New York Magazine to Get Snarky With Elizabeth Spiers

According to Elizabeth Spiers herself, she is officially joining New York Magazine. Along with writing general topic pieces for the magazine she will write for the Intelligencer column. Or, as she puts it, "edit this and make it funny."

Interestingly, the magazine wants to start a weblog. Until recently, Elizabeth was the editor of the gossipy snark-log called Gawker which, following its launch last Fall, quickly became the talk of the NYC media community.

So now Elizabeth will be hopping from party to party like Tara Reid and the Hilton sisters, voyeuristicly digging for dirt, hunting for gossip and writing sniping pop culture columns. OK, so it will be a bit more serious than that but believe me when I say it will be writing well worth reading.

I'm subscribing. Far better Gawker story on this topic here.

by Steve Hall    Sep-17-03    

McDonalds to Test Market Adult Happy Meals

On the heels on winning the lawsuit where fat people sued McDonalds for making them fat, the fast food company is test marketing a "healthy" Happy Meal called "Go Active Happy Meal". The meal includes a salad and, humorously, an excersize booklet and a pedometer.

The test will occur in the Indiana cities Indianapolis, Bloomington, Munice, Lafayette and Kokomo this Fall.

by Steve Hall    Sep-17-03    

New Xbox Spot Presents Tough Choice

Honey, Don't Eat So Fast

Microsoft's new Xbox now has over 200 games. For the Xbox lover, that makes for some tough choices in life. The allure of a candle light dinner with your sexy spouse or a night of Xboxing. Not easy.

by Steve Hall    Sep-17-03    

The Fascinating Future of Advertising

In this lengthy Wired article, Frank Rose examines how the proliferation of programming choices and time shifting devices such as TiVo are dramatically altering the way advertisers will communicate with consumers.

The 30 second spot is still being clung to by dinosauric ad agencies as the only major means of communications. Fortunately, some smart marketers and agencies are realizing the nature of marketer/consumer communications is changing with the power shifting more to the consumer. Consumers will be the ones who control what they watch and when they watch it. Marketers are reacting with product placement and TiVo Showcase advertising which sends ads to a TiVo box for later viewing and consumer information request.

There are simply too many media outlets and there's too much ad clutter for the existing model to survive much longer and for brands to be able to thrive. Consumers are simply tuning out and opting out of marketing communications. With technology giving time shifting and programming control to the consumer, current media brands such and ABC, NBC and FOX will become irrelevant. What will become very important are individual networks; channels created and programmed soley and individually by the consumers to suit their specific viewing needs. TiVo's role in this shift could become very important providing advertisers access to the personalized channels.

by Steve Hall    Sep-17-03    

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AOL Time Warner to Drop AOL From Name

Correcting an idiotic move, AOL Time Warner will remove AOL from its name becoming again, Time Warner. America Online has been a drain both financially and from a brand perspective for the publishing giant and removing the Taint of AOL, if only in name, should help.

The board is expected to approve the name change at its meeting tomorrow in New York City. Richard Parsons, chairman and CEO, has been a proponent of dropping the AOL namesake and upon approval will move quickly to implement it. The company logo will change as will its stock ticker reverting to the old Time Warner symbol, TWX.

by Steve Hall    Sep-17-03    

Volvo Launches Ad Campaign for New SUV

Volvo XC90 SUV

Following its online launch for the R Series, Volvo launched a 14-week integrated digital marketing campaign for its XC90 sport utility vehicle, which includes Internet, mobile phone and iTV ads. The company hopes to entice consumers to opt-in electronically for further information about the vehicle.

Centering on college football, the campaign tightly integrates offline and online media using wireless phones, Palm hand helds, enhanced TV such as Wink, email and offline media including newpaper and television.

Always a leader in online advertising, Volvo's CRM and E-Business Manager Phil Bienert says, "We're beyond looking at these new platforms as a novelty. Every element of this campaign has to contribute to the business. We're trying not to leave any touch-point untouched."

by Steve Hall    Sep-17-03    

Tonguewag and TTR2 Launch Video Blogging Service

Video blogging has gone main stream and now you can use it to create and broadcast your own web TV show. UK Blogging service Tonguewag has teamed up with UK viral site TTR2 to bring you a talent contest like no other to launch the worlds first video blogging service! All you need is a webcam or a/v source and you're ready to go.

The Tonguewag video blogging service is perfect for bloggers who want an easy way to add streaming video to their sites and it's also perfect for budding TV stars who need an easy way to showcase their talents! The service is free and is the worlds first commercial video blogging service. For more information go here or for a list of features go here.

by Steve Hall    Sep-17-03