TomTom Reveals Totally Inaccessible Book of Secrets

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This is a little maddening. Black Magic Marker brought our attention to TomTom's latest effort, a book of secrets that "highlights the unexpected features of their device."

That all sounds promising but after blowing eight minutes waiting for the TomTom Secrets site to load, we're convinced we can do without this particular mystery.

by Angela Natividad    Nov-12-07    
Topic: Bad, Online



Pen Cures Restless Mind Syndrome, Reveals Office Secrets

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So you're sitting in the lecture hall listening to the professor drone on endlessly about some inane topic that you'll never have use for during your lifetime. All good, right? Just rest your head on your hand and take a little nap until it's all over, right?

Yet another pointless class you have to take just for credit until...wait...what was that? Was that a thong? A thong?? The professor wearing a thong? OMG, that just doesn't happen. And a strategically placed tattoo...that talks? That never happens. Well, except, of course, in commercials which is exactly what this is; a promotional video for the Livescribe pen which promises to cure Restless Mind Syndrome otherwise known as thong-induced blackouts.

more »

by Steve Hall    Nov-12-07    
Topic: Good, Online, Video



Red Bull Launches Writing Contest in Britain

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Red Bull has added yet another promo to its growing line of user-created forrays.

The company that brought us the annual flying wonder-ridden Flugtag and Art of Can contests is now asking UK consumers to write its next TV ad.

Called the Red Bull Tall Story Contest, the brand artfully positions yet another CGM pandering campaign as an a kind of literary contest, by asking consumers to write a "witty short story."

Entries should follow in the spirit of its long-running cartoon spots, where someone gets wings after downing a Red Bull.

Adverblog says Red Bull will be promoting the contest with half a million pounds using radio, print and online advertising, in addition to on-campus student promos.

by Albert Kugel    Nov-12-07    
Topic: Campaigns, Consumer Created, Online, Promotions, Television



Strangely, Hitler's Star Shines at ad:tech

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Hitler Gets Banned, or the best XBox ad never made, had execs and journalists alike laughing to tears in the press room at ad:tech.

Its three-minute length made us iffy about watching it but we're glad we did. It gets really funny when he starts talking crap about Super Mario and spitting all over the place.

If the responses on YouTube are any indication, Hitler tapped a prominent fear when he lamented being left with only "a shitty N64" to comfort him.

by Angela Natividad    Nov-11-07    
Topic: Good, Online, Spoofs, Video



LG "Life's Good" Contest Approaches Deadline, Entries Could Use Some Sparkle

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The deadline for the LG "Life's good when..." video contest is fast approaching. In fact, it's Saturday at midnight. If you think you can beat a dancing baby and a Lego man that can't read packaging instructions, you have a pretty good chance of winning $18K in electronics.

The clock's ticking. Ready, set, record.

Submit 11th-hour oeuvres here.

by Angela Natividad    Nov- 9-07    
Topic: Games, Online, Video



ad:tech's Over, Playing Catch Up

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OK, OK, are you sick of it? What? How dare you? The show rocks, dudes! Don't be hating on it. OK, OK, so yea, four days of ad:tech and all of the puffery and pontification from the endless list of companies that continuously claim to the be the first, best and only at what they do when just two booths down, another company is shoveling the same sales sales spiel as if the other company doesn't exist. There really should be an odds game where we could place bets on which of the hundred companies that claim to do the same thing will still be around when the next ad:tech happens.

Since the Adrants "to be published" inbox is is about to explode from press release insanity, we're going to recap some of the news that occurred over the past few days so you can get up to speed since Adrants is the only advertising publication you read and you couldn't possibly have heard this news from any other source, right? OK, we can only hope. So here it is:

- Bill Green launched PayPerDiss, an not so subtle slam on Pay Per Post which recently change its name because it's sick of taking shit from everyone about its business model. Oh, come on, You know it's true. Remember Gator changing its name to Claria?

- Someone thinks a recent Canadian car ad that centers around a man raised by lions is a bit too similar to an older Honey comb cereal ad that centers around a boy raised by bees.

- The California Department of Public Health launched a video contest called Be a Reel Hero which asks people to submit videos with the winner's becoming part of the organization's ongoing anti-smoking campaign. Has the entire ad industry decided to take a nap and hand the keys over to amateurs?

more »

by Steve Hall    Nov- 9-07    
Topic: Industry Events, Online



Orange Enlists Poke, Which Launches Never-Ending Web Paaaagge...

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UK mobile telecom Orange hired Poke to come up with a never-ending take on the microsite.

The Good Things Should Never End site includes "100s of wind-up phone chargers [...] as giveaways," hidden in its nooks and crannies, says Poke's Iain Tait, putting method to the madness of spending your workday descending this flash-based world of wonder.

Kudos for the Easter Eggs. They're so under-used.

by Albert Kugel    Nov- 8-07    
Topic: Campaigns, Online, Promotions, Strange



Facebook Ad Announcement Leaves One a Little Wanting

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Yesterday Facebook unveiled its online ad plan to New York advertisers hither and yon. Here's the scheme prematurely hearkened as a contender to AdWords: advertisers can make their own branded pages!

For free!

And that's not all.

You can also buy banner ads -- LINKING TO YOUR PROFILE PAGE!

Overwhelming? Something like that. But it would be wrong to say Facebook disappointed its masses. It did toss in an analytics feature, after all, and friends can actually endorse stuff they recently bought, which then appears in news feeds.

That last part might be the most meaningful aspect of the announcement. If there's anything the inception of WOMMA taught us, it's that word of mouth has been a wildly underrated resource that fuels the success of any company. Our industry has been hard-pressed to generate WOM in a way that doesn't alienate buyers -- or worse, ring inauthentic.

So kudos to the Facebook team for thinking outside the box. We'll see how this simple idea affects the online ad mix.

by Angela Natividad    Nov- 7-07    
Topic: Announcements, Events, Good, Online, Social, Word of Mouth



VFX Guru Directs Short Film Exploring the Drudgery of Work

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Trevor Cawood, the visual effects guy behind Citroen Transformer and Nike Evolution, is now a full-on commercial director. Having recently been signed to Biscuit Filmworks, he was kind enough to upload his first short film: Terminus.

In appropriate VFX short film fashion, it opens with a concrete-like creature harassing a "1970s businessman." As the 8-minute film progresses, the businessman finds that colleagues are also being picked on by inanimate objects from the corporate setting: luggage conveyor belts, bland abstract art sculptures, etc., etc.

Is this a commentary on our growing intimacy with the office, resulting from new technology? Or is it a bleak view on how passive we've become? Whatever your take, criticism sure gets more interesting served with a large dose of CG.

Cawood also co-founded Vancouver-based Embassy VFX, the digital effects studio responsible for the Tetra Vaal short film that duped everyone into thinking military occupation droids were being shipped out to South Africa.

by Albert Kugel    Nov- 6-07    
Topic: Online, Strange, Video



Why Steal Time from a Feature When You Can Obscure It Instead?

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Unilever's Cup-a-Soup is running a campaign on a Netherlands-based video site called Dumpert. Instead of a typical pre-roll, a little banner-pulling plane flies into the video between 3 and 4 PM each day. (Cup-a-Soup's slogan is "4 o'clock? Cup-a-Soup."

The little plane banner thing is a response by Adjustables to pre-roll and ordinary banner advertising. The idea is to be less annoying than pre-roll while remaining eye-catching.

You can check out Adjustables' other advertising offerings: a logo, a banner, a ticker or a PiP (a little ad in one corner), which appear right on the video content.

We'd hate this.

by Angela Natividad    Nov- 5-07    
Topic: Agencies, Online, Video










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