Now here's some contextual advertising double stuff for you. In an article about email and telemarketing touting their superiority over snail mail, not one but two snail mail carrier ads appear on the page: USPS and UPS. Not that there's necessarily anything wrong with an ad appearing next to a story that praises the opposite of what it does but there might be some competitive issues with the ads for competing services appear next to each other. You decide.
Edelman's Steve Rubel has announced his company is setting foot inside Second Life, perhaps to the chagrin of our friends over at Second Life Herald, with two initiatives. Both are aimed at giving something back to the community, an element that's been missing from most of the recent big brand entries. The first initiative involves a Business Plan competition which will help Second Lifers with their business launch goals. According to Electric Sheep, "The winner will get six months access to an island and L$350,000, plus strategic help from Edelman and The Electric Sheep Company."
The second initiative a blog (fully disclosed, no less!) called The Grid Review that will, as Steve Rbal writes, "cover the entrepreneurial spirit inside Second Life." We wish them well. Here's hoping it's done right and this doesn't cause yet another backlash from hard core Second Lifers.
Starbucks kicks off the holidays Pay it Forward-style by disseminating cheer on chilly city streets. Baristas hand out movie tickets and other small gifts on the condition that the recipient has to do something nice for someone else.
The campaign includes a "cheer pass" that tracks how far the "chain of cheer" has gone. Participants are encouraged to visit It's Red Again to share holiday stories and create greetings. The site is hosted by an awkward-looking man who personifies Starbucks' quirky intellectual vibe. It's also ridden with clever recommendations about holiday coffee blends and seasonal cakes.
CEO Jim Donald says they're interested in the qualitative results of the campaign and admits there aren't any of the usual tracking methods attached to it. (It begs the question - how often does anybody really track anything?) We look forward to seeing how many chains get generated. - Contributed by Angela Natividad
AIGA launched the Polling Place Photo Project, which seeks to further citizen democracy by encouraging people to snap photos of voters in action.
We're not really sure what this will show us unless somebody can snap a picture of maybe some machines miscounting votes or some naked cheerleaders voting in the snow. But they did land some interesting and occasionally heartfelt candids of people that some politician will probably use in a humanizing re-election campaign in the near future. Cheers. - Contributed by Angela Natividad
Here's proof we'll arrive at gender equality with increased commodification of one sex, not decreased commodification of the other. For those of you with ball anxiety, check out Aussibum's Wonderjock, which boasts "ball/extension support technology" and has a wicked little logo that's got us itching for some kind of South Park reference.
The text ad that appears over our e-mail reads, New cup pouch to lift and extend. Warning - it will appear larger. Awesome. And we dig that little star-studded PATRIOT motif they've got going on.
Guess this means the sock stash will last a couple weeks longer than usual. - Contributed by Angela Natividad
We don't even know if Leo Burnett still has Altoids as an account but if they do, there's some serious mental illness going on in the creative bowels of 35 West Wacker. With each successive Altoids campaign, things just get stranger and stranger. Perhaps that's the point but their recent Souro thing just boggles. Perhaps that's the point and perhaps we're just old school and like to...oh...have a fucking clue what we're being sold and why we'd want to buy it in the first place.
Oxfam America has launched an online gift catalog called Oxfam America Unwrapped on which atypical donations such as a camel, goats, sanitations systems, coffee mills and cows can be made. Each person who makes a donation receives a card representing their donation and the money goes to Oxfam America to fund its worldwide efforts. It's a nice representation of what donations can actually achieve.
Peter Moore, VP of entertainment and devices at Microsoft, says he'd like to target moderate gamers who haven't yet cashed out $400 for the Xbox 360. And he's decided the best way to do it is through that new MSN video service, which will be gleefully littered with gamer-oriented brands: "I guarantee you that if I had three more weeks (before the launch), I would have 15 logos up there," he said, referring to the logos of companies formally affiliated with Xbox.
And then he rubbed his hands together, laughed maniacally and ate another baby. - Contributed by Angela Natividad
Yes, we are the first to bring you behind the scenes "stealth video" footage of Tiger Woods in a shoot for the soon to be released 2008 Buick Enclave. Our "insiders" leaked this very secretive video exclusively to Adrants only moments ago so you too could share in the glory of a spontaneous fart joke! It doesn't matter who took the Senate this week. Tiger Woods made a fart joke, "someone" videoed it and "someone" sent it to us hoping it might get some Lonelygirl15-like YouTube action.
If for some odd reason you can't get enough of reality TV with actual human beings, get your fill in cyber-world. Now you can join Big Brother Second Life.
We were trying to decide whether it would be as funny to watch little digital people act like total morons in real-time and we concluded that, based on how much excitement there was when people found out Sims could have sex, yes, this concept will probably do just fine. - Contributed by Angela Natividad