Flashback: French Chortles at Notion of Gmail

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We just thought this was funny. And it wasn't that long ago, either.

In April 2004 Garrett French of Web Pro News wrote a post about Google's announcement of GMail - which, in Google's "loose, freewheeling" style, fell just before April Fool's Day.

"How long," French scoffed, "would it take before that ocean of email burst from the Google server farm and sank Washington?"

*Observes moment of silence for nostalgic wave*

Funny how standards can change.

by Angela Natividad    May-15-07    
Topic: Brands, Online, Opinion, Strange, Trends and Culture



'Wise-Ass Youngsters', 'Clueless Old Farts' Need Each Other

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Regarding ageism in advertising, back in March, we wrote, in part, "While it's true there isn't much gray hair in the advertising world, that's due to any number of reasons including 'older' folks leaving to start successful businesses of their own after having endured the idiocy of too many wise-ass, know-it-all 20-somethings making fools of themselves in front of their equally stupid clients and having to bail them out.

Harsh? Sure. But so is the assumption anyone over 40 is a clueless idiot. Neither line of thinking aids this (ageism) situation. People should be respected for their intelligence, not the number of candles on their birthday cake. There are just as many stupid 25 years olds out there as there are stupid 65 year olds. Age is irrelevant. Or at least it should be."

What sparked this was the fact we (OK, me) are not 30 any more as well as a post to an industry forum group by Laredo Group President Leslie Laredo which, following my suggestion the piece receive a wider audience, an edited version of her commentary ended up in Advertising Age as an opinion piece. You can (and should) read the article here.

by Steve Hall    May-14-07    
Topic: Opinion, Trends and Culture



Truth Campaign Stretches Truth Again

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OK, OK. We get it. Big tobacco company's suck but trying to apply old demographic assumptions tobacco companies may have made about African Americans in the past to today's African Americans is stretching it a bit but that's the premise of the latest Truth campaign Whadafxup spot. While we dig Truth spokesman Derrick Beckles' new look as he interviews MTV's Nick Cannon, these spots continue to grate.

We're not defending tobacco companies but we're sure if a little digging was done, every company would be guilty of some sort of stereotyping of its audience. After all, marketing isn't about individuality (yet) and the purpose of demographic targeting is to categorize, label and assign certain attributes whether or not those labels correctly reflect the actual brand's customer.

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by Steve Hall    May-11-07    
Topic: Campaigns, Commercials, Opinion, Trends and Culture, Worst



Draft/FCB Celebrates Glorification of Bad Ass Mofo Stereotype

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George Parker has the inside dope on Draft/FCB's excitement for the recent account win and work it did for the new Electronic Arts game, Def Jam Icon, yet another "Yo mutha fucka, you fuck with me, I beat the shit out of your sorry ass" cultural stereotype that makes one particular segment of people look like pea-brained idiots with nothing better to do than self-genocide themselves out of existence. In support of that stellar accomplishment and lauding the agency's teamwork, Draft/FCB's three top dudes, Howard, Jonathon and Lawrence, in an internal memo, blather platitudes such as "tearing down geographical silos, tapping into cross-office expertise and growing our business" and "working together seamlessly in our new agency model...as a result of a global creative rumble." This is the genius it took win the account and promote a game who's sole purpose is to let kids idolize bad ass mutha fuckas as some class of hero? Eesh. Be careful what you attach your internal memos to.

by Steve Hall    May-11-07    
Topic: Agencies, Bad, Commercials, Opinion, Trends and Culture



BBDO Defines the World's Daily Rituals

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Don't you love big research studies that nicely categorize the entire world's population into five, easy to define behavioral patterns? We do too. After all, it's too much work to create ads that address everyone's individual behavior. It's much easier to point to a big study that bases itself on the fact every human on the planet earth goes through the same ritualistic periods each day. So we give big props to BBDO who's now made every planner, media planner and creative's lives easier...or not with a recently released study examining the world's daily rituals..

OK, so there were some actual finding's in this study that could be deemed usable such as the fact 84 percent of Polish people shower at night versus 92 percent of Mexicans who do so in the morning. Clearly, different approaches to the marketing of bath products between these two countries we appear to be a no brainer. O the fact women in Columbia, Brazil and Japan love to apply makeup while driving at twice the rate of women in the rest of the world. Perhaps that's indicative of the need for an entirely new line of car-based cosmetics products. Close to 41 percent of Chinese schedule sex as compared to seven percent of Americans. Perhaps condom makers cold go the route of "for that special 9:36PM moment."

