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Heinz Teams With Kaboose For Silly Squirts Launch

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Family site Kaboose and Heinz have teamed to promote a new children's ketchup product Silly Squirt. The agreement provides Kaboose promotional space on Silly Squirt bottle labels and provides Heinz a promotional microsite within the Kaboose site. The deal was put together by Starcom.

by Steve Hall    Oct-11-05    
Topic: Online, Promotions



MINI Launches Custom Roof Graphic Site

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Random Culture points to a new MINI website, Roof Studio, where visitors can upload and download roof graphics ready to be printed on vinyl for roof application. Currently, there are hundreds of designs to choose from

by Steve Hall    Oct-11-05    
Topic: Online



Advertising Highjacked by Consumers

Writing on Ad Age, Bob Garfield, in another of his occasional essays, sums up the recent growing trends of
consumer generated media, conversational marketing and what he calls The Open Source Revolution. We've covered all this over the past year or so but it's nice to see it wrapped up into a coherently powerful statement. From Orange County Teacher George Masters creation of his "Tiny Machine" iPod spot to GE's Pen campaign to Mercedes' send-us-a-picture-of-you-and-your-car campaign to Converse's consumer created films for Chuck Taylors to shifting copyright laws to the future role of agencies as enablers of conversation versus controllers of conversation to marketers need to embrace the conversation, advertising has been turned on its head. Marketers and agencies who do not acknowledge the open source nature of consumer participation in brand conversations will fail miserably.

In a BlogOn panel "Can Advertising Be Social," held October 18 at 9AM, I, along with Life After The 30-Second Spot Author Joe Jaffe, Organic CEO Mark Kingdon and AXE Brand Development Director David Rubin will discuss this very topic.

by Steve Hall    Oct-11-05    
Topic: Opinion, Trends and Culture



Visa Launches Crippled Olympic Advergame

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For some inexplicable reason, some marketers and their agencies still think it's OK to create a website, in this case, an advergame, that only works with Internet Explorer on a PC. Given the horrid user experience Internet Explorer provides with it's gaping holes through which scumware of all forms permeates to the proliferation of far superior browsers such as Firefox, let alone a cadre of Mac users, it's just plain shortsighted idiocy to create anything limited only to IE.

This time the idiocy comes courtesy of VISA and its agency Wild Tangent who created some kind of promotional advergame for the Torino 2006 Olympic Games. That's all we can tell you about the game because, yes, we gave up IE years ago and have avidly used Firefox ever since. And this time, we aren't even going to fire up our stale copy of IE so we can perform our journalistic duty and describe the game's merits or demerits to you. Suffice to say, based on the marketer's ignorance of a huge audience segment, it's safe to say all the effort is worthy of is a giant pile of demerits.

by Steve Hall    Oct-10-05    
Topic: Brands, Games, Online, Opinion



Jennifer Love Hewitt Makes It Big Friday Nights

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Since her days on Party of Five and The Byrds of Paradise, we knew one day Jennifer Love Hewitt would finally see herself at the top of the television rating charts. And she's not there not just because of her breasts. She has an alluringly charming attraction - cute but not overly bubbly - which seems to have finally paid off with her I-see-dead-people drama Ghost Whisperer on CBS. Currently, the show is number one on Friday nights with 10.86 million viewers. Given endlessly proliferating fragmentation and a Friday night time slot, ten million is very impressive. Patricia Arquette's similarly themed show Medium still does slightly better but that's in a far better time slot. With the success of Ghost Whisperer, it looks like JLH can finally leave behind her clothing company (it's a joke, people), her TV Guide covers (also a joke) and set her sites of television success.

