Blogging Grows As Publishing and Advertising Platform

Friend and business partner Rick Bruner writes a very informative article for iMediaConnection discussing the rise of weblogs as both a publishing and advertising platform.

by Steve Hall    Apr- 5-04    

Database Sophistication Leads to Personalized Publishing

Personalized Publishing

Reason Magazine Editor Nick Gillespie asks, "What if you received a magazine that only had stories and ads that you were interested in and pertained to you? That would be a magazine that everyone would want to read."

He's right and his magazine has already demonstrated the power of databases in generating custom content. As a demonstration of this nascent potential, the June issue of Reason Magazine will be delivered to its 40,000 subscribers with 40,000 separate covers. Each cover will show a real satellite photo of their neighborhood with their house circled.

While that's not a stunning display of database knowledge, a publication that would contain only what mattered to you would be. There would be no need for a magazine called Sport Illustrated or Entertainment Weekly or Car and Driver. All relevant content would be pulled into on magazine and it would be called (Insert Your Name Here). If this model reached a workable level of sophistication where every content desire of the individual could be delivered, the magazine newsstand business wouldn't have much going for it. Why would you read a bland copy of Newsweek or have to buy several copies of magazines to serve your various interests when you could buy one that contained it all. Oh yea, this is all very futuristic but its not unworkable and its not far off.

by Steve Hall    Apr- 5-04    

Ad Campaign for bdbx 'Crucifies' Page 3 Model Jesus-Style

Nude Crucifixion

Religious "blasphemy" has broken out in Liverpool following the launch of an ad campaign by designer bdbx. The campaign features Page 3 model Debbie Turpin who is pictured hanging on a cross Jesus-style in front of Liverpool's RC Metropolitan Cathedral in the background. To say the least, people are pissed. Calling it "distasteful" and in "bad taste," Roman Catholic Monsignor Peter Cookson said, "People think they can do anything they like with religious imagery these days and I'm upset that anybody should be using a distasteful picture like this, with our cathedral in the background, to sell their products."

Twenty tear old bdbx founder Alec Stacey shrugs the whole thing of saying, "The photograph reflects the rebellious nature of youth culture and I think the young people who see it will understand where we are coming from. Liverpool's the city of culture and bdbx is about youth culture and I thought it was appropriate."

Stacey might grow up to learn that you can mess with most anything except people's religious beliefs. He's sure to receive the full weight of the religious right on this one. But, he will have achieved world-wide fame by then and it won't matter. Of course, the whole thing could be a Photoshop spoof and we'll all end up looking like idiots.

by Steve Hall    Apr- 5-04    

Really Bad Phone Sex Promotes Varsity Cellular

Using actors that are worse than porn actors, Varsity Cellular has put out this viral video to promote their student cellular phone plans. " are so good at phone sex..." Not.

by Steve Hall    Apr- 5-04    

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Bob Dylan Letches For Hot Models, Hot Wife Discovers Husband's Lunch Dallyance

In this week's Ad Age TV Spots of the Week, we have Bob Dylan - as Ad Age so aptly states - "looking more like a furtive bus station lecher than a music legend" - singing for Victoria's Secret models and a wife who doesn't like the fact that her hubby is eating Taco Bell salad instead of her well packaged brown bag lunch. Also this week is a weird spot for the new Jim Carrey movie, Steven Segal oafing about in a convenience store for Mountain Dew, an overexcited oddball for Volkswagen and Bud Light telling us to do toe exercises to burn of all those light beer carbs. Visit the link above to view spots.

by Steve Hall    Apr- 5-04    

Video Games Steal Audience From TV

After all the hoopla about dramatic drops in television viewership among men, a new study from Knowledge Networks/SRI reports young males say video games are their fourth most consumed medium. Men 18-34 say they spend 6 percent of their time with games and boys 12-17 say they spend 15 percent. To be sure, those numbers are still small compared to time spent with TV which was 42 percent and 45 percent respectively.

by Steve Hall    Apr- 5-04    

TrendWatching to Hold Trend Seminar in New York

TrendWatching, a group that has its pulse on worldwide trends, will hold a seminar in New York City June 10th at the Tribeca Grand Hotel Screening Room from 12:45P to 6P. The seminar will provide an overview of consumer and business trends that TrendWatching believes will shape the next 12 months as well as provide a catalyst for developing your own communications plans based on these forecasted trends. More info here. If you do decide to go, use this code (NYC29ADRNT) when you register and you will receive $100 off the registration fee.

by Steve Hall    Apr- 5-04    

Coors Light Solicits 'Free' Creative

It's official. Seeking free creative talent is now the norm. On the heels of Wieden and Kennedy announcing an ad "school" in which students pay for the opportunity to produce work for agency clients rather than the other way around, Coors Light, in association with Canada's, has launched its "Win the Wall" creative contest. The contest calls for creative submissions for a giant block-wide, seven story high building in Toronto. OK, so you don't have to pay for the privilege to be creative here. In fact, Coors Light will pay for two semesters of the winning entrants design school tuition.

This trend towards looking outside agency walls is both refreshing and worrisome. If advertisers felt they were getting effective creative, why would they look outside the agency creative department? However, there are millions of creative people that do not work in ad agencies. Why would a smart marketer not want to tap into that vast resource? It's the "American Idol" syndrome. Cast a wide net for talent and hope you reel in a winner.

by Steve Hall    Apr- 5-04    

Comic Book Industry Gets Trade Association

As it says in this article, the reason you know pork is the other white meat and beef is for dinner is because of the trade organizations behind those entities and the huge budgets they spend on advertising. The usually under the radar comic book publishing industry has just announced a trade association of its own. Called the International Comic Arts Association, this group aims to give comic books a level of mass market notoriety on par with milk, pork and beef. Expect to hear a lot about comic books in the near future.

by Steve Hall    Apr- 5-04