Richard Branson really does own everything. We knew he was airline guy and cell phone guy but we didn't know he was train guy too. To promote Branson's Virgin Trains, glue London has created a series of online films (they call them viral but we'll see if they earn that moniker) which illustrate how much smaller Britain has become because of Virgin Train's fast service. The first film unleashes a giant cock (no, not that kind you freak) on an unsuspecting British neighborhood to, you know, show how small Britain is compared to, um, a giant cock.
The films were shot by web guys Ben Wheatley, Joel Veitch and Rob Manuel through Tomboy Virals. The first film "Cockerel" was released this month, with the rest to be released at regular intervals up until the World Cup eight months from now. blue has placed all the films neatly on a microsite called Little Britain for our viewing pleasure.
Renault in France has launched a website that does nothing but feature the company's ad campaigns, old and new. Called, On reclame la pub!, which is hard to translate wordplay hard the loosely means both "we want ads" and an old school version of "We advertise ads," the site appeases what the car maker dubs "brand fans and advertising addicts." Well, that would be us but not sure about the rest of the world. The site also has a newsletter that announces new campaign launches, screensavers and wallpapers. So if you love Renault, this site is for you. You just better be able to read French.
Wipe that smirk off your face, dude. This is a photoshoot for an ad, not a porn flick. Oh, and speaking of porn, those 70's pornographer sunglasses have got to go. No self-respecting hipster, metrosexual would be caught dead wearing those things so go back to your pad, turn on the lava lamp, push aside the multicolored, vertical beads in the doorway to your bedroom, turn on some Donna Summer and throw your women down on the red velvet sheets of your love nest and get vertical.
Minneapolis-based John Deere agency Mackenzie is looking for farmers for an upcoming John Deer ad campaign. The agency wants "real farmers, with farmer tans, well-formed paunches, and tattoos." A newspaper article states male farmers will photographed shirtless and should be between 25 and 55. There was no mention of 35 to 55 year-old, shirtless female farmers.
So that we aren't accused of simply highlighting odd advertising stunts without giving credence to their success or failure, we point you to a MarketingSherpa study that examined Calvin Klein's one day "live" billboard in which male and females Calvin Klein models hang out in a board constructed to look like a living room. Usually these things are tossed off as stunts purely to garner media attention which, though not a bad thing, doesn't always translate into sales. This time it did. Times three, in fact. The promotion, along with achieving media coverage in 15 countries, 100,000 visitors to the campaign's microsite and 20,000 street team sample packs gone by mid-day and another 20,000 but day's end, netted three times normal sales for CK One at the nearby Macy's Herald Square location.
In a Slate article Seth Stevenson ponders the notion Burger King agency Crispin Porter + Bogusky orchestrated the Burger King Halloween mask hype which involved emails inquiring where the mask could be bought, a thread on Fark in which the mask was parodied and a BK Masks site was launched by CP + B around the same time. Coincidence? We don't think so.
Adrants reader doesn't think so either and wrote us, "Lets say CP+B were the farksters of the King. Funny, but is it legal? Can an agency Fark a marketing tool, and then profit by selling masks for Halloween? Although a bit shiesty, this seems to bob and weave around any kind of direct profiteering via manipulated personal likenesses, intellectual property, etc. But sending faux-inquiries about the masks to Slate? I realize that the inquiries where only that- inquiries, not hard sells. But the level of shrewdness here gets under my skin. I know this isn't anything new; advertisers have been playing the fool in chat rooms for years. But Slate is a major news source. It makes me angry."
Anyone want to add their comment?
When it is suggested an agency borrowed a previous idea for creative work, as TBWA\Chiat\Day just did with the Apple Eminem commercial, it's usually dismissed as coincidence. When it happens twice, with the same client, no less, notions of coincidence get chucked out the window. Artist Dane Picard exhibited this video artwork in June at an exhibition in Santa Monica located 15 minutes from the LA offices of TBWA\Chiat\Day. Picard's work, images of hands manipulating various objects in front of a black background is eerily similar to the recent Apple iPod Nano spot, launched a few weeks ago, made up of images of hands manipulating the device against a black background. View the work. Compare it to the Nano spot. Decide. Comment.
BBDO has created and outstanding campaign for eBay called What is it. The campaign tells the story of two guys who invent "it" and how it became the world's most famous, hippest thing to own. Of course, the message in all of this is that "what ever it is, you can get it on ebay." Really brilliant. Really. Check it out.
Reacting to a column UnderScore Marketing's Tom Hespos wrote about marketer's fear and laziness to engage in meaningful conversations with consumers, I wrote a piece calling for the creation of a "Conversation Department," a department whose sole responsibility would be to listen to what is being said about a given brand in blog posts, discussion boards, forums and other methods of group conversation, join the ongoing conversations about the brand and make sure the company properly reacts to conversational opinion by addressing concerns immediately. Today, Tom goes a bit further with this and proposes a structure for a conversation department and how it might be staffed.
The more we talk about listening, joining and learning from conversations, while everyone in a company should be doing this, it makes more and more sense for companies and agencies to created a dedicated conversation department.
This morning at New York City's Grand Central Vanderbuilt Hall, Bank of America held an event to promote its new debit card product, "Keep the Change," which rounds up purchases to the nearest dollar and places it in a saving account for the card holder. To attract attention to the new card, a gigantic, 20 foot long, 10 foot high sofa was placed in the Hall where people could climb on and reach beneath the cushions to find prizes such as MetroCards, Starbucks cards, restaurant gift certificates, retailer gift certificates and Apple store discounts.
This promotion, created by Jack Morton, aligns quite well with the whole money-stuck-under-the-couch-cushion thing. More photos to follow.