Multi-talented Iranian Women Tweet Election Chaos, Become Soulmates


OK so Iranian women, in place of the muzzled media, are getting all social using Facebook and Twitter to tell the world about the country's election chaos. By most accounts, they're doing a pretty good job.

What's not doing a good job is favorite whipping boy, contextual advertising, a form of advertising which never fails to amuse, shock, surprise or baffle. The latest contextual corrigendum come amidst a news report about Tehran Tweeters. All while Iranian women diligently make use of social media to circumvent the news blackout, Iranian Personals pimps its bevy of "Iranian Soul Mates" to those who care more about flirting and dating than taking an interest in world events.

by Steve Hall    Jun-17-09    
Topic: Bad, Online, Strange

Staples Hops the Cause Caboose.


To win both the youth and the responsible parent vote, Staples commissioned social marketing firm Mr. Youth to develop "Do Something 101," a cause program that's, at the very least, relevant to the office supply chain's MO.

Campaign elements, from what we can tell, are a Facebook Fan page and a Facebook app. (That's it?!) Participating students are encouraged to build a custom backpack by tagging their friends and then donate money to help the 13 million kids in the States that can't afford school supplies.

Every completed backpack makes participants eligible for a chance to go to New York and meet Ciara, who can teach you the one-two step*, which is as good a reason as any to drum up crayon cash for your less-plush peer.

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by Angela Natividad    Jun-17-09    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Cause, Celebrity, Online, Social

Van-Tastic Seeks Freeloaders for Ultimate Aussie Roadtrip


"We're looking for seven pairs of travellers, one for each of Australia's stunning states, to become Van-Tastic Adventurers."

Winning pairs will be flown from anywhere in the world to Australia, where they'll be given a "karmic campervan" that looks a lot like the Plaid Nation tourbus, actually. They'll also get to digicams and laptops for six weeks, $1000 worth of gas, free access to the area's top attractions and a list of places to go.

But that's not all! The best travel documentary produced by one of the seven couples gets $10,000 and two Virgin Blue domestic flights.

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I Broker Mildly Complex Summer Promotions; What's YOUR Superpower?


So the Radisson is running this summer-long promotion called "FRIDAY IS FREEDAY," which is about as straightforward as winning FREE! timeshare. If you book at participating Radissons between May 15th and September 15th, you can score a free Friday, provided you stay two or more consecutive nights, including a Thursday or Saturday.

And as an added bonus, you also get free internet (ALL days!) and a buy one, get one free coupon for TGI Friday's.

To promote this truly cockles-warming offer, the Radisson is disseminating a web series about a little boy who's unwillingly taken on vacation by his mediocre dad and ditzy mom. He's rescued from total ennui by a Radisson employee with a heart of gold, who outfits him in free hotel gear and turns him into a FREEDAYS FRIDAYS! superhero.

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by Angela Natividad    Jun-16-09    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Online, Promotions, Video

Toddler Does a Dance! And This is Why You Should Buy Designer Water.


Remember the Ally McBeal days when the whole dancing baby gimmick was fresh and new, then companies like Etrade and Evian decided to leverage that same creepy phenomenon to sell things?

Yeah, us too. Anyway, Evian sent us its latest baby video, "Baby Moonwalk," which features a cute toddler that suddenly, randomly moonwalks. Consider this the fine water bottler's contribution to YouTube's amateur vid bargain bin.

Can't get enough involuntary baby manipulation? Watch for the Evian Live Young baby film -- coming to a monitor near you!

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by Angela Natividad    Jun-16-09    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Online, Video

Celebu-Hatin', Crowdsourced Chrome Ads, Better Shopping By App


- Celebs discover, via social media, that they are hated. And then the whole world cried.

- The best Facebook vanity URL, and more on that land-grab in general.

- Yummy and functional absinthe packaging.

- An app to aid conspicuous shopping.

- Film yourself building the Google Chrome icon; get love from the Internet's favourite monopoly.

- Eclectic Method remixes, mashes up and edits before live audience.

- Zombies. Skittles. Advergaming.

by Angela Natividad    Jun-15-09    
Topic: Events, Games, Online, Social

...But Are You Sure This Isn't Hooters?


"Hi, honey, welcome to Coca-Cola Zero Headquarters."

We give you, Coke Zero's sad attempt to compete with Pepsi Max -- "The diet drink for men!" -- for the waist-watching XY vote.

Gonna side with @BranislavPeric on this one: the execution is clean, with hardly any laggage and a nice flow from video intro to engagement tools; but there's nothing remotely Coca-Cola about it. It's a cheap silicon-enhanced take on a brand that's supposed to feel perpetually familiar, family-friendly, feel-good and G-rated for the most part.

Girl-on-girl intro-to-porn vibe and ditzy platitudes like "honey" aside, the tackiest part of the presentation is the loading period preceding the interactive environment. After you select an activity at digital Headquarters, you get the pleasure of watching the pelvises of both hostesses sway slowly in the background.

Thank North Kingdom when you're done rubbing the grease off your monitor.

by Angela Natividad    Jun-12-09    
Topic: Brands, Online, Packaging, Worst

Hey Weird, an Augmented Reality Tool that's Useful


To strengthen the US Postal Service's online chops -- and give augmented reality technology some bonafide useful marketing implementation -- AKQA/DC developed the virtual box simulator.

Here's how it works: you print a little eagle off the website. (This is so the system knows how big your item is, relative to something else.) Switch on your web cam and launch the Virtual Box Simulator. Hold the eagle up to the camera until a virtual box appears, then toggle the size to best suit whatever item you plan to ship.

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by Angela Natividad    Jun-11-09    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Good, Online

Reason #1 Why It's Not Okay to Slaughter a Classic to Justify an Ice Cream Pun.


30Rock's Jane Krakowski appears in this tacky ravaging of Gone with the Wind for Breyer's ice cream.

And while we can appreciate the seamless integration of a contemporary (if hardly worthy) Scarlett O'Hara, it disgusts us to no end when she puts on the Southern simper and weds her crappy girls-night-out-fantasy dialogue to Rhett's timeless hot/cold leading man ditties.

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by Angela Natividad    Jun-11-09    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Celebrity, Online, Video, Worst

Banner Not Dead! Twitter-Powered Banner to the Rescue!


In the "why didn't I think of that first category," comes this new ad unit from SocialMedia for JuicyJuice which allows people to tweet from within the banner. If people are logged in, their tweet will scroll up and appear on the banner.

Juicy Juice teamed with SocialMedia to place the ad unit on mommy sites such as BabyCenter and CafeMom. Different questions, "How do you stimulate your child's mind?" or "How important are vitamin-enhanced foods to you?" are asked.

As SocialMedia CEO Seth Goldstein notes, the tweets and corresponding hashtag extend the effectiveness of the banner saying, "The ad unit is paid placement but the additional impressions are effectively earned media."

Oh Twitter, how others continue to find ways to make money off your VC-funded back. Just how long are you going to let others rip you off before you realize you can't run on fume indefinitely?

by Steve Hall    Jun-11-09    
Topic: Good, Online, Social, Tools

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