Starbucks kicks off the holidays Pay it Forward-style by disseminating cheer on chilly city streets. Baristas hand out movie tickets and other small gifts on the condition that the recipient has to do something nice for someone else.
The campaign includes a "cheer pass" that tracks how far the "chain of cheer" has gone. Participants are encouraged to visit It's Red Again to share holiday stories and create greetings. The site is hosted by an awkward-looking man who personifies Starbucks' quirky intellectual vibe. It's also ridden with clever recommendations about holiday coffee blends and seasonal cakes.
CEO Jim Donald says they're interested in the qualitative results of the campaign and admits there aren't any of the usual tracking methods attached to it. (It begs the question - how often does anybody really track anything?) We look forward to seeing how many chains get generated. - Contributed by Angela Natividad
Underscore Marketing President Tom Hespos, at the recent New York ad:tech conference, interviewed PayPerPost representative Britt Gustafson. PayPerPost has sparked a bit of a controversy since its launch four months ago because it pays bloggers to write positive stories about marketers without requiring bloggers to disclose which stories on their blog are PayPerPost stories and that they have received money to write them. Personally, we think it's a terribly shameful business model and one that will cause much harm to the already struggling trust level of bloggers. Give the interview a read and we'd love to hear your thoughts.
Intel has launched what it calls The Intel Centrino Duo Blogger Challenge. For Intel, Ogilvy PR gave six bloggers (Gothamist's Jen Chung, Popgadget's Mia Kim, Make Magazine's Bre Pettis, The Mommy Blogger's Mindy Roberts, Paul Stamatiou's Paul Stamatiou and Chezpim's Pim Techamuanvivit) Intel Centrino Duo laptops to seek their views. Like the Sprint Ambassador campaign and the many other blogger campaigns before, Intel hopes to get some grass roots juice and cred, none of which can usually be attained through traditional advertising excepting, of course, Apple's advertising.
The promotion also has a twist in that there's a mystery seventh blogger who supposed to be well know and will be unveiled at noon EST November 15th. Anyway, stay tuned to what the bloggers have to say and we'll see how this campaign goes.
UPDATE: Big fucking surprise. The mystery blogger is former Microsoft employee and famed blogger Robert Scoble.
- "Oh, great. Another frickin' release asking me to spend precious time that I don't have." These guys really want you to see their brand spanking new website.
- Capitalizing on the growth of online video and riffing off Bling's search and win model, WeWin offers viewers of videos a chance to win prizes.
- JWT Detroit pulls an Agency.com and rolls big while hunting for talent.
- People love Gears of War so much they're making their own commercials for it which will surely make it into every social media fan's presentation for the next six months.
- Consumer generated content is a great way for people to make money....as long at they pump out 1,000 hours of the crap.
Much negativity has surrounded the launch of a new marketing company called Crayon. The company chose to make their launch announcement within Second Life where they established an island outpost. Some seem to think it's the end of Second Life because Crayon, along with all kinds of other marketers, will enter Second Life with no respect for the world's current residents. To coin a Second Lifers anti-marketing sentiment, it's all a gallery of lies. Second Life will be just fine with or without marketers.
First of all, Crayon is not a company whose sole purpose is to create marketing programs within Second Life. The company created the outpost as an efficient place to conduct business. Sure, some of the work they do may be Second Life-related but that is not the focus of the company. We don't profess to know anything more than what a couple months-worth of visits to Second Life have provided but, as far as we can see, no one is forcing Second Life residents to pay any attention at all to brands entering the world. In fact. most have been set up on islands which can easily be ignored or never discovered in the first place.
- Slim-Fast has hooked up with ABC's Dancing with the Stars for a promotion that will bring the show's stars and dancers from seasons 1-3 to 38 cities for a tour which will allow people to see the show in action and meet the stars.
- Advertising Age's Ken Wheaton has collected all the political ads floating around the web and put them in one place or easy viewing and dissection.
- Ralston360's Laura Wegner, in a podcast, interviews former Linden Labs (Second Life) Chief Evangelist and current Millions of Us Founder Reuben Steiger.
