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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
Apparently Greenpeace attended Macworld for no better reason than to throw a wrench in Apple's game, projecting green backgrounds across large company logos as well as shots of Asian scrap yards.
Better still, they have a video of Steve Jobs crooning the sweet nothings they really want to hear in '07. There's even a website dedicated to getting Apple greener.
Hm. Greenpeace is a lot like that scary ex who insists you were wrong but keeps lurking around long after you've moved on in order to spread the word. We feel greener just thinking about it.
Owning an iPhone is the equivalent of an out-of-body experience which is the only way to justify the 7% leap in Apple share post-unveiling and the $499-$599 price tag that out-hurrahs both iPod and BlackBerry.
ZDNet talks pros and cons, foreseeing death and suffering for many companies left vulnerable in the storm of common interest. With Apple's cultlike status they could have released this to the exact same jizz-in-the-pants fanfare.
There's a vibe in the air like people are down to give Apple their credit cards for safe-keeping until June, when the first iPhones will slide off conveyor belts and into warm laps. That is, if WOM is anything to go by as the topic's received a whoppin' 1,684 mentions on Google news alone per Adfreak's last count. Obviously iPhone is already more popular than the Beatles, a sweet irony because it's really only a platform for the Beatles and because Apple recently exercised total ownage over the Beatles.
Apple also changed its official title from Apple Computers to Apple Inc, better suited to accommodate its menagerie of soon-to-be-successful non-computer products, including iPhone and the iTV which will marry the 'net to the tube. That's definitely a pairing we've seen attempted before but with Apple's blessing (and the fact that the original WebTV is now owned by MSN, adding the critical pwnage component) we're sure it will fly this time around.
This Tel Aviv campaign by Veecee protests rent spikes by adding cardboard prostitutes to a neighborhood in hopes that landlords will stop addressing humble one-bedroom flats as lofts with vaulted ceilings. Trendhunter has additional imagery and video.
The idea is neat but we're not sure how well it stands up considering bewildered passers-by in the 'hood didn't seem to have a clue why cardboard hookers were appearing at every turn.
Perhaps they can take the campaign further and populate badly-lit areas with cardboard drug dealers, car thieves and crack addicts. And while they're at it, strew a bit of sludgy litter here and there. Park a few cardboard Pintos haphazardly in corporate lots.
There are so many directions this idea can take. Do we have to stop at hookers? Just a smidge more cardboard deviance would get the message across loud and clear.