Social Networking Sites New Celebrity Training Ground

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Oh, it's been what, a few days since we lobbed a piece of pointless editorial fluffery at you simply to put an image of a hot girl on the site? We don't want to break our track record so we'll give you this little piece about how nobodies rise from the muck of MySpace to celebrity status. Yes, MySpace member Tila (Nguyen) Tequila, who says she has the world's most popular MySpace page has graduated to the April cover of StuffMySpace Makes magazine. This at the same time Ad Age's Simon Dumenco says obsession with celebrity is dying and Gawker has asked readers to stop sending in C and D list celebs for its Gawker Stalker feature. As long as your hot and you have a camera on you, you are a celebrity.

by Steve Hall    Mar-21-06    
Topic: Celebrity, Online, Trends and Culture



Adidas Opens Pop Up Store in Chinatown

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Following the pop up store trend, Adidas has launched one hidden away in New York City's Chinatown. The premise behind many of these stores is to appear to be special finds that can be spread by word on mouth rather than stores that are promoted with traditional advertising. It's one natural trend as many people become immune to typical hammer to the head advertising tactics.

by Steve Hall    Mar-20-06    
Topic: Good, Guerilla, Trends and Culture



'Balls' Culturally Misrepresented in VW 'Turbo-Cojones' Billboard

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It seems some Hispanics don't like the American version of "having big balls" let alone being told the VW GTI has Turbo-Cojones. Apparently, to "have balls" doesn't really mean one is a badass Mofo to a Hispanic since the word "cojones" refers literally those bulbous round objects inside that hairy, baggy sack of flesh that hangs between a man's legs. Not exactly an image that conjures a bold risk taker. And so it goes. Another billboard comes down because of cultural misunderstanding. The board, in New York, LA and Miami will be replaced by the less "culturally offensive" Spanglifications "Here today, gone tamale" and "Kick a little gracias." How un-ballsy. Image from El Blog De Popo.

by Steve Hall    Mar-19-06    
Topic: Outdoor, Trends and Culture



Xtra-Pine Cures Women's Sexual Fantasies

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You'd have to agree the whole sex-in-advertising thing leans heavily in favor of men with most sex-based ads containing hot, untouchable women conjured from the fantasies of male art directors. It's very rare, in fact, to find an ad that turns the drool-inducing strategy on its head and caters to women. Perhaps it's because the industry adheres to the stereotype that only men are the horny ones, easily swayed by the lure of sex. Maybe it's because women are superior to men and don't let their lives revolve around the need for sex. Or maybe it's some weird Darwinian thing where, due to the forces of human procreation, men just have to have it more than woman.

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by Steve Hall    Mar-17-06    
Topic: Commercials, Good, Online, Trends and Culture



Jaws Trailer Converted to 'Must Love Jaws'

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In a perfect example of how a movie trailer can completely twist the subject of the actual movies, this trailer for the classic, Jaws, created by Ari Eisner and Mike Dow, turns the horro show into a love story called Must Love Jaws. Must Love YouTube for proliferating this stuff.

by Steve Hall    Mar-16-06    
Topic: Consumer Created, Spoofs, Trends and Culture



Adidas Yellow Series Not So Nice to Asians.

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Our Asian cultural expert Tian tells us Adidas should expect a bit of backlash from the Asian community in reaction to a newly introduced line of sneakers called the Yellow Series. One particular shoe has the image of a buck-toothed bowlcut slanty eyed face on the shoe's tongue - not exactly the currently acceptable rendition of the Asian populace.

by Steve Hall    Mar-13-06    
Topic: Bad, Brands, Trends and Culture



Nude French Magazine Cover Catches Eye of Visiting New Yorker

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Bucky Turco tells us New Yorker Heron Preston Johnson, attending Parsons School of Design in Paris is suffering from culture shock. Coming from America where all our thoughts of nudity and sex are bottled up, capped and stored on a shelf, Johnson was a bit overwhelmed by the openess the French and many other European nations have about sex and sexual imagery. Apparently, while walking down the street, he was a bit shocked by this ad poster for a French fashion magazine. Se the full image here.

by Steve Hall    Mar- 9-06    
Topic: Magazine, Outdoor, Trends and Culture



Obesity Is Not Marketers' Fault

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.

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by Steve Hall    Mar- 6-06    
Topic: Opinion, Research, Trends and Culture



Wake Up And Smell Your Marketing

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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.

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by Steve Hall    Mar- 3-06    
Topic: Opinion, Trends and Culture



MasterCard Asks People to Write Its Priceless Ads

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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.

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