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Sucks when you launch big holiday promotion and your site tanks. That seems to be what's going on right now with Micrsoft's MSN Holiday Challenge, a celebity-filled contest in which people can watch videos to get clues to win $50K, $20K, $10K prizes and a grand prize of $100K. Al Roker, Kristin Cavallari, Jerry Rice and Perez Hilton (fame whore:-) ) will be on hand to deliver the clues. That is once the site actually works.
We need a term for yuppie hipsters. Yipsters? Hipstuppies? Yupsters? Be-suited Self-Entitled Echo Boomers?
Whoever they are, Microsoft is groping desperately for their attention in this virally-intended video for Office 2007. It does a good job of demonstrating '07's various functions for the "technical types" of the world but doesn't change the fact that they're still the stodgy awkward behemoths just left of savvy. - Contributed by Angela Natividad
Australia's Watch Around Water is placing images of a little drowned boy at the bottom of swimming pools.
At some point we figure people are going to catch onto this whole fake-dead-people-as-props trend, and when they do they'll come across some real dead people and scoff. Then what are we going to do? Say "I'm sorry"?
No. The boy who cried wolf did that. Nobody believed him. - Contributed by Angela Natividad
Since its seems some companies think it's just fine to pay bloggers to write positive stuff about companies without disclosure, Jim Turner has offered up yet another blog advertising model that mirrors the logomania of NASCAR. He's kidding of course. Of course, we thought PayPerPost was kidding too when they announced their bribe-a-blogger business model.
Okay. We're not really sure what this Kyle Bone dude is doing with the whole anti-shirt thing, but apparently it has to do with a bunch of parachutes falling on his middle-American town.
To clarify, a PR guy sends us the following background on the docu-style campaign:
"Microsoft believes in the power of big ideas, and that there are countless great business ideas all over America, just waiting to happen. With the right tools, they can flourish and maybe even change the world. Microsoft small business account wants to help small businesses by giving away free software and the opportunity to make big ideas into reality."
Hm. Well, the US was the first country in history to include the pursuit of happiness in its ideal of unalienable rights, so whatever. But for the record and for our own pursuit of happiness, or at least snide smugness, we are playing with the idea of creating a "Lame" category in Kyle's honor. - Contributed by Angela Natividad
Oh for fuck's sake. It's like a bunch of kids throwing sand at each other in a sandbox. Apparently, some Second Life dude stole some virtual possessions of others (using this replicator thingy called Copybot) and those others (sounds like Lost here) retaliated by shutting down their businesses all across Second Life and hanging "Sorry, We're closed. Thanks to Copybot!" signs in front of their businesses. And marketers really want to get into this muck.
UPDATE: Linden Labs, creator of Second Life has banned the use of Copybot. OK, boys.You can put all the sand back in the box now.
Underscore Marketing President Tom Hespos, at the recent New York ad:tech conference, interviewed PayPerPost representative Britt Gustafson. PayPerPost has sparked a bit of a controversy since its launch four months ago because it pays bloggers to write positive stories about marketers without requiring bloggers to disclose which stories on their blog are PayPerPost stories and that they have received money to write them. Personally, we think it's a terribly shameful business model and one that will cause much harm to the already struggling trust level of bloggers. Give the interview a read and we'd love to hear your thoughts.
There's been some longtime discomfort about Happy Feet, a penguin-centred love story that whored it out behind the scenes with any company willing to toss bills in its direction. (Seriously. It has a lot of sponsors.)
Among its largest suitors - er, sponsors is Roche, seeking to promote its spankin' new anti-flu drug Tamiflu. This is the first liaison ever between a pharmaceutical company and an animated film.
Roche just launched a campaign for a site called Flu Facts. Incestuously, Happy Feet penguins on billboards refer families to Flu Facts and Flu Facts in turn refers back to Happy Feet. There's even a zip code function in which you can find out if the flu is in your area.
Which area isn't it in? Guess if penguins need Tamiflu then we all do. - Contributed by Angela Natividad
A PR guy asked us to say something about Scott's Clog Clinic/Halftime Flush campaign but we had some trouble taking the e-mail seriously. And upon visiting the site we were disappointed to find it wasn't as funny as the e-mail. So we're going to not talk about it at all and post our favourite parts of the e-mail instead. Enjoy.
We're not really sure what's happening here but from what we gather a company called WESC sells leather jackets you can wear while on a horse and raising hell in the city at night. Oh wait. That's a sport? That's horseshit. - Contributed by Angela Natividad