Marketers Could Learn From Microsoft iPod Re-Brand Spoof

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OK, we're a few days late in sharing this but a spoof video showing how Microsoft would brand the iPod is hilarious, true and indicative of the horrific packaging and marketing most brands puke out of their verbal diarrhea spewing mouths. Give it a watch then show it to everyone in your company and watch them squirm as they embarrassingly acknowledge, "Uh, yea, we did that once too."

by Steve Hall    Mar- 3-06    
Topic: Brands, Opinion, Spoofs



Lance Armstrong Puts His Face on American Century Investments

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While this site called Lance Face featuring Lance Armstrong's head popping onto the heads of other does deliver some important financial messages from American Century Investments, one has to wonder what the connection is between Lance and this effort. If there is one, it's definitely a mystery. Oh wait, American Century Investments Founder Jim Stowers, Jr. had cancer too. That's it. Makes perfect sense. Before all you survivors get pissy about this assessment, I've been where Lance has so I'm allowed to make cancer jokes.

by Steve Hall    Feb-27-06    
Topic: Online, Opinion



Bike Culture Cry Babies Get Pissed Over Commercialization

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Culture Critic Bucky Turco points us to an article on Sucka Pants in which the author decries a Brooklyn store's use of "bike culture" in its store front windows and discusses the vandalism the store received by doing so. Call us jaded by years in the "we'll co-op anything for a buck" advertising industry but one does have to wonder why "bike culture" fanatics feel their culture is the only one that shouldn't get a commercial nod. The only reason a store, or any other retailer or brand for that matter, mimics a particular culture or trend is to make their offering relevant to the public. If no brand did that, every brand would still be stuck in the fifties imitating American Graffiti culture. No one wants their sacred culture commercialized but in a capitalist society, there's little chance a culture with any cred won't sooner or later be bitten by a brand desperate for commercial success. Oh, and by the way, roads were built for cars.

by Steve Hall    Feb-27-06    
Topic: Opinion, Trends and Culture



Shell Collects Consumer Info With Calling Card Promotion

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Shell, in a seemingly innocent effort to give away a free phone card valued at $2 to students away from home during the Chinese New Year, has, according to Tian, distributed promotional pieces around the Arizona State University campus. In order to redeem the offer, students must fill out a web form including email address, name, address and some other optional demographic information. Certainly, this information is needed to send the actual card, however, the promotion's Terms and Conditions state the cards are only available first come first serve causing one to wonder why Shell needs to collect the information from any person who signs up after the cards run out. Surely, Shell knows exactly how many cards it has to give out and could very easily terminate the promotion once all cards have been claimed rather than continue to collect information up to an arbitrary end date thereby building itself a nice fat database of names for future use.

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by Steve Hall    Feb-21-06    
Topic: Bad, Direct, Opinion, Promotions



Guatemala Is A Country, Not A Throw Away Brand Name

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Just because the United States of America has a few perception problems in other parts of the world, doesn't mean the country should go and change it's name to something that exudes a friendlier perception. Just because everyone refers to Australia and "down under" doesn't mean the country should adopt that name. Just because Iraq caught some crap from the rest of the world, the country isn't running out to change it's name so we all think differently about it.

A county's name is steeped in history and isn't something to be toyed with like a brand name but that's what Al Ries would have us believe. Because Guatemala seems to be suffering some perception problems among the rest of the world's populace who don't realize it's the center of Mayan culture as opposed to Belize, El Salvador and Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula who've co-opted the culture, Ries, aside from disliking the country's new slogan, "Soul of the Earth," thinks the country should change its name to Guatamaya. Yea, you heard that right, Guatemaya. That's like calling Australia Kangaroo. Or Brazil Bootyville.

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by Steve Hall    Feb-20-06    
Topic: Campaigns, Opinion, Worst



MySpace A Haven For Sex, Not For Advertisers

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Writing on Adotas, Pesach Lattin describes how he spent some time on MySpace and within minutes was able to find sexually related forum discussions between grownups and teenagers. Lattin writes, "MySpace is a buffet for any pervert looking for easy targets" and outlines how easily it is for anyone to access and partake in explicit activity on the site. Doing some digging Lattin found a group called Lesbian Passion in which 14 year old members were listed right next to 55 year olds and some discussion centered on which members have had sex with each other. He found other forums where adults and children were talking about having sex with each other in supposedly private but easily accessible forums. Lattin also found a public forum called "Bears" in which members were discussing having sex with young boys accompanied by photos, some of which were nude.

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by Steve Hall    Feb-15-06    
Topic: Online, Opinion, Trends and Culture



Kids Watch More TV, Stupidity Follows

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You know, it's always a bit disconcerting to arrived at the house of your daughter's friend and find her proverbial "playdate" glued to the television watching some trash talk show of some movie clearly made for adults so this stat does not surprise. What does surprise is parent's lack of control and judgment over what their children watch on television and how long they are allowed to watch. One "playdate" who spends time in this house can't even sit still in front of the television (on the two weekend nights it's allowed here) because his brain has been so ADD'd by constant television watching at his house since birth he doesn't know how to follow a plot.

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by Steve Hall    Feb-13-06    
Topic: Bad, Opinion, Research, Television, Trends and Culture



'Black' Launched WIth Microsite Game And Stealth-Like Tactics

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To promote the new, first person shooter EA game, Black, Freestyle has launched My Black Valentine. Stereotypical connotations of the word "black" and "shoot" aside, the microsite helps those who are without love during Valentine's day get their anger out by shooting things. It's simple enough, fun for a few minutes and you can send it to a friend which, by current definition, makes it a viral. At least that's what Freestyle says.

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by Steve Hall    Feb-10-06    
Topic: Games, Guerilla, Online, Opinion, Viral



NBC And Goodyear to Launch DVR-Proof Advertising During Olympics

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We turn the page, you add an insert. We ban billboards from our state, you fly banners over our beaches. We hang up on your telemarketing, you call back with answer machine message leaving auto-bots. We install an email spam filter, you send spam to weblog comments and trackbacks. We stop reading comment-spammed blogs, you launch spam blogs whose sole purpose is to peddle your crap. We block your pop ups, you fuck with technology to serve them anyway. We stop watching TV to spend more time with online gaming, you plaster our games with advertising. We skip our ads with our DVR, you plaster commercial graphics all over the screen during programming. We become immune to advertising, you launch a hoard of buzz marketers on our ass.

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by Steve Hall    Feb- 8-06    
Topic: Opinion, Television, Trends and Culture, Worst



Not Everyone Likes Jessica Simpson And Pizza Hut

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We thought we'd share this comment with your from a reader who doesn't like sex in advertising and wrote, "You know I thought Pizza Hut was family wholesome type of resturant. So why do your ads on TV have to show smut with Jessica Simpson. What is she trying to excite this boy with Pizza bites? Or being half naked? Is smut and sex all this county knows to try to sell something? No wounder this county is going to hell. I refuse to ever eat in Pizza Hut ever again. And by the way your salad bars are yuk. Especialy the dressings."

Obviously, sex doesn't sell for everyone as we often debate.

by Steve Hall    Feb- 7-06    
Topic: Commercials, Opinion, Super Bowl 2006










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