To promote its new Range Rover Sport, Land Rover has launched a website called, "The New Rush," which launches you into a night time cityscape complete with nightclub and mysterious people on the sidewalk. All of this, of course, is interspersed with touch points that explain the vehicle's features. While we think this an engaging and information filled experience, one Adrants reader thinks there's a drug overtone to it writing, "...it appears RUSH is some sort of red light district type nightclub with all sorts of party-goers hanging out front and a blinking red R florescent sign. Also, when you roll your mouse over one of the couples, a conversation bubble pops up that says, "What lines." Now being a bona fide drug researcher, I can assure you that this can have double and triple meanings especially since this creative relies more on heroin based sensibilities then cocaine ones." We've retired from the drug scene so we'll have to leave it to those in the filed to offer further comment.
The campaign is also supported by outdoor pointing to the website.
Adland tells the story of a clueless Denmark Coke marketing manager who seems to be the last person of earth who knows the Internet is about linking one website to another. This manager, after forcing a Coke fansite to changes it's URL because it the Coke brand name in it, then asked fansite owner Andre Lund via email to stop linking to the Coke site with this oddball reasoning, "If you are to be allowed to link to a coca cola website (cocacola.dk) you have to send in a written application to us. I can not see that you have made such an application, and there is no agreement with you about this. So I have to ask you to remove the link to www.cocacola.dk."
Apparently, someone gave this marketing person a lesson in Internet 101 causing the Coke manager to relent and publicly apologize of the Coke site. It's hard to believe this kind of thinking still exists.
Here's a collection
of interesting, animated ad banners that are, apparently, for a Brazilian Internet company.
Wednesday, it was Mitsubishi's turn. Today it's Batman's turn. The "caped crusader" has taken over the Yahoo homepage with a bunch of flying bats and a fairly friendly half screen, window shade ad unit promoting the upcoming movie. And no, it doesn't work with Firefox.
In an effort to counter the bad wrap foisted on the cookie, an identifying file placed on a person's computer marketers use to serve targeted ads and sites use to remember people's login information, online marketers are launching a "cookies can be good for you" campaign. Dynamic Logic President Nick Nyhan, who's company measures online ad performance, co-founded safecount.org along with Microsoft to convince antispyware firms to allow certain "good" cookies through their filters.
While methods to replace the cookie are currently being developed, such as United Virtualities' PIE, the campaign hopes to educate people of the cookie's benefits such as saving login info and remembering certain website configuration preferences rather than focusing on its advertising tracking capabilities to which people will just thumb their noses.
Random Culture points to this Applebee's DunkTank online game in which you upload a picture of yourself, crop your face, dress yourself in a choice of clothing and dunk yourself like one of those carnival games. Random Culture says it's pretty funny. We'll take his word for it. When we realized we had to upload a picture of ourself, we decided it was too much work so we'll just show you Random Culture's pic instead.
For Your IE's Only
So, today, Mitsubishi launched their cool-ish Yahoo page take over to promote the new 2006 Eclipse. By using the a,s,d,w keys, visitors can drive the car around the Yahoo page before heading to the car's microsite. It's engaging enough as page takeovers go but we have one concern. It's hard to believe that most marketers, especially a supposedly savvy marketer like Mitsubishi, still think Internet Explorer is the only browser worth designing for. You see, we use Firefox here because, well, it's just, like, way better than Explorer. We also spend our entire day writing about advertising. You'd think Mitsubishi would want those who write about advertising to easily and without need to fire up another browser, view their page takeover creative. Apparently the 10 to 20 percent of us that use Firefox don't matter. Actually, maybe that's a good thing. Those that use Firefox also use it because most of this fancy stuff doesn't work with Firefox and we like that little "feature" just fine.
Absolut has launched a pseudo-scientific little Flashy thing, called "Find Your Flavor," that lets you take a timed quiz which then determines which flavor of Absolut you are. We seem to me Mandarin but that's probably because we get dyslexic navigating fancy Flash sites. No matter, give it a whirl. After all, you have no actual work to do today, right? You're just "concepting."
New York JWT ad exec Steve Coulson has launched the mother of all eBay ironies with his "Your Logo on my Golden Palace" bid. Poking fun at eBay's ability to catapult absolutely nothing to fame and Golden Palace's ceaseless appetite for all parts of the human body, the ad promises the winning bidder's logo will be placed on a small Golden Palace which will be displayed on Steve's desk and seen by "decision makers, media buyers and celebrities" who visit his office. Perhaps this will finally end this little mini-trend.
Once the primary method of achieving higher search engine results placement, hidden links - links which appear as text on a webpage but are invisible because they are the same color as the background - are now used, mostly, by disreputable marketers and are frowned upon by search engines who will punish sites using these links by pushing the site further down the results page. Surprisingly, hidden links have been found on the Financial Times website. Ken McGaffin, while doing some research for a client, found 138 hidden links on the Financial Time website within the first hour of his search.
McGaffin explains why marketers would engage in these shady practices, writing on his blog, "Google will regard a site such as FT.com as a trusted authority and any site that FT.com links to will get a significant boost to its ranking. The site will move towards the top of search engine results, bringing more visitors and more lucrative business as a result."
We don't pretend to know a lot about search engine marketing but we don't have to know much to realize it's practices such as this that undermine the medium, affect consumer trust and make life that much more challenging for marketers who choose to play by the rules. We think it's a shame The Financial Times - and other sites - engage in this clandestine method of money making.