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.
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.
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.
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?)
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.
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.
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.
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.
Adrants reader Atif sent us Delta's new airline safety video. It's all slick production and jammed with in-flight classics:
o A hot pilot
o A distractingly hot spokes-stewardess (Dubbed "Deltalina" by the Flyertalk forum geeks, for her similarity to Angelina Jolie)
o The requisite forced enthusiasm for the 5 minutes of life-saving schlock we've heard 30382943908453908 times
o The "No Smoking" finger wave
o An Orbit tooth glisten, complete with sound effects (wait for it!)
The spot felt gimmicky because it was gimmicky. But maybe there's genius in thinking a formulaic safety video can win back some groove with a commercial tribute feel.
Advertising Age says snide advertising is bad for business and society. (They also define "snide" in case you're teetering on uncertainty. Isn't that sweet?)
Having been victimized to emotional tatters by the online efforts of Jawbone, we believe it.