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Mr. Mehri Goes to Madison Avenue. White Agencies Beware!

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Just as the proverbial Mr. Smith went to Washington to clean things up, it seems top civil rights lawyer Mr. Cyrus Mehri is on his way to Madison Avenue to clean up the ad industry's diversity mess. A top civil rights lawyer, Mehri conducted a study of diversity in advertising agencies and found it woefully out of whack when compared to diversity in other business sectors.

While the study is still underway, it seems Mehri may already be setting his sights on an industry he says has only paid lip service to the issue with hearing, conferences and hiring efforts. He claims the problem isn't lack of interest in advertising among minorities as some have surmised, rather the seeming unwillingness of agency management which he sees as a closed country club filled with white men who just don't want to address the problem.

more »

by Steve Hall    Sep-15-08    
Topic: Agencies, Cause, Industry Events, Opinion, Trends and Culture



Bob Garfield Solves Facebook's Ad Revenue Problems

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As only Bob Garfield can and with, according to him, no less than 5,000 words, Facebook's business model woes have been solved. The short version: forget about advertising. It's dead, It doesn't work. It's stupid to try to make it work. Instead, use emerging technology similar to that used on Netflix which mines video rental data to serve not ads, but links to content relevant to the individual Facebook member.

How will Facebook make money? Not from listing the content but from user clicks on the content. As Bob readily admits, this is nothing new. It's all part of the gradual realization and implementation of emerging and existing technology which mines the growing plethora of personal information online and the intelligent use of that data to solve the Wanmaker conundrum. In a perfect advertising world, there would be no waste at all.

Whether or not that state of nirvana is ever met will depend on many, many variables not the least of which are those who will cry foul at various points along the way over the use of this technology and its potential affect on an individual's privacy concerns.

As long as the article is, it's worth a read if only to experience several classic Bobisms and anachronistic references to the obscure and not so obscure. Not to mention his detailed summary of the space.

by Steve Hall    Sep-15-08    




Arnold Helps City Year Say 'Change the World'

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Last week Arnold Worldwide launched several new PSAs for City Year, an organization of 17 to 24 year olds with diverse background who mentor, tutor, clean up neighborhoods and generally do good things.The spots are full of "we are change"-iness but that's to be expected from an organization that's out to, well, change things.

The spots were shot by Redtree Productions documentary filmmaker Josh Seftel who's received his fair share of independent film awards. All the spots can be seen at the City Year website here.

by Steve Hall    Sep-15-08    
Topic: Campaigns, Cause, Commercials, Good



Because Some People Just NEED Bottled Water. Like, to Be Happy.

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Under the premise that bottled water consumption is more a trend than a necessity, a spankin' new company called TAP'D NY is pushing tap water. In a bottle.

Yeah, that sounds weird. What I guess it's doing is running a full-on campaign to encourage people to drink tap water, and if not tap water, then local water instead of something from, oh, Fiji. Why encourage distributors to ship a product over 8,000 miles when you can get the same 100 percent tasteless! goodness from a factory near you?

That's how TAP'D NY is justifying its otherwise-dodgy product position: Don't buy bottled! But if you have to, buy us! -- er, local! Each unit contains gently-purified New York tap water. As a bonus, there'll also be some smart-ass statement written on the side, like "Water just like mom used to serve" or "bottled water without the funny accent."

Thirsty for more? Read the blog, gussied up in festive orange. The company promises not to self-promote too whorishly, but it's doing a great job of finger-wagging at rivals.

by Angela Natividad    Sep-15-08    
Topic: Cause



Julianne Hough for Juicy Fruit, BMW on Review, Pigs in Drag, HP Meets Far East

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- BMW's holding a media review worth $155 million.

- Remember Memento? Imagine if it were an ad for Sony Ericsson.

- The Institute for America's Future hopes to derail the political bullshit train with an ad campaign about "major challenges facing the country." That's cool and all, but is this nearly as exciting as this? Don't answer, that's rhetorical.

- "Mom, what are those?" "Tadpoles, honey." "Oh. What do they have to do with being 'knocked up'?" Good luck with that.

- If PETA's ads were always this cute, I might have wanted a pig for a pet, not for breakfast. I like the point it made though. And look! They didn't even have to embarrass anybody.

- Here's a Wrigley Juicy Fruit ad in the style of that DoubleMint candy raver-looking thing. In this one, Julianne Hough invests the Juicy Fruit jingle with country music flair. It was so peppy and sweet, watching it gave me a cavity.

- In the unlikely event you need a laptop to match your Mandarin dress, Hewlett-Packard's got just the thing.



How Many Men Can Be True to One Meat?

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Think the Brits are stuffy? You don't know the half of it. See a bunch of disgruntled British housewives protest against a man accused of "polygameat" -- the practice of eating more than one meat in a burger.

By Crispin Porter + Bogusky for Burger King's Meat Beast Whopper. Sorta reminds me of that meatatarian thing Wendy's is promoting.

Ohmigosh. Is flesh-eating finally cool again? Because I could use some gazelle, garnished with pepperoni and a side of fried chicken strips. Dipped in lamb's blood.

by Angela Natividad    Sep-14-08    
Topic: Brands, Commercials, Strange, Television



Target Uses 'Web 2.0 Aesthetic' to Peg College Kids

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I recently saw this cute rich media ad for Target's "Happy Together" campaign, targeted to college kids.

Its composed of harmonious extremes that appear one after the other, like flash cards: planner + dreamer, night owl + morning bird, extrovert +introvert. The accompanying illustrations remind me of the work of Liling Yu, who created Twitter's FailWhale.

Yu's art totally personifies the Web 2.0 aesthetic: bug-eyed animal friends, soothing pastels, and non-confrontational sans-serif typefaces, all culminating in brands that seem to want to play with us. That Target knows to tap into all this is part of what keeps it young, fresh and lively.

by Angela Natividad    Sep-14-08    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Good, Online



Martha's Vineyard May Become Haven for 'Upscale' Advertising

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I know two things about Martha's Vineyard: 1) It's remote, and 2) it's where WASPs flock to decompress, especially since cohabitating co-eds have completely overrun the Hamptons.

But sometimes even plush places need sponsorship. The Martha's Vineyard Airport commission -- which does brisk business, since the island is only accessible by boat or plane -- is contemplating selling ad space inside and around the airport. Luxury Media Partners presented it with a 16-page handout earlier this month, outlining an upscale print and video ad package that covers indoor, outdoor and landing strip displays.

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by Angela Natividad    Sep-14-08    
Topic: Outdoor, Poster, Specialty, Trends and Culture, Video



High Culture Got You Down? McCafe to the Rescue

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In the latest TV spots for its McCafe label, McDonalds surrenders the art house crowd to Starbucks -- and liberates the crusty, football-loving Joes that never quite fit in.

This ad starts with two guys in a typical cafe scene, reading books and sipping coffee out of wide cups. One haughtily asks, "Did you hear McDonald's has cappuccinos now?"

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by Angela Natividad    Sep-14-08    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Commercials, Good, Television



Bill and Jerry: Too Quirky for Quirky Suburbia?

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In installment 2 of Microsoft's avant-garde repositioning extravaganza, Bill Gates and Jerry Seinfeld try the simple life.

Imagine it: two rich dudes, bunking in with a family straight out of Little Miss Sunshine. It's almost like when Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie lived on a farm, except more weird than entertaining.

But maybe I'm just reacting to the malicious geriatric.

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by Angela Natividad    Sep-12-08    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Celebrity, Online, Strange, Video



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