Because actual Amazon-braving, dysentery-getting, foxhole-hovering journalists don't have enough to bitch about already what with crappy pay and self-entitled bloggers, Yahoo! fuels the fire with You Witness News, a beta service that magically converts any kid on the street with a camera phone into a paid member of the photojournalist elite.
The idea has potential considering a guy with a camera phone fully recorded the unfuckingbelievable horrors of that UCLA student tasing incident awhile back. We'll see where it goes. In any event, it'll be fun to watch the sparks fly among the watchdogs of the profession. - Contributed by Angela Natividad
On Tuesday the European Court of Justice smashed Germany's attempt to challenge a law banning tobacco ads in the EU. Health Commissioner Markos Kyprianou adds sting to the blow: "We now expect Germany to finalize the adoption in its national law as soon as possible, just as other member states have done."
This comes shortly after the decision to ban smoking in some public parts of Germany, following France and Spain.
Once among the most puff-puff friendly of continents, Europe's caught the anti-smoking bug. Someone noted "trying to walk down the street with a cigarette now lends an experience akin to racist reactions in the '50's."
A small salute to Matt at Caffeine Marketing for bringing the news to our attention. - Contributed by Angela Natividad
The Department of Defense takes a shot at drinking with That Guy, another one of those characteristically we-speak-your-language government campaigns that, in a wildly uncool manner, attempts to demonstrate how uncool it is to be a drinker.
The site feels a bit dated and we agree with Bill at Make the Logo Bigger: there's not much of an attempt to reach out to swig-happy women, and you know we've seen a few. It's also a little stupid to put a "Fun Stuff" section on a site that hopes to lay it on thick about the mals of the bottle. - Contributed by Angela Natividad
OK. We'll say this one more time. Are all you marketers listening? Good. There's a big difference between a teaser campaign and one that maliciously hides it's purpose for long periods of time. And, on top of that, denies its true mission when it's found out. What the hell are we talking about? Take, for example, the teaser billboard. It's usually some irreverent play on words and witty imagery that's then reveled to be part of a larger campaign a couple weeks later. Now take fake blogs. You've heard of them. Edelman knows all about them. They are the things marketers seem to think are the holy grail of this new social media thing. Let's get down with our customers. Let's "join the conversation." Trouble is, a fake blog - one that pretends (badly) to be all hip hop on our ass - is like an idiot that shows up at a black tie event wearing American Eagle cargo shorts and a t-shirt. The natural reaction to that is, "Who the fuck is that idiot?"
Lots of liaisons happen around holiday time. The Rumpus Room, Young Guns and some other noob-oriented groups get together for Make a Big Noise, a competition to promote fair trade worldwide. Anyone under 30 can enter.
Here is the requisite MySpace. We like Rumpus Room, we like Young Guns and we like their concept but the MySpace sucks. We're sure they know that though. Considering fair trade and all that good stuff are causes now embraced by the tech-savvy, super-trendy, organic smoothie-sipping post-Google crowd, we look forward to seeing what kind of entries slip out of the woodwork. - Contributed by Angela Natividad
The fine people at Dentsu Canada created this magazine ad that won Finalist caliber at this year's IAA Young Creative Competition in London. Peel the pro-Justin message off a love-starved fan's sign and turn her into a passionate anti-war activist.
If only it were that easy in real life. Though we're less jarred by the girl's transformation than the contextual change of the goofy-looking man with the open-chested shirt and necklace behind her.
Copy reads "Support a better cause" and is for the United Nations Youth Group. - Contributed by Angela Natividad
You know we're in the midst of an era-shifting marketing mashup when one of the oldest media out there, flip books, gets into bed with over-hyped medium du jour Second Life. That's right, my friends. Flippies, the company that turned that old medium into something new again for marketers has created a Museum of Flip Animation in Second Life.
At the Museum, visitors can check out the early history of animation, play with a flip book machine and check out Flippies' latest creations. "As a long-time collector, being the curator of a museum dedicated to the art of flip animation has always been a dream. Second Life has made it possible for that dream to now become reality." said Flippes President Jeffrey Kay.
You can check out some images of the Second Life installation here.
To get down with plush-ass Gen Y four major resorts bundle up to host The Ski Tour, a hyper-trendy echo boomer orgy. As no youth-poaching Woodstock is complete without fashion shows, nods to smoking chronic and concerts by obscure artists like the ever-more-irrelevant Tommy Lee, The Ski Tour includes all these delights and more.
The site was created by Wirestone and sponsors include Spyder, Ice Breaker and Paul Mitchell, who continues to grasp for this demo even if most think Paul faded into the ether hand-in-hand with Molly Ringwald. Here's some advice: tear away from your beloved '80's aesthetic and maybe you'll vibe more relevant. In the meantime though, expect the smell of aerosol to intermingle with the stinging-fresh air on the piste. - Contributed by Angela Natividad
CMM News points to a Sydney Morning Herald article which calls to our attention the odd proliferation of videos on YouTube that show women smoking. Now that wouldn't be so weird except for the fact that in many of the videos, that's all they're doing: glamming on the cam while puffing away seductively. Sydney University School of Public Health Professor Simon Chapman viewed many of the 27,000 smoking-related videos on YouTube and while he acknowledges the videos could simply be an innocent social phenomenon, Chapman also wonders whether it's a clandestine effort by tobacco companies to promote smoking's cool quotient.
While tobacco advertising in America has been severely limited, it's been completely outlawed in Australia since 1992. Whether or not any tobacco company is behind this is likely to remain a mystery. A Philip Morris rep neither confirmed or denied involvement in with the video and said the company adheres to local laws and Internet advertising to minors should be banned. YouTube declined to comment for the story. While we find it hard to believe tobacco companies have any involvement in this and there's plenty of not-so-glamorous smoking videos to back up that belief, stranger things have certainly happened regarding this industry's marketing efforts.
Oh for fuck's sake. It's like a bunch of kids throwing sand at each other in a sandbox. Apparently, some Second Life dude stole some virtual possessions of others (using this replicator thingy called Copybot) and those others (sounds like Lost here) retaliated by shutting down their businesses all across Second Life and hanging "Sorry, We're closed. Thanks to Copybot!" signs in front of their businesses. And marketers really want to get into this muck.
UPDATE: Linden Labs, creator of Second Life has banned the use of Copybot. OK, boys.You can put all the sand back in the box now.