Last night before the performance of "Stomp" at the Orpheum Theater in New York, the New York Times reports a live commercial, performed by actors, took place for tourist organization Visit London. Visit London, which claims to be first to do a live theatrical commercial, has done the ad in Dublin and Hamburg and will do it in Pittsburgh on Friday night. In the ad, a cell phone rang in the middle of the audience and a conversation took place between the "mother" who answered the phone and the "daughter" who placed the call from the stage. The daughter recommended London attractions to her mother. There was also a "scene" with a couple on stage talking about a visit to London's West End. Please. Stop. Now.
We were going to ignore this one because it's just so stupid but we keep seeing everyone talking about that Philips patent that would make it possible for broadcasters to somehow disable the ability of people to skip through commercials. However, we just can't leave it alone and we left a comment over at AdFreak which we'll share with you here.
"It's bad enough now that some DVDs force you to endure move previews...and that DVD manufacturers go along with the ploy. I have mixed feeling about where this will go. After all, if this thing actually took hold, people, as they use to do, would just get up during the commercial break and go to the kitchen or to the bathroom. And, to boot, since research is getting better at knowing when people actually see a commercial versus knowing it was simply broadcast to an empty room, marketers will bail out on this before it goes anywhere."
What do you think?
UPDATE: In an Advertising Age article today, Philips has clarified its patent claiming it meant to offer choice, not force viewership of ads, "We developed a system where the viewer can choose, at the beginning of a movie, to either watch the movie without ads, or watch the movie with ads. It is up to the viewer to take this decision, and up to the broadcaster to offer the various services."
Adrants reader John Brock sends us this precious example of how not to use slang in advertsing. Massachusetts discount chain Building 19 ran an ad in a flyer promoting wife-beater t-shirts. Oops. Out came the cause groups on that one with Jane Do Inc. spokewoman telling Boston's WCVB, ""I can't say what I thought. I know what I thought, but I can't say out loud what I thought." We know what she thought: "You chauvinistic asswipes! How the fuck could you degrade women so harshly glamorizing low life, trailer park scum who beat the shit out of their wives on a daily basis?"
Building 19 apologies came fast from spokesman Jerry Ellis who said, "They were right. It was awful and I am sorry it happened. It's a slang expression, a street expression, but we should have known better not to use it. I am supposed to read every word. Sometimes it's busy or I am lazy. We are working on a retraction." Refreshingly, that comment definitely didn't go through the press release filter.
Just because the United States of America has a few perception problems in other parts of the world, doesn't mean the country should go and change it's name to something that exudes a friendlier perception. Just because everyone refers to Australia and "down under" doesn't mean the country should adopt that name. Just because Iraq caught some crap from the rest of the world, the country isn't running out to change it's name so we all think differently about it.
A county's name is steeped in history and isn't something to be toyed with like a brand name but that's what Al Ries would have us believe. Because Guatemala seems to be suffering some perception problems among the rest of the world's populace who don't realize it's the center of Mayan culture as opposed to Belize, El Salvador and Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula who've co-opted the culture, Ries, aside from disliking the country's new slogan, "Soul of the Earth," thinks the country should change its name to Guatamaya. Yea, you heard that right, Guatemaya. That's like calling Australia Kangaroo. Or Brazil Bootyville.
We don't no whether to thank or hate Bucky Turco for bringing this feeble excuse for an online game for Pony to us. Called Teddy's Revenge, the game is supposed to somehow extend the company's "Rise Up Now" theme and involves the simplistic control over a character that walks, jumps and adhere's graffiti to storefronts. Pointless. Useless. Utter waste of marketing dollars. To satisfy curiosity, can someone please explain the point of this game and, if you had any involvement in it, what it's supposed to accomplish?
Joe Jaffe says he heard from a source the reason there were so few URLs in Super Bowl ads was because ABC representatives visited each of the advertisers' sites and if they deemed the content to be too racy, URLs were not allowed in the individual advertiser's ad. While Jaffe states he has not been able to confirm his sources claim, nor have we, it certainly is a plausible explanation for the lack of URLs in ads. Afterall, why wouldn't a marketer want to extend the value of their marketing dollars by driving people to additional marketing messages.
If this turns out to be true, it certainly opens up a very big proverbial can of worms in terms of the power a network has over controlling its advertisers' content. Of course, any network has every right to refuse any ad for any reason they choose but disallowing so many URLs from so many large and trusted brands wreaks of overbearing oversight.
We turn the page, you add an insert. We ban billboards from our state, you fly banners over our beaches. We hang up on your telemarketing, you call back with answer machine message leaving auto-bots. We install an email spam filter, you send spam to weblog comments and trackbacks. We stop reading comment-spammed blogs, you launch spam blogs whose sole purpose is to peddle your crap. We block your pop ups, you fuck with technology to serve them anyway. We stop watching TV to spend more time with online gaming, you plaster our games with advertising. We skip our ads with our DVR, you plaster commercial graphics all over the screen during programming. We become immune to advertising, you launch a hoard of buzz marketers on our ass.
Boing Boing links to a story on the Consumerist that digs into graphic chip manufacturer Nvidia having possibly hired a group of people through Arbuthnot Entertainment Group to visit Internet forums, build up trust and then use that trust to shill Nvidia products. The Consumerist has attempted several times to speak with Nvidia Public Relations Director Derek Perez to obtain confirmation but has not had its calls returned.
While there may be nothing wrong with unleashing a torrent of paid shills to promote a brand online, doing so without disclosing that fact is likely to backfire and hurt Nvidia more then it every could have possibly helped. Bad move. Wake up. Smell the honesty.
Toyota ran a time-lapsed commerical for its Tacoma during the Super Bowl in which the truck is parked on a rocky beach and subjected to the rising tide and heavy waves that smash it against the rocks. Of course, when the tide goes out, the truck is undamaged even though it was toss all over the place during high tide. That would explain the disclaimer at the bottom which stated this was a dramatization. More like a lie.
Not realizing it was lack of advertisers instead of their religious whinings that caused NBC to cancel its Book of Daniel, The American Family Association is all hot and bothered again over Britney Spears' appearance on the NBC sitcom Will & Grace in which she plays a co-host during a new cooking segment called "Cruci-fixin's" on the show's fictitious TV network, recently purchased by a Christian TV network.
AFA Special Projects Director Randy Sharp blathered, "They would not be making fun of Mohammed or Buddha. It's almost sacrilegious. I wonder who is at the helm of NBC that they are not getting the message. NBC doesn't seem concerned that they are tanking because they are offending their viewers and running them off." Though it's in its last season, Will & Grace is hardly tanking.