- The emission of carbon as it relates the production of paper used for newspapers, magazines and all the other forms of collateral is now becoming a hot topic and publishers such as Time Inc., Hearst and others are examining the effect the production of their products have on the environment as well as means to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.
- Bishop's Finger gives women pleasure. Some not amused.
- Once things are in full swing with Draft/FCB and Wal-Mart, the already on-the-outs smiley face logo is likely to be retired for good.
- Paris Hilton's Carl's Jr. Bentley lather fest imagery is now being used to sell...dry cleaning services.
As we mentioned Monday, Crayon, a company claiming to be the world's first new marketing company will launch today at noon both in the "real world" and within Second Life on Crayonville Island. Crayon President and Founder Joseph Jaffe explains the need for the company saying, "The world has changed, but marketing, advertising, and public relations have not. There is no question that the influence organizations can achieve through traditional marketing, advertising and PR is fading fast." Crayon intends to help "marketers and communications professionals make sense of the profound changes in order to connect the dots between the burgeoning new approaches and possibilities available to them," the press release states.
Joining Jaffe in the company are former Citigroup financial guy Gary Cohen as CEO, music podcasting evangelist C. C. Chapman, social media dude, Neville Hobson, communications vet and author Shel Holtz, entertainment industry guru Chris Trela, planning consultant Francis Anderson and Aaron Greenberber and Michael Denton.
- While some attribute recent visitor loss at MySpace and Facebook to seasonality, others, including members themselves, attribute it to the increased level of intrusive advertising on the sites. It's off to Second Life we go.Watch out residents.
- Cynopsis reports TBS and MySpace have partnered for an online comedy competition called The Stand Up or Sit Down Comedy Challenge which invites amateur comics to submit videoes. The winner will appear in a George Lopez-hosted special on TBS November 18.
- The girls over at street wear brand Married to the Mob don't like the apparent girlishness of the new man and are slapping "Men Are the New Women" stickers on the backs of unsuspecting guys.
- The Weinstein Company is placing a Truth ad is its DVD release, the first being Clerks II.
- Somehow this whacked YouTube video is supposed to promote The Filter, an iTunes add on which automatically creates playlists based on what you listen to.
- With the tagline, "A World Without Science is a World Without Discovery," InterSpectacular has created four new promotional commercials for Discovery's Science Channel.
- Datran Media and the Ad Council have launched a public service advertisement email campaign across the U.S. on behalf of the Environmental Defense's Fight Global Warming campaign.
- Blah, blah, blah....a Dove Beauty spoof.
Swivel Media's Erik Hauser offers us this column on his in-depth experience with Second Life, ahead of the curve work for Wells Fargo and his companies creation of Stagecoach Island a virtual reality world based on Second Life. He offers sage advice to marketers with Second Life on the brain.
Marketing to People in Their First Life
By Erik Hauser 10.25.06
I can vaguely recall the days when things were very different.
People spent their time in a world filled with oxygen. It seems just like yesterday - OH MY - it was yesterday! Let's take a trip down memory lane shall we? The date is Jan 1st 1997, and people are starting to spend some time on this thing called the internet. Within a couple of years there was a hyper-saturated web with niche sites that had everything from exclusive glues to websites designed as destination locations for people in their mid 30's that had an affinity for poodles. Certain people claimed they would never leave the house again, and vowed to radically change their behavior.
In what could be a masterful viral approach to growing a business that goes far beyond viral marketing, Microsoft is embedding viral expansion into its new iPod competitor, Zune. Users of the Zune MP3 player can send songs to friends over the devices Wifi who have three days to listen to them before they disable. If the recipient of the song decides to buy the song within the three day period, the sender of the song will receive a portion of the song's purchase price in the form of credits to be used towards purchasing music and other items from the Zune Marketplace.
Currently, it's a rumor and it would certainly be difficult to topple iPod from its reigning position but the approach is indicative of what many brands should be doing to grow their business beyond just traditional advertising tonnage. And yea, yea, yea, the whole referral thing has been done since cavemen traded rocks but this is high profile and it will be intresting to see if it works.