This year marks a major expansion for ad:tech San Francisco as well as an overall expansion of ad:tech shows across the globe. Upon entering the Moscone Center, one word comes to mind: bigger. Because it's being held in the cavernous Moscone Center, this just might be the first ad:tech conference where one isn't forced through a chute like a cow on the way to the milking parlor.
The exhibit hall is large with very high ceilings making for a spacious feeling unlike the somewhat claustrophobic venue in previous years. The large registration area leads one to believe the process of getting one's badge will proceed quickly. After you register and head down the stairs or elevator to the exhibit hall, make sure you turn around and look back up the stairs and marvel at the stair mural DoubleClick has created.
Belgian agency Duval Guillaume, well know for its work with Schweppes, Bubblicious and World Aids Day has been acquired by French giant Publicis. While the announcement states the agency's current management structure, six operating companies and subsidiaries will maintain autonomy, we hope the originality and quality work Duval has created will continue untarnished,
In reaction to a recent Burst media study that concluded the web to be the primary resource for information among the affluent, life insurance company AccuQuote, on their new weblog, wants to know what makes a good online life insurance ad. Not that AccuQuote uses them, but we'd recommend any life insurance advertiser to ditch pop ups and spasmodically flashing ad banners as a start. We'd also recommend creating banners that have price quote capability built in. So help a brand that honestly wants to know how to better its advertising.
So there's a series of really weird ads up on Flickr for fashion label Raoul. The ads are spec work done by students in an advertising class in Singapore. As Flickr user skaplan explains, "some of my friends in Singapore asked some of the exchange kids to be white people in their concept ads they made for class." Hmm. While the ads are refreshingly un ad-like, this one in particular really makes one wonder what they were thinking when they created it. Then again, these are college students and they aren't all hung up on corporate culture that constrains creativity.
Even though we often rail against studies that simply restate the obvious, it's nice to see a study that confirms what we've known for years. Contrary to life as a porn star, in the world of media buying, size does not matter according to a recent study of negotiated media rates. A two year analysis of media spending by Billets media audit arm MMPA found prices paid for the same media vary widely and big agency bulk buying clout did not guarantee a lower rate. Our own personal confirmation of this came several years ago when an idiot sales rep mistakenly emailed us his entire inventory sheet for the past six month showing our little three person media department was kicking the shit out of the big guys rate-wise.
Working with Saatchi & Saatchi, Toyota will sponsor a spin-off of the FOX series Prison Break called Prison Break: Proof of Innocence which will be broadcast to mobile phones and supported with ten seconf pre-roll ads. The mobile series itself will be promoted on the TV series with two minute spots airing in May as the first year of the show comes to a close. The effort is, of course, to reach the hard-to reach-younger demo and leverage the booming use of the cell phone as the central media device for consuming content.
The Wall Street Journal writes, "'Prison Break: Proof of Innocence' wasn't written by the same people who work on the regular series, and the mobisodes won't feature actors from the show, although the original producers have veto power over anything. The series introduces the character of Amber McCall and follows her path to exonerate her friend L.J., who has disappeared after being framed for murder. In the regular series, L.J. is the son of one of the lead characters. Amber will be played by actress Mandell Maughan; Fox says this is her first professional acting credit."
Ray Del Savio has launched a weblog in an effort to drum up support for getting the word "concept" added to the Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary as a verb. Of course, all of us in the business who've been using the word to describe the act of coming up with an overall ad or campaign idea have been using the word as a verb forever. Savio's blog cites the Dictionary currently only recognizes the word as a noun and adjective.
The blog links to a petition that asks everyone to get behind its proposed addition to the Merriam-Webster listing of the word "concept." The proposed addition is al follows:
to con cept (knspt) - co cepted (knspt-ed) - con cept-ing (knspt-ing)
1. A process whereby ideas are generated for the purpose of creatively solving a problem: "The team set aside some time for concepting in order to flush out some plausible directions."
There are 56 signatures so far. We're all for it. What about you?
Animal Magazine, the yardstick by which all New York culture is measured, has re-launched its website blog-style. Already, Animal's got high-jacked Facebook pictures of Moby hanging with a bunch of college hotties, a nod to Chelsea's apparent fixation with the male appendage and one of New York's finest mouthing off as only the finest can.
No doubt there are a multitude of political angles to Cape Wind's desire to place a bunch of giant windmills off the coast of Cape Cod the generate energy but this video from Greenpeace showing Senator Ted Kennedy paying whakamole with the windmills because they might alter the pristine view he has from his Hyannis mansion is, well, just funny. Apparently, Kennedy has buried an amendment into a Coast Guard bill that, if approved, would kill the Cape Wind project.
To call attention to pockpocketing, Brussels Airlines resorted to a sort of anti-pickpocketing campaign and placed fake, rubber hands inside un-attended bags. Aside from the fact most people would freak out and scream if they came back to their bag and found a hand inside, we're guessing airport security wouldn't be too happy with this marketing scheme. Not to mention the possibility of those inserting the hands accidentally finding themselves faced with a bag full of explosives or some other nasty find. Still, we have to admit this is very effective at getting attention. LG&F came up with the idea.