Consumer-generated "marketing campaigns" are hot this Super Bowl season, an indication of either curiosity, desperation or laziness which may contribute in part to big brands' decisions to shy away from this year's pigskin adfest.
Lending legitimacy to this lame attempt at representing their companies, Compete compiled some data on which consumer-gens are faring best and worst this close to the cut.
According to this Craig's List job posting, a New York agency wants to hire a writer to post comments on blogs and message board as part of a "viral marketing campaign." If we are understanding the ad correctly, it appears the agency wants this person to seed blogs and message boards with comments as part of a marketing campaign. While these "planted" comments happen all the time, acceptance of or retaliation against depends entirely on how the efforts are conducted. If it's seen as schilling something in an inappropriate environment or using verbiage that's overly salesy, it'll be shot down the minute it starts.
One could argue this sort of effort is clandestine and should never occur. Others might argue it's simply another form of public relations playing its part to sway opinion. We'd hope this effort would consist of more than just panted commentary and include a blog or its own. Perhaps it will. The ad isn't clear on that point. Either way, the devil is clearly in the details on this one.
The pre-Super Bowl commercial fest continues. Now we have a seven second teaser from CareerBuilder for one of the three spots it will run during the game. And on YouTube, you can find two spots for Disney promoting their Wild Hogs and Meet the Robinsons movies. Serioulsy, why bother with the Super Bowl when there's YouTube. Oh wait, YouTube's quality is shitty and a hell of a lot more people still watch the Super Bowl than troll YouTube.
Here's where Michelin's Super Bowl spot will point you on game day. Perhaps it's because we just returned from the place, but this site makes us feel like we're in the middle of a combination of Disney World rides. While the swirling camera animation is very cool, we're not quite sure what the site's trying to tell us. But don't listen to us. We're squarely in the "don't waste time fucking around with distracting, cool shit. Just tell us what you're fucking selling" category.
UPDATE: OK, now we get it. The site's just video from the commercial (which ran pre-game Super Bowl 2007). The commercial makes sense because there's voiceover. Maybe the website needs a voiceover too.
OK, this is just gross. There's a reason why hot women (and men) are allowed to take their shirts off and strut their stuff for the general public's appreciation. That's the reason why that 2003 Miller Catfight Super Bowl spot received so much notoriety. While Miller did create a male hottie version of the pool/mud wrestling spot, the two guys in that ad stopped short of having an actual fight and got all "sensitive man" on us to which, we wrote, "Oh please...can't they just beat the shit out of each other like the girls did in the mud wrestling spot?"
We are told these are bed ads from a Brazilian bedmaker. The images carry no logo and our source does not know who the brand is. But, they are too good to share and done in a way only Brazilians can do. Enjoy them all here.
A tipster tells us the hair care brand Sunsilk was behind the creation of the strange "bridezilla" video which was posted on YouTube January 18 and received 9 million views before it was pulled. It's back up now and in the video, a bride enters a hotel room full of bride's maids, proceeds to flip out and cut her hair off because it looks so bad. Initially thought to be an innocently created farce, it's now been revealed the four women in the video are actresses and were paid to appear in it. What wasn't known until now, according to our source, is that Sunsilk, working with Toronto-based Capital C Communications, was initially involved but backed out at the last minute. It's unclear why Sunsilk separated itself from the project.
While the four women are getting all the glory right now, we've spoken to the director of the video who has graciously promised us more details as soon as he makes sure all his legal "I's" and "T's" are properly crossed. As soon as we have more information, we will gleefully pass it along to you.
UPDATE: Sunsilk, perhaps jealous of all the media attention the four actors are receiving, is now acknowledging their involvement with the creation of the video.
In a witty ploy for press, Taco Bell, unlike other fast food brands who have derided Nationwide's depiction of the fast food career as less than desirable, has offered a job to Kevin Federline and the promise of a customized Taco Bell uniform. Taco Bell CEO Greg Creed sent this offer letter:
Dear Mr. Federline,
First off, congratulations on your upcoming Super Bowl ad. We heard it's generating a lot of talk, particularly about working in the fast food industry.
We know you respect those who work in our business. In fact, last year you said in an interview, "My kids are going to have to learn what a real job is, what life is. You don't have it easy with me. Period. My kids are going to work at Taco Bell."
We're flattered, but obviously they're too young to work for us. So here's our offer to you: Come work for us, just for a one hour shift. We'll get you a uniform, a custom name tag and show you what a great place Taco Bell is to work. We'll even reward customers who visit that restaurant with an order of our new Carne Asada Steak Grilled Taquitos for free.
We encourage you to continue to "Think Outside the Bun" and hope you accept our tasty offer.
Taco Bell Corp.
Now, that's the kind of marketing think we respect and appreciate.
Some campaigns are launched with high hopes only to be buried by more important things or simply bad planning. This is what we think happened with Wells Fargo's strange 2006 Backstage campaign, boasting music by no-name artists, a weird Stagecoach Island game, and a national tour (less Woodstock than a futile set of volleyball games).
