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



CMO's Shy Away from $2 Million Super Bowl Spots

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It may have been a smarter move than we thought for the pigskin free-for-all to lean on audience marketing muscle because apparently only 13 advertisers will admit to having purchased a seat in the ad line-up this year. Those most vocal in pre-game marketing include Anheuser-Busch, the NFL and Dorito's.

Advertising Age notes usual suspects like Snickers, CareerBuilder and Taco Bell are keeping mum, and not one ravenous big pharma name, movie studio or telecom brand has admitted to getting on board.

Increased pressure on CMO's, nervousness over one-click critics, and higher figures (upwards of $2-2.6 mill) for ad units are allegedly to blame, but we're looking on the bright side: possibly more attention paid to the actual game and more exciting marketing campaigns executed through a calendar year, as they should be, instead of advertisers traditionally slacking 11 months then blowing their load on game day. Because come on. Did it ever make sense to have people talk about your wicked ad campaign for a day versus all fucking year?

Geico, with their well-timed execution and clever ads, are great at generating attention season after season. And in case you were wondering, word on the street is the gecko's not batting an eye in the direction of the Super Bowl.

by Angela Natividad    Jan-15-07    
Topic: Super Bowl 2007, Television, Trends and Culture



iPhone to Revolutionize Phones, Music Players, Lives at Large

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Owning an iPhone is the equivalent of an out-of-body experience which is the only way to justify the 7% leap in Apple share post-unveiling and the $499-$599 price tag that out-hurrahs both iPod and BlackBerry.

ZDNet talks pros and cons, foreseeing death and suffering for many companies left vulnerable in the storm of common interest. With Apple's cultlike status they could have released this to the exact same jizz-in-the-pants fanfare.

There's a vibe in the air like people are down to give Apple their credit cards for safe-keeping until June, when the first iPhones will slide off conveyor belts and into warm laps. That is, if WOM is anything to go by as the topic's received a whoppin' 1,684 mentions on Google news alone per Adfreak's last count. Obviously iPhone is already more popular than the Beatles, a sweet irony because it's really only a platform for the Beatles and because Apple recently exercised total ownage over the Beatles.

Apple also changed its official title from Apple Computers to Apple Inc, better suited to accommodate its menagerie of soon-to-be-successful non-computer products, including iPhone and the iTV which will marry the 'net to the tube. That's definitely a pairing we've seen attempted before but with Apple's blessing (and the fact that the original WebTV is now owned by MSN, adding the critical pwnage component) we're sure it will fly this time around.



'Time' Blogs, Bloggers Rally, Ecommerce Billions, Consumers Create

- Cynopsis reports, "The retransmission rights payments disagreement between MediaCom Communications and Sinclair Broadcast Group came to a head late Friday and into Saturday with MediaCom being forced to drop 22 Sinclair stations from its cable system in 12 states as of 12:01a January 6."

- Time Magazine is getting into the blog game with a site makeover, a news aggregator and topical blogs.

- Ecommerce hit the 4100 billion mark in 2006 and continues to charge ahead.

- Brands should know by now an angry mob of bloggers is something to steer clear of lest you want amplified what you intended to be hushed.

- Time says you are the Person of the year. Advertising Age says the consumer is the Agency of the Year. Jonah Bloom explains they really didn't copy Time.

- The free 411 services are catching on with advertisers. Aegon Insurance and Absolut are the latest brands to become advertisers on 1-800-FREE411.

- Heavy.com has closed on a second round of financing, $20 million from Polaris Venture Partners. The financing will be used to expand the network internationally.







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