Harvard University Pd.D. Candidate and all around spyware expert Ben Edelman has, once again, dug deep into the shady, clandestine side of online marketing. This time, he's examined Hula Direct, which, he claims, serves pops from spyware vendors, practices "banner farming," shows and charges ads without permission and engages in automatic page reloading to increase revenue. Since Ben's a Ph.D and we're not, we'll let you examine his findings first hand here.
As a tidbit of the insanity going on here and who's involved, this bit of Ben's article lends insight. "Hula's Yield Manager relationship provided Hula with the Vonage ad shown in the example above. Hula's Global-Store sent traffic to Yield Manager which sent traffic to Traffic Marketplace, which sent traffic to aQuantive's Atlas DMT, which sent traffic to Vonage. Payments flowed in the opposite direction." Certainly the notion of "you get what you pay for" takes on a whole new meaning here. Suffice to say, there's a whole lot of scamming going on and, to be clear, advertisers like Vonage rarely know it's occurring under their noses. Ben's analysis should be required reading for anyone even remotely involved with online marketing.
Tugging at our heartstrings, this commercial, created by Mullen, for online video game service GameTap urges us to feel for game character who don't see enough game time. We are urged to have a caring heart, pick up our game controllers, visit gametap.com and play on.
- Similar to Virgin's find the bands game, Absolut has launched a game in which the player has to find 82 bottles in a busy streetscape. It's sort of like that guy that wrote all those Busy Town kid books.
- Everyone's buzzing about Pepsi' interactive outdoor/transit ad which allows people to plug their headphones right into the poster to sample tunes from Pepsi Access.
- Adopt a kitten door sticker campaign copies begging children door sticker campaign.
- Well, this is one way to get a lot of attention for your average warehouse sale.
- Here's one ad campaign that doesn't paint Mexicans in a very respectful manner.
We are tired. So tired. Tired of typing the words "Burger King," "Chicken" and "Crispin Porter + Bogusky." But, it is our duty, as one who conveys the latest in advertising goodies, to tell you that, yes, CP+B has launched yet another chicken-themed campaign to promote Burger King Chicken sandwiches. We've seen everything from the Whopperettes to CoqRoq to Subservient Chicken to Big Buckin' Chicken. Now, there's this site called Huckin' Chicken on which a guy in a chicken suit does increasingly more daring motorcycle stunts based on how many people visit the site. It's a nice twist on a viral campaign but maybe CP+B should just move on to Big Fuckin' Chicken and close the book on the man in a chicken suit approach to selling sandwiches. Oh wait, there's still Suckin' Chicken to endure.
Silicon Valley Watcher digs into a situation whereby Cox Interactive is throttling its customer's access to Craigslist because, perhaps, Cox Interactive parent company Cox Enterprises feels people should read classified ads in Cox Media newspapers instead of on Craigslist. It appears Cox Interactive has been working with security software from Authentium since April 2005 and on February 23 of 2006 Authentium did acknowledge it was, in fact, blocking Craiglist from Cox Interactive users. Craigslist has asked Authentium several times to stop blocking their site to no avail. It's one thing to get competitive when your business is on the way to the toilet. It's entirely another thing when that competitive spirit turns nasty and wreaks of illegal activity.
Adland points us to a fetish-focused site for electronics distributor Cosmos on which the usual arty images of perfect males and female bodies are adorned with links to products available from Cosmos. What this has to do with selling technology we don't know but, oh wait. Silly us. Sorry. We lost the mantra for a moment there. OK, now it's back. Sex sells. Sex sells. Sex sells. Repeat after us. Sex sells. Sex sells. Sex sells. OK, we feel better now. Sorry for that brief lapse in knowledge on our part. We'll try not to let it happen again. There is some nudity on the site.
We asked our friend over at Adland to help translate this find for us but there wasn't much to translate. (She did the translation prior to someone doing it in Comments but we chose not to include it because it didn't really explain much. Credit where credit is due) We don't know if it's a real promotion for something, a nod to the Super bowl Lingerie Bowl or just some art director's Asian football wet dream. In any event, here are some very well done visuals featuring barely dressed Asian women playing football. Anyone can feel free to explain further.
First there was the Raging Cow and now there's Cows for Silk. To promote Silk, a soy milk product, the company has decided to use cows in its ad campaign and to create a site/blog where cows named Frank, Connie and Amanda can babble on endlessly about why it's better to drink soy than to have their own tits (yes, that is the term farmers openly use to describe that particular piece of cow anatomy) squeezed for milk. We pity the poor marketing people/copywriters who have to write cow hottie stuff like this:
"Drinking Silk was my first step to the "wow Amanda is so fine" comments. I eat healthy because I can. I get herbal swamp mud and fragrant sea cucumber body wraps at the spa because I can. And I drink Silk because I can. I know that this is the only Amanda I get - you better believe I flaunt it."
The last presidential election was all about weblogs. Who had them. Who wrote about the election. Which ones uncovered the scandals. This time, it's going to be all about YouTube. An organization called YouPrez is urging anyone to upload a presidential speech to YouTube and tag it "youprez." Of, course it's just a big joke right now but it's entirely conceivable that a presidential candidate would have just as much reach through YouTube as they might through television or any other medium. If a candidate is after an audience that is largely unreachable through traditional media, YouTube certainly offers a viable alternative.
In what BBDO Canada calls inventive, the agency has created a campaign for Pepsi's Pepsi Access Canada, a site that provides people with "access to ultra exclusive music, downloads, concerts, merchandise and events." To promote the site, BBDO Canada
seeded will seed (although BBDO, as of June 8, says the client has not yet given approval) peer to peer sites like Acquisition and Kazaa with MP3s that appear to be unreleased tracks from major artists but when the user downloads the song, this (removed from YouTube at the request of BBDO Canada) is what they hear. Basically, BBDO and Pepsi are tricking people into believing they are downloading new music when, in fact, they are downloading an ad promoting Pepsi and its association with really cutting edge groups like...oh...INXS which almost may have been cutting edge about 20 years ago.
Anyway, less "inventive" are several (1, 2, 3, 4) ads BBDO created to promote the site which humorously follow the actions of a couple guys as they try to obtain access to popular Canadian groups such as Kardinal Offishal, Swollen Members, and Dashboard Confessional.
UPDATE: The MP3 file that was to have been seeded has been removed from YouTube at the request of BBDO Canada who claims (or had to based on the choices YouTube provides when a cancellation request is made) they were used without permission even though they were sent to us by someone from BBDO Canada to be featured here on Adrants. Twisted. Consequently, because of this and other companies who have sent in content and then had other entities with the company or partner companies make complaints, our YouTube account has been closed. With bandwidth constraints in mind, we'll host what we can here or we will rely on the marketer/agency to host things themselves. The frustrating thing here is everyone wants there work seen by everyone - and we want to show it - until those nasty usage fees and other issues come into play.
UPDATE II: We've been told the file that will be seeded has not yet been approved by Pepsi and that is why BBDO Canada asked YouTube to remove the file and has asked us to clarify that here.