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- Michael Grover, Director of Marketing, CMP Media's TechWeb Network

Adrants to Crush AdFreak In 'Battle of the Ad Blogs'

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We were going to sit back and take the high road on this competition, letting things flow organically but, what the hell, AdFreak isn't and the competition is a battle after all so we're bringing out the guns. Let's show the industry a small upstart like Adrants can crush the big VNU-backed AdFreak. But let's remember it's all in good fun. To bring you up to speed, Adrants was named a contender in AdLand's Battle of the Ad Blogs in the Best Commercial Ad Blog category. We are joined in that category by some other very fine ad blogs including Adhurl, AdJab, the aforementioned AdFreak, MarketingVOX, The Spunker and Fast Company. We're honored to be among such a fine collection of fellow advertising opinionites but we're confident Adrants readers will rally to the cause of standing up for the little guy...even though we're not really all that little anymore, mind you.

So drag your mouse over to the Battle of the Ad Blogs, scroll down to the Best Commercial Ad Blog category, vote for Adrants and smoke AdFreak's ass.



ExactTarget Extends Webinar Series to Email Design

Some say email marketing is dead. Not ExactTarget, an email solutions company that's done succesful successful work for big boy marketers The Home Depot, General Mills and Bristol-Myers Squibb as well as lots of small- to medium sized businesses. ExactTarget is sharing its expertise and insight with a new, free Effective Email Design webinar which will offer tips on design and share best practices.



Web Marketing Association Launches IAC Awards

Alright all you creative types, the next ego-fest has arrived. The Web marketing Association has announced its fourth annual Internet Advertising Competition so fire up your Flash, your Shockwave, your Adobe Creative Suite, your Macromedia Studio and dig through the past year's worth of your work to un-earth those creative gems your proud of, your boss loved and your client high-fived you for. The competition grants awards by industry across several categories including best microsite, best newsletter campaign, best online ad and, thankfully, best ad the client didn't choose.

The organizations website details what you need to know to enter, who's judging and who won in past years. To be eligible for entry, the work must have run between January 1, 2005 and January 31, 2006 and be submitted to the IAC Awards website by January 31, 2006.



Garbage In, Garbage Out. Greatness In Greatness Out

Reminding us why our elders always told us to plan ahead, Aquent's newly released video, Project Initiation: Start Strong, Stay Strong, features Aquent Technologies President Chris Moody who explains why a design project’s outcome is so dependent on the initial planning process and how proper planning can save time, money and yield great work. Watch and reminisce my friends.



Exhibition to Help Marketers Get Inside Consumer's Mind And Body

In advertising, marketers are always trying to get an inside view of consumers to better tailor commercial messaging. Of course, that inside view is figurative, never providing a truly clear image of what's going on inside a person. With an upcoming event called, Bodies...The Exhibition, that will all change. Rather than guess at the inner workings of the human mind and body, Bodies...the Exhibition, held at the South Street Seaport in New York beginning November 19, will showcase real human bodies including a collection of 22 full bodies and 260 organs preserved in their natural state. That's right. Bodies...the Exhibition promises to unveil the inner workings and many complex systems of organs and human tissue that make up...well...consumers. The organizers of the event, sensing the ad industry's need to get a deeper look into its target audiences, will offer Adrants readers a 15 percent discount during opening weekend. Just bring a print out of this email when you go to the exhibit.



Aquent Offers Buzzword-Worthy Best Practices

In yet another Best Practices video, marketing and creative services firm Aquent explains how workload, because of increased marketing sophistication, has increased exponentially requiring 4-5 times more effort and expense compared to sales figures. Also, touching on the industry's propensity to grant lofty titles to under qualified individuals, Aquent Business Analyst Jennifer Miller explains how Aquent's market-wide knowledge of company practices can provide businesses with a benchmark from which to improve their operations.

Naturally, the video is full of the usual buzzwords and doesn't hide it. But, then again, this is advertising so it's entirely appropriate. Miller explains Aquent's most successful clients are "willing to embrace change" and explains how Aquent can offer help to companies that "don't have the resources free to dedicate to optimizing their processes." Basically, Aquent says they can offer companies a chance to compare themselves to one another and to use that knowledge to improve.



