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Peter Arnell Thinks Different

Writing in The New York Times, Stuart Elliot profiles Arnell Group's Peter Arnell who has, over the years, become known for his winning projects away from other agencies. Most recently, Arnell Group won an assignment from appliance maker Electrolux, currently with Lowe & Partners.

Arnell has also handled projects for Diageo, Mars, Reebok, Unilever and the not so great project for Diamler Chrysler now known as the Celine Dion Disaster. Nobody's perfect.

Arnell has moved beyond marketing and advertising and into product and store design as well. "In this iPod economy, clearly design has become one of the most important differentiating tools for brands," Mr. Arnell said. "It's a powerful place to be these days." Currently, Arnell is designing a store for Jacob the Jeweler in Manhattan and a store for Reebok's Rbk line of clothing in Philadelphia.

In an intriguing move, Arnell has taken on a project for Home Hero, makers of home fire extinguishers to make the products more fashion-friendly. Of the fire extinguishers, Arnell says, "it's so ugly, nobody wants to leave it on a counter. We need a product like what Braun did with coffee makers." Perhaps some things are just better left in the closet but he gets an A for effort.

by Steve Hall    Nov- 3-04    

Spammers Have Fun With Blondes

Blondes are good for more than fun according to spammers. A recent study from BlackSpider Technologies has found spammers who lace their messages with blonde jokes are more likely to have their messages pass through spam filters. Filter technology identifies email that contain blonde jokes as just friendly emails between friends and does not identify them as spam. Expect an increase in Jessica Simpson and Britney Spears "joke" email coming soon to an inbox near you.

by Steve Hall    Nov- 3-04    

POPstick Launches Social Network Marketing Product

Hoping to cash in on the popularity of social networks such as Ryze and Friendster as well as the Xanga and Livejournal blog communities, POPstick has launched POPstick Outburst, a social network marketing product that "entices consumers to participate in online communities centered on branding initiatives" Now if that sounds like a lot of marketing blather, check out the demo video.

The company also announced agency vet Steve Dworin as president. Dworin helped EURO RSCG move from a fragmented holding company into a single, cohesive worldwide agency with billings exceeding $8B, was once named the youngest CEO in the history of N.W. Ayer & Partners and was a partner at Deutsch/Dworin, now Deutsch, Inc., where he helped increase revenues from $30MM to more than $400MM in just three years.

If brands use Outburst to truly listen and monitor consumer insight regarding the brand, the move could be a success and very beneficial to both marketer and consumer. If, on the other hand, the communities devolve into yet another channel for brands to tout their product, they will be shut down by users faster than David Spade goes through girlfriends.

by Steve Hall    Nov- 3-04    

Mobile Bedroom Promotes IKEA Store Opening

Tian points out IKEA's use of a mobile bedrooms to promote a store opening in Tempe, Arizona. Tian reports the mobile bedrooms have been seen throughout the Phoenix metro area and on the streets of Tempe. The mobile bedroom is mounted on the back of a retrofitted Ford van, outfitted with IKEA's Fall furniture line and has two inhabitants in their pajamas going about their morning routine as onlookers watch. And no, they aren't doing that. This is a G rated promotion.

IKEA has used this modified out of home approach to advertising before.

Last month IKEA hung 39 mattresses from the ceilings of major Paris raliway stations

by Steve Hall    Nov- 3-04    

Nike Promotes New Shoe With Blaxploitation

Nike has launched a website called Shoxploitation to promote its new shoe, the Shox Neo. A video on the site pays tribute to the blaxploitation trend of the seventies and introduces the shoe's "playas" trailer style. The shoe hits stores this month.

by Steve Hall    Nov- 2-04    

Metro Says Vote Or Die

Metro USA teamed up with the Vote or Die campaign this Election Day, November 2nd, in an effort to motivate young Americans to vote. The national Vote or Die campaign has been powered by Citizen Change and produced by entertainer Sean “P. Diddy” Combs to combat voter apathy among young Americans.

