MediaPost reports Clear Channel is testing a new outdoor technology, previously mentioned here in 2003, from Magink that will replace vinyl with molecular coated plastic tiles which will react to an electrical current to form an image making changing billboard copy changes a matter of pushing a few buttons in a remote office. The technology will allow for multiple ads to appear on a single board and, with the ability to change images 70 times per second, potentially allow for video. While the cost to install these boards is five times that of vinyl, it will allow advertisers more flexibility, make more money for Clear Channel and eliminates the need for paper, vinyl, printing and labor costs. All you production and vinyl people better find something else to do.
Acknowledging the power of online communities, blogs and social media, HP is releasing the next series of its "The Computer is Personal Again" campaign online before it hits TV. Unfortunately, the three commercials, starring Mark Burnett, Pharrell Williams and Mark Cuban, will not take full advantage of the web's viral capabilities as, according to the press release, the spots will be released on the HP website and, apparently, not simply seeded out to YouTube, a far faster method of spreading them around. Surely, they will end up there anyway, but HP has chosen to launch them from a site that, on the plus side and the reason they are hosted initially on HP's site, is said allow people to create personalized versions of the spots to feature on blogs or to send to a friend. This, of course, follows nicely with the personalization focus of the campaign.
FishNChimps thinks this sequel to the Obey the Suit viral for U.K.-based tailor Lutwyche Bespoke isn't as good as the first. We'd agree but go further and say it's absolutely horrible compared to the original. The initial one was odd, different, weird, strange and freaky. The sequel has none of that. It's flat, boring and a waste of the budget they spent creating it.
OK, aside from the fact it's Pointcast all over again, why in the word would any sane human download a piece of software that seems, apparently, only to deliver billboard ads to your desktop? We're have a group head scratch here so if anyone can help us out, please do. Perhaps something is being misunderstood here but Tessa Wegert, writing on ClickZ. thinks it's the next nirvana of advertising claiming it has benefits of both the offline billboard of old and the measurability of the online banner. Oh sure, it's wonderfully customizable and can be targeted efficiently for the advertiser and it's permission based but what's the value for the consumer? If there is one, it's certainly not clear anywhere on the AdDiem website nor in the ClickZ article - unless you're a recipe hound. Perhaps desktop advertising will someday rule. We just don't see it yet. Then again, we were wrong about CBS's NCAA March Madness on Demand.
And just when we thought the World Cup was a fine, upstanding, respectable event unlike the gratuitous, sex-laced, GoDaddy-powered Super Bowl we get Wet T-Shirt World Cup.
If we were writing a press release for our client Amp'd Mobile and we were talking about how the company was the official sponsor of the Professional Bull Riders and the client would be simalcasting events to Amp'd Mobile customers, we probobly wouldn't refer to the Professional Bull Riders Association as PBR unless the sponsorship also involved the actual PBR - Pabst Blue Ribbon beer. Even if the client insisted. Just a thought.
You know a company is adhering to those unwritten, politically correct rules which state "one must represent all ethnic groups in commercials" when the spots feature white people with a voice over read by a black. OK, that was crass but let's be blunt. It all sounds very forced sometimes. Maybe it's just that these spots from Pizza Hut aren't very good and that's making us get all uppity about all this PC stuff. Pardon our digression. We'll be back with regularly schedule advertising oddities in a moment.
In Slovakia, they have a unique way of informing people they should clean up after themselves when in public. It's gross. It's funny. It aired. It, albeit oddly, gets the message across. We'd love to have seen the dog trainer in action on this one.
Now we know why AOL still has so many users. Try as they might, canceling an AOL account is, apparently, a nightmare, a point proved by one Vincent Ferrari who recorded his exchange with an AOL customer service rep while canceling his account. It took Ferarri a total of 21 minutes to complete the cancellation and the five minute he spent with an actual human being are simply priceless. The CSR berated Ferrari, who is 30, to the point of asking to speak to his father because he thought Ferrari was making wrong decision in canceling the account. While, AOL did reply to the MSNBC report on the incident with an apology and a statement it had fired the CSR in question, there are, according to Ferrari, many others who have had similar experiences with the company. In the world of social media, consumer-generated media and YouTube, there's no hiding shady business practices any longer.
We're all for fun little advergame time wasters but when you have to a.) tell the company whether you are male or female, b.) have a password, c.) or don't have the password and enter your email to get it and d.) go open the email they sent you to get the password, the whole thing becomes work. Advergames aren't supposed to be work. They're supposed to be a branded distraction, not a challenge to see how much annoyance you can take before you just say "screw it" and leave which is exactly what we did. So, if any of you actually plays this game, let us know if we should bother looking for that email with the password.