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.



Advertising Age Names You Agency of the Year

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Steve's Take: Surprise. Well, not really. You, yes you are the Agency of the Year! Mirroring Time's footsteps they promise they thought of it before Time published), Advertising Age has named the consumer the Ad Agency of the Year. Cool but we're sorta feeling sad for all those hard working agencies and any number of social media companies that made this possible in the first place. Of course, that's a pointless chicken and egg analogy but the notion of consumer control in the marketing space is, for sure, a powerful one.

We could list all the fun stuff that led up to this (Mentos, LonelyGirl15, etc.) but we're sure you've heard it all before. Agencies, we feel your pain at getting ripped off this year but take solace in consumer's love for marketing. Or something like that. But also note the slap upside the head you just got and realize you can't keep doing the same old thing lest their won't be any agencies left in the future to consider for this top spot. (Doesn't Jonah look imposingly hip in that pic? :-) )

by Steve Hall    Jan- 8-07    
Topic: Agencies, Consumer Created, Trends and Culture



E-Governor Bush Includes Blackberry in Official Portrait

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The alleged first e-governor, Jeb Bush, had his beloved Blackberry included in a portrait that'll go down in Florida governor history.

If you're curious about the whole e-gov moniker it's because he often responds to his thousands of e-mails, which is pretty rare for our high-profile political chums.

We don't think anybody should be called an e-anything until they've started a blog of some sort but we're sure Jebbie probably has some officially sanctioned one somewhere.

Thanks Boing Boing for tipping us off on the Blackberry thing.

by Angela Natividad    Jan- 4-07    
Topic: Outdoor, Trends and Culture



Packaging Girlhood Highlights Best, Worst Girl-Oriented Campaigns of '06

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Packaging Girlhood lists the best and worst 2006 marketing campaigns aimed at girls and their sometimes less-than-savvy guardians.

Worst includes the Dora the Princess campaign for turning an educational show into a stock purveyor of pretty-in-pink stereotypes. The Bratz Party Plane with juice bar also made the cut.

We always thought Bratz' eclipse over Barbie apt. Barbie was inspired by a German doll named Lilli, actually meant for adult males. That our 21st-century improvement over the Nordic sex kitten was a multi-ethnic series of skanks with DSL lips just kills us.

The list for Best include the Dove Campaign for Real Beauty whose crowning glory was the oft-spoofed Evolution ad of '06, and the transformation of Super Mario's Princess Peach into an entity capable of making her own rescues.

So cheers to real girls who say no lip gloss and aren't afraid to stomp in puddles.



Online Display Advertising Said to Experience Search-Like Growth

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Just as search engine marketing was undervalued earlier this decade but turned out to dramatically exceed all growth estimates, Right Media CEO Mike Walrath, in a post on his company's blog, contends the industry just might be in the same place with online display advertising. While acknowledging the existence of unsold display inventory, Walrath argues a confluence of events - traditional media moving online, improved metrics and open ad platforms - may fuel display as search was fueled earlier by its own confluence of events. To be clear, Walrath's Right Media plays in the area of open ad platforms making his argument appear to be self-serving but his arguments are sound and worth considering.

by Steve Hall    Jan- 4-07    
Topic: Online, Opinion, Trends and Culture



France Lifts 30-Year Supermarket TV Ad Ban

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Ad Freak contends France made serious media history yesterday when at the stroke of midnight they officially lifted a ban preventing gaudy supermarket ads from chafing the eyes of its chic denizens. The moment was consummated when, moments after the ball drop into '07, an ad for cheap Systeme U washing powder debuted on the TF1 and M6 channels.

Opinions range from optimism as France makes a friendly leap toward the 21st century, and outraged notions of culture bastardization and handicaps for small businesses.

Cheery allies for the lift include Serge Papin, chairman of Systeme U. "This is a great opportunity," he said. "We have everything to gain from it." Well, obviously.

The release of the ban comes shortly after publicized concerns over the rampant commercialization of the Champs-Elysees, a wonderstreet rapidly devolving into strip mall fare. Looks like the charmed sophisticate haven is losing ground to, dare we say it? McDonaldization? Or is that a battle that's already been lost? Sometimes we fall behind.



First Flavor Makes Marketing a Matter of Taste

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Inspired by the enduring Willy Wonka, First Flavor builds on film strip technology to create little taste samplers for food and beverage products for use in media kits, promos and soda machines.

The description of apple cinnamon oatmeal strips didn't bring the Wonka wallpaper scene to mind, which is what founder Adnan (himself somewhat Wonka-esque, though we can't quite say how or why) credits as his inspiration. Instead we recalled the three-course-meal gum, where Violet describes the flavors in vivid detail and then expands into a blueberry.

We don't think First Flavor does that but it's still pretty neat. The newscaster in the ABC video got to try some and not only was she impressed; she couldn't stop talking about the dieting possibilities of a zero-calorie taste explosion.

by Angela Natividad    Dec-21-06    
Topic: Good, Specialty, Television, Trends and Culture



Online Advertising Causes 'Mouse Rage Syndrome'

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Yes, there is an actual medical ailment called "mouse rage syndrome," The term was coined by the Social Issues Research Centre in the United Kingdom which recently conducted a study of 2,500 web users who were found to exhibit negative cardiac function, profuse sweating, altered immune and nervous system function and, yes, "mouse rage" defined as furious clicking and bashing of the mouse.

Guess what causes the syndrome? Fat Flash sites, poorly designed sites, bad navigation, pop ups, banner ads, unnecessary graphics and just about everything else our industry foists upon the helpless public who only want quick access to the relevant information they need and have no need for "site loading..." bullshit or sites that look great in a presentation but perform like a turtle crossing the road when launched. Wake up and smell the consumer, people. We want them to be our frinds. Not our enemies. Make nice.

by Steve Hall    Dec-21-06    
Topic: Online, Research, Trends and Culture








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