We in the editorial department of Adrants are saddened to note our advertising department has, against our better judgment, decided to accept an ad promoting the much-maligned Pherotones campaign from McKinney-Silver. While we understand advertising supports this site and, generally, makes the world go 'round, our pompous rantings at the doorway of our sales director were brushed off with a quick "go pointlessly bitch about another lame viral campaign. They pay for your ass, you idiot!" Our ego bruised, it is with our utmost apologies, dear readers, that we subject you to the hypocrisy Adrants has thrust upon you.
In yet another clandestine viral effort, it appears North Carolina agency McKinney has cooked up a viral marketing campaign promoting Pherotones, ring tones that, apparently, cause sexual attraction. While the site is obviously a joke, a little snooping around reveals it's a marketing ploy. From a fake Wikipedia listing that's been labeled suspect to fake interviews with Boing Boing to suspicious Whois info to all sort of IP address foolery, clearly, McKinney is up to no good.
We're sure all the McKinney folks are huddled around their computers today laughing at all of us writing about their cute little effort, waiting patiently for the right moment to reveal the client behind this ploy. While you're all reading this you sneaky little McKinney truth-benders, remember, people don't like liars. The law doesn't like doctors who aren't doctors claiming they are doctors and, ever so coincidentally, BuzzAgent, the former master of deception, just released a study that says people hate stealth marketing, are offended when lied to and, get this, a brand fares far better when all is honestly presented upfront than when it's not. Do your homework guys. The days of trickster marketing are over.
OK, OK. So it is a little funny after it sinks in. Still blatantly dishonest.
UPDATE: I knew I had seen that doctor image somewhere before. Smartly, McKinney has placed a BlogAds campaign increasing the likelihood bloggers will go easy on the campaign. They forgot to buy Adrants though:-)
Contextual advertising is so much fun, especially when it works so well such as in this placement of a credit card company's banner within a Sydney Morning Herald article about a woman dying from a shark attack. Credit card sharks need not apply. Somebody needs to tweak a few algorithms.
To appeal to men, many soft drink makers have dropped the word "diet" from the name of their products or introduced newly named products. In Coke's case, there's Coke Zero. A clandestine element of the campaign urging men to consume Coke Zero is a weblog, with no mention of Coke's involvement (Note: apparently in reaction to negativity about this effort, the page is now clearly branded with a Coke Zero bottle), named The Zero Movement on which a guy rants about why life is so full of stuff to do and how it would be so much nicer if there was, well, zero to do. It's written in typical character blog prose, devoid of personality and full of whiny banter which comes off like it's a product of a creative brief. There's even fake, supportive comments to go along with it.
While the blog's archives indicate the site's been up since June, 2005, Whois information tells a very different story. Not only does the information reveal the site is a product of Coke, it clearly states the domain for the site was registered November 21, 2005, a full five months after the site, according to its archives, launched. On top of this, blog monitoring service BlogPulse has little to no information on the blog. Had The Zero Movement blog been pumping out posts since June 2005, BlogPulse would have had a sizeable profile for the site. Blog search engine Technorati, aside from some recent referrals, doesn't have much either. In creating The Zero Movement, Coke has lied, misled and misrepresented. Some would call this reprehensible and irresponsible. We'll just call it stupid.
Thanks to Hurt Elbow, we now have visual proof the new Intel logo leaps ahead of nothing and simply joins the "logo ovalation" crowd. Check out all the unoriginal, copy-cat insanity here in one gigantic, orgasmic ovalistic circular logo-fest that either proves originality is dead or that all these brands used the same focus group.