Nissan Dives Headfirst Into Hip-Hop, Hits Head

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It's always a little risky when major corporations try to wedge themselves into a subculture that hasn't invited them in.

Hiphop-Ads hustles us in the direction of the latest leg of Nissan's "SHIFT" campaign, entitled "SHIFT_Respect." (Insert cringe here.) With a highlight on the Tokyo hip-hop subculture, the campaign aims to illustrate the iffy ethos, "The Black Experience is everywhere."

It's a fine line Nissan walks. "The Black Experience is everywhere"? It just pokes nerves all around - among those sensitive about what it is to be black, those who feel Asians and other non-white or black minorities do nothing but throw themselves behind majority trends, and those concerned about the commoditization of hip-hop.

Did you have to say The Black Experience is everywhere? Who knows, maybe it's genius. At least it starts a conversation. We'll totally ignore the fact that it's a conversation that gets rehashed more than the sum total of celebutrash trolling bars without panties.

by Angela Natividad    Mar-22-07    
Topic: Campaigns, Magazine, Opinion



VH1 Web Junk Names Numa Numa Guy Greatest Internet Superstar

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On March 23 ay 8PM, VH1 will air its Web Junk Presents: 40 Greatest Internet Superstars and name Gary Brolsma, otherwise known as the Numa Numa guy, the number one internet star. The special will highlight the 40 most memorable internet stars of all time which will include the Star Wars Kid, Lonelygirl15, Tila Tequila, Trin Guy, Mahir, Perez Hilton, the Diet Coke/Mentos guys and many more. It outta be good for a few laughs.

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by Steve Hall    Mar-22-07    
Topic: Consumer Created, Online, Viral



Paul McCartney is Really Into Starbucks

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In a surprise move, Paul McCartney unveils his status as premier artist on Starbucks' label Hear Music with the release of his current album under the Starbucks banner. This move marks his surprising departure from Capitol Records after 43 years.

We've been huge Starbucks fans since the early 90's. With the prominent inclusion of a Beatle on their roster, our Starbucks visits will take on the sensory experience of a menage a trois. We have chills just thinking about it.

Howard Schultz feels similar if Advertising Age is any indication. "How could a coffee company sign a Beatle?" he allegedly asked in awe. Frothy as usual, McCartney appeared before the Starbucks corporate team and wished love and kisses to everyone present, then cheerfully admonished that they all get to work: "I look forward to with all of you guys and reaching people around the world in a new way, and let's get on with it, man!"

by Angela Natividad    Mar-22-07    
Topic: Brands, Celebrity, Sponsorship



Fuel Industries Introduces Ideal Mode of Transport. It's Customizable Too!

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This is kind of cute. To promote the DVD release of Eragon, Fuel Industries put together Volksdragon, a fun little site where you can customize your very own dragon. It's a little like modding a Scion but less ugly and possibly more maintenance (what fuels dragons, anyway? Us?).

Minor upkeep concerns aside, the idea of travelling by dragon is extremely appealing. Show us something cooler than harnessing a dragon, and we'll show you a liar.

Off-topic, Fuel Industries seems very fond of car themes.

by Angela Natividad    Mar-22-07    
Topic: Online, Promotions



Reynolds Wraps New York City's Storefronts

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Now this is really inventive and simple and brilliant. What a great way to creatively integrate a brand with the city's landscape. We like. Very much. It's the work of Saatchi & Saatchi.

by Steve Hall    Mar-22-07    
Topic: Best, Outdoor



MTV Goes Mobile with Return to Puberty

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Because there's nothing like the ugly awkward suffering that composes puberty, and maybe because "puberty" happens to be a loaded and funny word to say, MTV makes its first leap into the mobile universe with a set of 11 characters who, in their collective uncoolness, make up Puberty.

Created by Clay Weiner and Hornet with the help of WDDG out of NYC. Suggesting the characters may be an allegory for the everyday, Clay notes, "Puberty, as painful as it was, proves in hindsight to be a pretty apt metaphor for life. But the cruel truth is that you never get over it. No matter how old you get you still get pooped on (Doo-doo), you always wish you were more mature than you are (Pubes), you always think you have a big butt (Booty), and they'll always laugh at you for sticking out of a crowd (Boner). As bad as Puberty is, adulthood is worse."

