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.
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.
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.
Sometimes you need to go vintage to remember how far we have (or haven't) come. Before cowboys, Marlboro marketed with that other lovable doe-eyed mom-melter: kids. The text just kills us.
We only wish we could have invited our moms to light up pre-punishment without getting thrown into next year. See the complete ad here. - Contributed by Angela Natividad
Oh the horror! AdPunch points to recent news Zara Phillips, the granddaughter of Queen Elizabeth II, has appeared in a Land Rover ad wearing a white gown covered in mud with the headline, "Beautifully Poised." Nice ad but it's apparently against royal protocol. Her appearance is part of sponsorship deal with Land Rover which sponsored her during her recent competition in the World Equestrian Games where she won a gold.
While the Queen might be angry, many other are just fine with her land Rover appearance. Labour Glascow East MP Ian Davison said, "Miss Phillips is to be commended for making her own way in the world. If she is cashing in on her success as a sporting star as other people do, then she is making something of herself."
Is this the end of royalty as we know it? Or is this just the natural way of things? Those in the U.K., please enlighten us.
Writing on his Micro Persuasion blog, Steve Rubel concisely explains why the online metric mainstay, the page view, is becoming useless and predicts its death in 2010. Citing the rise of navigate-within-page technologies such as Ajax, Flash and widgets which negate the need to leave a particular URL to experience new content, Rubel says the media community will need to face the music very soon and stop the chest beating about the importance of page views. While there doesn't seem to be a replacement metric on the horizon, aside from already existing Time Spent and Unique Visitors, the industry may need to come up with one very soon lest the usefulness of online metrics become as useless as traffic count for billboards.
Formed in early October by NightAgency, the adverband RockDotRock is now out with their new video that promotes Norton Confidential for the agency's clint Symantec. We're no music expert so we're going to leave this wide open for you readers to comment on. Is this good? Is it bad? Are Adverbands the wave of the futer? Is is marketing gone crazy? Do tell.
CMM News points to a Sydney Morning Herald article which calls to our attention the odd proliferation of videos on YouTube that show women smoking. Now that wouldn't be so weird except for the fact that in many of the videos, that's all they're doing: glamming on the cam while puffing away seductively. Sydney University School of Public Health Professor Simon Chapman viewed many of the 27,000 smoking-related videos on YouTube and while he acknowledges the videos could simply be an innocent social phenomenon, Chapman also wonders whether it's a clandestine effort by tobacco companies to promote smoking's cool quotient.
While tobacco advertising in America has been severely limited, it's been completely outlawed in Australia since 1992. Whether or not any tobacco company is behind this is likely to remain a mystery. A Philip Morris rep neither confirmed or denied involvement in with the video and said the company adheres to local laws and Internet advertising to minors should be banned. YouTube declined to comment for the story. While we find it hard to believe tobacco companies have any involvement in this and there's plenty of not-so-glamorous smoking videos to back up that belief, stranger things have certainly happened regarding this industry's marketing efforts.
AIGA launched the Polling Place Photo Project, which seeks to further citizen democracy by encouraging people to snap photos of voters in action.
We're not really sure what this will show us unless somebody can snap a picture of maybe some machines miscounting votes or some naked cheerleaders voting in the snow. But they did land some interesting and occasionally heartfelt candids of people that some politician will probably use in a humanizing re-election campaign in the near future. Cheers. - Contributed by Angela Natividad
With some hyper-prevalent advertising, that is. Eric Schmidt, CEO, tells Reuters that even if mobile phones aren't entirely free in the near future, costs will definitely go down.
Which is something we're definitely not opposed to. We're quite used to living side by side with advertising in all other aspects of our lives. And hey, if they want to make money, the ads have to at least be helpful, yeah? Maybe one day we'll be able to order directly from our "Call" buttons and have the costs added to our wireless bills. - Contributed by Angela Natividad