Ad Freak contends France made serious media history yesterday when at the stroke of midnight they officially lifted a ban preventing gaudy supermarket ads from chafing the eyes of its chic denizens. The moment was consummated when, moments after the ball drop into '07, an ad for cheap Systeme U washing powder debuted on the TF1 and M6 channels.
Opinions range from optimism as France makes a friendly leap toward the 21st century, and outraged notions of culture bastardization and handicaps for small businesses.
Cheery allies for the lift include Serge Papin, chairman of Systeme U. "This is a great opportunity," he said. "We have everything to gain from it." Well, obviously.
The release of the ban comes shortly after publicized concerns over the rampant commercialization of the Champs-Elysees, a wonderstreet rapidly devolving into strip mall fare. Looks like the charmed sophisticate haven is losing ground to, dare we say it? McDonaldization? Or is that a battle that's already been lost? Sometimes we fall behind.
There were certainly things Saddam Hussein did many would say justified his recent hanging but it's Saddam who's left us with the last word. In that blather of pontification he shared with us prior to his neck being broken, some say he uttered the words "beware of the contextual advertising." As if to deliver on that warning from the afterlife, next to a video of Saddam's death appears an ad for another famed dictator, Idi Amin...or rather Forrest Whitaker playing Idi Amin in his new movie, The Last King of Scotland.
Our Singapore correspondent tells us there's drama over at Leo Burnett Asia-Pacific writing, "Linda Locke, the award winning Regional Creative Director and so-called 'Dragon Lady' of Leo Burnett Asia-Pacific has been ousted from her perch high atop the network's creative ladder. Based in Singapore, Locke has been with Leo Burnett for nearly a decade - first as the ECD of the network's Singapore office after which she was vaulted to Chairman\ Executive Creative Director. Locke added the Regional CD title to her card shortly thereafter.
Kevin Nalty from Will Video for Food has created two fantastic lists. The first, Top 10 Viral Video Moments of 2006 gathers together 2006's shining moments in viral video from Google's purchase of YouTube to the LonelyGirl 15 sensation to the Diet Coke Mentos craze. The second, Top 10 Online Video Predictions for 2007 offers up some insightful crystal balling about what's in store for video in 2007. From the convergence of online video and television to YouTube killers to six-figure amateur online videographers to citizens reporting news live via video, the year is sure to be an exciting one.
Remember, hardly anyone had heard of YouTube this time last year. For those hopelessly out of the loop, that's former Rocketboomer and current ABC'er Amanda Congdon in the picture.
Canadians always have clever drunk-driving PSAs. That's one thing they consistently destroy us over.
A series of shorts on Youtube encompasses their CounterAttack effort, which highlights excuses typical of drunk drivers in a disturbing setting: the situation when things go awry. Excuses are scrawled like last words across gravestones or on street signs beside totaled vehicles, for example.
The campaign is subtly clever and not garish or too obviously impressions-hungry, a typical characteristic of Youtube efforts by other major entities. Experience the savvy here, here and here.
AdTunes, the site that tracks music used in advertising has highlighted what it believes to be the Top Ad Music of 2006. From the odd combination of that haunting Gary Jules rendition of Tears for Fear's Mad World featured in the movie Donnie Darko with a Gears of War commercial to that elevator music-ish tune by Royksopp called Remind Me featured in the Caveman Geico Airport commercial, the list brings together some of the best musical choices of the year.
Known for its guerilla marketing magic, the hard-hitting Truth recently got a clue about blogs and started their own on Xanga.com. This is in contrast to the many sites who prefer to blog exclusively on their own servers or homepages, a good move in our opinion because of Xanga's sizeable built-in audience.
The campaign's been around a couple of months and is advertised heavily on Xanga's front page, visible to a serious chunk of the Truth demo as Xanga sits in the top 15 most-visited websites for the American teen demographic (per their own research). Entries range from scandalous calls to action to news on concurrent campaigns like their back hair effort.
We dig the idea but the blog could do with a better writer as the content's a bit dry and hardly does dignity to Truth's razor-edge persona.
Volvo's Free Will campaign is a collage of consumer opinion about its C30 hatchback. While this concept isn't new, airing negative views as adstuff (er, kind of) is.
The campaign also includes video shorts that viewers can rate upon seeing. One features an audience throwing tomatoes and heckling as a burlesque woman unveils the C30 on a theatre stage.
The campaign's gone strong in the UK for a year. Ford global ad director Tim Ellis says the effort aims to get the up-and-coming 25-35 demo to do some thinking about the C30 and develop a relationship with Volvo based more on honesty than is typical in brand relationships. "In research, we learned that people feel as if we are really talking directly to them, so they consume [campaign offerings] and engage [them] differently than other typical advertisements," he explained.
Cheers to Volvo for their bravery. We look forward to seeing how it turns out even if we don't find the C30 that cute. (See? Works on marketers too.)
Since no one's at the top of their game on January 2, including us, we're going to bring you this bit of irrelevant, innocuous news to ease you into the New Year. Ready? OK. Telephone poles across the nation are suffering from a new disease caused by the hundreds of staples people use to affix fliers to the poles. It's expected tree huggers everywhere will amass the streets of America with staple removers to combat this disease. Oh wait, telephone poles are dead trees. See. We told you this was a non-news item. Move along. There's nothing to see here.
Saatchi and Saatchi CEO Kevin Roberts reveals that Lovemarks, allegedly written by him and out for three years running, is not actually a book but a "new-business development tool" according to AdAge in a video interview. Indeed, what appears to be text on sheets between bound paper to all who encounter it is actually the elaborate first phase of a 10-year scheme to refurbish the ethos and image of the Publicis Groupe agency, according to Roberts.
The confession comes just in time for phase two of the zany scheme which also appears in chimerical book form: The Lovemarks Effect: Winning the Consumer Revolution. This too is part of the effort to change S and S "from an ad agency to an ideas company to become the Lovemarks company," explains Roberts.
Ironic how much changes from high school, when the last thing you want is to be known for your lovemarks. Clearly Saatchi and Saatchi is onto something we aren't.
We Matter decided to start the year off right with print ads on BART featuring a girl cutting her wrists for lack of attention.
"How the hell can they wish us a happy 2007 with images like that?" snarled the teenage BART passenger who was forced to stare at it for the whole ride.
Hey, at least we know people look at ads and even take them a little personally. Maybe next year We Matter will glam up the campaign by putting one of those "HAPPY 2007!" party hats on its not-so-optimistic New Year poster children.
Read the copy here. We dig wake-up call ads, especially since cutting is a topic in suburbia that's not much addressed (and should be). That revelers came across the campaign over the threshold of 2007 was just awkward timing.