VIA Group, the same people who brought you the spilt-milk crying fiasco, orchestrate a strange little gimmick for Kick Start, a campaign to keep kids straight about school.
Because we all know how well that Mr. Ed concept flew, Kick Start introduces Norm the donkey, which magically appears in the bedroom of a boy playing video games, gives him a pep-talk and hind-kicks him when he refuses to do his homework. The boy is then convinced he really should do his homework and is even fascinated by it.
We tried to visit the Kick Start website but confused the actual one with another Kick Start organization for kids that's run by Chuck Norris. Chuck Norris, helping kids build character? Now that would really kick ass. We heard he does all his grocery shopping at Home Depot.
Living up to the (mostly false) accusation that all we (OK, me) write about are curvaceous women promoting stuff, we offer you this video which promotes the book, The Muscly Jerk Guide: Workout & Nutrition Plans, that promises guys, "Now you can build a physique that drives beautiful women crazy & take control of your sex life in only 12 weeks!" Back in November a guy wrote the book and recently released the video, called Hot Girls Answer Every Guy's Question, which asks what woman want in a guy. Of course, all they want are big muscles but what else would they say in a video promoting a book that promises to build a muscular physique in 12 weeks? The video has climbed to the number nine spot on the video tracking site, VidMeter. Call it shallow but there's nothing wrong with a six pack and the adoration that six pack brings.
We love it when companies "discover" social networking, hop on board late in the game, rip off all existing social networking ideas out there, pick a colour template, and then issue a press release saying it's not your average social networking scene.
This is exactly what Conde Nast has done with its on-the-fringe teen site Flip. The only difference is we're not used to seeing so much advertising for Conde Nast merch concentrated in one space. It's a little like a magazine-toting make-up-wearing fifteen-year-old diva tripped over the internet and threw up, resulting in an explosion of purple hearts, stars, flowers, swirls and Lucky ads.
Flip also includes snazzy but deceptive new terminology. Contrary to popular ideas about flip books, creating a flip book on Flip results in what we typically call a photo album or slideshow. But the population, mainly teenage artists and revolutionaries, doesn't seem to mind. And that's what's really important, right? So here's to yet another completely unique social networking website.
If you are involved in email marketing as a brand, as an agency on behalf of a brand, as a list owner or as a provider, you have certainly hit your head against the wall trying to process all the myriad details that go along with the practice; CanSpam issues, deliverability, response rates, affiliate relationships, effect of Subject line, proper frequency, spam filters, competitive activity, offer effectiveness and email design to name a few. A company we've been following for some time but have never written about is Email data Source, a company that answers all these questions. Each time we see a demo, we are amazed at what this thing can do.
Internet comedians Joey and David have one-upped Nissan's 7 Days in a Sentra promotion centered around a guy named Marc Horowitz who lived in the car for a week. Having a bit of fun with the promotion, Joey and David produced their own version of the promotion called 14 Days in a Civic in which Joey tries very hard to begin his 14 day journey but is, sadly, interrupted incessantly by his parent's not so peachy keen relationship. Believe us, it's much finnier than the original.
Can't the French think of anything besides sex? Probably not, and that's why we love them so much. Bikini's College is the self-proclaimed first interactive guide to international flirting.
Alt-Buzz is stoked about this Bikini's College thing but we're pretty confused, particularly after seeing promo video My Teacher is Sexy which could be a very effective ad for encouraging adolescent boys to stay in school. (More effective than this, anyway.) Still, we're liking this growing trend of finding universal ways to hook up. Who says globalization is a bad thing?
In a reversal of one of the most idiotic brand decisions in decades, two un-named Ford execs said the Taurus name will return and be affixed to the two year old, poorly named Five Hundred. In 1992, 410,000 vehicles were sold. The Taurus brand resurrected Ford and outsold all other cars old in America for five years straight. The name as retired last October after 21 years. New Ford Chief Executive Alan Malally has been high on the name since he joined Ford last year. Most assuredly, the ad campaign supporting this launch will be large and far-reaching. Whether or not the renamed Five Hundred will be remotely as popular as the original Taurus is an entirely different discussion.
For pseudo-scientists still toting the efficacy of subliminal advertising, we bring you Hypno Marketing, an Australia-born method for turning even the most cynical of purchasers into brand evangelists for life. All they need is a few hours with said consumer.
"Hypno-marketing is not dangerous nor is it evil," says general manager Gavin Hawke. "Hypnosis and marketing use similar techniques to motivate people into a particular behavioural pattern. We cannot remove the free will from people but through our re-programming we believe we can control the individuals' decision making process."
Well, if hypnosis can get people to stop smoking, why wouldn't it work for marketing? And we're sure consumer-wannabes will be breaking the doors down at marketing evangelist hypnosis seminars. Who wouldn't want to be further cannibalized by every ad they see?
Make the Logo Bigger points us to Dump Cupid, an Herbal Essences promotion that departs from middle-aged moaning women in favour of a younger set, just in time for Valentine's Day.
The website features a depressing pole-dancing Cupid and, perhaps still more depressing, a series of supposedly user-generated hook-up stories that, despite carefully administered typos, ring false. We have trouble believing a woman who nearly drowned was saved by a lifeguard she later married. That's way too Nicholas Sparks. Users can also send Dump Cupid e-cards to each other with a running "We don't need him!" girl power theme. Uh ... yeah. Can we bring back the moaning women?
Update: as of 2/16, over 1.1 million people have seen the campaign thus far. And we're not surprised - across the Youtube and MySpace channels we've seen Cupid's red face peering gamely out all over the place. Is this a testament to the efficacy of viral marketing, female distaste for Cupid or a sick sense of epicaricacy? We don't know, maybe all 3 make the grade. Whether they convert into brand loyalty over the long-term is a fable for another day.
Adland chides Boston in a story about budget airline FlyMe which has taken to advertising on suitcases in Miami as a means of delivering its message, writing, "My first thought was, good thing this isn't Boston, since that'll probably bring up another bomb scare." Too true.