- Cynopsis reports, "The retransmission rights payments disagreement between MediaCom Communications and Sinclair Broadcast Group came to a head late Friday and into Saturday with MediaCom being forced to drop 22 Sinclair stations from its cable system in 12 states as of 12:01a January 6."
- Time Magazine is getting into the blog game with a site makeover, a news aggregator and topical blogs.
- Ecommerce hit the 4100 billion mark in 2006 and continues to charge ahead.
- Brands should know by now an angry mob of bloggers is something to steer clear of lest you want amplified what you intended to be hushed.
- Time says you are the Person of the year. Advertising Age says the consumer is the Agency of the Year. Jonah Bloom explains they really didn't copy Time.
- The free 411 services are catching on with advertisers. Aegon Insurance and Absolut are the latest brands to become advertisers on 1-800-FREE411.
- Heavy.com has closed on a second round of financing, $20 million from Polaris Venture Partners. The financing will be used to expand the network internationally.
Time revamps its tired old site to better serve the interests of 2.0-savvy readers who'd rather sift through snarky blogs than stiff Reuters streams.
The new site vibes like a cross between Yahoo, ZDNet and AdAge, which can be useful if not totally confusing. Critiques about Iraq rub shoulders with Top 10's, quotes du jour and wincing-hip TV-related titles like "Whiteyz with Attitude." Urg. Well, it'll definitely make eye-candy for the scroll-happy.
Time will provide 24/7 news and, in a surprise move that contrasts those of major papers like the New York Times, rendered the entire Time archive of stories, covers and images - from its 1923 debut! - available for free.
Neat. For a brand so big we're sure they'll come up with a way to keep profits from hurting during this most curious process. And we probably won't be the only ones watching closely.
Brand Experience Lab occasionally releases a series of predictions we're invited to peruse from time to time. They recently updated their list to include a few profundities that might ring redundant considering '06 was ridden with questions of ad ethics, authenticity regarding social networking and "flogs" and the craze for congratulating consumers for being consumers, as best illustrated by Time and AdAge.
If you feel so inclined, read admonitions on why authenticity is key, why consumer capabilities on your website should reflect what can be done in your store, and why we're looking at an age in which everyone - including us - wants to criticize your shit.
This is one of the more pleasantly inventive and eye catching outdoor campaigns we've seen in a while. It makes its point quite clearly. Unless you invest in yourself - in this case, corporate training - you're just a piece of useless, outdated trash good only for the trash bin. See another version here.
Incognito informer FishnChimps points us in Ariel's direction for a redux in the car wars, which may or may not be a series of spoofs, though one could argue the breadth and popularity of them does these brands a major favor that few legit ads could.
In this iteration of the driving machine battle, BMW calls Jaguar a scaredy-cat by getting nose-to-nose and sending Jag's icon meowing back to the big tree it came from. Very cute even if, as unintentionally demonstrated in this ad, the Jaguar happens to be the prettier car and looks better still when compared to the blunt BMW hood. Nonetheless they got the point across fine.
Ad subtlety takes skill and a bit of patience with your consumer, but done well it makes all the difference in a great piece of print or television. A breaking campaign for Cars Guide enlists the magic of Cummins and Partners to deliver the message "Choice is everything."
You need to see the ads big for the full effect but check out the variations with Doc Brown and - by gad - is that Mr. T or a guerilla warrior?! We'd know that telltale feather anywhere. Of course guessing always gets one into trouble so if you know better, let us know and we'll telepathically pin a gold star to your pullover.
VH1's reality series I Love New York gets pretty for its debut with agency Version2, which positions New York as a bachelorette and, in this representative spot, guides Lucy-in-the-Sky-eyed viewers through a menagerie of NY-loving suitors up to a mansion at its heart, where eager young guns will aim for penetration. Federico Saenz-Recio of the "Flavor of Love" series is credited for lead design and animation.
We dig the harmonious marriage between the ghetto fabulous and psychedelic qualities of the campaign, even if we doubt the show will move us education-wise. But hey, reality TV is just another way of saying the consumer is king, so what do we know?
