Blogs, podcasts, video, online photo albums, social networks, do-it-yourself ad campaigns. Increasingly people are creating more content than "mainstream media" companies. Consumers are creating ads, editing existing ones and proliferating them over YouTube and other sharing services. People are gaining more control over content and even how a company's brand is perceived. Is this a good thing? Is it a fad? Can is be managed? Should it be managed? Should brands allow consumers to "co-op" their brand? Should everything be a "conversation"? Should we completely say goodbye to traditional, top-down brand management? Are brands jumping on the social/conversational bandwagon because they believe in it, it's the latest fad or they are just trying to appear cool? There's a lively forum discussion about this topic in our forum section. Check out the discussion there or give us your thoughts in comments.
This video promoting a text messaging service is extremely stupid not to mention it making viewers wait way, way, waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too long for the punchline which, itself, is also very stupid. Yea, yea, we know it's a riff on that Beautiful Agony site but it's a bad one. Whatever. It's from the UK. They like this stuff.
There's a lot of different ways to promote a TV show but bloody fighting Samurai cats isn't one we think we've seen before. COG1 has created Samurai Kittens to promote IFC's anime show Samuri 7. Give it a whirl but not if you are the type that gets all weepy when a kitty is faced with certain death by decapitation or severed limb.
Taking the whole ads-in-a-game theme to the next seemingly logical step, publishers of the game Project Entropia are making it possible for players to create their own ads within the game. Because of the game's focus on a virtual economy, the bying and selling of billboards seems to be a natural addition. Current player-created ads are promoting events and actions players have created in the game. Project Entropia is also part of Massive Inc.'s gaming ad network and will serve real ads purchased withing the network.
Last night, we received this from the folks over at M80: "I think you may be of some help to me. I'm reaching out to you on behalf of Comcast and M80 regarding the Slowskys TV commercials. Since you are a fan of The Slowskys, I thought that you might enjoy and/or be interested in posting a video of the Slowskys. In addition to the original Slowskys commercial, we have a special outtakes video exclusively for those who are willing to help us out. You can check it out here.
I feel special. Whatever. Well, the rest of you don't have to be "willing to help us out" because you can just link to the site from here. But, be warned. Either it's a sick joke playing off the so-called slowness of DSL or it's a really lame promotional effort because the site is slower than an army or turtles stuck in a pool of molasses.
While this sort of Windows/Mac joke has been played out a billion times before, this time it just seems to have a bit more humor. Someone has altered the ending of the Mac/Intel ad - the one everyone claimed copied a Postal Service video - to illustrate a scenario Windows users have, unfortunately, become all to familiar with.
Here's one of those promotions that makes you ask, "WTF???" In a nod to certain movies which have surprise endings, the surprise ending in this clip is twisted. An idyllic day at the beach goes horribly wrong when a crab and a unicorn cross paths. Be sure to check out the girl who becomes randomly one-legged at the end of the clip. Oh, before we forget, the whole thing promotes the Newport Beach Film Festival and was created by Y&R Southern California.
FCBi has created a site called University of St. Arvin to promote Kraft's Easy Mac Cups. At the college student-directed site, people can create a message that will be sent to their Mom asking her to send a care package full of Easy mac Cups. There's a Subservient Chicken-like area of the site where you can click around a guy's dorm room and make him do stuff. There's a weird roomate-films-roomate-making out thing and a couple of videos, one that's kinda funny. But does anyone older that ten eat this crap?
LA-based interactive shop Zugara has always come up with some pretty decent online environments as it were and lately has been quite busy continuing in that direction. Recently, they've done some work for Reebok and the NFL. Their RBK NFL Draft site features insight and thoughts from NFL Pro Athletes on the draft itself, anticipation of being called to the podium and how their life changed once they were drafted. For Playstation, Zugara created the Syphon Filter site which allows people to take part in Playstation's Dark Mirror storyline by investigating the mysterious KenSymth corporation. After taking part in a mission, they'll be led to spoofish sites where further information can be found and investigated to unlock further missions and content on the site.
So we get this email from some dude who said he received an email from a "friend" who wrote fervently, "WTF!!!!!! Have you seen this yet? Someone's lost their fucking mind! Better download them now, before they take them off the server. http://126.96.36.199/test2.html. Um, yea right.They might as well put out a press release saying, "VH1 is promoting its daily news show Best Week Ever with a series of quirky videos to imbue the decidedly odd character of the show." Anyway, hurry up a view them now because (gasp!) they may not stay online for long!!!
UPDATE: In a very encouraging sign, VH1 has owned up and acknowledged to us they could have handled the release of these video is a less "OMG, check this out" manner. There are no hard and fast rules anymore regarding the so called "correct" way to release a promotion. Especially when there's so many bitchy bloggers like us ready jump all over people who are simply trying to figure out how to get their message out in a media landscape that is changing hourly. So go easy on them. We're all learning here. Well, not too easy otherwise there's be no point for this website:-)