While referring to tobacco companies' use of the code word "Zephyr" in the fifties to refer to cancer might not be the strongest argument, the American Legacy Foundation's "Truth" campaign has launched a new campaign that includes a spot featuring a guy who goes into an oncologist's office to see if he has Zephyr/cancer. The campaign hopes to call attention to what it calls "absurdities" it sees in tobacco company marketing. A second spot will follow in a day or two.
Fifteen year agency vet John Palumbo is approaching the creation of his new ad agency, BigHeads, very differently than most. Rather than staffing the agency with jaded agency types, many of whom can't get out of their own way, Palumbo, he firmly believes there are no longer any rules governing advertising, has hired a cadre of "big heads" including a New York City bike messenger, a reality TV producer, the date doctor the movie Hitch was based on and twin dancers from Crazy Horse in Las Vegas. If some new ideas can't come out of that mash up of personality types, the whol business might as well roll up its ego-infested carpet and give up. He's doing something right because Braun, Ramada Worldwide and Remy USA have slipped some business his way.
Speaking about the computer as if it were an extension of one's self, HP has launched a new ad campaign that celebrates (over analyzes?) the relationship between computer and human and how it is "one of the most personal things you own," " your own broadcast network," "your private media empire" and "it's your life." There are tinges of past Apple campaigns the the recent HP images campaign embedded in this campaign. One spot, hosted online, ends with a virtual desktop which you can drill into as if it were your own. Unfortunately, one of the spots ends with that nasty, consistency-ruining Intel ending. But, with all the monet Intel throws at computer makers just to show that logo and sound bite, we're stuck with that for a long time.
In a clever bit of marketing, SanDisk has launched a site called iDon't to promote its new Sansea e200 MP3 player. The approach is a snipe at the ubiquitous iPod and features links to other anti-iPod sites as well as schwag, posters, templates and chat icons, all of which carry the iDon't anti-iPod message. Of course, to be complete, there's a weblog on which Da Sheep Herder will continue to spread the iDon't propaganda. No that anything's going to knock the iPod out of its top spot but this is, by far, the best marketing effort to have taken on the iPod. The site must be making the rounds because it just became unavailable. Perhaps it's on the receiving end of come Boing Boing, Digg, Fark, Slashdot action.
One of the coolest Visa "Life Takes Visa" commercials, in my opinion, is the one with the work which dances to Afrika Bambaataa's "Looking for the Perfect Beat." Blended Films has posted an interview with Patrick Smith, the man behind that dancing worm who talks about the creation of the worm, the spot and the choice of music. On the site, there's also promotional AIM icons and the spot itself.
When it comes to promoting Coke Light in Brussels, they don't sign some random pop star to perform canned dance moves, they go out and film real people doing real dance moves and let others create their own dance moves on a website that collects all these dance moves. On the sitem you can watch dance clips or upload your photo onto a random body and create your own dance clip. Predictably. most are amateurishly bad but, then again, people love to see themselves on camera and send them to their friends so I guess this could work.
Ever sit around on your couch slapping flies as they buzz around you? We didn't think so but McAfee thinks there's an analogy here between pesky flying bugs and the pesky kind of computer bugs its software can eradicate. Anyway, this little game allows you to slap bugs as they fly about your head while you hopefully make the connection between real bugs and computer bugs.
Yesterday, we shared a few pictures of Apple's New York store opening. Today, we have a video that further captures the insanity and the power the Apple brand holds over us. It's just a computer store, people! Relax. Go home. Have a beer. Seeing James Woods and Kevin Bacon really isn't that exciting. Unless, of course, your life is meaningless and ll you need is a few pieces of geeky white electronics to spice it up.
CBS has teamed with AOL and, this Fall, will introduce a game that requires viewers to watch both programming and commercials to win a potential $2 million in gold. The game, Gold Rush, is the latest on the list of tactics to combat DVR ad skipping. Clues to the prizes will be placed within programming, in commercials and on AOL. The move follows ABC's Lost Experience, a second plot-line to the popular Lost show that reveals itself in fake ads, print and the web.
While it's nice to see the nets get creative, it's not going to be so nice seeing formerly ad-free content become filled, perhaps, with subtle and blatant advertising messages all in the name of preserving a dying model.