We'd like to offer an apology to Bob Garfield. In a piece we wrote yesterday about a CoBrandiT video that featured footage of Bob doing an interview with CoBrandiT that included outtakes shot prior to the actual interview, we mis-stated Bob knew he was in on the joke when, in fact, he was not. He had made some comments, in jest, while defining word of mouth prior to the beginning of the actual interview. Bob says CoBrandiT used those comments without his knowledge and he thought those shooting the video worked for WOMMA and not for CoBrandiT. We respectfully apologize. Though, we still think the video was hilarious. Rather than incur further wrath, CoBrandiT has taken the video down and placed an apology in its place. Now back to our regularly scheduled programming.
New mobile service provider Helio, with help from StreetVirus and Alt Terrain, has launched an influencer marketing campaign consisting of in-venue pop up stores, a print magazine, a blog and sponsorship of local artists. The in-venue stores include a mini-lounge and employees are given Helio phones. Each store receives free ad space in the Helio magazine and become an exclusive retailer of the devices.
The artists sponsorship provides artists with hard-to-come by public mural space to showcase their work, financial support for their gallery shows, exposure in the Helio blog and the print magazine that is nationally distributed, and artists are provided a Helio phone of their choice. For a new company without a lot of money and one whose services appeal to the social networking needs of tweens, teens and twenty-somethings, Helio has headed in the right direction with this influencer marketing approach. You can see some of the artist's work here.
We just don't have the time to read all these faux/character blogs that brands seem to think people will find really cool but Shannon over at glossy doesn't like this one from Bacardi called Better Than Beer. There's a lot of weird stuff on the site including videos of a guy biking into a banner for no apparent reason, and old lady in a hair salon and a three breasted woman. The blog is written by "Dave" who says Bacardi keeps his fridge stocked with Bacardi Mixx as payment to write about his life. And yes, the whole thing is to promote Bacardi Mixx.
As part of promoting the Austin City Limits Music Festival, Project D.U., an AT&T blogger-powered portal and branded RSS reader, is hosting a blogging contest that awards the winner a free press pass and pass for a guest to the three day event. Held in an area where WiFi is not available, AT&T will provide service, finally lending, perhaps, some truth to those Blogging Delivered outdoor boards that ran a while ago. Any music blogger that isn't already part of the Project D.U. network of bloggers can submit writing samples to be considered here.
Commercial Alert has sent emails to 305 book review editors asking them not to review a teen book called Cathy's Book because it will contain product placement from Procter & Gamble Cover Girl products. There's always a mixed feeling about this. One the one hand, completely eradicating brand names from everything makes it seem as though one is living in an artificially fake world. On the other hand, reading a book is supposed to do just that - whisk one away from the stress of the real world and provide a temporary sanctuary from it all. It's a tough call. What do you think? Commercial Alert's letter is below.
Anheuser-Busch is getting its ass kicked by World Cup Football fans who are calling the company's sponsorship of the event offensive and overbearing. Yes, $40 million for pouring rights will certainly put the "watered-down beer" as Nuremberg graduate student Heiko Hofrickter called it in front of many who feel the American presence at the World Cup is mostly uncalled for since Americans think football is a game that involves grown men donning giant shoulder pads and crashing into one another while watching a pop star bare her breast during half time. Oh wait, they do that in Europe too. The baring of breasts that is.
While many Europeans are angered over the proliferation of American marketing in their back yards, its the crappy taste of Budweiser that really has people steamed. Hofrichter, while consuming a glass of Weissbier, summed it up saying, "We don't make anything that you can compare it to. We just don't make that kind of beer. Why would we, when you can drink this?"
With video the online advertising meme du jour, ad network Bluelithium has launched AdRoll, a streaming video ad network with behavioral targeting capabilities. Much like Tacoda does with banners across its network of sites, AdRoll will allow advertisers to serve video ads, both pre-roll and in-banner, based on a person's navigation behavior across all the sites in the Bluelithium network, of which there are over 1,000 according to the company. The targeting capabilities will also include demographics and geography. If you've got video, it seems bluelithium has the right place to put it.