To encourage use of its new version of Messenger, MSN has launched a promotion, created by Fallon, called ESP Billy, a microsite with episodic videos featuring ESP Billy, a white trash online psychic played by Ricky Jay who communicates with his clients through MSN Messenger video chat. There's a pilot episode that introduces the characters, and then three interactive episodes where the user can decode the fate of the main character, Travis, but choosing an ending based on ESP Billy's predictions of the future. The catch to the promotion - and the entire point of the promotion - is the three videos can only be viewed using MSN Messenger for which a convenient download botton is provided. The pilot episode, which, itself, is quite good, can be viewed in a browser. The online element will be supported by print and online media beginning in a couple of weeks
While there's plenty of places to search for and look at viral advertising, Viral HQ has gathered together an expansive collection of viral ads and categorized them by name along with the brand they were created for. Like many other viral accumulators, Viral HQ also has plans to offer seeding and tracking services. While hosting virals is a great way to sell other services, Viral HQ has done a respectable job of gathering together a huge collection. That said, it needs a search feature so virals can be found based on the brands as well as the name. Currently, it's just an alphabetical directory.
With the launch of former PUMA International Marketing Manager Peter Kim's weblog today, we can finally, almost three years later, close the book on those famous PUMA ads. Once thought to be some sort of clandestine marketing effort knowingly created by PUMA so the company could then deny their existence and benefit from the publicity, Kim confirms suspicion and tells us "a small Eastern European agency affiliated with Saatchi & Saatchi created the ads on spec, trying to win business with a PUMA subsidiary." The agency failed to win any business, and it sent them out to their friends causing worldwide proliferation, un-informed speculation (including here on Adrants, hopped up controversy and cease and desist letters sent to bloggers.