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.
The Ambiguously Effective Idea that Just Won't Die is back and nebulous as ever. A stock called TMXO leaped 31% on September 5 after somebody sent out a GIF with one of those wildly appealing messages that you discover in your e-mail twenty-six times a day.
Apparently "stock spam" can artificially spike a stock by 4.9-6 for the average spammer. So why did TMXO do almost five times better? *Sigh* Because of subliminal advertising: that seemingly innocent GIF consists of four frames, only one of which is the message you think you see. The other three spout BUY BUY BUY BUY BUY.
In a very un-TV network-like manner and in response to freaks like this who are offended any company would dare to promote anything on YouTube, NBC created a video called Bill the Promo Guy in which Bill asks viewers to understand he does the promos because the salary he receives for producing them puts his son through prep school and buys his daughter a horse. NBC has arrived. It gets YouTube. It gets the video response. It gets this groovin' social media thing. Ah fuck it, it's just another ad. But a good one. A really, really good one. Kudos.
Like a scene out of Mallrats, four guys in this commercial for the Alltel Wireless My Circle plan plot a way to stop the "call ten friends for free no matter what plane they are on" feature because, after all, who could possibly have more than ten friends? Created by Campbell-Ewald, the spot is part of the wireless company's second campaign called "Sales Guys" which follows the initial "Icons" launch campaign. Beyond television, the campaign will include radio, print, event marketing, online advertising and webisodes. Be sure to check out the geeks on the Alltel website along with "Chad" who attempts to get in touch with competing wireless company CEO's to tell them about the My Circle plan.
Here's an interesting site created by Maclaren McCann Direct & Interactive for Pontiac Canada to promote the 2007 G5 on which visitors can fool around with their mouse and keyboard to create customized visual and audio representations of the vehicle. There's also a "build your own" section and a contest to win a new G5. One of the more engaging car sites out there.
Part Barney cartoon, part Second Life experience, part Honda Hate, this entrancing Colorado State Tobacco Education & Prevention effort created by Cactus and AgencyNet with help from Biscuit, Final Cut, Company 3 & R!OT, Lime and Beacon Street Studios on the TV spots is an elaborate creation of an entire online town, called C-Ville, with endless things to do and see. The underlying message within the town is choice. The right choice of course and the importance of choice when it comes to deciding whether or not to take that drag.
PSAs, viewable on the site and currently on air, show the importance of making the right choices and direct kids to the site for more education about making the right choices. Final Cut's Carlos Arias explains the approach saying, "Kids are so sophisticated these days so we don't need to make the message obvious. This is a new way of communicating with youth -- by not spoon-feeding them. Through great visuals and interesting stories, we were able to build up the intrigue. These PSAs had an interesting, short film style - like a throwback to 80s movies or branding commercials with sing-a-longs. They're just zany!" And, indeed they are. Zany enough to maybe actually work.
Sponsored by the NRDC, the Environmental Countdown and Ford, former Rocketboomer Amanda Congdon is heading across America on a five week road trip in a hybrid vehicle for a project called Amanda Across America. On a blog and in videos, she'll document her trip and meetings she'll have with other bloggers, politicians and environmentalists along the way. Looking like a Loneleygirl15 spoof (intentionally), Amanda kicks off her trip with a video taken in her "Connecticut bedroom" in which she displays exuberant excitement usually reserve for, well, loneleygirl15 videos.
Anyway, Gawker wonders about the whole thing, writing, "Is she really passionate about driving cross-country on some environmentalist-sponsored road trip that landed her in Good magazine? Or is she relatively unemployed and desperate for the world not to forget that she's got a decent rack?" We think the latter but we're not going to say that because she might hang up on us like she did the radio DJ who tried to tell her she was hot.