Cops Tweet, SBUX Seduces, Pets Prattle, GOOG Cozies Up to Agencies

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- Cops in Scottsdale, Arizona use Twitter to keep the community abreast of what's happening in the city: closed roads, active crime scenes and the like.

- Google cozies up to agencies with evangelism missions and SWAG. Don't be fooled by all those friendly faces! John Battelle isn't.

- Ramadan's got brands in a tizzy. Coke released special packaging; Starbucks is showcasing Arabian blends and Ramadan-inspired pastries at its stores in the Middle East. Observers of Ramadan, which fast! until! sunset!, will undoubtedly be thrilled. (I love SBUX, but after a food-free day it's the last place I'd go. Who says "I'm starving! A tart and some coffee would do me good"?!)

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Tom Clancy Too Dense? Cozy Up with a Twiller

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New York Times journalist Matt Richtel has invented a storytelling format called the Twiller. The idea is for Twitter users to follow fictional characters -- which some already do anyway -- as they progress though a plot.

It's not the worst idea ever, and when my friend Atif first explained it to me I thought, "Hey, that sounds sort of like Memento."

Except Twillers are a long-term commitment. Richtel's been developing his plot for the last two months. Follow @mrichtel, tweet by grueling tweet, as he works out the narrative kinks.

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by Angela Natividad    Sep- 1-08    
Topic: Consumer Created, Online, Strange, Trends and Culture



Hot Blogger Calendar, 90210 Strip-Searched, Buffy Increases Church Abandonment

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- Because what the world needs now is a hot blogger calendar.

- The CW's decided to let advertisers see snippets of 90210's content after all. I guess this means the PTC will be throwing itself a self-congratulatory cocktail party.

- OMG, OMG, a Facebook movie? ...by the co-creator of West Wing? Does that mean there's a parity of significance between Mark Zuckerberg and the ruler of the free world?

- MySpace was the top display ad publisher in June; Microsoft the top display advertiser. Most of its ads were for Live Search.

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Marc Jacobs to Make Suburban Dads Squirm

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For some, imagery of schoolgirls (or any female for that matter) in pleated, plaid miniskirts presents an irresistible urge to let fantasy fun rampant and to, well, just be really, really bad. While that imagery may not be what Marc Jacobs, who signed Russian duo t.A.T.u. (Lena Katina and Yulia Volkova) to front his fall fashion campaign, intends to foist on the public, one does wonder just how he will present the fun-loving couple in upcoming campaigns.

The pair have been out of the limelight for a while but that won't really matter. Marc Jacobs will doll them up (or down) and present them in a deliciously delectable manner easily obsessed over by all. Lesbians. Rocks stars. What's not to love?

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by Steve Hall    Aug-28-08    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Celebrity, Trends and Culture



Newsflash: iPhone Does Not Support ALL Parts of Internet

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You've probably seen the American version of this iPhone ad, and you've probably not thought twice about it, but the United Kingdom ain't having any.

The Advertising Standards Authority argues the ad suggests iPhone users have access to all the parts of the internet, which technically isn't true. Two viewers complained, and the ad's been pulled.

If Apple wants to run it, it'll have to give Mr. Voiceover something less, oh, all-encompassing to say.

In addition to protecting big spenders from Apple's appalling dishonesty, the ASA's also railed against mascara deception, erosion of religious values and unsafe car dancing. Unrealistic depictions of nipple elasticity are okay though, because bright citizens know better than be to duped by that.

Good to know there's a discerning body keeping the UK safe from uninhibited agency machinations.

by Angela Natividad    Aug-27-08    
Topic: Bad, Commercials, Strange, Television, Trends and Culture



Bill O'Reilly Mashed Up, Hood Ornaments Hunted, Mad Men Twitterati Reinstated

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- "Fuck it! We'll do it live! Fucking thing sucks!" You tell 'em, Bill, you wild animal you.

