Fun With Men's Underwear

Kmart and JOE BOXER

A nice Holiday themed Microsite where you can play with Men's underwear.

by Steve Hall    Dec-11-02    

Bathroom Advertising: Good or Bad?

This, from the ever vigilant crew over at BadAds. The do have some good point to make. What ever happened to reading the paper while in the bathroom. Now we have to watch videos?

Here I Sit Broken-Hearted...

Going to the bathroom is, if you're lucky, boring. You don't want any surprises when you pull down your pants. You just want to unload the goods and get back to the real world.

Some people don't see bathrooms that way. These people � let's call them "marketers" � view the bathroom as a source of potential fun and enlightenment for those who pass through the door. All that's been missing so far is the fun, and they're more than willing to provide that fun in the form of advertisements -- because we all know nothing is more exciting when you have your pants down than looking at ads.


by Steve Hall    Dec-11-02    

PETA Doesn't Like Happy Cows Ad

My father in law was a dairy farmer in upstate New York as were 5 generations before him. I have seen the dairy operation first hand. I can assure you that no cow on that farm is mistreated. What is the purpose of a cow anyway? What would PETA have us do? Stop milking and eating cows and keep them as household pets?

Sure, there are farmers who mistreat their cows. It doesn't mean all farmers are bad nor does it mean that you can't have a little fun with an ad campaign.

PETA: 'Happy Cows' Ad is a Lie

The two-year-old campaign features talking and singing cows discussing the pleasures of life in warm, sunny California. The slogan: "Great cheese comes from happy cows. Happy cows come from California." The state produces 1.6 billion pounds of cheese a year, second only to Wisconsin.

The suit, which is expected to be filed in California Superior Court, says California dairy cows live on muddy, feces- and urine-soaked lots devoid of any vegetation, not on grassy hillsides as depicted in the ads.

"Our goal with the lawsuit is to let people know that if they're consuming dairy products, they're promoting cruelty to animals," PETA's Bruce Friedrich says.

Yes, the reality of a cow's life is grim and dull. But cows are dumb, Cows like to stand around and do nothing. If they don't get milked, they get sick and die. They are not wild animals anymore that can take care of themselves on their own.

"For people who are concerned about cruelty to animals, they need to wipe dairy products off their shopping list, period," Friedrich says.

That sentiment is absolutely ridiculous. Most cows are well cared for.

But Reynolds maintains that cows' lives aren't horrible. Forty percent to 50% of California dairy cattle are raised in dairies built in the past two to three years, in which cows are well cared for so they can produce more milk, he says.

"A new dairy would be a happy place to be a cow. They have roofs to protect from summer heat and winter rain, comfortable stalls and clean bedding," Reynolds says.


by Steve Hall    Dec-11-02    

Design More Important Then Content Online

A study conducted by the Stanford Persuasive Technology Lab along with Consumer WebWatch, found that "look and feel" is more important then content. For example, nearly half of all consumers (or 46.1%) in the study assessed the credibility of sites based in part on the appeal of the overall visual design, including layout, typography, font size and color schemes.


People in this study used advertising on a site as a criterion for judging the site's credibility. In 13.8% of the comments, people talked about advertising, usually negatively. But at times, study participants talked about the judicious use of advertising in a positive way. Pop-up ads were widely disliked and seemed always to reduce perceptions of site credibility.

The study surmises:

Not surprisingly, advertisements are especially harmful to a site's credibility if they lead a user to believe that the site's content is swayed or controlled by the advertisement or that the site is connected to the advertisement, and is itself trying to sell the user something. The latter is a case of not providing a clear line between advertising and the site itself, which has been shown to harm credibility in previous studies (Fogg et al., 2001; Fogg et al., 2002; Princeton, 2002), and is intimately related to a site's connection with its sponsors. The comments make clear that some users are fully aware of potential sponsor influence. They expect a clear line between the content and advertisements so that sponsors do not compromise the site's information.

Something to be aware of as we explore online advertising methodologies that blur the line between advertising and editorial.

by Steve Hall    Dec-11-02    

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Media Grok is Back

'Grok' Guy Gets 2.0 Gig

Business 2.0 magazine yesterday announced the launch of a new weekly online column, "Media Notes," penned by Jimmy Guterman, former editor of The Industry Standard's "Media Grok" newsletter.

I can't wait!

by Steve Hall    Dec-11-02    

Playboy Goes After Maxim Readers

Playboy's Maxim: Think Young, Man

The Playboy bunny, somewhat long in the tooth of late, will begin next year to resemble the Energizer battery bunny as it makes a bid for millions of young men now reading Maxim, Stuff and other "laddie" magazines.

"These are young men who weren't buying magazines before," said Christie Hefner, chief executive of Playboy, "and as they grow up and out of Maxim we will be there."

Do guys ever really grow "up and out"? If you ask me, I hope I never stop growing "up and out"! (oh, that was so bad)

by Steve Hall    Dec-11-02    

'Sopranos' Finale Draws 12.5 Million Viewers

My favorite show kicks ass!

'Sopranos' Finale Draws 12.5 Million Viewers

HOLLYWOOD (Variety) - The 75-minute Sunday night fourth-season finale of "The Sopranos" on HBO drew 12.5 million viewers -- more than any other show in its time period on any outlet.

The episode was the second most watched program in HBO history, after the "Sopranos"' season premiere, which 13.4 million viewers watched. HBO also boasted a victory among adults 18-49, 7.5 million of whom tuned in.


by Steve Hall    Dec-11-02    

Advergaming a Hot Topic for Online Advertisers

Advergames Popular with Blue Chips, Branding Capabilities Disputed

Advergaming options range from developing customized, branded game experiences featuring product-focused content to running ads during or in-between game playing sessions to less costly, more generic games that can be sponsored by any advertiser. These may be engaging to a wide array of online users who have been known to spend hours immersing themselves in sponsored game worlds, but the question is �what�s the value to the brand?� At this point, assesses Jupiter Research analyst, Jay Horwitz, �It�s very difficult to measure impact.�

Advertisers are seeing a tangible return on investment in the form of data captured through online game registrations, though. Information such as email addresses, age, sex, income level and locale can all be gathered in exchange for a free round of roulette or extreme snowboarding (usually accompanied by a chance to win prizes).


Lynne Viera, creative director at marketing agency, BaseSix, finds that advertisers she�s worked with, including HBO, have �a lot of interest in any opportunity to go outside the box and capture data.� Besides the fact that users get free game time and out of it, the opportunity to get friends involved through viral components of advergames is also a plus for consumers. �When asking people for information, you have to be careful you�re giving something in return,� cautions Viera.

Whether or not this approach will work and how it's success will be measured are yet to become mainstream. However, it is refreshing that marketers are challenging themselves to discover new online marketing territory.

by Steve Hall    Dec-11-02    

AOL Will Not Spin Off of Time-Warner

Parsons: AOL Won't Be Spun Off

A week after AOL Time Warner told analysts that its Internet unit would have a tough 2003, Chairman/CEO Richard D. Parsons said AOL is poised to grow in 2004 and won�t be spun off.


by Steve Hall    Dec-11-02