It's become part of the 20-something cliche to leave college and see the world. That's why we think the STA Travel 193 campaign by Night Agency is doing so well. Upon the contest's end a winner will be selected to become a "world traveler" over a two-person trip to four countries.
The campaign features a little Flash globe with clickable videos where you can watch people talk about their experiences in a given country. It's a little like being back in college again, watching those EAP kids give speeches about how their lives have changed forever post beer-chug in Munich.
With next to no media money spent this invitation has garnered over 6000 leads for STA in its first week. Now how can we possibly have an immigration problem when everybody's just raring to leave?
Lynette Web points us to a study that finds most teens are in a social network (duh) but also finds that the prevalence of social networks may devalue longtime humiliating (or triumphant) traditions like reunions for those way past teenhood.
"For instance, we recently talked about having our five-year class reunion, and I found that most of the people I asked said they really had no reason to get together in five years because they used sites like MySpace and Facebook to stay in touch with anyone they really wanted to keep up with, anyway," says Sam Ford of Convergence Culture.
That's disappointing. What have we been working so hard for if in the next five years we can't show our former nemeses how awesome we still look, then act really sweet and invite them (and their six screaming babies) to sit next to us? We have officially lost our will to go on. MySpace, you destroy everything you touch.
Candystand concocts yet another diversion called Eclipse Polarity, an odd cross between a space and a jungle game where you shoot at mechanical bug-looking things before they shoot you first. Careful, they can shoot in diagonals too.
We've died several times in our generous attempt to test it for you and we have to say ping pong remains our favourite out of all the games Candystand has sent us in its effort to sway us from our divine ad-trashing mission. So if you want to try Eclipse Polarity, godspeed. If not, we'll see you at the ping pong table.
Apparently a sex tape phase is something you go through when you become Paris Hilton's latest elbow buddy. And while we thought Paris was genuinely pissed when her sex tape found its way into public hands, we have trouble believing the same about Kim Kardashian, whose non-career can only improve by proof of coitus with co-star Ray J, who himself is really only famous by association to sister Brandy.
A spokesperson for Kim says she's been caught "completely off-guard" by the forced release, and he vigilantly promises she'll take legal action. After seeing the stylized images and the way she plays up the camera on the badly-named Kim K Superstar, it's easy to imagine she probably prepped for the role in front of her bedroom mirror months in advance. Half-conscious gropes in the dark these ain't.
In a twist on the usual interpretation of "friends with benefits," currently getting play on Boston Legal and because Pontiac says it's on the forefront of social networking (their words, not ours), the company is launching a Leo Burnett Detroit-created Friends With Benefits MySpace site which promises to offer awards to friends of those who buy Pontiac G5s. Pontiac tells us the promotion works as follows:
- MySpace users buy a Pontiac G5.
- They register their purchase on the "Friends With Benefits" profile page.
- They start getting cash benefits through their "Friends With Benefits" debit card, all the way up to $1,000.
Umm, buying an entire car just to join a promotion? Oh sure, we can understand the post-purchase, down-the-line benefits but, whoa, that's some price of entry. Getting a free. Oh but hey, if your gonna buy a G5 anyway and get up to $1,000, what's to complain about? Oh but wait. You have to bribe your friends to get a G5 too in order to earn the dough.
VIA Group, the same people who brought you the spilt-milk crying fiasco, orchestrate a strange little gimmick for Kick Start, a campaign to keep kids straight about school.
Because we all know how well that Mr. Ed concept flew, Kick Start introduces Norm the donkey, which magically appears in the bedroom of a boy playing video games, gives him a pep-talk and hind-kicks him when he refuses to do his homework. The boy is then convinced he really should do his homework and is even fascinated by it.
We tried to visit the Kick Start website but confused the actual one with another Kick Start organization for kids that's run by Chuck Norris. Chuck Norris, helping kids build character? Now that would really kick ass. We heard he does all his grocery shopping at Home Depot.
We love it when companies "discover" social networking, hop on board late in the game, rip off all existing social networking ideas out there, pick a colour template, and then issue a press release saying it's not your average social networking scene.
This is exactly what Conde Nast has done with its on-the-fringe teen site Flip. The only difference is we're not used to seeing so much advertising for Conde Nast merch concentrated in one space. It's a little like a magazine-toting make-up-wearing fifteen-year-old diva tripped over the internet and threw up, resulting in an explosion of purple hearts, stars, flowers, swirls and Lucky ads.
Flip also includes snazzy but deceptive new terminology. Contrary to popular ideas about flip books, creating a flip book on Flip results in what we typically call a photo album or slideshow. But the population, mainly teenage artists and revolutionaries, doesn't seem to mind. And that's what's really important, right? So here's to yet another completely unique social networking website.
If you are involved in email marketing as a brand, as an agency on behalf of a brand, as a list owner or as a provider, you have certainly hit your head against the wall trying to process all the myriad details that go along with the practice; CanSpam issues, deliverability, response rates, affiliate relationships, effect of Subject line, proper frequency, spam filters, competitive activity, offer effectiveness and email design to name a few. A company we've been following for some time but have never written about is Email data Source, a company that answers all these questions. Each time we see a demo, we are amazed at what this thing can do.
Can't the French think of anything besides sex? Probably not, and that's why we love them so much. Bikini's College is the self-proclaimed first interactive guide to international flirting.
Alt-Buzz is stoked about this Bikini's College thing but we're pretty confused, particularly after seeing promo video My Teacher is Sexy which could be a very effective ad for encouraging adolescent boys to stay in school. (More effective than this, anyway.) Still, we're liking this growing trend of finding universal ways to hook up. Who says globalization is a bad thing?
For pseudo-scientists still toting the efficacy of subliminal advertising, we bring you Hypno Marketing, an Australia-born method for turning even the most cynical of purchasers into brand evangelists for life. All they need is a few hours with said consumer.
"Hypno-marketing is not dangerous nor is it evil," says general manager Gavin Hawke. "Hypnosis and marketing use similar techniques to motivate people into a particular behavioural pattern. We cannot remove the free will from people but through our re-programming we believe we can control the individuals' decision making process."
Well, if hypnosis can get people to stop smoking, why wouldn't it work for marketing? And we're sure consumer-wannabes will be breaking the doors down at marketing evangelist hypnosis seminars. Who wouldn't want to be further cannibalized by every ad they see?