Cute Community Manager + Robust Social Site = Panasonic Playground

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Panasonic, with help from Crayon, has launched Living in HD. In a promotional video on Facebook, LiHD community manager Kate Dickman highlights the reasons for joining which include "meeting cool, new people [like her], uploading your pictures and videos and getting comments on them."

The site is also a place to ask questions about Panasonic products and learn about new ones. The big sell, though, is Kate's urging viewers to apply to become an LiHD Family which, much like the Nikon blogger outreach program, will give a bunch of Panasonic products to people to try out, share with others and offer feedback.

On Living in HD, there are hundreds of videos from both regular people and Panasonic describing various products, which ones might be best for you and how to get them installed. It's, as the tagline say, "your HD playground."

by Steve Hall    Mar- 2-09    
Topic: Consumer Created, Social, Video



Carlos Mandelbaum Gets Wasted

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In the continuing saga of Carlos Mandelbaum and his insightful take on the state of marketing today, his latest outing examines the fantasy life of corporate managers. Mandelbaum ponders the penchant of corporate managers to fantasize they are warriors or mystics or...students getting all philosophical and intellectual by enjoying mind-expanding lectures by really cool professors...like the dude that did those weird UPS whiteboard ads.

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by Steve Hall    Mar- 1-09    
Topic: Good, Opinion, Strange, Trends and Culture, Video



Fast Girls, Fast Cars, Fast Hype-Hijack.

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Didn't You Hear pointed us in the direction of "Fast girls, Fast cars, One wild ride" -- two sponsors' attempt to penetrate the hype wormhole opened by the Ken Block Gymkhana practice video (which is also sponsored, just less obviously).

Sports Illustrated poster girls Melissa Haro, Jessica Hart and Damaris Lewis ease into respective Nissan 370Zs and demonstrate the car's uber-fun-and-fastness by grabbing onto things, throwing their arms up and shrieking like they're on Medusa.

The 370Z is cool and all, but this whole setup feels terrifically desperate. Then again, we usually react poorly to anyone who prefaces a pitch with "They're in for the ride of their lives!"

For you intellectual sadists, there are laughs to be had in the YouTube comment stream.

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by Angela Natividad    Feb-27-09    
Topic: Celebrity, Online, Sponsorship, Video



You Mean People Actually Get Laid This Way?

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Witness with a growing sense of unease as a couple on its first date quotes lines from Romeo & Juliet.

$5 says they met on eHarmony.

"How Romeo Pulls Juliet," which vibes like a middling tribute to Baz Luhrmann's '96 oeuvre, was put together by Madeinmilan Wine. The company wanted to "tell a story about having fun with wine, indulging in intense pleasure" while incidentally promoting a suite of wines named after iconic characters, like Romeo. (There's also a bottle marked Brutus. Hrm.)

For requisite engagement purposes, check out the "wine pairing" section, where you (apparently...?) pair wine to other things, like "travel" or "chill out." (We have NO idea.)

Click on "sex" for an exciting shot of a mad couple crawling around on all fours. We're not sure why it's there, but it struck us as one of the few things worth mentioning at all.

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by Angela Natividad    Feb-27-09    
Topic: Bad, Brands, Campaigns, Online, Video



Hardee's Crowdsources Little Thickburger Campaign

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Remember those Little Thickburger commercials from last year? Riffing off that, Hardee's launched an ad generator app so fans could create their own Thickburger comparisons.

The company expected maybe one or two to shine, but it turns out about 16 spots turned out to be broadcast-quality. (Though when you think about it, it's a pretty tough formula to screw up: [Big thing. Little thing.] Extra points for wordplay.) See them here.

"And we didn't even offer them a million dollars. Or anything for that matter," Hardee's added, puffing its chest out for extra effect.

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Havas Does the Social Graph, Mullen Gets Diabetes, Winformercial Strides

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- Havas Digital has partnered with global social graph mapping company Media6Degrees to help the agency "integrate consumer insights with hyper-targeting and provide increased value for their advertisers." Damn, that was mouthful!

- Mullen has reeled in the American Diabetes Association account and has signed a three year contract with the organization.

- In the UK, they stick human beings inside vending machines to sell Kit Kats. Those witty Brits!

- Crispin Porter + Bogusky does the celebrity magazine thing for Old Navy.

- Not anywhere near as inspired as the Where the Hell is Matt Harding videos, this following "Winfomercial" attempts to...I don't know...turn a game show into a commercial?

- In case you needed even more proof America is the kingdom of the superficial, check out this Sarah Haskins Target Women video about skin care products.

by Steve Hall    Feb-26-09    
Topic: Agencies, Guerilla, Trends and Culture, Video



If They're Gonna Be Plotting Your Demise, Better to Eat Them While Sober

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Belin Crazy Rings/Tubes/Starfish are essentially drinking snacks. We'd call them beer nuts but the branding material reads "l'apero cingle" -- aperitif snacks. Classy.

Anyway, to best target its market of casual at-home cocktailers, the French company is broadcasting this ad from its website and in banners on sites like MySpace. Our best guess is that they thought, "Drunk people engage in slightly malevolent, poorly thought-out hijinks all the time, so what if our snacks did too?!", and went zealously from there.

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by Angela Natividad    Feb-25-09    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Commercials, Online, Strange, Television, Video



World Almanac Explains Why David Cook's on the Cover

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And it's exactly as boring as the title of the post suggests. The sad part is, this video is the most popular of World Almanac's two (and counting!) attempts to go viral.

We'd rather watch the Sonic Hearing infomercial 42 times. And on that same note, we'd rather peruse the infinitely-less-useful Guinness Book of World Records than pick up the World Almanac.

It's hardly the same value proposition, but both are relative time-wasters and have about the same chance of falling to the wayside. The difference is, pop culture is loaded with people and advertisers that are still going out of their way to get into Guinness.

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by Angela Natividad    Feb-24-09    
Topic: Bad, Brands, Campaigns, Online, Promotions, Video



The Carnival of Ideas: Thought Candy for Creative Conspiracy Theorists

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YouTube's given rise to more than its fare share of pro-bono talking heads, so it's not often we watch any one "thought leader" video in full. But "The Command Economy," an ad manifesto from Carlos Mandelbaum's Carnival of Ideas, gave us pause. (He's got these expressions that grab you! And we love that musical text-reader gimmick.)

Listen with audiovisual fixation as he explains how the '80s ruined everything (which we already knew), and how advertisers' bad-ass commanding attitude have something major in common with the Berlin Wall.

It's tasty bait, and we wanna find out where he's taking us.

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by Angela Natividad    Feb-23-09    
Topic: Online, Opinion, Trends and Culture, Video



This Video Has Been Viewed Every 4 Seconds Since It Went Live.

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It's called "Ken Block Gymkhana Practice." (But what is Gymkhana?, you ask.)

We didn't really get the big deal, but that was before we realized our fingers had burrowed into the glass tabletop. Then Ken Block did donuts around a guy on a Segway, and it was like, "Ohhh."

(It's racer porn. Plenty sexier than that one time you watched two Ford Fiestas tango in London. Even if you're not a speed junkie, the handling depicted in Gymkhana is fit to give you tingles.)

Mad Media put the video together in collaboration with Ken Block, DC Shoes and Subaru. Stats listed below.

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by Angela Natividad    Feb-23-09    
Topic: Brands, Events, Good, Online, Sponsorship, Video, Viral







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