YPulse: Why Whyville Ain't Just Fun; It's Useful


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.

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by Angela Natividad    Oct- 1-07    
Topic: Good, Online

Electric Prom Concerts Get Song Naming Contest And Find-A-Band Site


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.

by Steve Hall    Sep-28-07    
Topic: Good, Online, Viral

YPulse: Condescension Does Not a Responsible Marketer Make

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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.

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by Angela Natividad    Sep-28-07    
Topic: Bad, Cause, Industry Events, Online

Nielsen Triples, Monster Consolidates, NBC Cheats, Slingbox Chats


- 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.

by Steve Hall    Sep-28-07    
Topic: Agencies, Brands, Online, Research, Television, Tools

Kellogg's Froot Loops Cereal Straws the New Coke Snorting Device


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.

by Steve Hall    Sep-26-07    
Topic: Online, Strange

Lowe Turns Film Into Website Navigation 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.

by Steve Hall    Sep-26-07    
Topic: Good, Online

Firebrand Thinks People Will Actively Seek Commercials


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.

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by Steve Hall    Sep-26-07    
Topic: Bad, Cable, Commercials, Mobile/Wireless, Online, Opinion, Television

Forget Dating Sites, the Mail Order Bride is Back in Vogue

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The college-bound doll at left is going for a steal at $19,995 on Marry Our Daughter, where families can safely sell stone-footed girls for a price soothing enough to eradicate in-law strife.

Harking back to arranged marriage in the Biblical sense, the site's a publicity stunt orchestrated by women who actually were sold into marriage. They hope to shed light on the mail order bride industry at large, and on loopholes across the nation that enable minors to marry, says Newsweek.

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by Angela Natividad    Sep-26-07    
Topic: Cause, Online, Spoofs, Strange, Viral

'The Electric Church' Delivers Eternal Salvation


If there's any category of marketer who has dramatically altered the way they market their product, it would be book publishers. Publishers have jumped head first into what online marketing has to offer. From using blog, to social networking sites to video to dedicated websites, the category has forever left behind its formerly staid marketing practices. Surely, they are not alone but they tend to stand out more so than others.

To market the book The Electric Church, a science fiction novel about eternal life via brain transplant into cyborg avatars (or something like that), has launched a BlogAd campaign and a site that takes you inside the church in a freaky sort of way. The creative includes interactive elements from the site. It's definitely simple but simple is more often than not all it takes to deliver a message.

by Steve Hall    Sep-25-07    
Topic: Good, Online, Publishing

If Microsoft Bites, Zuckerberg May Join Billionaire Boys' Club


Think Facebook is worth $10 billion? It will prove worth that and more if Microsoft decides to take a 5 percent stake in the company for $300 million to $500 million.

Word of Microsoft's intentions has also got Google sniffing back up the ass of everybody's favourite social network. Not bad pickin's considering Facebook is expected to suck in $150 in revenue this year, of which $30 million will be profit.

Talk about fiat value. Here's to Facebook, which isn't so much "connecting" people as it is printing its own scrilla-scratch-dough.

by Angela Natividad    Sep-25-07    
Topic: Brands, Online, Strange

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