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.
Because we can't get enough of Wrigley, here's another update from their Candystand site. Adrants reader Mikey Rivve is stoked about the new "Xbox 360-quality" racing game which is just smothered in Wrigley's branding and which apparently also kicks Burger King's ass. But that's enough indulging Mikey. We think the BK games kick slightly more ass. We also think EVERYBODY makes a racing game.
We are bored with racing games. We think Wrigley should go that extra mile and use its other resources to make a really entertaining car-washing game. When they do, we will smile. And we will share it with all of you. - Contributed by Angela Natividad
As we mentioned Monday, Crayon, a company claiming to be the world's first new marketing company will launch today at noon both in the "real world" and within Second Life on Crayonville Island. Crayon President and Founder Joseph Jaffe explains the need for the company saying, "The world has changed, but marketing, advertising, and public relations have not. There is no question that the influence organizations can achieve through traditional marketing, advertising and PR is fading fast." Crayon intends to help "marketers and communications professionals make sense of the profound changes in order to connect the dots between the burgeoning new approaches and possibilities available to them," the press release states.
Joining Jaffe in the company are former Citigroup financial guy Gary Cohen as CEO, music podcasting evangelist C. C. Chapman, social media dude, Neville Hobson, communications vet and author Shel Holtz, entertainment industry guru Chris Trela, planning consultant Francis Anderson and Aaron Greenberber and Michael Denton.
Swivel Media's Erik Hauser offers us this column on his in-depth experience with Second Life, ahead of the curve work for Wells Fargo and his companies creation of Stagecoach Island a virtual reality world based on Second Life. He offers sage advice to marketers with Second Life on the brain.
Marketing to People in Their First Life
By Erik Hauser 10.25.06
I can vaguely recall the days when things were very different.
People spent their time in a world filled with oxygen. It seems just like yesterday - OH MY - it was yesterday! Let's take a trip down memory lane shall we? The date is Jan 1st 1997, and people are starting to spend some time on this thing called the internet. Within a couple of years there was a hyper-saturated web with niche sites that had everything from exclusive glues to websites designed as destination locations for people in their mid 30's that had an affinity for poodles. Certain people claimed they would never leave the house again, and vowed to radically change their behavior.
Dear Bob Parsons,
While your infatuation with Candice Michelle is clearly understood, your infatuation with placing her in commercial after commercial is not. We'd be more likely to understand that infatuation if the commercials were actually any good but with each new addition to the collection, the commercials slip further down the hill towards uninteresting mediocrity. It was funny once when Candice couldn't keep her top on. It was mildly funny when she rubbed her boobs against the window while on that window washing scaffolding. But it's hardly funny at all to watch her run through sprinklers across a golf course while an old dude gawks "Oh, the GoDaddy Girl!" Some amount of interests in the spot might occur if Candice's water-soaked breasts actually moved in a manner resembling human physiology rather than that of a plastic surgeon's creation.
That said, the spots wouldn't be any better if Candice were flat or a natural 36DDD. Since the original Super Bowl spot, Bob, an important thing called creativity seems to have eluded you. No doubt Candice is a wonderful person but it's time to move on. The gimmick is dead. It's time to leave the whole bimbo routine behind. Perhaps, with your new GoDaddy Girl, Danica Patrick, the obsession with big, fake breasts will wane. Now, if you want to feature yet another GoDaddy Girl who sports big breasts that actually move while in motion, we might not be so critical. Oh but wait, then we'd simply be perpetuating the stereotype of casting women as objects of desire. We'd never want to do that, right, Bob?
So, Bob, it's really time to move on. It's time for a new approach. Time stop the ogling, the breaking tank top straps, the wet t-shirt runs, the bimbo maneuvers. Oh fuck it. Just go out and build a stable to GoDaddy Girls rivaling the collection of Maxim Girls and you and your business will be gold.
Equally Breast Obsessed,
When we as an industry set out to create a beautiful ad, we tend to sometimes let our creativity and this thing called Photoshop run amock. Clearly demonstrating this penchant and fixation for beautifying everything in our path is this Dove commercial - created by Ogilvy Toronto and produced by Reginald Pike - in which an average looking woman is, first, subjected to intense physical makeover and then intense digital makeover turning her into the very familiar but very unreal woman we see gracing the pages of magazines and as subject matter for our advertising.
The discourse about ethics in advertising is getting picked up by people who'd like to help draw out that imaginary red line in a way that doesn't sound so whiny. Under the premise that society (and not just irate marketing bloggers) can now contribute to media messages, After These Messages does for the opinionated audience what Yelp did for hipsters who get their kicks bitching out posh restaurants. You log in, post an ad and then - get this - scale its ethical weight and relevance. The gauge includes questions like the following: If you created it, would you sleep well at night? Does it contribute to society? Will it bring good karma? Is it an effective piece of communication?
While everyone now walks past these over-sexed billboards shot as if a porn flick but designed by some European fashionista, they're still jarring. Or at least they are to us as we pass them by especially since the product being sold is just some over-priced, over-branded previously created concoction with just an ingredient or two changed and a new name slapped on it.
While George Parker doesn't like the new Eat Like A Snake Commercial for the new Burger King Triple Whopper, we think there was no other possible way to promote a fatburger than with a freaky commercial like this. Atfer all, who in their right mind would want to suck down this 1,000 calorie plus, four inch high burger than a snake? Oh wait, that McDonald's fat kid would love this thing and could probably suck it down in one bite too.
But anyway, Ariel's right when she says "Burger King has successfully spent the last few years integrating itself with pop culture. Nay... BK IS part of pop culture. Unlike the majority of companies...BK refuses to merely be a reaction of what is already taking place. They choose to create the reaction, and fairly intelligently." It's perhaps true the wackiness of all recent Burger King advertising is simply aimed more at creating an odd brand persona than actually trying to sell a burger. But, given the upcoming generation's hatred of "being sold," the odd approach Burger King is taking seems to be an appropriate one.