AOL Gets Caught Trying to Badger Customer Into Retaining Account

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Now we know why AOL still has so many users. Try as they might, canceling an AOL account is, apparently, a nightmare, a point proved by one Vincent Ferrari who recorded his exchange with an AOL customer service rep while canceling his account. It took Ferarri a total of 21 minutes to complete the cancellation and the five minute he spent with an actual human being are simply priceless. The CSR berated Ferrari, who is 30, to the point of asking to speak to his father because he thought Ferrari was making wrong decision in canceling the account. While, AOL did reply to the MSNBC report on the incident with an apology and a statement it had fired the CSR in question, there are, according to Ferrari, many others who have had similar experiences with the company. In the world of social media, consumer-generated media and YouTube, there's no hiding shady business practices any longer.

by Steve Hall    Jun-22-06    
Topic: Bad, Brands, Online, Viral



Long Lasting Gum Makes People Do Weird Stuff

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In a unique approach to illustrating just how long Cadbury Adams Stride gum lasts, the company has launched a website on which several people sitting at a desk chew gum while doing random acts of nothingness. There's also a contest which be can enter by submitting a 100 word statement of what they would do for a ridiculously long time and, if selected, a photograph of them doing it. No, you can't film yourself having herculean long sex nor can you be gross, obscene, violent or any of those other activities that irk lawywers but you can do just about anything else. Who knows if it will sell any gum but I wasted a good 20 minutes watching some of the videos.

by Steve Hall    Jun-22-06    
Topic: Good, Online, Promotions, Strange



Smelly Fingers A Sign Of Successful Score

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In a nod to the age old "smell my fingers" routine as proof of contact, this UK commercial for Scampi marries horny guys with hot chicks to sell chips. Not much more seeds to be said.

by Steve Hall    Jun-22-06    
Topic: Commercials, Good, Strange



Snoop Dog Tells Kids What It's Like to be A Gangster

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Don't bother visiting the excruciatingly slow loading Orbit site but you might get a kick out of this Orbit commercial featuring Snoop Dog telling school children what it's like to be a gangster. At first, it ends badly but then Snoop is saved by and angel in white bearing Orbit.

by Steve Hall    Jun-22-06    
Topic: Commercials, Online



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'Entertainment Weekly Explores Viral Video, Fails

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To both see if they could become famous and to do their journalistic duty, two Entertainment Weekly writers, Jason Adams and Scott Brown manufactured a video they hoped would go viral and reported on the process they went through to make it happen. With advice from people at CollegeHumor, MySpace, Google Video, AOL Video, comedian Anthony King and Time Inc. lawyers, the pair shot a video of Brown breaking up with a mannequin named Becca Kelly.

To date, the video has been viewed 7,700 times on YouTube and the effort has been called a failure by Brown and Adams. It was too long. The jokes came too late in the video and the lawyers got involved. Well, we'll see. No one new who the Numa Numa kid was for a while so we'll see where this goes.

by Steve Hall    Jun-22-06    
Topic: Online, Viral



Red Lipstick Adorns New City Coffee Cups

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If you're one of the few people daring to grab a cup of coffee from a New York Street vendor, you may receive a cup that looks like a woman wearing red lipstick has already used the cup. Makeup retailer Sephora, with help from PromoMedia Concepts produced coffee cups branded with a store opening message along with an imprint that makes the cup look like it's been sipped before. It certainly grabs the attention. After all, no one wants to drink out of someone else's coffee cup and this lipstick sure does make one look closely to make sure it's just an imprint and not the real thing.

by Steve Hall    Jun-22-06    
Topic: Good, Guerilla, Packaging, Specialty



Deutsch Wants Lawsuit Filed Against Him by Steve Dworin Dismissed

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As the Donny Deutsch/Steve Dworin legal saga continues, the latest development has Deutsch and other named parties in the suit filed by Dworin for slander, libel, emotional distress and breach of contract moving to dismiss. As if pointing out something new, Dworin's suit claims Deutsch "improperly charged clients for advertising production and lied to clients and prospects about his agency's size and capabilities." name one person in this business who hasn't done that before.

by Steve Hall    Jun-22-06    
Topic: Policy



Nike Ad Likened to Crucifixion, Garners Complaints

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Professing not to know why Nike would do such a thing (uh...hello? publicity), several have complained about a Nike ad featuring Wayne Rooney partially painted red with his arms outstretched. Church groups are likening it to Christ's crucifixion and British MPs think it's horribly war-like. Wieden + Kennedy, creators of the ad, defend it saying it has nothing to do with the crucifixion and was intended to celebrate Rooney's return to his team after an injury.

A Nike spokeswoman explains further, telling the Daily Mail, "If we have offended anyone on those grounds, we would stress it was unintentional and we apologize. It is not meant to be an aggressive picture, either. It was a case of catching the mood of the nation as everyone urges Rooney on to great things, and of course our slogan puts it perfectly. The red paint is not meant to be blood, it's just echoing the body paint which fans cover themselves in and the rest of Wayne's body is painted white. It's the flag of St George, and nothing else. We have had nothing but positive reaction to the poster and a lot of people have been asking if they can buy it. We have no plans to produce it as a poster."

by Steve Hall    Jun-22-06    
Topic: Campaigns, Newspaper, Outdoor



Countdown Campaign Promises to Debunkify

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Ah, yes. Another mysterious site with a countdown clock. Don't the creators of these sites, in this case, according to Whois information, Cincinnati Ohio-based hyperQuake, know this has been done a million times before? Do they think we will actually care what the countdown leads to? Are they so bold as to assume there is something unique about what they are about to announce? Oh wait. Of course they do. This is advertising and when we create cool campaigns like this we just know the entire world will be jonesing right along with us.

The countdown site, called Debunkify, is accompanied by a video on YouTube and billboards and TV ads in several Ohio locations. The billboards proclaim, "kill the myths before they kill you" and the site indicates all will be revealed July 10. OMG, we just can't wait. Can you? Yawn.

by Steve Hall    Jun-22-06    
Topic: Campaigns, Guerilla, Online, Outdoor, Strange, Television, Viral



British Airways Educates American Slobs On Proper Wimbledon Behavior

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Yesterday, British Airways launched a Agency.com-created online campaign to educate Americans on proper behavior if they plan to attend the Wimbledon tennis tournament. In the eyes of the English, Americans are apparently a bunch of overeating, foam finger-waving, air horn-blowing cads. Basically, a pretty good assessment. So, for those planning of heading over to Wimbledon, take heed and alter your behavior properly for the event.

by Steve Hall    Jun-22-06    
Topic: Campaigns, Online









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