Brenner Thomas of Not Only But Also, noticed The New York Times has placed advertising on Site Meter, a website traffic measurement service that most every blogger uses to see how many people visit their blogs, where they come from and what stories they read. Thomas surmises its a strategy to get bloggers to simply write about the fact that The New York Times is advertising on Site Meter, as we're doing right now, to gain publicity among bloggers. As intriguing a strategy as that may be, it's more likely due to Site Meter's use of the Tribal Fusion ad network which serves ads to thousands of sites allowing the New York Times to reach a very broad audience. Site Meter just happens to be one of those thousands of sites.
Giving every rocker wannabe a chance force their music on us, Music network fuse, entertainment marketing agency Deep Focus and MySpace, today announced the launch of a promotion to find and launch the next big video star. From now until November 4, young musicians can go on to myspace.com/fuse and upload 1 - 3 minute videos for consideration to a dedicated fuse group page on MySpace. Judges from fuse and Deep Focus will select five finalist videos to be posted on the contest site beginning November 7. Site-goers will have a week to cast a vote for their favorite video. Beginning November 15, the number-one vote getter will receive airplay and promotion on fuse's VOD service, fuse Video On-Demand, and MySpace. Please, William Hung's need not apply.
It's a known fact there's nothing fun about health insurance. What with referrals, co-pays, "this is covered but that isn't" insanities and wallet-busting monthly premiums, insurance needs all the help it can get. eHealthInsurance hopes to help with a new online promotion, called Am I Covered, which features an animated series featuring the Wyndales, the "lovable, yet klutzy family with whom all Americans can identify." Led by Percy Wyndale, family patriarch and certified klutz, the adventures of the Wyndale family brings humor back to the insurance game.
The campaign was created by marketing agency RSA and Truelight Entertainment and used artists and producers from The Simpsons, King of the Hill, Dilbert and Ren and Stimpy.
Sanj points to General Mills which has created Cheerioke, a karaoke site on which people can choose there character, style them, change their physical features then sing along to the provided music and send the thing to a friend. The site promotes the new Yogurt Burst Cheerios and uses Oddcast's virtual host technology.
After receiving an email from Banu Sen of Publicis Net Paris telling us about a viral teaser trailer created to promote a new online game which would feature car maker Renault and that a fake game company and fake website where created and disseminated to bloggers as part of the promotion, a lengthy email exchange with Ben ensued regarding the buzz phrase of the day, transparency. Transparency is the notion that all marketing, especially that which comes through buzz, viral and word of mouth channels, be fully forthcoming with what brand is behind the campaign.
Clearly, with fake company names and websites, this was not transparent. However, during our discussion, in which, at first, I was quite surprised a major agency like Publicis and a major car maker like Renault would engage in fakery such as this given the recent uproar over buzz and word of mouth marketers and their associations calling for transparency, I realized it's really nothing more than your standard teaser campaign which has been around forever. There's a fine line, though, between a teaser campaign and a misleading campaign. The prior always, at some point reveals its identity which this Renault campaign does. The latter, which uses stealth methods like the recent U.S. Cellular blue man fiasco or an army of 250,000 teenagers who may or may not reveal their association with the large word of mouth company for whom they work.
Publicis and Renault has done nothing wrong here. Not that anyone is saying they did. Though in the face of transparency insanity, the discussion was worth having.
Enough of this shit. Ad network FastClick, along with all other ad networks that continue to defy people's wishes by circumventing pop up blockers should be boycotted for their pop up delivery practices. Not only are pop ups annoying but, if you look at the one pictured (click for actual size), it is clearly deceptive and all about trickery. What respectable ad network would even consider allowing such an advertiser to use its network?. Also, shame on Dribbleglass, the site at which this pop up popped, for allowing pop ups to be served. To be fair, all pops are not always associated with the site being visited but most are.
Any media buyer out there who is currently buying pops should be shamed as well. Any advertiser that engages in the use of pops should be boycotted to death. Any site that serves pops should pack it in, leaving only a 404 page behind. Are we finished with this crap yet?
BBDO has created and outstanding campaign for eBay called What is it. The campaign tells the story of two guys who invent "it" and how it became the world's most famous, hippest thing to own. Of course, the message in all of this is that "what ever it is, you can get it on ebay." Really brilliant. Really. Check it out.
Aquent's final round of Studio Smackdown 2, the second edition of the marketing and communication company's interactive online design talent competition was won by Melissa A. Phillips. The four-week elimination contest ended October 18, 2005. Results of the challenge, which pitted five motion graphic designers against each other, can be viewed at www.studiosmackdown.com.
Besides scoring the grand prize of $5,000 and getting to keep the Adobe Creative Suite 2 and Canon MiniDV camcorder that were provided to each of the five challengers, Phillips says the second greatest thrill was the thought of so many people seeing her work. "It's like an instant international portfolio," said the Milwaukee resident. "The hardest part was meeting all the deadlines while still working a full time job." We wonder what her boss now thinks about that.
Last week, Miller Brewing Company launched an online game, Miller Beer Runner, which mirrors an ad campaign that kicked off this past weekend. The game has players face the usual problems when on a beer run from running through the streets and avoiding obstacles, to dodging ongoing football games and resisting bar temptations to avoiding hard objects like fire hydrants - all with the goal of getting to the store, making a Miller beer purchase and returning home before the halftime clock runs out. Given all the money Miller spends on TV commercials, the video introduction to the game is quite humorous as one of the guys tells his friend he has plenty of time to get the beer because "Hey, it's a commercial. Don't worry about it." In the first four days of the game's release, 360,000 games were played by 165,000 unique users.
Sort of defeating the purpose of highlighting Jeep's new seven seat, 2006 Commander, Chrysler has launched an online promotion, called The Mudds featuring a family if five. Yup. Five, Not seven. OK, maybe that's splitting hairs but if you're going to highlight seven seats, you better have seven people to fill them. Hopefully, the kids have some friends.
The promotion will have all the usuals: bi-weekly webisodes - also available on Dish TV), biography pages, screensavers, wallpapers, text message notification of site updates, AvantGo PDA notification and online scavenger hunts using Google Maps. Oh wait, the Google Maps thing is new. Visitors can use Google maps to find virtual "geocaches" the Mudds have hidden and get a chance to win one of the new 2006 Commander's. Get your mud on.