Blogs Launch, Online Ad Spend Up, Toy Explains, Brands Clueless

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- Former Gawker Founding Editor Elizabeth Spiers, now founder of Dead Horse Media plans to launch several new blogs. One will cover organic living.

- Online ad spending is predicted to increase 18 percent in 2007 while media spend in other media decline.

- If you want the background behind those 20 websites Toy, New York created for OfficeMax, here's the video that recaps the project.

- Apparently, consumers aren't the only ones having trouble understanding a brand's positioning. In a recent Louws Management Corporation study, it was found just 1/4 could clearly articulate their company's brand positioning. Oops.

- Incumbent Riney is out of the Sprint Nextel pitch. Goodby, O&M and Y&R remain.

- Boobs and bikinis are now hawking coffee at coffee shops.

by Steve Hall    Jan-31-07    
Topic: Online, Publishing, Research, Weblogs



Geico Opens Up the Caveman's Crib

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Geico's getting all sorts of mileage out of its rising star, the caveman. He gained fame in the insurance company's television commercials and now Geico is letting us into his home crib-style with Caveman's Crib. Once inside, you can take a virtual tour of the Caveman's apartment as he gets ready for a party he is hosting. The level of detail and the places you can go once inside the apartment is impressive

You've gotta love the answering machine in the kitchen. One of the messages is from Jerry Shannon (from Geico, we assume) in response to complaints the Caveman lodged when he saw himself in a Geico ad as he rode the conveyor in one of the television commercials. Very cool how this is all tied together as an integrated story. Zev Kanter sent is the link and tells us he worked on the creation of this in-house job.

by Steve Hall    Jan-30-07    
Topic: Good, Online



Axe Turns Woman's Super Bowl Date Auction Into Promotion

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The LAist, now written by the legendary Tony Pierce, tells the story of a Brentwood, Callifornia woman, Sarah, who created an eBay auction to sell herself to the highest Super Bowl ticket holding bidder. The winner would take Sarah, a Chicago Bears fan, to the game and Sarah would be the perfect date for the day. Well, eBay doesn't like people auctioning themselves off so they closed the bid but Axe heard of it and turned it into a promotion.

The company that prides itself in functioning as a woman magnet for men gave Sarah four end zone tickets to the Super Bowl. She's bringing two of her female friends and the fourth ticket is being given away to the man (or woman, we guess) who crafts the most convincing email and sends it to hotsuperbowldate@hotmail.com. Way to latch on, Axe!

by Steve Hall    Jan-30-07    
Topic: Good, Online, Promotions, Social, Super Bowl 2007



Treehugger Says Green's in Your Face

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Berlin-based Mairie Beautyman over at Treehugger says the movement to get society more enviro-conscious made some serious inroads this 2006. That's good news. And to illustrate the point there's some pretty yummy imagery:

"Let's play with metaphors and say Green in 2006 was a strapping football player, a quarterback with a helluva arm. This guy got right up in your face, and breathing down your neck, he told you, "I'm not going anywhere." Then, suited up in threads including post- consumer plastic, shod with vegan cleats, he threw his fair-trade-certified recycled pigskin right out of town."

Imaginative. But what's with all this talk? Somebody needs to send a creative team over there so they can do more than just pipe dream these delectable (and yeah, probably also recyclable) scenarios.

by Angela Natividad    Jan-30-07    
Topic: Online, Opinion



Rembrandt Releases Upcoming Kissing Ad on Youtube

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This past Sunday during Desperate Housewives Rembrandt Oral Care aired a commercial for its long-running and very pretty Brilliant Mouth campaign. It's available on YouTube so you can check it out here.

The use of romance to hawk hygiene isn't new; Listerine has been doing it as far back as the '50's, admonishing conscientious teenage boys to check their breath twice before that big date. And don't even get us started on Lysol, which used to be a douche (the feminine kind, not this kind).

