WPP Bids $2.2 Billion For TNS, Agency Dating Examined, Pig Spews

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- What is that white stuff on the back of the woman in this Trojan ad? It's not what you think but pigs and white stuff do make a compelling condom ad.

- WPP has made a $2.2 billion hostile takeover bid for research company Taylor Nelson Sofres.

- Want some more IKEA website freakiness? Check out this new site where two dudes dance backwards and do other weird things inside a closet the size of a room.

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by Steve Hall    Jul- 9-08    
Topic: Agencies, Research



Twitter, Twitter, Twitter!

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Word has it Twitter might buy Summize, a really useful Twitter search tool.

And despite a higher number of outages in the past coupla weeks, visits to Twitter nonetheless grew 500 percent for the week ending July 5 compared to the same time last year, says Hitwise.

Plurk and FriendFeed continue to fight the good fight, but they're swimming uphill against the microblogging first-to-marketer: Twitter beats both with 12 and 24 times higher traffic, respectively -- yeah, even if their services are more reliable in terms of up-time.

If Friendster's watching right now, it's probably sighing, "I remember when I was the prettiest girl at the party." Yeah, things change fast.

by Angela Natividad    Jul- 9-08    
Topic: Online, Research



Men Are Spending More to Improve Their Self-Worth. Don't Be Dumb, Cash In Early

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Earlier today, Gay List Daily sent its (mostly male) subscribers an invitation to try John Allan beauty products. The pitch began like so:

Meet John Allan. He's been quietly hiding in New York developing a line of men's care. His set of products satisfies a man's every grooming need, from hair care, personal care, shaving, and skin beautifiers.

Skin beautifiers?

Okay. I realize I'm on a gay mailing list, but mens' increasing willingness to explore beauty regimens -- and shop for style's sake (think Beckham!) -- isn't a gay vs. straight thing anymore. For a growing number of guys, the pursuit of youth, beauty and expensive jeans has become a norm. And not just among metrosexuals. (In fact, most men we'd call "metro" don't even like the term.)

How much do we know about mens' changing self-perception -- and their shopping habits? Probably too little. Marketers and book writers like shining the spotlight on the so-called gender minority with her iron hand on the family pocketbook. She's always stealing the show!

Meanwhile, we've let Axe run off with the New Male Order.

Looking to change that? Then you should read Branded Male.

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by Angela Natividad    Jul- 8-08    
Topic: Good, Opinion, Packaging, Publishing, Research



Devo Sues McDonald's, Starch Engages, Colt 45 Dubbed Too Cool

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- Musical group Devo (yes, apparently, they still exist) is suing McDonald's for making Happy Meal dolls in the band's likeness.

- Wanna hop on the "engagement" bus and whip out some cool "engagement" figures during your next client presentation? Then check out Starch's new engagement index, a buzzword-worthy combination of the organization's "noticed" and "read half/some" metrics.

- As only George Parker can, Yahoo's recent re-organization is characterized akin to the way Queen Victoria characterized the inevitability of rape.

- AgencySpy reports, "AS just got another tip that "at least 2 ECDs and a bunch of lower level creatives have gotten the axe today" at Doner. This can't possibly have anything to do with Minute Maid. No, you think? That was quick."

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by Steve Hall    Jun-27-08    
Topic: Brands, Commercials, Research



Some People Really do Want to 'Join the Conversation'

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In a recent study conducted by product review online TV site, ExpoTV, it was found that, yes, some people do actually want to "have a conversation" with a brand. The study found:

- Consumers not only want to talk to brands, they want to establish a conversation: 55% of consumers want an ongoing dialogue with brands

- Learning about new products in the pipeline is a top priority: Respondents were most anxious to talk to the product design (49%) department, followed by customer support (14%), marketing (14%) and pricing (13%)

- Positive brand experiences can generate word-of-mouth buzz: More than 60% of those polled said they tell 10 or more people about the products they like while a third tell 20 or more people

