So by now you've seen the video of Microsoft Store employees breaking into "spontaneous" dance in their new Mission Viejo store, right? If not, watch it here and then come back.
OK? Was that the most horrifically forced thing you've ever witnessed? Not that this is news or anything. After all, everything Microsoft does is forced, unnatural and desperate. What's news is the fact the video has been labeled a viral stunt.
So I spent four days on a cruise ship with a bunch of social media types. The cruise was informative and fun and you can read about it here. I spent a lot of time with Allie Sullivan who I've worked with in the past when she was at PETA and the Humane Society. She always tipped Adrants to many of those organization's ad campaigns, various marketing stunts and social media efforts.
On the cruise, she told me she hopes to land a job at Playboy which is seeking a Social Media and Audience Development Manager. Hmm. A girl running Playboy's social media efforts? Does that mean Playboy will end up looking like this and Hugh will have to start tweeting about Playboy's position on the objectification of women?
While Playboy certainly does a great job helping men engage in a particular form of personalized social activity, the organization could use some help engaging with with people on a broader level. To, you know, really cement the notion there are actually people out there who read Playboy "for the articles."
OK, OK. While it's apparent the only Playboy tweets anyone will care about are the ones pimping the latest centerfold or the Girls of Social Media features, the organization could certainly benefit from some transitioning away from Hugh Hefner in pajamas as its image.
Back for its fourth year, the popular ElfYourself from OfficeMax has more goodies than ever before. Now people can star in two dances, Hip Hop Elves and Singing Elves, along with favorites from past years. Of course, Facebook Connect has been added so people can easily use Facebook photos from within ElfYourself and post the video to walls. And, yes, Twitter's there as well.
In its past three year's existence, the game has garnered 284 million visits. There was also a flash mob stunt to hype this year's outing.
OK. Time to play catch up.
- For some inexplicable reason, images of people who've pissed their pants are supposed to sell Volkswagen GTIs.
- Those grunting and groaning sounds you hear from your son's room? It's not what you think.
- Verizon continues to slam AT&T.
- Those Japanese. They think of everything. For the ladies whose nipples get much too large for concealment in cold weather, try the USB Bust Beauty Pad.
- The long, frustrating road to "Strawberry Flavored Juice Drink Blend" and the idiocy of selling juice that really isn't juice.
- "Social ads don't drive clickthroughs. Unlike billboards."
- And then there's the whole exposed nipple thing American Apparel loves so much. NSFW>.
- Julia Allison. You've never hear of her (unless you're a social media troll and love Twitter) but she is now featured in a new Sony ad alongside Justin Timberlake.
- Be sure to check out episode 5 of AdVerve with Bill Green and Angela Natividad.
- Conde Nast ad pages dropped 43 percent (8,359 pages) in 2009.
- The Art Director's Club has a new look.
- Check out Tweeagle, "a real-time collection of the dirtiest words and wordsmiths on twitter."
- OMG! MINI has "entered a new era of the brand's social media marketing" with...a MINI Facebook page! OMFG! Can you believe it?
- The Meijer Headless Horseman is making his way through Chicago, Indianapolis, Cincinnati and Columbus.
- Into jiggling boobs? Uh, man boobs that is. Then you'll love this Identity Guard commercial.
Yes, we're pimping the Audience Conference will which take place in New York November 6 at the Hudson Theater and Millennium Hotel. So do us a favor and go. You won't regret it. Seriously. We're going and you should too. Besides, it's another opportunity to bullshit about advertising and who among us doesn't love to do that?
Speakers include TechCrunch's Mike Arrington, CBS News' Dan Farber, AllThingsD's Peter Kafka, Crayon's Joe Jaffe, MS&L's David Binkowski, Mahalo's Jason Calacanis, Copyblogger's Brian Clark, Shoemoney's Jeremy Shoemaker, Warner Bros. Records' Ethan Kaplan, uber PR dude Jeremy Pepper and many more.
Oh the the $50 part? When you register (which you are going to do, right?), use discount code "adrants" and save $50.
Joe Jaffe's Crayon (among other companies including Adam Brown at Coke) is behind a new program for Coke called Expedition 206. Beginning January 1, 2010, Coke will send three ambassadors around the world to visit 206 countries in 365 days. The purpose as Jaffe writes is to "seek out, discover and celebrate the epitome of 'happiness' as it presents itself across different people, places and cultures."
Sounds a bit like a corporate version of Matt Harding's work for Stride but hey, you can never leverage and monetize the power of "world happiness" enough. So it's all good.
When did we arrive at a point in time when it was OK for a brand to essentially say, "Please take a shit in public and tells us about how it felt, what it looked like and how effective the toilet paper was at wiping it off your ass?"
Thanks to Charmin's Enjoy the Go promotion, we're in that moment right now. The toilet paper brand is seeking five people to spend five weeks in a Charmin-branded bathroom in Manhattan and blog about dropping a log.
Following its Fiesta Movemant, Ford is seeking 2010 Fusion and Fusion Hybrid owners to participate in Fusion 41, an automotive relay race which aims to build awareness and excitement around the new Fusion. The Fusion owner of the winning team will have their vehicle paid off, and team members will win free gas for one year.
Eight participants will be chosen based on "their passion for Fusion and their ability to share compelling information about the vehicle on the internet." Think hot chicks with tens of thousands of followers.
Lest anyone accuse us of ignoring negative publicity about a company we're in bed with (which we very much are when it comes to ad:tech), it's our duty to let you know about a little pay for play snafu ad:tech found itself in when it offered "key influencers" free or discounted access to its New York conference in exchange for three pieces of media coverage. The media coverage could take the form of a blog post, a Tweet or a mention on Facebook.