Adrants Launches Readership Survey

Yes, it's that time. The advertisers are knocking on the door asking "Who are these Adrants readers?" So, we must oblige. But it's not all about the advertiser, it's about you too. We are very interested in what you think of the stories you read here on Adrants - whether they are good, bad or ugly, and what sort of things we can add or remove to make your reading pleasure increase. So, now is the time to spill forth the guts of your opinion; to praise us with adoration; to skewer us with your sword; to berate us with a baseball bat. OK, wait. You don't have to be that forthcoming. Besides, surveys are supposed to be fun. This one's not too long. There's 20 questions. Take it. You'll love it.

The survey is here. Thanks.

by Steve Hall    Dec- 8-04    

'Lost' Commits First Sin, Verizon Corrects Bimbo Dad Ad

Well it didn't take long but ABC's Lost has succumbed to its first television drama sin. If brought a dead person back to life Abyss-style complete with required anguish, despair and chest pounding topped off with gleeful sobs of relief. For a moment there, we thought Lost was going to break the rules and actually kill off a main character (yes, as some others have done, you crazy fact checkers). That would have made for good TV. Trouble is, these actors have these things called contracts that usually call for them to stay alive lest their career disappear. The character in questions is Dominic Monaghan's Charlie who was found, during last night's episode, hanging by the neck after having been abducted by one of the island's unaccounted for survivors.

All was not lost though as Verizon finally made good on its Bimbo Dad commercial with one that squarely put the Dad in charge this time. Of course, it was an African-American family so we all know what would happen if Verizon made the Dad look dumb in that spot. And we're just guessing here but we're sure we heard Sean Young doing a voiceover for a Windex commercial during Lost last night. We thought she'd packed it in years ago after Jim Carry's Ace Ventura: Pet Detective heading to sandy Sedona, AZ but, according to her IMDB resume, she's been as busy as ever. Though not in any movie we've ever seen.

by Steve Hall    Dec- 8-04    

Video Magazines Come to Desktop

Acknowledging the decline of people's intelligence by saying, "People don't read anymore, and kids in particular don't read. This gives them content in a 5- to 7-minute package that matches their attention span," NEWgame Communications CEO Kathleen Hessert describes her company's online video magazine creation product, Vmag. That said, NEWgame is heading in the right direction as online video is relied upon more and more to create new and compelling online content. NEWgame provides publishers and marketers with a bandwidth-friendly, full-screen video tool to easily create customized, DVD-quality "video magazines" along with analytics showing how the viewer maneuvered through the "publication."

Costs to produce and distribute the video magazine range from under $2 to $10 each. Of course, advertising revenue can offset those costs just as it does in the print world.

One of NEWgame's initial customers was St. Mary's College in Notre Dame who used the product to create an online video application form which is said to have positively influenced potential students to apply.

by Steve Hall    Dec- 8-04    

Virgin Mobile UK Promotes Camera Phones With 'Dog Judo'

With two humorous videos (and two more to come) created by 12foot6 and distributed virally by DMC, Virgin Mobile is promoting its camera phones for Christmas. The "Dog Judo" series features two dog characters - "Ruff" Rex Hunter and "Barking" Bob Bones - in highly snap-able situations that build on their rivalry and dry sense of humor over several episodes. Episode one is called "Power Date". It shows Barking Bob trying to impress a date, much to the annoyance of his sparring partner who lives only for judo.

The animated clip exists both on the Dog Judo microsite and as a standalone file that can be passed around. The file invites viewers to click through to the microsite and sign up to be emailed when new episodes are released. Episode two can be viewed there as well.

Visitors are encouraged to sign up to be notified when new episodes are released.

by Steve Hall    Dec- 8-04    

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Advertisers Don't Want Foreign Business

Here's a unique approach to handling advertising inquiries. Some advertisers simply doen't want to talk to you unless you live in their home country. Upon clicking a text ad on The Superficial for some advertisers, a Canadian user reports he was delivered to this page which said: "We Apologize! The advertiser you clicked on has requested not to receive any visits from users outside of their market area." A bit rude for a marketer one thinks.

by Steve Hall    Dec- 8-04    

PlayStation's Killzone Site Rocks, Bush Must Love It

Like President Bush kicking the ass of every nation in the world, this Nazi-esque promotional site, complete with movie quality sound and graphics, for Sony PlayStation's Killzone makes you want to line up right behind our fearless leader lest you suffer total annihilation from the enemy. OK, so that's a little dramatic but so is this promo and the game itself. Very cool stuff though if you like killing, maiming, facial reorganization and blockbuster movie-style music. Zugara created the site.

by Steve Hall    Dec- 8-04    

'Santa' Gets On All Fours, Town Gets Up In Arms

Santa's Hot Daughter?

