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Dan Jaffe over at the ANA's Regulatory Rumblings blog makes a concise argument, as we have before but with far fewer facts, that lays blame for obesity not on the action of marketers and advertisers b ut squarely on the shoulders of lazy-ass kids, their parents that let them sit on their ass all day long playing video games and schools which have drastically cut back on physical education.
Everyone who works in marketing and any business touching it must read this article. On CBSNews.com, Dick Meyer wrote an editorial hammering home points we've touched on here before such as the portrayal of men as idiots in advertising, the hyper-political correctness foisted upon the industry and society at large and the acceptance, what scholar Charles Murray relates to "ecumenical niceness," of kids dressing and behaving like thugs fueled by marketers and the entertainment industry elevating "thug culture" to culture at large. If that's a lot to digest, just read the article and think long and hard about what cultural imagery you mirror in your marketing. Don't cop out using the tired, "Oh we're just identifying with culture," and turn a blind eye to what you are perpetuating.
Fully embracing the notion and value of consumer generated content, MasterCard, during the Oscars, will air two commercial which say basically nothing. The ads, Sailboat and Typewriter, will follow the customary format of listing prices for various items and closing with the final item labeled "priceless." However, the item lines in these ads will be left blank. The ads will close encouraging people to go to priceless.com, click on "Write a Priceless Ad Contest" and complete the commercial by filling in the blanks using their own words.
Screw Andrew Fisher and CI Host. Homer Simpson's taking all the fame now. In a recent episode of The Simpsons in which Homer, faced with losing his cherished blue trousers because the factory that makes them is going out of business, applies "Buy Blue Pants" to his head to create demand. In the episode when asked by Marge to define headvertising, Homer replies, "Headvetising, it provides brand awareness without relying on traditional media." During the episode Homer also applies brand logos to his chest and arms. Thanks to the ever vigilant Bucky Turco for spotting this one.
Capturing a bit of last week's Future Marketing Summit in New York, coBRANDit's Owen Mack conducted a few video interviews with the likes of PSFK's Piers Fawkes, CP + B's Alex Bogusky, Barbarian Group's Benjamin Palmer, Amalgamated's Charles Rosen and Naked's Paul Woolmington. Each comment of where the future of marketing and advertising is headed.
Culture Critic Bucky Turco points us to an article on Sucka Pants in which the author decries a Brooklyn store's use of "bike culture" in its store front windows and discusses the vandalism the store received by doing so. Call us jaded by years in the "we'll co-op anything for a buck" advertising industry but one does have to wonder why "bike culture" fanatics feel their culture is the only one that shouldn't get a commercial nod. The only reason a store, or any other retailer or brand for that matter, mimics a particular culture or trend is to make their offering relevant to the public. If no brand did that, every brand would still be stuck in the fifties imitating American Graffiti culture. No one wants their sacred culture commercialized but in a capitalist society, there's little chance a culture with any cred won't sooner or later be bitten by a brand desperate for commercial success. Oh, and by the way, roads were built for cars.
To support the launch of the Motorola RAZR V3x, the company has launched What is Razr Speed, a game site that demonstrates how the new phone...well, allows you to "capture a moment of complete clarity." In the game, the player must capture the flying Motorola logo first at a fast speed, then at a slower Razr Speed. The game was created by Howorth Communications' Digital Lifestyle Group.
Accompanying the launch of a the phone is a new report, called Generation HERE, commissioned by Motorola Mobile Devices which explores the impact of 3G (Third Generation) mobile phones technology on society around the globe. From romance to community to flirting to information gathering to basic safety, the report examines how embedded the mobile phone has become in people's lives.
Steve Rubel points to a brand's worst nightmare, Buzz-O-Phone, a service that collects opinions "about a product, service, brand or company? You know, something you either really, really love or really, really hate?" Basically, it's a centalized bitching center that converts the bitching into a podcast for the world to subscribe to making it even more difficult for brands to anachronistically attempt to control their message.
The service was created by Matt Galloway as a means to explore word of mouth. While some brands may initially suffer from pinheads who have nothing better to do in life than complain, it won't be long before brands in the know begin to game the system seeding it with oh-so-glowing commentary on their brand ot product.
Writing on Adotas, Pesach Lattin describes how he spent some time on MySpace and within minutes was able to find sexually related forum discussions between grownups and teenagers. Lattin writes, "MySpace is a buffet for any pervert looking for easy targets" and outlines how easily it is for anyone to access and partake in explicit activity on the site. Doing some digging Lattin found a group called Lesbian Passion in which 14 year old members were listed right next to 55 year olds and some discussion centered on which members have had sex with each other. He found other forums where adults and children were talking about having sex with each other in supposedly private but easily accessible forums. Lattin also found a public forum called "Bears" in which members were discussing having sex with young boys accompanied by photos, some of which were nude.
In some sort of odd cultural twist, ugly white babies appear to be omnipresent in ads in the mostly black city of Goma, Congo in Africa. What message this sends, if any, we have no idea. We just thought we'd pass it along for you to discuss. Bigger image here.