Jake Levine, who's from Cherryfield Maine, a place we've actually been to believe it or not and where a great uncle of ours once owned a big company there called Stewart's Blueberries, was selected by Snickers to become the an ambassador for the candy company and Burton. It's an effort by Snickers to smartly reach an audience immune to traditional media. Called The Rover, Jake will traverse the country for a year leading every sk8ter boi's dream; an all expenses paid position as board sports ambassador, hanging with riders and boarders, attending events and drooling over Gretchen Bleiler. Oh, and he'll be blogging the whole thing too. Unsupervised and Unedited we're told. They're will also be podcasts. And, in a bonus, mud wresting appears to be part of the deal too. There's more campaign info here.
Shannon Stephaniuk of Toronto-based Glossy got to be queen for a day when she met up with the man in the strange mask who was in town shooting his latest commercial with the famed Perlorian Brothers. She had some time to hang with the King and get a few pictures. Since the King was dumped by Brooke Burke, maybe he's moving in on Shannon now. She is pretty cute after all.
New mobile service provider Helio, with help from StreetVirus and Alt Terrain, has launched an influencer marketing campaign consisting of in-venue pop up stores, a print magazine, a blog and sponsorship of local artists. The in-venue stores include a mini-lounge and employees are given Helio phones. Each store receives free ad space in the Helio magazine and become an exclusive retailer of the devices.
The artists sponsorship provides artists with hard-to-come by public mural space to showcase their work, financial support for their gallery shows, exposure in the Helio blog and the print magazine that is nationally distributed, and artists are provided a Helio phone of their choice. For a new company without a lot of money and one whose services appeal to the social networking needs of tweens, teens and twenty-somethings, Helio has headed in the right direction with this influencer marketing approach. You can see some of the artist's work here.
As part of promoting the Austin City Limits Music Festival, Project D.U., an AT&T blogger-powered portal and branded RSS reader, is hosting a blogging contest that awards the winner a free press pass and pass for a guest to the three day event. Held in an area where WiFi is not available, AT&T will provide service, finally lending, perhaps, some truth to those Blogging Delivered outdoor boards that ran a while ago. Any music blogger that isn't already part of the Project D.U. network of bloggers can submit writing samples to be considered here.
First there was the Raging Cow and now there's Cows for Silk. To promote Silk, a soy milk product, the company has decided to use cows in its ad campaign and to create a site/blog where cows named Frank, Connie and Amanda can babble on endlessly about why it's better to drink soy than to have their own tits (yes, that is the term farmers openly use to describe that particular piece of cow anatomy) squeezed for milk. We pity the poor marketing people/copywriters who have to write cow hottie stuff like this:
"Drinking Silk was my first step to the "wow Amanda is so fine" comments. I eat healthy because I can. I get herbal swamp mud and fragrant sea cucumber body wraps at the spa because I can. And I drink Silk because I can. I know that this is the only Amanda I get - you better believe I flaunt it."
Gapingvoid's Hugh Macleod worked with South African winery Stormhoek to create a blog-based campaign for the small vintner which involved the creation of a blog and a tasting campaign with wine being sent to other bloggers. The campaign was awarded "The Best Consumer Campaign" by the 2006 "The Drinks Business Awards" at the London Wine and Spirits Fair. The winery bested the big guys including Chivas Regal, Campari and Mateus Rose. It was all done with a $400 piece of blogging software. And, we assume, Macloed got a little green stuff too but it pales in comparison to the millions the competitors spent.
On June 5, Budget Rent-A-Car will re-launch its Up Your Budget Treasure Hunt game. Last time, physical clues were placed in 16 cities around the country with online videos hinting at their location. Upon finding the clues, winners would receive $10,000. This time, the game is "armchair" so everyone can play without leaving the comfort of their home. The contest will last for four weeks. Each day, Monday though Thursday of each of the four weeks, clues to a virtual journey will be provided. Contestants, using the clues, will guess the length of the journey weeks' journey and offer up their answer Friday. The person guessing the exact mileage or the closest to it wins $25,000. Second place gets $10,000, third gets $5,000.
The game, as it was before, is blog-based and users will be encouraged share their stories as they hunt for the contest's clues. The contest will be promoted with a nationwide, live-read radio buy and an online buy on the BlogAds blog advertising network. The campaign was concepted (oops, conceptualized) by Cendent Car Rental Group's (Budget's parent company) Becky Alseth and IMPAX Marketing's Jay Arnold and designed by Design4Results' Komra Moriko. The blog ads can be viewed here.
In a clever bit of marketing, SanDisk has launched a site called iDon't to promote its new Sansea e200 MP3 player. The approach is a snipe at the ubiquitous iPod and features links to other anti-iPod sites as well as schwag, posters, templates and chat icons, all of which carry the iDon't anti-iPod message. Of course, to be complete, there's a weblog on which Da Sheep Herder will continue to spread the iDon't propaganda. No that anything's going to knock the iPod out of its top spot but this is, by far, the best marketing effort to have taken on the iPod. The site must be making the rounds because it just became unavailable. Perhaps it's on the receiving end of come Boing Boing, Digg, Fark, Slashdot action.
Our spies tell us StrawberryFrog has created an online campaign for MSN and Sprite called Exposure. It's a site the agency created to highlight work from three different groups of kids: graf artists, a basketball team and a band. Each person is making a video (or it's being made for them) about who they are, what they do, what they stand for, how they think. The video are then edited and placed on the site. We're told new content will be added to the site over the next six weeks. It's sort of a cross between reality TV, documentary-style video and a blog of sorts. Each person has an MSN Spaces blog as well.
In February of this year, a blog called Spacecadetz launched. The purpose of the blog is to highlight some of the best MySpace content from profiles to videos to new features to events. Currently, the blog has an interview with Al Cabino, the man behind a petition that asks Nike to bring back McFlys, the sneakers featured in the Michael J. Fox movie Back to the Future II. Cabino, who's coined the term "sneaker activism" doesn't want to wait until 2015, the year rumor has it Nike will, perhaps, introduce McFlys to the public. Cabino wants the kicks now and has launched a vigorous campaign to get Nike's attention.