Confirming the well known fact that there are no more new ideas and that the sincerest form of flattery in advertising is to copy another's work, Starbucks is the second company, after Netscape, to copy the office cubicle microsite thing, apparently originated by Hostway in April. Now, for those who like to snoop, yes, Starbuck's version of the office cubicle site, called DoubleShot, resides on a site that was registered way back in 1998 but an informant tell us the cubicle creative was recently launched. No doubt, Adrants readers will correct any errors in this assumption.
The site itself has all the usual stuff from a lame video to a picture of parents that say "hello" to a gadget sweepstakes to voice mail messages to a ceiling darts to a number you can call to reach "Hank" who, of course, isn't answering. It's all been done before. Done. Done. Done. But, why is it that we spent so much time on the site engaging in "brand immersion" as those account management types like to call it? maybe the office cubicle is the new :30. Hey, the :30 worked forever. Why not the office cubicle?
MediaPost's Amy Corr has gathered together a few recent campaign launches in her Out to Launch column, one of which proves beer marketers haven't left scantily clad women as seducers...uh...sellers of its products. A new campaign for Milwaukee's Best (yes, they do need all the help they can get) has launched on TV, print, an on the web with the tagline, "Brewed for a Man's Taste." Taste in what, you ask. Taste in "finely tuned" woman apparently. The website has all the usual male stupidity such as an ogling game in which a man must avert his eyes from his best friend's girlfriend's cleavage but if that's not possible, the site also provides wallpaper and downloads of finely Photoshopped models to ogle on the privacy one's own computer screen.
While the site reinforces man's neaderthal tendencies, the commercials, which feature proverbially manly men acting proverbially unmanly, are actually quite funny and not far from reality.
Kosher.com has launched a little promotional cartoon, created by Dan Meth, which does a great job clearly explaining the Kosher.com offering. From mentioning the foods they carry by name and showing them to explaining where they came from to telling you how can buy them, Kosher.com makes it clear they are they place to go to when Kosher food is what's for dinner. It's not rocket science but, unfortunately, too many commercials try to be and fail. This one doesn't and, pleasantly, succeeds.
A tipster tells us Ask Jeeves will announce its entry into the world of paid search bidding with the launch of a new product interface on August 1. Reportedly, the service will compete with Google and Yahoo's keyword bidding products leaving MSN the last to enter this arena.
It's a microsite! It's a microsite! It's a CPB microsite! Everybody look! Everybody drool in awe! Everybody bow to the masters of deck! Yes, Crispin Porter & Bogusky has launched another site for Burger King that follows the chicken theme. This time, the chickens are a heavy metal imitator band, called Coq Roq, dressed in chicken masks who sing about Burger King Chicken Fries. We know it's cool because it's, like, so ironic and snarky and weird and...um...other cool stuff too. And, it has ringtones! Yes, you heard it here first, ringtones! And music and a gallery, and...something new...a message board! OK, enough of that. We did kinda like it what with all the hot, chicken head groupies and KISS-like, head banging antics.
See...we didn't even make a cock rock joke. Oops...sorry.
In May, we announced Keds had extended its deal with Mischa Barton and would be launching a campaign featuring The O.C. actress Mischa Barton. Recently, the shoe company launched a website, Mischa Barton Fall '05, created by Toth and mediumbold, featuring Mischa and her involvement in the creation of the campaign, her take on the definition of cool, behind the scenes commentary on the photo shoots for the campaign, Mischa's answers to fan mail, her take on Hollywood hot spots, her favorites songs and, of course, the shoes.
The campaign's tagline is "Be Cool" and the word cool must be uttered by Mischa at least one hundred times throughout her appearances in the site's mini-videos. Not a bad choice for a tagline considering how many times people say "cool" in every day conversation. It's akin to Verizon's "Can you hear me now?" tag which, as anyone who owns a cell phone knows, is said more than a few times every day.
To explain a list of features more intricate than those found within a nuclear submarine, refrigerator maker Sub-Zero has launched a microsite displaying things inside its new, 800 pound PRO 48 you never new a refrigerator needed. From LED lights that illuminate food to retracting crisper lids to slide out food drawers that can double as oven pans, the only thing missing from this fridge is a built in garbage disposal that automatically eliminates food past its expiration date.
Adrants reader Patrick Bennet ponders the oddity of a Hummer ad placed in conjunction with CNN London bombing stories, writing, "Am I the only one who can't help but notice the irony in the fact that every time I want to watch a video on the CNN website about the latest bombing in London, or deaths in Iraq, or terrorists in general there is a Hummer ad preceding the story?
It's as though Hummer wants to make sure they tie their oil dependency inducing vehicles as closely as possible to the results of that kind of thing.
Am I the only one noticing this? If you were Hummer, is this where you would put your ads? Before stories of terror and mideast instability?"
Either Hummer has intentionally planned this through contextual keywords or it's just an unfortunate side effect of the contextual advertising concept. Of course, Patrick might be one of the few people seeing this placement, having been previously identified, via cookies and behavioral targeting through the likes of Tacoda, as having exhibited car buying behavior elsewhere on the web.
Capitalizing on increasing consumer involvement with content creation, ESPN and MasterCard will launch a program this fall where sports fans can submit self-created videos and images of their goofy sports moments which will be displayed on the web for visitors to vote for favorites. During the voting period in September and October, submissions will be displayed bracket style with the first place winner receiving a sports room makeover and the second place winner receiving $5,000 in MasterCard credit. The program, created by GSD&M, will be promoted on ESPN and ESPN.com with four 15 second shorts.
To promote its new AIM Mail, AOL has a couple of strange online videos, created by Attik. One has a receptionist drifting into a daydream which consists of superhero midgets...oops...dwarfs...oops...little people giving her a tickle attack. The other has a pair of sushi falling in love only to have one killed by getting eaten. Both end with @aim addresses and no other form of linkage.
Once at the AIM Mail site, there are blogs that promote the videos. The videos can be viewed here and here.