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W. Virginia Psychs Out Would-Be Tourists with 'Why Bother?' Approach

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AdFreak educates us
on an eyebrow-raising repositioning campaign for West Virginia. Their last tourism stint, the "desperate housewives" upper middle class ennui card, apparently yielded mediocre results because they've thrown their heirloom-encrusted hands in the air with the new "Whatever you do, don't come to West Virginia!" campaign. (And we're not quipping. That's actually the tagline.)

"There's value in the copy," says travel/marketing director Liz Chewning of WV's tourism division. "You choose the words carefully and try to surprise your reader, hooking them by saying the unexpected."

more »

by Angela Natividad    Mar-16-07    
Topic: Campaigns, Online



'October Road' Tries Too Hard, Fails

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We tend to go for the melodramatic, the wannabee hipsteresque and anything with Laura Prepon but we're just not sure about ABC's new drama october road. The anachronistic selection of music in the form of Boston's Don't Look Back and REO Speedwagon's Take it on the Run, tries way too hard, and strangely so, to define the period of time between the main character's leaving town and his return a mere ten years later.

If, as the main character in this series did, wrote a book that so maligned his hometown friends, why would he return? Oh wait. This is TV. This is conflict and conflict is a key ingredient in drama. Too bad it comes off like a 13 year old whining to their parents because they won't allow the kid to spend yet another hour mindlessly IMing senseless missives.

Oh, and that last line of the episode, "the way I see it, this thing's in diapers," has to be the lamest attempt at creating a catch phrase since Lacey Chabert tried to make "fetch" work in Mean Girls.

by Steve Hall    Mar-16-07    
Topic: Television



Nike Revives Rakim with Force Montage

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Nike is less shoe purveyor than societal tastemaker. With symphonic float like a butterfly, sting like a bee undercurrents, their marketing work consistently defines our image of victory and strength-oriented aesthetics. They even turn breathing into athletic art.

Nike's especially good at throwbacks and mash-ups. We're old-school Rakim fans so we're pretty taken with this web-only spot for Nike Force, entitled Force Heritage.

The lovechild of R/GA and Stardust Studios, the spot showcases 25 years of Nike Force ad history with a Rakim-laced custom track from creative director Alex Moulton and composer Mike "G:Neu" Genato of Expansion Team.

It takes a special kind of touch to make Air Forces appealing; we were never fans of the shoe. But it has lent itself to a lot of evolution and playful cultural design. We kind of wish the spot played more with that than with the usual sweaty basketball player mishmash.

Nonetheless, the spot's delicious. Look at us, look at us, we're gushing like head-bopping break-dancing groupies back in grade school. We'd act on the feeling except at this point in our lives we'd probably break our tailbones. Better to just bob.

by Angela Natividad    Mar-16-07    
Topic: Brands, Good, Online



Fat Freed, Product Placement Slows, Fast Company Grows

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- The MyPetFat guy is giving away free pet fat to the first 50 people who guess the "secret of the scale."

- Global product placement grew 37 percent in 2006 and is predicted to grow 30 percent in 2007 according to a PQ Media study.

- Fast Company magazine has just announced that its ad pages increased 9.1% in the first quarter of 2007 compared to the same period one year ago, according to The Publishers Information Bureau.

- San Francisco's BART has hopped on the subway tunnel advertising train.

- Madonna and H&M are together again on fashion networking site Trendmill.

- Travelocity's Traveling Gnome now has his own MySpace page. Tila will be sending a friend request any minute now.

- Riddle Productions has created a new game for MTV.com called Daily Rage will will incorporate brands into the actual game play.

by Steve Hall    Mar-16-07    
Topic: Magazine, Product Placement, Promotions, Research



SXSW: Afterthoughts and Afterhours

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As flight delays scrolled across screens and text messages tapered off, SXSW negated to close its doors, yet gave a swift slap to attendees as it dismounted from Interactive. As mentioned, most of the interactivity action happens outside of the panels and what happens in SXSW, stays on Flickr. With leftover hand-stamps from evening outings, attendees gingerly, yet somehow still enthusiastically dragged their feet to morning panels over the last few days. The main word on the carpeted streets was "overwhelming" with the plethora of things to do and people to see seriously taxing attendees stamina.

more »

by Ariel Waldman    Mar-16-07    
Topic: Industry Events



Trademarks and Taglines Combined Make Poetry

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If you've ever wondered why it's so difficult to trademark your taglines and copy points, look no further than a site called Trademarked Sentences, a growing collection of hundreds of corporate taglines. But simply listing them would be boring so the creators of the site have added a tagline poetry maker and a trademark trivia game.

In the words of marketers the world over, the creators describe the site, saying, "You deserve a break today. Leap ahead and Think different. The website is... Rewarding. Very, very, very rewarding. THE POSSIBILITIES ARE INFINITE. Use it for all it's worth. because We bring good things to life." Indeed.

by Steve Hall    Mar-16-07    
Topic: Games, Good



Greek Station Puts Lyrical Love in Dictators' Mouths

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To put past petty tiffs in proper perspective, Greek station Galaxy 92 put together a set of print ads called "DOGMA" with help from Lowe out of Athens. Each features a country-traumatizing dictator bearing features of a beloved pop icon, coupled with music-related manifestos rich in iron-fist conviction.

Be-fro'ed Hitler at left soberly states "Black people are the future of music," while Mao Tse-Tung spouts, "Hard rock is the real cultural revolution." Stalin, of course, says "I bless America for rock n' roll."

It would be nice if cultural and political differences could be solved with music. We could all have smoked pot and fileshared, thereby potentially saving a lot of lives, ammunition and time. Thanks to Creative Criminal for bringing the campaign to our attention.

by Angela Natividad    Mar-16-07    
Topic: Good, Magazine, Online



SXSW: Toys for Boys, Playing in Will Wright's Virtual Doll House

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At the recent SXSW conference in Austin, Will Wright, the famed game designer behind SimCity, The Sims and the yet to be released and highly anticipated Spore, flipped through pages of storytelling to an audience of all ears. Linking stories with the shift from passive to interactive media, Wright outlined the social and biological differences between games and film. While games utilize our basic instincts within the brain, film typically provides a rich emotional palette. Rather than push for the complete adoption of one or the other, Wright integrated the two into a cohesive experience.

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by Ariel Waldman    Mar-16-07    
Topic: Games, Industry Events, Trends and Culture



Organ Procurers Use Stitches to Spread Word

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In a perhaps misguided attempt to encourage people to donate organs, Fondation Greffe de Vie releases the following campaign by Leo Burnett/Paris.

We can't read the copy but according to AdCritic it says divorcing a part or two can save up to seven lives. If that doesn't make you feel more charitable, look closely at the image. "Merci" is etched into the flesh beneath the stitching. Isn't that sweet?

by Angela Natividad    Mar-16-07    
Topic: Magazine, Strange



Hillary Goes Viral, Obama Still Has More Friends

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If you've ever harbored a politician payola fantasy or simply wanted your vote to count, Hillary Clinton gives you the Count Every Vote Act, her (hopefully) viral attempt to turn every American into a foot-stomping, vote-seizing "citizen co-sponsor" - not for her campaign but for the right to vote itself. (And don't forget to send to a friend.)

Well, it doesn't take a marketing douche to say it's always nice to have the addresses of several thousand online supporters on file and at the ready for a slew of e-mail blasts pre-2008. ZDNet notes, "The Clinton 'I need you to be my legislative co-sponsor' exhortation recalls the Web 2.0 cliche 'users are in control.'"

more »

by Angela Natividad    Mar-16-07    
Topic: Campaigns, Good, Online, Social



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