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?"
We have no idea who's behind this (cough, Animax) or what it's purpose is but we really don't care. It's always funny to hear Arnold Schwarzenegger impersonators poke fun at the man and this site is full of cartoonish videos that do just that.
It took us a while to wade through the blather-filled press release from Scratch Marketing that led with the headline, "Word of Mom," and went on to talk about how Cuisinart and Urban Moms had teamed to "build a relationship with mothers by offering unique, relevant and personal opportunities for moms across Canada to interact with the Cuisinart brand" before we realized it was all about the launch of another brand-sponsored blog. OK, we're jaded but why does the meat of the matter always have to be so slathered with marketing babble rather than a few clearly descriptive sentences the average human being can understand?
How about this: "Canadian mom site Urbanmoms launched Kitchen Party, a blog sponsored by Cuisinart that will offer recipes moms can make using their food processors. Along with a downloadable recipe book filled with recipes for newborns, the blog wil also give moms what they really need after a long day with their screaming babies: blender drinks." Much simpler, right?
Since its seems some companies think it's just fine to pay bloggers to write positive stuff about companies without disclosure, Jim Turner has offered up yet another blog advertising model that mirrors the logomania of NASCAR. He's kidding of course. Of course, we thought PayPerPost was kidding too when they announced their bribe-a-blogger business model.
- Will Video for Food thinks a recent youTube featured video, One World, by MadV is part of a paid promotion for the supposed launch of his upcoming television show.
- Ad Agency North has drafted an extensive white paper on the rise of consumer control over media and advertising and how marketers can shift their efforts to better coincide with this new flow of information.
- The Web Marketing Association has announced its fifth annual Internet Advertising Competition (IAC) Awards. The IAC Awards are an industry-based advertising award competition for online advertising. The Competition Web site is located at www.iacaward.org and the deadline for entry is January 31, 2007.
- Hmm, that was short. Jason Calacanis of Weblogs Inc. fame has left AOL, the company that purchased Weblogs Inc. just over a year ago.
- Burger King has pissed off Spain with ads for its Double-Cheese Bacon XXL death burger because the ad runs counter to the country's recent efforts to lim down its society.
For all you "JenX" hipsterati females out there who love to shop but just don't have the time to waste finding that perfect miniskirt or winter coat, A Girl Must Shop is now here for you. Run by Megan Garnhum, the site (in blog form) promises to serve "the interests of hip, trendy gals who can appreciate the treasures that a shopping excursion can unearth, but don't have the time to discover all the riches on their own."
While we're not quite convinced hipsters would actually set foot inside Old Navy, Megan tells us "busy hipsters can find cool, affordable stuff - from the latest little black dress at Old Navy to specialized chocolates to single-serving champagne that's $4 can. And we help them find stores they didn't even know existed."
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.
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.
Perhaps in reaction to a recently launched company that pays bloggers to write positive things about brands without disclosure and the spread of stealth blogs and flogs, the Word of Mouth Marketing Association has released for industry discussion Ten Principles for Ethical Contact by Marketers, a document that basically amount to 1. Don't lie; 2. Be nice and 3. Don't manipulate. The ten points in full are below:
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.