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.
As an inside joke and in a nod to the United Arab Emerites' practice of censoring magazine content the government doesn't like, Wonderbra has turned the tables and censored its own ad but with a twist. Because the Wonderbra worn by the model in this ad apparently made her breasts so big, it took much more black marker than usual to cover her protruding breasts. In an insiderish manner, it illustrates the wonders a Wonderbra can provide while living within the boundaries of the country's censors.
Sorry. Just as we were trying to point out women aren't the only sex objectified in advertising, this ad slaps us in the face and we felt we'd be doing a disservice by not sharing it with you. OK, that's a stretch. We admit this is completely non-newsworthy and, besides, the women look like they are having a good time together in the ad rather than being objectified but still, as our editor keeps telling us, this is not Ad Age, it's Adrants. So, we oblige the master lest he force us to view an endless stream of barely dressed women for weeks on end...with our hands restrained.
The Sheraton Hotel is continuing its foray into the world of social media. Back in April, the hotel launched The Lobby, a blog ab out travel trends and featured destinations. Today, Sheraton has relaunched its corporate website to include travel stories submitted by anyone whether or not they stayed at a Sheraton hotel during theit travels. Called Our Global Neighborhood, asks people to indicate where they traveled to, where they stayed, to share a picture and to write a short summary of their experience. The summary then appears on a map so other travelers interested in checking out particular locations can read what travelers have experienced.
With this effort, Sheraton is specifically moving away from typical hotel sites which are transaction-based and towards a more complete travel experience. While there's no lack of places on the Internet people can go to check out other's travel experiences, placing these experiences on a major travel brand's site just makes it that much easier for people to find and participate with.
Does any right minded person actually think MySpace will continue to grow once it's littered with advertising, sponsorships and corporate pages born out of partnerships such as the recent deal between Seventeen and MySpace? Wasn't the genisis and the success of MySpace based on its homegrown qualities? Perhaps the guys don't mind the giant boobs on all those True models and maybe the girls will want to wallow in the importance of Seventeen's crucial editorial issues. Perhaps MySpace users will become immune to these new ad tactics like they've become immune to most other online marketing tactics and MySpace will continue to grow in size despite its commercialization. Perhaps it's all irrelevant. After all, AOL used to be where the cool kids hung out and that monstrosity is still around.