Miller Hunts Down Those Who Use 'Fake' Email Addresses


Boing Boing points to an act of lunacy on the part of Miller Brewing which hunted down a person who used a throwaway email address to enter a contest the brewer was hosting so she could avoid future marketing messages from Miller. Apparently, Miller didn't like being tricked, found the user presumably through some sort of IP tracking and sent her this email which read, in part, "We have performed an electronic change of address to update our records so that we can continue to send you special offers, promotions and announcements via email." We'd like to speak with the person at Miller who actually wrote and/or approved this to se just what it's like to be so disrespectful to one's customer.

UPDATE: Ad-Verse takes a detailed look at this, offers more details on how Miller supposedly does this, why they do it and why he calls this crap sociopathic marketing.

by Steve Hall    Feb-20-06    
Topic: Bad, Brands, Online

Burger King Girl Brooke Burke Spotted At McDonald's


Apparently, Brooke Burke didn't have a non compete clause in her agreement with Burger King and Crispin Porter + Bogusky as indicated by these images of her entering and leaving a McDonald's.

Or, according to a Buzznet editor, these images may simply be a twisted continuation of the Burger King Brooke Burke photo viral. The editor tells us, "The 'boink' galleries where the Brooke Burke pics are posted seem to be owned by someone who is 'in the industry' PR-wise. The person/company behind 'boink' tends to have a lot of pics that end up being widely available but they really seem to have them first. There's a couple other galleries like 'boink' at buzznet that could be the same person but are posting promotional photos of bands, etc." We'll keep you updated.

by Steve Hall    Feb-17-06    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Celebrity

McDonald's Releases Inner Child


Advertising for Peanuts points to this inventive and conceptually brilliant Australian commercial for McDonald's in which the the true meaning of the "inner child" is explored.

by Steve Hall    Feb-17-06    
Topic: Brands, Commercials, Good

GE Explains 'Healthcare Re-Imagined" Campaign in Podcast


Today, GE has launched the online component of its Healthcare Re-Imagined campaign currently running during the Olympics. The company has published a podcast with Judy Hu, GE's global executive director of Advertising & Branding and Jen Walsh, GE's director of digital media in which Judy describes the thought process behind the campaign and Jen explains why the online medium is so important to GE's healthcare focus. In the podcast, Judy explains the company chose to go with a more serious tone in the campaign as research found humor didn't play well with healthcare topics and Jen explains the online component which includes a Yahoo page takeover February 14 and 15, videos on Webshots and and a local language International roll out.

by Steve Hall    Feb-14-06    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Podcast

Microsoft Faces Obstacles Over Vista Welcome Screen Ads


Microsoft's new OS Vista "Welcome Center" screen, seen by all PC users when they start their computers, will display ads. Because that practice has caused complaints, the company is facing trouble from the U.S. Department of Justice as well as states attorneys general who are considering legal action. A report was filed last Wednesday with the judge handling Microsoft's antitrust compliance.

With millions if not billions of people viewing that screen on initial boot at least a few times a week, calling it prime advertising real estate is an understatement. While TV has died as a mass media, Microsoft's "Welcome Center" will cause marketers to drool over its reach but cause extreme concern among those who feel Microsoft will use the space to promote the company's own products.

UPDATE: Catch the "diggversation" over here where diggers crucify Adrants Farker-style.

UPDATE II: Here's the actual legal brief (pdf) that confirms the story except for our misinterpretation about the ads appearing every time Vista is booted versus just during initial boot.

by Steve Hall    Feb-12-06    
Topic: Brands, Desktop, Policy

Nike Film Series Leads Up to Football World Cup


To promote the 2006 Football (soccer) World Cup, Nike has launched a campaign called Play Beautiful which consists of eight serialized videos, the first showing a ficticious cause group, headed by real-life, legendary footballer Eric Cantona, taking over a television station to deliver the group's message of encouragement. In the first video, Cantona says "we've let liars and cheaters make a fool of the game" and that he is here to "remind the world that this game is about skill, heart, honor, joy, team spirit." He urges us to make the game beautiful again. As football-clueless Americans, we never would have know the game had a problem in the first place so we'll take his word for it.

Future videos will also feature Cantona along with other current footballers. The video was produced by Wieden & Kennedy and F/Nazca Saatchi & Saatchi, who handle work for Nike in Brazil, created the site.

by Steve Hall    Feb-11-06    
Topic: Brands, Online, Viral

GM Paints 'New York Post' Yellow For New Corn-Based Fuel


With the tagline "live green, go yellow" GM, today, has painted the homepage of the New York Post's online site along with other sites such as the Austin American-Statesman yellow to promote the company's E85 ethanol-fueled vehicles of which there are already 1.5 million on the road. The vehicles can run on either gasoline or the new E85 fuel. E85 fuel is 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline and is made from U.S.-grown corn and other grains. The company will introduce and promote more E85-capable vehicles mid-2006.

The yellow takeover and the ads point to a live green go yellow microsite where visitors can find out about the fuel's benefits, how it's made, what vehicles will run on it, play a Stalk Car Race game, see the TV and print ads and get live green go yellow goodies.

by Steve Hall    Feb-10-06    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Online, Television

Visa Bows New Tagline During Olympic Opening Ceremony


Retiring its 20 year old "It's everywhere you want to be," Visa will introduce a new TBWA/Chiat/Day LA-created tagline, "Life Takes Visa," during the opening ceremony of the Olympics. Interestingly, the tagline was created a few years ago by Visa's previous agency BBDO New York and was in some Latin America ads created by Leo Burnett.

Unlike Intel's new but meaningless "Leap Ahead" tagline, Visa's tagline nicely connotes you can get just about everything you need in life with a Visa card. That is, everything that costs money. A piece of plastic isn't going to help solve your marital woes but hey, we can only ask so much from a piece of plastic.

by Steve Hall    Feb- 7-06    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Good, Television

Anheuser-Busch to Launch Network


Anheuser-Busch will use its Super Bowl commercial time to launch a direct-to-consumer network called "The Bud Screen." The network will offer all manner of programming, branded content and advertising delivered to the desktop or an iPod. The brewer intends the network to be long-lived and to eventually be named "Bud TV." We've said it before and we'll say it again, the middleman - the networks - just aren't needed any longer. When a brand or program producer can deliver content directly to the consumer, there's no need for the current TV network set up. Oh sure, big changes are years away but it's happening and it will continue to happen faster and faster as more brands and content producers realize they can have their own channel of distribution.

by Steve Hall    Feb- 2-06    
Topic: Brands, Online, Television, Trends and Culture

IKEA Dresses Filipinos As Swedish Maids In Kuwaiti Ad


Kuwaiti Art Director and Ad Blogger Tata Botata (or whatever his real name is) pointed us to this Kuwaiti IKEA ad on the back of a local dining guide that shows Filipinos, apparently the predominant wait staff in the country, portrayed Swedish maids. While Botata tells us its very common to see Filipino wait staff in Kuwait, he took issue with IKEA dressing them up in stereotypical Swedish garb and headlining the ad with, "Enjoy the Swedish hospitality at IKEA store."

We don't pretend to understand all the cultural ramifications of this but we prefer our Swedish maids blond, buxom and holding beer St. Pauli Girl-style. Then again, that's got its own nasty, sexist, stereotypical baggage.

by Steve Hall    Jan-30-06    
Topic: Bad, Brands, Magazine

Featured FREE Resource: