If for some odd reason you ever wanted to network with a bunch of university students or check out endless albums of drunk girls placing their hands on each other's boobs, but lacked the clout of a .edu e-mail address, congratulations, you now can. We all can. To couch the ever-present possibility of trauma stemming from this change, admins posted a thoughtful note assuring chafing co-eds that, despite complete loss of the site's appealing university-only exclusivity, the power is ultimately still in their hands.
As is typical of Facebook's community, students protested the change with a petition and a fairly straightforward student group called "I will quit Facebook if it opens to all Internet users," where all members pledged to leave the networking site the moment it goes public, which happened yesterday. The group boasts over 960 members, none of which have honored the vow. Big surprise. It's hard to leave behind those endless albums of drunk girls....oops...we said that before. - Contributed by Angela Natividad
The introductory caption to the current potato-talk segment of BenettonTalk tells us "Potatoes: you probably eat them quite often, but what do you really know about them?" and wins prominence on the homepage over other important topics like the Tripoli Six, deforestation and a little rant about airport security.
The illustrations are cute in a creepy sort of way. We also learn that one does not in fact grow more potatoes by putting a potato into the ground. Potatoes come from seeds. There's an impressive networking fact. - Contributed by Angela Natividad
To promote its new Princess fragrance, Vera Wang launched VeraWangPrincessBeauty, which features an interactive quiz that tells people what kind of princess they are. An apparently tech-savvy cartoon princess who wears her iPod in her bra walks would-be monarchs through the process.
The criteria is based on all kinds of obstacles the typical princess must navigate daily, such as which event invitation to accept and who to call on speed-dial while sitting in the bathtub. Hmm. To maximize stickiness, princess results can be turned into, yes, a MySpace skin or a printable pledge to be as fantastic a princess as possible. Oh, and also, to always wear Vera Wang Princess.
By the way, we took the test and Adrants is an "IT Princess" who goes to all the hip parties and travels the world. But, of course, you knew that about us already, didn't you? - Contributed by Angela Natividad
Apparently to tout the color choices of its vehicles, Susannah Breslin tells us Italian car maker Lancia has launched a site that lets you try out the colors....on the bodies of men and women by choosing a color and then a body part to color. The site's in Italian but Unscathed Corpse has translated directions. Have fun.
During Advertising Week and with a seizure inducing online ad banner campaign, online video advertising firm Tremor Network has announced a rebranding and name change to Tremor Media to better describe its shift from online ad network to full blown "online video solutions" company for advertisers and publishers. You can catch the campaign in print on back covers of Adweek, Mediaweek, and Brandweek magazines and those siezure inducing banners online at Adweek, MediaPost, imediaconnections, MarketingVOX, MediaBuyerPlanner and, yes, right here on Adrants.
While our ad department, once again, "forced us" to run this campaign, there seems to be a nice tie in with the whole "tremor" thing. The banners say 'a seismic shift in advertising." Get it? Seismic? Earthquake? Shaking? Spasmodic banners? OK, forget it. That's a stretch. We're just trying to justify accepting their business. It'll all be over in a week.
If you're not going to use hot women in bikinis when you create your beer commercial masterpiece, the only other option, really, is to blow stuff up with beer cans. Reminiscent of the famed OutPost.com Gerbil commercial, are several videos on YouTube of a few guys who were paid by Milwaukee's Best to make a beer cannon that projects beer cans into objects in front of a target such as a television, a watermelon, a plant, mayonnaise, beef stew, eggs and other assorted items. Collectively, the videos have been viewed almost a couple million times on YouTube.
If you want to see all the vdeos crammed into one, there's a montage version set the the tune of Robert Wagner's The Ride of the Valkyries made popular in the movie Apocalypse Now. All the videos are on the Milwaukee's Best website too.
Advertising Week has to begin somewhere and why not with strange looking tiny "BobCars" that carry messaging. Sort of like a mobile billboard, BobCars, owned, we're told, by Snap Marketing, are being used to hand out postcards with questions on them which they can answer online to win two free weeks of advertising on a BobCar. It's an Adholes thingy.
Paul Conley digs deep into an issue about which we have strong opinions. More and more, we are seeing online editorial infiltrated by text link ads from the likes of companies such as IntelliTXT. It, no doubt, crosses the line between advertising and editorial. We don't claim to be perfect here at Adrants. We all need ad revenue to make money but text link ads just go too far. They are annoying with their little pop up bubbles and misleading in that a link in edit should lead to other edit or a referenced website, not an ad.
Conley points out InteliTXT says it uses "in-text placement to cut through the online advertising clutter." Oxymoronic. In-text placements *add* to the clutter. They don't cut through it. In the past, IntelliTXT has asked us if we'd like to use their service here on Adrants. We quickly and politely declined. If humble Adrants can make enough money without text-link ads then one would think a giant company like VNU could live without them as well. Apparently not.
Usually when something becomes self-referential, that something realizes it's become a parody of itself and it's time to make some big changes. The advertising industry seems to be incapable of that and Wunderman's Career-O-Matic 3,000 (which we think we've seen before) reminds us of that once again. The device helps people find life after advertising because, after all, the industry is going though a paradigm shifting toilet flush as the :30 morphs into a MySpace page, commercials are now called "virals" and agencies (dot com) take their pants off in public so all can see what passes for strategic thinking is just a bunch of people running down the hallway self-importantly shouting, "Corner office! Corner office!"
At Prenatal.com would-be mothers can send e-cards to other would-be mothers who perhaps entertain fantasies about donning a space suit and swapping childrearing advice with nearby aliens. Wow. Prenatal is a French maternity brand. The company prides itself on knowing the "technical and aesthetic" needs of moms in addition to their "medical and psychological" ones.
Not really sure how to feel about this other than, perhaps, American maternity brands need to put out more interesting ads and customer interaction-type stuff. We're indifferent to maternity wear as a whole but if we ever have to stock up we'll probably shoot for the brand that lets us send the alien e-cards. - Contributed by Angela Natividad.