A press release rolled across our screen today which claimed a supposedly controversial video supposedly leaked virally last week was supposedly "under fire" from a Muslim group because the video supposedly poked fun at Muslims. The whole thing's a sham. Pokershow.com is behind it. They invented the cause group Muslim Media Watch under the guise of a plainly fake Blogger blog which just launched Feb. 17 according to Whois and the fact the blog has nearly no content. It's amateur hour again in poker marketing land. Of course we just did exactly what they wanted - give them publicity.
We chose not to make a big deal about the DVR-friendly KFC spot that encourage viewers to replay the commercial to locate a special code word that can be used to get a $1 off coupon for its Buffalo Snacker sandwich because, well, we don't see what the big deal is. We're guessing all the advance publicity KFC is generating for the spot which debuts tonight isn't to force viewers to rewind to view the code but because the spot sucks and they are doing anything they can to get people to view it. Don't bother. AdFreak already did the viewing for you at the KFC site and found the secret code word to be, surprise, "Buffalo." If you really really absolutely must have this deep fried nightmare of a sandwich, forget the spot and just enter the code at the site.
Ryan Anderson over at Ads That Suck points to a couple stories that report Labatt brand Alexander Keith's spokesman, Robert Smith, is facing child pornography charges after a Toronto undercover police operation found images of "prepubescent children engaged in sexual activity" on Smith's computer according to Toronto Police Constable Scott Purchase. Oops. Labatt has pulled the long running campaign
We've enjoyed all manner of holding company/held company corporate bitching from the inside and always reveled in its idiocy, ego-powered chest beating and pointless one upmanship so it it with glee we see an IPG bitch fight sprawled across the pages of Ad Age. Follow along. IPG owned Howard Merrell & Partners won the North Carolina Lottery account. HM&P resigned the account within one week because, according to HM&P, IPG wouldn't put up a required $1 million bond to insure vendor payment. The Lottery issued a press release announcing its account would be handled by independent Wray Laseter but made no mention of HM&P. HM&P issued a release that read, in part, "has issues meeting the bond requirements for HM&P. IPG could not resolve the issues in a timely fashion. As a result, IPG advised HM&P to withdraw from consideration. And, we have. The entire staff at HM&P is extremely disappointed. We put a lot of time an effort into the bidding process, and we were looking forward to working with the [lottery]."
Shell, in a seemingly innocent effort to give away a free phone card valued at $2 to students away from home during the Chinese New Year, has, according to Tian, distributed promotional pieces around the Arizona State University campus. In order to redeem the offer, students must fill out a web form including email address, name, address and some other optional demographic information. Certainly, this information is needed to send the actual card, however, the promotion's Terms and Conditions state the cards are only available first come first serve causing one to wonder why Shell needs to collect the information from any person who signs up after the cards run out. Surely, Shell knows exactly how many cards it has to give out and could very easily terminate the promotion once all cards have been claimed rather than continue to collect information up to an arbitrary end date thereby building itself a nice fat database of names for future use.
Boing Boing points to an act of lunacy on the part of Miller Brewing which hunted down a person who used a throwaway email address to enter a contest the brewer was hosting so she could avoid future marketing messages from Miller. Apparently, Miller didn't like being tricked, found the user presumably through some sort of IP tracking and sent her this email which read, in part, "We have performed an electronic change of address to update our records so that we can continue to send you special offers, promotions and announcements via email." We'd like to speak with the person at Miller who actually wrote and/or approved this to se just what it's like to be so disrespectful to one's customer.
UPDATE: Ad-Verse takes a detailed look at this, offers more details on how Miller supposedly does this, why they do it and why he calls this crap sociopathic marketing.
In a blunder of not so small proportions, Adidas, which is sponsoring German biathlon and nordic combined skiers, mixed up the country's proper colors and provided the team with caps in Belgium's black, gold and red colors instead of Germany's proper black, red and gold. Nothing like having to wear another country's colors while competing in the Olympics nor have the entire world see a sponsorship get screwed up..
Well, we suppose if there's a creative idea locked away in the agency's archives and no one's seen it in eight years, fickle agency logic would deem it perfectly acceptable to snag the idea for another brand. That appears to be what happened with Saatchi & Saatchi. Eight years ago, Saatchi Creative Director Tony Granger worked at the London office for a brief period during which the office created a spot for Sunny Delight featuring a basketball that turns into an illuminated globe after players drink some Sunny D. Fast forward eight years to Saatchi New York where Granger is creative director and out comes spot for Verb in which, yes, a basketball is an illuminated globe. You can view the two spots side by side at Adland and make your own conclusion.
You know, it's always a bit disconcerting to arrived at the house of your daughter's friend and find her proverbial "playdate" glued to the television watching some trash talk show of some movie clearly made for adults so this stat does not surprise. What does surprise is parent's lack of control and judgment over what their children watch on television and how long they are allowed to watch. One "playdate" who spends time in this house can't even sit still in front of the television (on the two weekend nights it's allowed here) because his brain has been so ADD'd by constant television watching at his house since birth he doesn't know how to follow a plot.
Creature of culture, Bucky Turco sent along this U.S. Army banner and noted its edgy but odd message. The banner reads, "Use Your Arabic to Help Build Your Future." Of course, innocently, that just means, "hey, one who speaks Arabic, consider joining the Army." Not so innocently, it might mean, "Hey one who speaks Arabic, consider joining the Army and let us use your language skills to hunt down and kill those Arab fuckers." Take your pick but we're sure both notions passed through the minds of those behind this recruitment effort. See the full banner here.