Flippies Launches Flip Book Marketing

Once popular as Cracker Jack prizes and an early form of interactive entertainment, the flip book - which created a mini-movie by flipping quickly through its pages - all but vanished from the scene until a company called Flippies, using custom produced clips of live-action footage or animation, decided to re-engineer the novelty into a bona fide, thumb-triggered promotional advertising tool. With marketers blathering on about eBay-powered headvertising, taxi-trunk arm-vertising, cow-side advertising and even ass-vertising, it's refreshing to see something break-through which is simple and straight-forward for a change.




Video Offers Tips to Improve Creative

In this first installment of a new video series called Inside Marketing from marketing and creative services firm Aquent, Practice Leader Ed Krug discusses three objective metrics for internal creative services benchmarking: on time delivery, accuracy to estimate and adherence to measurable brand standards. While some might toss this off as lean back, marketing blather-speak, Krug properly advocates the addition of quantitative metrics to the creative process that he claims will help creative services organizations decrease re-work, increase re-use and simply do better work. He also communicates that this quantitative approach to performance measurement allows a rationale for increased expenditures, to justify additional headcount, to build the business case to add additional technology and to identify other types of process improvement. It's worth a look.



Graphic Design Contest Offers $5,000 Prize

Aquent and Adobe have teamed for Studio Smackdown 2, a four week graphic design elimination contest which will net the grand prize winner $5,000. Using Adobe Creative Suite 2 and Macromedia Flash, contestants will submit their completed designs to the Studio Smackdown 2 site along with a video confession revealing their creative insights and decision making processes. The audience, American Idol-style, will judge contestants, vote for those they deem worthy and boot those deemed wannabes.

Voting begins September 20 and the Studio Smackdown champion will be announced October 18. Register to vote at www.studiosmackdown.com



HP Campaign Offers Printer Rebate and Free Color Profiling Service

To promote its HP Designjet 130, Designjet 90, Designjet 30 series and Photosmart 8750 printers, HP has launched its Extreme Exchange Promotion which offers up to $500 in rebates when buyers trade in a qualifying printer or camera. The campaign runs from June 1 to October 15 and, for those who take advantage of the offer by July 31, HP will provide its HP Color Profiling Service for HP Designjet printer free of charge.




Visual Thesaurus Hopes to Eliminate Writer's Block

If you write copy, marketing plans or white papers, you know the power of well chosen words. You also know how excruciatingly difficult it can be to come up with words which convey the desired nuance. A company called ThinkMap feels that pain and has created a thesaurus on steroids that puts Roget's to shame.

Already used by creatives at BBDO, Deutsch, Mother and other shops for brainstorming, naming, copywriting and ideation, ThinkMap's Visual Thesaurus uses a graphic interface to animate the English language in a unique way, revealing the meanings, origins, pronunciations and relationships between words. After entering a word it creates a matrix of type, colored dots and floating lines to display the meanings, parts of speech, synonyms, antonyms, and the relationships between 145,000 English words.




Client Speaks. Headlines Get Smaller

In episode 4, Julie used GoToMeeting to relay agency president Bill's request to make the campaign headlines bigger to her creative cohorts, who had just completed another client presentation in the London office. Now, Julie is again using GoToMeeting to present the final layouts to her client, who happens to be vacationing in Rio. "Julie, why do the headlines have to be so huge?" asks the client. "They take up half the page!" Julie, knowing even Bill couldn't argue with the almighty client dollar, smugly replies, "No problem, we'll have revised layouts to show you tomorrow morning."

GoToMeeting is the easiest way to organize and attend online meetings, enabling agency coworkers, clients and prospects to view and share any application running on a PC in real time. Share a new business pitch with the agency president vacationing in New Zealand. Brainstorm new campaigns with teams in agency offices around the world. Show clients images directly from your exotic photo shoots. Even present creative to the client who's stuck in the airport. So pick up the phone now, and call 1-800...oh wait, this is the Internet. Go to GoToMeeting.com and find out how you, too, can one up your boss.


