- iPhone apps have a "kill switch" that empowers Apple to yank any app off your phone whenever it likes. Steve Jobs says they'll never "pull that lever" unless an extreme situation calls for it (like if an app were disseminating a virus) -- but hell, the I'm Rich app wasn't hurting anybody and Apple was quick enough to pull that off the ropes.
- Glad Facebook wasn't around when Shakespeare was. Hamlet might've been much different (but still such a riot!).
- One expat rails against marketing stereotypes about the French, particularly sexy maids and misuse of "Ooh la la."
One thing I love about Benetton: it never knows when to leave well enough alone. "Victims," the current issue of its company magazine Colors, uses the tragedy of the SouthWest China earthquake to try mending the China/Tibetan conflict.
The issue includes 30 shots of quake victims integrated with 30 prayers written for them by Tibetan monks. An accompanying Benetton ad displays a Tibetan monk and a Chinese soldier bowing toward each other, possibly in greeting, apology or shared grief. Readers can send their own prayers over for inclusion in a campaign exhibition.
Provocative as always, but I generally have trouble hating on Benetton (except when they fired Toscani). The "Victims" ad campaign is running in Italian newspapers and in French daily Le Monde.
The Olympics has a way of bringing the sap out in advertisers.
Visa's "Go World" campaign, no exception, trots Olympian trivia out to American viewers while convincing us these anecdotes aren't just important; they're a source of pride, a means to connect with the world by way of titanic achievement against insurmountable physical odds.
All this to win the synchronized high-dive? Yeah. See spots...
Because Coke's My Coke Rewards was performing dismally, some employees - all of whom were expressly forbidden at the outset - were asked to participate in the brand's My Coke rewards online promotions. Seemingly to boost activity on the site, the request seems to have backfired for employees who exceeded a pre-set limit of 2,000 points.
When one employee, Frank Grant, who did what he was told and participated in the program noticed he had accumulated more than 2,000 points and was made aware of the 2,000 point limit - likely buried deep within the fine print, he offered to return the merchandise he acquired from his points. Sounds fair enough, right? Wrong. Rather than rectify the situation in a normal fashion, Coke told Grant to resign or face getting fired. According to the Vellejo Times, many other employees faced the same situation.
- A Wired journalist attributes the success of Weight Watchers to its RPG format. (You know, like EverQuest or Final Fantasy.)
- The pretty little girl who sang "Ode to the Motherland" for the Olympics opening ceremony was a pretty little mime. Reps said they wanted a flawless girl with a flawless voice; but one had the looks and another had the pipes so they mashed them up. "We must put our country's interests first." Riiiight.
- Seven in 10 companies on the FTSE 100 have unclaimed handles on Twitter. Companies are advised to lock that down before a hater (or an impersonator) does. (Via @benkunz.)
Poor Enfatico. Seems it just can't get out of its own way, no less create any actual work for Dell in the almost year it's been in business. The WPP agency has been crapped on for months. It can't seem to get anyone hired. It's got its own clock site counting down the days until it produces a single piece of work for the computer maker. It's even got its own spoof site, endearingly named Enfartico. Yes, Enfartico.
With a name like Enfatico, it was just too easy. So the agency that was to be EMPHATIC about its work for Dell is now just farting in the wind, stinking up the industry and making it really easy for everyone to poke fun at.
In "Peanuts thrown at Shaun White," Shaun's stay-at-home buddies print out copies of his face and tape them to their own, then spend the afternoon calling each other Shaun and tossing peanuts into each other's mouths -- a creepy sight for the real Shaun White, whose first reaction is, "Is that what I look like?"