For album "Year Zero," Nine Inch Nails sets fans on a scavenger hunt with a series of webpages predicting the future. One example is Another Version of the Truth, a picture of a seemingly gentler America. When you click and drag your mouse, the pastoral picture reveals a desolate wasteland.
The first of the sites was discovered by fans who put together a set of highlighted words on a tour shirt. After that a spiral of other sites were found with roughly the same end-of-the-world, fascist/religious theme.
The effort was orchestrated by 42 Entertainment, the mad geniuses responsible for the Halo 2 campaign that sparked a dramatic nationwide search for a princess trapped in cyberspace.
Borrell Associates reports local online video advertising will hit $5 billion or 35 percent of all local online advertising by 2012. Just in time for Lonelygirl15's baby to take center stage as the first Pampers YouTube video series. Or ill it be LiveVideo by then?
- Travelers Insurance gets its red umbrella logo back from Citigroup after a ten year effort. Huh? Who knew it was missing?
- Miller has chosen Digitas to handle its interactive work after a review during which Digitas beat out Arc Worldwide for the account which was previously held by Agency.com.
- Remo, a new product from fledgling rations company erinMedia plans to rollout a sophisticated second by second television ratings service and has files many patents to insure it's well positioned to unseat ratings king Nielsen.
- Film makers are taking their movies to the really small screen. Well, at least promotions for those movies.
- Wieden + Kennedy London is seeking four people from outside the ad world to partake in its WKSide3 program which offers three month work at the agency.
- PSFK is organizing a future of marketing conference at which the likes of George Parker (now that's funny), Peter Rojas, Elizabeth Spiers, Cunning's Floyd Hayes, Anomaly's Mike Byrne and others will chat about where the industry is going.
- JC Penny Says "Every Day Matters."
- XM Radio does the Valentine's Day card generator thing.
- Suzuki does the webisode thing. Calls it The Briefcase.
No idea's original, but in any field the taboo is the same: if even a successful idea can be traced back to somebody else's sleeper hit, fingers get pointed. For a shining example, just look at Suzuki's attempts to be BMW.
A source tells us elements of the STA World Traveler Contest are suspiciously similar to an existing campaign that's lesser-known but more complete in scope. St. Georges School in the Grenada West Indies used the same pinpricked-globe format to highlight, not starry-eyed co-eds, but far-flung alumni they've accumulated over 30 years. Visit the St. Georges website and click on the 30 year anniversary logo at bottom left to catch the similarities.
If you don't feel like clicking back and forth, that's okay; we'll show you.
More and more, the advertising business is becoming commoditized with services that make it ever easier for advertisers to circumvent the infrastructure that the industry has built over the last 100 years. Every year, another do-it-yourself service crops up offering companies tools to create their own advertising without the need for an agency. Certainly, these services will not replace ad agencies but they may take a dent out of their revenue stream.
Omnicom Group is hoping to stem any potential loss to this new ad-o-matic approach and launched their on such service through on of its agencies, Zimmerman, called Pick-n-Click which provides automotive advertisers 150,000 components to choose from when crafting an ad. car dealer franchise AutoNation has signed on and is using Pick-n-Click for its 331 car dealers.
- If you're in Vegas February 16 during he NBA All Star Weekend and want to hang with the likes of Lebron James, Baron Davis, Kenny Smith from TNT's Inside NBA and more and race against them in VW's 5 on 5 Drive Challenge, this event is for you.
- Because Valentine's day is all about sweets, Krispy Kreme is selling heart shaped donuts until Feb. 14. For each dozen purchased, people get 12 cards with a free donut coupon to give to friends. The chain is also sending box loads to celebrities during Fashion Week and to Clay Aiken for his appearance on Jimmy Kimmel next week.
- Agencies are dropping like flies from the $300 million Census pitch. McCann Erickson, Martin Agency, Mullen DDB, Leo Burnett, Ogilvy & Mather and Grey have decided not to pursue the account.
- Wall Street Journal Senior VP of Advertising Sales Judy Barry is leaving her position at the paper.
- Who knew? MySpace is making money for News Corp. And, it's the company's top money maker. eMarketer says MySpace is on track to make $525 million for Foc Interactive this year.
Appropriating ads and turning them into fuck-the-man messages is not actually anti-advertising. It's turning an ad into another (granted, irony-rich and possibly more sophisticated) ad.
While like Mortarblog we have serious doubts about the Anti-Advertising Agency's claim that "city dwellers see 5,000 ads per day," we agree that the world out there is oversaturated ad-wise. But in an ideal world, that raises the bar for us - not to become more ostentatious with our messages, but to make them more slow-moving and subtle. In an ideal world, anyway.
We dig what the Anti-Ad Agency's trying to do. It's important to ask questions about the presence of ads in our daily lives. But isn't that what this whole consumer-gen thing is all about? It's our strong suspicion that, short of finding a society bent on ridding themselves of ads, what they truly want are ads on their terms and not The Man's. That's okay with us.
There was speculation over the past month that AKQA was up for sale but the agency tells us that's not the case. They are, however, "recapitalizing" by selling off stake of the agency to private equity firm General Atlantic. The agency will retain its independent status and we are told speculation the agency would sell was exactly that: uninformed speculation.
Portland, Oregon-based TAOW Productions just nailed a contract to manage Diamondback's BMX bike team. This means they manage their events and activities, getting the BMX lifestyle out in the open and hopefully also increasing consumer demand for Diamondback's products and services.
TAOW thinks it's looking at a new kind of model for experiential marketing intended to nail "cool market" influencers, a phrase we find lame, but short of "jaded and bitchy" we can't think of anything more polite to address the demographic they're referring to. TAOW's other recent efforts included icons like hip hop's Kanye West and Rodney Pete, formerly of the NFL. Their brand partners also include prominent lifestyle labels like Red Bull, Diesel and American Express. So maybe "the little agency that could" knows something other marketers don't.
While Advertising Age's Jonah Bloom has had issues with what we've written a couple times, we are, without doubt, sure he's going to take issue with what George Parker recently wrote about a column Jonah did on Crispin Porter + Bogusky backlash. Commenting on Bloom's statement about ads being "events" and hatred of Crispin's work actually being a good thing for the client, Parker wrote, "Listen Jonah baby, do me a favor, go and rent a copy of 'The Hucksters' and check out the scene where Sydney Greenstreet as 'The Soap Baron' spits up a huge gob of phlegm on the boardroom table to show agency guy Clark Gable how you go about catching the consumers attention. It's disgusting, just like holding a pile of dog shit, or having a crazed Nazi with a Nurse Diesel assistant shilling for VW. You don't have to spit in someone's face to get their attention."
Parker's gleeful criticism doesn't end there, adding, " And don't give me that shit about 'Ads as events.' They're fucking ADS... Get it. If I want an event, I'll go to the Super Bowl, and not for the ads. This is what happens when you have people who've never worked a day in advertising, writing about advertising. Pathetic!"
So who's right? No bullshit George who has years of advertising experience or CP+B-defending Jonah who's made a successful career in journalism?