TV Squad sums up some of the recent non-traditional marketing promotions the networks have engaged in to insure their new shows are seen. NBC is promoting Three Wishes with street teams that perform random acts of kindness by buying stuff for people with dollar bills affixed with promotional stickers. The WB is giving Supernatural a boost with coffee sleeves that project project images on the walls and ceiling. And FOX is promoting Reunion (good show, by the way) with a sweepstakes with a reunion vacation as the prize.
Those little Target-branded cars have been making their rounds. This past weekend they were spotted at Boston's Quincy Market. The tiny, little cars are emblazoned with the "target" and roam the country in search of ogling consumers.
Perhaps introducing a new category of marketing, Nashville television station WSMV landed its news chopper on a Brentwood High School soccer field as a football game was being played on an adjacent field and handed out footballs with the station's logo affixed to them. One can only hope, for the sake of the football players and male fans, the cheerleader's skirts were deliciously blown up in the chopper's wind.
Following its video explaining how, someday, it will make hard drives with bits that stand up versus laying down that can enable a typical 6GB MP3 player hard drive to hold 30,000 songs, Hitachi has launched another video, called "The Hard Drive is the New Bling." which announces it has accomplished the task. The video, which is done up in a kooky, beatnick, hip-hop, spoof style, explains why its tiny hard dives will bring life to cell phones and MP3 players. The companies new hard drives are smaller than a domino in physical size and up to 60GB in capacity. No doubt, 30,000 song MP3 players won't be far behind.
Bucky Turco reports Scion's latest hip hop promotion, NEXT UP, an unsigned emcee search, has recently faced backlash from the very community it was trying to reach. The car company disqualified an emcee because of his politically charged lyrics about President Bush and the war. The track, entitled Black Gold, is an obvious reference to oil and the war.
The rap artist, Bavu Blakes, was willing to alter his lyrics a bit so he could advance to the next round of the competition and potentially win a $50,000 marketing deal, but Inform Ventures, the marketing company handling the promotion for Scion, said he was disqualified because his lyrics were too political.In fairness to Scion, Bavu entered the "underground" category rather than the "political" category but many still believe Bavu was censored.
Country Home magazine will promote its upcoming October 2005 "Creativity Issue" with its first annual Be Creative! New York, a day-long, outdoor festival combining live performances and interactive seminars to "inspire creativity, passion and self expression." Country Home Editor-in-Chief Carol Sheehan and Creative Director Mary Emmerling will host the event, and Grammy award-winning singer-songwriter Mary Chapin Carpenter will perform songs from her acclaimed latest album, Between Here and Gone, as well as classics spanning her career. We can't think of a better place to celebrate Country than in the middle of the world's biggest City.
The event is open to the public and will be held in Central Park's Rumsey Playfield on Saturday, October 1st from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. More info here.
Here's a fun promotion by NightAgency for the upcoming, Diddy-hosted Video Music Awards airing Sunday, August 28:
"Diddy and Adrants invite you to the biggest party ever. The dress code must be respected! You must wear your finest gear. You must get your hair done! So, Adrants readers, please do not invite the rest of your friends like AdAge & Adweek, this invite is for you only. You have been selected. It's an honor to be part of history in the making. This will go down as the greatest party of all time! So please respect and adhere to all above said rules."
Part of the promotional website allows yo to create a customized invite, indicating who you'd like to invite as well as who not to invite, to send to your friends. All in good fun.
Following criticism by Mayor Michael Bloomberg, his Office of City Affairs revoked a permit granted to Marc Ecko to host an August 24 "block party" to promote a new Atari game called, "Getting Up: Contents Under Pressure." The game features characters who graffiti a city in defiance of corrupt government officials. The event was to center around graffiti artists tagging models of old New York City blue-bird subway cars. When Bloomberg caught wind of the promotion, he said, "Look, there is a fine line here between freedom of expression and going out and encouraging people to hurt this city. Defacing subway cars is hardly a joke. Encouraging people, kids in particular, to do that after all the money we've spent, all the time we've spent removing graffiti."
Certainly, the city does not want to be bombarded with un-approved graffiti but here we have an event created specifically for the artistic expression of graffiti where nothing other than sponsor-paid props are being used as canvas for the artists. Not one bit of city landscape is involved. Sure, it's all about marketing a promoting a game that involves encouraging graffiti. But it's a game. Not real life. There's a difference. Atari and Mark Ecko have provided talented artists with a legal, sanctioned channel through which to create and celebrate graffiti as an art form. Is it really any different that Time Magazine's hiring of COPE2 to paint a sponsor-paid billboard? We think not.
Art seems to express itself whether it is given a canvas or not. In this case, the smart thing for Bloomberg to do, in the long run, is provide that canvas.
UPDATE: Marc Ecko has written an open letter explaining his position in the Comment section.
To promote a book, called Dead Pets, about pet cemataries, cruel animal death in movies, the stunt doubles that make that happen, pet afterlife and its religious implications and, yes, recipes for cooking pets, book publisher Canon Gate has launched a microsite, with ghoulish music, where you can play "whack a pet with a bat." We're sure it's all done humorously. We hope. It was created by Small Oranges.
Like young lovers finding out how much fun it is to kiss each other, book publishers can't seem to get enough of these kooky promotions for their books. But, with this execution, is the trend dead before it even began?
Yes But No But Yes found their way to Times Square today for National Underwear Day sponsored by underwear seller FreshPair. There;s really no other news to tell other than it's yet another attention getting Times Square stunt and an excuse to look at hot human beings. And not just women. More pictures here.