Online community Stardoll unrolls a virtual red carpet for the Academy Awards. For the teeny bopper demo (or girls at heart like Mariah), Stardoll is a candy-sweet space for creating Oscars-themed scenes with - wait for it - virtual paparazzi and Joan Rivers avatars. It ain't the Oscars without invasive camera angles and loud blondes straddling perpetual midlife crises so we smile upon the stab at authenticity.
"We hope to usher in a new generation of kids who want to try their hand at fashion in a way that is fun, creative and a bit friendlier than an internship at Vogue," says CEO Mattias Miksche. After seeing The Devil Wears Prada, we find this noble indeed.
In addition to playing with Oscar nominee avatars and making adamant suggestions about who should win (most favor Kate over Penelope!), girls make their own avatars and craft campaigns to become the next Stardoll cover girl, an honour doled out by the community.
Stardoll stikes us as an awesome resource. While we'd like to suggest it as such, the imagined execution (admen trolling the Pretty in Pink section) is not cute. Resist the urge to channel dormant XX chromosomes. We're sure you know a little girl you can foist this job upon.
Apparently, there are companies solely devoted to the care of bald heads. Who knew? Headblade is one such company and couldn't pass up the opportunity to leverage Britney's recent head shaving event into some of their own publicity. The company put together a video called Top Ten Reasons Britney Shaved Her Head in which random fitness pros, sports figures and some Swedish Chick offer up reasons why Britney may have offed her locks. The number one reason? Let's just say it has to do with matching styles.
While there are probably quite a few ads that make us go, "How do they do that?" the question isn't answered often enough to be worth pursuing very far.
Adland, however, posed the question about an ad for Orange entitled Belonging. Oddly enough, it was answered. Sam Akesson of Fallon London confesses, "[Belonging] took A LOT of takes, and we spent about 2 months of rehearsing to get all the choreography and movement right. Basically it involves a lot of people running and jumping into holes..."
We were like WTF until Fallon elaborated with its own version of Making the Video. Way more interesting than anything P. Diddy does behind the scenes of his hitmakers, it probably could still have used a catfight or two. But how often do you get to see people jumping into holes? Not nearly enough.
Ask at Ad-Rag confides, "Belonging doesn't use any CGI. Instead they rely on running away, jumping into holes and the camera's blind spot. I think it's neat." We do too.
In fact, we think behind-the-scenes efforts like this are a great way of building intimacy between brands, audiences and even - yes - agencies. If it worked for Nick Lachey and Jessica Simpson, it can work for us too. Creative endeavours make fertile ground for screaming, crying and potential taboo trysts, yeah?
Seemingly unassociated with any official Playboy promotion, Pool Boys at the Mansion is a site created by three guys Sam Rush and two other guys referred to as Denman and The Swede. The sole purpose of the site is to get the attention of Playboy and get hired as pool boys at the Mansion. Prior to setting up the site, they contacted Playboy through normal channels and were told, "pool boy positions at the Mansion, however, are likely to go only to trusted referrals."
Undeterred, the three launched Pool Boys at the Mansion. A quick Whois search confirms (well, as much as Whois can which isn't saying much) no official association with Playboy. Let's hope this is, in fact, the case, and not another sad attempt by a corporate entity to get jiggy with the bloggy thing. Good luck, guys.
For Dov Charney, who's bowing out of American Apparel in pursuit of his own manifest destiny, office life has been a source of both business and pleasure.
Short of being a lumberjack or Chuck Norris, Dov Charney is a king among men. Dov Charney:
* Masturbates regularly in front of reporters
* Gets freaky with colleagues (thanks, Jewlicious)
* Pushes American Apparel's squeaky clean clothes with skanky adverts
* Still manages to position American Apparel as an ethical business that pays good wages and poses no harm to overseas workers
While Julie Roehm fights for footstools over in Pariah-ville, she must be shaking her fist at what Dov got away with over the course of his career, also behind the guise of a similarly apple pie all-American style company.
Granted, American Apparel ain't all sex, and it isn't the first brand to use R-rated tactics to pull in a fickle demo.
Are we looking at a double standard? And double standards aside, is America just too uptight about this sex stuff?
It was only a matter of time before Wrigley's Candystand, whose candy-tagged games get progressively better, would start testing waters in real gamer territory.
Candystand and Wii just joined forces in a bizarre cross-branding where Wii web games are peddled on Candystand and Candystand is totally accessible through the Wii browser.
The relationship isn't exactly low-key - within 24 hours of launching on Wii's Internet Channel, Wii.Candystand.com drew 6000 visitors and a ton of positive reviews. That is, according to Scott Tannen, Wrigley's director of global digital marketing.
This is the first branded site to link to the Wii browser, which will definitely get competitors sniffing at the door to be next in line. Candystand's content offerings are also formatted for television instead of computer monitors.
Kudos to Wrigley for creating a series of branded offerings that seem able to stand alone in gaming world. It hasn't been an easy trek, considering Candystand was first introduced in '97 - building this kind of recognition takes time. Just ask Target.
We still harbor doubts that our Socom buddies would be deeply impressed to hear we destroy the competition on Altoids Sheep, though.
We thought the Microsoft Butterfly was kind of nifty. The guy in the BlackBerry suit? Not so much. Giant plush costumes are so deceptive in their frozen state of cheer and rarely work outside Chuck E Cheese and college football fields, where they can be ridiculed at leisure by their own peers.
The requisite BlackBerry Mascot MySpace, as if we care.
Why? Why? Why? Why do brands launch these massive campaigns, spend all this money and make ads that don't say a thing about what the company does? Are there people in agencies that still think "branding" without meaningful substance works? Apparently, not after one of those day-long, mind-numbing vision, mission, essence, position self-serving mind fucks. After that, they're all sipping the Kool Aid without realizing the consumer wasn't in that meeting all day and has no idea what the hell the resulting brand messaging is trying to convey.
Sure, this Mobius award winning Bart Domination campaign for Kaiser Permanente will certainly force the company's name into the conscious and subconscious mind of everyone within eye sight but will they walk away having any idea what the company does? Oh wait. Yea. There's this thing called the Internet. Oh wait. There's no URL in the ad. Oh wait. There's this thing called Google. It helps you find stuff. Oh wait, Kaiser's name is impossible to spell. Even if one does find their way to the site, it doesn't even tell you what the company does. Not until you click in several levels or visit the far more helpful Wikipedia listing. And yes, we have heard of Kaiser Permanente before and many people in California, where the campaign is running, have as well but that's not the case with most other marketer's that go this route.
So why? Why? Why make your potential customer work when you only have a split second of their time? Why paint pretty pictures that are devoid of commercial messaging. This isn't art. It's advertising. Wallow in the beautiful non-descriptiveness of this campaign here (PDF).
Oh, and the explanation for why those tree trunks and their copy look fake: "Apparently the photos taken of the installation were not very good and someone thought they could be improved by photoshopping the copy that was on the pillars onto the already poor quality photos."
Is it just us or has this PayPerPost thing gone to far? PayPerPost is the company that pays bloggers to write positive posts about a brand. Now the company has launched an affiliate program that promises to pay other bloggers
recruit other bloggers and pay them to link to the posts written by the original PayPerPost bloggers. Let's see if we can get this straight. PayPerPost is going to pay bloggers to link to other blogger's content, for which the sole reason of its existence was cash changing hands. Is anyone else having a WTF moment about this right now? Have these PayPerPost people lost all sense of reality? There are so many things wrong with this on so many levels.
Nothing motivates like a good scare - just ask Karl Rove or mom and dad. Somebody must have tipped off the Red Cross, because based on the billboards they're posting in Buffalo, NY for campaign Prepare WNY, they're running amock with the tactic, toting arbitrary future dates (like Nov 9, 2009) as sites of terrorism.
Fortunately the zealous .org is no Oracle of Delphi. Catch Up Lady says once you get past the hype the site's pretty mundane, doling out advice on how to make survival kits and wrap gauze and such.
Everybody knows all you need to prepare for nuclear war is a pack of bacon band-aids. They don't just soothe wounds; they make you feel awesome, provide comic relief, and, once you get desperate enough, are attractive enough to eat.
As a sidenote, it's funny to us how the Red Cross of all organizations can do something so flagrantly tasteless while Cartoon Network gets penalized for a bunch of Lite Brite Mooninites. Really, what the fuck, man?