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.



Mini Rickshaws, Verizon Hates Disco, Brad Pitt Works Up a Lather

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- Diggin' these Beijing Olympics-based efforts for Mini Cooper and Samsung. Well, the Samsung one might have confused me if I saw it in person, but the Mini rickshaw thing is pretty dope.

- Should Starbucks engage in latte art? American coffee snobs, a subculture Starbucks helped create, would probably argue yes -- if it's at all serious about maintaining luxury cachet. (Which I increasingly doubt it is.)

- More Michael Phelps ads by Visa. PS -- Phelps scored a perfect eight gold medals in the Olympics this summer. It's so exciting, I'm starting to get spam about it.

- So I guess Verizon is not that into disco.

- Rainbow tribe daddy Brad Pitt is launching a body wash in partnership with Kiehl's. The product will cost $16.50 market, he'll appear in no ads, and 100 percent of profits will go to JPF Eco Systems, a green charity he and Kiehl's started together. How sweeeeet.



Mushrooms Marketed, Frumputantes Invade, Olympics Opening Ceremony Trashed One! More! Time!

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- At left: a French mushroom ad! OMG cute. Caption: "Paris mushrooms: it's when they're in your mouth that they're the happiest." Go make them happy. Our resident expat PT Ford isn't so amused.

- Nothing starts the day off better than a kung fu drink ad.

- Dario at Invoke sent us this shot of the Newfoundland-based Hits 99.1 FM van.

- Worthless but interesting tag cloud tool. This one lets you pick fonts and colors. Pop in a URL, see what your homepage mentions most. (Adrants loves itself some Leigh.)

- Public School Intelligentsia learns us a new word: frumputante. Think cash-money bag ladies in Juicy Couture sweats. Streaky hair a plus. Ugh.

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In China, the Miniskirt is the New Beetle

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Is sex (or the hint of) allowed to sell in China? If you are Volkswagen and Dynamic Marketing Group is your agency then, it seems, yes. Or if it isn't sex, maybe it's the realization that things have changed in Chinese culture and the country wants the rest of the world to know it.

Out with the old and in with the new as it were. Up with the hemlines and out with subservience. China wants to join the rest of the world and wallow in rampant commercialization. Welcome to the party, China.

by Steve Hall    Aug-14-08    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Trends and Culture



iPhone Kill Switch, Quibblo Quizzes, Jilted Man Toasts for KFC

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- iPhone apps have a "kill switch" that empowers Apple to yank any app off your phone whenever it likes. Steve Jobs says they'll never "pull that lever" unless an extreme situation calls for it (like if an app were disseminating a virus) -- but hell, the I'm Rich app wasn't hurting anybody and Apple was quick enough to pull that off the ropes.

- Glad Facebook wasn't around when Shakespeare was. Hamlet might've been much different (but still such a riot!).

- One expat rails against marketing stereotypes about the French, particularly sexy maids and misuse of "Ooh la la."

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Cannibal Sushi! Unclaimed Twitter Handles! Olympics Ceremony Demystified! Lots and Lots of Boobies!

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- A Wired journalist attributes the success of Weight Watchers to its RPG format. (You know, like EverQuest or Final Fantasy.)

- The pretty little girl who sang "Ode to the Motherland" for the Olympics opening ceremony was a pretty little mime. Reps said they wanted a flawless girl with a flawless voice; but one had the looks and another had the pipes so they mashed them up. "We must put our country's interests first." Riiiight.

- Seven in 10 companies on the FTSE 100 have unclaimed handles on Twitter. Companies are advised to lock that down before a hater (or an impersonator) does. (Via @benkunz.)

- It may not really be cannibal sushi, but the psychological effect can be just as fucked-up. (Via @TJCNYC.)

- Got more than a handful up top? Pull your shirt off and join the Wonderbra mosaic.

by Angela Natividad    Aug-12-08    
Topic: Events, Games, Online, Strange, Trends and Culture



Bottle Art Won't Make You Cooler. But If You're Already on a Modding-Spree, It Can't Hurt.

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When last we reviewed Mountain Dew's Green Label Art project, its trussed-up bottles were gleaning inspiration from mean tattoos and revisiting their hillbilly roots with artist Peat Wollaeger.

The bottle art in Green Label Art Volume 2 is slicker and more computer-graphicksy. There's also a batch of new proteges on call, including Mike Sutfin, who's done artwork for Dungeons & Dragons and skate brands like DC; and Mark Smith, CD at Jordan (yes, THE Jordan) Brand.

Smith's bottle design, Happy Heads, almost matches my Macbook Gelaskin (now with matching iPhone skins!). Beverage + tech coordination = total identification with the idle style aristocracy. Modding every item in your Muji bag may not send you to heaven, but it will distinguish you from the other cafe/cubicle cogs that also use Macs, own iPhones and drink cold beverages. And getting a foot in front of them is about as close to heaven as you can get if you're alive, agnostic, overpaid and insecure.

View galleries and artist videos, or create your own bottle art at the website (tutorial here).



Hitler Tweets, Kanye Popped, Montauk Monster Demystified

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- It's another raging Hitler appropriation. This one's called "The Rise and Fall of Twitter." Given that we've had similar spittle-fits over Twitter's goddamn down time, it's pretty funny, actually.

- Some nights you just need to pop a Kanye into your glass.

- Lack of bear at Black Bear Diner.

- So I guess the Montauk Monster is a guerrilla effort for an indie movie called Splinterheads.

- British carrier TalkTalk is trying to help fight autism with a campaign called The Forever Story. Alongside the common man, authors like Nick Hornby will contribute to a story that's supposed to go on forever. For every contribution, TalkTalk will donate 1 pound (the currency) to a charity called Treehouse.



Trolls Probed, Politics Ascend, Cuil Explores Sexuality

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- The New York Times wrote a SEVEN PAGE STORY about /b/ and online trolls: people that make a satisfying career out of hurting your widdo feewings.

- Campaign.com decided voting is a superpower.

- Cuil turns quantum researchers into gay porn stars. Hur-raaaay.

- The Center for Public Integrity launched a new blog called Papertrail. It promises to be "the hard-hitting, investigative blog that Washington is missing." Also, there's poetry and music.

- The Gay List Daily is promoting the Details Mens Style Manual, which teaches you how to be a flawlessly-dressed man. If you're not a man, or are already quite flawless, learn how to market to one. And if you can do that too, then shucks, you must be God. In cashmere.

- Every heel and toe of Cole Haan's sassy new Air Donovan dress shoes has the power of many Michael Jordans behind it.







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