As part of its flavored chicken Flavor Station promotion, KFC has launched ChooseYourSauce, a site that let's people choose there own adventure, After watching a clip of a couple guys in an office cubicle, three choices are presented at the end of the clip that lead to different story lines. The choices, of course, relate to KFC's new offering which lets customers choose from three lunch items - chicken strips, popcorn chicken and chicken wings - then choose one of three sauces - fiery buffalo, honey barbecue and sweet and spicy. The chicken is then served slathered with the chosen sauce. Foote Cone & Belding created the site and handles the rest of the $35 million campaign.
Fabric softener Bounce has launched Bounce Fresh Ideas Message Board, a place where people can come and read about different uses for the product and post their own uses. We're not talking about throwing a sheet in the dryer to make your clothes smell nice. That's just boring. We're talking about using them to make trash cans smell better, placing them in an open window to keep bugs out, slapping it on an air conditioner filter to sweeten up the room, hanging them around the house after a flood to get the smell out, using it to clean sticky pans and using it as mouse repellent. Talk about extending a products usage. Hass MS&L is promoting the site.
A weblog, called Displaced Designers, has been launched to aid creative industry individuals in the New Orleans area who have been displaced by hurricane Katrine and are in need of assistance. The blog appeals to those individuals and companies that can provide office space, living space, computers, other business resources and jobs to those who have been affected by Katrina. A valiant effort, indeed.
Following its video explaining how, someday, it will make hard drives with bits that stand up versus laying down that can enable a typical 6GB MP3 player hard drive to hold 30,000 songs, Hitachi has launched another video, called "The Hard Drive is the New Bling." which announces it has accomplished the task. The video, which is done up in a kooky, beatnick, hip-hop, spoof style, explains why its tiny hard dives will bring life to cell phones and MP3 players. The companies new hard drives are smaller than a domino in physical size and up to 60GB in capacity. No doubt, 30,000 song MP3 players won't be far behind.
Heather of Mock On points to yet another contextual advertising oddity, of which there have been many, alongside news coverage of hurricane Katrina. Heather took a screenshot of a CNN story about hurricane refugees living in the New Orleans Superdome being bussed to the Houston Astrodome. Alongside the story appears an ad for price comparison site Nextag with the headline, "New Orleans Superdome - Cheaper Prices." While the ad itself may not be all that offensive, it's not like anyone's going to be using Nextag to travel to New Orleans anytime soon.
Paris communications agency Antonia has launched a trailer for Life Kino, a web based art and design experiment. Basically, it's a music video filled with stills. Those behind Life Kino say their aim is to create a community of users by inviting the public to submit "loops" or filmed snippets of their lives that will be uploaded on a randomly generated basis and viewable by all who visit the site. The idea behind it, says an email from Life Kino, is to create links between people and places that would never have met in the real world. We don't really get it but, then again, we don't get a lot of stuff. But we did announce it first. That's gotta count for something.
YesBut points out Bubblicious bubble gum has added a new feature to it website called Bubblicious Virtual Buddy. It allows you to pick a character, style them, call an 800 number, record a message which is then spoken by the created character. The entire creation can then be emailed to a friend. Similar to Wedding Crashers' Trailer Crashers promotion, this should make for some interesting inter-teen communication.
In a move that seems counter to the online advertising giant's genesis, Google has purchased print ads in technology magazines including PC Magazine and Maximum PC and has resold portions of full page ads to online AdWord advertisers. The ads, which contain five to six advertisers contains a URL which points to an online version of the ad page. The ads do not contain a Google logo but only the descriptive copy on the top of the ad, "Ads by Google" and "Google advertisers offer these products and services" at the bottom.
Leveraging the misery of others, eBay has, according to Animax, purchased hurricane relief-related keywords on Google to hawk hurricane Katrine t-shirts. Like the stereotypically crass car salesmen of old, eBay, in the midst of a search results page full of Katrina hurricane relief fund listings, eBay is shamelessly selling t-shirts.
UPDATE: In comments, it is clarified that this is an affiliate ad placed by a party other than eBay itself. Still, the average consumer would never know that and would clearly see this as an eBay ad thereby placing the company in a less than respectable light. If eBay, or any other company, can't control how their brand is referenced in online advertising, it's clearly indicative something's very wrong with the system.
With the increase in websites that require registration to fill their databases with valuable demographic information which is used to properly target advertising, privacy advocates have increasingly spoken out against the practice and fake registration credentials web service, BugMeNot, continues to grow. Now, a site called Internet Advertiser Wakeup Day has launched a petition which vows to, on November 13th, have all signers register fakes details on sites the have deemed the top ten offending sites: nytimes.com, washingtonpost.com, latimes.com, ajc.com, chicagotribune.com, dallasnews.com, nypost.com, philly.com and mercurynews.com.
While no one likes to be interrupted with registration when all one is trying to do is read a simple article arrived at through another link, there is value to the registration process. In it's current state, though, it's a mess. Much work needs to be done and much explanation of the value of registration to the consumer needs to be done as well along with making the entire process far simpler. Shedding insight on the issues and suggesting a speedier, aggregated process, Underscore Marketing President Tom Hespos offers his opinion on MediaPost.