Lending a bit of humor to the daunting tax season and promoting its TaxCut while doing so, H&R Block has launched Deduct-a-Buck, a seventies-style game show-like game hosted by Max Refund. The game consists of five questions relating to the kinds of thing one can deduct when filing taxes. Prizes range from a Dell XPS Notebook, to a $100 GameStop gift certificate to free online tax preparation. Created by Mullen, the game is both humorous and comforting to what's on the mind of everyone as April 15 approaches and we all struggle to please Uncle Sam.
By now, you've all seen those witty images and videos of the Burger King frolicking with the lovely Brooke Burke. Courtesy of The Superficial, we have a couple more images which further the story. It now seems the King and Burke are engaged, if not married in this odd but very cool web saga created by Crispin Porter + Bogusky. While the two did get frisky on the beach with Burke revealing tantalizing hints of her upper body curvaceousness, something tell us, or at least we hope, we won't be seeing the two getting it on in the honeymoon suite.
Our friends over at the Creative Liberation Intelligence Organization are at it again with a promotional music video to, one assumes, drum up more entries for this year's Clio's. Back in early December 2005, the group launched a very spy-like website using all manner of spy metaphor to create awareness of the Clio's. Take a look and let us know what you think.
The NFL has announced it will place all Super Bowl ads airing this weekend on its video on demand NFL Network, on NFL.com and on Sprint phones. Budweiser will optimize its five minutes worth of ads for the iPod and make them downloadable from Budweiser.com. GoDaddy, of course, has been pushing its ads online for years. Pepsi will have BrownandBubbly.com. Burger King will have the Whopperettes. Who needs an actual television anymore?
In the works since last year, tire maker Pirelli will, in March. release The Call, a 10-minute video, created by Leo Burnett and set in the Vatican, starring John Malkovich who plays a priest and Naomi Campbell who plays the devil. Using the power stuggle between good and evil, Pirelli claims the film, directed by Antoine Fuqua, will be a metaphor for the company's "power is nothing without control" tagline. The film will be released exclusively online and receive promotion through online, print and television.
This is Hollywood-style, celebrity-powered ad is sure to give Russell Crowe plenty of ammunition to further castigate celebrities for selling out. That said, if we, as an industry want better ads, we have to tap better talent. Big names bring a sea of eyeballs and getting noticed in today's media environment is becoming an impossible task. Granted, Malkovick, though a superb actor, isn't A-list in terms of popularity and Campbell, while very popular, is no Malkovich in the acting department but together, they just might bring some notoriety and sales to Pirelli and its sleepy, commodity-like category of automotive tires.
George Parker, who writes the Adscam and AdHurl advertising blogs will appear on NBC's Today Show tomorrow, Tuesday, sometime between 7A and 10A. Parker will discuss the impact of the Internet and other newer forms of advertising have affected newspaper advertising effectiveness and revenues. Parker should know what he's talking about as he's been in the business for over 30 years, worked for many agencies and is currently writing a book entitled, "Entrepreneurial Advertising."
To encourage use of its new version of Messenger, MSN has launched a promotion, created by Fallon, called ESP Billy, a microsite with episodic videos featuring ESP Billy, a white trash online psychic played by Ricky Jay who communicates with his clients through MSN Messenger video chat. There's a pilot episode that introduces the characters, and then three interactive episodes where the user can decode the fate of the main character, Travis, but choosing an ending based on ESP Billy's predictions of the future. The catch to the promotion - and the entire point of the promotion - is the three videos can only be viewed using MSN Messenger for which a convenient download botton is provided. The pilot episode, which, itself, is quite good, can be viewed in a browser. The online element will be supported by print and online media beginning in a couple of weeks
While there's plenty of places to search for and look at viral advertising, Viral HQ has gathered together an expansive collection of viral ads and categorized them by name along with the brand they were created for. Like many other viral accumulators, Viral HQ also has plans to offer seeding and tracking services. While hosting virals is a great way to sell other services, Viral HQ has done a respectable job of gathering together a huge collection. That said, it needs a search feature so virals can be found based on the brands as well as the name. Currently, it's just an alphabetical directory.
CareerBuilder just can't give up those chimps. They're in ads, They,re on the website. Now they're going to be in your email if CareerBuilder has its way. The job site has launched a five step, create-an-email microsite, called Monk-e-mail, on which visitors can pick a chimp, dress it up, give it something to say, preview it and send it to a friend. It's humorous enough nut just not as funny as that Wedding Crashers Trailer Crashers thing.
Certainly, it was destined to happen sooner or later. Afterall, if Playboy goes after Wal-mart hotties, they're sure to see better luck with hotties found on MySpace given that most can't seem to post a fully clothed picture if their life depended on it. Playboy is seeking "the sexiest women of the MySpace community to pose for a nude Playboy pictorial." The only requirement, of course, is that the girl must be hot and at least 18 years old. No doubt, Playboy will receive millions of submissions for this and will likely be its most popular "Girls of..." issue ever.