Angela's Take: AdAge just named The Consumer as Agency of the Year, hot off the tracks of Time which recently made You its Person of the Year.
What does this mean for you? We guess it means that you're kind of a big deal. Despite the fact you've always had the power, right now you're blowing up like a rock star. With the magic of spending power, ad-critical assertiveness and the frontiers for freedom getting blazed across the internet, publications everywhere are suddenly bowing down in humble supplication.
What does this mean for AdAge? We think they said it all when in the lower right-hand corner of their Consumer article they posted a link to a Scott Donaton piece that reads, "Me-too-itis Hobbles Too Many Marketers' Efforts."
The Future Marketing Summit conference series has returned and this year the forward-looking series will kick in New York March 5-6 and be chaired by Strawberry Frog's Founder and Chief Creative Officer Scott Goodson. The series will explore the theme of integration and its effect on design, entertainment, technology and delivery.
Speakers at the events will include SAM's Club EVP Mark Goodman, Coke SVP, CCO Esther Lee, Google Global Creative Director Luanne Calvert and many other. If you want to go, Adrants is offering a 15 percent registration discount which you can get here.
Senior citizen Sue Teller draws the attention of not-so-golden eyes with this little clip about mash-ups. It's got Mountain Dew's twisted tongue-in-cheek style all over it but the Dew's staying mum about its involvement with the aging, crunk-loving album ripper.
Kevin at PR Blog thinks it's Super Bowl related which makes sense to us as businesses traditionally go out on a limb to get noticed on the coveted meathead spots. Interestingly, the demographic that few besides convalescent homes pay attention to may contain the golden key.
Oxygen took this a step further some years ago and actually gave Sue Johansen, who's got to be pushing 85 from what we can tell, a sex show complete with a trunk full of pleasure tools. That definitely got the attention of creeped-out but fascinated high school girls for a hot minute. Is Dew tearing a page out of the femme-friendly network for the young and 'net-savvy? We'll find out.
Either UPS has an extremely twisted sense of humor or someone forgot to do their homework. Adrants reader Andrew Teman tells us one of the commercials in the new UPS campaign features a song by the band The Postal Service which, after a dust up with the United States Post Office over its name, sells its CD on the USPS website. The The Postal Service and USPS in bed together, it does seem an odd choice of music to use in a UPS commercial. Are we missing something here?
Adrants reader Joshua snapped this shot of a Bertuccci's billboard above one of its restaurants in Boston that mirrors the look of the city's transit signs. While we wonder whether or not the MBTA (Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority) will have anything to say about this, we think it's an extremely creative approach.
Bostonians have seen this style of sign for decades and it's ingrained in the psyche. Of course, we hope that means they'll notice it rather than ignore it since , unfortunately, once you've made the commute once, you don't need the signs any more. For those that don't know, there is no actual Citgo gas station under that sign. Eons ago, it became a landmark and has lasted long after the gas station left.
Late last Friday, Altoids awarded its creative duties to San Francisco's Hal Riney causing those on the 31st floor of incumbent Leo Burnett in Chicago to, well, get a little unhappy. Though we love Burnett and think the early Altoids work was wonderful, we must say it is, perhaps, time for a change. In fairly clandestine review, we're told Burnett was bested by Dial House, BBDO and Crispin. Chin up, Leo. It was probably the client's fault anyway, right?
Steve's Take: Surprise. Well, not really. You, yes you are the Agency of the Year! Mirroring Time's footsteps they promise they thought of it before Time published), Advertising Age has named the consumer the Ad Agency of the Year. Cool but we're sorta feeling sad for all those hard working agencies and any number of social media companies that made this possible in the first place. Of course, that's a pointless chicken and egg analogy but the notion of consumer control in the marketing space is, for sure, a powerful one.
We could list all the fun stuff that led up to this (Mentos, LonelyGirl15, etc.) but we're sure you've heard it all before. Agencies, we feel your pain at getting ripped off this year but take solace in consumer's love for marketing. Or something like that. But also note the slap upside the head you just got and realize you can't keep doing the same old thing lest their won't be any agencies left in the future to consider for this top spot. (Doesn't Jonah look imposingly hip in that pic? :-) )