AOL Gets Caught Trying to Badger Customer Into Retaining Account


Now we know why AOL still has so many users. Try as they might, canceling an AOL account is, apparently, a nightmare, a point proved by one Vincent Ferrari who recorded his exchange with an AOL customer service rep while canceling his account. It took Ferarri a total of 21 minutes to complete the cancellation and the five minute he spent with an actual human being are simply priceless. The CSR berated Ferrari, who is 30, to the point of asking to speak to his father because he thought Ferrari was making wrong decision in canceling the account. While, AOL did reply to the MSNBC report on the incident with an apology and a statement it had fired the CSR in question, there are, according to Ferrari, many others who have had similar experiences with the company. In the world of social media, consumer-generated media and YouTube, there's no hiding shady business practices any longer.

by Steve Hall    Jun-22-06    
Topic: Bad, Brands, Online, Viral

Long Lasting Gum Makes People Do Weird Stuff


In a unique approach to illustrating just how long Cadbury Adams Stride gum lasts, the company has launched a website on which several people sitting at a desk chew gum while doing random acts of nothingness. There's also a contest which be can enter by submitting a 100 word statement of what they would do for a ridiculously long time and, if selected, a photograph of them doing it. No, you can't film yourself having herculean long sex nor can you be gross, obscene, violent or any of those other activities that irk lawywers but you can do just about anything else. Who knows if it will sell any gum but I wasted a good 20 minutes watching some of the videos.

by Steve Hall    Jun-22-06    
Topic: Good, Online, Promotions, Strange

Snoop Dog Tells Kids What It's Like to be A Gangster


Don't bother visiting the excruciatingly slow loading Orbit site but you might get a kick out of this Orbit commercial featuring Snoop Dog telling school children what it's like to be a gangster. At first, it ends badly but then Snoop is saved by and angel in white bearing Orbit.

by Steve Hall    Jun-22-06    
Topic: Commercials, Online

'Entertainment Weekly Explores Viral Video, Fails


To both see if they could become famous and to do their journalistic duty, two Entertainment Weekly writers, Jason Adams and Scott Brown manufactured a video they hoped would go viral and reported on the process they went through to make it happen. With advice from people at CollegeHumor, MySpace, Google Video, AOL Video, comedian Anthony King and Time Inc. lawyers, the pair shot a video of Brown breaking up with a mannequin named Becca Kelly.

To date, the video has been viewed 7,700 times on YouTube and the effort has been called a failure by Brown and Adams. It was too long. The jokes came too late in the video and the lawyers got involved. Well, we'll see. No one new who the Numa Numa kid was for a while so we'll see where this goes.

by Steve Hall    Jun-22-06    
Topic: Online, Viral

Countdown Campaign Promises to Debunkify


Ah, yes. Another mysterious site with a countdown clock. Don't the creators of these sites, in this case, according to Whois information, Cincinnati Ohio-based hyperQuake, know this has been done a million times before? Do they think we will actually care what the countdown leads to? Are they so bold as to assume there is something unique about what they are about to announce? Oh wait. Of course they do. This is advertising and when we create cool campaigns like this we just know the entire world will be jonesing right along with us.

The countdown site, called Debunkify, is accompanied by a video on YouTube and billboards and TV ads in several Ohio locations. The billboards proclaim, "kill the myths before they kill you" and the site indicates all will be revealed July 10. OMG, we just can't wait. Can you? Yawn.

by Steve Hall    Jun-22-06    
Topic: Campaigns, Guerilla, Online, Outdoor, Strange, Television, Viral

British Airways Educates American Slobs On Proper Wimbledon Behavior


Yesterday, British Airways launched a online campaign to educate Americans on proper behavior if they plan to attend the Wimbledon tennis tournament. In the eyes of the English, Americans are apparently a bunch of overeating, foam finger-waving, air horn-blowing cads. Basically, a pretty good assessment. So, for those planning of heading over to Wimbledon, take heed and alter your behavior properly for the event.

by Steve Hall    Jun-22-06    
Topic: Campaigns, Online

Superman Tags Call Attention to Christopher Reeve Foundation


Hoping to achieve the ubiquitous popularity the Lance Armstrong Foundation Livestrong bracelet did, the Christopher Reeve Foundation has launched a campaign to promote its Superman Tag, a dog tag-like item with the Superman S that can be worn on a necklace, on a key chain or on clothing. The campaign, which will include print, online, PSAs, cinema ads, blogger outreach and a MySpace page, intends to leverage the upcoming Superman Returns movie to build additional awareness of the tags which will carry the tagline, "Go Forward." Proceeds from the sale of the tags will go to the Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation.

Warner Brothers has allowed the campaign to use the S symbol royalty free for the duration of the campiagn which will run until February 2008.Euro RSCG 4D created the campaign and is urging sites to donate ad space for the campaign. HealthOrbit and Prevention have. Adrants will be donating space as well. If you are so inclined, ad banners are available on the SupermanTag site.

by Steve Hall    Jun-21-06    
Topic: Campaigns, Celebrity, Good, Magazine, Online, Television, Weblogs

Training Camp Helps IT Guys Achieve Two Very Big Dreams


Playing right into the stereotype of geeky IT guys wishing they could score with the big breasted women, this cheesy campaign for IT training company Training Camp promises to make two very big dreams come true for every IT guy. It's like those ads in the back of hot rod magazines with bikini-clad women draped across the hood of a car or those really old (weight gain?) ads that had the skinny guy on the beach getting kicked by the built guy with the babe.

Can you just here the nervous IT guy making the call to Training Camp? "Um, I'd...uh...I'd like those two very big dreams bulging out of....oh your that...DAMN those are big...and...cause I really, really want smart and to...oh God...oh a girl with really, really huge boobs like the girl in your ad! Yes. Yea. I want Can you help?

Get your pair here. Oh, we almost forgot. Sorry, we were distracted. The campiagn was created by Gyro Worldwide.

by Steve Hall    Jun-21-06    
Topic: Campaigns, Magazine, Online

Advergame Access Annoys, Doesn't Get Played


We're all for fun little advergame time wasters but when you have to a.) tell the company whether you are male or female, b.) have a password, c.) or don't have the password and enter your email to get it and d.) go open the email they sent you to get the password, the whole thing becomes work. Advergames aren't supposed to be work. They're supposed to be a branded distraction, not a challenge to see how much annoyance you can take before you just say "screw it" and leave which is exactly what we did. So, if any of you actually plays this game, let us know if we should bother looking for that email with the password.

by Steve Hall    Jun-21-06    
Topic: Bad, Games, Online, Opinion

Three Blond Moms Do Stand Up For Suave


Coining the term "Momedy," Suave has launched a site that features three blond moms doing stand up comedy about being a mother. Somehow it's suppose to sell shampoo but we just don't see it. But there is one good piece of advice in the bit. For those Moms who breast feed, make sure you switch size or else you'll end up looking like Calista Flockhart on one side and Pamela Anderson on the other. OK then. Go buy some Suave now so the client is happy.

by Steve Hall    Jun-21-06    
Topic: Brands, Online

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