Creatives Fall Prey to Power of Subliminal Advertising

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If any of you still doubt the power of subliminal advertising, you need look no further than this video sent to us by fresh creation in which two unsuspecting creatives fall victim to the old naked lady in the ice cube trick. No, this isn't just the much discussed lady in the ice cube of old but rather an elaborate stunt to prove subliminal messaging does work. As long as we are to believe this video truly represents what happened.

Watch as two creatives are recruited to create a campaign in 30 minutes for a taxidermy store. The resulting campaign will surprise you once the curtain is lifted at the end of the story. McDonald's is no stranger to this trick having recently done a bit of their own sort of subliminal advertising. And, yes, we know this video is a year old.

by Steve Hall    Apr-29-07    
Topic: Agencies, Good, Strange, Trends and Culture



Online Female Consumer Graces Us with Laser Eyes

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I (Angela) was really looking forward to attending ad:tech San Francisco 2007 panel entitled "The Online Female Consumer - Come Meet Them" Tuesday afternoon, featuring CEO Kate Everett-Thorp of Real Girls Media as moderator and Senior Analyst Debra Aho Williamson of eMarketer. Additional panelists were women pulled from various walks of life (well, except not), the youngest being thirty and the oldest in their mid-forties, with children of varying ages.

First impression: oh, we'll be hearing from Fembots. Kate and Debra seemed tight and mildly Stepford in appearance. I don't know what it was but the room took on a defensive and unfun Girl Power air that had nothing to do with trouncing around in platforms and going ziga-zig ahhh.

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by Steve Hall    Apr-27-07    
Topic: Industry Events, Online, Opinion, Research, Trends and Culture



Next Five Years to Bring Dramatic Increase in Digital Media

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There are two kinds of keynotes at industry trade conferences. There's the kind that keep you on the edge of your seat eager to drink in the wisdom of those on stage. Then, there's the kind that are...well, shall we say...less than awe inspiring. Unfortunately, the ad:tech San Francisco 2007 kick off keynote was one of the latter. Reminiscent of an old video interview between a major network and the founders of Razorfish, during which a frustrated reporter could not get a straight forward description of what the company did, today's keynote with aQuantive (now owner of avenue a/ razorfish) CEO Brian McAndrews as interviewed by Fast Company Senior Editor Lynne Johnson took a bit longer than other keynotes to deliver the meat.

There's absolutely no disparagement of the expertise that sat on stage today as the two discussed The digital Decade - What the Past Five Years Can Teach Us About the Next 5" but it took an interminably long time to get to the keynote's deliverable nuggets. One such nugget was McAndrews suggestion to agencies that social media be approached somewhat like a "big focus group" and that marketers would be best served by paying attention to what gets written on blogs, in forums and on social networks. With the rise of consumer control over media, marketing is clearly a two way street - far from the one way megaphone approach of yesteryear.

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by Steve Hall    Apr-27-07    
Topic: Industry Events, Online, Trends and Culture



Sao Paulo Purges Ads. No, We're Not Kidding

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Here's a billboard we haven't seen before.

"Imagine a modern metropolis with no outdoor advertising: no billboards, no flashing neon signs, no electronic panels with messages crawling along the bottom.

Come the new year, this city of 11 million, overwhelmed by what the authorities call visual pollution, plans to press the 'delete all' button and offer its residents unimpeded views of their surroundings."

City officials in Sao Paulo, Brazil just passed a law that may see the end of ads in public display. Billboardom tips us off, but the above quote comes from the International Herald Tribune.

"I think this city is going to become a sadder, duller place," says Dalton Silvano, an ad guy who cast the one dissenting civil vote. "Advertising is both an art form and, when you're in your car or alone on foot, a form of entertainment that helps relieve solitude and boredom."

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by Angela Natividad    Apr-20-07    
Topic: Policy, Social, Strange, Trends and Culture



Social Conversation Overtakes Traditional Marketing

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Over on Madison Avenue Journal, Levenson and Hill New Media and Marketing Strategist Paul McEnany has written an article that discusses the rise of social media and the increase in consumer control over media which, when combined, has had a tremendous effect of the pillar of traditional advertising. While highlighting ad:tech San Francisco sessions that cover aspects of this discussion, Paul urges us to stop thinking about what we do as advertising and he's right. Advertising is shouting a message at people. Clearly, the power of that model as quickly losing its luster.

