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Discovery Channel Promotes Ramses Special With Plague Site

To promote its December 5 special on Egyptian Pharaoh Ramses, Discovery Channel has created a Saw-like microsite replete with dripping blood, frogs, flies, maggots, locust and dead animals representing ten biblical plagues. The eerie site leads to Discovery-branded site which contains a vast collection of historical information on the mysterious pharaoh.

It's an intriguing promotion and most visitors will likely be drawn in by the site's graphic imagery, foreboding language and ominous tone.

The site was also promoted with cryptic ads containing only the words "Do You Dare" and the microsite web address against a dark background in Newsweek and Entertainment Weekly.

by Steve Hall    Nov-30-04    

Student Journalist Blogs from Award Show Red Carpet

Susan Tam, a student journalist in her senior year at the University of Southern California, is blogging live this week from the red carpet at the Family Television Awards at the Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles. The Family TV Awards, hosted by Lori Loughlin, star of The WB hit series “Summerland,” recognizes the television shows, writers and producers who exemplify creative excellence in, and commitment to family friendly programming. The Awards, which take place this Wednesday night but air December 9 at 9 p.m. on The WB Network, are an initiative of the Family Friendly Programming Forum.

by Steve Hall    Nov-30-04    

Jailed Martha Stewart Loved by Readers

Martha Stewart might be in jail but readers of her magazine still love her.

Akin to the inexplicable industry worship of Donny Deutsch, a study by WPP Group Mediaedge:cia found 70 percent of Martha Stewart magazine readers plan to renew which is 19 percent better than industry average.

Good news for Stewart. Upon release, it seems there will still be magazine staffers around to belittle.

by Steve Hall    Nov-30-04    

Wrigley Field to Add Advertising Signage

While a historic landmark laden with all the usual conservative red tape, the Chicago Cubs don't want their Wrigley Field to be left out of the advertising signage bonanza and have proposed the addition of a 10 foot by 3 foot sign behind home plate along with additional seating. Under the plan, 80 permanent seats would be added to he right field dugout area along with a surrounding brick wall. Officials expect $3 to $5 million in revenue for 2005 but have stated they will not accept tobacco or liquor ads during the first year. The proposal aims to make permanent ads which, for the last two years, have been projected onto a green wall which only television viewers could see.

by Steve Hall    Nov-30-04    

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Ann Summers Promotes Ultimate Christmas Toy

For a little holiday pleasure, Ann Summers is promoting the new Platinum Rampant Rabbit with a provocative video that will have your office mates wondering just what sort of work you do all day in your palacial cube. Rather than let them in on your secret, turn the volume way down before viewing this tantalizing ad for the ultimate Christmas toy.

by Steve Hall    Nov-29-04    

Man Uses eBay to Sell Self As Walking Ad

While there seems to be no bid interest, a man has decided to capitalize on his trip from Columbus, OH to Miami where he will attend the 2005 FedEx Orange Bowl by offering himself to advertisers on eBay. A man calling himself andypinky_99 promises advertisers exposure at two airports in Columbus and Miami as well as exposure at the game and around Miami during his three day stay. He offers bidders any form of advertising including donning a company's company garb, plastering his rental car with corporate stickers and talking up the company. While it may be both ingenious and idiotic at the same time but it certainly aligns nicely with the proliferation of viral and word of mouth advertising. In effect, he's offering himself up as a walking, talking brand steward. It's no surprise why advertisers haven't bid.

Aside from the possibility the guy is a kook and could ruin a brand, most media planners would rather lay back, make a humongous spot buy during the game and call it a day rather than lift a finger to manage minions of marketing messengers.

by Steve Hall    Nov-29-04    

City Snark Goes Over Poorly in Catskill Ad

Hoping to attract some attention to the property he just bought in the rural New York town of Kerhonkson, New York City based Think Tank 3 President Harris Silver placed a snark-filled ad in the local Blue Stone Press newspaper looking for tenants. While intended as humor, the language in the ad did not go over very well with the locals. The ad told potential buyers to leave the tofu behind, don't invent new names for small, medium and large coffee sizes and finished with "No Artists or Canadians." While Silver has owned property in Kerhonkson for a while, residents didn't see the humor in his ad. One email to Silver told him to take his city persona home writing, "Do your brothers-in-flannel up here who read these ads realize that your thinly veiled 'Think Tank' is really a N.Y.C.-based ad agency with a slick and pseudo-intellectual Web site peddling freshman philosophy about, among other things, art? Get real, you self-important fakes. I'd be willing to bet you drink fancy coffee drinks every day. In short, you have no authority to speak as one of us, and no business pretending to be from the other side of the tracks." Sometimes city and country just don't mix.

by Steve Hall    Nov-29-04    

Gilligan's Island A Commercial Orgasm

You didn't think the latest it reality show would just have a bunch of lame :30's did you? Of course not. The TBS reality series, Gilligan's Island, set to debut November 30 will be jam packed with product placements from Ford Motor, Pfizer, Lowe's and others.

Perhaps they should just carve the golden arches into the sand while they're at it.

by Steve Hall    Nov-29-04    

Hardee's Says Size Does Matter

Leave it to Hardee's to get us all excited about advertising again. Like any good journalist, we're just trying to bring you the news in a timely fashion but when we saw this new Hardee's ad, we got a big case of ADD and couldn't stop our finger from hitting the Play button over and over and over. To promote its new Double Burger, this Hardee's ad makes sure we understand size certainly does matter. Instead of a model riding provocatively atop a mechanical bull, Hardee's enlists the talents of a woman capable of "servicing" the needs of those no matter their size.

Oh yea, there were some other ads to see on this week's Ad Age TV Spots of the Week.

Dave makes his reappearance in Wendy's 35th. A guy dies for DirecTC sports. Peugeot spark toy envy. Peter Dyson marvels at his vacuum design even though Consumer Reports doesn't like it. And Mountain Dew brings out those Spy vs. Spy guys again.

by Steve Hall    Nov-29-04    

M&M's Melt in Your Mouth, Not in the Subway

To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the NYC subway, the MTA has opted to go commercial and signed a deal with M&M's which will plaster M&M imagery all over subway lines and the IRT. While M&M's do cause a certain hunger-induced drool, we're not sure we need more drooling lunatics roaming beneath the streets.

by Steve Hall    Nov-29-04    

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