Like stunt marketing run amok but not really, since, hey, everyone's doing it, St. Louis ageny Schupp Co. - which sounds more like a beer company than an agency - purchased a bunch of billboards for its client, the St. Louis Cardinals, then proceeded to steal the cardinal cut-out portion of the billboard. The agency, following stunt marketing protocol, created a fake MySpace (is there no other?) profile under the name of Bird Napper whose favorite activity is...wait for it...stealing birds from billboards. The profile contained other witticisms such as listing "Celebration" and "The Heat is On" as favorite songs - former pep songs for the Cardinals and for favorite movie, "anything but the last 20 minutes of Fever Pitch" - a nod to the Cardinals losss to the Red Sox in the 2004 World Series.
Joining the conversation, brewer Guinness has launched a weblog created and written by the company's marketing staff. After reviewing the site, Hugh Macleod over at Gapingvoid wrote, "The good news is, the marketing team decided to do it themselves, not hire the job out to an ad agency. Otherwise I'm sure the results would have been utterly disasterous." Sadly, that is very true. Many blogs created/produced/written by agencies for clients just don't seem to gel. It's not that every client-created blog with either but the closer the blog is to the humans creating the voice, the truer and more realistic the blog will sound. To check out the blog, just say you live in England from the drop-down list. Some legal crap disallows your visit if you are not from a particular list of countries.
ad:tech, which hosts three major national online marketing conferences, is launching a new conference series called IMPACT, a ten city, one day show kicking off February, 28 in Seattle then moving on to Phoenix, LA, Dallas, Atlanta, Denver, Boston, Toronto, Cincinnati and ending with Fort Lauderdale April, 6. The shows, as does the three big shows, will focus on all thing online marketing from planning to buying to analytics to search engine marketing to campaign optimization to ad formats to blogging to consumer generated media to behavioral marketing.
The day's events will consist of keynotes, separate tracks with sessions of differing topics, presentations from service providers/vendors, mini expo session where attendees can explore exhibitor offerings and an ad:tech Connect LIVE! Session, an interactive Q & A jam session. We'll be attending the Seattle and Boston events.
Taking advantage of this generation's mad text messaging, LocaModa has launched technology that takes all that social blather and slaps it up on a screen for all to see. Of course, LocaMode describes it more verbosely calling it the world's first in-location blogging platform for what it calls "The Web Outside" which enables in-location messaging, social networking and blogging along with entertainment applications for use in out of home networks cafes, bars, clubs and other public places. This technology, StreetMessenger, coupled with something called Wifiti (cute) which LocaModa lovingly refers to as "wireless graffiti," takes all this communal socialization and displays in on a large flat panel display at the location and also onto the web for others to vicariously experience whatever's going on at the location.
If you've been in advertising for a while, you've certainly been to your fair share of trade shows, conferences and seminars but we're pretty sure you've never been to an advertising conference held on a cruise ship. Well, that could change for you very soon. While, you've no doubt heard of or been to other conferences that focus on how the weblog medium can help your marketing, PR and advertising, the Blogonmics conference, held aboard Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines' Enchantment of the Seas will be very different.
The bow's untied. The password protection has been removed. Today, Gawker media launches another gossip blog, this time, focusing on Silicon Valley. Called Valley Wag and described as a tech gossip rag for Silicon Valley tech types who are too busy changing the world to have time for "sex, greed and Hypocrisy" but who Gawker knows needs, like everyone else, some good dirt. The blog is written by West Coast newcomber Nick Douglas who, because of his newness, won't be burdened with having to be polite to anyone unlucky enough to find themselves maligned on the pages of Valley Wag.
Perhaps we're just noticing it or perhaps it just occurred but those silly folks over at Pherotones have, apparently, kicked off a roadblock buy on Gawker, slapping their ad banners all over the front page of the gossip site. McKinney Silver is behind the campaign and some have opined it may have to do with their client Qwest or maybe Tom Cruise has just them to create an offshoot of Scientology. (Bertram, that's a joke)
George Parker, who writes the Adscam and AdHurl advertising blogs will appear on NBC's Today Show tomorrow, Tuesday, sometime between 7A and 10A. Parker will discuss the impact of the Internet and other newer forms of advertising have affected newspaper advertising effectiveness and revenues. Parker should know what he's talking about as he's been in the business for over 30 years, worked for many agencies and is currently writing a book entitled, "Entrepreneurial Advertising."
"We've pretty much stopped with TV ads or radio ads or branded ads. It just wasn't worth it anymore. Online, there are just many more possibilities." That's a refrain we've hearing more on more over the next few years as marketers realize traditional advertising ain't all it's cracked up to be anymore. Amsterdam Tourism Board Internet manager Sebastian Paauw uttered that phrase when commenting on the Board's deal with BlogAds under which the Board, in connection with BlogAds, will send 25 bloggers to Amsterdam in exchange for ad space on their blogs. While the bloggers are not required to write anything about their trip, bloggers being bloggers, there will, no doubt, be a litany of posts covering their escapades during their five day stay.
The promotion, called "Bloggers in Amsterdam," calls for bloggers to be interviewed by the Tourism Board and provide the Board with one month of advertising on their blogs. The program is an extension of standard industry practices in which travel journalists are given a free ride so they can experience a destination and write about it.
Yesterday we shared our opinion on the Ad-Free Blog movement commenting "until aliens land and introduce an entirely new economic system, advertising will continue to make the world go 'round." Today, the inimitably more adamant Bucky Turco has weighed in on the topic, sending a letter to the folks over at Ad-Free Blog writing, in part, "The whole reason a lot of brands are going online is because they like the openness and frankness which the blogs bring. I mean look at Gawker for Christ sake. Huge blog, lots of advertisers, and their editorial wall is thick like the Great Wall of China. Not to mention it forces brands to come up with quality stuff or they will get slammed, whether they are paying customers or not."
While the effort was not well received within the ad community, there's no doubt the two people behind Ad-Free Blog, Keri Smith and Jeff Pitcher are fine human beings. After all, Smith is an accomplished author and Pitcher is a devoted musician and artist but, as Turco points out, they aren't marketers, "Again it [Ad-Free Blogs] is a good idea for someone who knows nothing about the subject, but the bloggers will definitely call you on your bullshit. Key is keeping up a strict editorial wall and attracting and selecting only cool advertisers that get it. And trust me, plenty of them "get it."
While we might all be uppity over the effort these two have launched, everyone, after all, is entitled to their opinion.