Agency President Speaks, Headline Gets Bigger

In episode 3, Julie used GoToMeeting to present her creative team's new ad concepts to her vacationing agency president, Bill. After Bill's brilliant "make the headline bigger" comment, Julie hopped on GoToMeeting again to relay Bill's comments to creative director Wayne and his team who had just finished a big presentation for another client in the conference room of the London office. "Yes, Bill is a bit size-fixated," laughed Wayne in response to Julie's directives but added, "we'll make that headline so big my blind grandmother will be able to read it from across the room."

GoToMeeting is the easiest way to organize and attend online meetings, enabling agency coworkers, clients and prospects to view and share any application running on a PC in real time. Share a new business pitch with the agency president vacationing in New Zealand. Brainstorm new campaigns with teams in agency offices around the world. Show clients images directly from your exotic photo shoots. Even present creative to the client who's stuck in the airport. So pick up the phone now, and call 1-800...oh wait, this is the Internet. Go to GoToMeeting.com and find out how you, too, can stroke your boss's size fixations.


Account Supervisor Pitches Concept to Vacationing Agency President

In episode 2, we left account supervisor Julie using GoToMeeting to share art director Wayne's ad concepts with her extended account management staff, saving her agency thousands in travel costs. Today, Julie used GoToMeeting to set up an online presentation with her boss, Bill, who was vacationing in Milan. "Julie," said Bill, "can you ask Wayne to make the headline bigger and give that model some serious Photoshop® treatment? Couldn't we find a more attractive model?" Rolling her eyes and stroking Bill's ego as best she could, Julie said, "Of course, Bill, great suggestions. I'll get right on it. I hope you're having a wonderful vacation and I'll have final concepts for you to see when you're back in the office."

GoToMeeting is the easiest way to organize and attend online meetings, enabling agency coworkers, clients and prospects to view and share any application running on a PC in real time. Share a new business pitch with the agency president vacationing in New Zealand. Brainstorm new campaigns with teams in agency offices around the world. Show clients images directly from your exotic photo shoots. Even present creative to the client who's stuck in the airport. So pick up the phone now, and call 1-800...oh wait, this is the Internet. Go to GoToMeeting.com and find out how you, too, can stroke your bosses ego virtually.


ExactTarget Launches Email Marketing Webinar Series

Some say email marketing is dead. Not ExactTarget, an email solutions company that's done succesful successful work for big boy marketers The Home Depot, General Mills and Bristol-Myers Squibb as well as lots of small- to medium sized businesses. ExactTarget is sharing its expertise and insight with a new, free webinar series. Hosted by email marketing expert Shelly Griffen Griffin, the webinar will offer attendees tips on deliverability, frequency, timing, compliance, testing and tracking. The first webinar will be held May 10 at 2PM EST. Don't believe the doomsayers. Sign up now because Exact Target promises to energize your email marketing programs.


Account Supervisor Saves Travel Expenses, Gets Raise

In episode 1, art director Wayne helped uptight account supervisor Julie swallow a big chill pill. How? By suggesting she use GoToMeeting to remotely manage the ad creation process and assured her his creative team could easily complete her client's campaign from different office locations. From then on, Julie became a GoToMeeting junky. From the GoToMeeting toolbar in Outlook, she deftly organized an online meeting to share and discuss images from yesterday's photo shoot and early creative concepts from Wayne's team with her extended account management staff. After the group reached consensus, Julie propped her feet on her desk and mentally added up the thousands of dollars she just saved in travel expenses for her penny pinching boss. Then she quickly IM'd her friend in the PR department, "I so just got a raise!"

GoToMeeting is the easiest way to organize and attend online meetings, enabling agency coworkers, clients and prospects to view and share any application running on a PC in real time. Share a new business pitch with the agency president vacationing in New Zealand. Brainstorm new campaigns with teams in agency offices around the world. Show clients images directly from your exotic photo shoots. Even present creative to the client who's stuck in the airport. So pick up the phone now, and call 1-800...oh wait, this is the Internet. Go to GoToMeeting.com and find out how you, too, can be as cool as Julie.

