There are unconfirmed and likely false rumors floating about that Nike will sign a marketing deal with high school pole vaulting sensation Allison Stokke. A few weeks ago, Stokke became the subject of a leering Internet drool fest much to the chagrin of Stokke and her family who felt, first hand, what's it's like to be the object of Internet admiration. While images of Stokke are said to have been circulating for years, it wasn't until an image of her posing her her pole appeared on the sports blog With Leather that things broke loose.
Stokke, 18, is a senior at Newport Harbor high school in Newport Beach, California, set the freshman female pole vaulting record of 12' 8" and now jumps consistently over 13 feet. She's won titles, broken records and earned scholarships but now she's feeling the unfortunate fame of becoming an Internet celebrity. At first, she kept it a secret when friends tipped her her images were beginning to appear all over the Internet. Shortly after that she told her parents and has now considered consulting handlers to deal with all the sudden media attention.
We like gluelondon but we're not that impressed for their recent work done for Britain's Royal Navy recruitment efforts. Basically, it's a website that lets you send personalized video messages to your friends. Well, not all that personalized. From several videos of the Royal Navy doing their thing, one is chosen, the sender writes a message, chooses a name from a name list and then emails the thing to a friend or to the friends mobile.
Sadly, the site takes eons to load. It's one thing for a site to go through a slow pre-load which then results in a stellar experience but this site goes through a slew of very slow pre-loads, some of which stutteringly occur in the middle of the presentation which, itself, is far from stellar.
Targeted to 15-24 year olds, famous for their lack of attention span, we question how many will make it far enough through this site to actually click the Send button.
OK, it's a slow news day around here so forgive us if we report the stunning news Playboy is going to set up shop in Second Life. Set to occur in June, details are scarce and Second Life Herald has a lot of questions such as will there be a virtual Mansion? Will the real world bunnies have anything to do with the virtual bunnies? Will there even be virtual bunnies? How many Playboy Bunny avatars will actually be fat, balding, middle aged gamer geeks getting their rocks off while staring at their virtual Bunny? Do tell, Hugh. Inquiring geeks want to know.
As a follow up to their Livin' Large in Aveo, Chevy is doing the "this car's so awesome you could live in it" thing again. Chevy is sending Eric Schackne and Filup Molina on a cross-country quest for so-called stardom. The two will travel from Gainesville, Florida to Hollywood, California continue to to see if they can make it big in movie land. Along the way they'll document the people they meet, the experiences they have and the "performances" they deliver in comedy clubs and with improv troupes in cities along their route. Eesh. That oughtta be good. If you aren't lucky enough to be one of their stops on their week-long road trip, the whole thing's being chronicled with videos and a blog.
No one really wants to live in a car but a road trip is a right of passage and we're liking Chevy a lot for helping these two dudes fulfill this important life chapter. We think more automakers should get in on the game too. After all, there ain't much money in the pockets immediately after college.
Riding the vertical social network trend, TitleRound, a new social networking site for men hopes to offer guys what they can't find on MySpace, Facebook and other broadly focused networks. We're told the site will provide "a centralized area where guys in their twenties, thirties and forties can communicate on a public and personal level about the topics and interests that matter to them, including sports, gear, entertainment, activism, business, sex and health." Probably a good thing. There's only so much time a guy can spend looking at and fantasizing about things he'll never get his hands on. At least with TitleRound a guy can win stuff through the site's Triple Crown baseball promotion.
Not completely ignoring a guy's primary needs, TitleRound also features a baseball hottie contest in which guys can leer at women dressed in baseball uniforms. Some things will never change.
- Classic "How many licks does it take?" Tootsie Pop commercial gets a makeover. not sure we like.
- With rampant ageism in this industry, here's a few reasons why it isn't always such a great idea to cast out over 40s.
- Cynopsis reports, "MySpace agreed to acquire PhotoBucket for a reported $250 million in cash and bonuses. Photobucket, one of the darlings of the Web 2.0 phenomenon, is the web's dominant photo sharing site with 41 million registered users."
- ABC will air Lost three more seasons ending in 2010. That's two seasons too many.
- Do you design movie posters? Do you think they are stupid/ Think you can do better? now you can design your own with Movie Poster Toolbox.
- Verizon and Fergie have teamed to offer mobile phone-based wireless tickets to her upcoming tour.
- MySpace is said to be purchasing Photobucket for $250 million.
- Fewer and fewer people may not be watching your TV ads but if your target audience is kids under 2, you're in luck. Ninety percent watch.
Following the return of Heroes Monday night (which, by the way, packed into one episode what a normal TV drama would have stretched over an entire season making it intensely interesting), the IAC ran a commercial - which has been on YouTube for six months - promoting those cute little traveling Zwinky avatars and the launch of Zwinktopia, a virtual world devoted to the little digital creatures who follow you around wherever you choose use them. Because of the many request IAC has received from users who want to outfit their avatars with actual brand name clothing, the organization is working with brands serve that need thereby creating an ad medium along the way.
Chris from Cogbox tells an interesting story about Digg, its users, digital rights management and the power of social media. In a nutshell, a post appeared on Digg referring to a site that has posted the alphanumeric code that would allow someone to break the digital right management system and copy copy-protected DVDs. Digg removed the story after getting over 15,000 Diggs. People rebelled and posted the code in unrelated stories that were then digged to the front page of Digg. Digg admins banned the accounts of those who posted the code. The AACS, the group that enforces the code, sent cease and desist letters to those posting the code. And, hilariously, the letters sent by the AACS contained the actual code which was buried in the URL of one of the sites the organization was trying to silence.
Well, like that poor girl trying to rip her racy picture off the high school bulletin board in a recent Ad Council internet safety campaign, the AACS's efforts are fruitless. Once something like this is out of the bottle, there is simply no way to re-cap it. Nearly every story on the front page of Digg yesterday contained the code despite efforts to stop the spread. Chris has an interesting analysis of this as it relates to social media and the role social media enabling sites like Digg play.
Teen media and marketing blog Ypulse has partnered with conference producer Modern Media to produce 2007 Mashup, a two day event held at San Francisco's Nikko Hotel July 16-17 which will explore today's "totally wired generation."
Explaining the focus of the conference, Ypulse Founder Anastasia Goodstein writes, "This event was born out of almost three years of blogging and building a diverse community of media and marketing professionals who all have something in common: an empathy for youth and a passion for reaching them in an authentic way -- whether that's through a marketing campaign, editorial content, a website or other technology product or face to face. If I've learned anything over the past couple of years blogging about this audience, it's that, yes, they are 'totally wired.' It's not that they write code or can take apart a computer (although some can), it's that this generation has grown up with the internet and cell phones and has integrated technology into their lives as naturally as the air they breath -- they're hyper connected, multi-tasking and incredibly marketing savvy."
Lonelygirl15 isn't the only girl selling out...uh...getting paid to do what she already does. Uber social connector ShareThis hooked up with Digital Influence Group to partner with YouTuber Abbegirl "to create a series of videos on how you share represents who you are." Her first video, Fashionista, has been viewed 37,000 times since its launch April 14 and points people to HowYouShare which explains how ShareThis works.
Purists might disdain this "soiling" of so-called "sacred" ground on which consumer-generated media walks but, like anything, if content is well done, sponsored or not, people will enjoy it. We enjoyed this.