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'Survivor' Debut Gets Big Numbers

Last night's debut of Survivor: Palau grabbed 23.6 million viewers according to Nielsen overnights. It garnered a 9.0 rating 18-49. Conversely, NBC's Joey and Will & Grace turned in low ratings of 4.0 and 4.3 respectively.

by Steve Hall    Feb-18-05    

SEGA Puts Boy in Bubble For Game Launch

To promote its new PlayStation2 and Xbox Super Monkey Ball Deluxe, SEGA has launched a quirky "boy in a bubble" online serial campaign called My Big Ball. The campaign, created by San Francisco-based Mekanism, offers a peak into the trials and tribulations of the life of a boy so obsessed with the game, he's decided to live in a large, inflatable ball.

The campaign includes a Web site, a series of story driven Web shorts, and banner ads. The website features a series of short films entitled “The True Adventures of Chad, the Boy Who Was So Into Super Monkey Ball Deluxe That He Decided To Live In A Ball.” Apparently, Chad's obsession has led him to live life in a seven-foot rubber ball. The first episode follows Chad beginning his day and confronting the mundane challenges of personal hygiene. It gets messy. In the second episode, Chad struggles to find his place in academia. New episodes will debut every week leading up to the March 15, 2005 launch.

by Steve Hall    Feb-18-05    

3M Proves Product Benefit With Money Filled Structures

In Vancouver, 3M is promoting its Security Glass with unique out of home structures which encase what appears to be real money in plain view of the public. News reports show people hitting and kicking the structures but, to date, the glass has held up to the test. While we wonder the sort or outdoor riots this could cause, we also think it's an ingenious method to explain the benefits of the product in a truly effective manner. View additional images here.

by Steve Hall    Feb-18-05    

Maxim Radio In Search of Sexiest Voice

Maxim wants to offer fame to the man or woman with the sexiest voice.

The company, along with sponsor Bud Light is offering a Maxim Radio promotional gig and $1,000 to the man or woman with the sexiest voice.

Casting calls will be held in New York an LA Wednesday March 2.

Maxim Radio celebrity hosts will comment on the entries in terms of sexiness, uniqueness, delivery, tone and suitability for use. Beginning March 7, 2005, visitors to Maxim Online for one week will be able to hear audio clips of the finalists' entries and click their votes. The winner will be announced on Maxim Radio on Monday, March 21, 2005.

Those interested should bring 30 seconds of their own material to read at the auditions. The New York audition will be held at the SIRIUS Satellite Radio offices at 1221 Avenue of the Americas beginning at 9 AM. The LA audition will be held at the House of Blues on Sunset Strip beginning at 11 AM.

by Steve Hall    Feb-18-05    

RAZOR Names Eric Simon Publisher

yesterday, RAZOR magazine founder Richard Botto announced the addition of Eric L.

Simon as publisher. In his new position, Simon will manage the magazine’s advertising and business operations. Previously, these had been overseen by Botto, who will now focus on directing RAZOR’s editorial operations as editor-in-chief, while also maintaining his role as the magazine’s CEO. Simon brings tens years of magazine industry expertise to his new post at RAZOR. He spent the last five years at laddie book publisher Dennis Publishing, most recently as associate publisher of music magazine Blender, where he helped manage sales and marketing and grew the book’s rate base from 525,000 to 630,000. While at Dennis, Simon also served as the company’s director of business development and licensing, established its custom publishing division and, as the founding advertising director for hottie magazine Stuff, helped that book quickly grow. Simon’s arrival at RAZOR marks the latest in a series of appointments expanding the magazine’s business team. Earlier this month, Botto announced the appointment of Nadine Weiss as RAZOR’s first West Coast advertising director, and also added two key sales leaders to the magazine’s New York office: Nicholas Pastula was named as fashion, grooming and fragrance director, while Peter Weinstock signed on as account director, entertainment, technology and finance.

by Steve Hall    Feb-18-05    

Reality is For Losers

"I wish my life was a beer commercial." That statement has been said and heard many times. While said in jest, it alludes to the desire for a better life. Life would certainly be grand if it mirrored life as portrayed in advertising but, unfortunately, it does not.

