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1 in 10 Sr. Marketers Have an 'Understanding' with Online Editors and Writers

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And by "understanding," that is to say "We'll buy your ad space, you write us up nice and pretty."

A funner statistic: one in five senior-level marketers admit their organizations have purchased advertising in exchange for an online news story, likely even favorable. These figures are up slightly from last year (17 percent versus this year's 19 percent), when five percent admitted to either paying editors or giving them gifts in exchange for upbeat coverage. It's all here, sugar booger.

And just so you know? Yeah, presents, particularly of a monetary or vice-oriented variety, work a lot better than lengthy pitches that start with "I am such a fan!" Products work too. That's what's called "market research."*

Image credit: Delightful Deliveries, which has yet to surprise us with gift-wrapped gratitude in exchange for pushing its logo in this piece.

more »

by Angela Natividad    Jul-31-08    
Topic: Bad, Online, Publishing, Research, Sponsorship



Do Saturn a Favor and Kiss Its Astra

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Entries for this contest is the only way Saturn's Astra is getting any love. Not to say people aren't getting Warholian with it.

Like all hopeful online efforts, the effort also sports a pretty sparse Facebook app. I tried running a search for it on Facebook and got "Did you mean: kiss my ass?" alongside results that ironically do feature a lot of car-smooching, just not the Astra kind.

by Angela Natividad    Jul-31-08    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Online



Waifs Make Women Less Hungry, More Spendy

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You gotta love skinny models. They wear clothes well, improve sales, make other women feel bad. The best part? They don't eat. Think of the savings!

A survey of 194 female college students, aged 18-24, found women feel uglier after seeing thin models. They are also more likely to buy products held in a gamine's claw than from ads with "regular-size models." (Here's a secret: none of us enjoy being characterized as "regular." It's like being called "homely" -- a big fat fucking slap in the face.)

Seeing thin models also made women less likely to accept a snack pack of Oreo cookies offered as a thank-you for their participation in the study. Well, no shit.

You know what a woman does want to do after seeing all those runway waifs? (Second to shopping, that is.) Drink. A lot. And that's why we're so keen on Gawker's coverage of the same survey. It's right next to a banner ad for Sobieski vodka. That's targeting to win!

by Angela Natividad    Jul-31-08    
Topic: Magazine, Online, Research, Television



Dell is Greeeen Today, Chirping with Joy Like a Cricket Song

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We're not usually fans of ads about personalized colors for laptops. In the 21st century, is that the best you can do? But I like what Dell did in this gentle, feel-good spot, set to the tune of Colors by Kira Wiley.

Definitely better than the last ad in the "Colors" campaign, which hurt our heads and tried too hard. What tops it off nicely is that pretty little tagline: "Yours is here." I like that. It's like Dell is Build-a-Bear for computers, and just as snuggly.

The ad was put together by Mother, which is pretty much holding the fort for sweetly sleeping Enfatico.

by Angela Natividad    Jul-31-08    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Commercials, Good, Television



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'Montauk Monster' A Viral Stunt?

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Gawker is following the "Montauk Monster" story involving some freakish monster which seemingly washed ashore and has Gawker surmising it's a marketing stunt. The thing looks like a pig/dog/bird/chicken thing and, according to a FOX news report featuring Animal Planet's Jeff Corwin who thinks it's just a decomposed dog or raccoon. Gawker also did some photoshop analysis and the photo, itself is fake.

The story's got everything. Accusations Gawker invented it. A 22 year old waiter who claims he saw the "monster." A tipster who told New York Magazine, "My girlfriend's sister was there with her friends and one of them took the picture." It's a turtle without its shell! It's an alien! It's a viral marketing campaign for Cartoon Network. Ooo...hey, those guys have done that shit before.

Anyway, it's just a stupid stunt from some dweeb who's now laughing at the news media for giving it all this coverage.

by Steve Hall    Jul-31-08    
Topic: Spoofs, Strange, Video



King of Cubicles Wanted. Laziness a Plus

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Your mission: visit King of Cubicles. Play nice with balding man sporting poor choice of tie and dated Mac. The objective? Get him to hire you as the King of Cubicles.