Metro hand promoters were located throughout New York, Philadelphia and Boston and outfitted in Vote or Die t-shirts. The Vote or Die t-shirts were designed and supplied by Sean John clothing. The shirts have become popular by celebrities such as P. Diddy, G Unit’s 50-cent and influential public figures who want American youth to get out and vote.

by Steve Hall    Nov- 2-04    

Copy Machine Voices Opinion On Paper

One of the most unbearable moments of truth in business comes when standing in front of a copy machine assuming, while acknowledging the hopelessness of that assumption, the machine will dutifully perform its job. In this commercial, when presented with the dreadful "paper jam" indicator, a woman reacts in the usual fashion by taking her anger out on the machine. But, as we find out, it's not always the copy machines fault and this copy machine wants her to know that.

by Steve Hall    Nov- 2-04    

Adrants Billboards: American Legacy Foundation Launches New Campaign

  • Ypulse points to the launch of the new American Legacy Foundation "Seek Truth" smoking prevention campaign which shows teens holding placards placards asking questions outside an undisclosed tobacco company headquarters in New York City.
  • Ty Montague has resigned as co-creative director of Wieden + Kennedy here, and sources said he is heading to WPP Group's J. Walter Thompson in the top creative job.
  • Digitas is the new direct marketing agency of record for General Motors Corp.'s Saab. Digitas has handled interactive efforts since 1999 and will take on the direct portion following Brann Baltimore which resigned the account after its becoming part of Euro RSCG 4D.
by Steve Hall    Nov- 2-04    

Copywriter Misunderstands Weblogs, Feels Threat to Livelihood

Bob Bly, who's been a copywriter forever, doesn't like weblogs.

Expressing that opinion would be welcomed if Bly had a proper understanding of the platform. After reading his article about the topic on DMNews, it is clear he has no idea what he is talking about.

Bly writes, "The first is that most blogs I encounter are rambling, streams-of-consciousness musings about a topic of interest to the author, largely bereft of the practical, pithy tips that e-zines, Web sites and white papers offer." Apparently, Bly has only reader the Xangas and LiveJournals of teenage girls. There are many fine, business focused weblogs with valuable and intelligent content for business professionals published today. For a taste, visit Rick Bruner' s Business Blog Consulting which is a compendium of business weblogs.

Bly then writes, "The second problem involves distribution. With an e-zine, once the reader subscribes, he gets it delivered to him electronically every week or month or however often you send it. But with a blog, the reader has to go out and proactively look for it. And since your contributions to your blog may be irregular and unscheduled, he has no way of knowing when something new of interest has been added." Mr. Bly has obviously never heard of RSS or newsreaders which deliver the content of a weblog, post by post, to a person's desktop in real time without all the baggage in most HTML e-zines. Not to mention the need to sift through spam just to get to the email. By the way, didn't the term "e-zine" go out with the 90's? Bly digs himself in even deeper, "And that’s another of my complaints with blogs in particular and the Web in general: the ease with which people can post and disseminate content. "The best thing about the Web is that anyone can publish on it; the worst thing about the Web is that anyone can publish on it," a computer magazine columnist once observed." Mr. Bly one of the most powerful things the weblog publishing platform does is enable many voices to be heard. It's called Citizen's Media. Why should voice a opinion be limited in any way? We can certainly understand why that might threaten your multi-million dollar annual fees earned by writing all those overpriced newsletters for major corporations.

Further illustrating his misunderstanding, Bly writes, "Blogs are, by virtue of being a form of online diary, like diaries: rambling, incoherent and more suited for private thoughts than public consumption. If you have something of value to share, many better formats exist for doing it online than by blogging, including white papers, e-zines and Web sites." Blogs are only rambling incoherent diaries if they are written that way. The weblog publishing platform does not perpetuate a particular writing style. It just makes it easier to publish thought - good or bad. And white papers? Who reads those anymore? All you get out of white papers is high level marketing blather and who needs that? Oh wait, you do Bob. Writing them pays your salary.

UPDATE: Business Blog Consulting's Rick Bruner makes the case for weblog's contribution to ROI.

by Steve Hall    Nov- 2-04    

Postal Service Band Teams With Postal Service

Rather than suing the band for co-opting its name, the U.S. Postal Service has entered a marketing agreement with Postal Service, the band. "We could've abandoned the name," the band's record label Sub Pop Owner Jonathon Poneman said, "but it would've been a significant setback. Name recognition is very important to us. While they've certainly settled on a popular name, one wonders what sort of hostage situation they've found themselves in. The band will play an exclusive concert for senior Postal Service execs and the band's music may end up in USPS ad campaigns.

by Steve Hall    Nov- 2-04    

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