Yes, it's happening as we said it would from the start. MySpace users are complaining about the proliferation of corporate profiles created by marketers eager to tap into the 100 million people on MySpace. Of corporate profiles on MySpace, one person tells MediaPost, "Frankly, I think that's going too far." Frankly, we agree. While for a marketer, it's impossible to ignore the allure of 100 million people, the proliferation of advertising on MySpace is akin to Coke placing it's logo behind the cross in churches across the country. The two just don't go together.
Mike Yuhas over at AdFreak has a great You've been in advertising to long list if... list that recalls some really old ad markers like the DoubleMint Twins seeing you through puberty or actually saying you knew Leo Burnett versus saying you know Alex Bogusky when you're trying to pick someone up at an ad conference. The most depressing indicator: agency interns calling you Sir or Ma'am.
While some may laugh this off and the whinings of an anally obsessed freak, Thomas Sherman, acknowledging how Norelco recently addressed topic of male body hair grooming head on in a recent ad campaign, thinks this is endemic of many consumer needs that aren't served by marketers because, well, they're too icky to think about. Just as Howard Stern has ranted for years, Sherman thinks it should be normal for a person to want to have a cleaner rear end and that a line of products, namely baby wipe-style tissues, should be available to serve that need. Sounds reasonable enough. While that type of product is already available in Europe, it hasn't hit the squeamish shores of America. So, if there's an enterprising marketer out there, you have at least one potential customer so far.
One Adrants reader - and Apple employee - sent us this link to the Czech Apple Store and wonders why the American Apple store can't be as racy and alluring. Well, we have the answer. It's this thing called political correctness. Heaven forbid the American Association of Woman Against Bikinis Blatantly Plastered on Websites As Eye Candy group sees this and gives Apple a call.
In her recently released book, Danika:Crossing the Line, IRL racer Danika Patrick offers up this truism about her work in advertising, writing, "Here's the upshot. Sponsors such as Honda, Peak Antifreeze, and Secret deodorant have stepped up and are using a sexy woman racecar driver as a unique marketing tool. Let's face it, guys don't sell antifreeze quite the same way I do."
Danika approaches the whole notion of sex symbol with a refreshing nonchalance, saying, " Why not use whatever assets I have? I'm confident in myself as a driver. It's obvious I'm a girl, so why not use it as a tool?" Her statement does, though, open up the age old debate about whether one should use their sexual assets to get ahead in life. But is being a hot looking girl or guy really any different than being the best major league pitcher or the most famous Hollywood actor in terms of using those qualities to further one's life? All of us have various assets in our arsenal and we all use them to achieve our goals in life. Why should the asset of physical beauty be looked upon with less favor as if being beautiful automatically makes one dumb, desperate and lacking in higher intelligence?
- Dallas agency Dieste Harmel & Partners explores the "Latin-ization" of pop culture and the ways of Hispanic teens in this week's edition of its podcast.
- Butler, Shine, Stern & Partners has mailed a black box to every MINI owner which contains a book called " A Dizzying Look At The Awesomeness of Small" and some included gadgets that will interact with ads breaking this month in Maxim and Blender. Check it all out here.
- This sounds really dumb but there's a restaurant that says it's ad-supported. i.e. the food is free.
- Campbell-Ewald has created an introductory site for the new Chevrolet Silverado pickup..
Susan Bratton kicked of the 2006 Chicago ad:tech conference by introducing the new ad:tech chair, Drew Ianni, who will take over for Susan who will remain with ad:tech as Chair Emeritus. Keynote speaker Kay Ferguson, Co-CEO of Burrell Communications Group, a multicultural agency recently honored by Ad Age as the Multicultural Agency of the Year.
Ferguson's major point during her keynote was to inform the audience multicultural audiences are on of the Internet's fastest growing segment. Ferguson cited 77 percent of African Americans have Internet access at home, 64 percent have broadband and the segment spends 5 hours online each day, all figures higher than the general population.
Leave it to the politically correct, sexually squeamish mind of an American to become so offended by those red-lipped, mouth-shaped urinals in a Netherlands McDonald's, the person's complaints caused the owner to remove them. Yes, we Americans are, for the most part, an oversensitive bunch so caught up in our fervent desire not to do anything that might remotely cause bad vibes for a person or a particular group of people, we read negativity into almost everything. The designer of the toilets, Meike van Schijndel, said the toilets were designed to be cartoonish and not represent a woman's mouth. Of course, way back in 2004 when they first appeared at New York's JFK airport, we didn't know how to react either.
After Mentos caught wind of all this video that displayed explosive geysers when Mentos and Diet Coke are combined, Mentos said, "Cool. This is great." Coke, apparently suffering from some sort of refusal to believe the way advertising message are conveyed have changed dramatically said, "It's an entertaining phenomenon. We would hope people want to drink more than try experiments with it." Right. Anyway, Mentos is leveraging (oh, I hate that word) the trendlet and will launch the Mentos Geyser Video Contest in mid-July. As B.L. Ochman reports, the contest will encourage people to send in their best videos of the mixture and, presumably, win prizes for their efforts. Coke, on the other hand, will likely sit this one out but, at the same time, thanks Mentos for encouraging people to buy Diet Coke. Yup, it's a win-win.
Apparently, there are many people who feel the new Sony campaign promoting its new white PSP is racist because it features a white woman in a position of power over a black woman. Bells and whistles are going off over at Joystiq but there's also another image that's part of the campaign that shows the black woman getting her vengeance over the white woman. Can we all just relax? Sony and TBWA, of course, intended the ad to be controversial otherwise it'd sit there like all the other boring ads wasting our time every day. Racist or not, it's got us talking and that's half the battle any campaign faces.