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.
You know, it's always a bit disconcerting to arrived at the house of your daughter's friend and find her proverbial "playdate" glued to the television watching some trash talk show of some movie clearly made for adults so this stat does not surprise. What does surprise is parent's lack of control and judgment over what their children watch on television and how long they are allowed to watch. One "playdate" who spends time in this house can't even sit still in front of the television (on the two weekend nights it's allowed here) because his brain has been so ADD'd by constant television watching at his house since birth he doesn't know how to follow a plot.
Taking advantage of this generation's mad text messaging, LocaModa has launched technology that takes all that social blather and slaps it up on a screen for all to see. Of course, LocaMode describes it more verbosely calling it the world's first in-location blogging platform for what it calls "The Web Outside" which enables in-location messaging, social networking and blogging along with entertainment applications for use in out of home networks cafes, bars, clubs and other public places. This technology, StreetMessenger, coupled with something called Wifiti (cute) which LocaModa lovingly refers to as "wireless graffiti," takes all this communal socialization and displays in on a large flat panel display at the location and also onto the web for others to vicariously experience whatever's going on at the location.
We turn the page, you add an insert. We ban billboards from our state, you fly banners over our beaches. We hang up on your telemarketing, you call back with answer machine message leaving auto-bots. We install an email spam filter, you send spam to weblog comments and trackbacks. We stop reading comment-spammed blogs, you launch spam blogs whose sole purpose is to peddle your crap. We block your pop ups, you fuck with technology to serve them anyway. We stop watching TV to spend more time with online gaming, you plaster our games with advertising. We skip our ads with our DVR, you plaster commercial graphics all over the screen during programming. We become immune to advertising, you launch a hoard of buzz marketers on our ass.
Celebrity Vision is using eBay to auction off space on its illuminated billboard located on the Northwest Corner of Canal Street & Hudson in lower Manhattan adjacent to the Holland Tunnel entrance. Bidding will start at $25,000 for 700 seconds per hour for six months. For that time period, the rate card rate is $263,000. Who needs a sales force when you have eBay.
Anheuser-Busch will use its Super Bowl commercial time to launch a direct-to-consumer network called "The Bud Screen." The network will offer all manner of programming, branded content and advertising delivered to the desktop or an iPod. The brewer intends the network to be long-lived and to eventually be named "Bud TV." We've said it before and we'll say it again, the middleman - the networks - just aren't needed any longer. When a brand or program producer can deliver content directly to the consumer, there's no need for the current TV network set up. Oh sure, big changes are years away but it's happening and it will continue to happen faster and faster as more brands and content producers realize they can have their own channel of distribution.
With baby boomers not really babies any longer and quickly becoming a predominant and "old" audience for marketers to reckon with, both agencies and marketers are wrestling with the notion that it ain't all about the 18-34 year old any more and have begun spouting misleading terms such as "over 35" when they really mean "over 50." But, "over 50" is so uncool and just doesn't gracefully roll off the tongue of the typical 20-something, 30-something agency/marketer type.
Companies have tried to re-brand their older-focused companies towards younger audiences and have alienated existing, older customers. Companies have re-branded upward but have focused to a 35 year old when their audience is really 55. And some say the whole age-focused thing is just the wrong way to target and it should be more about psycho graphics. There's a lively discussion in the Adrants discussion group right now. Are we marketers handling the age thing the right way or the wrong way?
The NFL has announced it will place all Super Bowl ads airing this weekend on its video on demand NFL Network, on NFL.com and on Sprint phones. Budweiser will optimize its five minutes worth of ads for the iPod and make them downloadable from Budweiser.com. GoDaddy, of course, has been pushing its ads online for years. Pepsi will have BrownandBubbly.com. Burger King will have the Whopperettes. Who needs an actual television anymore?