Neil French's sudden non-appearance at a Singapore AdAsia conference, held November 21-23, isn't news. What's news are comments he made in a Singapore newspaper article run a day prior to the show in which he tried to claim it's not just woman who are "crap" because they make time for family, it's men too. French claims, according to Ad Age, children are "incompatible with the long hours needed to become a top creative." Egoistically proving his point and hinting fatherhood is for wimps, French told the paper he hasn't seen his only child, an eight year-old boy in months. Keep smokin' that cigar, Neil but humbly suggest you give that Harry Chapin song, Cats in the Cradle, a listen. It's got an important message for you.
Of course, one could claim the above is written from an overly PC, American viewpoint. If you flip the coin and acknowledge cultural differences between America and Singapore, where French has spent most of his career, French comes out smelling like roses as indicated by a comment reportedly made by a creative who said, during a dinner attended by French and, we assume, the Ad Age reporter who reported it, "You have to look at this through a cultural filter. In Singapore, its still legal to beat your wife." While we find that hard to believe, we're not making it up.
ihaveanidea.org has partnered with Imported Artists Film Co. to launch its third annual creative competition titled the TigerGaming Advertising Challenge. The competition, now to the general public and not just advertising students, will ask contestants to take a relatively new brand, TigerGaming, and make it famous by running the winning idea as a television spot produced by Imported Artists.
The contest promises over $40,000 in prizes. The Grand Prize winner gets their winning idea shot and produced by Imported Artists Film Company and $1000 cash. Second Prize winner(s) will get Apple's video iPod, while the Third Prize winner(s) will receive an iPod nano.
The judges will be representatives from TigerGaming.com, Imported Artists and ihaveanidea. To be eligible entries must be received on or before Friday February 24th 2006 to ihaveanidea. Winners will be announced on Friday March 10th 2006.
IDG World Expo has released details of the "Syndicated Company and Product Environments" conference track at Syndicate, scheduled to take place December 12-14, 2005 at the Hilton San Francisco. This track will discuss how companies of all sizes, from corporate titans like GM to neighborhood book stores, are syndicating all kinds of content in pursuit of real business goals.
The Syndicate conference shows how syndication and social media tools such as RSS, blogs and podcasts are helping to change the way businesses do business. The "Syndicated Company and Product Environments" track is one of four tracks, and it is geared to help companies learn how to better interact with and directly inform their customers.
The Web Marketing Association has announced it's accepting entries for the 2006 Internet Advertising Competition Awards, the ad industry's award competition dedicated to online advertising. Awards will be presented within each of the industry categories and advertising formats such as online ad banners, interstitials, rich media ads, email, online newsletter campaigns, microsite/landing page, integrated ad campaigns and even ads the client didn't choose.
Unfortunately, oddly and sadly, pop-ups are also included in the competition. No industry entity should acknowledge this bastion of marketing idiocy which amounts to nothing more than utter disregard for human preference and which represents the lowest form of scum this industry has yet to rid itself of.
iMediaConnection's Kevin Ryan is in Shanghai this week at ad:tech and reports there's tremendous interactive marketing growth occurring in China and things could dramatically heat up in a year or two. While the conference was much smaller than the recent New York ad:tech, Ryan reports search engine marketing is alive and well as is online commerce in the form of online shopping. U.S.-based shopping site Smarter.com has entered the market and, according to Ryan, will "focus on fashion, baby and maternity, pet supplies and sporting goods among other key categories in Japan, while Chinese will focus on 3C channels (computers, consumer electronics and communications.)"
Trade show producer has announced the line-up of sponsors and exhibitors for Syndicate, a B2B conference focused on emerging trends and technologies in content syndication, scheduled to take place December 12-14, 2005 at the Hilton San Francisco. Yahoo!, Microsoft, Google and many others will show how syndication and social media tools such as RSS, blogs and podcasts are transforming the way businesses do business.