Part II of a series. Next: Account Supervisor Pitches Concept to Vacationing Agency President



Maven Makes Marketing More Marvelous

Once upon a time, marketers had to rely upon big media companies to create content they could then sponsor. Today, much has changed and marketers, faced with big media's increasing fragmentation and dwindling ability to serve as effective marketing conduits, are bypassing those same big media companies and are creating their own branded entertainment video experiences. Maven Networks has developed a platform that gives marketers a channel through which to deliver video content, marrying the visual impact of television and the interactivity and measurability of the Internet. Maven's Media System removes the creative constraints commonly associated with Internet advertising and helps marketers create compelling, engaging, measurable online media experiences.



About.com Aquisition Bolsters Offering to Advertisers

If you're an advertiser looking for customers (and who isn't), you should check out About.com, recently acquired by The New Times Company. About.com claims 21.4 million unique visitors each month, has one million pieces of content (with 3,000 new pieces added each week) and was named Forbes "Best of the Web" for Spring 2004. As you endeavor to create the perfect online ad campaign, About.com's tagline has the answer: "The answer is...About.com." Check out their media kit here and get the answers you need.



AE Freaks Over Client Request, Creative Director Chills

Part I: The Client Call
Hanging up the phone after a lengthy conference call with her client, account supervisor Julie is visibly irritated. She slumps down into the swivel chair, crosses her legs, adjusts her skirt and barks at art director Wayne across the table, "Damn! How is your creative team gonna get this campaign done and show it to us if they're all overseas in London and Hong Kong?" Wayne, ever the calm creative, leans back, combs his fingers through his mane of hair and answers, "Chill, Julie. They're never here and we still always deliver. Haven't you heard of GoToMeeting? All the offices use it. You'll have your campaign."

GoToMeeting is the easiest way to organize and attend online meetings, enabling agency coworkers, clients and prospects to view and share any application running on a PC in real time. Share a new business pitch with the agency president vacationing in New Zealand. Brainstorm new campaigns with teams in agency offices around the world. Show clients images directly from your exotic photo shoots. Even present creative to the client who's stuck in the airport. So pick up the phone now, and call 1-800...oh wait, this is the Internet. Go to GoToMeeting.com and find out how you, too, can be as cool as Wayne.

Part I of a series. Next: Julie Shares Images From Photoshoot With Extended Account Team"


GoToMeeting Helps Creatives Avoid Facing Critique

Like any agency creative who's worked long hours on a client's latest, big ad campaign, the last thing you want is to have your work torn to shreds by those pencil pushers in account service. Now, instead of physically facing off, you can use GoToMeeting to hold PC-based virtual meetings with the account service group. While the AE drones on, instead of appearing interested, you can draw caricatures of them on the conference room white board and take screen shots of their insipid comments like, "There's too much white space. Can you add more product benefit?" and post them in the kitchen for agency-wide enjoyment.

GoToMeeting is the easiest way to organize and attend online meetings, enabling agency coworkers, clients and prospects to view and share any application running on a PC in real time. Share a new business pitch with the agency president vacationing in New Zealand. Brainstorm new campaigns with creatives in agency offices around the world. Show clients images directly from your exotic photo shoots. Even present creative to the client who's stuck in the airport. So pick up the phone now and call 1-800...oh wait, this is the Internet. Go to GoToMeeting.com and find out how you, too, can use online meetings to avoid facing your critics and mock your coworkers.


Word of Mouth Marketing Association Launches First Summit

The Word of Mouth Marketing Association will hold its first Word of Mouth Marketing Summit in Chicago March 29 and 30. The event aims to bring together marketers, agencies and other advertising professionals to discuss the art and science of word of mouth marketing along with ethics, standards, best practices and metrics.

The event will feature keynotes by Guy Kawasaki and Emanuel Rosen. BuzzMetric's Dave Balter, Starcom IP's Dan Buczaczer, Intelliseeks' Pete Blackshaw and others will lead and participate in a multitude of expert panels. Go here for details on the Summit and if you choose to attend, use the discount code "adrantsisamazing" to get $75 off the cost of attendance.


