A guy called James Neate just created a crew, Brandstalkers, whose mission it is to "virally" promote brands it loves -- as opposed to advertising them in conventional ways. (Frankly, "viral" is getting pretty conventional, in use of name if not in outcome. Repeat after me: VIRAL IS AN OUTCOME.) In return, the group takes a small "grant" from the companies it represents.
Its debut effort was for Guzman y Gomez, a Mexican taqueria based in Sydney. It involves half-naked guys and a lot of Sharpies.
Gotta love brand gospel writ on flesh. You can probably gauge the success of the campaign by the number of Japanese tourists it attracted.
Isobar just built a new site for Renault's Kangoo Be Bop -- "a quirky car, filled with space and light." Once you've chosen your country (France or UK), hit "BeFun" and watch the film for some '60s-style frivolity.
Light and loose, bright but easy on the eyes. Very Target, but period-specific. It's like everything the Ford Fiesta wanted (but failed!) to achieve with the love factory.
CollectiblesToday.com is promoting these M&M-sponsored Ashton-Drake dolls as its top Christmas gift this year. Each six-inch "Heavenly Handful" (cringe) sports an M&M's onesie with a matching cap, complete with darling one-liners like "Never let 'em see you melt" and "Sweet on the inside." My favorite, though, has to be "There's a little nut."
Lest anyone try replacing a nearby child's Bratz doll too hastily, this ad takes pains to remind you the collection is to be "enjoyed by adult collectors" only. So keep your grubby paws off, kid; those non-blinking M&M's evangelists are staying behind the glass case, preferably in the living room.
From SelectNY and Anonymous Content comes this new commercial for Giorgio Armani's Diamonds for Men. The ad features Josh Hartnett doing what people like Josh Hartnett do in fragrance commercials; drive classic cars, dress classically, work the crowd at a retro Hollywood event, act like a star and, well, say nothing.
- Gay folk write odes to pet pups.
- Folksy new site for Kubler Absinthe. The "Creativity" tab suggests an upcoming CGM effort where people can "contribute to the myth of Absinthe." See videos for preparing mixed drinks. They're cool, and don't you love that background music? Also check out "fact and fiction" and the how-to-drink, which I thought was really neat. By Decon/NY.
- Palin inspires rampant web subculture. So many options! Brings back fond memories of Miss South Carolina.
- Really good resource on getting paid to blog.
- M. M. McDermott is not impressed by Millennials, but he'll cater to them on the Baltimore Sun's hipster spin-off. While reading a stylebook and wearing a nametag labeled "COCK."
by Angela Natividad
, Trends and Culture
Philips -- the guys that probably sold you your first affordable TV and DVD player -- have entered the sex toy market with Intimate Massagers.
"For couples to explore and enhance their most intimate relationship together," the website says, in that way where they want you to think "dirty experimental sex!" while pretending to actually be referring to something you and your husband might have considered after deep thought and four intensive marital counseling sessions.
The ad at left (via) features two people in the throes of said responsible counseling activity. They appear to be composed of waves and heat. A banner on the website uses parts of this wave/heat illustration to describe how the ergy, rock-shaped massager will fill you with "feel-good" chemicals and boost your immune system.
Variations come in "intimate," "warm intimate" and "intimate dual" -- two massagers sitting inside an oyster shell. Looks like Lelo finally has a rival!
In a stroke of genius, Italy's FLY PIZZA used packages of rolling paper as business cards to promote its night delivery service.
"The initiative was a total hit among FLY PIZZA's customers: they took home smoking paper packages and delivery phone calls increased sensibly," said Publicis/Milan, which hatched the idea after noticing that many FLY customers are young smokers that ostensibly roll cigarettes to "save money." (A cute way of saying the late-night fanbase is probably high off its rocker when the 2am orders start pouring in.)
Research in motion!
"Spoken Word," a Guinness ad, just debuted in Jamaica. It is pretty, and mystical, and it even takes a shot at being uplifting. "Reach for greatness," it concludes, shortly after a melodic spoken word artist -- whose words turn wisps of time into wings on his back -- fades from view.
Substantial but casual. Kind of like Guinness, actually. Between the lines, it suggests drinking isn't confined to drunks, co-eds or singles pursuing carnal intrigue.
By Saatchi & Saatchi/London and production firm Shilo/Hanharan. Music by Human.
Pandora is my new friend. It's TD Banknorth's new friend too. VIA, TD Banknorth's agency, realizing the growing popularity of the music service that lets people created customized music stations, launched a pandora tuner takeover unit for the bank.
In support of the bank's iPod promotion, VIA created a custom TD Money Mix Tape with a selection of "currency-themed" music from the likes of Radiohead ("Dollars and Cents"), The Beatles ("Money"), Pink Floyd ("Money") and the Yeah, Yeah, Yeahs ("Rich"). There are 82 songs in all.
New friend and blogger for elasticpath's Get Elastic blog Linda Bustos just published an article entitled How to Find an Online Reputation Manager. In the article, she highlights Andy Beal's book, Radically Transparent: Monitoring and Managing Reputation Online, which serves as a training manual for companies concerned with getting a handle on and participating in online communities and conversations about their brand.
With the proliferation of every conceivable manner of online communication and the dramatic change it's made to the old school rules that govern who, in theory, is supposed to have the ability to publish news and opinion, brands have to take a very different approach in how they influence their brand's perception.