- The hood ornament is an endangered species. Is this what people want? We can save pandas but not the Spirit of Ecstasy?!

- New Shepard Fairey exhibition in SF: "Duality of Humanity." Inspired by Joker, the peace-sign-sporting Vietnam soldier in Full Metal Jacket, the show mashes up conflicting symbols of violence and peace. The project also has a strong Red-propaganda-meets-mass-media feel. Tasty.

- It's Bible stories! And Legos! Suddenly Sunday's looking like a party.

- With a nudge from those rascals at Deep Focus, AMC decides the Mad Men Twitter characters -- which it was so quick to boot -- are okay after all.

- Pepsi apparently did a better job of associating itself with the Olympics than Coke did. And it probably spent a helluva lot less money.



Nokia: Yes! Follow the Strangers with the Soothing Shirts

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This Nokia campaign, where a Personal Navigator leads the lost to their final destinations, probably wasn't meant to encourage emo-stricken weirdos to trust friendly strangers. But from here on out, if I ever want to kidnap a giant chicken in dire straits, I'll probably pull on a "Personal Navigator" shirt and try taking it by the hand.

Also see bickering pirates locate misplaced X, a lost alien get alienated, two goths find love, and -- my favourite -- Pacman outrunning the ghosts, which also have a Personal Navigator.

The campaign was seeded across the 'net by Unruly Media. Its happy task is to endear the Nokia N78 -- featuring maps! -- to the navigationally-challenged. The music gave each piece a Chaplinesque feel, which made things seem that much sadder when it all went horribly wrong.

by Angela Natividad    Aug-26-08    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Good, Online, Trends and Culture, Video



CK Pushes Sweatsuits, IE8 Eats Cookies, Google Dinners Seized, Cho Gets Show

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- Calvin Klein hopes a new e-commerce subsite will help it unload some "white label" (that is, very expensive but still mostly nylon and cotton) sports gear.

- For marketers hoping to retain a healthy base of Internet Explorer users, IE8 might turn cookies into a sometimes friend. Its InPrivate feature blocks them and automatically clears users' browsing histories once they end a session. Some writers are fondly calling it "porn mode."

- Free din-din at Google: officially off-limits, unless you happen to be an engineer. Not to worry, less twitchy Googlers won't starve. Lunch and breakfast remain a perk.

- PhotoShelter is selling some of its photographers' work as limited-edition art. Check out the existential phone booth.

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by Angela Natividad    Aug-26-08    
Topic: Celebrity, Online, Political, Strange, Trends and Culture



It's Official: Ad Budgets Will be Reduced

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It's about time.This sort-of-but-not-really recession has had everyone talking for, well, years, it seems. Today, we have some meat on the subject. And it isn't tasty. The Association of National Advertisers has released a study citing 53 percent of surveyed marketing executives expect their ad budgets to be reduced withing the next six months and 87 percent are already identifying cutbacks.

Areas cited for cuts are media (69 percent), travel (63 percent), production (63 percent) and new work (61 percent). Of those already planning cutbacks, 50 percent expect a ten percent reduction, 27 percent expect an 11-20 percent reduction and ten percent expect cuts or more than 30 percent.

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by Steve Hall    Aug-22-08    
Topic: Agencies, Brands, Research, Trends and Culture



Plaid Reminisces, Anna Makes a Comeback, Google Minus Google

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- It's the best of this year's Plaid Nation tour! Diggin' the chick who says plaid is God's favorite color.

- Anna Kournikova's still around. I like how her Maxim bio reads, "Before simply being superhot, Anna was a superhot tennis player." Put "simply being superhot" on your resume next time you get shafted, then see who throws sponsorship money at you.

- Naked guy runs across America.

- Last Visa "Go World" spot by TBWA/Chiat/Day. Michael Phelps: he keeps going and going and going and going...

- Check out Google minus Google. Running a search without getting results from YouTube, Blogger, or Knol feels sort of ... fresh.










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