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Ford to Copy GM With On-Air Car Giveaway

Not to be left out of the fun, Ford is signing its own car giveaway deal with ABC's Extreme Makeover" Home Edition. While not as grand as Oprah's multi-hundred car gieaway, families in six upcoming episodes will receive a free vehicle. Perhaps ABC will also pay the tax and insurance as well rather then saddling winners with those costs as the Oprah giveaway did.

by Steve Hall    Oct-12-04    

Maven Networks Promotes Branded Video With Glowing Research

Maven Networks, Inc., developer of a platform that enables brand marketers to deliver full-screen, DVD-quality interactive video to the desktops of broadband consumers, today released survey results that indicated 71% of consumers would download a branded video channel to their desktop and that 76% would like the channel concept as a means of receiving specific information from companies of interest. OTX Research conducted the study.

Of consumers shown a demonstration of how the Maven-powered channels work, other findings were as follows:

  • 69% stated they would like it if a marketer they trusted delivered content through a desktop channel. More than three-quarters of 24-44 year-olds would like to receive information via a channel.
  • 68% of respondents believed that the Maven-powered channel experience is unique compared to other available online services. They cited ease of download, informative and interesting nature, and ease-of-use as standout features. In addition, they said that Maven offers a superior technology to currently-available media players.
  • 70% of respondents claimed that they would use the service at least once a week, with 25-34 year-olds being the most likely to use it that often.
  • When asked to indicate what word or phrase best described the Maven channel approach, the top five responses were: easy to download; informative; interesting; easy to use; and convenient.
Further supporting Maven's business model, consumers in the study also indicated concerns over receiving video content directly from marketers, specifically:
  • The video may use too much space on their hard drive.
  • The content might take too long to download.
  • Marketers might use the content as a way to collect personal information about the consumer.
Research is always welcome, if even to confirm the obvious as this study does. Video on the web has a promising future and companies like Maven who "channel-ize" online video are likely to succeed handsomely.

When ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX and every other television entity finally give up the broadcast model and realize people want what they want when they want it, Maven and others who play in this space are certain to do well either on their own or through acquisition.

by Steve Hall    Oct-12-04    

Mitsubishi Bows New 'Best-Backed' Ad Campaign

In a nod to its tagline, "the best backed cars in the world," Mitsubishi, today, launched a new national advertising campaign featuring images of hundreds of Mitsubishi technicians dressed in red coveralls. In one spot, "Anthem," which features the song :Draggin' The Line" by Tommy and the Shondells, technicians line the sides of the roads in a "wall of red" while a Mitsubishi drives along. As the Mitsubishi pulls to a stop, one technician steps out of the line to tighten the tire valve cap, smiles at his colleagues for a job well done, then steps back into line.

In "Road Trip," the campaign's second spot slated to break in November, a technician is casually performing a regular vehicle maintenance service under a Mitsubishi vehicle in motion. He then nonchalantly rolls out from underneath the moving vehicle, pops up the creeper like a skateboard, and walks away with confidence that his task was completed.

Deutsch LA created the campaign which will air on TNT, BET, History Channel, USA, Food Network, MSNBC and broadcast networks.

by Steve Hall    Oct-11-04    

Procter & Gamble Debuts On-Demand Ad

Procter & Gamble is hoping a long form ad for its Old Spice Red Zone scented body wash will be compelling enough for Comcast's video on demand subscribers. Hoping to capitalize of heightened political awareness, the ten and twenty minute ads follow a political campaign across college campuses to choose the best smelling candidate. With Bush and Kerry providing all the political humor we can stand, we aren't sure how funny P & G's smelly candidates will be.

by Steve Hall    Oct-10-04    

Mortuary Advertising The New Lawyer Advertising

Once the thought of a lawyer advertising services was taboo. While those that do advertise haven't stepped far from their perception as ambulance chasers, mortuaries are set to be the new awkward/cheesy trend in advertising. Denver's Fairmont Cemetery & Mortuary has launched a billboard and print campaign painting death in a less morbid light.

With headlines like "Walked on all seven continents" and "Put six kids through college" along with the tagline, "Celebrating lives well lived," the ads feature smiley, we had a great life type images.

Fairmont hopes to encourage funeral planning as well as cater to the wims of a generation who wants to make a party, rather than a sob-fest, out of a funeral.

by Steve Hall    Oct- 9-04    

Boston University to Launch 'Boink' Magazine

On the heels of Harvard University publishing its sex-laden H Bomb student magazine, a group of Boston University students are set to launch Boink, a magazine that will feature nude pictorials of students, columns on sex, sex toy reviews and polls. Launching in January with 96 pages, the magazine is not endorsed by the University nor will it receive money from the University as Harvard's H Bomb did.

