A recently launched site, called Uncle Yaris goes and goes appears, based on the preponderance of Google search results for the term and the likeness of the site's color to Toyota's brand colors, to be a promotion for the Toyota Yaris which is scheduled to go on sale in early Spring 2006. The site, like many of these non-transparent promotions is kooky, odd and attempts to somehow be hip. Anyway, that's all the time we have to spend on promotions that waste our time by not telling us what is being promoted. Sort of counterproductive, don't you think? Of course, there's always a chance our assessment of this is completely wrong.
In an OMMA keynote, CBS Digital Media President Larry Kramer said the webcast of "Everybody Loves Raymond" was an experiment to determine how many people watch the show online and what traffic is driven back to the Viacom site. The webcast carried no ads but in the future, Kramer said shows could carry ads which advertisers would pay additionally for and an option to view ad-free shows for a fee might be offered as well.
It's official. Countdown sites are now a trend. This time, it's Jaguar who is insisting we watch their clock, maddeningly anticipating the launch of...well...something. The site is called Where Did Gorgeous Go, which, we're sure, in two days, 12 hours, forty-three minutes, Jaguar will tell us it hasn't gone anywhere. It's right here before our very eyes in the form of a new car model...and some travel specials. Oh, and of course there's hot babes involved too.
As a selling point, Herald Towers condominiums is promoting its units by touting the very thick walls between dwellings and encouraging residents to "be as loud as you want." Now there's honesty in advertising.
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.