Life gets a twist when it stars in commercials. Because marketers need to associate their products with positive thoughts, many paint an unrealistic picture of life and it's racial make up.

Georgia State University Sociologist Charles Gallagher calls advertising's growing need to show all races living harmoniously together a "carefully manufactured racial utopia, a narrative of colorblindness."

While that may be a welcome direction to travel, it does not reflect the realities of life in the real world. Census data states just seven percent of all marriages are interracial and 80 percent of whites live in neighborhoods in which 95 percent of their neighbors are white.

Gallagher says this paints a very slanted picture. "The lens through which people learn about other races is absolutely through TV, not through human interaction and contact. Here, we're getting a lens of racial interaction that is far a field from reality."

Of course, this isn't some underhanded, big brother-like attempt marketers have engaged in to change society. It's just positive thinking says Stanford University Professor Sonya Grier. "Often, advertising doesn't reflect reality - everyone is beautiful and pretty and thin, so a lot of advertising is very unrealistic. It's always been something that reflects our aspirations, what we can be."

It really begs the age old chicken or egg question. Advertisers and media organizations, for the most part, promote utopian perfection rather than gritty reality. Whether advertisers and media should promote perfection or reflect reality is not an easy question to answer. In essence, both directions are well intended. Promoting perfection and cultural ideals is simply a wish for something better.

Reflecting reality brings the hard truths of life to light.

Unfortunately, many of the efforts by advertisers and media in the direction of utopian perfection often seem forced and fake.

Perhaps it's all born out of human nature's natural tendency to move forward, to do better, to improve things. Perhaps the desire for perfection can not be held back. Maybe satisfaction with one's current place in life is not natural. Or, maybe, through media and advertising, the human race has been brainwashed into thinking reality is for losers.

by Steve Hall    Feb-17-05    

Expedia, Ask Jeeves Launch New Campaigns

In this week's MediaPost Out to Launch column, Amy Corr reports on recent campaign launched from Expedia, Texas Tourism, Nautica, Suave, Ask Jeeves, TAG Heuer, Carlson Hotels, Homeland Security and Tivo.

by Steve Hall    Feb-17-05    

Abercrombie & Fitch Deny Involvement With Nazi-esque Outdoor Posters

Previously, we reported the existence of outdoor posters in the window of an abondoned store in San Francisco for Abercrombie & Fitch which incorporate Nazi imagery.

Adrants has contacted Abercrombie & Fitch and the company has clearly denied any involvement with these postings or the imagery.

by Steve Hall    Feb-16-05    

Online Political Ads May Face Regulation

Political advertising on the Internet has, to date, been a free for all. The money to pay for online campaigns can come from anywhere and candidates to not have to appear in the ads endorsing them. Currently, online advertising does not have to adhere to the stricter offline rules which are regulated by the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act. That may soon change as the Federal Election Commission begins to review whether the Internet should continue to be exempt from campaign finance law.

The FEC is revisiting the law after U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly ruled in September, the FEC's special treatment of the Internet flys in the face of the law's intent.

by Steve Hall    Feb-16-05    

Pirillo: RSS to Replace Email Marketing

At a recent Blog Business Summit, industry consultant Chris Pirillo said, "Email marketing is dead."

He claims spam and filters have killed the channel as a viable advertising medium. A former fan of email marketing, Pirillo, and other industry luminaries have switched gears and are now proponents of RSS as the new method of content delivery and advertising.

Weblogs are the biggest users of RSS allowing readers to be notified through a newsreader when new content has been added to the weblog.

News organizations have also started using RSS to publish their news stories. So far, RSS is spam free and, as long as advertisers don't clutter feeds with ads, RSS will likely overtake email as the preferred method for receiving content.

by Steve Hall    Feb-16-05    

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