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.
Does this sound familiar? "There had been no complaints in the 22 other cities in the United States and Canada that were part of the promotion." Ding, ding! Yes, Boston is front and center once again in guerrilla marketing news. Launched January 23, just days before the cartoon Network debacle, Dr. Pepper held a 23-city hunt for coins that would ultimately lead to a $1 million prize. Contestants would find codes under bottle caps, enter those codes into a special website and be given additional clues to physical locations throughout the 23 cities where they would find the coins. The coins would then be redeemed for between $10,000 and $1 million.
Dr. Pepper parent Cadbury Schweppes canceled the campaign after hearing Boston officials had closed the 347 year old Granary Burying Ground (originally closed due to icy paths, not the contest), the location of one of the final coins. The cemetery stayed closed once officials realized all the people trying to get in were in search of the coin, not to tour grave sites.
Uh, oh. Marketers. Advertisers. Do not use this. Repeat. Do not use this. This being a technology that allows you to use lasers to put temporary graffiti on buildings from hundreds of feet away using a laser wand. If you do use it, you know what's going to happen. The entire world is going to look like Times Square because every building will be turned into a "temporary" billboard. Come on. Admit it. You know you can't resists this. Check out a video of it here.
CoolzOr features a very interesting guerrilla outdoor effort by Oklahoma Truck Supply which placed a mock up of an 18-wheeler vertically in the middle of a field which, or course, makes it stand out like a bald Britney. Yes, it's stunt marketing but, to us, it works. If you have a field and a spare 18-wheeler (or a mock up of such), why not turn it into a promotion. And yea, yea, yea, before you jump all over us telling us this sort of thing's been done before, we offer this thought. If we only wrote about new stuff, guess what? There wouldn't be anything to write about because, as you well know, it's all been done before. Thankfully, some re-hashed ideas are better than others which, again, thankfully, gives us something to write about.
- Adland wonders if Gladys Hardy, an 88 year old woman with a MySpace site and who's called into Ellen several times in just some sort of marketing promotion. It sure smells of it.
- Fox Interactive Media Buys Ad Targeting Firm to Leverage MySpace Profile Data. Let's mine that data, guys.
- ABC is creating a spin off of Grey's Anatomy with the Addison Shepard character and Taye Diggs. This just does not sound right.
- MediaBuyerPlanner reports, "Shares of the two largest, publicly traded billboard owners, Lamar Advertising and Clear Channel Outdoor, have skyrocketed in the past 12 months, growing 36 percent and 43 percent respectively."
Just is case you aren't by now completely sick of the Aqua Teen Hunger Force Boston Terrorism media orgasm, Brandweek scored an exclusive (did you hear that? exclusive! damn, they're good.) interview with Interference Inc. Founder Sam Ewen whose agency was behind the placement of the moonite/litebrite (or whatever the fuck you want to call them) bombs...oops...guerrilla marketing installations. There's a tease of the interview here which basically reveals nothing we didn't already know. The full interview will be published in Monday's printed Brandweek and online.
For album "Year Zero," Nine Inch Nails sets fans on a scavenger hunt with a series of webpages predicting the future. One example is Another Version of the Truth, a picture of a seemingly gentler America. When you click and drag your mouse, the pastoral picture reveals a desolate wasteland.
The first of the sites was discovered by fans who put together a set of highlighted words on a tour shirt. After that a spiral of other sites were found with roughly the same end-of-the-world, fascist/religious theme.
The effort was orchestrated by 42 Entertainment, the mad geniuses responsible for the Halo 2 campaign that sparked a dramatic nationwide search for a princess trapped in cyberspace.