Kevin Faddis points us to yet another odd Zambia-based Harvey Tiles billboard which reads, "A roof without HARVEY TILES can't make your mind free the same as sex with a baby can't cure HIV/AIDS." Initially, one might react to this buy saying...oh...WTF but there's a reason behind the choice of words on the billboard. The man who wrote the copy explained on an ESPN site saying, "There is a myth some people believe that if you have sex with a virgin, you are bound to be safe from AIDS. It's a rumor that started up here about a year ago. And then they started bringing people in to the police because they had been sleeping with babies. The slogan is to remind people not to sleep with babies. The owner sells tiles and, at the same time, he educates people."
OK, then. Gross but, then again, it's a different world in Zambia than it is in many other parts of the world and if it takes a shocking headline like this to stop people from having sex with babies then we say "good job" Harky Tiles.
We love when we get little tipster emails from people that say things like "Thought you should check out this new site..." and "Viral marketing at its best" because, inevitably, it's not and we relish the opportunity to squat down and dump all over it like a 400 pound slob who's just had an enema. This, unfortunately, is not one of those times. This viral, and we do call it viral because we're sure it's been paid for or influenced by The Coffee Bean, follows the antics of three roommates as they terrorize a fourth who is a mascot called Mr. Ice Blended for West Coast-based The Coffee Bean.
The site, Masot Roomate, has a bunch of videos that show the guys pulling various pranks on the mascot from attacking him on the job, impersonating him, placing his hands down their pants and mascot mascotnapping him. Without fail, all the guys have MySpace profiles which look like they were all recently created and, for the most part, all have the same friends. In another section. Another section of the site, called "5 mascots we wouldn't ever fuck with" explains why the Kool-Ais Man, The Fruit of the Loom Guys, Grimace, McGruff the Crime Dawg and The San Diego Chicken are off limits. Only an unleashed creative type would obsess over these icons and write such lines as, "I spent my formative years with my junk cradled in the safe confines of their white cottony briefs" about the Fruit of the Loom Guys.
New mobile service provider Helio, with help from StreetVirus and Alt Terrain, has launched an influencer marketing campaign consisting of in-venue pop up stores, a print magazine, a blog and sponsorship of local artists. The in-venue stores include a mini-lounge and employees are given Helio phones. Each store receives free ad space in the Helio magazine and become an exclusive retailer of the devices.
The artists sponsorship provides artists with hard-to-come by public mural space to showcase their work, financial support for their gallery shows, exposure in the Helio blog and the print magazine that is nationally distributed, and artists are provided a Helio phone of their choice. For a new company without a lot of money and one whose services appeal to the social networking needs of tweens, teens and twenty-somethings, Helio has headed in the right direction with this influencer marketing approach. You can see some of the artist's work here.
As part of promoting the Austin City Limits Music Festival, Project D.U., an AT&T blogger-powered portal and branded RSS reader, is hosting a blogging contest that awards the winner a free press pass and pass for a guest to the three day event. Held in an area where WiFi is not available, AT&T will provide service, finally lending, perhaps, some truth to those Blogging Delivered outdoor boards that ran a while ago. Any music blogger that isn't already part of the Project D.U. network of bloggers can submit writing samples to be considered here.
That Sasquatch just won't die. This time, he's alive and well for a Jack Link's Beef Jerky campaign that involves four TV spots, and online site and...please tell us this is going to stop soon...a MySpace profile.
To call attention to the upcoming Word of Mouth Marketing event June 20-21 at the Hilton San Fransisco, coBrandiT, independently and without association with the Word of Mouth Marketing Association, has mixed an old interview of Bob Garfield with some new comments he made about word of mouth marketing. The result is a humorous collection of babble. By the way, Bob was in on the joke just so you all don't think we're trashin' here.
UPDATE: The video has been removed. WOMMA was none too pleased. CoBrandit accommodated.
UPDATE II: See our ever so apologetic apology to Bob Garfield here,
Well, it's happened. A couple years ago, we said the proliferation of advertising would, one day, reach the point where people's house would be painted with a brand's logo as part of an ad campaign or promotion. To promote the Simple Life on E, an Atlanta house was decorated with the E and The Simple Life logos and the shrubs in front have been trimmed (likely pre-shaped fake bushes) to spell "Sundays". Oh sure, the whole house is just one big purchased promotion and, likely, it's not the first but it's the first we've seen. It's actually done quite well. Particularly nice job on the "broken" window. We wonder what the neighbors think though. A second photo can be seen here.
With World Cup mania taking over the world, Adidas has taken over the ceiling of a train station in Cologne, Germany and painted a beautiful fresco-style painting. This is the sort of advertising-as-art creative dream about every night.
It's seldom you see a really nice piece of witty copy anymore but this Kenneth Cole billboard does the trick. The copy reads, "If Gas Prices Continue to Rise Why Not Switch Pumps." But, as Animal points out, a pair of $196 pumps doesn't exactly help save money.
Crew Creative helped CSI in its bid for Emmy consideration with a street stunt in Los Angeles. The stunt involved a team of "coroners" along with a branded van, body bags and stretchers, all with the message "For your Emmy consideration. See two other photos here and here.