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China Says No to Tampon Ads During Dinnertime

China has recently banned ads for sanitary napkins, hemorroid ointments and athlete's foot medicine during dinnertime. Beijing resident Lei Jianqiang, 33, said, "Those sorts of ads are so disgusting. They completely ruin my appetite. Those skin disease ads in particular are really something. I jump up and change the channel."

Now, if the U.S. could just follow suit and ban all those late night "dial 1-800-for-shit" ads, we'd be happy too.

by Steve Hall    Jan- 3-04    

Adrants Makes Fimoculous 'Blogs of the Year' List

I just had to look twice but yes, there it is...Adrants is actually considered by some to be worthy enough for inclusion on a "best of" list. Fimoculous has named Adrants to his top 30 "Blog of the Year" list. To be included on any list in the company of many other fine blogs such as Buzzmachine, Gawker, Metafilter, Kottke, Fleshbot and I Want Media is, to me, stunning and greatly appreciated. Even if the reason Adrants made the list was because in comparison to another blog, LucJam which "made marketing an undirty word in 2003...Adrants made sure that advertising stayed dirty."

by Steve Hall    Jan- 2-04    

Advertising More Trustworthy Than News Media and Politicians

"It's not exactly rocket science, is it? They're just trying to sell you their products. It's not like some of these current affairs programs, where you don't know whether you're getting propaganda or someone's political bullshit."

Those are the words of a participant in a study done in Australia about consumer's perception of advertising. In this article, advertising is said to be more trustworthy because there is no hidden agenda as there can be with news media and politicians. Advertisers just want consumers to buy stuff. It's simple. Not so simple are the reasons the Iraq war was waged, for example. Was it oil? Weapons of mass destruction? To kill a dictator? Or to complete a grudge held by the President's father? We may never know. But we will always know the score with advertising. It's blatant commercialism. Advertising will employ all sorts of trickery and less than respectable moral behavior but the net is very simple - please buy this product.

by Steve Hall    Jan- 2-04    

Brawny Towel Man Gets Makeover

Not A Porn Guy

With Georgia-Pacific execs calling the 29 year old Brawny man logo "the 70's porn guy," the out fashion mustached, flannel shirt wearing Brawny man was long overdue for a makeover. Over the past two months and after months of focus groups, GP has introduced new packaging with a new, ethnically ambiguous, cleanshaven Brawny man. While the new Brawny man is much less back woodsman, he, thankfully, has not crossed over into metrosexual-land.

Strangely, visiting the new Brawny website with images of the new Brawny man accompanied by a roll of towels with the words, "massively improved" next to it, one might, for a minute, think he'd mistakenly clicked onto a "massively endowed" male porn site. OK, so most people's minds are not that dirty but "massive"? Is that the best word GP's agency could come up with to describe the dramatic change? Or maybe GP didn't want to completely drop Brawny's "70's porn guy" image.

by Steve Hall    Jan- 1-04    

'Headvertising' Delivers Proven Results

In the vein of forehead advertising, 'headvertising' has proven a success. An ongoing campaign for web hosting firm C Host, who paid 22-year-old Jim Nelson to wear the company's logo on the back of his shaved head for five years, has garnered 500 new customers for the firm within the first six months of the campaign.

Nelson is also under contract to travel, hand out flyers and business cards as well as deliver a ten second sales pitch. C Host contracted with Nelson after achieving highest bidder status on an eBay auction Nelson placed.

"Headvertising" is another in a long line of new marketing tactics smart marketers are experimenting with in the face of declining magazine, newspaper and television readership/viewership.

by Steve Hall    Jan- 1-04    

Marketers Use Ethnic Ambiguity To Reach America's Melted Pot

Vin Diesel, Jessica Alba and Derek Jeter

Marketers have heeded the advice of Warren Beatty when he said in the film Bullworth, "Let's just fuck each other until we're all the same color" by using ethnically ambiguous models in their ad campaigns. From Vin Diesel to Jessica Alba to Ujjwala, marketers like Louis Vitton, YSL Beauty and H&M have used spokesmodels with mixed ethic make up to appeal to culture's increasing ambivalence towards race. This is especially true among Gen Y where racial diversity is celebrated as chic.

With almost seven million Americans identifying themselves as mixed race in the 2000 Census, it's clear that we are on the path Beatty refers to in the film. Smart marketers are reflecting this shift both to be seen as hip as well as to simply reflect the realities of American culture.

by Steve Hall    Jan- 1-04    

Viral Marketing Firm SoulKool Promotes T�ri Vodka

Viral Vodka

If ever marketing were important to a particular product, vodka would certainly qualify. Basically vodka has no taste (unless it's a flavored variety) so marketers must rely on gaining awareness and cool factor with intelligent marketing to trend setting influencers. Using viral marketing firm SoulKool, T�ri vodka has done just that. SoulKool hooked up with Philadelphiaa club owner Tommy Upgrove who invited influencials to his 32 degree nightclub to sample T�ri. Upgrove then took the sampling event to his other clubs in the area personally pouring the product for patrons.

Viral marketing, a new name for good old word of mouth advertising, is fast becoming a very popular form of marketing. So popular, in fact, that it is becoming difficult to tell when you are being sold to. Is the person recommending that new CD to you really just doing it because he listened to it and liked it or is he working for a record label? That's where the danger lies. Marketers must be very careful with consumer's trust. Manipulate it too much and a marketer will lose market share faster than Napster will go out of business again this year.

by Steve Hall    Jan- 1-04    

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