After weaving your way through a sleep-inducing and earnestly uncomfortable interview process, you may or may not be made King. The perks? A car, a salary and a Nintendo Wii. A video resume proving your worthlessness can help turn the tide in your favor.

Put together by R/West for The Game Factory. I'm sure in another universe this site's a wild ride.

by Angela Natividad    Jul-31-08    
Topic: Games, Online, Promotions



Obama Ascends to Stardom, Enfatico Falters, Good Good Goes Bad, method Makes Salad

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- McCain puts Obama on the same "soar high, fall hard" platform as Britney Spears and Paris Hilton. Probably because they're the only celebrities he knows. I like how the ad cuts to happy floaty music and a soft McCain profile. What a guy.

- See Microsoft-paid blogger give transparency a go for the i'm talkathon. Yeah. You heard me. Transparency.

- Enfatico's having trouble with that whole "being creative" thing.

- method products: so much more than hand syrups and toilet bowl cleaners. Think of them as a summer salad that doesn't know how to capitalize proper nouns.

- TiVo says relevant ads don't get skipped.

- Wendy's cutesy "good good" ad is objectively disgusting.



Hot Cheerleaders Capture Attention, Misrepresent 'Friday Night Lights'

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Though it's likely they had some, Lisbon agency Torke could have used a bit more help identifying the "soul" of FOX's Friday Night Lights, which debuted locally July 20. The guerrilla campaign they created, which involved the gratuitous use of bare midriffed cheerleaders, hardly captured the essence of the show.

Oh sure, the show has cheerleaders in it and centers around a high school's quest for football greatness but those two elements are just a backdrop for the true heart of the show - an examination of family life, interpersonal relationships and life's challenges in small town Texas. The T and A aspects of this promotion hardly do the show justice.

Then again, a dissertation on the woes of abortion, racism, poverty, career choices, physical disability and the difficulties of parenthood wouldn't exactly capture the same attention a few mini-skirted, hot cheerleaders most certainly did.

by Steve Hall    Jul-31-08    
Topic: Bad, Guerilla, Promotions, Television



X-Files Bombs But Duchovney's Got Endorsement Gig Money

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It's kinda sad to see X-Files fail at the box office. Back in the day, it was actually a great TV show. Sadly, that has not translated into box office success with the show's second movie outing. This past weekend, the movie placed fourth, after Dark Knight, Step Brothers and Mama Mia.

All is not lost for Duchovney, though. He's starring in Showtime's Californication and, yes, he's doing product endorsements. He's fronting a new campaign from Toth Brand Imaging for Johnston & Murphy. J&M wants to believe Duchovney will boost the 157 year old brand. Johnston & Murphy VP of Marketing Jason Dasal said, "We're thrilled to have David Duchovny as part of our ad campaign. David embodies success and confidence, along with a great sense of style, communicating the ideal image for the Johnston & Murphy brand."

Let's hope he can sell shoes.

by Steve Hall    Jul-31-08    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Celebrity



Radio Campaign Touts Marijuana's Medicinal Benefits, Pushes Legalization

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Either a brilliant ploy at circumventing the IM/email/Twitter clutter or an odd throwback to pre-email days, a press release arrive via fax - yes, you read right, a fax - touting a new radio campaign from the Marijuana Policy Project. The campaign aims to educate the public about new U.S. marijuana laws and the use of medical marijuana.

Behind the cloud of educational and medicinal benefits, the group's goal - let's be honest here - is to get marijuana legalized. Oh yes, they're all for regulation along the lines of alcohol but what they'd really like is for us all to be able to smoke the stuff whenever we want. Not so surprising they chose to align with alcohol rather than smoking. A good thing. No one wants another crappy truth-like campaign touting the dangers of weed.

The radio spots feature former New Mexico Republican Governor Gary Johnson and California Superior Court Judge Jim Gray.

What, you want to hear the spots? Wouldn't we all but the URL in the fax is unclickable and actually typing URLs into a browser just isn't done any longer.

by Steve Hall    Jul-31-08    
Topic: Policy, Radio



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