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Olsen Sisters Launch Line of Perfume

Moving on from their fame as popular objects of desire for perverted, Olsen Eighteen Year Old Birthday Countdown watchers and, in the case of Mary-Kate, poster child for starved, third world countries, the Olsen sisters have launched two perfumes. Called Coast to Coast NY and Coast to Coast LA, the perfumes will be scented citrus and tropical respectively. The brands will hit stores in March.

by Steve Hall    Jan-10-05    

Retailer Gets Pussy

U.K. Retailer Marks & Spencer is getting 77 year old "pussy." Honor "Pussy Galore" Blackman, that is. Blackman is famous for appearing in the James Bond movie Goldfinger and has been tapped by the retailer to become its spokeswoman in a new ad campaign. Blackman will model the company's Classic Collection fashion line.

by Steve Hall    Jan-10-05    

Kraft Sponsors White Supremacist Website By Mistake

Kraft Foods was a bit surprised when they found themselves advertising on whiterevolution.com late last year. Kraft had used Google's AdWords contextual advertising program which matches page content to keywords the advertisers select. Google offers a free search engine to website publishers which, when results are returned, AdWords advertising appears above or next to the search results.

Whiterevolution.com used this Google feature and when Milford, Connecticut freelance reporter Tom Giordano entered the search term "Halloween" on whiterevolution.com, Kraft's text ads appeared near the results. Giordano was researching a story on the group who had distributed fliers locally.

Google, of course, forbids sites that contain pornographic, hate-related or violent content from using its search tool but the search code is freely available to all who wish to use it even if they do not conform to Google's requirements. Upon discovery, Google has disallowed whiterevolution from using its tools.

by Steve Hall    Jan-10-05    

Verizon Wireless to Open Phone Content Floodgates

Paving the way for more content, Verizon Wireless is dramatically expanding its high-bandwidth Vcast service which allows for delivery of music videos, television shows, newscasts, and, we're sure, the birth of the "phone-porn" industry. The service, already available in San Diego and Washington, D.C., will expand to 60 cities by year's end.

by Steve Hall    Jan-10-05    

Ad Exec Inserts Foot In Mouth

For the reason many large ad agencies will drop off the face of the planet suddenly, leaving them homeless on Madison Avenue, looking upward, longingly, saying, "Huh? What just happened?", rather than successfully morph into agencies that have a clue and are open to the future, we need look no further than a recent AdWeek poll that asked, "What advertising trend would you like to see die in 2005?" Taking the homeless agency exec prize is this nugget of intelligence from Saatchi & Saatchi CEO Mary Baglivo who said, "The trend I would love to see die is the frantic production of non-traditional, non-TV marketing ideas. In the quest to be smart, effective and media-agnostic, many marketers have become manic." No witty comment needed on this one.

by Steve Hall    Jan-10-05    

Listerine's "Effective As Floss" Campaign Killed By Judge

Recently, Pfizer has been running a campaign touting a study claiming use of Listerine is as effective as flossing teeth. U.S. District Judge Denny Chin says Pfizer is engaging in false advertising and posing a treat to the public.

"Dentists and hygienists have been telling their patients for decades to floss daily," Chin wrote. "They have been doing so for good reason.

The benefits of flossing are real -- they are not a 'myth.' Pfizer's implicit message that Listerine can replace floss is false and misleading."

The ruling followed a suit filed by Johnson & Johnson subsidiary McNeil-PPC Inc. Chin says Pfizer twisted the results of the study whose writers urged dental professionals to continue to recommend daily flossing and not to replace flossing with mouthwash.

by Steve Hall    Jan- 7-05    

Record Label Vandalizes Own Billboard Campaign

A recent billboard campaign placed by Champaign, Illinois hip hop record label Up A Notch Records apparently encouraged local student organization UC Hip Hop to "vandalize" this billboards to achieve more publicity. The boards, with the headline, "Hip Hop Rots Your Brain," were accompanied by a logo for the fictitious Coalition of Responsible and Attentive Parents whose acronym, not surprisingly is CRAP.

One of the boards was vandalized to read, "Stereotypes, Racism, Ignorance Rots Your Brain." The campaign and the vandalizing are hot topics of discussion on a UC Hip Hop and LiveJournal forum. The cynic in us, along with the all too convenient images and forum commentary, makes us think the whole thing is manufactured but, then again, we are very cynical.

by Steve Hall    Jan- 7-05    

Ad Space on Kournikova's Bikini Worth More Than Super Bowl Spot

There's always a premium on well placed, well viewed media and, today, Anna Kournikova's bikini is no exception. Trouble is, planning a media buy to coincide with these well viewed bikini appearances would not be an easy task. Though, with paparazzi recording her every move, an enterprising media planner could cut a deal with Kournikova's handlers or, better yet, directly with the photographer who could, with the help of a graphic designer, easily photoshop a brand's logo onto her swimwear. Then when Kournikova's images race around the Internet faster than a teenage boy's first time with a....oops, yes, we know that one is so over...the brand would reap more exposure than all the Super Bowls combined. And talk about time spent viewing.

Today, though, might not be a good day for an advertiser to avail themselves of Kournikova's worldwide reach as it seems she's either suffering some sort of bikini bottom malfunction or has acquired a sudden fascination with her most private of parts. It might be best to view these images when your boss isn't looking.

by Steve Hall    Jan- 7-05    

Mitsubishi Pitch Team Adds Emmy-Award Winning Producer

New Mitsubishi Eclipse

With its U.S. corporate management in turmoil, sales sagging, and an ad agency review tainted by dealer complaints, Mitsubishi is in need of all the help it can get. It may soon have some from a less than traditional source. Reported earlier, the DoubleThink Ad Hoc Creative Team are preparing a presentation for Mitsubishi and newly named CEO Rich Gilligan. Commenting on the approach the group is taking, DoubleThink's Harry Webber, today, said, "This is a brand immersion campaign that utilizes technology and branded entertainment as well as advertising to fully envelop the lifestyle of their (Mitsubishiu's) Gen Y target audience. An audience that is extremely adverse to traditional marketing methodologies."

In preparing the campaign, Webber has announced the addition of Emmy-Award winning Producer John Feist to DoubleThink. Feist, who produced Survivor, Restaurant and Casino will serve as executive producer on the branded entertainment elements of the mystery-shrouded campaign. Commenting on his decision to join DoubleThink, Feist said, "When I saw the scope of what Harry Webber's group had created for the launch of the 2006 Eclipse, I had to be involved. This campaign leaves cutting-edge in the dust."

Webber's DoubleThink previously created an ad hoc campaign for Coke with the tagline "A Cool American" which caught the eye of Coke execs but, ultimately, did not go any further. This time, Webber is looking to gain more ground with a campaign that doesn't just speak to but lives and breathes the language of the Mitsubishi Eclipse target audience.

by Steve Hall    Jan- 6-05    

GM's Bob Lutz Launches FastLane Blog


Following the launch of the GM SmallBlock weblog, as expected, GM has launched another weblog. This one, called FastLane Blog, will feature the writings of GM Vice Chairman Bob Lutz and other GM corporate management. In Lutz's first post, he discusses the success of Saturn and GM's plans to refresh the aging lineup with new products. One of the new vehicles is a convertible called SKY.

GM is the first large scale company to bring the human voice of its corporate executives to the public in the weblog format. While we don't expect to hear about about Bob's Saturday afternoon barbecues or his favorite movie, we can, perhaps, catch a glimpse of into one of human beings behind the coprporate monolith.

by Steve Hall    Jan- 6-05    

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