Microsoft Cuckolds the Search Beast with Games of Chicken

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Because Microsoft can't drive users to its search engine by merit (recall the Ms. Dewey effort), it's been dangling bait over internet users with various mind games and search-oriented word puzzles.

One such game is Chicktionary, where you try to build as many words as you can with a given set of scrambled letters. Once you engage an ad banner, you're driven to Live Search Club, where your engagement with the game is counted as ongoing use of Live Search.

This is how: each time you use the scrambled letters to make a word, successful words are counted as queries in the search engine, which then brings you its definition.

This and similar games have brought inordinately good tidings to the Microsoft search camp.

Clever.

by Angela Natividad    Sep-11-07    
Topic: Games, Good, Online



Evian Brand-Builds by Linking Between Purity and Bare Skin

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We're not really sure what purity has to do with wearing your underpants in the Alps, but apparently there's a connection.

Evian is proof that all good marketers own a thesaurus. Note connections between purity and innocence (free-wheeling nakedness); note connections between balance and the the meditation posture. If it helps sell water...

We love ourselves some naked. And if bare flesh says something about luxury drinking water, then by all means, bare all.

by Angela Natividad    Sep-11-07    
Topic: Brands, Online



Young Bond: Somehow Less Appealing than Older, Wiser Bond

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We do love a game with a snappy title like Avenue of Death. Put together by UK-based TAMBA, the object of the game is to guide Young Bond through a series of death traps. The game is a promotion for Hurricane Gold, a Young Bond book that's just recently come out.

Enter your score on the leaderboard and you could win "an exclusive piece of original Young Bond artwork, signed by Charlie Higson and Kev Walker."

After a quick run-through, we decided there's really nothing Bondian about the game at all. If anything, it brings Prince of Persia to mind. And when we fed our little hero to the big snake, he just stood there until the snake woke up and ate him. Then he screamed like a girl.

by Angela Natividad    Sep-11-07    
Topic: Games, Online, Promotions



The Toyota Rush! It Has Tires! That Leave (Possibly Blue) Tire Tracks!

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The Bakery, Jakarta sent us to unleash-yourself.com for some subsite-ribbing fun.

Word on the street is that this is a campaign for the Toyota Rush mini SUV. But after clicking on both the High and Low Bandwidth options, little has happened, and we've blown at least a minute in a half staring at these blue skid marks.

That's a long time to be staring at skid marks.

by Angela Natividad    Sep-11-07    
Topic: Bad, Online, Promotions



'Big Bang' Flips with (Too Much) Ease from Smart to Banal

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We're not sure how or why, but while trying to steal a Rich Media ad off MySpace we ended up downloading a widget for CBS' The Big Bang Theory.

After contemplating the widget for awhile we decided to look up the show. That quest brought us to this trailer, which is really less a trailer than a three-minute hard sell with a laugh reel and every cliche imaginable, strangely coupled with Bill Gates philosophy and new media name-dropping.

more »

by Angela Natividad    Sep-10-07    
Topic: Commercials, Online, Promotions, Television



'Hail, Stanford, Hail' is Down, Stanford, Down

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Fall semester is here, so now we've got uni-oriented campaigns to sift through. "Hail, Stanford, Hail" is an effort for that one school in California whose name we'll let you guess. This is the site. Note that it's down (or was when we looked). Hail, Stanford, Hail.

But when it's up, it hosts two clever little videos that include college antics dubbed with a professorial narrative. Here's some trivia: Stanford is the alma mater for the inventors of the microwave and the FM synthesizer.

Marshmallow bunny molesters and Guitar Hero fanboys everywhere thank you, Stanford. And at the very least, your campaign was way better than Temple's. (Although we still like Wilkes best.)

Hey, where are the ad campaigns for Berkeley? Oh yeah, everybody there is still on strike and lamenting the recent loss of Bob Marley.

by Angela Natividad    Sep-10-07    
Topic: Online, Promotions



Rob's Roos Uses Bad Egg Puns, Screams in Our Face, Just Generally Disgruntles Us

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What makes a website or an ad campaign EGGciting? Don't come here to find out. The music will appall you, the animation and imagery will bring you feverish memories of your attempts to build a site on GeoCities and AngelFire, and even the font makes us angry for some odd reason.

Shortly after asking in a manner most slow what makes a site or campaign EGGciting, a little mouth appears and screams in our faces to demonstrate, we don't know, the element of surprise. Thankfully we were already distracted by then so the full effect was lost on us.

Rob, whoever you are, leave the gurus to Axe and Tanqueray.

by Angela Natividad    Sep-10-07    
Topic: Online



Virgin America Presents Virgin America's Virgin Americans

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Virgin America has launched a campaign with a self-deprecating look and feel, slightly a la Perrier. By poking fun of its own neurotic clientele and unique flight experience (the vibrating chairs, the plugs, the as-you-order food), Virgin demonstrates it can laugh at itself while laughing ever-more-loudly at the competition, which just doesn't promote in the cool-as-shit way it does.

The animation used in the campaign was popularized by jaded kids floating shorts from Sick Animation or episodes of Adventure Time, which use the medium that first taught us about society to bitchslap it across the face.

Our favorite spot is "Plugs." The campaign was created by Anomaly, our new heroes for the next 10 minutes.

by Angela Natividad    Sep-10-07    
Topic: Campaigns, Commercials, Good, Online



Bulletproof Baby Has Trouble Pulling Off Bulletproof Guerilla Stunt

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Have you ever felt your baby was just not bulletproof enough? (If you are 50 Cent's mother, probably - or not, depending on how you look at it).

Visit Bulletproof Baby for bulletproof cribs, strollers, vests, toddler tasers and disturbing product-test videos, all meant to ensure that you, the discerning customer, have a happy bundle of steel.

Actually it's a stunt for New Line Cinema's Shoot 'Em Up, which is linked pretty prominently on the homepage. Even so, a PR person still saw fit to shoot us at least three emails this morning about how it was dramatically unveiled as a promotional effort after a long and controversial internet run. (We have serious doubts about this.)

And while we have no idea what that movie has to do with babies, we know it has plenty to do with bullets. And Clive Owen.

by Angela Natividad    Sep- 7-07    
Topic: Online, Promotions, Strange



KFC Makes Hunger Strike Game, and That's All We Can Say About It

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We're a little confused about this new game, dubbed Hunger Strike, for KFC. At first we thought it was like Pac-Man, but there don't appear to be any enemies to either run from or eat. Then we thought maybe it might be more esoteric, like this game, but no; the graphics don't really do anything, and the music is frozen in a hellish loop.

We just know we keep losing, and we don't understand why, so now we feel resentful toward chicken.

by Angela Natividad    Sep- 7-07    
Topic: Bad, Brands, Games, Online










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