So this is a contemporary take on a very old idea. The imagery is better than in the '50's though, and we like that Rembrandt takes a grown-up approach instead of trying to compete with all those overgrown Crest Kids. We are way over sparkly gum-flavoured toothpaste.

by Angela Natividad    Jan-30-07    
Topic: Campaigns, Online, Television



Auntie Anne's Pretzels Dips Into Web 2.0

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For Valentine's Day Auntie Anne's unleashes a slew of websites into the ether, kind of like Office Max did last December. Each features some weird animation, a video or an invitation to expound on love's meaning. Plus each e-card has a coupon for a free pretzel.

We can think of few things we want more on Feb 14 than supple golden curves so we can hardly complain. And we know people under a budget will probably appreciate the free pretzel provision. The sites for the campaign are:

www.aLoveYouCanCountOn.com
www.FunkyValentine.com
www.CupidsDiet.com
www.LoveIsForTheDogs.com
www.ItWasWorthIt.com
www.aPairOfMonkeys.com
http://www.whatisloveanyway.com/
http://www.shessotwisted.com/
http://www.threedownfouracross.com/

by Angela Natividad    Jan-30-07    
Topic: Campaigns, Online



People Actually Need A Search Engine to Find MySpace

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Is it just us or are people idiots when it comes to navigating to popular websites? A recent Hitwise study featured on eMarketer found MySpace to be the top search term for 2006. Also on the list are ebay, Yahoo and Mapquest. Are we the only ones that realize all you have to do is add a .com to these popular names rather than search for them? Hmm. I suppose somewhere in the world, there are still people who haven't heard of the Internet either. Oh well. At least Hitwise is making some money with this nonsense.

by Steve Hall    Jan-29-07    
Topic: Bad, Brands, Online, Research



RMX Direct Gets Best Ad Revenue For Small Publishers

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If you're a small publisher and you want to insure you are getting the most revenue you possibly can from your advertisers, you might want to check out the just launched RMX Direct from Right Media, a service that pits inventory-bidding ad networks against each other and serves the highest paying one to the publisher. Automatically. Currently, RMX Direct has nine ad networks in its system but publisher can add as many others as they want and pit them against the existing networks for bidding.

We'll admit it's one of the few sites we've been to that actually does a good job explaining what the company does and how it can benefit the parties involved: advertiser, publisher and ad network. While we haven't used the product, if you're trying to maximize revenue as a publisher, it sure sounds like something one should check out.

by Steve Hall    Jan-29-07    
Topic: Good, Online, Publishing, Tools



Ad Spend for Sex Oil Builds Momentum at Expense of Critical Friction

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According to Advertising Age, marketing for female arousal sex products will be jumping in '07 with ramped-up campaigns for K-Y Jelly's warming fluid and Zestra's arousal oil.

The act of sex in 2007 sounds like it'll be both exhausting and mildly frustrating. With men on Viagra and women oiling up as if for competitive sports it's a wonder we won't all die of hyper-achieverism come 2008. We hear Microsoft has a cure for that though. More importantly, does this mean our spam rate is going to double?

by Angela Natividad    Jan-29-07    
Topic: Brands, Online



Match.com Shoots for Unsexy in New Ads

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After Bob Garfield demolished them for disseminating unrealistic online puffery, we're impressed by Match.com's latest initiative, which takes a more intelligent approach than vapid sex-obsessed competitor True. The aim is to draw warmth to Match.com from people who still pan online dating as creepy, oversexed or are simply just too shy.

It came as a surprise when we learned not everybody is won by a sex-based approach. What do you mean sex doesn't always sell? Of course it does. That's why the phrase is "Sex sells" and not "Sex only sometimes sells" or "Sex just sells if you're living an ongoing abnormal state of puberty." No. It always sells.

Campaign by New York-based Hanft Raboy & Partners.

by Angela Natividad    Jan-29-07    
Topic: Campaigns, Good, Online










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