ad:tech Chicago: Weighing Hearts and Brands on Ancient Scales

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ad:tech Chicago's "Love for Sale -- How Great Creative Seduces Its Target" session was broken into two discernably useful parts: statistics on online dating, and seduction as a metaphor for marketing.

We'll begin at the beginning.

The Online Dating Crowd

Accompanied by Liz Ross of Digitas US, Fusion Idea Lab's Matt Brennock regaled us with both statistics and close-to-home anecdotes -- the kind that's fueled many a romantic comedy.

I heard one guy say the pair had great chemistry, and he commended them for "[opening] the kimono" the way they did. Given the topic matter, and Brennock's zeal for reminding us (first once, then twice, then...) that men really do just wanna get laid, the geisha metaphor was oddly appropriate.

Some stats:


  • The average online dater is 42 years old.

  • Match.com remains tops, with 3.4 million uniques/month, but people increasingly drift away from these big-box dating sites and into more niche fare: j-date, veggiedate, Christian singles. (AdAge blogger Kelly Eidson seized this opportunity to send me a link to STD Match, a dating site targeted to people living with sexually transmitted diseases. There are also -- as if you didn't know -- ethnicity-specific sites.)

    If the world wasn't our oyster before, the marvelous advances of the internet, coupled with mankind's enterprising creative spirit, have ensured it certainly is now. There's a match worth blogging.

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Cisco to Re:Birth Films: Welcome to the Legal Network

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Spec work with brand logos goes without saying. Everyone does it. Cisco Systems however didn't appreciate the recent Re:Birth Films' Creation Begins campaign and asked the shop to remove its logo from the work. (Clip below.) While you might sympathize with any shop that's just trying to build its portfolio/reel and gets caught like this, it's no longer enough to say well, it was only a spec campaign on our site, especially if they have licensing arrangements in place with agencies re: copyrighted material (songs, specific actors, etc.)

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by Bill Green    Sep- 4-09    
Topic: Agencies, Campaigns



We All Bank With A Yellow Sousaphone...

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...a yellow sousaphone. Everybody! FirstBank of Lakewood, Colorado seems to be doing okay in times like these because they're spending a lot of money on free. Outdoor executions from TDA in Boulder include interstate billboards, urban locations and backlit airport dioramas. BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE. Online, rich media versions are also planned. Check out all the versions after the jump.

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by Bill Green    Sep- 3-09    
Topic: Campaigns, Magazine, Outdoor



Spays Not Strays

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Cat, nipped? Unwanted teen cat pregnancies are nothing to joke about. The shame of having to raise a litter as a single mom can be overwhelming, and kitten mittens* is not enough. Won't you please help? Agency Erwin-Penland is with a new integrated Humane Society campaign that incorporates traditional media with digital and extensive out-of-home initiatives (cut-outs of cats throughout downtown Greenville, etc). So where's the work you say? We wanna show you, but they didn't send us** anything except the website with animated kitty page takeover.***

*Shameless attempt to work this clip in. **Shameless attempt to work in a mention re: the ongoing problem with PR releases and basic shit like including the ad agency's url. Hard to give a shop love when you't include a link. ***Kitty Page Takeover plays two shows this week in Greenvilee btw. I KID.

by Bill Green    Sep- 1-09    
Topic: Campaigns, Cause



Levi's Stops Costumed Volleyball Antics to Honor Sen. Kennedy

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Adrants reader Gareth sent over Levi's tribute to Senator Edward Kennedy. It appeared in the Sunday editions of the Times and the Globe and sports a rambling and whimsical quote from the Sen. ("The work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives, and the dream shall never die"), then a message from Levi's itself: "Let us continue his legacy of faith in the people and faith in the work that has yet to be done."

Wordy but loaded with gravity. We like that it remains sparing and casual; apart from the text, a hand-sketched version of the Levi's logo appears over its current tagline: "Go forth," part of a campaign primarily targeted to meatheads at uni.

The ad reminds us of Kenneth Cole's "Different Shoes" campaign, and it's a wonder to us that KC hasn't seized this opportunity to add Kennedy to its list of creative-friendly quotables.

