Guatemala Is A Country, Not A Throw Away Brand Name

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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.

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by Steve Hall    Feb-20-06    
Topic: Campaigns, Opinion, Worst



Pony Launches World's Most Pointless Online Game

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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?

by Steve Hall    Feb-16-06    
Topic: Games, Online, Worst



Lack of Super Bowl Ad URLs Due, Perhaps, to ABC Cencorship

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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.

by Steve Hall    Feb- 9-06    
Topic: Policy, Super Bowl 2006, Worst



NBC And Goodyear to Launch DVR-Proof Advertising During Olympics

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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.

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by Steve Hall    Feb- 8-06    
Topic: Opinion, Television, Trends and Culture, Worst



Nvidia Caught Hiring Forum Shills

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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.

by Steve Hall    Feb- 6-06    
Topic: Guerilla, Online, Worst



Toyota Tacoma Super Bowl Commercial Less Than Honest

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.

by Steve Hall    Feb- 5-06    
Topic: Commercials, Super Bowl 2006, Television, Worst



Religious Right Uppity Over Britney Spears' 'Will & Grace' Appearance

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.

by Steve Hall    Feb- 2-06    
Topic: Celebrity, Television, Worst



Million Dollar Pixel Page Uses Lure of Super Bowl to Bilk Advertisers

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With four days to go before Sunday's Super Bowl, this million dollar homepage idea has to be the dumbest one yet. The page, called Be in A Super Bowl Ad, promises to show six pages of its site for five seconds each during a :30 in the game. That is unless, according to this not insignificant disclaimer on the site, "Because advertisement space for the Big Game is extremely expensive there is a possibility that the football ad can't be purchased. There will be no refunds and the standard advertising terms and conditions will be in effect," things don't work out in the next few days. Can you say scam?

by Steve Hall    Feb- 1-06    
Topic: Online, Strange, Television, Worst



R.J. Reynolds Returns to Killing People With Smoking Lounge

Clinging for it its own life at the expense of the lives of others whom it feels should perceive smoking as a glamorous activity rather than the killer it is, R.J. Reynolds in launching a fancy new brand of cigarettes called Marshall McGearty and supporting the brand with a hipster lounge in Chicago. As if completely oblivious to the past 20 years worth of research highlighting the killing qualities of cancer sticks, Larry McGearty, CD at RJR agency Gyro Worldwide told Ad Age, "No one has done this before. Nobody has tried to create romance in the industry and take it to the next level." McGearty and the other pompous soul who's name is on the brand, RJR stench guru Jerry Marshal cooked up the idea several years ago realizing many other categories of social vices had high end brands that were successful and figured why should cigarettes be left out of that game.

Oh sure, everyone should be free to choose their on manner of death but at least in American society, the whole smoking thing is over. It had it's day. It's done. Clearly, it's not a healthy thing to engage in and eradicating it from the earth wouldn't be such a bad thing. Oh wait, then everyone will want to ban alcohol, coffee and all those other pleasantly mood-altering but health challenged substances we all enjoy from time to time. That said, we just don't think this one's going to go very far. You can see two of the ads here and here.

by Steve Hall    Jan-25-06    
Topic: Campaigns, Magazine, Opinion, Trends and Culture, Worst



TheCW Execs Forgot to Check URL Availability Before Naming New Company

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In the minds of television execs, it seems the little 'ol Internet still gets the shaft from the corner office as indicated by UPN and The WB neglecting to secure a viable URL for their new network, The CW. As Lost Remote points out, TheCW.com is not available nor is any other remotely close URL other than theonlinethecw.biz which we're sure they're not going to like. Looks like TheCW is going to be out a pretty penny buying domains from squatters, settle on a domain name that makes no sense or rename the company.

by Steve Hall    Jan-25-06    
Topic: Television, Worst








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