It's so much fun to complain about the preponderance of lame agency websites but it's equally pleasing to find an agency website that far surpasses the ad agency status quo. Thanks to Catalano Lellos & Silverstein's Alice Anda, we are pleased to find California-based The Buddy Group. To say the least, the site is quirky with a cafeteria food fight section in which you can send your favorite concoction to a friend, a bathroom Reading Material section in which you can check out the agency's publicity, a Spin the Bottle game in which you can check out agency case studies, an Activity Board that offers games and a Chef's Special section that describe the agencies capabilities. It's truly engaging and a welcome relief for the usual, boring agency blather.
To promote the first Italian edition of Robert McCammon's book, "They Thirst," a coffin full of books was carried through the streets of downtown Rome. A street team, which carried the coffin on their shoulders, offered everyone a coupon of sorts for a free coffin in case they found themselves facing death by vampire. The stunt was created by guerrigliamarketing.it for Gargoyle Books and induced smiles, curiosity and various odd religious rituals among onlookers. See more images of the promotion here.
AdFreak has examined the new Apple Eminem spot and found it to be remarkably similar to a Lugz Footwear spot which aired in 2001. We have to agree, the similarities are striking but, then again, all new ideas have been taken, right?
Fifty-eight percent of consumers are "very aware" or "somewhat aware" of custom publications and once they were presented with specific examples of custom publications, 93% of respondents were familiar with at least one type of custom publication, according to a new national poll conducted for the Custom Publishing Council by Roper Public Affairs this summer. The survey, "Americans' Relationship with Custom Publications and the Companies that Provide Them," found that 85% say that if they are going to get information from a company, they'd prefer to get it in an interesting collection of articles, rather than an ad.
Though only 58% immediately knew the term "custom publishing," once surveyers explained what custom publications were – e.g., a magazine from the manufacturer of an automobile that you drive – 80% said they often find interesting information in these magazines and 75% said that they felt better informed after reading these publications.
Hoping to remind us that all advertising isn't created in New York, on Thursday, October 27, 2005 the Adcraft Club of Detroit will celebrate its 100th anniversary at the Max M. Fisher Music Center. During the event, Adcraft members and ticket holders will celebrate the legacy, creativity and collaboration that, as the press release says, "brought Detroit…and the world…the campaigns, spots, slogans and jingles that are forever a part of pop culture."
The Max will be transformed into a three-floor multi-media experience illustrating ten decades of community, culture and advertising. Appetizers and cocktails will include memorable period cuisine and a buffet of all-American to Mediterranean to Asian fare will be topped off with the characteristically Michigan, we're told, cherries jubilee dessert.
Once again, Zugara has created an engaging, compelling, promotional site for Sony PlayStation. It's to promote Sony PlayStation's Socom 3 U.S. Navy SEALs game. The site itself is pretty in-depth with information on the game, real-life footage and interviews shot on set with actual Navy SEALs and a first person stealth game where you take on the role of a Navy SEAL to infiltrate a bunker and rescue a captured pilot. Zugara used other elements for the experience as well including AOL Instant Messenger where players can retrieve a code to unlock things on the site as well as an 800# to call into to get a code to gain access to the bunker where the first person game starts. Zugara's Matthew Szymczyk told us it was a "very cool experience putting the site together because of all the access we had to real-life Navy Seals at various army bases where the site's video's were shot.
Apple's announcement last week it will air episodes of ABC's Lost and Desperate Housewives, among others, over it's new video iPod has caused concern among network affiliates who feel "off TV" viewing will hurt rating and/or make ratings in accurate, let alone destroy their business model. All the hand wringing that will, no doubt, go on for the next year or two surrounding this issue could easily be skipped with the simple acknowledgment that every bit of broadcast programming will ultimately be available for download with or without advertising, viewable on an iPod, a similar device, a PC or ported to and viewed on a TV. Current appointment television viewing as we know it will disappear. Current rating systems will become irrelevant. And the buying of "TV advertising" simply won't be the same.
AdJab points us to an activist site, called Baby Politico, where psycho, politico-parents can buy their babies clothing emblazoned with cause-related messages. Not that the messages are bad but the idea of parents using their helplessly innocent babies to promote their own causes is truly less than respectful.
As they've done at three previous ad:tech's, ad network Bluelithium is, once again, hosting the show's mega-party which will occur Monday, November 7 at 9PM, following the first show day of ad:tech New York 2005. A preview of the invite we snaggged promises its Wishes promotion in which offers people vacations, iPods and shopping sprees. Appearing again, as they did at the first Bluelithium party at ad:tech San Francisco 2004, will be flying acrobats, fire breathers and Cirque du Soleil entertainers.
While the invite doesn't say where the party will be, last year in New York it was held at Show. However, if Bluelithium intends to put on as big a show as they did at their first party, held at San Francisco's cavernous Ruby Skye, Show won't cut it this time. The place is far too small. One thing's for sure, though. You've got to hand it to a company that can stick around year after year, show after show and not disappear like so many others, unfortunately, do. Kudos.
On Tuesday, October 18 at 9AM, I'll be moderating a panel at BlogOn in New York. The panel is called "Can Advertising Be Social." On this panel, the panelists, who include Organic CEO Mark Kingdon, Unilever Brand Development Director David Rubin, Jaffe LLC Founder Joe Jaffe and I hope to discuss the relationship between social media and advertising - the ways in which people have entered what has now become a two-way conversation rather than the former one-way, marketer to consumer bullhorn approach.
It should be an interesting and, hopefully, informative discussion. There's blogs, chat rooms, forums, IM, Wikis, podcasting, social networks and innumerable other methods with which consumers can achieve a voice as powerful and widespread as marketers.
As examples of this newfound consumer voice, there's Jeff Jarvis who, following a bad experience with a Dell computer, took on Dell publicly forcing Dell to respond. Unfortunately, it wasn't much of a response. There's George Masters, a teacher who created a professional looking iPod commercial which raced around the globe. Smartly, Apple took a hands off approach. There's Converse who asked people to submit films about Chuck Taylors. There's Mercedes who encouraged people to send in photos of themselves with their Mercedes which were ultimately featured in the company's ad campaign. The examples go on. People have become socially active with their brand experiences, good and bad, and the level of activity is forcing marketers to join the conversation and, forever, putting aside old methods of controlling it.
Indeed, marketing is in for the ride of its life.