Pardon this commercial break while we share with you a a trip we took to Martha's Vineyard last week to check out for a bit, visit old friends, get some sun, eat great food, boat around the island, check out Walter Cronkite's house, marvel at the astounding size house a car dealer (Ernie Boch Jr.) can construct and generally just not work by leaving behind the world of advertising for a couple of days.
Rather than mutilate campaigns and blather on about how Facebook is the new MySpace, we checked out a local band, The Boogies, which played at the island's Outerland club, formerly known as The Hot Tin Roof. The Boogies is one of those bands that has a freakishly dedicated following and whose fans dress up like band members who, themselves, dress - in a way over-the-top fashion - to match the 70's and 80's-style music they cover. All kinds of people show up from 18 to 80. OK, so there weren't many 80 year olds but there was a mix to be sure.
Our group got there early so we had plenty of time to crank with Jager Bomb/Bull Blaster-style drinks served by a pair of waitresses covering the full spectrum of dress from dinner gown to black, tight short shorts. We watched. We talked. We danced. We drank. We took lots of pictures. We checked out people's costumes and we wondered where the hell The Boogies were when we spent two summers on Cape Cod back in the day. We wished we were living on the Cape again.
Continuing its campaign to boycott American Eagle, Unite Here, which claims American Eagle Outfitters fails to enforce its Code of Conduct at one of its Canadian shipping Warehouses has launched a Counter Marketing Contest as part of its American Vulture cause. The contest seeks video submissions from people which comment on, parody or satirize the retailer's current marketing efforts.
It began it's quest in New York's Union Square back in July with rally outside one of the chain's stores with its version of the American Eagle, the American Vulture.
Advertising Week -- which we're sponsoring -- fast approaches. With that in mind, the country's top advertising icons and slogans are going to be competing for a spot in the Madison Avenue Advertising Walk of Fame.
Dude. This is exciting. Or it should be if you have a soul.
Entrants include the Keebler Elves, The Geico Caveman and Gecko, and McGruff the Crime Dog, which we haven't seen since we were about 8. And slogans in the running include "Got Milk?" and "Just Do It."
"It is every brand's dream that their campaign icon or slogan will take off and become a fixture in American culture," gushes Ron Berger, chairman of Ad Week.
That's, like, really sweet.
If so inclined, cast your vote here. Voting started yesterday and will last until September 25th. Winners are announced the day after.
Probably hoping to cash in on some zombified consumerism a la Target Breezeway, Philips has decided to turn 3D into a marketing tool.
And not just any marketing tool. A "fascinating, high-impact 3D experience," no glasses necessary. That blows the IMAX theatre out of the fucking water!
So if you're into the idea of watching splotchy orange stuff come racing after you, then by all means come be spellbound at the 3D WOWzone, a large 132-inch screen built to blow your mind.
The WOWzone will be making its virgin appearance at the Philips booth in Hall 22 at the IFA 2007, an earth-shattering event that takes place between August 31 and September 5 in Berlin.
This kind of thing always makes us laugh and we're never really sure why.
"We're here. We're Hot. Get used to it." That's the battle cry kicking off a new spot for Toronto-based fashion retailer Bay. Boom is the name of the campaign and it's all about baby boomers reclaiming their fashionista status by staging a fashion protest which looks like some sort of colorized sixties protest.
The campaign's got everything: TV, radio, a contest to win a car, interactive retail windows, transit, guerrilla, fashion shows, in store event and even a "bra burning" promotion.
OK, this is weird. Apparently, Enrique Iglesias is small. As in small down there between the legs. Small as in most condoms are too big for him. Why anyone might publicly admit to this as Enrique does to Esquire saying, "I can never find extra-small condoms, and I know it's really embarrassing for people - you know, from experience" baffles us a bit.
Reacting to this public statement, Lifestyles Condoms says it will guarantee Enrique one million dollars if he agrees to try on and model the varies sizes Lifestyles offers. If he agrees, photos of the condom fitting session will appear on the manufacturers site and on the packaging of the product the fits Enrique properly. Of course, we think the photos that do appear, won't be blatantly showing Enrique in all his extended glory.
Perhaps not being so big has its advantages. After all, with a girlfriend like Anna Kournikova likely causing "extentions" 24/7, it might be a good thing not to have to take your pants off every time one of those "extensions" decides to occur. Especially in public.
So will Enrique take the bait? Unlikely but at least Lifestyle condoms will get some press. And, we'll have yet another excuse to show you a picture of Anna. Oh, and Enrique too.
My last ad:tech session of the week was Actions Speak Louder than Clicks: Exploring the Laws of Relationship Marketing.
Okay, relationship marketing. I hope you've got a pair of Chuck Taylors on hand.
On Wednesday morning at ad:tech in Chicago, I hit Managing the Search Beast, the first of the several SEM seminars I masochistically slated myself to take.
It was one of those seminars in which a speaker like David Doucette feebly tries pushing product (the Fairmont Hotel and Resorts) while the audience, every member of which thinks it's smarter than he, attacks with questions that, if you've ever worked in SEM, you know nobody knows the answers to.
And they're simple questions: "How did you track that social networking effort?" and "How do you prevent against click fraud?"
The crickets chirp in response. It's not that there aren't any answers; it's that marketing and sales guys rarely have a true sense of what's happening on the back-end when it comes to SEO. They pull the numbers from IT and that's the deepest it gets.
This is one reason why search engine marketing (poetically) highlights the growing tensions between marketing and tech.
You think Boyz n the Hood was scary? You've probably got similar tensions running between creatives and devvies - except without guns, and possibly more animosity.
Tuesday morning at ad:tech Chicago, big brands like YouTube and Yahoo debated the likelihood that the Holy Grail, sought after by everyone from Indiana Jones to Tom Hanks, is (and perhaps always has been) in the unlikely hands of advertisers.
With every new medium comes a wave of schizophrenic behavior in which old media titans express fear, reproach and occasionally cavil at a "threat" that has seen no equal in history.
The movie industry did this with the arrival of VHS, and we do it today with online video - not without merit. Around a narrow corner lives the thinly-veiled concern that we might be kissing our cash cow, network TV, good-bye (and good luck), in favor of a mutable and virtually immeasurable entity: the internet.
After attending the Ypulse conference in San Francisco earlier this week, we've come to realize a few things about teens, tweens and the marketers who want them in their back pocket. Sometimes it seems like today's marketers are falling into the same potholes our predecessors did: trying to deconstruct cool, relying too heavily on surveys, and forgetting that before we're marketers, we're consumers. We've been consumers all our lives. That experience is our biggest trump card.
Another thing we don't realize is that generations of kids, teens and adults also fall for the same potholes their predecessors did. What we need to remember is, no matter what age we are, we all suffer from a bit of age elitism.