In a page-takeover sponsorship, Bravo is promoting its new six-episode, one-hour, unscripted Kathy Griffin show on Gawker and Defamer with several standard ad units along with a controversial date header logo which several bloggers dislike. The move is another in a the long list of line-blurring marketing stunts geared to attract waning eyeballs sick of advertising overload. It's the kid calling "wolf" though. The more advertising pervades media, the more it is ignored in an endless cycle sure to, someday, completely obliterate the usefulness of advertising itself.
Our online sleuth hates the sponsorship and tells us, "I don't mind exclusive sponsorships and advertisers, however, look how haphazardly they just put Kathy Griffin logos over Gawker's and Defamer's date placers. It just looks like a cut and paste. Doesn't look like it belongs there. Not to mention to me, those spots are off limits, that's the sacred space of of the editors"
While Gawker sites have had similar sponsorships, with Sony, Audi, Bridgestone and Cheap Tickets, before, what do those of you working in advertising think about this apparent erasure of the line? Is there a line? Was there ever a line? Should there be a line at all? Is advertising headed down a path of destruction or is this smart marketing? Give us your comments.
Joey deVilla, a Technical Community Development Coordinator for back office software company Tucows, Inc., publishes a personal weblog on which he recently recounted an experience he had with moving company Quick Boys, mentioned in the comment section of a post he had made about Toronto movers. One of the commenters to the post, who deVilla knew, shared a bad experience with Quick Boys and recommended others steer clear of the company.
To promote its new AIM Mail, AOL has a couple of strange online videos, created by Attik. One has a receptionist drifting into a daydream which consists of superhero midgets...oops...dwarfs...oops...little people giving her a tickle attack. The other has a pair of sushi falling in love only to have one killed by getting eaten. Both end with @aim addresses and no other form of linkage.
Once at the AIM Mail site, there are blogs that promote the videos. The videos can be viewed here and here.
Led by Jupiter Media's Gary Stein, the ad:tech Chicago 2005 panel entitled "Blogevertising, RSS and Podcasting Opportunities for Marketers," provided session attendees with an overview of how blogs can be used as an advertising medium. Weblogs Inc. President Shawn Gold began with a bit of blogging 101 explaining that blogs are an empowering and efficient means through which marketers cab deliver advertising. Along with blog publishers, blog advertisers benefit from weblog's propensity to climb high in search results for topics covered on a given blog thereby helping to insure increased, targeted eyeballs for blog advertisers.
Led by Intelliseek CMO Pete Blackshaw, the Chicago ad:tech panel, held Tuesday, called "What Blogs Are Teaching Us About The New Rules of Marketing," provided the audience with a broad over view of the issues companies need to consider when debating the launch of a corporate weblog or marketing-related weblog. The recurring theme throughout the session centered on the need to stay true to the brand and to live within the company guidelines both legal and otherwise.
Back in May, we reported PR firm CooperKatz would be launching two customer-written weblogs designed to encourage Americans to take up scootering. Steve Rubel of CooperKatz tell us the first of the two blogs, Vespaway, has launched today and will be written by two Vespa customers, Jonathon Ogilvy (hmm...) and Neil Barton. The two will not be paid following the theory if someone really likes something, they're happy to tell others without compensation. Ogilvy explained the mentality to Business Week's Heather Green saying, "Why else would I do this without getting paid, if it weren't something I completely believe in? I think the world would be a better place if everyone rode a Vespa."
The next Vespa blog will feature two women, one who is a new customer and one who's used a Vespa for a long time.
An anonymous blogger has launched two Blogspot-hosted Blogger blogs. One steals Gawker's entire editorial content word for word. The other steals the Post's Page Six content. The only thing these two blogs leave behind are the ads. In an announcement email about the Page Six Blog, the emailer claiming to be "a v" wrote, "The idea of the NY POST becoming spam peddlers has forced us to create a blog to alleviate gossip hounds of any barriers to daily trash. We don't like registration gates and here is our method of bypassing them."
Chas Edwards, former VP of sales and marketing for CNET Network's B2B sites will, on July 11, head over to John Batelle's new blog network, FM Publishing, to head sales. The network will launch with between 10 and 20 technology focused weblogs and branch out to, perhaps, culture-focused blogs.
The Race to the Tour Blog, sponsored by Subaru, is running The Race to The Tour Sweepstakes which offers a chance to win a cycling trip through France, plus blog live about the Tour de France. So all you blogger wannabes, here's your chance. Of course, it would be easier to just start a blog of your own.
Two winners of the contest will get week long, gratis trip to the Tour de France with Trek Tours. Once there, contest winners get a Nokia 6630 phone and a Nokia SU-8W Bluetooth keyboard to do mobile blogging from the Tour de France.
The promotion and blog were created by R/GA.
GoE is North Dakota's blend of ethanol blended fuel. Since ethanol is made from corn, a renewable resource, it's said to be more earth friendly and reduces dependence on foreign oil according to proponents. The high-end blend, called E85, is made from 85% ethanol and is believed to be more economical yet only some newer vehicles can use it.
To promote this the fuel, ad agency Sundog sent a group of guys on a roadtrip around the state to meet-and-greet the residents, educate people on the benefits of ethanol and offer to fill up the tanks of individuals who happen to pull up to GoE pump at the gas station. Their trip is chronicled in a blog and photogallery here.