With people's increased connectivity and control over what they consume, marketers are finding it very difficult to "herd" demographic groups together to advertise to as easily as they once could. It started with media fragmentation. Remember when we thought 100 cable channels was a lot? And it continued with the growth of the Internet and the most recent explosion of social media which has absolutely changed the advertising equation. It's far from the one way street it used to be.

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by Steve Hall    Apr-19-07    
Topic: Opinion, Trends and Culture



What Nappy Headed Ho? Advertisers Want Imus Back

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How soon we forget...but just one week? Yup. Advertiser are already talking about hooking up with Imus just a week after he was fired from CBS for his "nappy headed ho" remark. GM spokeswoman Ryndee Carney said, "We obviously don't condone his statements, but we have found value advertising on Imus in the past. Up to this point, the good has outweighed the bad. If an opportunity is presented to us, we would assess it just like we do all the other opportunities that come our way." Ah yes, corporate drooling for eyeballs continues to outweigh taking a stand on an issue. It's just too alluring to ignore the wallets of those who might still listen to Imus if and when he ever were to reappear.

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by Steve Hall    Apr-18-07    
Topic: Celebrity, Radio, Trends and Culture



Axe Does Million Dollar Homepage, May Regret It

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It had to happen and who better to do it than Axe. We're sure you're familiar with Alex Tew's Million Dollar Homepage phenomenon that actually did make a million and with the thousands of other copycats that made nothing close. Now, Axe has done what it does best: find a way to work a scantily-clad babe into every piece of marketing they do with their own million dollar homepage-ish effort. While we think Smash My Viper did a similar thing better with their own collection of scantily-clad babes, this Axe effort has extended itself to answering machine foolery and a video in which a Portuguese Brazilian model strips on webcam. This being YouTube, and not Dailymotion, she, of course, does not strip all the way down to nothing. No matter, the 15 year olds will love this one.

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by Steve Hall    Apr-17-07    
Topic: Brands, Online, Opinion, Racy, Trends and Culture, Video



Commercial Ratings Could Eliminate Awards Shows

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If you look at it honestly, advertising's sole purpose is to sell stuff. Forget all that crap about brand building because it's all the same thing. You build a brand so it connects with people so they are more inclined to buy from said brand. Advertising's purpose is not, despite what many would like to think, about winning rewards or creativity. Clio. Cannes. ADDY. One Show. Create. Webby. ADC. Andys. Irrelevant. You disagree and claim the winning of awards helps agencies win accounts? Fair enough but wrong.

What if we lived in a world where we knew exactly how well received our commercials were the second they aired? Well, if Nielsen and the rest of the industry can get their shit together, we may soon see that world. Commercial ratings have been much discussed over the last few years but scant progress has been made. Some half assed solutions have been put in place and even more half assed solutions have been suggested. Who wants half an ass when they cab have full on booty? Yea, we thought so.

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by Steve Hall    Apr- 9-07    
Topic: Opinion, Research, Television, Trends and Culture



Jack Klues Kicks Compensation Ass

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We know Jack Klues. We like Jack Klues. Jack Klues is a very nice guy. But we're certain Jack Klues has completely forgotten our brief, one year stint on the Starcom team...which is completely irrelevant to the news a recent salary report placed him third highest paid exec (and top paid media exec the world over) at Publicis and deservedly so. Can anyone argue the point Starcom is a media force to be reckoned with in this industry? No. Didn't think so. Say what you will about overpaid ad execs and there are plenty of their pompous asses out there but Jack is not one of them. Jack deserves every penny he earns.

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by Steve Hall    Apr- 9-07    
Topic: Agencies, Trends and Culture



Initiative Urges Industry to be Environmentally Friendly

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Vancouver agency smashLAB has launched Design Can Change, an initiative that urges designers to become aware of the affect they have on the environment. On his blog, Eric Karjaluoto offers some stunning numbers, writing, "...if you are a member of the AIGA, you take part in purchasing or specifying over $9 billion of printing and paper per year. At the risk of sounding obtuse, I have to say, 'That's a lot.' Let me give you another number: 81 million tons. That's the amount of paper waste you and I helped generate over the past year. How about this one? More than a million. That's how many species are expected to be at risk of extinction by 2,050 as a result of global warming. Another? $11 billion. That's the average cost of climate-related disasters in Europe during the 80s and 90s."

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by Steve Hall    Apr- 6-07    
Topic: Good, Online, Policy, Trends and Culture







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