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!
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.
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.
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.
For its client Kajeet, Philly-based Red Tettemer launched an 8-part webisode campaign called The Mysterious Mystery of the Malfunctioning Pets. One episode will be unveiled every week on Dudeworld.
Kajeet provides pay-as-you-go cell phone service for kids. Participating tweens will be able to help decide the ending.
A few seconds into the first episode we heard this high-pitched scream, the likes of which we haven't experienced since Sailor Moon.
After you cross the threshold of age 13, you just can't process that kind of sound anymore. Some small part of us died.
Anyway, the episode was cute. If our pets malfunctioned, we'd probably just sell them.
We were going to make some sort of "more whimper than bang!" type joke right about hereish, but all we can really hear right now is the endless sound of sucking.
That's because Dan Fielding's Domestic God sponsor is the one and only Electrolux. The big news was revealed on the snarling comedian's MySpace after a three-month scavenger hunt for the sponsor in which you had to consume almost as much Dan Fielding propaganda as the guy himself does.
According to this video, Dan Fielding is a comic book character sponsored by Electrolux. Per the plot, his girlfriend leaves him because of his mess. No big shocker there.
Fielding also goes to lengths to highlight how his favorite books, authors and movies -- listed on MySpace -- all have to do with identity deception.
Yeah, because the inclusion of JT LeRoy didn't give that one away.
Here's a new ad for the 40 gigabyte Playstation 3. It was put together by TBWA\Chiat\Day, LA. The song is called Ladies and Gentlemen by Saliva.
Nice way to showcase the visually arresting aspects of the console, but let's face it, the PS3 will never be the Wii. And to be honest, all this uber-sleek metal shit lacks the confidence PS3's ads demonstrated before Sony knew it would be a flop. You know, like that scary baby spot. There was also a pretty good one involving a Rubik's cube.
And here are some EyeWonder ads for the same campaign: 1, 2. We're not really fans of EyeWonder spots but if they were all as visually interesting (and as quiet) as these ones, we might feel differently.
With the reported launch of OpenSocial, which enables developers to build apps for a multiplicity of social networks and not just one -- including a Google social network that spreads its net over its other properties -- Google has enlisted MySpace as a partner.
And that's just the headliner. Others include Engage.com, Friendster, hi5, Hyves, imeem, LinkedIn, Ning, Oracle, orkut, Plaxo, Salesforce.com, Six Apart, Tianji, Viadeo, and XING as founding partners in OpenSocial.
According to Fortune, Facebook was pointedly not invited to the knitting circle. "Despite reports, Facebook has still not been briefed on OpenSocial," said (obviously butthurt) spokesperson Brandee Barker.
There may be just cause. John Battelle says Facebook's coming out with an AdWords killer next week.
The plot thickens.
If you don't know your place, the Queen Bee will find you. And kill you. < / maniacal laughter >
You know how the Leo Burnett website does that cute (but sort of messy) thing with the pencil? Labov & Beyond must've seen it and gone, "Hey, we should turn that whole 'scribble' concept into the core model of our site redesign."
Because that's exactly what it did.
While the eBay we know and love is busy terrorizing holiday icons, eBay France highlights buyers' individuality with a little bit of TV love.
Its new campaign, eBay c'est vous (eBay: it's you!), orchestrated by BETC EuroRSCG, encourages online sellers to buy ad space in TV spots for products in a given category.
Adverblog explains that 10 product categories will go up for grabs, with sellers bidding for each space. Money collected by eBay will be donated to a charity called Planete Urgence.
Very "web 2.0." (Can we ban that phrase forever?) The big question is how the ads are going to be put together. Our guess is that there will be guidelines similar to what sellers fill out when they put items up for auction. That'll keep things nice and organized.
Nike and Major League Baseball play on the United Colors of Benetton to give us the United Countries of Baseball, a world segmented by team allegiances instead of by states or countries.
The idea is to map the "borders of fan loyalty." Each baseball-playing country has its own map, alongside posters with player nicknames specific to each territory.
The campaign was orchestrated by Cole & Weber United.
We actually didn't think baseball had a rabid fan base any longer. Post-steroids scandal, it looks like basketball is taking the whole "American Dream" torch. See recent promotions for Dwyane Wade and Monta Ellis.