- Listening leads to loyalty: 89% of respondents would feel more loyal to brands which invited them to participate in a feedback group, and 92 percent of those who have a positive experience communicating with a brand will recommend purchasing a product from that brand to someone they know

- Consumers are open to engaging with the competition: 93 percent of consumers surveyed would be interested or very interested in communicating with competitive brands that expressed interest in their feedback if their first choice is not interested in hearing what they have to say

by Steve Hall    Jun-26-08    
Topic: Research, Social



Army Wives Pranked, Pig Glides, Product Placement Studied

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- Lifetime's Army Wives poster becomes Iraq Wives courtesy of a few pranksters who've recently also pranked boards for the move The Happening and Get Smart.

- That lawsuit Naked Cowboy filed against Mars Inc. for making a blue M&M look like a cowboy is moving ahead.

- A pig stuck between two buildings somehow promotes Crest Glide dental floss.

- The Federal Communications Agency will launch a study to examine product placement on television which Reuters reports increased 13 percent from 2006 to 2007.

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by Steve Hall    Jun-25-08    
Topic: Outdoor, Research



Wake Up Ad People! Cannes is Over And Ad Spend Sucks!

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Ick! I'm still scrubbing the Advertising Age Cannes photogasmic sleaze off my sleeve as I'm slapped upside the head with the reality the same publication that offered up gratuitous ass is now reporting Top 100 U.S. advertiser spend increased but a paltry 1.7 percent last year. Obviously no one is Cannes cares for such dreariness but after a week of expense account shenanigans, it's time to get back to work and realize things aren't as great as they somehow seem to appear in Cannes.

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by Steve Hall    Jun-23-08    
Topic: Research



Breaking News: Agencies Unhappy with Stock Photos

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3/4ths of stock photo buyers surveyed by Photoshelter (399 out of 536 people, mostly art directors and creative directors) feel like they've seen everything stock photo companies have to offer. They also rated availability, quality and diversity of photos "poor to average."

See stats and charts.

In general, people seek images that are natural-looking, believable or candid. Sore spots include the "ethnic people (general lifestyle)," "seniors being active," and "current technology" categories.

Given the constraints (how do you make the contrived look real?), I admire the wherewithal of companies like Corbis or Getty. They sure do try to think of everything. That photo at left? It's called -- wait for it! -- "Bride Talking on Her Cell Phone."

Here's an idea, ad-heads: take your own damn pictures! Or get to know compfight. Intimately.

by Angela Natividad    Jun-19-08    
Topic: Agencies, Online, Research



Technorati Does Blog Ads, Facebook Ties MySpace, Sly Does VW

- Technorati has launched its blog ad network.

- In April, Facebook caught up to MySpace and is now reaching 115 million people each month according to Comscore. It's not like we didn't see this coming years ago. Though MySpace still beats Facebook in the U.S. with 72 million monthly uniques as compared to Facebook's 36 million.

- Ew...just ew.

- Cyber Lions and Design Lions Cannes shortlists have been announced.

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by Steve Hall    Jun-18-08    
Topic: Celebrity, Research, Social, Tools, Weblogs



Potentially Useful Data on Latin American Internet Culture

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From ad:tech Miami's "Latin American Consumer Habits and Online Behavior" panel. Information was provided by CEO Fabia Juliasz of ibope/NetRatings.

Percentage of internet penetration:

- Brazil, 22 percent (42 million internet users)

- Mexico, 22 percent (22.7 million users)

- Argentina, 26 percent (10.3 million users)

- Chile, 41 percent (6.7 million users)

Use varies by age, location, cost of resources and economic status. According to Juliasz, the trick is to target them locally.

Latin America consists mostly of verdant land and small communities. Cities are heavily concentrated and burdened by technology demand. This means most people in those cities can get online, but how they do it depends on what they can afford.

Where users are too poor to use a computer at home, most will use public access spaces. Free wifi and internet cafes proliferate Brazilian and Peruvian cities.

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by Angela Natividad    Jun- 3-08    
Topic: Industry Events, Research










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