George Parker, who writes the Adscam and AdHurl advertising blogs will appear on NBC's Today Show tomorrow, Tuesday, sometime between 7A and 10A. Parker will discuss the impact of the Internet and other newer forms of advertising have affected newspaper advertising effectiveness and revenues. Parker should know what he's talking about as he's been in the business for over 30 years, worked for many agencies and is currently writing a book entitled, "Entrepreneurial Advertising."
To encourage use of its new version of Messenger, MSN has launched a promotion, created by Fallon, called ESP Billy, a microsite with episodic videos featuring ESP Billy, a white trash online psychic played by Ricky Jay who communicates with his clients through MSN Messenger video chat. There's a pilot episode that introduces the characters, and then three interactive episodes where the user can decode the fate of the main character, Travis, but choosing an ending based on ESP Billy's predictions of the future. The catch to the promotion - and the entire point of the promotion - is the three videos can only be viewed using MSN Messenger for which a convenient download botton is provided. The pilot episode, which, itself, is quite good, can be viewed in a browser. The online element will be supported by print and online media beginning in a couple of weeks
While there's plenty of places to search for and look at viral advertising, Viral HQ has gathered together an expansive collection of viral ads and categorized them by name along with the brand they were created for. Like many other viral accumulators, Viral HQ also has plans to offer seeding and tracking services. While hosting virals is a great way to sell other services, Viral HQ has done a respectable job of gathering together a huge collection. That said, it needs a search feature so virals can be found based on the brands as well as the name. Currently, it's just an alphabetical directory.
The madly successful video podcast Rocketboom, which garners 130,000 downloads per day, has decided to accept advertising and will do so by auctioning off ad time on eBay. Rocketboom, produced by Andrew Baron and anchored by Amanda Congdon, will require the winning bidder to relinquish creative control and allow Baron and Congdon to create the ad.
If the advertiser does not like what Rocketboom creates, the deal is off. Separate from the auction, and in the future, Rocketboom says they will consider any company and their post-roll ad.
UPDATE: Baron clarifies writing us, "The advertiser will relinquish all control. If we get a high bidder, they will pay us right away. Then we will make the ads and play them on Rocketboom whether they like the ads or not. They will understand that by placing a bid, they give up complete control to us to do what we will."
UPDATE II: The bid is up to $15,000. Not bad.
Working with DDB San Francisco, Union Editorial Editor Nicholas Wayman-Harris and Director Douglas Avery have just completed a beautiful, nostalgia-laden spot for Clorox that takes a look, in quick-cut fast-forward-style, at how laundry-related activities, detergents and machines have changed over time except for Clorox which has been doing its job diligently since 1913. It's one of the more ingenious ads we've seen for a product that is both a commodity and a powerful brand at the same time.
CareerBuilder just can't give up those chimps. They're in ads, They,re on the website. Now they're going to be in your email if CareerBuilder has its way. The job site has launched a five step, create-an-email microsite, called Monk-e-mail, on which visitors can pick a chimp, dress it up, give it something to say, preview it and send it to a friend. It's humorous enough nut just not as funny as that Wedding Crashers Trailer Crashers thing.
Japanese footwear company Onitsuka Tiger, known as ASICS in the States, has launched an online karaoke game, Lovely Football, in support of the company's new football (soccer) shoe Injector DX. On the site, the Onitsuka Tiger National Choir performs and after viewing the competition, visitors can sing along with the choir karaoke style and enter their performance in a contest to win a pair of Injector DX or other Onitsuka Tiger goodies.
"We've pretty much stopped with TV ads or radio ads or branded ads. It just wasn't worth it anymore. Online, there are just many more possibilities." That's a refrain we've hearing more on more over the next few years as marketers realize traditional advertising ain't all it's cracked up to be anymore. Amsterdam Tourism Board Internet manager Sebastian Paauw uttered that phrase when commenting on the Board's deal with BlogAds under which the Board, in connection with BlogAds, will send 25 bloggers to Amsterdam in exchange for ad space on their blogs. While the bloggers are not required to write anything about their trip, bloggers being bloggers, there will, no doubt, be a litany of posts covering their escapades during their five day stay.
The promotion, called "Bloggers in Amsterdam," calls for bloggers to be interviewed by the Tourism Board and provide the Board with one month of advertising on their blogs. The program is an extension of standard industry practices in which travel journalists are given a free ride so they can experience a destination and write about it.
As a goof, a new business strategy and a statement that isn't far from the truth, Maryland-based ad agency MGH placed an ad this week in the Wall Street Journal with the headline, "Sweatshop conditions at America's advertising/PR agencies must end." The ad claims agency personnel are overworked due to decades old practices of cutting overhead and under staffing, that it's an unseen practice and that it negatively effects clients. All true. However, the ad neglects to mention clients no longer value most agencies as the true business partner they once were and refuse to pay them what they're worth, sloughing them off and just another vendor which can be financially bled dry while the client reaps the rewards and profits the agency created for them. Of course, an ad that spoke that truth wouldn't gain much new business.
To be fair, most agencies are not adapting to clients' needs and have refused to step outside the mold that's been in place for a hundred years. So it's no surprise clients have devalued agencies because, in the eyes of the client, they aren't getting what they want from the agency so they aren't going to pay thereby causing the problem this ad so succinctly points out.
Those radical exaggerators over at PETA are up to their old sensationalism again with the launch of Milk Gone Wild, a spoof on the Girls Gone Wild series which uses titillation and human udders to call attention to the apparent health hazards of drinking milk. While we have a decidedly different viewpoint than PETA does on the whole milk thing owing to our attachment, through marriage, to the realities versus fiction of dairy farming, PETA has, again, done what it does best; use sex and controversy to bring attention to its causes. With all the anti-everything campaigns PETA produces, it would be intriguing to watch a video of PETA employees deciding what to choose from the organization's cafeteria menu: lettuce, lettuce or lettuce topped with lettuce.