after its release in Japan, Ad Age is featuring the McDonald's McHottie spot calling it "Ronald McDonald as you've never seen her before. Well, we have but we're glad Ad Age readers can now clue in to to what Ad Age cites as a trend "where the clothing worn by brand icons has become a fashion craze for Japanese school girls." What did Hilary Duff Say? That's so yesterday? Anyway, enjoy. We can't all be the first to discover a trend.
Other spots featured in this week's Ad Age TV Spots of the Week include Strawberry Frog's first work for Heineken which involves soccer and a lot of pigeons pooping in sync; a psycho-granny torments her son on a bed of nails to promote Universal Orlando's Halloween; a kind of stupid DDB-created Diet Pepsi spot in which a Pepsi machine is drafted as a New England Patriots player; a stirring, emotionally schmaltzy W&K-created spot for Miller High Life featuring the Moon Girl which Ad Age hated so, of course, we love; a BBDO-created iPod copy-cat spot for Cingular's new Rokr phone along with Madonna's telephone booth spot which very clearly but apparently not clearly enough for Chicago Tribune advertising columnist Lewis Lazare, explains how 100 songs can be crammed into the Rokr iTunes phone; and, finally, Kaplan Thaler created an IAG "most liked" Aflac Duck commercial in which the duck is hurled out of a hammock and into a neighboring pool.