A strip club in Northfield (UK) has parents embarrassed and kids wondering why Santa suddenly got so hot. The Medusa Club has placed an outdoor board with a nearly naked woman on all fours dressed in Santa garb near a busy shopping center. One young girl asked her mom, "Mummy, where's the real Santa?" One official reacted quickly saying, "This is the very worst kind of advertising because it is designed to alarm and shock people. I want these adverts removed as soon as possible and I've contacted Northfield's constituency director." Harumph! Of course, the Medusa Club is loving it. "We've had no complaints so far - in fact it's quite the reverse. People have been saying how effective the adverts are," a spokesman said. Thanks to Charley Brough.

by Steve Hall    Dec- 8-04    

Publicis Copenhagen Creates Singing Christmas Card

Not burdened by the strings of America's political correctness, Publicis Copenhagen has created a genuinely enjoying Christmas card that has the entire agency singing Jingle Bells. The card let's you listen to the entire agency at once or hear each department sing on its own. We have to admit, the creative department is the most energetic.

If you are so inclined, you can even eliminate staff one by one until you are down to just one lone singer. We just hope the boss isn't using this as some sort of performance evaluation tool.

by Steve Hall    Dec- 8-04    

Fedex Placed Ad to Recapture Image Tarnished by Jeopardy Winner

FedEx, apparently horrified that Jeopardy player Ken Jennings lost his streak by answering the "Most of this firm's 70,000 seasonal white-collar employees work only four months a year" with FedEx, kicked its agency, BBDO, into pop culture capitalization gear. Not wanting to allow consumers to perceive FedEx employees as a bunch of seasonal slackers, it had BBDO place a gigantic ad in USA Today.

The ad read, "There's only one time FedEx has ever been the wrong answer. Congratulations Ken Jennings on your amazing Jeopardy! winning streak. And thanks for mentioning our name. Even if it was the one time you shouldn't have." Ha ha.

by Steve Hall    Dec- 8-04    

Podcasting to Transform Media Consumption

As traditional media channels whither, new ones always rise to take their place. One very promising channel is podcasting. Podcasting is a method to deliver time-shifted audio programming created on a PC which is then distributed via RSS to an iPod or other MP3 device. Podcasts can be subscribed to just as RSS feeds are subscribed to and special software automatically transfers the feed from user's computers to their MP3 device for later listening. It's radio broadcasting for dummies, if you will. It's only a matter of time before video is incorporated into Podcasting as well and delivered to MP3 equipped cell phone screens. Who needs broadcast television, when podcasting will literally allow for the creation of personalized media channels? Writing in iMediaConnection, CooperKatz VP Steve Rubel further defines podcasting and its potential as an ad medium. From the creation of radio-like audio spots, podcast sponsorships, RSS feed-embedded text ads and the development of a marketer's own AvantGo-like podcast channel, podcasting is yet another simple technology that will catapult handheld devices, most likely cell phones, to the primary media consumption device. Podcasting and the "death" of broadcast is not to say the technical device referred to as a TV is going away. Broadcast networks might go away (or, more likely, alter their method of delivery) but there will always be a need for large screen entertainment. Though, in the future, the device referred to as a TV will carry your own personalized podcast that you create and modify to your heart's content. Looks like growing old might not be so bad.

by Steve Hall    Dec- 8-04    

Clear Channel Killed The Radio Star

Over at The Big Picture, Barry Ritholtz clarifies radio's position as a seller of people versus advertising and how consolidation by the likes of Clear Channel has put the final cap on the medium killing off any hope it will ever return to the place people once went for music whin, in turn, has diminished the effectiveness of the medium for advertisers.

by Steve Hall    Dec- 8-04