Like a teen burning high school paraphernalia in (futile) hope of evolving as a human being, Ruby Tuesday decided to blow up one of its old restaurants "to mark our departure from the sea of sameness within the casual dining industry."
But oops, it blew Cheeky's up instead. Har har. See apology.
All this to tell you Ruby Tuesday's changed its decor and menu. From the BooneOakley pressie: "Makeover was designed by Pentagram, and driven by the fact that the various competing casual dining chains, including Ruby Tuesday--had all become indistinguishable, whether to diners or to demolition experts."
What a relief that at least one establishment is picking up the slack for the menagerie of demented, '50s-inspired, totally flammable monotony. All this time I thought it was my fault for thinking Molotov cocktails were racy aperitifs! There's an order I won't make a third time.
- It's another raging Hitler appropriation. This one's called "The Rise and Fall of Twitter." Given that we've had similar spittle-fits over Twitter's goddamn down time, it's pretty funny, actually.
- Some nights you just need to pop a Kanye into your glass.
- Lack of bear at Black Bear Diner.
- So I guess the Montauk Monster is a guerrilla effort for an indie movie called Splinterheads.
- British carrier TalkTalk is trying to help fight autism with a campaign called The Forever Story. Alongside the common man, authors like Nick Hornby will contribute to a story that's supposed to go on forever. For every contribution, TalkTalk will donate 1 pound (the currency) to a charity called Treehouse.
While ad:tech Chicago's "The Role of Email in a Web 3.0 World" was mostly theory, I liked its feel-good flow. Moderator Christopher Marriott of Acxiom Digital got panelists comfortable without making viewers feel like they were sitting on the outside of an inside joke. It's a rare and beautiful skill.
Marriott acknowledged it was late in the day and told us up-front that the panelists were debriefed on his questions beforehand. As a result, he said, they came laden with slides to answer three major questions:
1. How might the nature of email change as it goes more completely cross-platform?
2. Can email coexist with the semantic web (web 3.0) ... or co-opt it?
3. What role will The Consumer play in creating web 3.0 email?
Before we get too deep down the rabbit hole, let's define web 3.0.
For its back-to-school campaign "New School of Thought," Adidas Originals went all hipster and whatnot. The company partnered with trueAnthem to create a widget that gives away free music by Ultraviolet Sound and 30 percent discounts on Adidas Originals gear. The widget also includes short Adidas audio ads mixed by the band.
The street-sassy shoe brand joins Converse, Gap, Cartier and even Vanity Fair in disseminating free MP3s to the masses.
Why this might be smart marketing: if iTunes listeners switch Coverflow on, listening to your track will expose them to your marketing message, along with the album art. And if the campaign music's been uploaded onto last.fm, then last.fm users expose their friends to your brand when they listen to your track. So go stimulate those white earbuds, you go-getters, you.
Tuesday night at ad:tech Chicago wrapped up with a keynote by author Clay Shirky, "Here Comes Every Customer: The Former Audience is Talking Around You."
The Big Idea, if intro speaker Drew Ianni is any authority: "The internet is the most important thing to happen to the human species."
That's a pretty high and mighty manifesto. Upon taking the stage, Shirky tried conveying the same idea with more precision -- and a much higher word count.
Widgets are the rage! Widgets are the new, new thing! The new, new must-have! Widgets are web 7.0! Widgets! Widget! Widgets! The Chicago ad:tech panel, Widgets and Applications - The New Media Network, covered what's going on in the world of widgets. Panelists included Omniture Senior Director of Product marketing Chris Duskin, Slide GM Advertising Sonya Chawla, Gigya VP of Sales Ben Pashman, Avenue A Director of Emerging Media and Video Innovation Jeremy Lockhorn and Sprout Co-Founder and CEO Carnet Williams.
Lockhorn described the "old" ad world as Ad 1.0 or a world in which advertising was all about interruption and intrusion. He described the "new" ad world as Ad 2.0, a world in which people are not interrupted and that exists where the people are in an unobtrusive way. This, according to Lockhorn, is the world in which widgets live. So what are widgets?
Just when you think there couldn't possibly be yet another flavorized Doritos line extension, the funny bunch over at Frito-Lay come up with even more. But this time, rather than creating new flavors, because, like, they've already done them all, they mix two flavors together and call it something new.
To promote this flavorific fusion, Doritos (in the UK) has launched the Doritos Collision campaign, a series of videos that pit flavor mascots against one another wrestling ring-style. There's Feathered Fury, The Griller, Tenacious T and El Zesto.
In addition to the videos, the brand has teamed with Bebo and Endamol's The Gap Year, a web series. Oh, and there's all kinds of social media goodness as well.
Adrants contributor Krista Neher of Photrade attended the opening ad:tech Chicago keynote and submitted this article:
Ad:tech kicked off with a great start! ad:tech Chair Dew Ianni introduced the keynote speaker and shared some key info on the state of the industry. A few key pieces of information:
- Online Advertising is growing - from $25B to $50B in 2012
- IAB reported $6.8B in Q1 with growth of 18% (not bad for a slowing economy)
- Key Trend - Consolidation: 300 "networks" to a few dozen by 2010
- $$ still flowing to innovators: Apps/Widgets, Social, Mobile, Niche
- With the state of the economy, ad budgets are tightening, however digital and online continue to show growth
The stage was set with an optimistic outlook for digital marketing, and keynote speaker Google Industry Development Director Kevin Kells kicked it off by asking the audience: "What comes to mind when you think of performance and brand building?" After a short silence (probably because the coffee hasn't kicked in yet), the audience threw out some suggestions:
- Increased Sales
According to Kevin, growth comes largely from being more relevant to the marketplace. There are two things that are really driving this: 1) Gathering and using better insights from the people that matter to you the most and 2) Telling more stories more often to people who matter to you.
Newsforce's Dana Todd isn't a fan of the Holiday Inn Meat you Maker banner campiagn currently running on Slate. He writes:
"Ok, I'm frustrated with this. See attached ad, running on Slate right now. Note the potential misspelling "Meat your maker". Hmm, puzzling. Mousing over to expand the rich ad got me no more info about meat or what it had to do w/this professor guy. Clicked the link, sat through ridiculous talking head, still no meat."
Todd goes on, writing, "Can they just not spell, or is there some mystery being unfolded regarding meat or mastery or anything of any consequence? Driving me nuts. I'll probably have to take a valium tonight ;-)"
Yes, after watching, we might need a Valium as well. But, we're still a fan of Philip Baker Hall.
Before we get into this story, let's make sure everyone is on the same page regarding User-Generated Content. Thanks to Brickfish, which just launched a User-Generated Content campaign for Family Circle and eBay, we have this handy explanation.
"The campaign relies on User-Generated Content [get that??? USER-GENERATED CONTENT!] to reach women across the Web. Brickfish campaigns are designed to spark the creation of brand-focused UGC [that's USER-GENERATED CONTENT, by the way] such as blogs, images, video and audio. Brickfish's content sharing tools enable anyone to view and review submissions, vote on their favorites, and share them with friends and peers using email, Instant Message and postings on hundreds of social networking sites including Facebook, MySpace and many more [get that" MANY MORE!!!]. Brickfish campaigns become extremely viral [that's VIRAL, people! VIRAL! VIRAL is cool!] using a peer-to-peer marketing approach."
Isn't USER-GENERATED CONTENT cool? Neat, huh?