It isn't immediately clear whether the Maryland Comptroller has an ingenious sense of humor or just really low standards, but "Real Tax Payers of Genius" -- a video effort to get taxpayers to e-file -- definitely left us with a queasy "What hath YouTube wrought" sensation.
Word from a colleague: "I love how the screen says ifile ... and the voice says efile." But it was the papercut scene, and the digitally-enhanced voiceover, that stole our appetites.
We can't hate on something we so deeply pity. So hey, MD, here's some help. (And warm clammy thanks to Jack for molesting us with this audiovisual gem.)
Visit the deliciously dollhousey Coraline website. Enter the house, then click on the picture frame if you want to stitch buttons onto your face. Plenty to choose from, and each set of buttons is coupled with curiously thought-out descriptions. (That's the appeal of Coraline's marketing strategy: in keeping with the handmade motif, everything feels tailored to you, even things that obviously aren't.)
Once done tweaking and zooming your button eyes, download and save; embeds are available for MySpace and Facebook.
We also came across this Coraline Nike Dunks Giveaway offer. Okay, that's some pretty deep product whoring, but oh! we want them, just to have them, just because everything Coraline reeks of tasty dark girlwitch magic.
Co-founder Biz Stone wrote a blog post that elaborates on a suggestion he made earlier about monetizing Twitter. The crucial stuff:
"Twitter will remain free to use by everyone--individuals, companies, celebrities, etc. What we're thinking about is adding value in places where we are already seeing traction, not imposing fees on existing services."
So businesses already using Twitter can chill: they won't be charged extra for what they're already doing. Stone seems to be saying -- and we write that tentatively, because he leaves a lot of room for interpretation -- that only add-ons will cost anything, unless he means Twitter plans to bring ad support to high-traffic areas. (Hot hash tags and Summize search results look prime for this.)
"[We] hope to begin iterating on revenue products this year," he added.
Sounds like Jeff Bezos et al. are starting to tap their watches.
Guerrilla Comm and Silicon Alley Insider scooped us on this Onion spoof on Sony: its complex, overambitious product line, and utopic rape-your-eyeballs ad strategy.
Imagine all that in a news brief coloured by the profane angst-rage you suffer once you finally get that "motherfucking time vampire"* home. (Oh yeah, language NSFW.)
"Maybe the Onion was inspired by 'BD-Live,' the confusing and ill-advised plan to integrate Blu-ray disc watching with instant messaging," said Alley Insider. And the sad part is, that crazy POS was real.
Then again, LA Gear has never been the sharpest tool in the marketer shed.
Big tech geek fantasy: when clicks fall from the sky and deluge him with traffic, burying his torso and filling his mouth, each depressed pointer button a little piece of validation.
Like MacTeague's wife and her pile of gold coins. (Or, if you weren't an English major, like Scrooge McDuck and his swimming-pool vault.)
That's the imagery Vancouver-based hosting firm Peer1 channels in "Slacker," a video ad where a lazy techie fails to equip his company website for a click-through deluge. Enter said "deluge." The piece concludes, "Peer1: Fully scalable hosting solutions."
Problem, solution. Simple.
The Ad Store just sent us a plethora of new Zappos spots for spring/summer and fall/winter 2009.
"Step into Zappos" picks up where "Put a Little Zappos in Your Day!" left off. The latter featured a chipper delivery guy bringing sunshine and rainbows to a neighborhood; these spots riff off the glee infusion you get when you finally open that package.
Underpants-clad customers are pictured either standing in a Zappos box or walking into one. Putting on their best Vanna Whites for the camera, they either reveal their purchases or lift the box over themselves -- at which point they are suddenly transformed into fully-dressed Citizens of Society.
- Speeding could turn you into Haley Joel Osment.
- The Marijuana Policy people are boycotting Kellogg's for firing Phelps for smoking pot, even though he's been nailed in the past with a DUI. They feel this is hypocritical because pot doesn't necessarily kill; it just makes you real, real sleepy.
- So Good is boycotting Kellogg too, as is HuffPo.
- Guerrilla Comm rebrands.
- Twitter to charge brands for use. No word on how.
- Dame Edna for MAC.
- French billboard rage.
- Radiohead licensed
House of Cards one of its songs to a homeless shelter for an ad, dubbed "House of Cards," that breaks this month.
We don't know why we're writing this up, given that "going social" is not difficult, or costly, or even all that imaginative anymore, but hey -- if the PR people went out of their way to put this on the wire, then by gad we will honor their service.
Requisite quote candy:
"This is the first time a luxury fashion brand has launched a provocative social media campaign tying together their various data-linked platforms, like a multi-entry daily blog, twitter feed and facebook."
-- Scott Goodson, CEO, StrawberryFrog
A valuable lesson from Cisco: it doesn't matter who you are or what you're selling. Like Hallmark and Disney's made-for-TV movie department, you can turn any holiday to your advantage.
In this case, Cisco takes cheesy expressions of Valentine's Day love and wraps them around its ASR 9000, "the first in a new series of edge routers in nearly a decade" -- and more importantly, the fourth way to say I love you.
The video is presently circulating YouTube with FIVE out of FIVE stars! so far. It's the culmination of a months-long campaign in which pseudo-reporter Ira Pumfkin roamed Cisco's halls in pursuit of a big story. See the blog at Tech Edge Weekly (the link also appears at the end of the vid).