Celebrating the beauty of violence and glorifying its callous regard for it, Mortal Kombat has launched a new viral (or, at least an online film they hope goes viral - after all, it's ain't viral until it becomes viral), called Blood on the Carpet, to promote the new Shaolin Monks game. The film was directed by Seamus Masterson of Maverick and will be tracked by Viral Chart. Violent or not, you have to admit, after day-long, mindless, chest-thumping, group hug, brand-building blather sessions, this is exactly what you'd want to do to the pontificating, puffery-spewing idiot sitting next to you.
Spoofing its own Pepsi Max Heaps Rich campaign, Pepsi Australia has launched a viral advertising campaign called Heaps Poor Pepsi Min which, over the past three weeks, has been viewed by 160,000 people. The site features a spoof of Pepsi's currently running promotional television spot along with purposefully bad prizes and a game that lets visitors determine how boring they are. Some nice insiderishness here.
With Yahoo's purchase of Flickr, it didn't take too long for Yahoo text ads to begin appearing next to Flickr member's pictures. Unlike Google AdWords, Yahoo text ads, at least on Flickr, appear on personal Flickr pages whether or not the member wants them. Granted, Flickr provides the service for free which negates a non-paying Flickr member's ability to completely control what appears on their photo pages but one Flickr user, tanais, doesn't like the practice, commenting on an ad placement next to an image of, we assume, his dog, "I do not like my pictures being used to advertise a specific breeder (they may be excellent they may be terrible - that's not the point)... so I shall sit down and think about how best to AdBust this."
IKEA's on a roll these day. We just featured a design project by IKEA in which 28 designers created strange but apparently useful home goods. Now, from Swedish agency Forsman & Bodenfors and Flash producer Kokokaka, IKEA has launched a very beautiful website which features many different homescapes caught lushly mid-motion which are navigated through by pressing the mouse and sliding left or right. The homescapes rotate 180 degrees then change to a different homescape and with each change comes a change in accompanying music. Very nicely done.
PBS's Robert Cringley recounts the story of a friend who experimented with Google AdWords and found paying four times more per word to promote essentially that same service (original site was duplicated under a different domain as a test) actually lowered daily click-throughs from 15,000 to 1,200. It's an odd occurrence and one which Cringley's friend simply explains away by likening Google to a Las Vegas casino where, no matter what, the house always wins. Though Cringley posits that, all thing being equal with his friends endeavor, Google must have done something on it's end to make the ad buy more profitable for itself. We'll let the SEO experts sort this one out.
As part of still-under-construction affiliate marketing site Empire Design Online, Microsoft's Xbox is being promoted with a set of banners that encourages shooting black gangsters. Whether most gangsters are black or not, we think Microsoft is going to have a little problem with this. The much-sued Scott Richter is said to be behind this.
Jumping on the consumer-generated media trendlet, Geico has launched Golden Gecko, a contest in which people can submit 15 second movie trailers featuring the Geico Gecko. Geico isn't calling them commercials but the rules state all submissions become the property of Geico so it wouldn't be surprising if a winning entry did become a commercial. Prizes range from a $5,000 grand prize which includes lots of electronic gadgetry an a 7-day stay in Hawaii to $2,000 first prize which includes a stay at the winners choice of four lesser locations to second and third prizes which involve wide screen TVs and portable DVD players.
We know there's a few restless creative in our midst who could used a nice trip to Hawaii so dig out those precious, brilliant concepts that were horrifically killed by the client and re-tool them for Geico. And win.
Using the stereotypical motivational speaker, McDonald's, with this viral, is encouraging people to improve lunchtime blandness by helping them shatter boring lunchtime thoughts and replacing them with, of course, thoughts of McDonald's Toasted Deli Sandwiches.
Created by Swivel Media, Wells Fargo has launched a pilot multi-player, online role-playing game, called Stagecoach Island, designed to educate young adults about the importance of knowing your finances. Currently the game is being deployed in San Diego and Austin and will role out nationally later this year. We have a video preview here.
The game allows players to select a virtual character and participate in an "island adventure." Participants can choose to explore the virtual island -- lush parks, hip cafes, dance clubs, trendy shops, amusement parks, hair salons and more. They can also interact in dozens of virtual, social situations -- like skydiving, riding jets-skis, or playing games like paintball with other participants. Many activities on the island are "free," but participants gain access to other experiences, such as dancing in a club or purchasing new clothes, by spending, saving and earning virtual money. Players can earn money by visiting the Virtual Learning Lounge and answering trivia questions about banking basics such as budgeting, saving and managing money. The Learning Lounge content is derived from Wells Fargo's signature financial literacy program, Hands on Banking.
Having fun with the whole metrosexual trendlet, Virgin Atlantic Airways announced that nominations for its ongoing Jetrosexual Awards will close this Friday, September 16. Apparently, hundreds of people have nominated their metro/jetrosexual friends since the program launched in June. The program seeks the ultimate Boston and Washington D.C. area entrepreneur and will award the Bostonian and DCist that best personifies the Jetrosexual spirit. Virgin Atlantis says the awards celebrate a "new emerging business culture lead by a growing group of Jetrosexuals, those high fliers who move business and culture forward each and every day."
The nomination site includes a list of 11 Jetrosexual Commandments including "Thou shalt be able to order a beer in at least six different languages" and "Thou shalt respect the five minute rule when using the lavatory." Local semi-finalists will be announced on September 30, 2005, be reviewed by a selection committee with final awards announced October 17, 2005. The winner will enjoy a high flying, Virgin Atlantic Upper Class experience to London.