STA Borrows Globe Idea, We Shake Heads in Righteous Disgust


No idea's original, but in any field the taboo is the same: if even a successful idea can be traced back to somebody else's sleeper hit, fingers get pointed. For a shining example, just look at Suzuki's attempts to be BMW.

A source tells us elements of the STA World Traveler Contest are suspiciously similar to an existing campaign that's lesser-known but more complete in scope. St. Georges School in the Grenada West Indies used the same pinpricked-globe format to highlight, not starry-eyed co-eds, but far-flung alumni they've accumulated over 30 years. Visit the St. Georges website and click on the 30 year anniversary logo at bottom left to catch the similarities.

If you don't feel like clicking back and forth, that's okay; we'll show you.

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by Angela Natividad    Feb-12-07    
Topic: Agencies, Bad, Campaigns, Online

Obama Launches Social Networking Site


It's not the first time a political candidate will have used social networking as part of a campaign strategy, but it's probably the first time a political candidate has ever created his or her own social networking site.

Enter My Barack Obama, a social networking space dedicated to users who'd like to help Obama get into the White House in '08. He also has a MySpace that's of course not made or endorsed by him but by some very serious fan out there who happens to have little to do but make thousands of friends on his behalf.

There's not too much you can say to trash a guy who acknowledges his own lack of qualifications and admits to doing drugs in college. But we've all seen how internet influence can make or break you. A word of warning, Obama: remember Howard Dean.

by Angela Natividad    Feb-12-07    
Topic: Campaigns, Good, Online, Social

Jeep and Marvel Fight Crime, Draw Pictures for Patriot


To promote the Patriot, Jeep gets cozy with Marvel Comics and their built-in audience of former geeks, geeks-in-training, pop aficionados, and mutants like us (we turn everything we touch into AWESOME).

The campaign site includes a progressive comic-drawn adventure scrawled by Bing Cansino. Users can input their own storylines as the tale progresses. The winning tale gets penned by Cansino and may result in an autographed original page sketch.

Yeah, it's consumer-gen. Again. But it's way better than Jeep Compass and that strange bobble-head/karaoke stuff.

by Angela Natividad    Feb- 9-07    
Topic: Good, Online

Real Estate Firm Puts 'Felicity' in Luxury Loft, Slaps it On Youtube


To promote its Donovan homes, Cressey Development Group launches Donovan Life, a well-produced but rather poorly-acted lifestyle series "about young urban professionals full of energy and ambition who are looking for a comfortable environment to enjoy the best the city has to offer," explains director Roger Evan Larry. The films are produced by his film and TV production company, Relevision.

The idea's a good strategy for getting people thinking inside the space. Who wouldn't want to own the apartments inhabited by the cast members of Friends?

Unfortunately this isn't Friends, or Felicity, or Will and Grace, or Sex and the City or anything else it's shooting for. But the series is shooting for pilot status, so maybe that will change and another ditsy but happy-go-lucky city ingenue will have her moment in the spotlight. Should the producers succeed in this noble quest, it'll be an awesome first for real estate marketing.

Check out an episode of Donovan Life here.

by Angela Natividad    Feb- 9-07    
Topic: Online, Product Placement, Video

2 Hormonal Co-Eds + 4 Countries = STA World Traveler Contest


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?

by Angela Natividad    Feb- 9-07    
Topic: Campaigns, Games, Good, Online

MySpace Destroys Dreams, Erodes Need for Reunions


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.

by Angela Natividad    Feb- 8-07    
Topic: Online, Research, Social, Trends and Culture

Weird Outer Space Bug Game Used to Promote Eclipse Gum


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.

by Angela Natividad    Feb- 8-07    
Topic: Brands, Games, Online

Sex Tape Yields Yet Another Non-Celeb


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.

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by Angela Natividad    Feb- 7-07    
Topic: Celebrity, Online, Video

Pontiac Offers Money...As Long As You Buy A Car


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:

  1. MySpace users buy a Pontiac G5.
  2. They register their purchase on the "Friends With Benefits" profile page.
  3. 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.

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by Steve Hall    Feb- 7-07    
Topic: Brands, Online, Promotions, Social

Kick Start Uses Talking Ass to Make Mulish Boys Study


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.

by Angela Natividad    Feb- 7-07    
Topic: Online, Strange

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