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Valentine Vomit Viral Vexes

Here we go again with one of those mystery virals created by who knows who for who knows what. This site, called Who Ordered Room Service shows us a loving couple getting all misty eyed for each other in a hotel room when a room service waiter rolls in and proceeds to spews the contents of his stomach all over the pair. His reason? "I did it for you," says the waiter to the girl as the Brian Adams tune "Everything I Do" crescendos in the background.

The site was registered anonymously using Domains by Proxy on February 6 through, humorously, GoDaddy. We're not sure that has anything to do with GoDaddy's Super Bowl brand boost or why a puking waiter would have anything to do with a strap-challenged, court room hottie but stranger things have happened. The viral is being spread, it seems by an army of emailers, 15 of whom sent it to Internet oddity collector Screenhead. All is promised to be revealed Valentine's Day.

by Steve Hall    Feb-12-05    

Campaign Reveals Women's Favorite Things

Now here's an ad that speaks the truth about what women love: IRN BRU and dick. Visit Hidden Persuader for the full sized image.

by Steve Hall    Feb-11-05    

Neopets Teams With Limited Too For In-Store, Online Promotion

Online youth entertainment company Neopets, Inc. has partnered with specialty 'tween retailer Limited Too to offer a selection of exclusive Neopets themed CD/DVD cases at 568 Limited Too stores beginning February 11. The plush-covered, padded CD cases, which hold 8 compact discs each, come in three different colors with images of popular Neopets characters - a Uni, a Gelert and an Aisha. The CD cases are priced at $2.90.

In addition to the in-store promotion, Neopets is launching a Limited Too themed Immersive Advertising activity on the Neopets website. Site members can play the new Limited Too Mix 'n' Match game to earn the website's virtual currency - Neopoints. Neopets players can then use their Neopoints to "shop" for their virtual Neopets, with odd names like Shoyrus, Kacheeks, and Kougras. Other site activities include trading virtual items with friends online, playing online games, writing for the online newspaper (The Neopian Times) and exploring the expanding world of Neopia.

by Steve Hall    Feb-11-05    

The Apprentice Dove Ads A Horror Show

Writing on MSNBC, RealityBlurred's Andy Dehnart reviews the horror show that was last night's The Apprentice.

In the episode the two teams were to create television ads for Dove Cool Moisture body wash. While Dehnart thinks one teams ad was no more horrible than both ads, we think they both just sucked. But, the contestants on The Apprentice are not advertising professionals. It really should not have been a surprise to Donnie Deutsch and Trump the ads might not end up so good. Deutsch informed both teams they were losers on the task forcing both teams to face Trump in the boardroom. We are so tired of writing about The Apprentice but can't seem to stop watching the train wreck product placement orgasm. If anyone cares, the leader of the marathon team that created the marathon ad was fired. View the two excuses for commercials here.

by Steve Hall    Feb-11-05    

Brits Freak Over IKEA Brand

The combination of effective promotion and Brits apparently never having seen furniture before caused hundreds of people to be injured as 6,000 people crushed through the doors at the grand opening of the IKEA store in Edmonton, North London. Being fanatical about a brand is one thing but we certainly can't imaging the desire for a couch to be quite this powerful. Freaky.

by Steve Hall    Feb-11-05    

Dogs Mug For Kennel Show

The 129th Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show airs February 14 on USA.

Promoting the event like it was a professional wrestling match, is a :30 set to the tune of Europe's "The Final Countdown" which features images of dogs mugging for the camera. With simple copy, "Destiny Awaits, Fetch It," and "tv announcer" voiceover, the spot is, in our opinion, effective in keeping your attention long enough to see the pay off at the end. The ad was created by 72andSunny. View it here.

by Steve Hall    Feb-11-05    

FTC Says Product Placement Need Not Be Disclosed

Advertisers jumped gleefully into the air yesterday when the FTC decided not to require the disclosure of product placements on television. While the decision is not an indication of endorsement of the practice one way or the other by the FTC, it felt issuing one broad rule for all product placement was not the best way to go. The FTC, later, plans to examine celebrity endorsements on talk shows, entertainment and news programming.

