OurColony Viral Rumored to Promote Microsoft Xbox 2

GamesRadar surmises OurColony to be another ilovebees-like viral campaign. ilovebees, created by 4orty 2wo, an agency created by former Microsoft employees, promoted Halo 2 with an extended and elaborate campaign. GamesRadar believes Microsoft is employing the same tactic to promote Xbox 2. Site visitors are encouraged to recruit five friends who then compete in challenges to win gifts. GamesRader reports some of the gifts contain pictures hinting at Xbox 2. Additionally, flyers have been spotted attached to billboards, lampposts and on the walls and windows of game shops. As always, time will tell.

by Steve Hall    Apr- 7-05    
Topic: Viral

Stacked Pamela Anderson Gets Friendster Bog Treatment For 'Stacked'

MarketingVOX reports FOX will promote its Pamela Anderson comedy series, aptly named with an overly obvious double entendre, Stacked, with Friendster weblogs written by cast members similar to blog/Friendster promotions for Anchorman and The Apprentice.

by Steve Hall    Apr- 7-05    
Topic: Celebrity

Junior Creative Ignored By CD in Pitch, Ends Up In Winning Agency's Ad

Adland publisher Åsk Wäppling has posted an old commercial on her site in which she appears. She ended up in the commercial through a strange turn of events ten years ago while working on a new business pitch for Expressen Fredag for which she was charged target audience research. Unfortunately, her agency did not win the account due, apparently, to her "fool" of a creative director.

"I had spent days researching the target group (even though I was just 22, I thought I'd interview the target kids between 16-25 to understand them better) to figure out what would appeal to them/how to talk to them," Åsk said. "When I presented that and my conclusions and my ideas, he CD self confidently stated that he "knew" what kids liked, saying, 'I know what the young kids like, I have a VIP card to [name of hip club],' and proceeded to ignore my advice."

Oddly, while not winning the account, she ended up in the commercial anyway. Upon her insights being dissed, Åsk said, "I went out and vented my frustrations by playing pinball all night (there is a machine behind me [in the ad]), and a photographer came up and asked to shoot me for some 'Hip kids reportage'. Turns out the photographer was working for the competing agency, they won the account, and a few weeks later my face was all over MTV."

Gloating happily, she adds, "I was pretty damn chuffed to end up in the competing agencies winning campaign. It was like really rubbing that guys nose in it." The commercial can be viewed here. And yes, you have to subscribe to view.

by Steve Hall    Apr- 7-05    
Topic: Agencies

Cover Up: Online Publishing Success Cannibalizing Offline Operations

Long time New York PR professional Lois Whitman, who started her career in 1966 as a "copy girl" for Fairchild Publications and followed the activities of Jackie O, Lana Turner, Kim Novak and Liz Taylor, lends experiential insight to the notion more and more publishers are deriving revenue from their online properties than their print properties. Eluding to the notion publisher's offline efforts are increasingly being supported by their online efforts, Whitman posits this trend is being buried by the media for fear of accelerating the death of their many print publications.

It's not an entirely radical, nor new notion but when it comes from the lips (fingers?) of one so steeped in the pre-Internet world, it's a bit more alarming. More so than when it comes from a dot com wannabe.

by Steve Hall    Apr- 7-05    
Topic: Online

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BovineUnited Makes Clandestine Viral Debut

OK, let's make this a group effort because we are getting tired of trying to find out who's behind these elaborate stunt marketing schemes. This one's called BovineUnite and it's all about cows uniting in a clandestine, Nazi-esque manner. It's promoting something that will launch May 5 and tells visitors to "tune into the networks between 8:45 and 9PM for further instructions." It's got everything: videos, a blog, wallpaper, IM icons, games and lots of moo sounds.

Because we can't help ourselves, there are some findings we can share. Whois info points to domain registrant William Davis residing in Bel Air, Maryland which Google Satellite reveals to be what looks like a residential neighborhood. Upon calling the phone number provided in Whois, a woman provided the work phone number for Davis which, when called, led to a company called Eisner Interactive. Davis is listed as VP, Director of Operations. None of the clients listed on the companies site jump out as obvious choices for this effort but, then again, what smart agency would list a client for whom they were doing a stealth effort such as this? We placed a call to the provided number but, of course, got voice mail. We did, however, confirm that Davis is a real human being working at a real agency.

Someone in Ask MetaFilter says the marketing firm RedPeg Marketing, which lists some very major brands as clients, is behind it. Another Ask MetaFilter poster claims to have seen a truck in Bethesda, Maryland with the words "Bovine United" on it and the poster later saw four people dressed in cow suits waving in front of a Barnes & Noble.

