Edelman's Steve Rubel has announced his company is setting foot inside Second Life, perhaps to the chagrin of our friends over at Second Life Herald, with two initiatives. Both are aimed at giving something back to the community, an element that's been missing from most of the recent big brand entries. The first initiative involves a Business Plan competition which will help Second Lifers with their business launch goals. According to Electric Sheep, "The winner will get six months access to an island and L$350,000, plus strategic help from Edelman and The Electric Sheep Company."
The second initiative a blog (fully disclosed, no less!) called The Grid Review that will, as Steve Rbal writes, "cover the entrepreneurial spirit inside Second Life." We wish them well. Here's hoping it's done right and this doesn't cause yet another backlash from hard core Second Lifers.
We do enjoy all the inventive ambient campaigns that spring up in Europe all the time but one thing concerns us. Does anyone ever see these things? Every time we are sent a photo of the latest creation or we see it on another site, 100 percent of the time there's never more than one or two people in the vicinity of the thing. Perhaps all the photos are early morning/late day staged photos. Perhaps they're just wishful thinking with help from Photoshop. Either way, one would think the agencies behind these things would at least go to the trouble of creating the illusion or capturing the actual reality that more than one person sees these things. Someone please enlighten us.
UPDATE: Anthony from Saatchi & Saaatchi, the agency that created the campaign, gives us out answer, writing, "I work at Saatchi & Saatchi Simko in Switzerland and I worked on the project... so here is my answer: Yes this was really produced and placed in several places in Geneva. Yes people did see those and the impact and feedback from the public is great . The reason why there is not a lot of persons on the pictures is that we shot those early morning right after when it was placed."
Adrants reader Julie writes to tell us, "Right now in Toronto there is this huge print campaign on billboards in the Subway station, on buses, on bus stop huts. It's just a big blue present with a silver bow taking up the entire space. It doesn't say anything and doesn't have a logo."
We love these mysteries. Anyone want to shed some light?
UPDATE: There's a debate raging as to whether it's Bell Canad or Yorkdale Mall.
UPDATE II: It's definitely Bell Canada.
Starbucks kicks off the holidays Pay it Forward-style by disseminating cheer on chilly city streets. Baristas hand out movie tickets and other small gifts on the condition that the recipient has to do something nice for someone else.
The campaign includes a "cheer pass" that tracks how far the "chain of cheer" has gone. Participants are encouraged to visit It's Red Again to share holiday stories and create greetings. The site is hosted by an awkward-looking man who personifies Starbucks' quirky intellectual vibe. It's also ridden with clever recommendations about holiday coffee blends and seasonal cakes.
CEO Jim Donald says they're interested in the qualitative results of the campaign and admits there aren't any of the usual tracking methods attached to it. (It begs the question - how often does anybody really track anything?) We look forward to seeing how many chains get generated. - Contributed by Angela Natividad
AIGA launched the Polling Place Photo Project, which seeks to further citizen democracy by encouraging people to snap photos of voters in action.
We're not really sure what this will show us unless somebody can snap a picture of maybe some machines miscounting votes or some naked cheerleaders voting in the snow. But they did land some interesting and occasionally heartfelt candids of people that some politician will probably use in a humanizing re-election campaign in the near future. Cheers. - Contributed by Angela Natividad
With some hyper-prevalent advertising, that is. Eric Schmidt, CEO, tells Reuters that even if mobile phones aren't entirely free in the near future, costs will definitely go down.
Which is something we're definitely not opposed to. We're quite used to living side by side with advertising in all other aspects of our lives. And hey, if they want to make money, the ads have to at least be helpful, yeah? Maybe one day we'll be able to order directly from our "Call" buttons and have the costs added to our wireless bills. - Contributed by Angela Natividad
Since Adidas' August 2005 purchase of North America company Reebok, the latter brand's sales have nosedived 14%. So now Adidas says, all right, we made a mistake.
Reebok did have something promising going with the urban-inspired RBK Classics, but they beat that horse dead when they expanded beyond classic reds, blacks and whites into wack-ass colours, driving the stake in deeper with lack of marketing reinforcement or star power.
Little has changed since our grade school days. Kids wearing Reeboks on the playground still get the shit beat out of them. They're on a par with those sneaks from Payless that light up when you stomp around. But it's not like they're totally irredeemable. The company's still profitable, and at least it's not Fila. - Contributed by Angela Natividad
Here's proof we'll arrive at gender equality with increased commodification of one sex, not decreased commodification of the other. For those of you with ball anxiety, check out Aussibum's Wonderjock, which boasts "ball/extension support technology" and has a wicked little logo that's got us itching for some kind of South Park reference.
The text ad that appears over our e-mail reads, New cup pouch to lift and extend. Warning - it will appear larger. Awesome. And we dig that little star-studded PATRIOT motif they've got going on.
Guess this means the sock stash will last a couple weeks longer than usual. - Contributed by Angela Natividad
It's these kinds of contests that simultaneously make us both lose our faith in and heap praise on consumer-generated commercials. As if in some kind of ironic nod the Agency.com Subway debacle, Quiznos has decided to launch the Quiznos versus Subway TV Ad Challenge which asks people to submit their ideas for a TV spot to win $10,000. One thing we can guarantee for sure is this: Quiznos will get a hell of a lot less publicity on this than Agency.com did on their Subway endeavor.
AdPack USA is spreading the word about putting your brand name on those little tissues moms keep in their purses for lick-and-remove jobs when kids' faces get too dirty.
The site includes a video tutorial on how tissues work, explanations on how they can be used (as in-store promo items or giveaways - go figure, we'd totally forgotten what SWAG was for) and little clips about how other companies moved mountains by deciding to jump aboard the tissue train.
And not content to settle merely for the plain-Jane facial tissue niche, AdPack has a tissue for every company. They also do towelettes and wet naps. This would have been a great fit for the Happy Feet and Tamiflu promotion.
Steve Jacobs, president at AdPack USA, says "Although tissue products are low-tech, they are effective and targeted and measurable." While he may be right, it's just funny within the context of a product you can blow holes through. - Contributed by Angela Natividad