Email Marketing Alive And Well Says ExactTarget

Some say email marketing is dead. Not ExactTarget, an email solutions company that's done succesful work for big boy marketers The Home Depot, General Mills and Bristol-Myers Squibb. ExactTarget is sharing its expertise and insight through a new whitepaper entitled, "9 Email Trends For 2005." From relevance to frequency to interface and design, the white paper offers advice which has led upwards of 3,000 companies to contract their annual email marketing needs to ExactTarget.

And if all that doesn't convince, ExactTarget has a referral program with a monthly prize drawing for a toy-of-the-minute iPod.


HotJobs Say No to Super Bowl, Yes to Viral Supported Sweepstakes

Rather than waste millions on a Super Bowl spot, Yahoo! HotJobs is hoping to acheive longer term awareness with an online sweepstakes campaign, called Yahoo! HotJobs Big Game Plan, offering winners "some of the wildest, hottest, most sought-after opportunities in the world." Prizes include a three day trip to the New York offices of Cargo magazine to assist on photo shoots, play with gadgets and lunch in the legendary, rumor-filled, Conde Nast cafeteria; a day spent with New York Giants wide receiver Amani Toomer to watch film reels, discuss player strategy sessions or glimpse into Amani's extracurricular public responsibilities through the eyes of his charity TURF (Toomer Urban Recreation Fund); hanging with TLC's What Not to Wear hosts Stacy London and Clinton Kelly, to explore New York�s hottest boutiques, see how filming locations are secured, wardrobe changes are supervised and how the experts shop for the show. In all, there are eight prizes. For a chance to win, entrants must sign up for the sweepstakes and post or update their resume on Yahoo! HotJobs before February 8, 2005.

HotJobs is promoting the sweepstakes through a series of humorous, security cam-based, online viral videos which depict awkward or frustrating workplace scenarios. The campaign hopes to motivate people to explore employment opportunities outside the mundane, daily situations they currently endure. The first of three videos can be viewed here.


AzoogleAds Gets Boost From Equity Firm

Following AzoogleAds recent growth and hiring spree, the online ad network has just announced a significant investment from private equity firm TA Associates and Stripes Group. The investment is earmarked for aiding the company's efforts in increasing its share of the online advertising market.

With a network of 2,500 sites, AzoogleAds provides advertisers and publishers customer acquisition programs, co-registration services as well as publisher CPM, CPC and CPA platforms.


Bronto Launches Free Trial of Private Label Emarketing Service For Agencies

With analysts predicting an increase in competition for keyword searches and an overall increase in online spending, advertising agencies must be well positioned to offer extended online services to their clients. Instead of simply creating online ads and merely measuring clicks, agencies should become more involved in driving customers to a client�s website and capturing visitor information. Emarketing company Bronto, with its new Agency/Private Label email management product provides agencies the ability to capture leads generated from their client's online campaigns through a subscription to the client's newsletter. This approach provides a new channel for the agency and client to communicate with propects. It also helps agencies provide a more complete service, generate more revenue for both themselves and their clients and provide broader management of its client's online marketing efforts.


HotJobs Eschews Super Bowl, Launches Second Sweepstakes Viral

Launched last week and replacing Yahoo's usual appearance in the Super Bowl, the Yahoo! HotJobs Big Game sweeptakes has had a second viral clip added to the campaign. The campaign promotes an enter-to-win sweepstakes which offers people a wide range of prizes from trips to visits with professional athletes and musicians to behind the scenes visits to television shows.

HotJobs is promoting the Yahoo! HotJobs Big Game sweepstakes through a series of humorous, security cam-based, online viral videos which depict awkward or frustrating workplace scenarios. The campaign hopes to motivate people to explore employment opportunities outside the mundane, daily situations they currently endure. The second of three videos can be viewed here.


HotJobs Say No to Super Bowl, Yes to Viral Supported Sweepstakes

Rather than waste millions on a Super Bowl spot, Yahoo! HotJobs is hoping to acheive longer term awareness with an online sweepstakes campaign, called Yahoo! HotJobs Big Game Plan, offering winners "some of the wildest, hottest, most sought-after opportunities in the world." Prizes include a three day trip to the New York offices of Cargo magazine to assist on photo shoots, play with gadgets and lunch in the legendary, rumor-filled, Conde Nast cafeteria; a day spent with New York Giants wide receiver Amani Toomer to watch film reels, discuss player strategy sessions or glimpse into Amani's extracurricular public responsibilities through the eyes of his charity TURF (Toomer Urban Recreation Fund); hanging with TLC's What Not to Wear hosts Stacy London and Clinton Kelly, to explore New York�s hottest boutiques, see how filming locations are secured, wardrobe changes are supervised and how the experts shop for the show. In all, there are eight prizes. For a chance to win, entrants must sign up for the sweepstakes and post or update their resume on Yahoo! HotJobs before February 8, 2005.