We would never have found out about the campaign that didn't fly if we hadn't been to the bank yesterday, where we saw a card sticking out of a machine and went in to return it. The coiffed rep gushed, "good behaviour needs rewarding" and, after quizzing us on our FICO savvy, gave us a Backstage shirt. We harbor the suspicion there are about 4,000 said shirts in the backstage of the branch, but didn't say anything.
Of course, had we searched Adrants, we would have realized the game's been around in one form or another for over a year. Aren't we good?
Here's a fun time-waster that falls into the shoot-the-hottie category. Called School For Scoundrels: Fight Dirty, it's an online paint ball game to promote the movie School for Scoundrels that lets you shoot paint balls at guys, girls or an image of someone you upload into the game.
Here's some GM Super Bowl commercial leaky leak that, if we're understanding the commercial correctly, claims robots won't build cars anymore because they aren't as good as humans. Hmm. Can anyone imagine a GM production line staffed entirely by humans with no assist from those cool, yellow robots? i guess we'll find out during the game.
UPDATE: The robot has...drumroll please...a blog!
- FOX has released its second Ignited Minds-created PSA in its Pause campaign which urges young people to stop and think before they make a stupid decision.
- Can we please stop with the pregnant stomach advertising auctions?
- Copyranter loves his girlfriend. We do too!
- Reaching new levels of un-informed stupidity, Boston's Mayor Menino now wants to ban all guerilla marketing from Boston, saying, "This nitwit technique has no place in our city."
- Now we have ads to promote Super Bowl ads. Sprint is running a teaser on YouTube for their Super Bowl activity.
Now here's angle you don't see very often. A new film, Mine Your Own Business, "exposes the dark side of environmentalism" and posits Western environmentalists are to blame for keeping poor, third world countries in poverty claiming development and progress will ruin the poor's "quaint" lifestyle.
The movie follows 23 year old George, an unemployed Romanian miner who can't find work because Western environmentalists have launched an anti-mining campaign against a propsed mine in the area that would offer jobs and growth to many people. The movie is said to make us "think about the unintended consequences of blindly supporting environmentalist/anti-development campaigns across the globe. It is a challenge to the cozy consensus that allows westerners to deny progress to those who need it most."
After spending $4.2 million on a couple of spots in the uber-competitive ad orgy called Super Bowl, you naturally want some serious run for your money. But not everybody takes the expected measures to ensure an ROI.
Adrants reader Roy points us to this interesting story about the American Heart Association, who paid the Super Bowl invoice and dropped still more cash to produce light-hearted cautionary piece "Heart Attack," then did something odd: they neglected to mention the product, heart drug Altace.
"I don't think it is appropriate to have some guy in a white lab coat staring into the audience saying, 'You are going to die if you eat another chicken wing,'" says Rebecca Sroge, executive VP and managing director of Glow Worm, the agency that created "Heart Attack."
Match.com's Make Love Happen campaign pushes the notion that there's a match for everybody, no matter how quirky or off-colour. The lively prints come courtesy of Serge Seidlitz. Well, we said we were all for the unsexy in a primarily sex-driven industry so this is what we get: sexless Lego pieces in an Erect-a-Set city.
Check out a pink variation of the ad here. It merits a close look as there are a lot of details. Whether it will draw attention to said details is a story only time will tell.
Mini Cooper marketers Butler, Shine, Stern & Partners get savvy with billboards that talk to cars. RFID technology in Mini Cooper keyfobs get picked up by billboards which then reflect that information in little messages like "Hey Bill" and "Nice convertible."
Check out the video here. We're impressed but creeped out, not least because if people still wonder whether Big Brother is watching, this would be an appropriate time to suspect that yes he is. And he approves of your taste in cars.
Mini users not in the RFID loop can sign up for it at the Mini website. You'll be asked a few questions about your private life. Try not to let slip the awkward BDSM fantasy about your boss unless you want it aired 200 feet above you.
Appropriating ads and turning them into fuck-the-man messages is not actually anti-advertising. It's turning an ad into another (granted, irony-rich and possibly more sophisticated) ad.
While like Mortarblog we have serious doubts about the Anti-Advertising Agency's claim that "city dwellers see 5,000 ads per day," we agree that the world out there is oversaturated ad-wise. But in an ideal world, that raises the bar for us - not to become more ostentatious with our messages, but to make them more slow-moving and subtle. In an ideal world, anyway.
We dig what the Anti-Ad Agency's trying to do. It's important to ask questions about the presence of ads in our daily lives. But isn't that what this whole consumer-gen thing is all about? It's our strong suspicion that, short of finding a society bent on ridding themselves of ads, what they truly want are ads on their terms and not The Man's. That's okay with us.
There was speculation over the past month that AKQA was up for sale but the agency tells us that's not the case. They are, however, "recapitalizing" by selling off stake of the agency to private equity firm General Atlantic. The agency will retain its independent status and we are told speculation the agency would sell was exactly that: uninformed speculation.