Writing on Adotas, Pesach Lattin describes how he spent some time on MySpace and within minutes was able to find sexually related forum discussions between grownups and teenagers. Lattin writes, "MySpace is a buffet for any pervert looking for easy targets" and outlines how easily it is for anyone to access and partake in explicit activity on the site. Doing some digging Lattin found a group called Lesbian Passion in which 14 year old members were listed right next to 55 year olds and some discussion centered on which members have had sex with each other. He found other forums where adults and children were talking about having sex with each other in supposedly private but easily accessible forums. Lattin also found a public forum called "Bears" in which members were discussing having sex with young boys accompanied by photos, some of which were nude.
While fast forwarding through the ads in a recent episode of "The O.C.," an ad from the Office of National Drug Control Policy's National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign caught our attention with it's DVR-resistant, slow-cut tactic. The ad, with only four "segments" is called Smushed and is part of the Office's Above the Influence effort. Apart from catching our attention by appearing as a "still" while fast forwarding, the imagery of a girl who looked like she'd just stepped out from under an industrial compression-like machine also caused us to stop, rewind and watch the ad.
The ad itself dealt with issues of peer pressure to be cool, to fit in, to drink, to get high, to be popular, to never say the wrong thing. This ad is one of six currently running on MTV, Fuse, The N, FOX, The WB, UPN and others. The online component appears on Yahoo, GameSpy, IGN and print ads appear in 23 magazines including Teen People, Skateboarder, J-14 and Playstation. The entire collection of spots, all of which are very good, and print ads can be seen here.
In a perfect tie-in with the movie's likely audience, American Pie wannabe Date Movie is getting comical promotion with Pimp My Profile a site on which visitors can have Tony Cox review one's MySpace profile, receive wise-ass criticism and have Tony give it a makeover worthy of a blinged-out Geocities site complete with a brace-faced Allison Hannigan. Interestingly, it appears you gave have Tony pimp any MySpace users profile simply by entering their MySPace ID. While some of Tony's comments are specific to an individual's profile, it seems, sadly, the end result is the same in all cases. We tried quite a few. We did, however, get a big kick out of the promotion's brazen acknowledgment of the site's tantalizing attraction to stalkers, currently a hot item in the news.
AOL has hired Ashton Kutcher and his production company, Katalyst, to develop several planted characters who will work their way into AOL's AIM community. The characters, each part five separate projects, will "appear" in 20 episodic storylines which, yes, will be sponsored by advertisers. Katalyst Partner Jason Goldberg says he hopes to create the first Internet star. Of course, star, is a reletive term but we think Goldberg might be too young to have remember one of the first stars of the Internet, the I Kiss You Mahir guy who did his thing back in 1999 or so. OK, so we're talking a vastly different caliber of "star" here but it's not like this effort will be the first time an given entity has risen to fame. That said, if these characters can inject a bit of humor into our day, we might be able to deal with the goons that incessantly IM us.
Creature of culture, Bucky Turco sent along this U.S. Army banner and noted its edgy but odd message. The banner reads, "Use Your Arabic to Help Build Your Future." Of course, innocently, that just means, "hey, one who speaks Arabic, consider joining the Army." Not so innocently, it might mean, "Hey one who speaks Arabic, consider joining the Army and let us use your language skills to hunt down and kill those Arab fuckers." Take your pick but we're sure both notions passed through the minds of those behind this recruitment effort. See the full banner here.
To promote the 2006 Football (soccer) World Cup, Nike has launched a campaign called Play Beautiful which consists of eight serialized videos, the first showing a ficticious cause group, headed by real-life, legendary footballer Eric Cantona, taking over a television station to deliver the group's message of encouragement. In the first video, Cantona says "we've let liars and cheaters make a fool of the game" and that he is here to "remind the world that this game is about skill, heart, honor, joy, team spirit." He urges us to make the game beautiful again. As football-clueless Americans, we never would have know the game had a problem in the first place so we'll take his word for it.
Future videos will also feature Cantona along with other current footballers. The video was produced by Wieden & Kennedy and F/Nazca Saatchi & Saatchi, who handle work for Nike in Brazil, created the site.
ad:tech, which hosts three major national online marketing conferences, is launching a new conference series called IMPACT, a ten city, one day show kicking off February, 28 in Seattle then moving on to Phoenix, LA, Dallas, Atlanta, Denver, Boston, Toronto, Cincinnati and ending with Fort Lauderdale April, 6. The shows, as does the three big shows, will focus on all thing online marketing from planning to buying to analytics to search engine marketing to campaign optimization to ad formats to blogging to consumer generated media to behavioral marketing.
The day's events will consist of keynotes, separate tracks with sessions of differing topics, presentations from service providers/vendors, mini expo session where attendees can explore exhibitor offerings and an ad:tech Connect LIVE! Session, an interactive Q & A jam session. We'll be attending the Seattle and Boston events.
Pharmca, maker of all manner of anti-germ serums is promoting its line of germ killers with a microsite called Cubicle Cooties. The site explains the nastiness that lives within your cube as well as neighboring nastiness and how all that nastiness can be prevented by using one of five Pharmca germ-killing agents. The site's got pictures, a store locater, an image upload thingy where you can upload images of your "favorite cubicle cootie fighting efforts," a form to turn your disgustingly germ-infested cube mates in to your boss and, oh yes, a send to a friend feature.
To promote the new, first person shooter EA game, Black, Freestyle has launched My Black Valentine. Stereotypical connotations of the word "black" and "shoot" aside, the microsite helps those who are without love during Valentine's day get their anger out by shooting things. It's simple enough, fun for a few minutes and you can send it to a friend which, by current definition, makes it a viral. At least that's what Freestyle says.
The Wall Street Journal reports Time Inc. has plans to launch a Web site called Office Pirates in the next few weeks which will target young male's hoping to make up for poor ad-page performance at the company's men's titles. The idea behind Office Pirates is to rebirth an era "that once allowed Wall Street's bawdy and frat-boy humor to spread quickly among financial institutions."
No one at Time Inc is talking about the site and former Maxim magazine editor Mark Golin who is behind Office Pirates has refused requests for interview hoping, as the Wall Street Journal surmises, the site takes on a non-promotional "fucked company"-like aura and grows organically. The Sports Illustrated sales team is said to handle ad sales for the site which is hoping for sponsorship sales rather than banner sales.