by Steve Hall    Oct-10-05    
Topic: Celebrity, Research, Television



Michelle Wie The Next Big Thing

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Ever so often, they bubble up at an early age, demonstrating their astonishing skills and surprising all who witness. Perhaps child prodigy is not exactly the right word but golfer Michelle Wie, 16 on October 11, plans to take on the professional golfing world and become a medium of her own lending her fame to brands that take the ride along with her. With drives up to 391 yards, Wie has hopes of becoming the best golfer, man or woman. When Wie plays golf, people watch. Millions of people and that makes marketers see dollar signs. Recently, Wie struck a five-year, $5 million deal with Nike and another smaller deal with Sony. The next Tiger Woods? No. Better.

by Steve Hall    Oct-10-05    
Topic: Celebrity, Sponsorship



New York Times to Launch In-Theater Movie Magazine

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Hopefully not just another pre-movie ad attack or more trash for theater staff to pick up after the movie, The New York Times will launch, OnMovies, an 18X per-year, digest-sized magazine from the paper's Culture desk which will be handed out to 1.25 million moviegoers at Lowe's cinema as they buy their tickets. This could go either way. Pessimistically, it will add more agony to already slow ticket lines with cashiers frantically handing out the magazine along with tickets, create more noise in theaters as moviegoers thumb through the magazine even as the movie rolls, dramatically increase movie exhibitors trash bills or cause moviegoers heads to explode as they attempt to process the onslaught of pre-roll ads on screen and athe d-supported content in the magazine thereby causing huge riots and a sudden upturn in business for home theater contractors.

Or, more optimistically, with lovely content such as film reviews, movie grosses, filmmaker interviews, actor profiles and trivia, it could give Entertainment Weekly a run for its money. Debuting December 16, the glass half full, glass half empty challenge will commence. Either way, we're betting the weblog OnMovies.net will be pretty happy with its increased accidental traffic.

by Steve Hall    Oct-10-05    
Topic: Magazine



Muppets Appear in Charity Spot

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PuppetVision points out New Zealand charity, CanTeen, an organization supporting young people living with cancer has launched a spot featuring the Muppets singing their famed "Mahna Mahna" song to promote National Bandanna Week and the group's green CanTeen bandanna. FCB created the commercial and got Disney in LA to quickly approved character usage and then shot the spot just two days later with the Muppets cast.

by Steve Hall    Oct-10-05    
Topic: Brands, Commercials, Online



Burger King Gets Farked, Sells Halloween Masks

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Burger King has scored a branding coup. It's Burger "King" has been Farked. After being posted to Fark October 4, there are hundreds of images of the "King" taking on all sorts of personas such as the Army's "I Want You" guy, Bush's Supreme Court pick, Santa, Jesus, Larry King, Colonel Sanders and even Ronald McDonald himself. Not to be one-upped by it all, Crispin Porter + Bogusky is capitalizing on mask mania with the launch of BK Masks, a site where visitors can buy masks of the King himself and the famed Subservient Chicken. Wouldn't it just be sweet for Burger King and CP + B if this actually took off and kids across the country appeared at your doorstep wearing these masks? That would be successful marketing.

by Steve Hall    Oct-10-05    
Topic: Brands, Online, Viral



UNICEF Anti-War Commercial Blows Up Smurfs

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Along the lines of the United Nations Mine Action Service commercial which which shows a girl who, while playing soccer, steps on a land mine and gets blown up, UNICEF in Belgium has created an anti-war commercial which shows Smurf characters getting shot to pieces by warplanes. The spot, which aims to raise money for the rehabilitation of former child soldiers in Burundi and carries the tagline "Don't let war affect the lives of children," is set to air this week. After viewing a preview of the spot, reactions ranged from approval to shock to terror in children.

UNICEF spokesman Philippe Henon explains the approach was needed to grab attention, "It's controversial. We have never done something like this before, but we've learned over the years that the reaction to the more normal type of campaign is very limited." Acknowledging the potential reaction, UNICEF has promised the spot will air only after 9PM.

The Smurf characters, which have been around since 1958, along with Tintin and Lucky Luke were created in Belgium and family members of the late Smurf creator, Peyo, gave permission to use the characters. Publicis created the spot which can be viewed in the middle of this news report.

by Steve Hall    Oct-10-05    
Topic: Commercials



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