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Expert Offers Online Sponsorship Advice

Riverside Marketing Strategies Principal Heidi Cohen, writing on ClickZ, offers some hints and guidelines to maximize the effectiveness of online sponsorships. From specific content to contests to blogs to interactive photo galleries, Cohen provides practical advice for those looking for online sponsorship ideas.

by Steve Hall    Jan-20-05    

Air America Sounds Like Spam

An article on the website of The Church of Critical Thinking, which is not a religious organization, comments on left-wing Air America Radio's commercial breaks. While the article is a bit longer than our ADD-addled brain is use to, the writer, who likens Air America to his spam folder, does put forth a concise commentary on how the network's advertisers all seem to be a bunch of low-life, get-rich-quick, save-your-sole hucksters. While we don't listen to Air America, upon reading the lengthy dissertation, the situation doesn't sound all that different Howard Stern and his merry band of advertisers.

UPDATE: Air America co-founder Sheldon Drobny responds.

by Steve Hall    Jan-20-05    

Dog Marks Territory, So Does Mazda

In a viral ad much less contentious than this week's Volkswagen Polo Suicide Bomber ad, comes this mildly humorous creation for the Mazda 3. It's well known dogs need to mark their territory but it's less well know that cars do too.

London's DMC planned, seeded and will track the campaign which was created by JWT Europe.

by Steve Hall    Jan-19-05    

Bloggers Can Lend Success to Marketers

Writing in iMediaConnection, CooperKatz & Company's Steve Rubel says marketers can capitalize of the status of popular bloggers by signing them to endorsement deals, hiring them to write a custom-published blog, pay them to use product, use blog evangelists in a PR campaign or simply hire a blogger to go to work for you and garner the free press that goes along with it all.

There is a pecking order in the blogosphere but once you've pecked you way in, your in. You're known. Your opinion and commentary circulate faster than a ten ton marketing campaign. Marketers, ever in search of better ways to reach their target, would do well to explore the unique conversational nature of the blogosphere and explore opportunities to leverage it for success.

by Steve Hall    Jan-19-05    

Targeting Ain't Seen Nothing Yet

A new study released by Deloitte's Media and Telecommunications division points to a future in which mass marketing shifts to micro targeting. While not surprising, the report speaks to the convergence of of media and the continual merging of electronic devices into one, through which all content will flow - likely the cell phone. Along with the merging of devices will be the transference off all media to digital form coupled with the rise in consumer conversation afforded by weblogs and wikis.

This nichification of content will be fast followed by the nichification of advertising.

by Steve Hall    Jan-19-05    

Volkwagen Denies Responsibility For Suicide Bomber Ad

While no company would ever own up to a viral clip such as this week's Suicide Bomber viral ad for the Volkwagen Polo, VW, is predictably, disavowing any knowledge of the ad. Revolution Magazine reports the ad was created by a company called Lee and Dan, creators of the Ford SportKa StreetKa and other viral ads.

Sounding as if lying through his teeth, Lee and Dan's Dan said, "The ad got out accidentally and has spread like wildfire. It wasn't meant for public consumption. We think the spot reflects what people see in the news everyday, and in this instance the car is the hero that protects innocent people from someone with very bad intentions. We're sorry if the ad has caused any offence." No company is going to spend marketing dollars on anything just to let it sit in the closet. This was very much a planned campaign.

Both Volkswagen and its agency, DDB, claim they had nothing to do with the creation of the spot. Clearly someone is lying. Very likely, someone deep inside the bowels of Volkswagen and DDB gave the green light for this. In fact, it's probably a case of plausible deniability.

Some renegade account exec or brand manager told a few people to go do some cool viral thing but, at the same time, to keep quiet about it. In fact, there's probably an annual budget set aside at the beginning of each year for this sort of thing and those using the budget are simply told to do with it what they choose on a timeline of their choosing.

In the world of viral and word-of-mouth advertising the debate will continue to center on transparency. Some practitioners believe companies should be upfront and acknowledge all involvement with campaigns. Others feel success hinges on gray area or planned denial as is the case in the Volkswagen Polo situation. While it may not be the most successful, at the end of the day, honesty is the best policy.

by Steve Hall    Jan-19-05    

Porn Star Jenna Jameson Hawks Personal Media Player

While Engadget reported this four months ago, the rest of us, sadly, are just getting around to it. While iriver ads have always been racy, the MP3 and personal video maker iriver has taken it a bit further and enlisted porn star Jenna Jameson to appear in its ads promoting the company's new PMP-100 personal video player.

Extreme Tech's Jim Louderback thinks the device will be a film and video industry killer while making it socially acceptable to view adult video in public. While we have no problem with anyone viewing porn including the very cute Jenna Jameson, we still think it's an activity best suited for private spaces.

by Steve Hall    Jan-19-05    

VW Promotes Car With Terrorist Bombing

There's a VW viral ad floating around today for the Volkswagen Polo. It's a smaller car than the Golf and has undergone a facelift. Currently, the car sells in Europe. It's unclear whether it will be available in the U.S. Considering current world events, this creative is quite daring but, at the same time, very supportive of the tagline, "Small but tough." Unfortunately, the guy in the spot chose the wrong car for his job.

by Steve Hall    Jan-18-05    

Ad Creatives May Lose Jobs to India

Just as many other industries outsource the bulk of their work, it's not surprising it's now being done in the advertising industry. Ad execs David Banjeree and Seema Trivedi have launched Banjeree & Partners, a New York-based agency which will outsource a portion of the creative process to India. Founder Banerjee says research and initial concepting will be handled in New York and then sent to 15 teams in India who will create the actual work. Banerjee claims his shop can do the work for 40 to 60 percent less than going rates.

by Steve Hall    Jan-18-05    

American Marketing Association to Debut Internet Radio Show

Tomorrow and noon EST, the American Marketing Association will debut its Internet radio show Marketing Matters LIVE! hosted by Tim Riester. The show will be webcast on wsRadio and include interviews with AMA members on marketing topics including the growth of Internet radio.

by Steve Hall    Jan-18-05    

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