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Slate Ponders CP+B's Role in Burger King Halloween Mask Hype

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In a Slate article Seth Stevenson ponders the notion Burger King agency Crispin Porter + Bogusky orchestrated the Burger King Halloween mask hype which involved emails inquiring where the mask could be bought, a thread on Fark in which the mask was parodied and a BK Masks site was launched by CP + B around the same time. Coincidence? We don't think so.

Adrants reader doesn't think so either and wrote us, "Lets say CP+B were the farksters of the King. Funny, but is it legal? Can an agency Fark a marketing tool, and then profit by selling masks for Halloween? Although a bit shiesty, this seems to bob and weave around any kind of direct profiteering via manipulated personal likenesses, intellectual property, etc. But sending faux-inquiries about the masks to Slate? I realize that the inquiries where only that- inquiries, not hard sells. But the level of shrewdness here gets under my skin. I know this isn't anything new; advertisers have been playing the fool in chat rooms for years. But Slate is a major news source. It makes me angry."

Anyone want to add their comment?

by Steve Hall    Oct-26-05    
Topic: Agencies, Brands, Opinion, Viral



Street Mirror Posting Urges Women to Look At Finances

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Citigroup financial services firm Women & Co. has launched a very unique (and this time the word is warranted) four market, outdoor/street campaign consisting of mirrors, rather than posters, hung in cities containing messages such as "You're one of a kind. Is your financial plan?," "That smile would go great with a financial future" and "You look like a million bucks. Does your retirement account?" The mirrors carried the companies web address. The mirrors were partnered with a street team which handed out branded compact mirrors to remind women to keep looking at their finances. The campaign was created by New York-based Interference.

by Steve Hall    Oct-26-05    
Topic: Guerilla, Outdoor



Fancy Commercials Still Appreciated

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Maybe its our jaded eye or maybe its the plethora of Hollywood movies, with their stunning photography and seemingly impossible camera/post-production trickery that has dulled our senses when it comes to getting excited about beautifully shot commercials but this new campaign for Lexus from Team One and shot by Francois Vogel is, well, beautiful. The camera work is great. The effects are fun to watch. And, thankfully, the car is featured. Vogel was the guy who shot the HP campaign in which much camera trickery and digital manipulation gave us those amazing images of people pulling picture frames off their head which turned into actual photos. See the campaign here.

by Steve Hall    Oct-26-05    
Topic: Commercials



Apple iPod Nano Spot Eerily Similar to Prior Artistic Work

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When it is suggested an agency borrowed a previous idea for creative work, as TBWA\Chiat\Day just did with the Apple Eminem commercial, it's usually dismissed as coincidence. When it happens twice, with the same client, no less, notions of coincidence get chucked out the window. Artist Dane Picard exhibited this video artwork in June at an exhibition in Santa Monica located 15 minutes from the LA offices of TBWA\Chiat\Day. Picard's work, images of hands manipulating various objects in front of a black background is eerily similar to the recent Apple iPod Nano spot, launched a few weeks ago, made up of images of hands manipulating the device against a black background. View the work. Compare it to the Nano spot. Decide. Comment.

by Steve Hall    Oct-26-05    
Topic: Agencies, Brands, Campaigns



Ehealthinsurance Makes Insurance Fun

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It's a known fact there's nothing fun about health insurance. What with referrals, co-pays, "this is covered but that isn't" insanities and wallet-busting monthly premiums, insurance needs all the help it can get. eHealthInsurance hopes to help with a new online promotion, called Am I Covered, which features an animated series featuring the Wyndales, the "lovable, yet klutzy family with whom all Americans can identify." Led by Percy Wyndale, family patriarch and certified klutz, the adventures of the Wyndale family brings humor back to the insurance game.

The campaign was created by marketing agency RSA and Truelight Entertainment and used artists and producers from The Simpsons, King of the Hill, Dilbert and Ren and Stimpy.

by Steve Hall    Oct-25-05    
Topic: Online, Viral



Agency Wants to Hire Neil French

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After the Neil French debacle, one brave agency, Hart+Larsson has posted a recruitment ad to which only Neil French need apply. Neil is instructed to contact the agency at womendocrap@hartlarsson.com.

by Steve Hall    Oct-25-05    
Topic: Agencies



Cheerioke Introduces Yogurt Burst Cheerios

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Sanj points to General Mills which has created Cheerioke, a karaoke site on which people can choose there character, style them, change their physical features then sing along to the provided music and send the thing to a friend. The site promotes the new Yogurt Burst Cheerios and uses Oddcast's virtual host technology.

by Steve Hall    Oct-25-05    
Topic: Online, Viral



Teaser And Stealth Marketing Tactics Explored

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After receiving an email from Banu Sen of Publicis Net Paris telling us about a viral teaser trailer created to promote a new online game which would feature car maker Renault and that a fake game company and fake website where created and disseminated to bloggers as part of the promotion, a lengthy email exchange with Ben ensued regarding the buzz phrase of the day, transparency. Transparency is the notion that all marketing, especially that which comes through buzz, viral and word of mouth channels, be fully forthcoming with what brand is behind the campaign.

Clearly, with fake company names and websites, this was not transparent. However, during our discussion, in which, at first, I was quite surprised a major agency like Publicis and a major car maker like Renault would engage in fakery such as this given the recent uproar over buzz and word of mouth marketers and their associations calling for transparency, I realized it's really nothing more than your standard teaser campaign which has been around forever. There's a fine line, though, between a teaser campaign and a misleading campaign. The prior always, at some point reveals its identity which this Renault campaign does. The latter, which uses stealth methods like the recent U.S. Cellular blue man fiasco or an army of 250,000 teenagers who may or may not reveal their association with the large word of mouth company for whom they work.

Publicis and Renault has done nothing wrong here. Not that anyone is saying they did. Though in the face of transparency insanity, the discussion was worth having.

by Steve Hall    Oct-25-05    
Topic: Online, Opinion, Viral, Word of Mouth



FastClick, Pop Serving Ad Networks Should Be Boycotted

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Enough of this shit. Ad network FastClick, along with all other ad networks that continue to defy people's wishes by circumventing pop up blockers should be boycotted for their pop up delivery practices. Not only are pop ups annoying but, if you look at the one pictured (click for actual size), it is clearly deceptive and all about trickery. What respectable ad network would even consider allowing such an advertiser to use its network?. Also, shame on Dribbleglass, the site at which this pop up popped, for allowing pop ups to be served. To be fair, all pops are not always associated with the site being visited but most are.

Any media buyer out there who is currently buying pops should be shamed as well. Any advertiser that engages in the use of pops should be boycotted to death. Any site that serves pops should pack it in, leaving only a 404 page behind. Are we finished with this crap yet?

by Steve Hall    Oct-25-05    
Topic: Online



Real Medium to Conduct 'Ghost Whisperer' Seance

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On Thursday, October 27 at 3PM, CBS.com will feature the "Ghost Whisperer Halloween Seance," hosted by medium James Van Praagh. Van Praagh, who is co-executive producer of the CBS television drama Ghost Whisperer, will perform readings for the general public via streaming video on CBS.com.

People will be able to call Van Praagh at 323-227-1000 and speak to him personally as he connects to the dead while others can simultaneously converse in a designated chat room. Hmm. Watching Jennifer Love Hewitt seems far more interesting than this.

by Steve Hall    Oct-25-05    
Topic: Television



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