Entering the same room in which I sat somewhere around 1998 or 1999 when then head of Leo Burnett promised "not on my watch" will Leo Burnett ever go public, I thought, "my how times have changed." The room, however, is exactly the same; dark and lit like a carnival ride.
As ad:tech Chair Drew Ianni took the stage to introduce Wired Magazine Editor in Chief Chris Anderson who was the keynote speaker at ad:tech Chicago, he introduced something else, ad:tech's new working tagline "The Event for Modern Marketing" and gave an overview of ad:tech's expansion into other overseas markets as well as the growth of the online marketing space in general to its current level $20B.
While we can appreciate the effort put into this DraftFCB Irvine online work for Taco Bell, Fourth Meal, which presents itself as a late night resource for night owls, it's a bit kludgey considering the hundreds of other similar online efforts which have come before it. Doing the Taxicab confessions thing, visitors can ride a cab around the city, check out late night hot spots added by users and record their own confessions for upload. Maybe Dunkin' gave us a decaf this morning by mistake but this just isn't hitting us.
We won't fight the notion TV needs all the help it can get when it comes to program development so we're holding out high hopes for The Storyteller Challenge, a TV pilot competition presented by MySpace, FOX and the Producers Guild of America. The competition, hosted on MySpaceTV (which currently makes no mention of the competition), will award two winning entrants $25,000 and a chance at an development deal with FOX. MySpace members will comment on the 5-7 minute entries, vote for their favorites, suggest plot lines and generally play television critic.
First it was Doritos commercials. Now it's full blown TV shows. What's next, movies? Oh wait, we had Project Greenlight and that didn't go over so well.
Once again confirming boobs, butts and bimbos can get the human race (or at least mean) to do anything, Heavy has launched its second annual Massive Mating Game which offers guys the chance to win a day with one of four "hottest girls on Earth" simply by watching their videos and becoming their friends on MyHeavy.
Well, Heavy has certainly cracked the male 18-34 code with this one insuring lots of drool and other fluids will hit keyboards as men slather over these videos trying to decide which of the "hottest girls on Earth" is...well...the hottest. It's so easy a caveman could do it. Oh wait, that one's taken.
There's a storm brewing over Virgin Mobile's use of a Creative Commons-covered photographs from Flickr users in a recent Australian print campaign. While Virgin Mobile clearly notes in the ads, created by Glue Society, where the photographs came from, some are concerned the people in the ads should have been given the chance to sign a model release and the Flickr users and photographers should have at least been asked permission to use the photographs.
With everything just a right click away, the issue of fair use, attribution, copyright or whatever name you want to apply, is a slippery slope indeed. Three days ago, one Flickr user who, apparently, has legal connections says he's sent a cease and desist letter to Virgin Mobile but has not yet received any acknowledgment regarding the letter. Flickr users, including the older brother of one of the girls who appears in one of the photos, are debating the issue here.
We've contacted Glue Society for comment and will report any response we receive as soon as we receive it.
UPDATE: Following an avalanche of complaints, Virgin Mobile has canceled this campaign.
Holy shit! It seems we've been targeted by a Miami serial killer according to a WBFX news report. Curiously, all five of the serial killer's victims have been male, in their 30's and work in the media industry. Chillingly, our name has been scrawled in blood on a wall in Miami and on a piece of paper found by the police naming us the killer's next victim. Even more chillingly, we were just in Miami for a conference.
In fear, we've barricaded ourselves into our offices with one inch thick back issues of Vogue and blocked the the windows with the hundreds of Casale Media bags we've collected at ad:tech conferences over the years. The police have been called and we hope the industry's prayers are with us.
OK, OK. It's all just one of those personalized video promotions, this time, for the Showtime series Dexter which will begin airing on FX in the UK.
In one of the better makeovers of the horrific-looking MySpace, Juxt has created a Cherry Coke MySpace Page Design contest that places the winning design on the MySpace homepage. As part of the contest, there's all sorts of Flashtastic goodies for people to embed within their own sites, screensavers, wallpapers and all the rest of the usual stuff.
Unfortunately, as with most Flash creation, the browser Back button is rendered useless causing one to continuously back off the promotional page by mistake. Would it really be so hard for Flash to enable or for designers to make possible the use of the browser back button within a Flash page? Or to prevent the entire Flashurbation from also rendering useless the right click menu? Flash can make beautiful things but it also has a nasty tendency to fuck with established web navigation methods.
These days it's not enough to appear on a social networking site; you have to be, like, married to one.
On that note, NBC Universal has inked an agreement with Going.com to promote Talk to Me, a new Don Cheadle film.
And like all online community courtships, the hope is to build a loyal network of people that will hopefully lift their asses off their ergonomic computer chairs and schmooze at prearranged promotional gatherings in cities like New York, Boston and San Francisco.
But unlike MingleNow, which is pretty loyal to Anheuser-Busch, Going.com is a promiscuous bedfellow. Le gasp.
Oh, the horror! Here we go again. It seems the blogosphere - that square, internally mirrored box in which opinionated blowhards spew forth mindless drivel, their commentary ricocheting off the inner wails of the enclosed box for every other blogger to see and respond to while everyone else outside the box ignores it like children in a sandbox at a backyard cookout - is up in arms...up in arms, we say, over...over...wait for it...comments bloggers have made about - and as part of - Microsoft's new "people-ready" slogan.
Last month, Samsung launched its Upstage Contest which asked people to submit videos of themselves lip syncing Melody Club's Destiny Calling. The judging will begin next week and the lengths to which peole will go to win a video contest is impressive as indicated by these two submissions. Nice work. See them here and here.