Following Wal-Mart, McDonald's Caught With Fake Blogs

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Perhaps directing some of the attention away from Edelman who was behind the Wal-Mart fake blog (flog) thing, are two new blogs for McDonald's, but not labeled as such. The co-promote with Monopoly. The Consumerist points to 4railroads and McDmillionwinner (link goes to Google cache as someone inside McDonald's apparent said "oops" and pulled the blog) and explains how the two sites are inter-related. Even though they carry dead giveaway copy written not by bloggers but by copywriters, the two blogs do not mention any association with McDonald's or Monopoly.

It's not that the blogs were launched in a clandestine manner. In fact, an October 19th press release makes reference to the 4railroads blog. It's just that things should be marked as they are. There's nothing wrong with cute, teaser campaigns but to pass something off as something it's not because it's thought slapping a brand name on it will lessen it's effect is, well, just not right.

by Steve Hall    Oct-31-06    
Topic: Brands, Opinion, Weblogs, Worst



Dropping Prices, Increasing Sexiness Sell Pontiac G6

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In this art director's visual wet dream for the new Pontiac G6, the ever declining prices and increasing speed and sexiness of computers, music equipment and telephones are cited as an analogy to the less expensive and supposedly sexier G6. Created by Leo Burnett Detroit, the spot kinda gets the message across but does anyone really believe cars can get cheaper and a Pontiac cold be classified as sexy?

by Steve Hall    Oct-31-06    
Topic: Brands, Commercials, Good



Homeless People Could Live In A Car For A Week Too

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There's a law somewhere that says two makes a trend and with Chevy joining Nissan in the "our car is so awesome you could live in it" thing, we officially have a trend. As you know, some dude is living in a Nissan and making a "film" about it. Opinions as to how and when and ad somehow became a film aside, the series of "films" is supposed to endear us to the vehicle and the glory of its comfort.

Now, Chevy, with its Livin' Large in Aveo, is following eight college student teams across the country for a week with webcams and blog entries. Everyone gets to vote on which team lives the "largest." Wow. Cool. Yea, road trips are fun and we've had our share back in the day when every friggin' move you made wasn't commercialized.

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by Steve Hall    Oct-31-06    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Opinion



Ashlee Simpson Launches Skechers Line, Can't Speak

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Ashlee Simpson, who seems to be morphing into some kind of plastic representation of her older sister Jessica, has hooked up with Skechers to launch a new line of footwear. During the launch announcement a few days a go, she said, "Skechers is brand that is not afraid to going the beyond. I look forward to representing Skechers clothing line; I also hope to add a few more pairs to my wardrobe," causing some to wonder if English is her first language. Whatever. She looks way better with blond hair and whatever facial/nasal adjustments she's had than her former I-Must-Look-Different-Than-Jessica look she forced upon us earlier.

by Steve Hall    Oct-30-06    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Celebrity



Marketers Will Not Destroy Second Life

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Much negativity has surrounded the launch of a new marketing company called Crayon. The company chose to make their launch announcement within Second Life where they established an island outpost. Some seem to think it's the end of Second Life because Crayon, along with all kinds of other marketers, will enter Second Life with no respect for the world's current residents. To coin a Second Lifers anti-marketing sentiment, it's all a gallery of lies. Second Life will be just fine with or without marketers.

First of all, Crayon is not a company whose sole purpose is to create marketing programs within Second Life. The company created the outpost as an efficient place to conduct business. Sure, some of the work they do may be Second Life-related but that is not the focus of the company. We don't profess to know anything more than what a couple months-worth of visits to Second Life have provided but, as far as we can see, no one is forcing Second Life residents to pay any attention at all to brands entering the world. In fact. most have been set up on islands which can easily be ignored or never discovered in the first place.

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by Steve Hall    Oct-29-06    
Topic: Agencies, Brands, Online, Opinion, Social, Trends and Culture



Microsoft to Embed Viral Growth into Zune MP3

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In what could be a masterful viral approach to growing a business that goes far beyond viral marketing, Microsoft is embedding viral expansion into its new iPod competitor, Zune. Users of the Zune MP3 player can send songs to friends over the devices Wifi who have three days to listen to them before they disable. If the recipient of the song decides to buy the song within the three day period, the sender of the song will receive a portion of the song's purchase price in the form of credits to be used towards purchasing music and other items from the Zune Marketplace.

Currently, it's a rumor and it would certainly be difficult to topple iPod from its reigning position but the approach is indicative of what many brands should be doing to grow their business beyond just traditional advertising tonnage. And yea, yea, yea, the whole referral thing has been done since cavemen traded rocks but this is high profile and it will be intresting to see if it works.

by Steve Hall    Oct-25-06    
Topic: Best, Brands, Social, Viral



Ford Quilts Pink For Breast Cancer Awareness Month

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As part of its partnership with the Susan G Koman Breast Canver Foundation, Ford has teamed with the organization's Race For The Cure Virtual Quilt project which allows people to create their own message on the quilt. JWT Detroit along with interactive firm Firstborn created the project o coincide with this month's Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

by Steve Hall    Oct-25-06    
Topic: Brands, Good, Online



Second Life Brand Explosion Examined

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CoolzOr has put together an in-depth review of the many brands who've stepped in Second Life and the tremendous growth the virtual reality world is experiencing. CoollzOr walks us through the Second Life presence of brands such as Adidas, Reebok, American Apparel, Sun Microsystems, Toyota, IBM, Starwood Hotels and Nissan. Each has created an interesting virtual representation of themselves and, predictably, not without some complaint from SL residents.

Ad agencies have jumped into the world as well including Leo Burnett, BBH and the new social media agency Crayon which will open tomorrow.

If you're interested in keeping with what's happening in Second Life, Reuters has set up shop and provides news about the world. Preceding Reuters' coverage of Second Life is The Second Life Herald which is filled with all sorts of SL activity. CNET is there too.

Second Life has been around since 1999 but has only recently caught on with marketers and, for that matter, the general public having just netted it's one millionth resident a few days ago. In an odd way, this feels like the old AOL when it passed its one million mark. If you missed out on that ride, now's your chance not to miss this one.

by Steve Hall    Oct-25-06    




Coke Wakes Up, Smells Social Media

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After having dissed the whole Diet Coke Mentos geyser thing saying the "craziness with Mentos doesn't fit with the brand personality" then giving in and quickly implementing a lame contest, Coke is now back in full force with Poetry in Motion, a video contest fronted by the very people Coke dissed in the first place, Fritz Grobe and Stephen Voltz, creators of one of the craziest Diet Coke/Mentos geyser videos. The two now appear in a video urging people to submit videos and teasing us with the fact the pair will release their latest video October 30, sure to be even more massive than their original geyser work

by Steve Hall    Oct-24-06    
Topic: Brands, Consumer Created, Good, Social, Video



Stephen King Uses Creepiness to Promote MoveOn Functions

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We opened our email this morning and found a letter from Stephen King entitled "I Know Scary." We thought, yes, that is true. And then we read on:

Dear MoveOn member,

If I know anything, I know scary. And giving this president and this out-of-control Congress two more years to screw up our future is downright terrifying. Thankfully, this national nightmare is one we can end with--literally--a wake up call.

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by Angela Natividad    Oct-23-06    
Topic: Brands, Celebrity, Direct, Good, Online, Promotions










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