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Kellog Stages 'Mock Marathon' to Promote Granola Bar

Kellogg Co. knows many people don't have time for breakfast at home, so the cereal maker is trying to serve it up during their morning dash to work -- literally.

As part of a new advertising campaign for Kellogg's Nutri-Grain granola bars, actors dressed as commuters but with marathon race numbers pinned to their suits will mingle with real commuters to hand out free samples of the food bars.

The 'mock marathon,' which will take place in eight U.S. cities, will also feature cheering onlookers behind barricades, rooting for the commuters and their Kellogg counterparts.

This approach makes perfect sense in the increasingly crowed media marketplace where consumers simply tune out marketing messages because there are so many of them. Along with this type of street marketing there will be an increase in product placements within television shows as well as the creation of entire television shows centered around an advertiser's product.

by Steve Hall    Sep-30-03    

Aliens Don't Want 'Dirty' Earth

Earth Too Screwed Up For Aliens

Starring Jim Broadbent, Eddie Izzard and Joseph McFadden, a viral video launched by Greenpeace uses humor rather than scare tactics to illustrate the plight of planet Earth. In the video, a group of aliens discusses the pros and cons of taking over the planet and the habits of the human race such as emailing which is descibed to a curious alien as "a means to effectively distribute porn."

Created by HHCL/Red Cell on the United Kingdom, the video hopes to sway "armchair activists" by providing them with information that could help them take that first step towards saving the environment.

by Steve Hall    Sep-29-03    

SkyHigh Airlines Spoof Campaign Honest About Air Travel

Finally, Honesty in Airline Advertising

A sanctioned spoof of Alaska Airlines, SkyHigh Airlines pokes fun at the sometimes maddening experience of airline travel. With taglines such as "The Relentless Pursuit of Adequacy" and "Flying is Expensive. Let us Cheapen the Experience", SkyHigh Airlines highlights its signature feature "Challenge Seating" whereby customers fight each other for first class seating. A very comical "Letter from the Chairman" is written the way any Chairman would write if they where actually able to speak the truth about their business.

Deep within the reservation section, Alaska Airlines is revealed with this disclaimer: "Some of you people out there don't appreciate SkyHigh's extra stopovers a long the way - a perk we like to call "talking the scenic route." If you're one of those types, head to alaskaair.com. They offer a lot of non-stops there. (Bo-ring.)"

The site also features a reservation section where seating choices are "Bench" or Cargo" and an Employee of the Month section honoring an employee "who really gives that requisite effort to keep our passengers happy. Or at least less mad." There are vacation packages to Waco, Fargo and the "Chain Gang Fantasy Camp" and a Global Baggage Tracker that, upon entering your name, attempts to locate your luggage with returning this reassuring results page header, "Your luggage has been has been located in exotic Siple Island, Antarctica (Sorry, our mapping system does not include Antarctica. But trust us.). Check back tomorrow to see where those pesky bags of yours have run off to next." And finally, a very humorous Suggestions section that forces positive comments into the suggestion box just as you are about to enter your own.

In this campaign, Alaska Airlines has the admirable honesty to acknowledge the frustration and madness that goes along with airline travel.

by Steve Hall    Sep-29-03    

Ad Age Profiles Top Ad Industry Media Professionals

This years report includes 22 profiles of media stars in its annual report. The report measures the number of times a media professional is mentioned in editorial articles. It's an interesting metric since the number of press mentions really has nothing to do with the ability to craft a great media program but rather the ability to shout the loudest and hound the press most effectively. Top spot this year goes to Wendy's Michelle Fedurek.

by Steve Hall    Sep-29-03    

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Verizon Wireless Kicks Nextel

Connect Me Now?

In this week's Ad Age TV Spots of the Week, Verizon continues its attack on Nextel's Direct Connect with its own new Push to Talk feature. In the spot, a construction worker is trying to get a signal before his building permit gets pulled. While walking around to find a signal, he encounters some unexpected feet.