Boink Co-Founder and Editor in Chief Alecia Oleyourryk says there is a need for the publication. "Sadly, there are few formal forums for people our age to share their sexual experiences and to learn from others who are on the same journey. Boink was created to fill that need." She went on to describe the focus of the magazine. "We will be talking about some serious topics like pregnancy, STDs, abuse and date rape. We plan to cover any and all sex-related issues that are relevant to college students - male, female, straight, gay or bi."

Local artist and co-collaborator on the magazine Christopher Anderson, who also helped launch Harvard's H Bomb, wants to take blankets off people's hang ups about sex. "My primary interest in advancing this whole idea is that there is nothing shameful about nudity and sexuality. The City of Boston has these almost puritanical roots, where anything related to nudity or sex becomes very taboo." Anderson is 38.

Either he's truly an artist or he's got the greatest scam going.

While this is all very liberal and forward thinking, one would assume there's still going to be something a bit awkward about sitting next to a student in class whom you just saw naked in the magazine the day before.

by Steve Hall    Oct- 9-04    

Author Says 'Marketing Free For All' Harms Kids

In a new book, author Juliet Schor says kids are gravely harmed by television and in-school advertising in what she calls "the corporate takeover of childhood." Schor claims "the more kids are exposed to consumer culture the more likely they are to become depressed, suffer from anxiety or experience low self esteem. She goes on to accuse marketers of the double whammy - dual messaging to kids and parents for the same product. She also found, through interviews, that marketers do not disagree with Schor's assessment. They feel somewhat guilty for the tactics they use but are seemingly stuck in the machine that forces them to continue lest they lose their jobs.

by Steve Hall    Oct- 9-04    

Clients And Agencies Disagree On State Of Relationship

The just released 2004 Salz Survey of Advertiser-Agency Relations paints an uneven picture of the agency-advertiser relationship.

  • Twenty percent of advertisers claimed sales had greatly improved over last year but only eight percent of agencies report income having greatly improved.
  • Seven percent of advertisers said sales were slightly worse while 19 percent of agencies said their income was worse.
  • Fifty percent of advertisers reported more advertiser-agency teamwork while 35 percent of agencies felt that way.
  • Eighteen percent of advertisers said there was less teamwork as compared to eight percent of agencies.
  • Fifty five percent of advertisers claimed an increased focus on the advertiser-agency relationship while only 12 percent of agencies though that way.
  • Fifteen percent of advertisers said there was less focus on client needs yet no agency respondents agreed there was less focus.
  • Of advertisers, 23.7 percent felt their sales would increase in agencies were allowed to do their best work. While that metric had a high of 31.4 percent in 1997, it's usually hovered around 20 percent. Less than one quarter of advertisers think an agency's best work can improve their sales.
Not to be too harsh on the two groups but it sounds like agencies are a bunch of whiners while advertisers don't respect advertising's role in effecting sales.
by Steve Hall    Oct- 8-04    

Christina Aguilera Skechers Ad Gets Banned

Oh how we love when interest groups over react and can't see a joke for the joke it is. A bunch of American nurses have complained about a recent Skechers ad featuring Christina Aguilera dressed in nurse fantasy (fantasy, get it?) attire.

Center For Nursing Advocacy Executive Director Sandy Summers said, "This ad simultaneously exploits the 'naughty nurse' and the battleaxe/Nurse Ratched stereotypes, setting the nurse up both as an available sex object and a mock-malevolent authority figure, rather than a competent professional."

The ad has been banned. Overseas, at least. See the original story and all the ads here.

by Steve Hall    Oct- 8-04    

Radio Industry Curls Into Fetal Position Following Stern's Exit Announcement

Envisioning their stations going out of business and their mortgages going unpaid, radio broadcaster are lamenting the loss of $100 million in ad revenue when Howard Stern leaves broadcast radio for Sirius satellite radio in 2006. And so the 16 month, futile, search for Stern's replacement has begun. Executives, who once worshipped Stern will now, predictably, begin to spout phrases like, "Oh, we'll be fine. There's plenty of radio talent out there. Howard isn't the only rating getter." Or excuses such is this one from Entercom Communications CEO David Field, "What did it mean to late-night TV when Johnny Carson left? The reality is, that was not the demise of late-night TV." While true, it's not as though television ratings haven't suffered over the years as the proliferation of media options allows consumers to easily gravitate to better content, forever fragmenting what's left. The same will be true of radio. More choice. More fragmentation. We're not going back to a three network television world or a radio environment as bland and limiting as the current one. When Stern leaves, radio will suffer.


by Steve Hall    Oct- 8-04    

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