Fifteen year agency vet John Palumbo is approaching the creation of his new ad agency, BigHeads, very differently than most. Rather than staffing the agency with jaded agency types, many of whom can't get out of their own way, Palumbo, he firmly believes there are no longer any rules governing advertising, has hired a cadre of "big heads" including a New York City bike messenger, a reality TV producer, the date doctor the movie Hitch was based on and twin dancers from Crazy Horse in Las Vegas. If some new ideas can't come out of that mash up of personality types, the whol business might as well roll up its ego-infested carpet and give up. He's doing something right because Braun, Ramada Worldwide and Remy USA have slipped some business his way.
Now that Visa is in on the whole graffiti thing, graffiti artists might as well throw aways their Krylon, call it a day and move on to some new, yet to be tinged by marketers form of expression. Visa, with help from artist Trish Grantham is taking its "Life Takes Visa" to Greenwich Village in the form of of a giant wall mural with the tagline, "Life Takes Expression." Below the mural, Visa will display other artwork in the form of sculpture, furniture, fashion and more graffiti from artists Christopher Natrop, Jeff Soto, Andy Diaz Hope, Anne Faith Nicholls, AXIS, Erik Pawassar, Parvez Taj, Ron Reihel, Christopher Cuseo, Eric Joyner, Elizabeth Paige Smith, Charlotte Ronson, Dario Antonioni and Hayley Starr.
New York artist Jordan Seller has created a PublicAdCampaign gallery consisting of outdoor advertising frames he "removed" from various areas in the city to create a statement against the proliferation of outdoor advertising and to "reclaim public advertising space form commercial forces." In a statement, Seiler said, "New York City's public environment is a carnival of commercial influences and private concerns. Each step brings new desires and unwanted needs. By replacing public advertising with artwork, PublicAdCampaign temporarily alleviates a fraction of this burden while attempting to cultivate more personal interactions between public individuals." He's got a point. See his work here.
Our spies tell us StrawberryFrog has created an online campaign for MSN and Sprite called Exposure. It's a site the agency created to highlight work from three different groups of kids: graf artists, a basketball team and a band. Each person is making a video (or it's being made for them) about who they are, what they do, what they stand for, how they think. The video are then edited and placed on the site. We're told new content will be added to the site over the next six weeks. It's sort of a cross between reality TV, documentary-style video and a blog of sorts. Each person has an MSN Spaces blog as well.
Let's see. A magazine gives you a few pictures and words 12 times a year. The Internet offers billions of pictures of women in various stages of undress and enough online games to play until one is 152. Marketers screw up a lot of things but they're pretty good at following the eyeballs. Mediaweek Monitor says ad pages in men's magazines have dropped four percent through June. Conde Nast admits they had a terrible first quarter for Details.
For those interested in examining trends and marketing buzz, Trendio.com has launched as a stock market for buzz-words: words that appear in the news are quoted in real time based on their presence in 3000 news sources. The goal is to provide a picture of what the media are talking about, which topics are in and which are out. There's also a game that allows users to manage a portfolio of words as if they were stocks. Users can buy and sell words and try to gain virtual dollars based on their feeling on which topics will get the most coverage, and rise the most in the coming hours, days or weeks. If trends and buzz words are you thing, then, I guess, so is Trendio.
As a prelude to the first ad:tech keynote given by Sequoia Capital Partner Mark Kvamme, ad:tech chair Susan Bratton welcomed a packed room of attendess to ad:tech San Francisco 2006 and told the audience there would be 9,000 attendees to this years show, breaking all former ad:tech attendence records. In addition, she mentioned there would be 300 exhibitors, 200 speakers and 55 sessions, more than any prior conference. Noting the conference's tenth tyear anniversary, Bratton, calling the show the "biggest, deepest and widest" to date, told the audience ad:tech would be expanding its conference series to Sydney, Hamburg and Paris this year and, in 2007, to Mumbai, Dubai among others.
Following her introduction, Bratton introduced Kvamme who quickly followed the ten year theme Bratton had begun by telling the audience the next ten years will see growth in the Internet space that will make the first ten years seem trivial. Noting all media expcept the Internet is declining in use, Kvamme pointed out the disparity between adspend and consumption comparing television to the Internet. Thirty two percent of people are reached by TV and 38 percent of ad dollars are allocated to TV. In contrast, the Internet reached 32 percent of people but only receives five percent of ad dollars. With TV CPMs hovering around $64 and $10 to $30 for the Internet, Kvamme sees huge growth potential for Internet advertising.
Animal Magazine, the yardstick by which all New York culture is measured, has re-launched its website blog-style. Already, Animal's got high-jacked Facebook pictures of Moby hanging with a bunch of college hotties, a nod to Chelsea's apparent fixation with the male appendage and one of New York's finest mouthing off as only the finest can.
This isn't really new but it's worth noting The Weinstein Company, formed last October by Miramax founders Bob and Harvey Weinstein, has embraced the whole social media/online video thing and is promoting its movies on YouTube. Deep Focus handles the account. Up now are two trailers for Lucky Number Slevin, a trailer for Clerks II and, just added, a clip that includes the first eight minutes of Lucky Number Slevin. There's no need to rely on a studio website or movie trailers in physical theaters when you can get your trailer hundreds of thousand of additional people as in the case of Clerks II which has, to date, been viewed 217,505 times. Of course just one showing of one trailer on one day across, say, 2000 theaters with 150 theater-goers gets 300,000 views but hey, they're getting 217,505 more views then they might have had they not posted the trailer on YouTube.
Eschewing the usual approach to marketing games and, perhaps heeding recent research boomers are the new black, Nintendo has introduced and is marketing a game called Brain Age and is positioning it as a means to exercise the mind and keep one sharp. Writing in MarketingProfs, Karl Long says, "Nintendo is essentially turning market perception on its head, positioning the video game as positive 'mental exercise,' as opposed to the common perception of it being a pointless, mind-numbing activity."