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Over the weekend in Times Square, the Kleenex Let It Out campaign in which people let their emotions out while Kleenex films them was infiltrated by Greenpeace which is irked Kleenex manufacturer Kimberly-Clark uses "ancient growth" forests in their tissue products. Greenpeace activists, posing as distraught individuals complained about Kimberly-Clark's apparent deforestation tactics while Kleenex PR people had nothing much to do except let it happen, even when some activists unfurled a banner for Kleercut, Greenpeace's tree hugger effort.
It's classic surprise marketing at its finest. After all, what could Kleenex people do? The entire promotion is all about providing people a platform to air their grievances. If you are concerned about a company's supposed less-that-nice use of foresting techniques tan what better place to air the grievances that on a couch to an understanding listener. Or at least one that's supposed to be understanding.
Always up for a good time, French lingerie purveyor Sloggi has gone Smoggi, launching a guerrilla and online campaign in Belgium relating to the government's recent lowering of the national speed limit due to the level of smog in the air. Coolzor reports four lingerie-clad women stood by the road side holding signs that pointed people to Smoggi.com where a countdown to a mysterious something is occurring. We're told Belgian agency Brand Activation is behind the work.
We just love when big companies usurp the ideas of others and claim to be the first at something when, in fact, very clearly, they are not. Why? Because we get to trash them for it. Had anyone behind the Gene Simmons Family Jewels show done even the tiniest bit of home work, they'd realize they were not, in fact, the first to launch an assvertising campaign. Far from it. They're not even the second. Or the third. Or the fourth. Do your homework, people. Damn, a simple Google search turns up 17,500 results!
While slapping panties that read "Gene Simmons Family Jewels"on 25 models and having them prance about tomorrow at the Hard Rock Cafe's Times Square location to promote the second season of Simmons' show, those involved seem to have forgotten this very thing has already occurred in the same city. NightAgency, which created the concept, did it for New York Health and Racquet Club. Kodak did it at a trade show in Boston. A Russian tire shop did it. MTN did it in Italy. And those are just the ones we've covered.
If you really must see this ill-name "first," hurry over to the Hard Rock Cafe in Times Square tomorrow, Thursday, March 22 at 12PM.
UPDATE: Our explanation seems to have caught someone's attention. The words "world's first" have been removed from the press release.
We'd never see this in America because...oh heavens, the innocent eyes of children would be so horribly tarnished but in Italy, fake orgies inside a car parked outside a sex shop is just fine. For Erotika, Milan agency Virus created stickers which simulated a steamy six person orgy and affixed them to the windows of a car. You can wallow in the creation of and reaction to this stunt in this video.
We like to think of street art as advertising that pushes back. After all, even graffiti's got its own idea to sell.
Wooster Collective points us to some paste-on street art by Mike Newton, who says, "I noticed how the police would move the homeless from street to street, doorway to doorway around the town. This gave me the inspiration for my latest piece 'removing me won't solve the problem,' a kind of twist on the removal of graffiti."
A similar campaign we once conducted also involved reintroducing absent social pariahs to their natural environments. But we don't think our parents were super thrilled when we wandered into the kitchen wearing Mom's "Like a Virgin" outfit during Pops' business dinner. We bet it left a lasting impression, though.
Microlax gets intimate with its surroundings with this clever laxative campaign by JWT Paris. Very cute.
Makes our stomachs feel a little funny, though. The thought of a resistance-free tube leading the way from throat to derriere does not the most comfortable feeling make.
We love a conspiracy theory as much as the next guy. That's why we're so attracted to the latest rumour about the mysterious Splasher, an entity splashing paint on street art in trendy New York neighborhoods, who suddenly appears to have an agenda.
To lend some background, the Splasher's been attacking local art through January and pasting manifestos alongside them, calling street art "fetishized [actions] of banality" and "a representation of the most vulgar kind: an alienated commodity." Readers are admonished not to remove the flyers because the paste is allegedly mixed with shards of glass.
I'm Not Sayin notes the latest batch of splashed posters coincide with the art instead of defacing it. And what's the "art" in question? American Apparel ads, of course. He then posits the Splasher is a guerilla campaign cooked up by American Apparel in order to attract (or provoke?) the attention of hipsters, artists and news outlets.
They've succeeded (if indeed it's them), though we'll throw a guess in the pool and suggest they may just be piggy-backing on an actual art-defacing, paint-happy ad-Zorro out yonder. Assuming it's all AA's doing, whether they'll be revered for cleverness or reviled for crime (which graffiti, however pretty, actually is) is another story.
Thankfully, lots of street art starts out as some kind of "defacing" appropriation of public space so we're sure they'll be sympathetic to the big brand's splattery assertion that they're all bourgeois tools.
Sometimes the beauty of simplicity is all that's needed to send a powerful message. This Cummings & Partners-created ambient campaign for Multiple Sclerosis of Australia carries the simple message, "Without your donation, research will stop." That message was affixed to a glass box in which an actual person, dressed like a research scientist would sit, slumped over until a person placed a donation into a slot beneath him. He would then come to life and pretend to so experiments until he felt the money had "run out." He would then slump over again until another donation was made. The effort brought in about $100 per hour and the organization plans to continue the effort.
Feel like showcasing your marketing savvy with a public guerilla campaign? Post-Boston, be careful - The People are sensitive of late.
At least that's what Microsoft's discovering with its recent ground-floor attempt to push the Zune.
A blast of music from the tricked-out Zune-mobile sparked sleep-deprived residents in Lower East Side Manhattan, not to drop their iPods, but to seek restitution on a scathing site called Wake Up Microsoft.
To start with, they sarcastically thank the big blue company for their "noise terrorism." Noise terrorism? Is that anything like Lite-Brite terrorism? While Microsoft deserves a wrist-slap for thinking they could start a spontaneous block party, this certainly isn't the only shockwave of moody distaste they've inadvertently triggered lately.
Update: Cliczune's post on the Zune SUV includes the comment of at least one user who wouldn't mind being jarred out of sleep at 3 AM by the system's impressive clarity.
If you went to the movies this past weekend, you might have seen what initially appeared to be a trailer for Saw IV but turned out to be a Scion promotion directing people to, by far, the weirdest site we've ever seen called Want2BSquare. The trailer, the site and wild posting are all part of an ATTIK-created promotion for the car maker's 2008 xB. Accompanying the campaign over the next two months will be virally-intentioned videos, events and guerrilla marketing (watch out Boston).
At the site, which creates a square universe, we are told, "visitors are encouraged to explore an expansive world, play games against other visitors, view a wealth of video content celebrating the xB's boxy shape, and discover other quirky experiences. These actions lead to the accumulation of points that can be redeemed for an array of prizes ranging from Scion key chains to DJ turntables." If the Internet were around when the "This is your brain on drugs" campaign first launched, this would have been the site leading the campaign. Truly kooky stuff. And fun. We especially like the Urban Zoo.