Beck's has launched a blog, Different by Choice. Yawn, right? But the way they've announced it and the way it's formatted is so annoying, it can't be left alone.
In an email beginning with "Hello Important Marketing Blog People," Beck's blogger Darius asks, "has anyone told you recently how hot you are?" and then goes on to explain how he "destroyed" 850 other potential bloggers vying for the job "'cos that is the way I roll." Ugh. Cue the Agency.com Subway video.
No sooner are we lauding the importance of honest, graphically intense PSAs, we get this from Strawberry Frog, "ChangingThePresent.org seeks to make the world a better place one gift at a time by connecting givers with 350 non-profit organizations offering 1,600 gifts and to a universe of 500,000 registered philanthropic organizations. The two :30 spots spoof traditional holiday commercials by poking fun of gifts like bow-topped cars by replacing it with a sheep adorned by a big red ribbon (supports the Heifer Project International), and a beautiful jewelry box containing a polio vaccine (UNICEF)."
Without belittling the very important objective this campiagn seeks to accomplish, it just feels like the wind has been removed from the sails. Or maybe it's just the sudden emotional shift from empathetic compassion to tongue in cheek humor. Both are good. Both can work. Let's just hope the two campaigns don't appear back top back which, of course, they won't becasue one is UK based and the other American. Just sayin'.
It seems public service advertising is the only kind which contains any sort of meaningful drama or that's allowed to depict reality without being glossed over by meaningless creative pontification. All other forms of advertising pale in comparison. Mostly because PSAs depict real life. And real life is a far cry from the kind of fairy tale life painted inside the cozy confines of an ad campaign.
British children's charity Barnardo's is out with a powerful commercial in which a girl is repeatedly subjected to the after effects of child abuse. As the commercial progresses, the girl's troubled life is repeated with increasing intensity until it culminates with the rapid fire reality of child abuse, a cycle that, if unchecked, is doomed to repeat tself over and over again until dramatic steps are taken to prevent it.
- Massive inked a multi-year, in-game ad deal with THQ. So far, the only game that will for certain feature dynamic advertising is Saints Row 2.
- Queen Rania of Jordan has won the first-ever YouTube Visionary award for her daily videocast. I kind of love her.
- Six Apart has launched something called the TypePad Journalist Bailout Program. Under it, about 30 ex-bloggers or journalists will receive a free TypePad Pro account, tech support, representation on Blogs.com and auto-enrollment into Six Apart's ad network. 300 applications were received in less than two weeks.
- "Diddy is so Sarah Palin."
- Close-up on crotchvertising.
- New buzz word: sexting! Almost as fun as nuggnut. (Click on "Nuggnut pledge" for awesome brainwashing action.)
- Tom Messner on web two-dot-oh: "TV was still social medium in 1965 as people gathered around it; nobody gathers around the Internet unless you think that everyone is gathering around it at any time." Read more up-close with Hustle Knockin'. (V-via.)
- Twitter waves $500 million in Facebook stock off the table.
- Montreal-based Sid Lee opens doors where we all wish we could: in Amsterdam!
- "Oh, haven't you heard of Glah-day?" Someone finally speaks out about those Godforsaken Glade Scented Candles ads.
- George Parker will host your Second Life wedding if you promise to pass him some dirt on Enfatico.
- Google lets you customize search results.
- Planning to die? Don't forget to switch on the webcam.
- Shepard Fairey discusses his work and his design agency, Studio Number One, in a video interview.
Dear Bank of America and Microsoft,
Your recent upgrade to the new state of the art ATMs which, among other things, can accept check and cash deposits without an envelope has been, shall we say, less than pleasant. Apart from all the disconcerting noises and beeps they make, did you really have to assign the Windows XP Ding sound to the machines which plays every time a button on the touchscreen is pushed? Hello?? That's the same sound everyone in the world hears when they mis-click or make an error on their PC.
Don't you think choosing that sound to represent common function on the ATM was, well, pretty stupid? Not to mention incredibly disconcerting to the person using the ATM? Do you really want everyone to think they are making an error every time they push a button? Was this some sick joke your programmers decided to play on the unsuspecting public? Would it really have been that difficult to have pick something else from the hundreds of other less disconcerting system sound God forbid, create a new one?
The last thing I want to feel when I'm using an ATM is that I'm making a mistake or, worse, it's making a mistake. Which brings me to my next topic...
Just another idea by our good (if lazy) friend Chuck, who hashes it out like so:
"Give adult entertainment production companies such as Evil Angel and Vivid Entertainment limited rights to music from upcoming video games for use in their adult films, six months to a year ahead of release.
"The soundtracks for most adult films are fairly pathetic, and I am sure that many companies would welcome free, quality music for their films."
Chuck's previous epiphanies have included porno product placement
-- but lest you fool yourself into thinking he's a one-track kinda dude, consider this: he also came up with Hacky Snacks
(complete with working prototype!) and, um, candy cane chopsticks
. Better for the environment, I guess, but potentially also extremely sticky.
Goes to show there are still a few unturned tricks left in advertising. (Pun much intended.) So think like Chuck. Or steal his ideas. Which, oddly enough, is what he wants you to do. (Just send him a kickback once in awhile.)