Cornerstone sponsor Yahoo! is joined by Platinum sponsor Microsoft. Silver sponsors include: Attensa; Feedster; KnowNow; NewsGator; Pheedo; Pluck; PubSub Concepts; and SimpleFeed. Bronze sponsors include: Acquire Media; Cymfony; FreeRange Communications; inclue!; LookSmart; Marqui; PRWeb; Spearhead Innovations; and WhatCounts. Associate sponsors include: Google; Gritwire; Moreover Technologies; Technorati; and Top 10 Sources. Association sponsors include: American Business Media; Online Publishers Association; SF Advertising; and Word of Mouth Marketing Association.
The Art Directors Club, to announce its 85th Call For Entries, has produced a promotional poster with the headline, "Pimp My Brand," and an image of a guy in a pimped out Ronald McDonald in, perhaps, a nod to Miss McDonald or to the manipulation brands receive from consumers.
Acknowledging the growing involvement of consumers with brands, ADC Executive Director Laurie Kratochvil said, "Our 'Pimp My Brand' call for entries acknowledges the trend of makeovers and the resurgence in innovative packaging, design and marketing. It also recognizes the powerful role that advertising and design play in today's media-centric life."
Of course, time will tell how willing marketers will be when it comes to brand pimping.
On Wednesday at 12 Noon, the largest ad:tech ever, with over 8,300 attendees, closed. There were over 200 exhibitors and more parties than any one individual could ever hope to attend. The mood at the show, as it has been for the past couple years was upbeat and optimistic. As an independent voice, I can say dmg world media, the event producer, has done a great job promoting and organizing the show.
While yesterday, Tuesday, at 5PM exhibitors quickly dismantled their booths, Wednesday morning was still teeming with activity at the many sessions held between nine and the show's wrap time, noon.
The next major U.S ad:tech conference is in San Francisco, April 26-28 at the Moscone Center, newly chosen over area hotels as the show has grown so large. In March and April of 2006, ad:tech will launch its "impact" series, a collection a one day shows in ten cities across the U.S. We hope to see you, next, in San Francisco or at one of the "impact" series shows in a city near you. Until then, rock on and have fun.
Tuesday night's social activities at ad:tech New york began with a trip to the Hilton Hotel Lobby Bar in search of What'sNextOnline's B.L. Ochman but, instead, we ran into Gawker Media's Nick Denton and Christopher Batty with whom we discussed the over-hyping of blogs and agreed they're pretty much just a system that allows people to publish a website really easily. OK, there's some other good communal consumer stuff about them too. We never found B.L. but we did check out the Bridges Bar which was packed as the exhibit hall had just closed and there weren't many early parties except for the Industry Brainpower Awards and Soire, which we missed, and the WhenU Official ad:tech Wrap Up Party over at WhenU's Penn Plaza offices.
WhenU put out a great spread with the best snacks of any party this week including delicious, gigantic shrimp. We ran into Tacoda CEO Dave Morgan for a brief chat and both marveled that Mr. "I'm a Web Copywriter" was there handing out business cards as he had to every booth on the exhibit hall over the course of two days.
The panel entitled "Measuring Your Brand Buzz in Consumer Generated Media" moderated by Organic CEO Mark Kingdon along with panelists Jonathon Carson, president and CEO of Buzzmetrics, Pete Blackshaw, CMO of Intelliseek, Dave Balter, President of BuzzAgent and Andrew Bernstein, CEO of Cymfony, focused on how consumer generated media has become an important source of brand information for marketers and how it can me measured to benefit marketing direction.
A key recommendation from all panelists was to relinquish control. Consumer generated media can not be controlled. However, it can be listened to and joined in a way that provides marketers rich detail about brand perception and a channel through which to directly communicate with consumers. Blackshaw referred to some the the negative consumer commentary as "nastygrams" and Kingdon noted that this sort of consumer backlash has been around forever but, today, it's all happening much faster and has become harder to manage in advance.