It could just be that we didn't look hard enough though, so if we're wrong, send that bad-boy over.

by Angela Natividad    Aug-31-09    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Magazine, Newspaper, Trends and Culture



This Season's Trend in Gamer Marketing? Necromancy.

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A spankin' new ad for Beatles Rock Band features the Fab Four alive and well, loitering with fans on Abbey Road. There's even an almost-convincingly-cut scene of George Harrison strumming alongside a kid with a Rock Band guitar.

The frothy setting -- utterly devoid of the angst that made them not-a-band-anymore -- melts into animated versions of the Beatles themselves, beating their instruments over the coloured Rock Band bars that tell you what string to hit. Song featured in the ad is Come Together off their Abbey Road album.

No strong feelings of disdain here; it's certainly a lot less callous than that one time Saatchi used All You Need is Love to sell diapers or the time Ben & Jerry's distilled the spirit of John Lennon in a hippie ice cream.

Oddly -- and we might change our minds about this later -- the ad made the notion of bringing the Beatles back as an animated pleasure-band a lot less traumatizing than watching a stilted cartoon Kurt Cobain play marionette for Guitar Hero. It's cheesy, sure, but it could have been a trainwreck.

Identity of the agency behind the ad remains a mystery for now. Word has it there'll be a reveal after the game comes out. Anyway, whoever you are, nice job; we'd be liars if we said the work lacked charm.

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Hey, Soldier. Are You Good to Go?

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Being in the service is like living in a bubble: you do as you're told, go where you're sent, and live on-base, which has its own restaurants, shops and medical centers.

So one of the scariest things about leaving the military is knowing what to do afterward. Four years in, it's hard to remember what civilian life is like; worse still, you're rusty with the social and professional politics.

To help future former military members get a head start, Plaid created AreYouG2G, a clever little site that helps them construct outside lives based on what they did in uniform.

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by Angela Natividad    Aug-28-09    
Topic: Campaigns, Cause, Good, Online



O, Hell No; Three Olives Brings O-Face to TV

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Three Olives Vodka, the folk that pimped the nation for its best O-face, is back with a triage of TV spots.

Each scenario is the same: a bespectacled male is subjected to pain. He doesn't react. Then he downs a shooter of the vodka, squeezes his little shoes together and O's his little heart out.

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by Angela Natividad    Aug-28-09    
Topic: Bad, Brands, Campaigns, Commercials



NBC New York Plugs Local Cred with Quirky Shut-Ins

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We're not really sure what New Yorkers read to give them that Big City somethin'-somethin', but NBC New York wants the crown for itself.

So it turned to Mother, which in turn conceived "Locals Only," a campaign that spotlights the website's granular take on the city. It's the spots that compelled us to visit the site, where we discovered it's a lot like HuffPo for deep-Manhattanites with a PG palate (more for NBC's sake, wethinks, than for the city's).

Yesterday's big story was a taser-toting robber grandma; today you've got a happy ending to a very old kidnapping story.

We also think the changing header -- "NBC New York [is intrigued by nude models]" -- gives it a personable touch, lending sass to a rag that, while not as gritty as NEW YORK POST, may well hold its own in the city's dense circle.

But enough about the site; let's move on to the weirdos. The punchline's cheap, and the news tidbits at the end feel a little shoehorned in, but the caricatures are wicked.

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by Angela Natividad    Aug-28-09    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Commercials, Television



Almost Ready, Guys. Just Tryin' to Decide if It's a Kitchen Knife Day.

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Through the magic of YouTube, Choose a Different Ending walks you almost seamlessly through a tense scenario between street kids. As it progresses, you get to decide what happens next and how you -- as a character -- will react.

The choose-your-own-adventure model's been used before, notably by Twix, but not this well or for this provocative a cause. We were surprised by how the experience captured our curiosity -- and also by a lot of the endings. (When you elect to talk things out, it's rare that you expect to be gutted like a fish.)

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by Angela Natividad    Aug-28-09    
Topic: Best, Campaigns, Cause, Video








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