After watching all nine web opera-style ads composed of three different narratives, we finally picked up Douglas Coupland's The Gum Thief.
The narrative style of the book maintained a weird fidelity to the ads -- segmented between Roger, his co-worker Bethany, and Roger's novel-in-progress, Glove Pond.
Every once in awhile, you get another voice -- Bethany's mom, some malicious Staples employees, or Roger's bitchy ex-wife. Sometimes you get an experimental scenescape involving buttered toast. And for a brief, completely insane moment, you get a story in a story in a story.
I've known Tony Pierce since Adrants was a part time gig started while I was between jobs and was read by one person. Me. That was early 2001. Now, in late 2007, Adrants is, if we can be so egotistically blunt, a major contender in the ad world. Now, in late 2001, Tony Pierce, who was most recently Editor at the LAist is moving on to the LA Times where he will oversee the newspaper's 25 blogs. Times do change.
I think the LA Times' decision to hire Tony is an amazingly astute choice. Newspapers know they have it tough these days and they need to explore new publishing channels. In an exit interview with LAist News Editor Andy Stemberg, Tony cuts through the crap and tells it like it is. Bloggers are bloggers and journalists are journalists. Each have their strengths and weaknesses. Pierce examines this in his interview and refreshingly steers clear of early days, blogger-bashes-MSM rhetoric. For as much as blogging has contributed to the world of information transferral, mainstream media still holds the cards when it comes to infrastructure, extensibility, expertise and a lot of other things.
It will be very interesting to see how Tony marries the two worlds. If his past successes are any indication, newspaper publishing and blogging are going to become and even more delicious cocktail than they already are. Congrats, Tony.
Big, Big BIG news! Long time Advertising Age man Scott Donaton has been wooed by Time Inc. to become the publisher of the company's Entertainment Weekly. Having been with Crain's Advertising Age since 1989, Donaton has seen a lot of changes at the flagship advertising trade publication and has had a big hand in making them happen as well.
As a reader of Entertainment weekly since its early small "e" days, we can't wait to see what Donaton does for the mag. Apparently, it's ad pages are down and it needs a boost. Hopefully, Scott can do it.
In other ad trade mag news, skillfully giving the change a positive spin, AdWeek today announced it will expand its digital offerings (though it didn't offer details) and will reduce the frequency of its print publication to 26 issues a year. Are Jonah Bloom and Rance Crain high fiving each other today or what? Not that AdWeek ever posed even the tiniest threat to Advertising Age. Long live AdFreak!
- All those fake ads on Craigslist have now made their way into book form with the publication of Johnna Gattinella's book, My Year on Craigslist.
- Advertising for Peanuts lays down the law when it comes to consumer-generated content: not everyone wants to interact with your product.
- Marketers now spend one billion on what, previously was free: ord of mouth marketing.
- A Heroes fanboy created some mock Vespa ads using images of the Claire Bennet and Ando Masahashi characters.
The Philadelphia Inquirer is launching a campaign called "The Return of the Flying Pigs" with the help of Gyro Worldwide. See all the creative goodies.
The campaign promotes the Philly Inquirer's increase in daily circulation, the highest among America's top 50 newspapers.
The campaign aims to both bow to and spoof traditional major motion picture marketing. It includes film trailers, magazine inserts, movie posters and other forms of traditional media that are also being heavily promoted on "new media" (online?), though we're not sure how.
Cute. That's all we can think of besides, "At least it's not an anti-piracy campaign." Because we really hate watching anti-piracy ads in movie theatres. (We paid to get in, right? Assholes.)
- TBWA has opened an icy cold office in Reykjavik, Iceland with a staff of 20 who hope to tap the country's growing economy and serve one of the world's highest per capita income populace.
- Cathie Black is out with her new book, BASIC BLACK: The Essential Guide for Getting Ahead at Work (and in Life) from Crown Publishing. "BASIC BLACK is a memoir masquerading as a guide to career and life from one of the first women to take a forefront role in the advertising industry, American magazine and newspaper publishing."
- Using its out of home touchscreen network, Ecast delivered a 14 percent click through for AMC's The Two Corey's. Now if we could only get results like that online.
- Want sexism in advertising? Media Circus has a collection of the twelve most sexist ads in recent years.
Final reactions to the last installment of the Crush, Toronto campaign for Douglas Coupland's The Gum Thief:
- Roger, pt 3: If people wore costumes 365 days of the year, it wouldn't be cool, it would just be Second Life
- Bethany, pt 3: This clip was chillingly short. We think she is going to kill herself, or at least try, for attention's sake
- Glove Pond, the novel within the novel, pt 3: Gloria and her husband bond over dinner party sadism. We like where this is going
And we have no idea why these ads are now compelling us to buy this book. Maybe it's because we actually did wait anxiously for each installment. Or maybe the thought of poisoning people at a dinner party -- or at least making their tummies hurt -- is almost appealing. Or maybe, once upon a time, we did scribble Anarchy symbols onto office supply shop property with felt pens.
It's anybody's guess, really.
Catch parts one and two here.
EMI Strategic Marketing Creative Director Rob Vlock recently sold a novel manuscript which will become the Sony Pictures Entertainment film Off Strategy. The romantic comedy focuses on the story of a copywriter who falls for a women who turns out to be the same woman with whom he already has an acrimonious phone relationship.
There's been plenty of movies, not to mention AMC's Mad Men, that do center in one way or another on advertising but it's nice to one actually written by a person who actually knows what he's talking about. Whether or not the film will actually get made or how badly Vlock's script will be re-written by Hollywood hacks is subject for a different discussion.
Congrats, Rob. Here's hoping the film gets made the way you envisioned it. Maybe this time around, Hollywood will get it right.
Not necessarily sure what to make of all of this but, if anything, when Joe Jaffe is involved, it's bound to be a gleeful tempest in a teacup though one which manages to capture quite a bit of attention as well as achieve marked significance and success. Jaffe asked everyone who was planning to buy his new book, Join the Conversation, yesterday on Amazon so that the book would climb the daily sales charts. And climb it did.
At 8:52AM, the book was listed at number 4,840. By 6:23PM, the book has risen to number 26 overall and the second most sold business book of the day behind Alan Greenspan's book. Whether or not cramming all his book sales into one day will make him more money is unclear but that doesn't matter to Jaffe. He wants to get people involved, more so that they normally would. He's turned the mundane process of buying a book into a communal event of sorts which is in complete alignment with the subject matter of his book.
Joe Jaffe, author of Life After the 30-Second Spot and host of the Across the Sound (recently renamed Jaffe Juice) podcast has published a new book, Join the Conversation. The book covers the notion of conversational marketing, originally sparked by Tom Hespos and loosely described as the "conversation" that happens (or should be) between marketers and consumers.