Lynette Web points us to a study that finds most teens are in a social network (duh) but also finds that the prevalence of social networks may devalue longtime humiliating (or triumphant) traditions like reunions for those way past teenhood.
"For instance, we recently talked about having our five-year class reunion, and I found that most of the people I asked said they really had no reason to get together in five years because they used sites like MySpace and Facebook to stay in touch with anyone they really wanted to keep up with, anyway," says Sam Ford of Convergence Culture.
That's disappointing. What have we been working so hard for if in the next five years we can't show our former nemeses how awesome we still look, then act really sweet and invite them (and their six screaming babies) to sit next to us? We have officially lost our will to go on. MySpace, you destroy everything you touch.
In a twist on the usual interpretation of "friends with benefits," currently getting play on Boston Legal and because Pontiac says it's on the forefront of social networking (their words, not ours), the company is launching a Leo Burnett Detroit-created Friends With Benefits MySpace site which promises to offer awards to friends of those who buy Pontiac G5s. Pontiac tells us the promotion works as follows:
- MySpace users buy a Pontiac G5.
- They register their purchase on the "Friends With Benefits" profile page.
- They start getting cash benefits through their "Friends With Benefits" debit card, all the way up to $1,000.
Umm, buying an entire car just to join a promotion? Oh sure, we can understand the post-purchase, down-the-line benefits but, whoa, that's some price of entry. Getting a free. Oh but hey, if your gonna buy a G5 anyway and get up to $1,000, what's to complain about? Oh but wait. You have to bribe your friends to get a G5 too in order to earn the dough.
Child TEMA enlists Istanbul-based Alaaddin Adworks to raise awareness among children about its program, a smaller division of TEMA, The Turkish Foundation for Combating Soil Erosion for Reforestation and the Protection of Natural Habitats. (We can't believe all those words managed to fit in that little acronym.) The result is a series of posters made of playdoh, which will appear in primary schools and magazines so young planeteers in the make know where to pledge their allegiance.
The copy on this ad reads, "If there is no soil there is no tree. If there is no tree there is no life. If there is no life there is no game. Soil is life. Come and join to Child TEMA and let life and game continue."
The English could use some work but it's commendable that Turkey gets kids started early on complex global concerns. We're still trying to get our kids to stop littering.
We love it when companies "discover" social networking, hop on board late in the game, rip off all existing social networking ideas out there, pick a colour template, and then issue a press release saying it's not your average social networking scene.
This is exactly what Conde Nast has done with its on-the-fringe teen site Flip. The only difference is we're not used to seeing so much advertising for Conde Nast merch concentrated in one space. It's a little like a magazine-toting make-up-wearing fifteen-year-old diva tripped over the internet and threw up, resulting in an explosion of purple hearts, stars, flowers, swirls and Lucky ads.
Flip also includes snazzy but deceptive new terminology. Contrary to popular ideas about flip books, creating a flip book on Flip results in what we typically call a photo album or slideshow. But the population, mainly teenage artists and revolutionaries, doesn't seem to mind. And that's what's really important, right? So here's to yet another completely unique social networking website.
The LAist, now written by the legendary Tony Pierce, tells the story of a Brentwood, Callifornia woman, Sarah, who created an eBay auction to sell herself to the highest Super Bowl ticket holding bidder. The winner would take Sarah, a Chicago Bears fan, to the game and Sarah would be the perfect date for the day. Well, eBay doesn't like people auctioning themselves off so they closed the bid but Axe heard of it and turned it into a promotion.
The company that prides itself in functioning as a woman magnet for men gave Sarah four end zone tickets to the Super Bowl. She's bringing two of her female friends and the fourth ticket is being given away to the man (or woman, we guess) who crafts the most convincing email and sends it to email@example.com. Way to latch on, Axe!
Either Kevin Bacon has a great sense of humor or he finally got sick of the whole "six degrees of Kevin Bacon" and decided to cash in. Adland received a promotional email from "Kevin Bacon" promoting a program called Six Degrees which "makes it easy for you to raise awareness and support for a charity that's important to you." The email urges recipients to make their own Six Degrees AIM page to highlight charity an individual is interested in and promises to help the individual raise money for that charity. It's a social networking play that's a nod to the "six degrees of separation" thing that was, itself, social networking before it was called social networking.
As Adland properly states, the choice of Kevin Bacon is the "best choice of celebrity spokesperson for 2007." We'd have to agree.
Beer takes the internet dive with Here's to Beer, an Anheuser-Busch/MingleNow collabo intended to bring beer's social merits to social networking.
Here's to Beer includes blurbs on which celebrities you'd have a pint with, as well as some beer trivia and brewing history. We thought it was a fairly coherent idea but upon mentioning it to a twenty-something beer aficionado he scoffed, "Beer trivia and brewing history? All you need to know is Anheuser-Busch makes shit beers."
For A-B and MingleNow's sake, we hope that doesn't speak for the whole demographic. Actually, that's a lie. Bud's fine for drinking in secret at home when you're all depressed about your life, but we can't remember the last time we ordered one on tap.
PETA conducts its State of the Union with the one gimmick it knows can't fail: by having a somewhat attractive representative take her clothes off and talk at the same time.
We didn't really even pay attention to what she said because we were too busy lampooning her for her tasteless choice of underwear. If you're going to exploit women as a gimmick to keep people from exploiting animals, can't you at least find them better knickers than whatever they had lying around courtesy of their (already abusive) not-for-profit paycheques?
And don't even get us started on the hugging chickens and monkeys that appeared shortly after she finished her mediocre moment in the sun.
The Ad Council and the US Army join forces, enlisting AdPack to help them encourage teens to stay in school. The result? Boost Up. The gimmick? Branded tissues by Zim-squared (sorry, we can't make that symbol without getting our post all fudgey) for at-risk youth throughout NYC.
That's almost too inspirational for words. You know what? Pencils would have been more useful. Or even green recess balls with good bounce to them. We can't think of anything to say to this mediocre effort besides you guys suck. You would probably have sucked less if you ran these kids over with recruiter vans. And we're almost 99% sure those tissues you're so generously doling out don't come in neat tiki man-shaped boxes, either.
We're amazed by how the Patriot Act has affected every one of our rights except protection from double jeopardy, which remains Simpson's ongoing joke on a rubbernecking nation.
It was only a matter of time before the definitive chapter of his botched If I Did It... book leaked to the press. Our favourite part of what he would have done (if he did it) was the end: "Then something went horribly wrong, and I know what happened, but I can't tell you exactly how."
Laughter. And the smacking of gloved hands.
Read the rest of the chapter summary here.