LittleMissMatched, the company that knows socks always get lost in the dryer and sells socks in sets of three rather than two is hosting a short film contest in which anyone can submit a one minute film that highlights a person's creativity and individuality. The only requirement is that entrants must use two LittleMissMatched socks in the film although they don't have to be the feature of the film.
The contest will be judged by Ad Age's Jonah Bloom, music video director Shane Drake, commercial director Rafael Fernandez, producer and director Liz Garbus, ATTIK Creative Director Wayne Hanson, Teen People's Hayley Hill, writer and director Rob Pearlstein and Kirshenbaum Bond + Partners President Aaron Reitkopf.
Movie Marketing Madness tells the story of John Campea who runs The Movie Blog and his recent run in with Paramount. John had been hyping the Paramount movie [name withheld so as not to provide any undeserved publicity] by talking about the production of the film and posting images from the production. Like a bunch of clueless idiots, Paramount execs did some very silly things. First, they asked John to remove a couple pictures from his site. John complied after making sure Paramount wanted to remove this publicity from the million people who read his blog. Yes, they did and so he removed them. Then the next morning, he found his site down which he later realized was due to a cease and desist letter sent from Paramount to his hosting company complaining about a third picture which Paramount never notified him about.
Acknowledging the power of online communities, blogs and social media, HP is releasing the next series of its "The Computer is Personal Again" campaign online before it hits TV. Unfortunately, the three commercials, starring Mark Burnett, Pharrell Williams and Mark Cuban, will not take full advantage of the web's viral capabilities as, according to the press release, the spots will be released on the HP website and, apparently, not simply seeded out to YouTube, a far faster method of spreading them around. Surely, they will end up there anyway, but HP has chosen to launch them from a site that, on the plus side and the reason they are hosted initially on HP's site, is said allow people to create personalized versions of the spots to feature on blogs or to send to a friend. This, of course, follows nicely with the personalization focus of the campaign.
The Sheraton Hotel is continuing its foray into the world of social media. Back in April, the hotel launched The Lobby, a blog ab out travel trends and featured destinations. Today, Sheraton has relaunched its corporate website to include travel stories submitted by anyone whether or not they stayed at a Sheraton hotel during theit travels. Called Our Global Neighborhood, asks people to indicate where they traveled to, where they stayed, to share a picture and to write a short summary of their experience. The summary then appears on a map so other travelers interested in checking out particular locations can read what travelers have experienced.
With this effort, Sheraton is specifically moving away from typical hotel sites which are transaction-based and towards a more complete travel experience. While there's no lack of places on the Internet people can go to check out other's travel experiences, placing these experiences on a major travel brand's site just makes it that much easier for people to find and participate with.
Panasonic, with help from Renegade Marketing, has joined the rest of the lemmings blindly walking towards the user-generated content light. The company has launched Share the Air, a hip-ish site on which there are photoblogs from Atiba Jefferson, Sam Smyth, and Jimmie Mcguire, people we assume are hip-ish in some sort of way, videos from Girl and Chocolate and, yes, a user-generated content section where visitors can submit their own action sports videos to be considered for a $16,000 Panasonic HD video prize.
While YouTube wanted to partner all along, NBC saw the existence of its content on YouTube as some sort of horrific abuse of copyright law and forced the video site to remove various NBC clips such as the famed "Lazy Sunday." Now, the net has reversed its line of thinking, realizing that keeping content off YouTube is similar to telling a 13 year old she can't use MySpace. In a deal between the two, NBC will have a branded area on YouTube where various network programming clips will be uploaded on a weekly basis insuring far better reach and distribution than the net using just its own site. NBC will also promote the partnership on-air including a contest which calls for people to submit their own promotional spots for The Office. The winner will get their submission aired in August during the show.
Jake Levine, who's from Cherryfield Maine, a place we've actually been to believe it or not and where a great uncle of ours once owned a big company there called Stewart's Blueberries, was selected by Snickers to become the an ambassador for the candy company and Burton. It's an effort by Snickers to smartly reach an audience immune to traditional media. Called The Rover, Jake will traverse the country for a year leading every sk8ter boi's dream; an all expenses paid position as board sports ambassador, hanging with riders and boarders, attending events and drooling over Gretchen Bleiler. Oh, and he'll be blogging the whole thing too. Unsupervised and Unedited we're told. They're will also be podcasts. And, in a bonus, mud wresting appears to be part of the deal too. There's more campaign info here.
AtomFilms and Alltell have teamed to launch a new contest in which people can submit videos shot on mobile phones to win between $1,000 and $5,000 as well as distribution of their video on AtomFilms. Of course the contest, Are You Circle Worthy, promotes Alltel's My Circle calling plan which is similar to the old MCI Friends and Family plan.
You know, all you designers really ought to be testing your Flashtastic creations on a "normal" computer with the cache turned off. After all, most people who will visit your site won't have reloaded the thing a million times thereby having it readily and speedily available for viewing. For example, this site for Pepsi called MyDaDaDa which capiltalizes on the song, took agonizingly long to load. And once it did load, it never worked smoothly. Apparently, you can send the song around to your friends, watch ads, put the song and wallpapers on your phone, send a pre-recorded message to a friend, get screensavers and upload your own videos to the site. None of it worked well. Of course, it could just be our crappy laptop. Oh yea, the whole thing wraps itself around the World Cup Football craze.
While the stunt has been known for some time, many videos of people dropping Mentos into bottles of Diet Coke are flooding social networks and one of the marketers is loving the publicity. Commenting on the 800 or so videos online, estimated to be worth $10 million in marketing value, Mentos VP of Marketing Pete Healy said, "We're tickled pink any it." On the other hand, old-fashioned marketer Coca-Cola really doesn't get it. In a statement that sounds like it's out of a 1950's marketing text book, Coke Spokeswoman Susan McDermott said, "It's an entertaining phenomenon. We would hope people want to drink more than try experiments with it." OK, first, who cares if the crap gets consumed. People have to buy the stuff to do this stunt. It's money in the bank for Coke no matter what. Second, there's this thing called free publicity. Maybe Coke hasn't heard of it but many marketers think it's a really good thing when people talk about and use their products a lot.