Borat, an anti-Semitic journalist personality invented by comedian Sacha Baron Cohen, has riled up Kazakhstan with publicity attempts to generate interest in his upcoming movie. An irate President Nazarbayev, concerned about Westerners taking Borat seriously, assures us all that "contrary to Borat's claims, [Kazakhstan] is not a nation of drunken anti-Semites who treat their women worse than their donkeys." We're not really sure why this kind of thing is a political issue considering Fez has made us laugh over stereotypes for as long as "That 70's Show" has been around, but whatever, every country is different and has the right to decide what kind of news should be a diplomatic priority.
We're all used to people accosting us on the sidewalk to sell us the latest piece of crap but we don't usually expect street-based billboards to shock us into submission.To promote its new show, Afterlife, Britain's itv is scaring the shit out of people with billboard that, well, watch the video and experience it all for yourself. For you widget heads that will comment, "Yawn. So and so did this eons ago," save it. We still like it and think it's very effective in getting notice.
Coast Medical Care, a Canadian organization that helps the mentally ill with housing, employment and emotional support launched, with help from Grey, a campaign that centers around the invented word, psychosiphobia. The campaign consisted of local newspaper ads, radio, television and a street campaign. The street campaign involved painting the word psychosiphobia on the pavement at a Vancouver intersection that is the dividing line between a business district and a troubled neighborhood rife with homelessness, drugs and prostitution.
It has to be a bitch to pose for all those awkward photos your PR department demands from you but that's just how it goes when you're trying (begging?) to build interest in the kick off of the NHL hockey season. So here we have Versus (formerly OLN) President, Gavin Harvey and SVP of Programming Marc Fein outside Icecalibur in New York graciously obliging the PR folk at an event that offered autographed hockey sticks and various prizes such as $10,000 in cash, tickets to the Stanley Cup or tickets to the All Star Game to anyone who could pull a stick out of the ice block.
A couple years ago, we told you about a technology that mounted TV's on people so they could walk around and sell stuff. Now, everyone's doing it including Nivea who contracted with AdWalkers, trained street walking marketers who wear TV's and hand out stuff, to promote the company's "Nivea Touches New York" Exhibit.
Nivea deployed eight Adwalkers in its first week of operation and four during its second week. The Adwalkers fanned out around Chelsea, Union Square, Gramercy Park, and Herald Square on a Wednesday through Saturday basis. Of the people exposed to the AdWalkers, a total of 6,600 took a virtual tour of the Nivea exhibit and got a printout reminder/invitation to visit the West 19th Street installation.
We all love to go to trade shows to schmooze with others in the industry, attend panel discussions in hopes we pick up the latest cool marketing tactic and, perhaps, strike a business deal or two. While some of that may have merit, in this fast changing media landscape where everyone's skipping your ads, blocking your pop ups and stripping banners from web pages, it's unlikely any panel is going to deliver you as much insight and usable information as this Guy Kawasaki-led panel called Next Generation Insights. The panel consisted of kids aged 16 to 24 and offered up more a treasure trove of first hand information about media usage habits that will soon define the future of media. From cell phone usage to use of MySpace to IM to online shopping to text messaging gaming to computer usage habits to television viewing to magazine readership to iPod usage to email to online video to RSS and more. It's a motherlode of insightful, usable information about a generation that is indicative of what media usage will look like in the future.
After watching this, you will very quickly realize that all current methods of marketing have a very, very...very short lifespan. There are bright spots though. Interestingly, magazines and billboards were mentioned as viable media outlets. Give it a watch.
In a recent campaign, an Austrian radio station, 88.6, is trying to position itself as something other that a station that plays popular music. By trashing the hugely successful Phil Collins and the Titanic soundtrack, two entities that, while some question their musical merit, made more money that this station will likely ever see, this station is trying to position itself as some sort of anti-pop, hip station. Too bad they couldn't find some cultural references that were relevant to this decade.
We're not usually a fan of highly stylized commercials just for the sake of being highly stylized but this Callegari Berville Grey-created, Stardust-produced Hugo Boss Green campaign featuring Jonathan Rhys Meyers, is stylized for a reason and seems to catch our eye. Like Coke's Happiness Factory, the spot illustrates the world of beauty a cologne can create. Oh, sorry, we got caught up in all the hype there for a minute but a cologne doesn't just make you smell good. It's supposed to whisk you away to another world for a moment and make you feel special. That's what this campaign does in our opinion.
The campaign. which introduces a new fragrance, consists of :10's, :15's, :20's and :30's as well as print. You can view the :30 here ( it's 15MB so give it some time) and check out additional campaign information here.
Adrants reader Heather Dougherty received an odd text message today on her phone that may have been part of the currently running, very strange Geico advertising campaign. The message read, "Call me ASAP! I just found out someone u used to mess with has an std. But don't stress - I just saved a ton of money by switching to GEICO. Keep this going!"
Whether or not this is a sanctioned viral SMS campaign is unclear. We've contacted Geico seeking confirmation. While spoofs like this happen all the time, we have a hard time believing the average person would actually create a TXT message like this just to send to their friend. It has advertising copy written all over it. On the other hand, does anyone really want unsolicited TXT message of any kind delivered to their phones? We're not sure we do. What about you?
Michael Shostack was in Chicago today and stopped by the Gap's (Product_ RED) promotion at its store on Ohio and Michigan. He wasn't too impressed with the promotion reporting the throngs of people had but about five seconds to view celebs Oprah Winfrey and Bono from far across the other side of the street behind barricades. In the early Chicago cold weather today wasn't enough, that five second view was blocked by an army of red jacket-wearing Gap employees who lined up in front of the stores entrance, blocking what little view there was of Oprah and Bono as they made their way from their cars to the strore's entrance. Blocked view or not, Michael did snap a pretty good shot of the pair as they made their way inside, commenting Orpah looked very, very tiny. Check out his full coverage of the event here along with additional photos.