As always, more to follow...

UPDATE: In comment, two people suggest it could be Chik-Fil-A. We're not quite sure what cows have to do with chicken, though, other than there being used to illustrate some sort of "uprising" against humans eating meat...like their current ad campaign as pointed out in comments.

UPDATE II: Since old comments are gone due to the redesign, I'll state here. It's been confirmed this is the Maryland State Lottery. This was previously stated in the old comments.

by Steve Hall    Apr- 7-05    
Topic: Viral

Anheuser-Busch Super Bowl Military Spot Gets Hacked

Why it took so long, we do not know but someone has made a minor edit to the ending of Budweiser's brilliant Super Bowl Military commercial inserting what was probably on the minds of some but was, wisely, left out. Rather than sit through the entire minute long, 4 MB file just to see the pay off, here's a screenshot for your enjoyment.

by Steve Hall    Apr- 7-05    
Topic: Commercials

Match.com, Giants, Mohegan Sun Launch New Campaigns

Featured in this week's MediaPost Out to Launch column by Amy Corr are new campaigns from Match.com by Hanft Raboy & Partners which debuted on Desperate Housewives a week ago, an outdoor campaign for the San Francisco Giants with a bit less Barry Bonds than originally planned, three tourism campaigns for Charlotte, Beverly Hills and Wisconsin, the return of Mr. Six for Six Flags, a Kirshenbaum Bond + Partners created campaign for Mohegan Sun, a "we're better than cable because we're DSL" campaign for Verizon, a Popeye Chicken & Biscuits campaign featuring comedian Bruce Bruce and a get-out-of-debt campaign from TrueCredit.

by Steve Hall    Apr- 7-05    
Topic: Campaigns

Six Flags Brings Back Mister Six

While we loved the original commercial better, it's nice to see the return of the old fogey, Mr. Six, seen in this spot walking in his bed at the retirement home, prepping a Six Flags park then breaking into his signature "We Like to Party" jig.

by Steve Hall    Apr- 7-05    
Topic: Commercials

Marriott Marquis Rejects IFC Green Day Billboard

After seeing the artwork, showing a grenade held in a bloodied hand, for a billboard promoting IFC's year-long hook up with Green Day, Marriott rejected the 28 X 43 foot placement on the side of its Times Square Marriott Marquis hotel. After learning the board was banned last Friday, Green Day's Billie Joe Armstrong thought it was an April Fool's joke. But a Marriott spokesman clarified any misunderstanding, telling the Daily News, "We have the right to review all advertising that goes on our buildings and if we feel it has any political, pornographic or inappropriate content, we have the right to reject that ad."

by Steve Hall    Apr- 7-05    
Topic: Outdoor

Bits Gets Perpendicular in Hitachi Video, 30,000 Song iPod On The Way

Those who toil in the creation of B to B advertising know there's seldom a time when the work approaches the level of so-called "fun" their counterparts in consumer advertising supposedly experience working on those cool accounts like Apple, Volkswagen or any beer account. [Ed. I know. I've been there.] Thanks to Andreas, after viewing this little animated video created for Hitachi, there's proof at least a few who work in B to B are having a bit of "fun."

To explain how a 6GB hard drive, like the one in an MP3 player, can hold 30,000 songs instead of 3,000, this Hitachi video illustrates, amusingly, how lining up the bits in a perpendicular manner (as opposed to laying flat), can dramatically improve a hard drive's storage capacity. A 30,000 song iPod would sell pretty well, don't ya think?

by Steve Hall    Apr- 7-05    
Topic: Viral

'Current' TV Likened to Blog TV

By now, you've all heard Al Gore is behind the year old operation called Current, formerly known as INdTV. The thrust of the new cable network, to be piped via cable to 20 million homes in August, is people-produced content. The network, through its Current Studio, will provide support to those who wish to create content which will be segmented into Current Soul, Current Gigs, Current Fashion, Current Lies, Current Tech as well as news supplied by Google.

Nick Mathisen, writing on The Ill Quill, likens this approach to blogging and calls it Blog TV. It's an apt analogy and Current is enabling the spread of consumer-created content to another medium: television. While it's unlikely the country will completely ween itself from the likes of 'Desperate Housewives,' 'Lost' or 'Grey's Anatomy' but the content offered through Current will be dramatically new, different and certainly intriguing. And no, just like the Internet, Al Gore did not invent Current either.

by Steve Hall    Apr- 7-05    
Topic: Cable