George Mason University student Rana Sobhany, 19, following the launch of three other companies beginning at the age of 17, has launched Inchoate, a marketing, PR and advertising firm in Springfield, Virginia. Her prior companies dealt mainly with music and she intends to focus the new company in that space as well offering services to clients such as recording studios, record labels and individual artists as well as nightclubs, music retailers and universities. She's currently working with George mason University to educate both the administration and students on the subject of peer-to-peer file sharing.
After wooing Neil French with a job offer, Hart+Larson, milking the buzz train, is now after Kate Moss promising her a chance to "take off her Choos and lie back, relax and think." She's also promised Hart+Larson will "play Twister together and then head outside to drink Coke on the stoop." There's also a video, called 14 and Wow, which, we're quite sure, has some inner meaning but, currently, it escapes us. Lastly, Hart+Larson asks Kate, and everyone else, to contact the agency at womendocokesodoweexiletheonceidealized@hartlarsson. Fun
Kathy Sierra, writing on Creating Passionate Users, has put together a chart that compares the old ways of marketing to the new. Filled with gems like "Hire a creative, user-focused product designer" rather than "Hire a creative, award-winning advertising designer" and Buy Typepad accounts for every employee in your company, and maybe some users too" rather than "Hire a PR firm" and "Product placements in the 'real' world, by donating samples to those who could benefit" rather than "Product placements in a 'fake' TV, movie world," Sierra has created a chart that inspires and demonstrates how truly stupid current marketing efforts are.
This ad, another entrant in the long line of Apple parodies, introduces iSmell, a new fragrance containing a "hint of apples and a whiff of Cupertino elitism." It's, as the headline says, "A new fragrance for the iPod generation."
For the Ashlee Simpson generation, Unilever's hair care product ThermaSilk is being promoted, in Canada, with a microsite called Hit On My Guy, a dress-the-hottie site where women can create the man of their dreams all while subtly being branded with ThermaSilk. Like all dress-me sites, there's a send to a friend feature and a sweepstakes to win gift certificates, an iPod Shuffle and ThermaSilk products. It's basic. It's straight forward. Maybe it will sell some product along the way. If not, there's will, at least, be a bunch of freaky looking hotties floating from inbox to inbox.
AdJab points to a consumer-generated media treasure trove called Revver. It's a site where anyone can submit self-created videos on any topic. Revver will host the video, insert a short ad at the end and share the proceeds, 50/50, with the video creator. The ad, called a RevTag, is embedded in the video so that viewership can be tracked whether the video is viewed on Revver or viewed as it wends its way from friend to friend via email attachment.
Apparently the site's quite popular as it's moving slower than a turtle pulling an 18 wheeler. We hope that's temporary. There's a lot of promise here as people begin to realize that all content doesn't have to come from big media companies and all ad revenue doesn't have to go to large corporate conglomerates.
So that we aren't accused of simply highlighting odd advertising stunts without giving credence to their success or failure, we point you to a MarketingSherpa study that examined Calvin Klein's one day "live" billboard in which male and females Calvin Klein models hang out in a board constructed to look like a living room. Usually these things are tossed off as stunts purely to garner media attention which, though not a bad thing, doesn't always translate into sales. This time it did. Times three, in fact. The promotion, along with achieving media coverage in 15 countries, 100,000 visitors to the campaign's microsite and 20,000 street team sample packs gone by mid-day and another 20,000 but day's end, netted three times normal sales for CK One at the nearby Macy's Herald Square location.
In an interesting twist, Infinity's "Who's Replacing Howard Stern" campaign, currently gracing every sliver of ad space on Ad Age, may, according to 925M, do more to hurt Infinity than help. The campaign highlights Stern replacements Adam Corolla, David Lee Roth and Penn Jillette, who have received with less than stellar reviews as replacements for the irreplaceable Stern. As 925M indicates, all this campaign may do is say "Hey, we know Stern left. We know the replacements suck. We're trying this kooky FreeFM thing. Just skip it all and go listen to Stern on Sirius."
Ad Age has joined the world of weblogs with the launch of Small Agency Diary, a blog written by McKee Wallwork Cleveland Creative Director Bary Cleveland. The blog, as its name indicates, will focus on the working of small agency business with Cleveland writing in is first post, "This blog is for the future of creativity in our industry. For if that future is to be one of creative excellence it lies in the hands of small agencies." A bold statement indeed.
It seems Ad Age has plans for other topical blogs as well indicated by a Diaries pulldown menu on the front page. Welcome big guy.
A couple weeks ago, Talent Zoo launched The Naked Career, a podcast interview series hosted by Sally Hogshead. This week, Sally's guest will be Nancy Vonk, the woman who took on Neil French after his less than kind comment about women in advertising. Without a male in the mix, it's sure to be a man bashing podcast but let's hope common sense prevails.
The two will explore how men and women are better at certain things, the apparent lack of female leadership in advertising, how childcare fits into the picture, sexism in the workplace and how women can be more successful in both career and motherhood. The podcast will release November 2.