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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
- If you travel a lot and you're bored with your bland luggage tags or you don't have any at all, you might want to check out some new tags that are decidedly more colorful than your standard, bland tags.
- Mango Moose Media in Mississauga Ontario has launched StreetTeams, a service that makes it easy for media buyers to "buy" street teams just like they buy other media.
- As if Coke wasn't already unhealthy enough, it's now a frying agent for any thing from bananas, to twinkies to cookies to pickles.
- RSS reader Newsgator has added Google AdWords to it's pages. Launched Friday, it's in test phase which will continue into next week.
- Not that this is is indicative of any role they may have played in their clients' successes but BBDO's work was the most viewed work on AdForum in the third quarter.
- Here's a collection of videos Wieden+Kennedy Amsterdam worked on as part of their work for the Electronic Artists' game FIFA 07.
As if Starbucks doesn't already have enough trouble over those naked mermaid cups, Starbucks Gossip reports barista Fabian Mills got berated for biking to work every morning and was consequently transferred to a store that lengthened his commute 16 miles.
Starbucks recently issued a statement explaining Mills was late to meetings and windblown to boot, so the conflict wasn't about riding the bike at all.
Mills clarifies by insisting his manager told him he "should just get over riding [his] bike" before transferring him. After the transfer, Mills quit.
The moral of the story is, unless you can drive the 2.5 miles to your cafe job and make it there in immaculate condition, don't work at Starbucks. And while you're at it, get an MBA, too. - Contributed by Angela Natividad
This commercial could have been so much more emotional. So much more effective. After all, what's more spine tingling that a heroic firefighter doing their thing to douse fires and save lives? Unfortunately, this Duracell spot didn't capture emotion of any kind and, instead, went the boring, announcer-read route to tout the fact its batteries are used in a firefighter's T-PASS III, a device that notifies firefighters it's time to evacuate a building.