It seems those in the Pacific Northwest think alike when it comes to travel and tourism advertising. In early September, we took a look at a campaign for Horizon Air which highlighted the 200 mile stretch of Interstate 5 between Seattle and Portland. It's referred to The Slog for all the oddities and annoyances along the way that make taking a Horizon Air (of course) flight to traverse the distance instead.
In September, Corbis ran a contest called I Am Buried, which encouraged ad creatives to bitch about how hard life is in the most enviable job any college burnout ever dreamed of. Winners got shopping sprees, personal assistants and other stuff you fantasize about when you're depressed and not buying razors.
We held off on covering this because we thought it would be more interesting to wait after the campaign, so as to air out the dirty laundry of the winners. It turns out -- surprise of all surprises -- the winning stories were not really all that compelling.
One refers to something called "WORKIARRHEA" and somebody else made a chart of her dirty dishes, coupled with a somewhat depressing description of how her work piles up with no end in sight.
This must by far have been the suckiest contest ever, providing us with data only slightly more interesting than a discussion about corns, and somebody's attempt to be witty by referencing hufu during Advertising Week.
Because they heard we're in love with them - at least while intoxicated - some really enthusiastic PR chick won't stop sending us images and factoids about WeeWorld.
See how WeeMees can help add colour to Skittles or relentlessly rock that tired (Red) campaign we hate so much.
Off-topic, at the WeeWorld Cocktail Party a lady from Europe was telling us Americans often confuse the word "wee" with some kind of baby-talk that actually denotes "pee-pee" or a little boy's private parts instead of the adjective "small" - which is more common in Scotland than it is here.
Hm. Okay, then.
After YPulse on Friday, we're a little crazy about the idea of Whyville.
Whyville's yet another post-Second Life virtual world, except it's for tweens. Its citizens are mainly female, with girls comprising over 60 percent of the populace.
To explain why Whyville is so cool, we'll use the Scion example. Whyville erected the first virtual dealership for the boxy vehicle, which ended up yielding more test-drives for it than any physical place in the world.
Now, Kids can buy Whyville Scions for 15,000 clams - and if they're a little short, they can hit the Toyota lending agency to finance it.
BBC, to promote its upcoming music event, electric proms, has launched two digital efforts. The first is an image puzzle in which you try to find the 80 bands in the image who will be performing at the concert. This sounds very similar to another effort we saw about a year or tow ago but now can't remember who it was for. Virgin?
The second is a song name writing competition called Live Song which asks people to come up with song names. Five winners will have their songs written and performed by bands that are part of the electric proms event.
The campaign was created by Fallon and Hyper Happen. Rubber Republik handled viral distribution.
Renee Hobbs freaks us the fuck out.
Who is Renee Hobbs?
The director of My Pop Studio. And she's currently expounding on media education for girls at the YPulse conference.
My Pop Studio is a pretty interesting site. Founded on the notion that society promotes developing self through sales, it "pushes back" by imbuing girls with critical thinking skills for battling media messages.
A series of free online games teaches kids about how media works by letting them manufacture culture: you can observe how your feelings about a product (like lip gloss) change depending on the backgroud music, create a pop star, and practice multi-tasking.
This could be a great resource for kids. In fact, it probably already is - the site boasts partners like Alloy, and Hobbs champions her team as masters of viral and WOM marketing.
In the meantime, our experience of the product is colored entirely by Hobbs' own personality, who's an overwhelming real-life version of Nurse Ratchett.
- In an effort to more accurately capture true television viewership, Nielsen has announced it will triple the size of its national people meter to 37,000 households and 100,000 people. 100,000 to 300 million? Well that's better than before.
- Monster.com has consolidated its $155 million North American media buying responsibilities with Mediaedge:cia.
- For Heroes, NBC is taking advantage of a Nielsen loophole which allows the network to add ratings from this Saturday's repeat of the premiere back into Monday's premiere. The loophole states re-airings with the exact same content and advertising can be counted together.
- The Slingbox Guy is back and this time he's doing what TiVo should have done when it first launched: tell people what the product does.
Isn't it simply amazing how many different ways cereal maker can configure their product to get kids to eat it? Now, that bastion of children's cereal, Froot Loops, has introduced Cereal Straws which make eating cereal fun to "dip, sip and munch" not to mention its potential use as a coke snorting device.
Stella Artois has done a nice job elevating the online video to something much more that a simple add on to a website. The Stella Artois site uses video (a "full length film" if you will) as a navigational element. Created by Lowe, the film was shot on the set of Ingmar Bergman's last movie by members of the crew that work on The Illusionist and pauses every once in a while to offer up navigational options.
We really wonder if people do their homework before launching what they believe will become something akin to the next YouTube. The idea of commercials as content has been done many times before and has failed each time. However, the recently launched Firebrand doesn't seem to care and believes its offering of the "coolest" commercials served up MTV VJ-style will connect "consumers directly with their favorite brands in an integrated environment." How many billions of time have we heard that before?
We tried really hard not to laugh when Firebrand CEO Roman Vinoly said, "We program TV spots like a DJ spins music in a club. There is a rhythm and flow to it." In an attempt to spin Firebrand as something other than a massive database of commercials, Vinoly adds, "On Firebrand, you'll see more car chases, explosions, gags, drama, heroes, Oscar-winning actors, directors and producers in an hour than in a month of HBO." Right, dude. They're still fucking commercials. Not The Sopranos.