CMM News points to a Sydney Morning Herald article which calls to our attention the odd proliferation of videos on YouTube that show women smoking. Now that wouldn't be so weird except for the fact that in many of the videos, that's all they're doing: glamming on the cam while puffing away seductively. Sydney University School of Public Health Professor Simon Chapman viewed many of the 27,000 smoking-related videos on YouTube and while he acknowledges the videos could simply be an innocent social phenomenon, Chapman also wonders whether it's a clandestine effort by tobacco companies to promote smoking's cool quotient.
While tobacco advertising in America has been severely limited, it's been completely outlawed in Australia since 1992. Whether or not any tobacco company is behind this is likely to remain a mystery. A Philip Morris rep neither confirmed or denied involvement in with the video and said the company adheres to local laws and Internet advertising to minors should be banned. YouTube declined to comment for the story. While we find it hard to believe tobacco companies have any involvement in this and there's plenty of not-so-glamorous smoking videos to back up that belief, stranger things have certainly happened regarding this industry's marketing efforts.
Make the Logo Bigger sent us a promo video for the Burger King Xbox games we wrote about back in early October and even though we've hated that creepy King and bad product placements in video games, we're warming to the idea of video games that don't try to hide that fact they're all about advertising - as long as they're good. Besides, the creepy King seems to be much better suited to an appearance in a video game than in a video with Brooke Burke. There's a review of the game here.
Since Adidas' August 2005 purchase of North America company Reebok, the latter brand's sales have nosedived 14%. So now Adidas says, all right, we made a mistake.
Reebok did have something promising going with the urban-inspired RBK Classics, but they beat that horse dead when they expanded beyond classic reds, blacks and whites into wack-ass colours, driving the stake in deeper with lack of marketing reinforcement or star power.
Little has changed since our grade school days. Kids wearing Reeboks on the playground still get the shit beat out of them. They're on a par with those sneaks from Payless that light up when you stomp around. But it's not like they're totally irredeemable. The company's still profitable, and at least it's not Fila. - Contributed by Angela Natividad
Perhaps everyone has seen this already but in yet another confirmation the new idea bucket is empty, Scamp unearths this ten year old clip from Dave Letterman which shows colored balls being unleashed down a steep hill. Oh, and there's watermelons too. As Scamp correctly points out, using a previous idea is not necessarily stealing. After all, all sorts of things have been "re-gifted" and passed off as new. It doesn't make the creation bad or the creators stealers. If each successive reincarnation serves its own purpose then it's more a good thing than bad. And the 'Balls' ad was a very good thing. Creativity comes, in part, through inspiration. Inspiration comes from the appreciation of something that profoundly influences. Influential work comes from...well, you get the point. It's a cycle. Hopefully as the cycle continues, value and relevance are a part of the deal.
Yesterday's Advertising Industry Diversity Job Fair and Leadership Conference held at NYU's Kimmel Center had 300 conference attendees and 500 job fair attendees. In on of the panel discussions Deutsch Art Director Carlos Fernandez put things in perspective when he informed the audience advertising ranks 356 on a list of 357 or so industries ranked by diversity and comically wondered if industry number 357 involved wearing sheets. Although he didn't quite mean it literally, Draft/FCB EVP Director of Integrated Marketing Larry Evans spoke about the industry's chemistry and how those considering joining the industry must learn the ropes or risk having "the white cells spit you out."
The conference opened up a much needed dialog on diversity in advertising, a touchy subject no mater how you slice it or camouflage it. There were many fascinatingly eager students in attendance and several experienced industry insiders willing to answer attendees questions and offer advice on how to crack the ad industry. It was encouraging to see the throngs of students who took the rare opportunity to speak face to face with successful advertising people who very willingly answered the endless list of questions asked. Business cards were handed to students. Interviews were set up and, hopefully, jobs will ensue.
We were pleased to be part of this event and to enable the conversation. We hope to host more conferences on the topic in the future as well as, perhaps, in different cities across the country.
Combining the notion imitation is the sincerest form of flattery with the acknowledgment there are no new ideas left in advertising, this Hasbro commercial for Tooth Tunes, a tooth brush that plays music closely mirrors the famed Apple 1984 commercial. In the spot, legions of kids brush their teeth in that proverbial socialist society kind of way until some dude...in a track suit no less...stands up, tooth brush held high in the air (remind you of anything?) and says, "Enough!" The droll, colorless room then explodes into a world of color as Kiss sings "I Wanna Rock and Roll Night and Party Every Day" in the background.
Created by Cincinatti's WonderGroup and produced by Lightborne, the spot actually works. It's framed in a very memorable cultural moment. It conveys the boredom of everyday tooth brushing. And then it's hammer toss pounds the message home: brushing yout teeth can be fun. And there's even a product demo squeezed in too. We like it.
Perhaps directing some of the attention away from Edelman who was behind the Wal-Mart fake blog (flog) thing, are two new blogs for McDonald's, but not labeled as such. The co-promote with Monopoly. The Consumerist points to 4railroads and McDmillionwinner (link goes to Google cache as someone inside McDonald's apparent said "oops" and pulled the blog) and explains how the two sites are inter-related. Even though they carry dead giveaway copy written not by bloggers but by copywriters, the two blogs do not mention any association with McDonald's or Monopoly.
It's not that the blogs were launched in a clandestine manner. In fact, an October 19th press release makes reference to the 4railroads blog. It's just that things should be marked as they are. There's nothing wrong with cute, teaser campaigns but to pass something off as something it's not because it's thought slapping a brand name on it will lessen it's effect is, well, just not right.
There's a law somewhere that says two makes a trend and with Chevy joining Nissan in the "our car is so awesome you could live in it" thing, we officially have a trend. As you know, some dude is living in a Nissan and making a "film" about it. Opinions as to how and when and ad somehow became a film aside, the series of "films" is supposed to endear us to the vehicle and the glory of its comfort.
Now, Chevy, with its Livin' Large in Aveo, is following eight college student teams across the country for a week with webcams and blog entries. Everyone gets to vote on which team lives the "largest." Wow. Cool. Yea, road trips are fun and we've had our share back in the day when every friggin' move you made wasn't commercialized.
Much negativity has surrounded the launch of a new marketing company called Crayon. The company chose to make their launch announcement within Second Life where they established an island outpost. Some seem to think it's the end of Second Life because Crayon, along with all kinds of other marketers, will enter Second Life with no respect for the world's current residents. To coin a Second Lifers anti-marketing sentiment, it's all a gallery of lies. Second Life will be just fine with or without marketers.
First of all, Crayon is not a company whose sole purpose is to create marketing programs within Second Life. The company created the outpost as an efficient place to conduct business. Sure, some of the work they do may be Second Life-related but that is not the focus of the company. We don't profess to know anything more than what a couple months-worth of visits to Second Life have provided but, as far as we can see, no one is forcing Second Life residents to pay any attention at all to brands entering the world. In fact. most have been set up on islands which can easily be ignored or never discovered in the first place.
For its client Sprint, Organic teamed with Reactrix Media Network, the company that places those six foot by eight foot interactive floor videos in malls, movie theaters and other public spaces, to develop a new game. In the game, anyone passing by the projection can kick teed up footballs in a virtual football stadium while - this is advertising, after all - Sprint branded images and the tagline, "The Power to Make Every Day Sunday. NFL Mobile, only from Sprint" appears. There's even a Sprint branded blimp in the background. The game ends with a message that urges people to visit the Sprint retailer nearby for more information about NFL Mobile.