We hold a special place in our hearts for little girls carrying cupcakes because of an ad for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints that we used to see all the time when we were kids.
To this day, it still makes us hungry for multiple halves of love-smattered confections.
Along the same altruistic vein (except without the whole changing-religions part), Merkle launched an interactive bakery called Cupcakes for a Cause to raise money for Cancercare. Every virtual cupcake sold means $1 toward research for a cure.
But talking of cupcakes would be lame if you couldn't actually eat one. The campaign also involves bake sales with sponsoring homes and bakeries. Oh heaven.
Here's some food for thought as you consider just how smartly your marketing budget is being spent. Recently, a media buyer refused to place a buy on a site because the site's content was deemed unsuitable. All well and good but then the same media buyer placed the same buy on a blind ad network (a buy that is made without knowing on which sites the ads will appear).
We bet you can guess what happened next. Yup. The ad appeared on the site that was deemed unsuitable because the blind ad network buys ads from the same, so-called unsuitable site. One, perhaps, can't fault the buyer since they had no idea the ad would appear on the site they thought should not be part of the buy but doesn't the entire blind buy thing seem idiotic? It's like, "Hey, let's throw some money at a stripper and see what sticks to her thong." Not the most efficient use of one's cash.
This "Infinite OZ" subsite for the Sci-Fi Channel's Tin Man does little besides guide passive visitors deeper, deeper and still deeper into worlds sitting inside other worlds, kind of like those marbles at the end of Men in Black.
Entrance looks and feels like the rabbit hole Lewis Carroll's Alice fell into, except slower and scarier (vestiges of Pink Floyd, maybe?). Advertisers will also be happy to know that the first thing a person sees upon penetrating the refurbished Oz is a billboard.
Granted, it veers into a totally fucked-up, scary and apparently deserted world, but hey, this is very good news for those seeking a more interactive user experience.
And oh god. Did a disembodied female voice just say "There's no place like the O-Z"? You did not go there, Calle & Pelle Sjonell. (This is their last gig for Fallon, Minneapolis before they move on to BBH, NY.)
Tin Man premieres November on the Sci-Fi Channel. After traveling for 10 minutes into the void with no end in sight, part of us does want to see the show.
We haven't heard a peep from Saturn since the Aura's mad diss by Bob Garfield. But the company hopes to reinvent itself with the Astra (try not to confuse the names), targeted directly at MySpacers.
To celebrate its call to "Rethink," users are invited to take a test drive. Try to work out what's going on with the laggy PowerPoint-esque site while trying to ignore the corny copy: "Go. Stop. Look. Turn. Repeat. Is this really how we fall in love with a car?"
It may not be the formula for falling in love with a car, but it sounds suspiciously like the directions on a shampoo bottle, except with too many confusing demands.
This playful little campaign by Grupo W, Mexico is for Hershey's Icebreakers, and the object of each interaction -- for those who don't speak Spanish -- is to demonstrate how "The truth tastes better." Especially with Icebreakers.
There's also a companion site that roughly translates to The Flavor of Your Truth, where you can spell out your personal truth and create a new brand image out of pictures tagged with the words you used.
It all sounds very Dorian Gray. Do you really want to know what your truth looks like?
- Mini Cooper has a couple of new sites up. One provides better things to do with your lunch hour and the other...well, you have to wait until lunch time to find out.
- What could possibly be exciting about insurance? Right. Nothing and Insurance .com knows this so they've launched May the Best Win, a video competition.
- Why be bothered with the expense and annoyance of interacting with real people an an industry trade show when you can go to a virtual one while sitting at your computer in your underwear?
- For Boston's Hatch Awards, Arnold created this opening video spoofing the creation of a 1984-style Apple commercial and a focus group which trashed it.
How do you get a passel of users to interact with your ad? Give them a compelling scenario with a cliffhanger that demands they mouse over to learn more.
Not a bad strategy. But a conversation about figure skating...? Come on, T-Mobile.
Our best guess is they were trying to capture the kind of inane conversation you'd have on a landline. (That is, before the advent of "free nights and weekends.") But the "hours later..." punchline isn't that great, either.
For those seeking a hero in a beauty queen, Miss America has created her own browser to protect young girls from online predators.
Each site the browser accesses is filtered and approved by the Miss America Organization and the Children's Educational Network. It also reads email out loud and can instruct kids to do laundry or homework, based on parental programming.
Par for the course if she can improve the ratio for the 1/5 Americans who can't locate the States on a map. Miss South Carolina failed miserably in that regard, but maybe that's why she didn't win the crown.
We love Diesel. We've been shopping there since we were old enough to comfortably blow triple digits on sneakers.
So maybe it's our bias when we look at one of their myriad scatterbrained campaigns and suggest that maybe Diesel does know what it's doing. Maybe they're the rock stars of the fashion world: burn-outs on the outside, but soaked in talent and a profound quest for meaning from within.
We were about to trash this concept, but now we're not sure if we want to. Pay it to Me! is a site where people can post images of stuff they want, with the cost and currency prominently displayed. Then an advertiser buys the item for the person and gets some traffic to their website in exchange.
Sounds simple enough, but we had it explained to us once and still had to reread it on the site. It's hard to tell what the site is for unless you scroll down a little.
It also doesn't seem like traffic is jumping, though the creators hope they've got the next Million Dollar Homepage on their hands.
Either way, this could be an awesome opportunity to ask for completely inane stuff. Like Lincoln Logs put together in the shape of Jesus. Or a car made out of cake. Come on, baby, pay it to me.