Firebrand CEO Laments Company's Demise, Misunderstands Commercials

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Fighting to the end, Firebrand CEO Roman Vinoly shared his frustration over doubters of the ads-as-content concept with AdWeek, pondering, "Isn't it proven every Super Bowl and on lots of Web sites where people go? Isn't it proven by being one of the largest categories uploaded to YouTube? Is it that difficult to conceive that great creative created by great artists with all the money in the world could be compelling to consumers even though it's trying to sell a product?"

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by Steve Hall    Mar- 5-08    
Topic: Online, Opinion, Television, Tools



MySpace Head Doctors Invest Blogging with Holistic Properties

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A report from Melbourne's Swinburne University of Technology finds bloggers are less isolated, more connected to a community and more satisfied with friendships. (Dude. That's because, if not for blogging, we would have no friends.)

The study was conducted on MySpace (WTF?). 134 MySpace users completed a questionnaire from the researchers -- likely bulletin-spamming all their friends in the process -- with 84 intending to blog and 50 not blogging.

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by Angela Natividad    Mar- 5-08    
Topic: Online, Opinion, Research, Strange



As Predicted, Firebrand Flames Out

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Less than five months after its launch, Firebrand, the all-ads-all-the-time cable channel and online site is, as we predicted from the start, closing operations. Investor's from NBC Universal to Microsoft to GE have pulled the plug and will no longer fund Firebrand and its ill-conceived belief people actually want to seek out and watch advertising as a form of content on equal footing with network programming or movies.

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by Steve Hall    Mar- 4-08    
Topic: Commercials, Online, Opinion



Funny How Different Things Look When It's that Time of Month

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Always is running this campaign where it's printing feel-good phrases like "Have a happy period" over the wax paper on maxi pads. We didn't think much about it until we saw this letter, allegedly written to P&G by a woman gone totally apeshit over it. Her first thought upon tearing open a new pad and seeing "Have a happy period" was "Are you fucking kidding me?"

A really sunny excerpt:

FYI, unless you're some kind of sick S&M freak girl, there will never be anything "happy" about a day in which you have to jack yourself up on Motrin and Kahlua and lock yourself in your house just so you don't march down to the local Walgreen's armed with a hunting rifle and a sketchy plan to end your life in a blaze of glory.

We giggled about it.

And then it happened.

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by Angela Natividad    Mar- 3-08    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Opinion, Strange, Trends and Culture



Carl's Jr. Did Not Copy TouchBlue's 'Knight School'

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We were going to leave this one alone but since it's beginning to appear in a few places, we feel it's necessary to cover (with facts, no less). So, here goes. We received an email earlier this week suggesting a recent Carl's Jr. Chili Cheeseburger commercial which aired during the Oscars was quite similar to a video, Knight School, that "aired" in 2005.

The creators of the Knight School video, TouchBlue, claim the creators of the Carl's Jr. spot, Mendelsohn Zien Advertising, stole their idea. And so the classic copy cat story was born.

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by Steve Hall    Feb-29-08    
Topic: Bad, Opinion, Strange, Video



Kaleidoscope Group Unlocks Secrets to Multi-Faceted Femme

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Having fielded studies, interviewed researchers and read "over 50 books" (!!!!) about marketing to women, Hoffman York has launched Kaleidoscope Group, a girl goddess think tank.

The website greeted us with an actual kaleidoscope of women and some Lilith Fair music that stimulated the growth of our leg hair follicles.

The group coined what it calls the "Time Zero Effect," which posits that even one negative element in an ad to women will blow your brand out of her periphery. (0x0=0. Get it?)

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by Angela Natividad    Feb-27-08    
Topic: Agencies, Opinion, Packaging



In Russia, Love Costs. Even for Google.

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Here's an ad for Gmail by Saatchi, Moscow (thanks for sharing, Armando). Like these Stateside spots (1, 2) it's got that "collaboration makes us whole!" feel -- except in Russia, Google had to pay an agency to contrive it.

Guess it's tougher to find free evangelists and moon-eyed employees outside the motherland.

by Angela Natividad    Feb-27-08    
Topic: Agencies, Brands, Commercials, Opinion



'Moment of Truth' Hits Moment of Idiotic Ridiculousness

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Has anyone watched FOX's The Moment of Truth? Well, of course you have. You and 20 million others. It's a good show for sure but is anyone else getting sick of the continued over hype and warnings from host Mark Walberg that, OMFG, some of these truths might be, OMFG, too hard for people to take? WTF? It's the entire point of the show! To continually hype it as if no one's smart enough to know exactly what's going on is degrading to people's intelligence.

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by Steve Hall    Feb-26-08    
Topic: Bad, Good, Opinion, Television



Facebook Traffic Declines, Time Spent Increases

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Perhaps it's application fatigue. Perhaps it's incessant friend request. Perhaps it's social media overload but according to Hitwise, traffic to Facebook is down 27 percent for the week ending February 23 from a high during the holidays.

Hitwise acknowledges this could be a seasonal trend citing traffic increases during both the Thanksgiving and Christmas breaks due to a significant portion of Facebook's users (40 percent 18-24) being out of school and having more time to use the site.

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by Steve Hall    Feb-26-08    
Topic: Online, Opinion, Research, Social



DDB Creative Director Paul Tilley Dead at 40

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Pointless drama aside, Paul Tilley is dead. Paul was the creative director at DDB in Chicago and on Friday he decided to jump out of a Fairmont Hotel window at 6:25 PM, plunging to his death. His death hasn't yet been ruled a suicide and is still under investigation according to the Chicago police.

Whether or not Tilley was a nice man, a bad man, a good boss, a bad boss, a jerk or the most wonderful man in the world, his death is a tragic loss of human life. A loss to DDB. A loss to his family.

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by Steve Hall    Feb-25-08    
Topic: Agencies, Opinion










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