'Automated' Advertising Systems Another Threat to Agency Infrastructure

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More and more, the advertising business is becoming commoditized with services that make it ever easier for advertisers to circumvent the infrastructure that the industry has built over the last 100 years. Every year, another do-it-yourself service crops up offering companies tools to create their own advertising without the need for an agency. Certainly, these services will not replace ad agencies but they may take a dent out of their revenue stream.

Omnicom Group is hoping to stem any potential loss to this new ad-o-matic approach and launched their on such service through on of its agencies, Zimmerman, called Pick-n-Click which provides automotive advertisers 150,000 components to choose from when crafting an ad. car dealer franchise AutoNation has signed on and is using Pick-n-Click for its 331 car dealers.

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



MySpace Destroys Dreams, Erodes Need for Reunions

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Lynette Web points us to a study that finds most teens are in a social network (duh) but also finds that the prevalence of social networks may devalue longtime humiliating (or triumphant) traditions like reunions for those way past teenhood.

"For instance, we recently talked about having our five-year class reunion, and I found that most of the people I asked said they really had no reason to get together in five years because they used sites like MySpace and Facebook to stay in touch with anyone they really wanted to keep up with, anyway," says Sam Ford of Convergence Culture.

That's disappointing. What have we been working so hard for if in the next five years we can't show our former nemeses how awesome we still look, then act really sweet and invite them (and their six screaming babies) to sit next to us? We have officially lost our will to go on. MySpace, you destroy everything you touch.

by Angela Natividad    Feb- 8-07    
Topic: Online, Research, Social, Trends and Culture



Compete Compares Captivation Currency in Consumer Creation Craze

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Consumer-generated "marketing campaigns" are hot this Super Bowl season, an indication of either curiosity, desperation or laziness which may contribute in part to big brands' decisions to shy away from this year's pigskin adfest.

Lending legitimacy to this lame attempt at representing their companies, Compete compiled some data on which consumer-gens are faring best and worst this close to the cut.

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by Angela Natividad    Feb- 2-07    
Topic: Research, Super Bowl 2007, Trends and Culture



K-Fed Nationwide Spot Fuels Political Correctness Insanity

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We passed on all the hype surrounding the K-fed Nationwide Super Bowl commercial offending fast food workers but after seeing the spot, we can't leave it alone. We have one thing to say: Get a Fucking Sense of Humor, People! For fuck's sake, can't we laugh at anything anymore? OK, so the commercial really isn't funny but that's not the point. The point is through some sort of American political correctness on steroids trend and an orgasmic proliferation of cause groups for every minute issue imaginable, we are no longer allowed to laugh at anything. We can't make fun of anything lest we offend someone. We can't tell joke unless they are of the scrubbed-clean second grade variety. We can't even call someone white or black - even though they are - lest we be labeled racist. Stop the insanity, please!

by Steve Hall    Jan-29-07    
Topic: Bad, Commercials, Opinion, Trends and Culture



Doc's DeLorean Harks Back ... from the Past

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There's something to be said about bloggers. They're geeky, sure, but they're also taste agents who give tech monuments from the past deserved due.

That's why we're less than surprised - pleased, even - to find a DeLorean revival inching its way into geek salience. Get a refurbished model or even paint it like these guys did so you don't have to stress over the fingerprint-friendly steel. We agree with Rob at Wired that painting the thing is sacrilege but to call the original DeLorean high-maintenance would be an understatement - it could do with an upgrade or two, or three, or ten.

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by Angela Natividad    Jan-26-07    
Topic: Good, Trends and Culture



K-Fed Proves Surprisingly Good for Something

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Even if he can't sell CD's, Kevin Federline proves he can generate buzz by sole merit of his complete lameness. And it's nice when you can get attention by being yourself.

Nielsen BuzzMetrics reports that the latest ad deal for the Speared ex-beau accounts for a whopping 26% of all Super Bowl ad-related blog conversations between January 14 and January 21. The figures cap at 49% on January 17. Compare those beans with the '06 figures.

"Sometimes the counter-intuitive or 'campy' choice of spokesperson yields the highest pre-game buzz dividend," Nielsen CMO Pete Blackshaw explains. "Nationwide saw a similar lift last year with the use of retro-star MC Hammer, and this helped them take a higher share of mindshare leading to the game."

Congrats to K-Fed. Guess there really is a calling for everybody.

by Angela Natividad    Jan-26-07    
Topic: Celebrity, Research, Trends and Culture



University Wants Ad Agency on Campus

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Here's an intriguing proposition. Kean University of NJ is building a new building and wants an advertising agency or design studio as a tenant. Since we all know academia doesn't properly prepare those interested in advertising for the realities of the business, setting an actual agency right next to classrooms might not be a bad idea. Called the Design Center Building, the building would be about six stories and would also house retail businesses such as: a digital printing company, a full service bank, a restaurant, and a Barnes and Noble Super Store with Starbucks. If you're interested in doing something different and want to check this out, call Rose Gonnella, design department professor at 908-737-4432 or email here at rgonnell@kean.edu.

by Steve Hall    Jan-24-07    
Topic: Agencies, Good, Trends and Culture



Madison Avenue Crap Avoided With Madscam's No Bullshit Advice

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Part way through reading George Parker's new book, MadScam: Kick-Ass Advertising Without the Madison Avenue Price Tag, we informed George we had found the perfect coaster for our scotch. Amused, he agreed but told us to get off our ass and read the book. We did. And we can whole heartedly tell you you should too. With or without a glass of scotch. The man has things to say and things you won't hear from your average "I'm a hot shit marketer and everything I say is gold" flatulence. The man has been through it all and he has no problem telling marketers they don't need Madison Avenue for all their marketing needs.

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by Steve Hall    Jan-23-07    
Topic: Good, Opinion, Publishing, Trends and Culture



McDonald's Places Subliminal Ad on Cable Network

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Get ready for the return of the proverbed naked girl in the ice cubes of liquor drink ads. Or at least single frame brand blips on television shows such as the Food Network's Iron Chef America. YouTube user H20ay32 posted this video capture of a recent broadcast during which a single frame of the broadcast consisted of the Golden Arches and McDonald's tagline, "I'm Lovin' It." While McDonald's did obviously sponsor the show with on screen billboards, this subliminal placement by a major brand is sure to create debate.

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by Steve Hall    Jan-23-07    
Topic: Brands, Cable, Guerilla, Trends and Culture



Agencies Push For Value Pricing Over Time-Based

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One trend that's been bubbling around in agencies for some time now might, aside from its other important benefits, may result in the elimination of the most dreaded operational activity: filling out time sheets. In recent history, following the shift from old-school 15 percent compensation, agencies have based revenue on the time it takes to complete a project mapped against the cost of hours to accomplish the project. There was then a shift to performance-based marketing that tied campaign performance to agency revenue. Now, the notion of value has been added to the compensation equation with several agencies, including Crispin Porter + Bogusky and Anomoly, setting fees based on the perceived value of the work they do for clients.

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by Steve Hall    Jan-23-07    
Topic: Agencies, Opinion, Trends and Culture







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