Oddly, the American Family Association thinks everyone in America is Christian and celebrates the Christmas holiday. Certainly the vast majority are and do and the recent politically correct shift from labeling everything formerly known as "Merry Christmas" to "Happy Holidays" may have gone too far but we're not sure we need an organization to force companies to say "Merry Christmas" in their marketing. But, unsurprisingly, in our overly issue-oriented world, there is.
The American Family Association has been boycotting stores such as Sears and Target for not including "Merry Christmas" in their signage and advertising. Apparently, the AFA is quite powerful. Both retailers have relented and added "Merry Christmas" to their messaging. We don't know what's more stupid; forcing a retailer to adhere to one particular religion over another or the politically correct insanity that got us here in the first place.
In an elaborate marketing hoax, it appears the Sony PlayStation2 game Shadow of the Colossus is being promoted with sitings of giant, unexplained archaeological findings around the world. Three large, prehistoric entities have, reportedly, been found - one in India following the tsunami, one in the Sulu sea and one in Bam, Iran following an earthquake. There's even video news footage from the Indian finding to go along with the hoax.
Fueling the notion this is all just a big marketing ploy - albeit a grand and intriguing one - Joystig points out all this information appeared at the same time just this week, an anonymous tip pointed them out, there's the predictable blog (with a podcast) and two of the site's follow that tired, Geocities-like, "this site is so bad it has to be real" design strategy.
One has to admit, it is quite admirable the lengths to which a company with boatloads of money will go to get its products talked about. One also has to question the potential backlash of such an elaborate lie.
Having been relentless pummeled with "seriously, our approach is different" press releases, I guess we're just going to resign ourselves to riding this million dollar homepage trend-let to the bitter end. In yet another version of the I-can't-believe-I'm even-writing-about this topic, Will Barden has launched a company called Pixel Banner Ads which move the million dollar homepage concept from website to web banners. Yup, we're now going to see pixel banners all over the web. Pixel Banner Ads act as an intermediary between publishers and advertisers just like any other ad network by providing publishers connection with advertisers and an eighty percent share of ad revenue. Currently pixel ads are selling for $10 which gets an advertiser exposure across seven websites no one's ever heard of.
OK, we have nothing against people doing all they can to stay in shaped but when women work out so freakishly they end up looking like, well, a female body builder, it's just kinda gross. Call us sexist but everyone's entitled to an opinion including Virgin Mobile UK which has launched Super Buff, a site promoting its "totally buff phones" with help from super buff women. It's all quite hilarious, though. Adland reveals the work was created by 12foot6 and Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R.
As part of a promotion for its Hot Box cell phone, Virgin mobile Canada created some Christmas wrapping paper that shows angels kissing and fondling one another. Ottawa's Alan Dean wasn't too pleased when his 12 year-old daughter was handed some of the paper as part of a promotion following a screening of Harry Potter at the Famous Players Coliseum. Mr. Dean had no kind words for Virgin Mobile marketers telling the Ottawa Citizen, "Somebody had to have their head screwed on wrong to put out a promo like that at a family theater. Even though they said they wanted to hand it out to 18-year-olds, it doesn't matter. It shouldn't have been on the premises." Oddly, we agree. It's just a little sick.
Marina Dell Ray-based Ignited Minds wins the prize this year for first Holiday "card." The agency created a website for fictitious heavy metal band Karkis which includes a video, discussion boards, wallpaper, discography and all the other usual band site paraphanalia. It sure seems like a while lot of work an expense just to say Happy Holidays. If you choose to watch the video, be prepared to wait a very, very...uh...very long time for it to download.
The agency also placed an ad with the headline, "Karkis challenges every band in this paper to a knife fight," in LA Weekly promoting the site which you can see here.
Only in the whacked out world of the advertising agency would a stunt like this occur. On the evening of Friday, November 18, advertising agency Boone/Oakley, Charlotte celebrated its fifth year in business with a wedding. Creative director John Boone married his companion creative director David Oakley. No, they're not gay. It was just another excuse to have a party and garner free publicity. Well, aside from the fact the agency's fifth anniversary was being celebrated.
A ceremony and dinner for approximately 150 clients, guests and family was held at local wedding hall, The Extravaganza Depot. Marriage vows were read by agency president Phil Smith, and other agency staff served as ushers and bridesmaids. Oakley looked a bit freakish in his formal gown, which his wife, Claire, helped him pick out and get fitted.
Quicktimes of the freak show can be viewed at the agency's website. Since it's a fancy Flash site, there's no direct link. Click on About and follow the links.
In some weird ode to the seventies (or was it the eighties), emarketing company eROI has created a silly little site called WearShortShorts on which office co-workers do, well, strange things while wearing short shorts. we guess this is some form of viral attempt at driving traffic to the company's website. Or, it's just a bunch of advertising wackos, sick of their client's ridiculous requests, letting off some steam. Other than that, we don't know. Oh wait, there;s a store that sells the short shorts, a t-shirt and a headband so you can fully don the idiocy of seventies cool.
Now here's something you don't see all the time. Well, at least not in public that is. There's plenty of it in private. Likely, without all that paint though. These ads for Humo magazine promise to give away Durex condoms in its next issue. Freakish as they are there's an even freakier TV spot for them as well. Obviously this is not an American campaign as we are far too prudish for this sort of thing. At least in our advertising.
British Columbia production and voice talent company Wayne Kozak Audio Productions has some funny stuff buried deep on its website. It seems someone at Wayne Kozak is having fun with CD covers and has created one called March of the Tampons and Other Feminine Hygiene Tunes. Other include STD Moments: Pharmaceutical Company Classics, Wrist Slitting Tear Jerkers and our favorite, Dance of the Large Breasted Skank, Music For Your Beer Commercial. Who knew production company employees were so humorous?