We're just making that discovery ourselves. But hey, at least now we don't have to worry about getting stuffed into lockers, and it's been a long time since we last wet the bed. Check out the cast of Puberty here and see the promos.

by Angela Natividad    Mar-22-07    
Topic: Campaigns, Good, Mobile/Wireless, Online



Fergie's Bad Influence Pisses Parents Off

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Candies' new cover girl Fergie sparks strong feelings among parents who don't want a celebrity sporting a "Parental Guidance" advisory to be hawking teeny-bopper bomber jackets to their guileless Hilary Duff-loving ingenues. The ad that sparked the fire featured Fergie with what appears to be liquor in the background of a recent Candie's ad.

Having done her part to destroy hip-hop (contrary to a recent campaign in which she and other members of the Black Eyed Peas actually save it) with pop hits like My Humps and Let's Get Retarded (later tastefully renamed Let's Get it Started), it's always been our suspicion that the kiddies didn't need Fergie to actively encourage them to drink; it's part of what you need to do to make her palatable in the first place.

But hey, kids have their own minds and in an ideal world if you raise them right you don't have to go on a witch hunt for every suggestive social ill that slips out of the woodwork, yeah?

by Angela Natividad    Mar-22-07    
Topic: Campaigns, Celebrity



Once Again, Obesity Equation is Backwards

Now here's the problem with all this crap surrounding obesity in children. Everyone has it backwards. Marketers and the media are continually blamed for somehow forcing food down the throats of children. Here's a little factoid. As powerful as some might think marketers and the media are, they don't have arms attached to the bodies of children which mechanically force feed them the brands they manufacture and advertise. No. Kids put food in their mouths with their own arms.

Certainly, kids are greatly influenced by what they see on TV but, again, they have brains. They aren't robots with mouths. Learning to eat is something that needs to be learned. Asking a marketer, whose sole purpose is to sell shit (and it is shit), to tell kids to stop buying shit just isn't going to happen. Here's a radical concept in the form of a question. Who is the one person that is most influential in a child's life and who is charged with that child's education and upbringing? Any guesses? Not sure? We'll tell you. The child's parent. Yes, parents. Parents are the primary person in their child's lives and the ones who should be charged with educating them on proper eating habits. And yes, we know all kids don't have parents and that there are many broken homes out there but the primary responsibility for a child's eating habits is the parent.

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by Steve Hall    Mar-22-07    
Topic: Opinion, Policy



ABC Introduces Embedded Commercial Format

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At a program development meeting in LA yesterday, ABC introduced a new commercial format which would have actual paid commercials appear in media vehicles shown in the network's dramas and sitcoms. In other words, a character on a sitcom might be watching TV, an actual ad would appear on the screen withing the show and then it would widen out to the viewers TV and be viewed in standard fashion. The plan, still in development, would also incorporate print ads seen in magazines depicted in shows as well as ads shown on cell phones. Presumably, there wouldn't be official commercial breaks rather the commercials would be embedded within the show and appear individually rather than clumped together the way they are now.

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by Steve Hall    Mar-22-07    
Topic: Television, Trends and Culture



Commercial Ratings Upfront, Germs Needed, Siemens Gets Hip

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- A tipster attending OMMA Hollywood tells us R/GA Chairman and CEO Bob Greenberg told his VP of Visual Design Nick Law not to sit on a panel he was scheduled to participate in because, apparently, he's stealing too much limelight.

- Commercial ratings, versus program ratings, are fast becoming the gold standard and many, including Starcom CEO John Muszynski, will be using them in this year's upfront.

- If you're in search of an email address, Tattoo Projects has created Abalooba, and email address search engine.

- MTV's The Andy Milonakis Show which will premiere on a wide variety of digital platforms - including iTunes Store (www.iTunes.com), Amazon Unbox, AOL Video, MTV Mobile, MTV On Demand, MTV2.com, Wal-Mart Video Downloads and Xbox LIVE Marketplace for Xbox 360 - all prior to the show's on-air MTV2 debut on April 27th.

- Entries for international viral awards show, Germ, must be submitted by March 31.

- The New Yorker, Wesley Autrey, who saved a man from being hit by a subway train in January, is featured in a new colon cancer PSA campaign.

- T wallow in the oddity of Japanese culture, check out a few kinky commercials for Axe in Japan.

- Copyranter disses the Siemens' ongoing wannabee hipster campaign complete with headlines like "Bling Bling" and "Chill."







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