Free Newspaper 'Metro' Launches in New York City

Cunning Communications is at it again with one of their "stunt" product launches. The free tabloid METRO will launch Wednesday morning in New York City and "News Liberation Front" protestors are expected to appear at the city's major daily newspapers. The group, carrying banners that proclaim "News for Nada," "Keep News Free" and "Free News Now" will picket the New York Times, New York Post and the Daily News claiming news should be free. It all starts at 7AM in front of the New York Times.

Thursday morning the METRO ForeheADs (forehead advertising) will bring the message to commuters and students in Washington Square.

This is a big deal about nothing. Newspapers don't expect to get rich off subscription costs but off advertising dollars. It's not about preventing news from being free by charging subscription costs. It's about creating and "agreement" between publisher and readers. A commitment of sorts on the part of the reader. Advertisers like to know that readers have, among other things, an interest, expressed financially in most cases, before the dump millions into a newspaper. of course, while Cunning already knows this, they also know that this will be a successful, publicity generating stunt for their client.

by Steve Hall    May- 4-04    

LA Blog 'Defamer' Launches, Hollywood Agent's Cell Phones Explode

Nick Denton's at it again. This time, he's launched Defamer, an LA-based weblog designed to skewer Hollywood just like Wonkette has skewered Washington D.C. politicos and Gawker has skewered the media elite of New York City. Already slamming Jack Valenti for his senility and Rosie O'Donnell for being a retard, the new weblog will obsess over "celebrity agent-swapping, aborted pilots, producer bully tactics, aggrieved production assistants, ridiculous script deals, the newest technology in breast implants, and, above all, sweet, sweet box office."

Finally, a weblog that won't fawn over Anna Wintour and the oh-so-hipness of New York City but rather the more important saline-enhanced life of LA's Celebu-wood. If Defamer comes even a bit close to the snarkiness of Gawker, there's going to be a lot of celebrities calling their agents and lawyers asking them to send out un-enforceble cease and desist letters.

by Steve Hall    May- 4-04    

Adidas' Laila Ali Web Spot Garners High Viewership

As part of the new "Impossible is Nothing" Adidas campaign, a television spot was created that pits Muhammad Ali against his daughter Laila. The spot was then placed online for viewership on Yahoo and MSN's homepages for a day each and on ESPN's home page for two days. Those placements, along with other ESPN inside pages for two weeks, generated 5 million views of the spot. Additionally, it boosted brand association by 75 percent and ad recall by 24 percent according to research firm Dynamic Logic. There was also an average 125 percent increase in the usage of the search term "Adidas" on Yahoo the day the ad was placed with most of that increase coming in the 13 to 17 year old demo.

These results directly contradict pundits who have said television creative can not simply be "ported over" to the Internet. This does not mean that every television spot will be a success online. This Adidas commercial had several things going for it. First, it's Muhammad Ali, a well known sports figure. Second, it's Adidas, a well known brand among all age groups. Third, it's Laila Ali, a good looking woman bouncing around in the ring - an activity any 13-17 year old boy would find interesting. And last, to the heightened recall numbers, it was actively requested by the viewer and not hoisted upon the viewer in the middle of a television commercial break.

by Steve Hall    May- 4-04    

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