Absolut Rejects 'Controversial' Ad

ANIMAL, a Manhattan-based publishing, marketing and media company developed an Absolut ad that comments on the controversial planned sale of the West Side Rail Yards for $700 million. ANIMAL Publisher Bucky Turco explains, “I basically sent this mock ad to Absolut to try and get ANIMAL on their radar in regards to doing creative work and cool events.”

Absolut, however, was not amused and ANIMAL received several irate emails. One stating bluntly, “take me off your mailing list,” and the others to the effect that Absolut does not accept outside solicitations. Turco explains the reasoning behind the ad, “In addition to getting Absolut’s attention we wanted to comment on the sale of the West Side yard. $700 million for 14 acres on prime waterfront in Manhattan? That’s the best we can do?”

Well, at least now, with Google Satellite, everyone can make ads like this.

by Steve Hall    Apr- 8-05    
Topic: Brands

Paris Hilton Promotes Pituitary Disorder With Sex

To raise awareness of pituitary dysfunction, the Pituitary Network Association invited Paris Hilton to meet with PNA board member Ken Baker to explain the disease to her and to present her with a cute, pink T-shirt that reads, "Sex is a nine letter word." There are nine letter in the word "Pituitary."

Upon receiving the gift, Paris released the air valve in her head and uttered her classic "that's hot" phrase adding, "People should know more about a gland that most of us never even think about. It's a really good cause." Anything for publicity.

by Steve Hall    Apr- 8-05    
Topic: Celebrity

Anti-Smoking PSA Hits Hard

To illustrates the fact that one third of all smokers will die from smoking, this PSA uses a powerful analogy involving cars and pedestrians. It hits home.

by Steve Hall    Apr- 8-05    
Topic: Commercials

GM to Pull Ads From LA Times Over Reviews

Autoblog reports GM will pull its advertising from the LA Times because of "factual errors and misrepresentation" in the paper's reviews of GM's vehicles. A recent LA Times review of Pontiac's G6 called the car a "sales flop" and called for the impeachment of Bob Lutz. Lutz has not yet mentioned the issue on his weblog.

by Steve Hall    Apr- 8-05    
Topic: Newspaper

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McDonald's Rapper Deal Yields Backlash

It would appear McDonald's efforts to get rapper's to mention their brand in songs has paid off, or backfired depending on one's opinion, in the form of a Gatbustaz song, entitled McGangsta, dedicated solely to all things McDonald's. With the usual intestine busting beat and profanity-laden lyrics, the song certainly mentions McDonald's but, likely, not in a manner of which McDonald's would approve. In one of the song's verses, after telling the window attendant to "shut the fuck up," the rapper proceeds with:

I tell you what I want
Beef patties' what I want
Big bum's' what I want
Great bitch is what I want

Big mac, fuckin big macs
I like big macs like a ho likes big dicks
shove one in their move, they damn are lovin it

As if to call attention to the idiocy of McDonald's paying rappers to mention their name, this song ends with the artist calling McDonald's, we think, motherfuckers. If this is, in fact backlash, McDonald's may wish they'd never considered this program.

UPDATE: Commenter are suggesting we've all been had and that is was an April Fool's joke. Not a big surprise.

by Steve Hall    Apr- 8-05    
Topic: Brands

Taco Bell Promotes New Drink With Wood Chipper

Combine a bucket full of fruit, a wood chipper and bunch of bored guys in the backyard of suburbia and what do you get? A quirky online promotion from Taco Bell for their new Mountain Dew Baja Blast drink. After viewing a video of the backyard stunt, which doesn't go quite as planned, the viewer is taken to a promotional site for the drink. At the site, which carries a surfing motif, visitors can get surf board construction tips, view actual surf via links to surfline.com, search for the perfect wave which delivers a list of the nearest Taco Bell restaurants, call a number and listen to a voice mail message and enter the ubiquitous, but cheap in this case, sweepstakes to win one million...Pesos, that is...not dollars. One million Pesos is $88,000.

by Steve Hall    Apr- 8-05    
Topic: Viral

'Apprentice' Product Placements Wreak Havoc For Brands

We can just envision the heated conversations between Domino's Pizza and the producers of The Apprentice leading up to last night's episode in which an obvious, Trump-delivered voice over was dubbed in after the fact in deference to Domino's who was slammed the week before by both the contestants and Papa John's Meatball Pizza stealth commercial placement.

Domino's was put in an awkward position in last week's episode in which The Apprentice contestants both made meatball pizza which were rejected by Domino's only to have Papa John's Pizza capitalize on that rejection by placing a meatball pizza ad in 60 markets, ultimately, making Domino's look pretty dumb.

Last night, NBC ate crow with a voice over to appease Domino's. Delivered by Trump and edited oddly so as to account for the fact he wasn't actually saying the words when the episode was filmed, the voice over was, "And speaking of last week's task, here's something you didn't know. Both teams created meatball pizza. But if you'd done your market research like Domino's did, you would have discovered that customers don't want meatball pizza. What they want is cheeseburger pizza. The lesson: Always pay attention to your customer." Obviously, it was a direct slap in the face at Papa John's for their brilliant antics last week.

As Andy Dehnart, writing on MSNBC points out, these product placements on steroids don't come without danger. Last night, American Eagle, for which the contestants design ridiculously impractical "Wearable technology clothing" and failed miserably, was slighted immediately following the task by the reward - a shopping spree at, as Trump called it, "one of the great stores anywhere in the world," Bergdorf Goodman. Not paying sponsor American Eagle. Bergdorf Goodman.

In one sense, as a viewer, and as a marketer associating itself with the show, it sort of makes one pine for the simpler, more realistic days of old when contestants sold unbranded, as memory serves, lemonade. Now the show's an hour long commercial.

by Steve Hall    Apr- 8-05    
Topic: Product Placement