Without surprise, Commercial Alert, the Ralph Nader group that proposed the rule requiring all product placements to be disclosed at the start of the show and during the placement, with the word "advertisement" on the screen, is pissed. Commercial Alert Executive Director Gary Ruskin said the FTC's position is out of date and "based on a totally antiquated notion that advertising persuades only through objective claims, and not imagery."

While this may be a coup for the advertising industry, we hope it doesn't open up a free for all product placement explosion. We also hope marketers allow the writers of shows in which products will be placed more creative control so placements don't look forced

by Steve Hall    Feb-11-05    

Turmoil Surrounds Introduction of WOMMA Standards

Following the introduction of the Word of Mouth Marketing Association's Code of Conduct, a heated discussion surrounding the association's statement against including children under 13 in word of mouth campaigns and it's apparent neglect in establishing guidelines for children 13-17. While we hope WOMMA's intentions are honorable, both the Viral and Buzz Marketing Association and the National Institute on Media and the Family have taken issue with some current word of mouth marketing efforts. Last fall at the New York AD:TECH show, a conference about online marketing, VBMA founder Justin Kirby and a NIMF audience member questioned the practices of Boston-based BzzAgent, a company which recruits people to join the company as buzz agents who "talk up" the products of paying marketers. The NIMF audience member challenged BzzAgent to change its policy which urges its buzz agents to be "discreet" when talking about the products they have agreed to buzz about. While BzzAgent said they would revisit their policy to perhaps urge agents to be more forthright with the reason they are talking up a product, NIMF claims no policies have been changed.

BzzAgent Founder Dave Balter counters NIMF's claim the company's code has not changed saying, "We changed this code over two months ago because we realized that our code was out of date."

Balter also claims NIMF was premature in its attack on the WOMMA Code of Ethics saying, "We appreciate the Institute's feedback. However, we (WOMMA) were concerned about the glaring inaccuracies in the Institute's press release, beginning with their failure to note that this was not an established code, but a starting point and request for input."

Balter further lays blame on NIMF for not responding to WOMMA's requests for input during the establishment of the Code. "We did in fact contact them back in December, asking them to help us draft a more effective code. They never responded, choosing to attack instead of contribute."

As heated as this issue may have become, Balter simply wants to move forward and work with interested parties to establish effective and mutually acceptable guidelines. "we are in complete agreement that the need to protect minors is a critical issue. And we look forward to working with leading educational, consumer, and children's advocacy organizations in making sure that the bar is set properly high."

by Steve Hall    Feb-11-05    

Fairchild Yanks YM Your Prom After Porn URL Found in Ad

MediaWeek reports Fairchild Publications has pulled 680,000 copies of YM Your Prom because an ad mistakenly carried the URL for a child-porn website. Two of the six ad pages prom dress maker Studio 17 placed in the issue contained the URL. While Fairchild is pulling as many issues as it can, Hearst, which publishes Teen Prom, in which the ad also appeared, has decided not to pull copies.

A Hearst spokesperson explained the decision telling MediaWeek, "This was a mistake on the advertiser's behalf - in fact, the error also appeared in their own catalogue. This is a very unfortunate situation and, quite simply, the result of human error. We've received very few complaints and have handled them immediately."

While no one's talking, we're guessing the URL may have been studio17.com (a redirect to http://www.clubseventeen.com/index-int.html) which is, most assuredly, a teen porn site. Very not safe for work.

Porn, of course, is everywhere and most likely no surprise to most teens but we think it might have been a wise move if Hearst had , at least, made some sort of effort rather than simply saying, hey, they made the mistake so why should we care.

by Steve Hall    Feb-10-05    

Careerbuilder Extends Yeknom Promotion to Competing Job Sites

Careerebuilder's Super Bowl spots promoted their job service using a guy stuck in a company run by a bunch of monkeys called Yeknom Industries. The campaign also included a website for the Yeknom company complete with fake job listing. In a coup, those job listing have found there way to competing job sites and have been listed on Yahoo HotJobs as well as Monster.

That's a truly stunning promotional tactic.

While GoDaddy is getting all the press, Careerbuilder is shaping up to be the best, most smartly integrated, stealth-like campaign we've seen in a while.

by Steve Hall    Feb-10-05    

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