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In the SXSW 2009 session "How to Protect Your Brand Without Being a Jerk," panelists cautioned brands to police trademark violation while still protecting PR by practicing flexibility and communication when it comes to new media law.
In the age of user-generated content, sharing, remixing, mashing-up, and even simply referring to copyrighted content has landed both brands and users in a world of hurt.
What panelists called a "folk understanding" of the Digital Millenium Copyright Act and traditional media law have given rise to large-corporate paranoia in the gray areas of new media content publication. Misunderstandings of Internet culture as well as trademark infringement have lead to heavy-handed policing of content and trademark use, often leading to online PR debacles.
"You become known as the brand that sues," said panelist Oren Bitan of HIQI Media.
- An account supervisor at Lowe in Zurich has asked us to yank a recent post featuring a vampire whose fangs are made of OB tampons. It's unapproved client work. (That means it's not running anywhere and, he says, it never will.) I guess this means God does exist.
- Quite possibly the most amazing brownies ever.
- Wisconsin rebrands. We're still not going.
- Coke Zero's The Morning After (always a promising title).
- George Parker says sorry for using one of his favourite pet names on Susan Bratton, but manages to get some pokes in about an interview she did with Julie Roehm. You remember her, right? No? Probably best.
- Obama's face for Turkish bank.
VCCP put together this no-frills but amiable spot for Jordans Country Crisp, a UK-based cereal label that differentiates itself by spotlighting its own mom-and-popness.
We like how the story of the cereal plays out on the box, and how the wee farmer on the tractor calls out as he scrolls by. So granola. Tagline: "You can taste we care."
Jordans hasn't released a major ad campaign in four years; this also marks its first animated piece. Voiceover by Bill Oddie, whom VCCP said was chosen because of his "association with nature and conservation." Don't know about all that, but he's definitely got a good bedtime story manner. We feel warmy.
The California Milk Advisory Board continues its Happy Cow casting call with an entry from April, a down-home Southern diva. She sings country, has an entourage of ganders and makes the Cali cows all catty. Click on the April videotape to watch her audition.
In the event that Simpering Belle just isn't your accent of choice, check out last month's entry from Soo (she's got Soeul!).
The battle of the sexes gets all literal on yo' ass in "Men vs Women" by 72andSunny. Propelled forth by the challenge of racking up the most kilometres for their gender, Nike-decked runners take to the streets in the playful spirit of competition. (We totally eat this stuff up. Remember those Mia Hamm vs. Michael Jordan Gatorade ads?)
Neat thing is, this isn't just an ad. If you're rooting for any particular team, and provided your knees are in fine shape, join in the fun at NikePlus.com. (Digital material by AKQA.)
Note how everybody seems to own a Macbook Pro. o_O Nike and Apple have collaborated before on a Nike + iPod clothing line, so it should come as no surprise they're still bedtime buddies. Song's cool, too: Run (I'm a Natural Disaster) by Gnarls Barkley.
- @MackCollier, in the thick of SXSW, captures social media junkies in unnatural habitats.
- Trojan continues that slightly uncomfortable pro-STD reverse psychology thing with an a la carte booth. Samples of genital warts, anyone?
- Mark Cuban invests in poo-inducing pizza. Just read the story, man.
- More 'net-based teen angst.
- "Is this the most sexually explicit ad ever?" In a word, no. We're still kinda confused about what dude was doing with the Six Hour Power jar, and it isn't immediately clear if he's going to bang his secretary or just give her a really peppy memo. It could go either way ... but the reason why this ad fails is, we don't care where it goes.
- Why Jason Calacanis employed a felon -- or how to handle negative press.
There's this competition called Volvo Ocean Race, in which heavily sponsored boat junkies take their latent talents to the high seas.*
To promote both its participation and its nautical domination, Puma left Il Mostro signage and giant footprints in the sand on the beaches around Rio, which is where the competition goes down this year.
Il Mostro's the name of its boat. (Guess it's somewhat more resonant than O Gato Gigante.) Two lucky civilians will be chosen to join Il Mostro's boat crew for one day. Visit the Puma Enigma site for more details.
The site doesn't presently work the way it's supposed to -- where you click on a flag and go directly to a brand destination. As things stand, no amount of clicking gets you much of anywhere -- except for the innocuous Puma.com logo at the bottom right-hand side, which sends you to the Puma Ocean Racing blog.
Beachside stunt by Espalhe Marketing de Guerrilha for Puma Sports Brazil.
"Happiness Factory 3" continues Coke's Happiness Factory/Open Happiness campaign with a Monday-friendly beginning we can all identify with. Mid-yawn, a guy hits up a Coke vending machine, compelling all the Wonderland creatures inside to yawn too.
There's a bit of authoritative clapping, then some feel-good pop music kicks in. Everyone snaps open their Cokes, and both worlds bloom into quotidian activity.
Ad land has this incredible talent for bastardizing beautiful things, and doing it in a way where we're like, hey, that's kind of cool.
That's the feeling you get when you watch "Burger Grease Art," where a guy uses the grease from non-Arby's burgers to create a giant reproduction of Da Vinci's enigmatic lady.
Across the bottom of the video -- which we really couldn't help sitting through, even as we clutched our stomachs and began to dry-heave -- is a link to burgergreaseart.com, which tackles your line of sight with three appealingly matte Arby's Roastburgers. (For some reason, we kinda hoped for an Etch-a-Sketchy painting game, except with grease, but no dice.)
Agency Guava threw together this spot in which a Blackberry literally shoots through Apple. (Both are helpfully represented as fruits, and the tagline hypes BB's first-ever touchscreen model.)
Crystal-clear and slightly reminiscent of a long genre of late-'90s films where bullets penetrated human flesh at high-speed, ripping it to ribbons in slow-mo. (We like pulpy shit.) But I wouldn't throw myself behind the current iteration of BlackBerry's Storm for any amount of money, let alone pro-bono.