- The inevitable has happened. Siruis and XM have merged in a $13 billion deal to become a single satellite radio provider. FCC approval is needed to seal the deal.
- MySpace is launching a comic book site. Seth Cohen would salivate.
- eBay will launch its online TV marketplace in March and will play a role in second quarter scatter.
- BudTV is not having a good time. Attorneys General from 21 states are on the brewer's ass about age verification for access to the service claiming it's too easy for minors to get in.
- Well, hallelujah. DVR owners watch commercials.
- Ooo, ooo, ooo! Leaked email outlines Yahoo's new publishing and advertising structure.
- With Dell Idea Storm, the computer maker is turning to consumers for input on what they'd like to see in future products.
This skin-crawling ad for Embarq so thoroughly grated the nerves on Bill that it gave us an uncourted sense of schadenfreude. In general, something about the ad embarrasses us in the same way your immortalization in the yearbook embarrasses you.
It merits adding that Embarq, who consider themselves trailblazers in the direction of common sense, will probably make good on a spot this annoying. It sort of clings, like toilet paper or static.
We're thankful that the song hasn't lodged itself in our heads yet but that's mainly because we're afraid of watching the spot a second time. We might catch '80's hair. And nobody wants that.
- FMBQ reports Royce International Broadcasting alleges to the FCC that Entercom, which hopes to acquire 16 CBS radio stations, is "a highly-leveraged criminal enterprise that cannot be relied on to serve the public interest" an wants the sale stopped.
- It seems the idiocy that is the FM radio promotional stunt may come to an end. FMBW repoprts, "After radio contestant Jennifer Strange died from water intoxication - the result of KDND/Sacramento's water-drinking contest Hold Your Wee for a Wii - syndicated radio personality Erich 'Mancow' Muller has announced that he is creating the Foundation For Responsible Radio and calling for an end to 'voyeuristic FM radio stunts.'" Nah. Opie and Anthony are still out there.
- Cynopsis reports the President's State of the Union address was viewed by a combined station total of 45.5 million people, up from 41.7 million in 2006.
In a world where...on wait, that movie trailer dude says that all the time. But, for once, the phrase can be put to good use: In a world where teens are subjected to an onslaught of "don't" ads (drive drunk, do drugs, eat too much, have unprotected sex, make racial slurs), the frequency of which only a creative reviewing a Cannes reel would subject oneself too, it's refreshing to see a different approach. We're thinking the teens are appreciating it too.
Rather than use scare tactics of meaningless pontifications, this Ad Council campaign called UR the Spokesperson uses humor and pokes fun at the overused and now meaningless scare and pontification tactics that teens are now desensitized to. In the ads, the usual teen foolery is going on inside a moving vehicle but rather than the ads ending in a crash or cutting to a stern lecture, a game show-style announcer hops in the car and asks, "How would you like to save your life from an ugly, reckless driving death?" It then goes on infomercial-style with the kids getting all agreeably 50's-style. It's different. It's refreshing. Whether it works, though, is an entirely different subject.
- Cynopsis reports, "The retransmission rights payments disagreement between MediaCom Communications and Sinclair Broadcast Group came to a head late Friday and into Saturday with MediaCom being forced to drop 22 Sinclair stations from its cable system in 12 states as of 12:01a January 6."
- Time Magazine is getting into the blog game with a site makeover, a news aggregator and topical blogs.
- Ecommerce hit the 4100 billion mark in 2006 and continues to charge ahead.
- Brands should know by now an angry mob of bloggers is something to steer clear of lest you want amplified what you intended to be hushed.
- Time says you are the Person of the year. Advertising Age says the consumer is the Agency of the Year. Jonah Bloom explains they really didn't copy Time.
- The free 411 services are catching on with advertisers. Aegon Insurance and Absolut are the latest brands to become advertisers on 1-800-FREE411.
- Heavy.com has closed on a second round of financing, $20 million from Polaris Venture Partners. The financing will be used to expand the network internationally.
Asking for consumer opinions and airing them as ads is super trendy, and Monster hops on the clue train with Monster Works for Me, a campaign running on just about all iterations of traditional media to ask us why we do what we do.
Created by Brand|Content out of Boston, it "recognizes the multiple reasons why people work and the passion that drives them," says agency CEO Doug Gladstone. "In short, no matter what you do, or what you'd like to do, Monster has the tools and resources that can help you find the right match, so you can be successful at whatever you pursue."
While we can't claim it pulls much creative weight it certainly moves the long-dormant Monster in the right direction as people are more interested in what they have to say than what companies have to say anyway. And it definitely helps to play mirror. So cheers to Monster.
AdTunes, the site that tracks music used in advertising has highlighted what it believes to be the Top Ad Music of 2006. From the odd combination of that haunting Gary Jules rendition of Tears for Fear's Mad World featured in the movie Donnie Darko with a Gears of War commercial to that elevator music-ish tune by Royksopp called Remind Me featured in the Caveman Geico Airport commercial, the list brings together some of the best musical choices of the year.
Our friend Bucky Turco, wrigin over at Complex, points us to a recent Hoover radio commercial in which promises to rid the world of dirty, unannoying unsightly.....um...hip hop? Yes, the vacuum manufacturer thinks, as James Bond did of the Beatles in one of his early flicks, the world should clean itself up and it's promising to do it's part. Check the spot out here (ignore the video ad and just click "download")
We don't usually expect to see famous impressionist artwork in hospital ads which is why this ad campaign for New Hampshire's Exeter Hospital by Boston-based Winsper jumped off the pages of the press release and slapped us pleasingly in the face. With the tagline The Art of Wellness," the campaign aims to, well, be different and, thankfully leave behind the overused, meaningless white coat and cutesy family imagery of which most hospital ad campaigns, sadly, consist. The creative will see representation in print, on radio and on billboards. See all the creative here.
This demonstrates that it is both possible and gratifying to make your telemarketers feel violated.
Scamp tipped us off. He thinks the clip is about the importance of having a strong tone of voice. If by strong tone of voice he means being able to slide into an invasive Deliverance-style redneck state then we agree. - Contributed by Angela Natividad