Shell Collects Consumer Info With Calling Card Promotion

shell_calling_card.jpg

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.

more »

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



Guatemala Is A Country, Not A Throw Away Brand Name

map_guatemala_city.jpg

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.

more »

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



MySpace A Haven For Sex, Not For Advertisers

myspace_logo.gif

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.

more »

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



Kids Watch More TV, Stupidity Follows

tvkids.jpg

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.

more »

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



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

my_black_valentine.jpg

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.

more »

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



NBC And Goodyear to Launch DVR-Proof Advertising During Olympics

OlyBlimp.jpg

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.

more »

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



Not Everyone Likes Jessica Simpson And Pizza Hut

jessica_simpson_05.jpg

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



Burger King, Ameriquest, ESPN, Beer Institute Super Bowl Favorites

whopperettes.jpg

So the Super Bowl is over. Was it worth the $2.6 million each marketer spent on a :30? We won't know for months but who cares. It's all entertainment anyway. You can read Bob Garfield's take on the whole thing here and marvel at his shock that the Super Bowl (oh, the horror) is commercial and that rock and roll is (oh, the horror) about making money. You can watched some of the ads Ad Age found more memorable here. You can watch all the ads at iFilm here. Or you can just go get a cup of coffee and see what your co-workers think.

We're not quite sure what our favorite is yet but for some strange reason we're leaning towards the Burger King Whopperettes commercial. Either that or the wonderfully on-message ESPN Mobile ad. The Hummer H3 ad, of course, was very good but we've seen it too many times already. A nod also goes to Ameriquest for their two very funny spots and the Beer Institute did a good job telling us we should all just go have a beer and the world's problems would be solved. Oh, wait, we said that.

Also high on our list are the Budweiser Clydesdales spot and Bud Light's "Magic Fridge."

by Steve Hall    Feb- 6-06    
Topic: Commercials, Good, Opinion, Super Bowl 2006, Television



Bob Garfield Wrong About 'Rolling Stones' Half Time Show

rolling_stones_tongue_logo.jpg

While we've been in the ad biz since before Loyd Dobler held that radio over his head in Say Anything, we don't pretend to have the knowledge or insight Ad Age Editor Hoag Levins or black-turtlenecked Ad Age Man-At-Large Bob Garfield possess, except, perhaps when it comes to Garfield's commentary on why the Rolling Stones are bad choice as a Half Time Super Bowl act. Calling the Stones "114 year olds" who have "been around since the early Jurassic period," Garfield can't seem to understand why the Stones are still relevant cavalierly claiming they "have one foot in the grave," their appearance in the Super Bowl is a "last surrender to commercialism" and they're on their way to "Hollywood Squares." Calling them a "commercialized pop act," Garfield is so out of touch with culture, he, in perhaps an apparent attempt to appear hip, can't seem to grasp that fact the Stones still are "hip."

more »

by Steve Hall    Feb- 3-06    
Topic: Celebrity, Opinion, Super Bowl 2006, Television



Experts Recommend Other Ways to Spend $2.5 Million Super Bowl Budget

060201_superbowl_main_pict.JPG

We all know spending $2.5 million on a Super Bowl spot is, well, not always the wisest marketing move but thankfully, we've got experts who know how better to spend $2.5 million. iMediaConnection has gathered 28 marketing experts who give us a bit of insight as to what they might do had they $2.5 million to spend elsewhere. You'll love AOL EVP Michael Barnett's completely self-promotional "spend it all on AOL" approach to answering the question. But you'll seriously love Word of Mouth Marketing Association CEO Andy Sernovitz' suggestion that the $2.5 million be spent to train customer service reps to be helpful, polite and sincere. Amen.

by Steve Hall    Feb- 1-06    
Topic: Good, Opinion, Sponsorship, Super Bowl 2006










Featured FREE Resource: