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- Cynopsis reports, "The retransmission rights payments disagreement between MediaCom Communications and Sinclair Broadcast Group came to a head late Friday and into Saturday with MediaCom being forced to drop 22 Sinclair stations from its cable system in 12 states as of 12:01a January 6."
- Time Magazine is getting into the blog game with a site makeover, a news aggregator and topical blogs.
- Ecommerce hit the 4100 billion mark in 2006 and continues to charge ahead.
- Brands should know by now an angry mob of bloggers is something to steer clear of lest you want amplified what you intended to be hushed.
- Time says you are the Person of the year. Advertising Age says the consumer is the Agency of the Year. Jonah Bloom explains they really didn't copy Time.
- The free 411 services are catching on with advertisers. Aegon Insurance and Absolut are the latest brands to become advertisers on 1-800-FREE411.
- Heavy.com has closed on a second round of financing, $20 million from Polaris Venture Partners. The financing will be used to expand the network internationally.
Time revamps its tired old site to better serve the interests of 2.0-savvy readers who'd rather sift through snarky blogs than stiff Reuters streams.
The new site vibes like a cross between Yahoo, ZDNet and AdAge, which can be useful if not totally confusing. Critiques about Iraq rub shoulders with Top 10's, quotes du jour and wincing-hip TV-related titles like "Whiteyz with Attitude." Urg. Well, it'll definitely make eye-candy for the scroll-happy.
Time will provide 24/7 news and, in a surprise move that contrasts those of major papers like the New York Times, rendered the entire Time archive of stories, covers and images - from its 1923 debut! - available for free.
Neat. For a brand so big we're sure they'll come up with a way to keep profits from hurting during this most curious process. And we probably won't be the only ones watching closely.
Incognito informer FishnChimps points us in Ariel's direction for a redux in the car wars, which may or may not be a series of spoofs, though one could argue the breadth and popularity of them does these brands a major favor that few legit ads could.
In this iteration of the driving machine battle, BMW calls Jaguar a scaredy-cat by getting nose-to-nose and sending Jag's icon meowing back to the big tree it came from. Very cute even if, as unintentionally demonstrated in this ad, the Jaguar happens to be the prettier car and looks better still when compared to the blunt BMW hood. Nonetheless they got the point across fine.
Ad subtlety takes skill and a bit of patience with your consumer, but done well it makes all the difference in a great piece of print or television. A breaking campaign for Cars Guide enlists the magic of Cummins and Partners to deliver the message "Choice is everything."
You need to see the ads big for the full effect but check out the variations with Doc Brown and - by gad - is that Mr. T or a guerilla warrior?! We'd know that telltale feather anywhere. Of course guessing always gets one into trouble so if you know better, let us know and we'll telepathically pin a gold star to your pullover.
Angela's Take: AdAge just named The Consumer as Agency of the Year, hot off the tracks of Time which recently made You its Person of the Year.
What does this mean for you? We guess it means that you're kind of a big deal. Despite the fact you've always had the power, right now you're blowing up like a rock star. With the magic of spending power, ad-critical assertiveness and the frontiers for freedom getting blazed across the internet, publications everywhere are suddenly bowing down in humble supplication.
What does this mean for AdAge? We think they said it all when in the lower right-hand corner of their Consumer article they posted a link to a Scott Donaton piece that reads, "Me-too-itis Hobbles Too Many Marketers' Efforts."
Saatchi and Saatchi throw together this print illustration of a rower fit to slip into a formidable Scylla-and-Charybdis-like vacuum because his Bose noise cancellation headphones are so awesome he just can't pay attention.
Funny how you get punished for not paying attention in real life, but this same deficit comes as a premium when illustrating how distractingly awesome a given product happens to be. Does that really help sell shit? We love the idea of getting lost with Beethoven but if the composer himself can actually fly down from heaven and lift us out of a boat destined for disaster then all the better, you can sign us up for some Bose headphones right now.
We somehow doubt the sound quality is that great, though.
Under the tagline "Milk's favorite cookie," Draft FCB orchestrates a playful set of Oreo prints that illustrate "the dunk aspect of the Oreo twist, lick and dunk ritual and showcases the simple fun that dunking Oreo cookies in milk can bring," says Laurie Guzzinati of Kraft.
Okay. We can't fault Draft for saying "twist, lick and dunk" considering that's exactly what we do when we have the occasional Oreo. But after that lions-fucking insanity, which comes to mind every time we type out "Draft FCB," we just can't keep a straight face.
This somewhat creepy campaign is by Stena Lines, a major international ferry line. Apparently parents travel free if they bring at least two children.
Coolz0r points out it's typically kids who travel free when parents bring them on trips, but in this case the rules are reversed: kids become, in effect, authority figures as they're in control of the dollars being spent. (Don't they do that anyway though?)
These ads do a good job of illustrating that notion. There's just something unfailingly Mini-Me about them that rings funny. Check out another version here.
Slapping down over-expectant fiancées, college-bound sons and horse-loving daughters, Titus Cycles claims there are far more important things in life than over-priced engagement rings, stuffy colleges and thoroughbred horses. Namely, over-priced bikes for those who think a perfectly good Schwinn is only good enough for a mailbox. Check out the witty print campaign by TDA here, here and here.
Asking for consumer opinions and airing them as ads is super trendy, and Monster hops on the clue train with Monster Works for Me, a campaign running on just about all iterations of traditional media to ask us why we do what we do.
Created by Brand|Content out of Boston, it "recognizes the multiple reasons why people work and the passion that drives them," says agency CEO Doug Gladstone. "In short, no matter what you do, or what you'd like to do, Monster has the tools and resources that can help you find the right match, so you can be successful at whatever you pursue."
While we can't claim it pulls much creative weight it certainly moves the long-dormant Monster in the right direction as people are more interested in what they have to say than what companies have to say anyway. And it definitely helps to play mirror. So cheers to Monster.