Chatroulette, a random video chat service that's similar to speed dating, now has the Travelocity Gnome jumping aboard the chat-fest. It's not the first brand to try the service. French Connection did that early last month.
Travelocity agency McKinney mans the gnome who holds up signs with various messages including "This would be more fun if we were in Rio." Hmm. How long before some enterprising hacker invents an "auto-next" feature so everyone can avoid chatting with a brand while they are busy having cybersex (remember that term?)?
Regarding some people's natural inclination to work sex into every media form, Travelocity's Joel Frey told AdWeek, "If we run across that type of person we're not going to engage we him. We'll leave it at that. It's something that's a concern with a new and different form like this. As long as we're being disciplined, we can overcome that and keep it to conversations with people who should be thinking about trips."
So here we have a yet another new "social media" service and within months, brands are all over it. Is this a good thing? Is there a place for brands on Chatroulette? Do people really want to chat with a brand? Thoughts?
- Foursquare was all the rage at SXSW this year. And they had a killer party with Ashton Kutcher in attendance. Now a new, location-based app, CauseWorld, allows you to check in to a box of Tampax. And other products. For charity. So it's all OK.
- YouTube now offers something else to distract us from the video we are viewing: ad overlays.
- In partnership with LookBook, American Apparel has figured out how to pimp itself without resorting to near naked teens in underwear.
Six months ago, two dudes from Twenty Three Engagement Marketing created a Facebook fan page using Alex Bogusky's name. They then created a ransom video offering to hand over the fan page if Bogusky would buy one share of the company for $1. yesterday, Bogusky bit and tweeted he'd agree to the offer.
The agency, which bills itself as being "six months old and ready to conquer the world," is drawing up an agreement which will inure Bogusky has no "creative superiority" over the shop. Hmm. As if he'd actually care but, hey, the dudes might as well cover their asses while they can.
File under stupidity.
Several years ago when Facebook opened itself to the masses after having been exclusive to those with a .edu email address, I asked a college-aged student what she thought of the move. Her answer? "Creepy."
That icky feeling is now represented in a Back of the Class video in which the hair band laments the fact "My Mom's on Facebook."
Almost 200,000 people have viewed the hilarity.
An organization, I Am Not Ashamed, aims to create the world's first video bible. With a campiagn supported by print, online, outdoor and social networking, the organization is asking people to submit video of themselves reading passages from the bible. The goal will be to cobble together all the submissions into one searchable video compendium of the Bible.
So if you see random people citing bible verse on a street corner, don't immediately assume they are homeless kooks or religious freak with nothing better to do than shove their views down other's throats.
Google's not going to be a fan of this one. Cambridge UK-based Rapportive just released a Firefox and Chrome extension that boots ads off a person's Gmail page and replaces them with Retagr-style social media links and bio info of the person whose email you are reading. It'll also pulls in their Twitter stream.
Lee Washington sent us this OMD-created campaign for Carlsberg Beer. Hinging the campaign on the World Cup (that would be soccer for us Americans), the agency has created England Team Talk, an online video competition which asks people to show their support for the Three Lions.
Prizes include meting the players and appearing in the brand's next commercial. Here's the promotional video and here's one of the entrants the agency thinks has a good chance of winning. Not that she's talented or anything.
Extending the original Fiesta Movement, Ford has signed on 40 people in 16 cities and paired them in teams of two to complete a series of missions and challenges locally. As before, Fiesta Agents will record their every move and upload it for the rest of the world to consume and, from the release, "redefine the way Fiesta is brought to market by interacting with consumers online and offline, while bringing Fiesta to their communities."
"This was a natural progression from the first phase of the Fiesta Movement," said Connie Fontaine, Ford Brand Content and Alliances manager. "Chapter 2 will still be rooted in social media, but this time the content will also live offline and find its way into new mediums. Fiesta needs to clearly be the star now as the agents share their work within their communities and beyond."
You see? It's all about the car now and not the social media personalities. Or so it is hoped.
It all begins March 10. Follow here.
PleaseRobMe aside, we all love Foursquare, right? Come on admit it. You know you do. You obsess over telling everyone where you are. You invent places just to get points. You covet badges. Admit it. It's a disease. But it's nothing new. It's just an extension of the Twitter disease which made us all think people actually give a shit what we're doing every single second of the day.
Enter Badges Like Us, a fairly lame rap rendition of the location-based game. Check it. Catch the lyrics on the video's YouTube page.
Facebook's been used to promote everything else so why not create "fake" Facebook profiles to promote biographies of world figures? That, apparently, was Duval Guillaume's thinking when it launched Facebook profiles for Albert Einstein, Fidel Castro and Nicolas Sarkozy.
The profiles offer up quotes and images from the books as well as hosted comments and discussion of the figures. But only enough to tease so that you'll want to run out and buy the book, of course.