The Newspaper: Less a Medium than a Feeding Tube


Today I came across a banner ad run by the Newspaper Association of America, which seeks to reposition "the newspaper" -- a rolled-up, grayish mound of reading material that occasionally appears on the threshold of hotel room doors -- as "The Multi-Medium."

"Is newspaper old media or new media?" the ad asks, followed by an enigmatic, all-encompassing response: "Yes." Below the text is a woman whose newspaper appears to be feeding content to other media from a bunch of wires and cords. Cute.

Click-throughs guide the perplexed to Newspaper Media. With pretty imagery, plenty of data -- many of which are broken links -- and sentences that melodramatically start, "In a world where consumers are tuning out advertising...", the NAA hopes we'll start perceiving newspapers as less a stagnating medium than an abstract (but stable!) concept: "newspaper" isn't just where Gram finds the crossword; it is THE legit news source, offline and online (unless you're looking for data on why).

And the NAA can help you (yes, you!) advertise on both.

In defense of the NAA's position -- which could use some work, starting with those dead links -- print media isn't dying so very quickly. Newspaper readership grew 2.5 percent in the top 100 markets, according to a survey from earlier this year. And trusted newspaper brands increasingly dip into other so-called "new" media: mobile and internet, for a start. The New York Times even started embedding video.

See? Nobody's dying. Now go help Rupert Murdoch finance a new yacht.

by Angela Natividad    Sep-21-08    
Topic: Newspaper, Online, Strange

New Ads Say Corn Syrup's OK in Moderation


There's something crude and flippant about these new ads by the Corn Refiner's Association, which have begun advertising to undo all the bad PR surrounding high fructose corn syrup.

In one spot, a mother casually accuses another of not caring what her kids eat; in another, an uptight boyfriend insinuates his girlfriend doesn't love him because she's offered him an artificially sweetened Popsicle.

Both the girlfriend and the accused mom get the last word in the end. Turns out the corn syrup Nazis don't know why it's bad, and are apparently only following an invisible crowd of lemmings informed by, who knows, the nasty nasty liberal media.

Each spot ends with "You're in for a sweet surprise!" and guides users to, which sports a gigantic, disarmingly fresh ear of (as-yet-unrefined?) corn.

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by Angela Natividad    Sep-19-08    
Topic: Bad, Brands, Campaigns, Commercials, Online, Strange, Television

Mortal Coil Be Damned, There's a Popcorn Bowl at Stake!


On October 2 in Times Square, Netflix kicks off a five-day movie-watching marathon. The objective: to make the Guinness World Record for most consecutive hours spent watching movies.

Provided you don't die of sleep deprivation, drowning or electrocution,* winners get "undeniable notoriety associated with holding the title of world champion," plus $10K, a lifetime Netflix subscription, and a Popcorn Bowl trophy -- the first of its kind!

But jobless film buffs be warned: the current record-holder, Ashish Sharma of Mathura, India, will also compete. The time to beat is 120 hours and 23 minutes.

To promote the marathon, DECON produced three spots for TV and three for online. The online ones are pretty much the same as the TV ones, except more to-the-point (see?).

Each ends with a huge Netflix logo, followed by the ominous words, "The training has begun." Titillated? Is your calling calling? Enter on Facebook.

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Menstrual Cramps Got You Down? Print Out Some Iron-On Cupcakes!


In its ongoing quest to appeal to the Prozac nation ("Have a happy period!"), P&G pad-peddler Always redid its site.

Think pastel shades, abusive Corsiva-style typefaces and a general "Happy" theme. PMS-sufferers are invited to spread the happy! with downloadable insanity, zen garden therapy, or -- better yet! -- by printing out iron-on clip art.

"Make your period a happier time by grabbing a comfy tee and pair of panties, picking your favorite transfer designs and heating up the iron!" the site prattles, its copywriter clearly a model of loathing -- or on a whole lot of Zoloft.

by Angela Natividad    Sep-18-08    
Topic: Bad, Brands, Online, Strange

No, Those Are Not Goatees


When it comes to educating the public about sex, nobody beats the French for racy content and entertainment value. But RFSU, the Swedish Association for Sexuality Education, comes pretty close.

Visit Shave the Pussy, a promotional "intimate care guide" for, uh, trimming Fiffi. Style you own, name it too (the one at left is called "KFC"), or just rate the designs of others. Get this: for entering a unique design, you could win your own barber set.

Fun times in the bathroom!

by Angela Natividad    Sep-18-08    
Topic: Campaigns, Online, Promotions, Racy, Strange

Old Icons Meet New Ones in Primetime Emmy Campaign


When you've got nostalgia on your side, you'd be damn silly not to take advantage.

Bowing to this philosophy, WONGDOODY is promoting the 60th Primetime Emmy Awards by compiling collages of popular TV characters from the last 60 years. See banner ads, a ginormous collage (tagline: "one night. everything you love about tv.") and a fun bus wrap ("Everybody on TV is going. Are you?"). It's so Universal Studios!

The campaign, "Where TV Comes Together," will run until the broadcast of the 60th Primetime Emmys, which airs Sunday Sept. 21 at 8pm EST.

In the meantime, it should guarantee some good clean time-wasting fun. Use the ads to play a makeshift version of Where's Waldo?, except with Captain Kirk and Miss Piggy instead of a stripey-shirt dude you don't even know.

by Angela Natividad    Sep-18-08    
Topic: Campaigns, Celebrity, Good, Magazine, Online, Outdoor, Poster, Promotions

More Hygiene Faux-Pas from Your Business Hotel of Choice!


In Extended Stay Hotels' latest ad, a sizable breeze blows out of clients' asses, effectively enabling them to slam doors from 10 feet away. The premise is, Extended Stay Hotel will make you just that comfortable.

More coherent than its last effort, where a girl wanders around licking stuff. I respect that ESH will make you feel comfortable enough to pass gas, but do I want to be in the building when everybody's sharing what their insides smell like?

Just the thought of strangers ambling about in robes, passing gas and licking shit ... ugh, I wish I hadn't just had Chee-Tos. Way to turn tummies, Toy/New York.

by Angela Natividad    Sep-18-08    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Commercials, Online, Strange

Shoot Clays, Cure Leukemia; LiveBar for Lifeless Websites; Pink Palin Kippahs; Crest Slogan Contest


- LiveBar makes static websites instantly interactive. Hooray! No work for you.

- Twenis. Hilarity.

- Yahoo tries hard to be kooky. "That's the problem with Yahoo: It thinks it's an iPod -- universally loved and carried around. But it's really a Mac -- a fine product nevertheless rejected by many."

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Crispin Exchanges MSFT/Seinfeld Ads for Potentially Worse Idea


Well, everyone got what they wanted. Those zany Bill Gates/Jerry Seinfeld ads (see 1 and 2) are out of the picture and now we'll never see what they were building up to. That upsets me. Then again, I didn't whip out the $10 million for Seinfeld.

In their stead, Crispin's hired a dead-ringer for John Hodgman, the stodgy but lovable "humorist" who personifies PC in Apple's "Mac vs. PC" ads. (See Hodgman pose as free pizza in the most recent spot. He's so cute!)

According to Engadget, the new effort is a direct rebuttal to the "Mac vs. PC" ads, which have become part of popular culture. One even starts out with the John Hodgman lookalike saying, "Hello, I'm a PC, and I've been made into a stereotype."

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Seven Tips For Publishers Joining Ad Networks


Guest contributor Frank Sims is Senior Vice President of Publisher Services for Viralytics Media and has compiled a list of items of which publishers seeking acceptance from ad networks should be aware. If you think because he runs an ad network this piece is self-serving, you may be right. Then again, heeding his suggestions would certainly seem to increase your chances of acceptance.

With the big Ad Networks touting ever expanding reach and a firm grasp of the "Long-Tail", it almost seems like a slap in the face when you receive that denial letter stating that "your site is not a proper fit for our network at this time". Well don't worry, it may not be due to the fact that your site has an unpleasant design or inferior content - you may have just broken one of the ad network's 7 deadly publisher sins.

To help guide you through the treacherous submission process, here is a list of the seven things to be aware of when applying to the big CPM networks.

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by Steve Hall    Sep-17-08    
Topic: Online, Opinion, Tools

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