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Clooney Clarifies Crowe Commercial Comment

Last week, actor Russell Crowe struck out against George Clooney, Robert DiNiro and Harrison Ford who have used their fame to sell products in commercials. Crowe crowed, "It’s kind of sacrilegious, a contradiction of the contract with your audience. DeNiro advertising American Express — gee whiz." This week, Clooney shot back at Crowe saying, jokingly, referring to Crowe's band, 30 Odd Foot of Grunts, "I’m glad he set us straight. Because Harrison, Bob and I were putting a band together called Grunting for 30 Feet, and that would also fall under the heading of 'bad use of celebrity.' Thanks for the heads up." Glad we've cleared that mess up.

by Steve Hall    Feb-21-05    

Attention Deficit the Norm For In-Store Wal-Mart Ads

Wal-mart TV Network operator Premiere Retail Networks EVP Mark Mitchell says, "Attention deficit used to be a disorder. Now, I think it's the new order for consumers." His company works with agencies to create fact-filled ten second spots and urges agencies to steer clear of the usual tease and reveal format of most :30's. His company has worked with CoverGirl, Doritos and Kellog's to create informative spots that actually contain information a consumer can act on. Perhaps he should consider advising clients and agencies on :30's as well.

by Steve Hall    Feb-21-05    

Duff Sisters Join Hersey Ice Breakers Campaign

Hilary Duff and her sister Haylie are the latest duo in the Hersey's Ice Breakers Liquid Ice campaign. The pair, who claim never to disagree in real life and who replace Jessica and Ashlee Simpson in the campaign, can't seem to agree on the product's liquid versus ice qualities. The campaign includes a website where visitors can answer stupid questions like, "What weighs more - a pound of ice or a pound of water?" and other noggin stretching gems.

"We agree on absolutely everything, especially the importance of fresh breath," said Hilary. "So when she thought that Ice Breakers Liquid Ice was liquid and I thought it was ice, well I knew she had to be right ... and she knew I had to be right!" Haylie said, "One thing we're both right about: Ice Breakers Liquid Ice totally rocks!" Like, OMG!!!!!!!

by Steve Hall    Feb-21-05    

Rainier Brewing Wins Inagural Battle of the Brands

At last week's ANA/AICP Battle of the Brands, an Amercan Idol-esque style competition, Seattle's Rainier Brewing Company bested larger opponents and took home the Grand Prize for its Remember Rainier campaign for Rainier Beer. The first-ever collaboration between the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) and the Association of Independent Commercial Producers (AICP), the Battle of the Brands was designed to reward marketers and their creative colleagues for the successful use of entertainment properties in their brand marketing programs. The audience of national marketers and entertainment executives used hand-held devices to vote for the winners. Facing off against teams from Burger King, Sega, and ESPN, Rainier Brewing, a division of Pabst Brewing Company, took home not only the grand prize but top honors in three of the four categories: Strategy, Production Ingenuity, and Business Performance. The fourth category, Creativity, was won by Burger King for its Subservient Chicken campaign.

The four brand contestants were the finalists culled from all the entries to the Battle of the Brands competition, sponsored by ANA and AICP. Each of the finalists was invited to field a team to present its campaign and demonstrate how brand and entertainment are integrated within it. A panel of judges commented on the presentations and the winner was the team that accumulated the most points.

by Steve Hall    Feb-21-05    

Viral Advertising Gains Ground With Consumer Packaged Goods Companies

Sounding a bit like a voice mail you might find on Paris Hilton's hacked Sidekick, the new Brawny man, cooing longingly into the camera, is featured in a new series of online viral videos on the Georgia-Pacific paper towel maker's Innocent Escapes.

Clad in his signature lumberjack plaid shirt, the hunky Brawny man has invented a new form of sociopathic humor with his gooey cam love which, we suppose, in some way, is enticing to the female gender. We don't see it.

Apart from the oddity most viral campaigns must clothe themselves in to cut through the millions of other online distractions, it's encouraging to see consumer packaged goods companies endorse the medium. The New York Times explores the trend highlighting other online involvement campaigns from Frito-Lay, which promoted Doritos with a text messaging campaign.

by Steve Hall    Feb-21-05    

Maine to Market Prison Made Children's Clothing

With what some might call questionable moral alignment, the state of Maine is planning to market prison-made children's clothing under the tentative name, Harbor Blues.

Modeled after the Oregon-based prison-made jeans company Prison Blues, inmates at the Downeast Correctional Facility have been busy making 4,000 jackets with plans to make 2,000 more. Moral issues aside, the program puts inmates to work for pay, gives them something to pass the time and provides valuable, real-world skills which can be used upon release. Doubtless, they will sell out immediately.

by Steve Hall    Feb-21-05    

Mini Cooper Promoted With 'Counterfeit' Site

For its client, Mini, Crispin Porter + Bogusky, it seems, has created a site for a ficticious group called Counter Counterfeit Commission, an organization whose apparent mission is to rid the world of counterfeit products. The site has a photo collection of tricked out vehicles purported to be fake Minis. It also has video footage of a police dogs sniffing out fake Minis trying to make their way into the country, a $19.99 consumer alert DVD detailing the apparent underworld of counterfeit Minis and even a phone number answered with a message machine by a guy code named "Bosco" claiming to be doing undercover work in Brazil and Copacabana.

The site is engaging enough with tips on how to detect a fake, an area to upload photos of fakes and rate their fakeness quotient and a victim support area where those who've been had can get support materials.

by Steve Hall    Feb-18-05    

GoldenPalace.com Pays $75,100 For Lincoln Fry

While $75,100 isn't quite enough to offset the money McDonald's spent on a Super Bowl ad for its strange Lincoln Fry promotion, that's what GoldenPalace.com paid the company for the odd shaped, and ficticious, fry on an eBay auction.

It's all part of GoldenPalace'com's kooky eBay marketing scheme which involved buying space on pregnant bellies and foreheads all in the name of press. The online casino will be taking the fry, along with the Virgin Mary cheese sandwich it also bought on eBay, on a national tour just to get us to write even more about them. We're not sure whether to commend GoldenPalace.com on a brilliant marketing scheme or to wish them a slow, painful death for forcing us to continually write about them.

by Steve Hall    Feb-18-05    

Microsoft's Xbox 360 Launch Gets Scooped

Gawker Media site Kotaku takes the winds out of Microsoft's sail by releasing details surrounding the upcoming launch of the company's second generation Xbox, the Xbox 360. For those who can't wait, the details are here.

The device is said to be available in late October or early November.

by Steve Hall    Feb-18-05    

Saatchi Exodus Raises Questions

Following the resignation of 25 year Saatchi & Saatchi vetran Mike Burns who was head of the General Mills account and the subsequent resignation of 17 Saatchi senior staffers two days later, Ad Age reports Burns is in talks with Interpublic and, perhaps, other holding companies about a mass hiring of him and his former staffers.

While a General Mills spokesman insists they are pleased with Saatchi's work and have no plans to end the relationship because of this sudden "staff change," major upsets like this in the agency business always have major consequences. After all, while clients may hire agencies to do their work, they're really hiring the faces handling their account.

It doesn't take the organization of a traffic manager to realize Saatchi CEO Mary Baglivo and ECD Tony Granger are dripping salt profusely.

by Steve Hall    Feb-18-05    

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