Starbucks Fights Corporate Swelling with More Corporate Crap

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Early today Advertising Age ripped into Starbucks for its Pike Place coupons and throwback cups (in stores for six weeks, a barista told us). All part of an ongoing attempt to rekindle stale sparks with a costly ($100 million) promotional campaign, which is looking more Grocery Chain -- and less Indie Cafe -- by the minute.

Once upon a time, I loved Starbucks more than my hypothetical Firstborn-to-Be. It'll take a lot more than a buttery homebrew and gaudy vouchers to rein in the trouble of a brand that's just become too commercial.

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by Angela Natividad    Apr-21-08    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Opinion, Promotions, Worst



It May Not Hurt Kerouac, but Danielle Steel Might Feel the Burn

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While the IS F tears up the open road, the young lovers are on a path to tear their relationship apart. In the chapters that follow, eight additional authors have their way with Terence and Julia.

This is the kick-off for "In the Belly of the Beast," a collaborative story for Lexus Magazine (with logistical help from Story Worldwide). Participating authors include Jane Smiley, Pam Houston, Brian Antony and other scrivs unduly flattered by the Lexus pressie, titled "FORGET KEROUAC -- GO ON THE ROAD WITH LEXUS ORIGINAL FICTION."

The IS F: a great shag, and literary too? Mercy, I feel a Lifetime tie-in.

See last year's effort, "Black Sapphire Pearl."

by Angela Natividad    Apr-21-08    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Online, Publishing



Need a Kidney? ESPN Radio's Got Your Dude

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In Doctor's Office, Cat Sitting and Airport, Wieden+Kennedy, NY depict ESPN Radio as a network so down-to-earth that audience members will think nothing of taking liberties I wouldn't take with my mom.

I just love it when the cat guy goes "Oh, and don't look her in the face!" Cat people are fucking bananas.

by Angela Natividad    Apr-21-08    
Topic: Commercials, Television



If Laughter is a Symphony ... Why Do I Have Chills?

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This website, where you can make a symphony out of other people's laughter, is disturbing. I swept my mouse over a few faces by chance and am suffering from serious eek!-factor, probably because The Exorcist has warped my perspective of all things sweet and cuddly.

If you can get past the whole symphony-of-mirth thing, check out the cookbook for recipes like the Laughing Turkey Wrap. It might come in useful if you ever want to spark an intervention.

Created by Lowe Roche, Toronto for Laughing Cow, the site generates traffic from a print campaign with peel-away messages trussed up like pieces of cheese. See how pretty, even beside a pee stick?

by Angela Natividad    Apr-21-08    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Magazine, Online, Strange



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Photos from ad:tech's SF '08 Exhibit Hall

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This year I got to visit the exhibit hall at ad:tech. Come share my experience, starting with this winning number from the AKQA /Search booth.

I am hipster. Witness the sulk-age against bleak existential black, and my awful white chairs.

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by Angela Natividad    Apr-21-08    
Topic: Brands, Events, Industry Events, Promotions



Copyranter Calls it Quits

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Copyranter is leaving the blogosphere in favour of more productive uses of his time. Show the 'ranter some love by contributing to the fare-thee-well comment count.

Between us, Bill Green over at Make the Logo Bigger said he thinks mastheads everywhere should be at half staff. We feel him on that. Read his post on Copyranter's departure, which started a big discourse about fact-checking and the interview methods of Katie Couric.

by Angela Natividad    Apr-21-08    
Topic: Bad, Creative Commentary, Online



Farting Squirrel Shares Fart Power With Farting Penguins to Save World

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Just as the farting squirrel saved the forest from fire, a trio of penguins, with help from Vigorsol AIR, stop global warming by farting a jet stream of cool air. Yes, the fart joke is back and just as funny as it was the first time. Bathroom humor. It's sort of like sex. No matter how many times you do it, you never tire of it. OK, so maybe that's only true for some of us. The fart jokes that is. We know no one tires of sex.

by Steve Hall    Apr-21-08    
Topic: Commercials, Good, Strange



NOLAF Puts FU Back in Fun For Tostitos

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Sort of like the spiraling, out of control political correctness movement that has eradicated all manner of fun from the world, this work for Tostitos by Mekanism and Element79 goes all out to make sure fun is a thing of the past. Seminars help workers "manage" the urge to have fun. The NOLAF organization is all about ending laughter and this work does it, thankfully, with dry, quirky humor. Of special not is the segment on "virus videos" which "put the FU back in fun."

by Steve Hall    Apr-21-08    
Topic: Good, Online, Strange



Still Relevant MySpace Debuts Profile Tool for Marketers

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Deep Focus is the sole beta partner with MySpace using the social networks new self-service platform which allows marketers to easily create and manage branded pages within the network.Writing on his blog, Deep Focus' Ian Schafer was surprised at commentary given to Advertising Age from other advertising executives who have basically written off MySpace.

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by Steve Hall    Apr-21-08    
Topic: Online, Opinion, Social, Trends and Culture



Tactical SEO: Welcome to the Google Show

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The most informative session I attended at ad:tech was the Tactical SEO Workshop -- which isn't really saying much.

Panel stars included Bruce Clay, the most talkative moderator I've ever seen, and Aaron D'Souza of Google -- who, Clay anxiously pointed out, was also on this panel last year. There were two other people on board -- but as Aaron Batte snippily Twittered, it was pretty much The Aaron D'Souza Show.

To kick things off, here's something you probably didn't know: Of all sites that commit the icky mistake of using it to point to a URL, Adobe ranks highest for the phrase "Click here."

Do yourself (and whomever else you link to) a favor. When linking, use relevant anchor text instead of the generic sort.

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by Angela Natividad    Apr-21-08    
Topic: Industry Events, Online, Research, Specialty









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