Come on BBDO, this was supposed to make our lives easier! We liked when we could just create one ad and run it the world over.

by Steve Hall    May-10-07    
Topic: Good, Research, Trends and Culture



Chivalry's Not Dead, Cosmo to the Rescue

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Most of us have done that (transparent) thing where we text a friend and beg them to call with a life-altering emergency so we can ditch a date.

To rid us of the inconvenience of praying for follow-through, Cosmo hosts a call-back service that enables serial daters to pre-set a time for the phone to ring.

Because the ringing effect just ain't fancy enough, you can select the type of caller you want, too.

Consider the potential. This doesn't just make date-ditching easier; it also makes check-skipping more convenient. And it would probably make a unique morning wake-up call too.

The function is powered by Moderati and can be accessed at the mobile component of the Cosmo site. The service costs a dollar and, we suppose, saves you some dignity.

Thanks go out to Snackable Content, who knows how the single do suffer.

by Angela Natividad    May- 4-07    
Topic: Magazine, Mobile/Wireless, Online, Trends and Culture



Zwinkys Get Zwinktopia, Fashion Brands to Adorn

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Following the return of Heroes Monday night (which, by the way, packed into one episode what a normal TV drama would have stretched over an entire season making it intensely interesting), the IAC ran a commercial - which has been on YouTube for six months - promoting those cute little traveling Zwinky avatars and the launch of Zwinktopia, a virtual world devoted to the little digital creatures who follow you around wherever you choose use them. Because of the many request IAC has received from users who want to outfit their avatars with actual brand name clothing, the organization is working with brands serve that need thereby creating an ad medium along the way.

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by Steve Hall    May- 2-07    
Topic: Good, Social, Trends and Culture



Digg Gets Dose of Social Media In Action

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Chris from Cogbox tells an interesting story about Digg, its users, digital rights management and the power of social media. In a nutshell, a post appeared on Digg referring to a site that has posted the alphanumeric code that would allow someone to break the digital right management system and copy copy-protected DVDs. Digg removed the story after getting over 15,000 Diggs. People rebelled and posted the code in unrelated stories that were then digged to the front page of Digg. Digg admins banned the accounts of those who posted the code. The AACS, the group that enforces the code, sent cease and desist letters to those posting the code. And, hilariously, the letters sent by the AACS contained the actual code which was buried in the URL of one of the sites the organization was trying to silence.

Well, like that poor girl trying to rip her racy picture off the high school bulletin board in a recent Ad Council internet safety campaign, the AACS's efforts are fruitless. Once something like this is out of the bottle, there is simply no way to re-cap it. Nearly every story on the front page of Digg yesterday contained the code despite efforts to stop the spread. Chris has an interesting analysis of this as it relates to social media and the role social media enabling sites like Digg play.

by Steve Hall    May- 2-07    
Topic: Social, Strange, Trends and Culture



Bostonians Can't Handle Advertising, Freak Out Over Radio Station's TV Ad

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It's common knowledge most TV commercial for radio stations suck. They're always filled with washed up D-list celebs or they fall precipitously into car dealership territory so it is with great displeasure we find Bostonians (yes, those people that hate all marketing) complaining about a refreshingly weird television commercial for Boston's "play everything" Mike 93.7. The ad shows a bunch of office workers grooving to the station's eclectic playlist while stripping off their clothes in a manner that could be described as anything but offensively salacious.

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by Steve Hall    May- 1-07    
Topic: Commercials, Radio, Television, Trends and Culture



Ypulse Conference to Explore 'Totally Wired Generation'

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Teen media and marketing blog Ypulse has partnered with conference producer Modern Media to produce 2007 Mashup, a two day event held at San Francisco's Nikko Hotel July 16-17 which will explore today's "totally wired generation."

Explaining the focus of the conference, Ypulse Founder Anastasia Goodstein writes, "This event was born out of almost three years of blogging and building a diverse community of media and marketing professionals who all have something in common: an empathy for youth and a passion for reaching them in an authentic way -- whether that's through a marketing campaign, editorial content, a website or other technology product or face to face. If I've learned anything over the past couple of years blogging about this audience, it's that, yes, they are 'totally wired.' It's not that they write code or can take apart a computer (although some can), it's that this generation has grown up with the internet and cell phones and has integrated technology into their lives as naturally as the air they breath -- they're hyper connected, multi-tasking and incredibly marketing savvy."

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by Steve Hall    May- 1-07    
Topic: Good, Industry Events, Social, Trends and Culture








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