HotJobs is promoting the sweepstakes through a series of humorous, security cam-based, online viral videos which depict awkward or frustrating workplace scenarios. The campaign hopes to motivate people to explore employment opportunities outside the mundane, daily situations they currently endure. The first of three videos can be viewed here.


AzoogleAds Launches Recruitment Campaign, Continues to Grow

Currently appearing in Revenue Magazine, online ad network AzoogleAds has launched a new recruitment campaign with the tagline,"Come Play With The Big Boys." Attracting some of the brightest stars in the industry, the company has added five new positions in December and is looking to fill thirteen more. See them here if you're interested. With a network of 2,500 sites, AzoogleAds provides advertisers and publishers customer acquisition programs, co-registration services as well as publisher CPM, CPC and CPA platforms.


Avoid Boardroom Catfights, Love the Approval Process

Most days at the office can be pretty mundane but there's always that standout where the screams eminating from the conference room suddenly make you feel as though you've wandered past The Boardroom of The Apprentice in the middle of Sandy and Jennifer's catfight. Idiocy of this season's entire cast aside, the real conference room fights between account managers and creatives in marketing organizations can get quite ugly too.

Aquent's new video featuring Rigsby Design Principal Lana Rigsby, with her calming, slightly Southern inflection provides pointers marketing professionals can use to avoid catty confrontation and ease the creative development and approval process. Rigsby talks about the importance of the project brief, articulate leadership, collaboration versus consensus and how properly caring for the approval process leads to creative everyone can be proud of.


New Report Sheds Light on 'Contagious' Advertising

With the effectiveness of traditional push advertising increasingly questioned and the rise of consumer control over media, a new series of reports has launched specifically to address emerging, non-traditional forms of advertising such as branded content, experiential and viral advertising, gaming and weblogs, stand-alone store design, product development and strategic alliances. Media intelligence company Xtreme Information has announced the launch of Contagious, a quarterly report and DVD which will cover non-traditional marketing with feature stories and case studies.

Contagious is edited by Paul Kemp-Robertson, former director of creative resources at Leo Burnett Worldwide. The first report includes teen trends, an interview with Malcolm Gladwell, a feature on maverick agency StrawberryFrog, a look at the impact of technology on Japanese society and a case study about McDonald's UK and how it's turning around its somewhat tarnished image. The accompanying DVD showcases "non-invasive" forms of marketing, including web films, advertiser funded programming and experiential marketing. Brands interested in surviving the new marketing landscape would do well to examine this report.


Don't Kill the Traffic Manager, Kill Archaic Agency Processes

Among the many things an agency can do without - primadonnas, bloated pontificators, wannabees, clueless CEOs and ugly interns - are mindless workflow processes which force seemingly normal agency employees into socialistic, neo-Nazi worker bees akin to freaked out postal workers. It all makes us wonder why a simple BRC has to undergo 32 monotonous, 1984-ish approval steps sucking valuable time away from that big brand re-launch due next month. But it does explain why death threats are hurled towards the traffic manager during their daily appearance in the office doorways of account managers and creative staff.

Rather than kill the poor TM who's just doing his best at the most thankless of agency jobs, check out Aquent's new video explaining the steps agencies can take to avoid an agony worse than listening to Ashlee Simpson sing without the aid of a backing voice track.


