Milking, but brilliantly maximizing the "Hey dude, you left your coffee on the roof of your car" scenario, Starbucks has done just that - left its coffee on the roofs of cars in San Francisco so people will go nuts trying to tell the driver - a paid Starbucks stunt marketer - he's, yes, left his coffee on the roof of his car. Flickr member Thomas Hawk snapped a shot of one of the vehicles and recounts his being had by the stunt.
While initially it seemed Sony's PSP street chalk drawing campaign in several cities around the U.S. was being well received by some (us), others have dished out a bit of backlash by defacing the drawings and calling for an end to corporations' attempts to co-op the graffiti art form. AdFreak sums up the issue pointing to a rant over at Gothamist, an online petition to stop the practice and street art blog Wooster Collective's collection of PSP street art.
Jordan Buntain sent us a site he created that's aimed at unemployed copywriters and offers tips on the kind of jobs they might try as they wrestle through the difficulty of being unemployed during the holidays. Several suggestions include becoming a Christmas Movie Screen Writer, a Street Musician, a Sandwich board Advertiser or a Scammer Spammer. By the way, Jordan is unemployed as well. Give him a look and give him a job.
Back in August, it was noted satellite provider DISH, copying Half.com's renaming of Halfway, Oregon and fifties radio show Truth or Consequences' renaming of Hot Springs, New Mexico, was on the prowl for a town that would rename itself DISH. Yesterday, it was announced Dish had finally found a town desperate enough for the money to take the company up on its offer. The 373 residents of Clark, Texas have agreed to rename their town DISH, Texas in exchange for $440,477 and ten years worth of free basic satellite service. As Sploid notes, "In a few years, when DISH Network has been consumed by some other satellite/entertainment monster, the children of DISH may wonder why their town has such a stupid name."
Currently, these efforts are limited to stealth efforts with small towns simply for their press value. With the continued proliferation of advertising into every conceivable corner of life, it's not out of the realm of possibility that Microsoft, five years down the road facing defeat by Google, might approach a city the size of, say Boston, and offer up a few million or billion for naming rights.
In late September we began receiving links to a site called Great Pointed Archer which positioned itself as a save/rename the rat cause site. They even sent us T-shirts. Of course we immediately figured it was a front for something else but the folks behind the site held fast and insisted it was simply an effort to be nice to rats. Sure. Well, as expected, it was a ploy. Today, an Adrants reader went to a Great Pointed Archer rally in Manhattan and reports it is, in fact, just a stealth marketing effort by a PR firm who, he figured, wishes they were an advertising firm. At least that's what we've been told We're tracking down the details.
UPDATE: According to Alex from Museum of Hoaxes, this same claim that a rally occurred in Manhattan was received by him. Our sense is it really is just a stealth stunt by some entity who is playing all of us to some final purpose which, at some point, will be revealed making us all look foolish.
To help promote MSN's The Wall, a project that allows people to create virtual grafitti, The Wexley School for Girls created a contest whereby entrants could submit their grafitti. Wexley then projected the winners' work tagged Atlanta using high-powered light projectors, throwing artwork on various buildings. There are plans in place to roll the promotion out to other cities. See the work here.
Hopefully targeting more than just homeless teens who don't own a television, Marketing services agency Mr. Youth LLC and nighttime teen network The N have teamed up to reach teenagers on the streets of Manhattan to promote The N's South of Nowhere. Today, Street teams, accompanied by a fleet of branded Vespas, will offer $4 Metrocards, which, as a side benefit, is a very good thing for a homeless teen, along with South of Nowhere-branded Metrocard holders to teens heading south on the subways. The street teams, outfitted with chest-mounted TVs, will be positioned outside of downtown subway stations along the N subway line, along with visiting nearby high schools and commuter train stations from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. today and Friday, November 4th. The N's South of Nowhere series premiere will air on Friday, November 4th at 8:30 p.m. (ET).
Citigroup financial services firm Women & Co. has launched a very unique (and this time the word is warranted) four market, outdoor/street campaign consisting of mirrors, rather than posters, hung in cities containing messages such as "You're one of a kind. Is your financial plan?," "That smile would go great with a financial future" and "You look like a million bucks. Does your retirement account?" The mirrors carried the companies web address. The mirrors were partnered with a street team which handed out branded compact mirrors to remind women to keep looking at their finances. The campaign was created by New York-based Interference.
Like muffins falling out off a billboard and crushing a car, large red balls are popping up - on crushed cars - to promote Powerball. Flicker user Andy explains, "I took it in the Twin Cities. These two cars (and Powerballs) were on the back of a flatbed truck, being driven somewhere, possibly the MN State Fair, that was going on at the time." Yes, this happened back in September so don't get all pissy on us complaining the story isn't two seconds old.
Graeme Klass points out an HP and Intel street promotion in Melbourne Australia, called "The Color Factory," which lets people inside the digital picture creation process to experience it first hand.