Loath to miss out on the open applications hype but too lazy (or busy hunting?) to build one, PETA is hosting a contest for people keen to develop a Facebook or OpenSocial app promoting PETA or its campaigns. (Does striptease State of the Union mean anything to you?)
"Remember: We're PETA, so don't be afraid to be racy, provocative, shocking, or even controversial if you want to," the contest info reads.
Winners get a $500 Apple gift card, which can get you an iPod touch or one-fifth of a 17-inch Macbook Pro. Entries due Jan 25 so if you're really into animal salvation, or just hate the crap out of KFC (which is as good an incentive as any), you better get crackin'.
There is just way too much complexity to ABC's Lost and everything that goes with it to actually attempt to describe and explain everything. However, while trolling Flickr, we found some images of billboards for Oceanic Airlines, the name of the airline that is featured in the series. A new alternate reality game, Find815, has been launched which features videos of a person, Sam Thomas, who is supposed to work for Oceanic and whose girlfriend Sonya was one of the flight attendants.
You have to be really obsessive about the show to like this sort of thing but we spent some time with it and found it to be quite interesting and comprehensive. So that you can all start where we did, here's the link to one of the billboard photos on Flickr. They are actual billboards which appear in seven American cities, Seoul, South Korea and Sydney Australia. Here's a link to a very minimal press release. And here's a link to a blog that appears to be tracking or is part of the campaign itself. Have fun.
High on politics, or just not into presidential paintball? Play Kung-Fu Election by Atom Films. It's an online fighting game a la Street Fighter, except Chun Lee's less easy on the eyes.
Unless you're into Hillary like that.
You'll start out battling Romney, who in the hierarchy of fighting games is the weakest player. He still kicked our ass, though.
Check your shocks. You'd hate to kill a squirrel, wouldn't you?
For client Monroe Shocks and Struts, Cramer-Krasselt is banking on it. Watch this web drama about a young squirrel with a bright future, nearly scraped on the roadside by a cruel and insensitive duff who has crappy shock absorbers. (This time, we're sure the star of the ad is a squirrel.)
Wait a sec. Wouldn't better shock absorbers make you less likely to notice the body rolling under your tires?
"And the people of Iowa heard him, and chose to roll the dice," wrote Arianna Huffington last night, in a tone slightly reminiscent of the Old Testament.
Having dived headfirst into the choppy seas of political advertising (with help from Silverstein) in November, Huffington triumphantly positions Barack Obama's Iowa win as reason one and all should celebrate.
Yet another contextual (or badly demo-segmented) ad fart. Here's a funny little Flickr discussion sparked by a guy bamboozled by Facebook's poke at his fidelity.
Where is that $15 billion going? (It's not us asking. But we're sure the users are starting to.)
Right now AMC TV is pushing Breaking Bad, an online campaign to help promote a new series by the same name. It debuts on January 20 and has something to do with a chemistry teacher who "breaks bad," raises hell and changes the equation.
You can do your part in changing the equation by downloading all sorts of show swag from the site. Granted, we have no idea what equation they're referring to, and most of the time you'll be staring at a cube with symbols of the elements on it because the site lags so much, but hey. Neat site. Hope it generates tons of viewers.
For you so-called PPC "marketers" who write "intuitive" ad text and bid just as intuitively (read: wastefully), a thoughtful guy named Ian Fernando put together a Google Docs tool to (quantitatively!!!!) determine who clicks on what keywords, and how keywords convert.
It is useful. So use it.
Read his explanation.
Cracked.com posted a list of the 10 Most Laughably Misleading Ads. It's scored 3439 diggs so far. The description:
"So you're an inventor, and you've just created a product that actually sucks quite a bit more than the ones people are already using. How do you sell it?
"Why, by creating a cornball TV ad that portrays everyday tasks as being next to impossible without your product. As we'll see, the results range from ridiculous to downright sad."
Sassy bloggers, take note: Gawker might be down to drop you a few thou if you can raise traffic amongst its sites, which include Gizmodo, Valleywag and Defamer.
Jason Calacanis, the golden child of Weblogs Inc., looks at the compensation process as whoring for ratings. And we know from experience that whoring of any kind sets blows against sector quality.
"People are coming to blogs because they are NOT playing the ratings game! What difference does it make if a blog gets 10% or 20% traffic [spikes] if it alienates the core audience by playing the ratings game?" he says.