Hipsters Shoot Commercials, Real Advertisers Use Search Engine Marketing

We know you'd rather hang with the hipsters at a photo shoot for a commercial that looks hot but sells nothing for your client, however, if you do want to sell something, while building brand and making both you and your client rich and hip, you should check out search engine marketing. MarketingSherpa has published the Search Marketing Metrics Guide including data from 3,007 marketers on which keywords work best, lead generation and sales conversion rates and how search engine marketing can dramatically increase brand awareness. If that doesn't motivate you to put down your latte and do some serious work, MarketingSherpa will spiff you a FREE copy of its $29 Top 5 Search Marketing Case Studies if you buy the Search Marketing Metrics Guide by November 30. That way, you can take one of the case studies, convert it to a proposal for your client and go back to drinking your latte after your client calls to inform you sales went up 437 percent."


Brand Manager Butchers Ad, Teaches Creative A Lesson

We've all worked with those pompous, obnoxious, self-important brand managers who just can't keep there hands out of the creative process, offering nothing but useless brand blather. In this new video called Transformational Marketing, part of Aquent's Design Out Loud series, this full-of-himself brand manager goes through an interesting transformation of his own while berating his creatives, butchering a perfectly good ad and, at the same time, calling attention to some of the more annoying creative practices such as the insistence on using fancy, hard to read type, tiny logos and a lot of white space. It's not clear whether he's a bad trick or just the treat this creative team needs.


Aquent Video Series Shakes Up Advertising Industry

Marketing and creative services firm Aquent has launched an online video series it calls "part Communication Arts profile, part Inside the Actor's Studio" which, each month, will feature respected marketing and design professionals who espouse, much like Aquent does, better ways to manage process inside marketing and creative services organizations. This month, in the video "Outside In," C2 Co-Founder John Bielenberg talks about "orbiting the hair ball" which means stepping outside the status quo to achieve better management insight; heuristic bias which favors habit over innovation and "thinking wrong" which helps break corporation's tendencies towards status quo.

Humorously, Bielenberg talks about a fake company, Virtual Telemetrics, he created to satirize and parody the rut some corporations find themselves in by developing a full blown set of brand materials replete with corporate jargon and inane babble to illustrate just how mindless some corporations can get. Of course, Aquent's role in all of this is to help eliminate the status quo and breathe fresh air into the mundane corporate workplace. We all need some of that, don't we?


HP Promotes Printers With Rebate And Free Camera Offer

To promote its new HP Designjet 130 series printers, HP has launched an "Extreme Exchange Promotion" which offers rebates up to $700 and the chance to win a digital camera. To earn the rebate, owners of older, wide-format printers of any make can trade them in for cash when they buy a new HP Designjet 130 printer. The first 100 to do so will receive a free HP R707 digital camera.


AzoogleAds Helps Buyers Drink Less, Plan Better

Reducing the level of anxiety, stress and the urge for a shot of Kettle One that sometimes accompanies the creation of a killer online media plan or the maximization of your site's inventory, AzoogleAds has rounded out its advertiser services to include a network of 2,500 sites, customer acquisition programs, media buying services, search engine optimization, co-registration and graphic design as well as it's publisher CPM, CPC and CPA services. Click here for sanity and sobriety.


BrainMass Professional Makes Life Easier For Agencies

On Adrants, we like to make fun of the ad industry but we also know there's a lot of smart and impressive work being done, so we are excited when we find a company like BrainMass Professional who can help us get even smarter. Now if this sounds like an ad, it is but bear with us. You know you hate to do all that in depth, excruciatingly detailed research that goes along with creating a campaign but, conversely, you love all the positive client comments, awards, new biz, and raises that come from a well thought out campaign. You can't get the latter without the former but you can get a lot of help with the former from BrainMass.

BrainMass does all the stuff you need to do to make yourself brilliant. So when you need detailed market or competitive intelligence, trend identification and local market culture analysis, or primary research, let BrainMass do it for you. They'll even write your proposal. You still have to stand up and present it to your client, though. Let's see if we can come up with a good tagline here; "Impress. Work Less." "Be Smart. Don't Throw A Dart." "Thrill. Chill." Where's a good copywriter when you need one?


DVDmarketer.com Provides Reach to 42 Million Amazon Customers

DVDmarketer.com has announced a program which provides marketers the ability to deliver their customized creative on a free DVD to Amazon.com's highly coveted 42 million active customers. The DVD's will be inserted in the shipment boxes.

