Sometimes a Sponsorship is Just a Sponsorship.

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In this article, CNBC writer Darren Rovell uses convoluted logic to ask what consumers, in their childlike naivete, are supposed to extract from relationships between athletes and the brands that sponsor them. (And their trainers. And their trainers' websites.)

Here's the puzzle the column poses: say you're a kid, and you want to be the next LaDainian Tomlinson. Tomlinson is part of Nike's SPARQ training program. He also wears Nikes on the field. But Todd Durkin, Tomlinson's trainer, has a website sponsored by Under Armour.

Assuming you're wack enough to think this will fundamentally alter your destiny, what do you BUY? Nike trainers or Under Armour's? The author's so stuck on this that he's even taking a poll. (Who would you follow: athlete or trainer?)

We'd laugh this whole thing off, because it really is ridiculous, but then we got to thinking. Do sponsored associations between people and products really mean something?

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by Angela Natividad    Mar-18-08    
Topic: Celebrity, Online, Opinion, Sponsorship



Future of Advertising Predicted by Leo Burnett Futurist

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Leo Burnett London Futures Editor Ben Hourahine thinks he has the answers to the future of advertising. Some of what he says makes sense. Some just reinforces the notion advertising will accost anything it can get its hand on. There are no easy answers but at least it's being talked about.

One thing is clear. Marketers and advertisers will never again have the power they once had. There will never again be another M*A*S*H TV moment. Fragmentation will continue to the point of individualized advertising. Advertising, itself, won't really be advertising at all. It will be an information repository people can refer to when they are interested in a particular brand or product.

by Steve Hall    Mar-18-08    
Topic: Agencies, Opinion, Trends and Culture



UK Christians Crusade Against Deliciously Sinful Haircare Ads

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Having received 23 complaints -- including one from the Archdeacon of Liverpool -- the UK's Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has decided to pull GHD's "A new religion for hair" campaign off the air. Which is too bad, because the ads are gorgeous. Especially when compared to the Super Bowl trainwreck that was Sunsilk's diva spot.

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by Angela Natividad    Mar-12-08    
Topic: Bad, Commercials, Opinion, Policy, Television



Steve Jobs Dubbed World's Greatest Entrepreneur!

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By John Door of KPCB, no less. Don't believe us? Watch it yourselves (it's near the end).

The outburst of Jobs laud followed Apple's launch of the third-party SDK for the iPhone. It also announced the birth of the App Store, which will appear in the iPhone 2.0 software update in June (free to iPhone users, "nominal fee" to iPod touch users).

Okay. To be fair, it's tough trying to think up an entrepreneur who visibly tops the cultural impact Jobs has made. And the iPhone is a pretty exciting, business landscape-changing platform.

But world's greatest? Jesus Christ. After getting a verbal rub-down like that, you'd probably lose all desire to eat, sleep and have sex ever again.

by Angela Natividad    Mar- 7-08    
Topic: Brands, Events, Opinion



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










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