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.
Yawn. Oh sorry. We have news to report here but we just get bored sometimes hearing the same things over and over and over again. Especially about mediums du jour (OK, OK, it's a world that took lots of blood and sweat to build) that are tinier than the balls on an account exec standing in front of a client who says the work won't "resonate" with the target audience.
Now what were we talking about? Oh yea. Times Square and all of New York is getting its SL freak treatment. That's Second Life for those of you that have been untainted by Second Life Herald or Nissan's SL automobile vending machine. The Ad Option, the company that brought American Apparel to Second Life is building out Times Square in Second Life to be completed in time for the ball to virtually drop New Year's Eve. Now, those in Second Life suffering years of real world withdrawal can get a virtual dose of it by visiting the Second Life version of Times Square and all the (oh yes) advertising the place will carry.
Because the House and the Senate weren't enough, Democrats want their own dating venue too. Democratic Match is for all the singles that have lost one too many potential mates by letting the dam break about their politics.
The site features a young couple giggling over their organic produce and it led us to wonder what a republican match site would look like. Oh wait, it looks like this.
Why do the republican couples look so bummed-out? Is the food, which seems to be a running prop, also organic? And what do they mean by "Sweethearts Not Bleeding Hearts"?! We're confused by these political love dynamics. - Contributed by Angela Natividad
- Wal-mart is getting attacked in a new campaign which decries the chain's wgae, benefit and employee practices. It's so muh fun being a big box retailer, isn't it?
- Dell has decided to blah, blah, blah Second Life in order to blah, blah, blah so that it can strengthen its blah, blah, blah and connect with its blah, blah, blah. Next.
- In the works since last Summer, the new Colonel Sanders has made his debut. This is about as boring as the whole visible from space thing incorrectly claimed to have been a first when Maxim already did it with Eva Longoria. Yawn.
- eBay has opened its online auction-based e-Media Exchange for a peek before its beat release in December. Sales reps are running in fear of losing their jobs because buyers won't just ignore them, they won't need them any more.
Edelman's Steve Rubel has announced his company is setting foot inside Second Life, perhaps to the chagrin of our friends over at Second Life Herald, with two initiatives. Both are aimed at giving something back to the community, an element that's been missing from most of the recent big brand entries. The first initiative involves a Business Plan competition which will help Second Lifers with their business launch goals. According to Electric Sheep, "The winner will get six months access to an island and L$350,000, plus strategic help from Edelman and The Electric Sheep Company."
The second initiative a blog (fully disclosed, no less!) called The Grid Review that will, as Steve Rbal writes, "cover the entrepreneurial spirit inside Second Life." We wish them well. Here's hoping it's done right and this doesn't cause yet another backlash from hard core Second Lifers.
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.