Acknowledging the effect of ad-skipping and the increasing control consumers have over the media they consume, DVDmarketer.com has developed a proprietary solution it claims is low-cost, targeted, measured, scalable, and turnkey. To aid marketers in determining the best use of the DVD as a marketing channel, DVDmarketer.com offers research reports covering DVD penetration and consumer attitudes toward DVD-based marketing and an overview of the Amazon program.


Sanders Consulting Helps Agencies Win More Business

Sanders Consulting, a firm that specializes in helping ad agencies win more new business is launching its Fall 2004 New Business Summit Seminar Series which will focus on nine ways to do new business better. From the fast close to maximizing chemistry to organic growth, the four city, day and a half Summit will feature industry luminaries as well as Bob and Stuart Sanders who will share their winning new business strategies with attendees.

Beginning in October, Seminars will be held in Toronto, Chicago, Los Angeles and New York. To find out more and to register, visit the Sanders Consulting website.


Designers To Win $40,000 in HP 'Extreme Makeover' Ad Campaign

With the tagline "Dream It. Create It. Win It.," HP is launching an ad campaign to promote its new line of HP Designjet printers for creatives. The campaign is centered around a contest in which creatives can submit an image of their dream office to win an office makeover and $40,000 in high tech toys including a Powerbook G4, iPod Mini, Herman Miller office chair, Adobe Creative Suite Premium and, of course, the printer itself.

HP wants creatives to know this new line of printers uses dye-based inks which help images resist fading for up to 70 years, closed-loop color calibration to insure proper color propery and can produce 11 X 17, 2400 X 1200 images at four pages per minute. So if your sick of your crappy digs and want a collection of new electronic toys, take HP up on their offer to hook you up.


CMP's TechWeb Seminar Educates Technology Marketers, Raffles iPods

CMP Media's TechWeb Network is offering a one hour online seminar called "How to Market to IT" which will provide technology marketers the necessary strategies and tactics to better market their offerings to the IT segment. Featuring industry experts Ellis Booker (Editor of BtoB, The Magazine for Marketing Strategists), Sarah Fay (President, Carat Interactive), Anne Rath (Director, Marketing and Business Strategy Practice, Gartner Consulting) and Andrew Latzman (Metrics Editor, MarketingSherpa), the seminar will provide tips on email marketing, generating leads, maximizing small budgets and writing white papers.

The seminar is scheduled for June 16, 2004 at 4PM EST and will last for one hour. Those who register will be entered in a drawing for the chance to win one of five Apple iPods or one of 20 $5 Starbucks Cards. TechWeb is also offering two free white papers from Bitpipe called "Writing White Papers for the US IT Market" and "2004 IT Marketing Trends Study Results" and an Executive Summary of MarketingSherpa's "IT Marketing Metrics Guide". They are free whether or not you attend the event.


STEP inside design Launches First Advertising Competition

STEP inside design, published by Dynamic Graphics, is introducing the first STEP Advertising Design Competition and will feature the most provocative and daring ad campaigns from the past year. Ogilvy's Brian Collins, Wieden's Ty Montague and Euro's John Rea are all creative directors at the world's finest ad agencies and will judge the first annual STEP inside design Advertising Competition. If you've printed, published or aired creative work between January 1, 2003 and May 1, 2004, it is eligable for entry. Selected work will be featured in the September/October issue of STEP.

So don't wait. Enter today. Print entries are $30 each; TV spots and web banners are $75 each, multi-media campaigns are $150. The entry deadline May 15.


TRENDWATCHING.COM Fall Seminar Series to Educate Marketers On Emerging Trends

TRENDWATCHING.COM, a group that has its pulse on worldwide trends, will hold a series of seminars in North America this fall to educate marketers on emerging trends relating to advertising. The seminars will provide an overview of consumer and business trends that TRENDWATCHING.COM believes will shape the next 12 months as well as provide a catalyst for developing your own communications plans based on these forecasted trends. Seminars will be held in Toronto (14 Oct), Chicago (18 Oct), San Francisco (22 Oct), Dallas (28 Oct) and Atlanta (4 Nov). More info here. If you do decide to go, use this code (ADR100XT3) when you register and you will receive $100 off the registration fee.



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