Also this week are spots from Canon showing what digital cameras are really for, a Dad in a minivan full of kids fretting over dental costs for Valvoline, the Amica man popping out of a supermarket fridge to fix a squeaky shopping cart wheel, two boring car commercials from BMW and Cadillac, Celine Dion smirking for her new perfume, a game of office frisbee for T-Mobile, and old time cartoon characters for American Express.

by Steve Hall    Sep-29-03    

New Television Season's Winners and Losers

In this MediaLife article the winner and losers of the new television season are revealed. Winners include ABC's "Hope and Faith," CBS's "Joan of Arcadia," "The Handler" and "Two and a Half Men'", NBC's "Las Vegas" and UPN's "All of Us". Losers include the WB's "One Tree Hill," UPN's "The Mullets" and Jake 2.0," ABC's "Threat Matrix" and CBS's "Brotherhood of Poland, N.H."

by Steve Hall    Sep-29-03    

Pirate Radio a Marketers Dream Connection to Youth

Courtesy of Jason Kottke, a fascinating London Times article examines the underground world of pirate radio in the U.K. Pirate radio is just what is sounds like; illegally operated radio stations run by local area DJ's and up and coming artists consumed voraciously by trendsetting youth. Acknowledging this valuable lifeline to an audience that can make or break a brand, both advertisers and record labels knowingly tap this channel hoping to be part of the next big thing.

"These pirate kids are early adopters and they're trendsetters," says Rooney Carruthers, a partner at the advertising agency VCCP, whose clients include Coca-Cola and the mobile network O2. "They spend virtually all their disposable income on clothes, mobiles and text-messaging; they've got this must-have-the-right-label attitude, and if a brand can tap into that, it could be worth millions."

Marketers and record labels can't afford to ignore this audience and they can't find them through mainstream media so they play the dicey game of walking the line of legality while hoping their product catches on or they find the next Ms Dynamite, currently the nations' favorite female pop star.

by Steve Hall    Sep-26-03    

England Goes Pink For Breast Cancer

Dress Pink, Cure Cancer

A U.K viral email campaign for the Breast Cancer Campaign, called Wear It Pink, has experienced a 13 percent response rate since its September 22 launch. The campaign, launched with a viral email that drives users to a website, urges participants to "turn the country pink" by asking them to wear pink on October 31 in support of breast cancer. The site offers up suggestions on how to promote the event, pink clothing suggestions and information on the charity. There is also a map on the site that will slowly change to pink as participants sign up, receive a promotional package and donate £2.

by Steve Hall    Sep-26-03    

Eight Simple Rules Helps ABC Win Tuesday

It's Up to the Ladies Now

Despite John Ritter's death or perhaps because of it, '8 Simple Rules for Dating My Daughter' remained strong with 17 million viewers for its season debut Tuesday. That, combined with a strong showing for the premiere of 'I'm With Her' (13.1 million), helped win the night for ABC among adults 18-49.

The network has plans to continue the show without Ritter hoping the show will continue to draw viewers. I've never watched it but I think Ritter is funny, Sagal is hilarious and the daughter is hot. I guess it's up to the ladies now to keep the show afloat.

by Steve Hall    Sep-25-03    

Intel Launches Centrino Mobile Technology Campaign

Intel Helps Consumers Unwire

This week, Amy Corr's MediaPost Out to Launch column features a new ad campaign just launched by Intel to promote its new Centrino mobile chip. The work, done by Euro RSCG MVBMS, illustrates the freedom Intel's new chip brings to consumer's lives with one spot showing a father finding a comfortable place in his backyard to un-wire with his laptop.

Other recently launched ad campaigns this week include a campaign by McCann Erickson promoting Major League Baseball, a campaign by Schadler Kramer Group for Borgata Hotel, a campaign by Badger Kry & Partners for Celine Dion Parfums, a Hispanic-focused campaign for Honda, an online campaign for British Airways promoting their new flat bed seating and a fundraising campaign for The Newhouse Shelter, a Kansas City shelter for women.

by Steve Hall    Sep-25-03    

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