Created by Swivel Media, Wells Fargo has launched a pilot multi-player, online role-playing game, called Stagecoach Island, designed to educate young adults about the importance of knowing your finances. Currently the game is being deployed in San Diego and Austin and will role out nationally later this year. We have a video preview here.
The game allows players to select a virtual character and participate in an "island adventure." Participants can choose to explore the virtual island -- lush parks, hip cafes, dance clubs, trendy shops, amusement parks, hair salons and more. They can also interact in dozens of virtual, social situations -- like skydiving, riding jets-skis, or playing games like paintball with other participants. Many activities on the island are "free," but participants gain access to other experiences, such as dancing in a club or purchasing new clothes, by spending, saving and earning virtual money. Players can earn money by visiting the Virtual Learning Lounge and answering trivia questions about banking basics such as budgeting, saving and managing money. The Learning Lounge content is derived from Wells Fargo's signature financial literacy program, Hands on Banking.
Giving Playboy some competition, Penthouse has secured $48 million in private funding to pursue an on-demand, subscription cable channel and wireless offering. After going bankrupt two years ago and morphing into a privately held company run by Marc Bell, Penthouse has toned down its raunchy image and plans to introduce more general, non-sexual content.
As Advertising Week approaches, officials released Icon/Slogan standings and unveiled banners for 2004 winners.
2005 Icon/Slogan icon vote standings:
- At a press briefing in front of 437 Madison Avenue, Advertising Week officials announced the leading vote getters so far in the Advertising Week 2005 America's Favorite Icon and Slogan public vote.
- Juan Valdez, of the venerable Colombian Coffee Federation, has a commanding lead in the 2005 icon voting, followed by the Geico Insurance Gecko. Leader in the 2005 slogan race is Hallmark's "When you care to send the very best," followed by "We deliver for you" from the US Postal Service.
- Roughly 500,000 people have voted so far this year. Voting runs through September 23 via www.advertisingweek.com or www.advertisingweek.yahoo.com with winners announced on September 26, the opening day of Advertising Week.
This absolutely beautiful iPod wrap on several Bangkok Mass Transit System subway cars makes one wonder why we don't see more of this kind of advertising in the states. Of course, there are only a few advertisers who could be trusted to create artwork that wouldn't end up looking crass and cause the urger to puke while riding to work but America's subway could sure use a little beautification.
Either a serious case of spiteful humor overcame the Viacom posting crew or human stupidity, as it so often does, reared its uneducated head with this odd placement of a McDonald's billboard directly beneath a childhood obesity billboard. All we say is thank God for the proliferation of digital cameras so we can revel in the oddities and wonders of advertising.
Having fun with the whole metrosexual trendlet, Virgin Atlantic Airways announced that nominations for its ongoing Jetrosexual Awards will close this Friday, September 16. Apparently, hundreds of people have nominated their metro/jetrosexual friends since the program launched in June. The program seeks the ultimate Boston and Washington D.C. area entrepreneur and will award the Bostonian and DCist that best personifies the Jetrosexual spirit. Virgin Atlantis says the awards celebrate a "new emerging business culture lead by a growing group of Jetrosexuals, those high fliers who move business and culture forward each and every day."
The nomination site includes a list of 11 Jetrosexual Commandments including "Thou shalt be able to order a beer in at least six different languages" and "Thou shalt respect the five minute rule when using the lavatory." Local semi-finalists will be announced on September 30, 2005, be reviewed by a selection committee with final awards announced October 17, 2005. The winner will enjoy a high flying, Virgin Atlantic Upper Class experience to London.
Completely misunderstanding the point of a corporate weblog, Chrysler has launched The Firehouse, a weblog for journalists which can only be read by those who apply and prove they work for a "known and established media organization." This is idiotic. This is stupid. This is insane. Completely illogical and non-sensical. Chrysler wants journalists to read the blog, get the "story" and then re-publish the same thing in their own "established" medium for general public consumption. Which will then, of course, if worthy, be blogged anyway. We just don't get it. Clueless Chrysler needs to go talk to GM, which has a clue about blogging, and get a few tips. Peek
UPDATE: Jason Vines, the man behind the The Firehouse weblog didn't like what we had to say and commented on another blog about it. Additionally, he explains the motivation behind the launch, which does make sense. Read his commentary after the jump.
The Web Marketing Association has announced the winners of its ninth annual WebAward Competition for website development. Out of 2,100 site submitted from 33 countries, Atlanta-based IQinteractive won Best of Show for its work on the National Geographic Inside the Mafia site which was also awarded the Best Entertainment WebAward. LA-based Zugara was named Top Agency, taking home 20 awards, the most any single organization has won in the nine years of the awards. The agency won Best Music site for Red Bull Music Labs, 11 Outstanding and eight Standard of Excellence WebAwards.
Mr. Youth announced their newest client today, JetBlue Airways. The low-cost, low-fare carrier JetBlue Airways has tapped youth marketing firm Mr. Youth to develop the airline's first student ambassador program, CrewBlue. CrewBlue will launch on September 17th at Boston's 20th annual CollegeFest event. Nineteen CrewBlue student ambassadors will be at CollegeFest along with JetBlue's traveling Airstream mobile vehicle BlueBetty, a mobile marketing unit that looks like the inside of a JetBlue jet, to promote the airline to an expected 15,000 students.
Anheuser-Busch has revived its "Family Talk About Drinking Campaign" in a print campaign featuring children of the brewer's employees. Breaking in the Reader's Digest September issue, the ads, with headlines like, "In your kid's eyes, you still have all the answers" and "Preventing underage drinking is easier than you think. Talk now," aim to encourage discussion between parents and children.