Richard Branson really does own everything. We knew he was airline guy and cell phone guy but we didn't know he was train guy too. To promote Branson's Virgin Trains, glue London has created a series of online films (they call them viral but we'll see if they earn that moniker) which illustrate how much smaller Britain has become because of Virgin Train's fast service. The first film unleashes a giant cock (no, not that kind you freak) on an unsuspecting British neighborhood to, you know, show how small Britain is compared to, um, a giant cock.
The films were shot by web guys Ben Wheatley, Joel Veitch and Rob Manuel through Tomboy Virals. The first film "Cockerel" was released this month, with the rest to be released at regular intervals up until the World Cup eight months from now. blue has placed all the films neatly on a microsite called Little Britain for our viewing pleasure.
Everyone's got a viral these days or, more correctly, a piece of creative they hope goes viral. Now even the hair loss people are getting into the game. For New Zealand's Propecia, a prescription pill for hair loss, Insight NZ has created an online, satirical look at what could happen to men with hair loss if they don't take action. Called League of Thinning Men, visitors to the site are introduced to a little interactive world where they can check out the ways of men who prefer a good comb-over and a cup of well-stewed tea. All of which Propecia hopes will convince men with thinning hair to abandon the site, head over to Propecia's site and grab a bottle of their hair saving pills.
With its Chrismahanukwanzakah holiday greeting, Virgin Mobile has attempted to cover all its politically correct, religious bases but really has just further segregated things with these videos. Humorously, of course. And you've gotta love the 1-888-ELF-POOP helpline.
OK, this is getting boring. Very boring. Whoever handles the Maxtor account has created yet another Subservient Chicken rip off and this one sucks. The guy doesn't to anything. Can the entire industry just acknowledge the Crispin Porter + Bogusky scored with this tactic and just move on? Apparently to drum up interest in their hard drives, Maxtor has created Loser Loser loser - which they should have called Boring Boring Boring, a site that has all the usual stuff; the afformentioned Subservient Chicken rip off, a personality test, advice for losers from some guy named Dr. James Callahan and loser horoscopes. The one unique thing this site does have is ads. Yup. Ads for Maxtor. Funny. Sponsor your own viral site. Now that's kinda new. They actually sell ad space on the site. Not that anyone would actually buy.
TBWA/Chiat/Day has created two spots, directed by Monkmus of Hornet, for Sony's PSP. Both promote the PSP as a device that can be played outdoors. The first spot, Dustballs, has a couple of, yes, dust balls talking to each other. One is trying to convince the other he doesn't have to be stuck inside watching Carpet. he can do it outside. The second, Squirrels, has two squirrels talking to each other. One tells the other he doesn't have to be stuck inside playing Nut. he can play it outside. get it? Sony wants us to know we can use its PSP outdoors. Next.
Flipping the tell-me-what-to-do, Subservient Chicken style viral and turning the television into a sexual object, Philips UK has launched Ambilight, a site voiced by a woman cooing sexually laced phrases while images of a television and a lingerie-clad female are intertwined. The site asks visitors to answer four questions about themselves in a manner so non-threatening that before you know it, you've told Philips your age, income, email address and whether or not you live in the UK.
The site was developed to promote Philips' Cineo flat screen televisions and along with the engaging Q & A, the site enters you in a contest to win one of the new TVs. While some will toss this off as "been there done that," there's something about this site, even though it doesn't invent anything new, that keeps one's interest. Well, if you're a guy it does. Perhaps there's a version for women floating around somewhere too. Nice work.
Mennen has hooked up with Maxim to promote its Speed Stick deodorant with a series of whack videos illustrating the extreme dedication certain people have to certain sports. One guy is freakishly into ping pong and another goes nuts for air hockey. In December, we'll meet a wiffle ball freak. The videos are imbued with a nonchalant, "this is so normal" tone that seems to work. The site also has an online air hockey game and a chance to win a VIP sports weekend. As is required with anything Maxim and sports related, the site also carries the ubiquitous images of the dream girl hottie for viewing pleasure.
IDG World Expo has released details of the "Syndicated Media Environment" conference track at Syndicate, scheduled to take place December 12-14, 2005 at the Hilton San Francisco. This track will discuss how new syndication and social media tools such as RSS, blogs and podcasts are being applied by old and new media companies.
The Syndicate conference shows how syndication and social media tools such as RSS, blogs and podcasts are helping to change the way businesses do business. The "Syndicated Media Environment" track is one of four tracks and a timely topic following recent news of more and more people accessing TV shows on BitTorrent and pulling the programs down as an RSS feed. David Berlind of ZDNet explained that once a TV show is digitized and loaded into BitTorrent, "not only are the broadcasters completely disintermediated from the distribution of their content, so too is their adverstising business model." We tend to agree.
Steve Rubel reports Google is gearing up readying a fierce fight for classified ad dollars as evidenced by a job posting the company placed on HotJobs seeking a Classified Vertical Markets Director who would be given responsibility to "develop and execute on a strategy for driving ad sales with all advertisers in the Classifieds category on a national/international level, working with all sales channels and resources (DSO, ISO, Online)." With the launch of Google Base, a tool that allows anyone to add anything to Google's database, the move into the classified space is a no brainer. While it might take a while to ween people from the likes of Craig's List and newspaper classified placements, there's no doubt, a serious dent will be made by Google in this space. Rubel also reports Microsoft isn't going to let Google have all the fun.
If you've done time in advertising, you know advertising award shows are nothing more than ego boosters for our fragile personas and a chance for us to get a group hug from our fellow industry mates. The Phoeniz Addys aren't trying to hide this truth with their call for entries promotion called Ego Stroke 5,000, a device that sends ego boosting thoughts into the brain. Of course it's just a cheesecake pan with a bunch or wires attached but it does the job. The promotion was created by Riester~Robb.