On Visa's behalf, Morgan Freeman congratulates US Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps "on having won more gold medals than anybody EVAR." The ad started airing hours after Phelps exceeded his own expectations of winning eight gold medals -- seizing his 10th on Tuesday. (He is now up to 11.)
Don't tell me they didn't have this bad-boy lying in wait, because I seriously doubt Freeman looked up from his gardening or whatever to go, "Oh! Phelps delivered the goods, I think I'll put together another sepia montage and say 'Good job' all over the world."
A recent Nielsen Online buzz tracking study found Phelps is the most-discussed Olympian athlete online. And on TV last night, I found out Phelps' wingspan is 6'7" -- THREE INCHES WIDER than he is tall. Also, his feet bend 15 degrees more than the average swimmer, making them more flippery or something.
UPDATE: Everyone seems to think I hate this ad. I don't. I think it was crafty of Visa to have it on the pipeline, I think it was a lovely way to fist-bump Phelps, and I think the campaign as a whole is a positive step away from the mediocre "Life Takes Visa" stuff we've been seeing. There. Please feel free to untwist your underpants.
Got a problem? What you need is a NASCAR driver who knows nothing about you and talks in metaphors. Try not to go racing out to buy Tylenol all at once.
Bravo, except not, to Deutsch/NY.
And by "understanding," that is to say "We'll buy your ad space, you write us up nice and pretty."
A funner statistic: one in five senior-level marketers admit their organizations have purchased advertising in exchange for an online news story, likely even favorable. These figures are up slightly from last year (17 percent versus this year's 19 percent), when five percent admitted to either paying editors or giving them gifts in exchange for upbeat coverage. It's all here, sugar booger.
And just so you know? Yeah, presents, particularly of a monetary or vice-oriented variety, work a lot better than lengthy pitches that start with "I am such a fan!" Products work too. That's what's called "market research."*
Image credit: Delightful Deliveries, which has yet to surprise us with gift-wrapped gratitude in exchange for pushing its logo in this piece.
MTV and Nokia are partnering for a documentary about the 2008 Cannes Young Lion Film Competition. 26 teams from all over the world will be followed; the four that get top views on YouTube will be featured in the documentary.
Get a glimpse of Team USA. Then do yourself a favour and close the window at 1:00 or so, because 6:20 is a loooooong time unless you're friends with these guys, or their moms.
What ruined it for me was that feeble Spartans leotard action at the beginning. "Hey, guys, come on. I didn't agree to wear this, even though I'm wearing it. You cheated. I win. Grumble grumble."
To promote Infiniti's Cirque de Soleil sponsorship, TBWA/Toronto created "Double Lines," which smoothly integrates mid-air performance with roadside performance.
Apt tagline: "Let the performance begin." I've got no complaints.
- Nonesuch Records redesigned its site so artists can "directly" interact with fans. Created by Sisu and branding partner Axiom.
- We were checking email and minding our own business when Gay List Daily suggested we put a cock in our mouth. "Or 32 if you're feelin' crazy." It was appalling. And then we realized they were talking about tooth tattoos -- the low-key variation of a rapper's grill, but just as expensive if you're fickle.
- ABSOLUT Vodka is doing some weird shit right now. Its current online video campaign features Tim and Eric from Tim and Eric's Awesome Show, Great Job. (It's totally off-putting, but you gotta stick with it.) "I only made cookies for three..." Bloody hilarious. If you're not down with Tim and Eric, you're making baby Jesus cry.
Amber Lee Ettinger -- better known as Obama Girl -- is seriously amazing. She didn't just shake her ass for politics; she turned that ass-shaking into a recognized brand.
Mochila is partnering with Barely Political, Obama Girl's parent, to promote online political coverage of the 2008 Presidential campaign. The pair will sponsor NetRoots Nation 2008 in Austin from July 17-20.
Jim Bean, and its "The Stuff Inside" campaign, have partnered with NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver and owner Robby Gordon to save Chicago's Wrigley Field from being corporatized like every other stupid-sounding stadium in America. Seriously. How for a hundred years did stadiums survive without brand having to plaster their names all over them? Oh yea...those greedy agents and professional athletes are getting paid such obscene amounts of money someone has to pay for it. Why not a willing brand?
With a bitty boost from Digitas, the Holiday Inn Express launched the second season of The Smart Show, a semi-dorky, sponsor-heavy web series about business travel.
The site went live today. In the debut episode, host Henry Dittman -- who looks like an early Bob Saget -- asks strangers what their dream job would be. Then he reveals Condy Rice's fantasy calling, and in a random turn of events proceeds to sell us on the merits of virtual personal assistants with DSL lips.
Lenovo is maximizing its Summer Olympics sponsorship with a social media rollout dubbed "Voices of the Olympic Games." Rohit Bhargava, SVP of Ogilvy 360 Digital Influence, described the strategy in a sentence that would give William Faulkner brain freeze:
Use Lenovo products to power athletes sharing their real experiences leading up to and during the Olympic Games directly with fans around the world.