Tuesday, June 26, 2007

'Dirty Jobs' Plugs Ford

On tonight's episode of 'Dirty Jobs' on the Discovery Channel, Mike Rowe, the show's host, teams up with a Texas outdoor advertising company to install a billboard. He helps with everything from start to finish. Keeping the stereotype alive, the billboard is huge. At the end of the segment, he plays with the idea that only a big company could handle this advertising space. The camera pans out and the Ford oval from an F-150 is in view. Cut to Mike Rowe on the billboard in front of a brand new Ford F-150 advertisement. He looks up at the truck and says, "Now that's a tough truck."

Mike Rowe joined Ford in January as a personality in their TV, print and online advertising campaign for the F-150 truck. The show was sponsored by Ford, and this one entire segment was dedicated to constructing a billboard. (I don't recall of any other episode where Mike Rowe did only one job for the entire show.) I wouldn't be surprised if Ford purchased the billboard and concepted the idea for this episode. The show was entertaining, and the Ford plug wasn't until the end, although it was very obvious what they were doing.

Will audiences accept this form of advertising, or will they ignore it?

Monday, June 25, 2007

Buy a Lion

Did you go to Cannes and win a Lion? Maybe you accidentally dropped it whilst in a drunken stupor in the Mediterranean, boating with your advertising cohorts. Perhaps you left it out of your sight for ten seconds in the bathroom at LaGuardia. It's possible that you just want two because good things come in twos. Whichever it is or isn't, you can order a duplicate from the Cannes Lions official Web site. They only accept a cheque from the UK, bank transfer, Visa, Mastercard, and American Express.

Advertising is the only industry I know of where you occasionally have to pay for the award. A former copywriter at JWT Toronto won a Bronze Lion (approximately $1,150) this year and cannot afford to purchase it. (via AdRants)

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Cannes Coverage You Can See

See the best of the best work in the world at Cannes Lions Live.

New Director's Reel
Today, Saatchi & Saatchi released their 17th New Directors reel, presented by Worldwide Creative Director, Bob Isherwood.

Commercials, music videos and experimental short films are brilliantly displayed, showing great talent from new faces names. Before the release, S&S produced a short act depicting the struggles a new director has getting discovered and getting a job.

Directors (in order presented)

Trish Sie
Vince Squibb
Rozan and Schmeltz
300 ml
Nanda Cohen
Ramon Bloomberg
Lev Yilmaz
Amy Gebhardt
Johnny Green
Josh Raskin
Luciano Quilici
Tom Reilly
Borgato and Berté
Joaquin Baca-Asay
Jonas and François
Tony Barry

Cannes Coverage You Can't See

Arnold has sent four (and picked up one) of their own to explore and report outside of the Cannes International Advertising Festival. Why? Because we Cannes't. It's a pretty humorous and crafty take on Cannes, also adding insight from some pretty cool 'ad people'.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

My Super Sweet 23

There were no invitations, no guest list and no celebrity appearances. I didn't even get a brand new sports car. Today was my birthday. This is a blog about creative concepts in advertising, and like in advertising, you sometimes have to bend the rules (staying within moral and ethical guidelines). The following is all fact, but it's written to be something like what you would see on MTV's My Super Sweet 16. (I really enjoyed and am thankful for everything that happened today.)

My Super Sweet 23
My birthday started when my grandma picked me up in her sleek, silver Buick sedan. OMG, she even let me drive. We went to a Mexican restaurant and like for dessert, they gave me a fried ice cream with honey. There was loads of it! The waitress even gave me two cherries -- probably because she had the hots for me. She did have a cute smile. Anyway, like where was I? Oh yeah, after we had lunch, my grandma took me to the movies. Ten minutes before the movie started, we had to wait in the lobby for them to see if the theatre was clean. Like WTF? So we get in and there's this Screenvision advertising thing going on. The announcer guy like announces Oasis is coming up next. "Champagne Supernova" is going on through the speakers. I love that song! I was singing along with it, but the song is cut off not even half way. Did this really just happen on my birthday? So then another song comes on and it's Jamiroquai -- the one where he's on the treadmill thing in his music video. They cut that one off, too. Right before the movie starts -- I mean before the actual paid commercials -- the announcer says, "Thanks for watching Screenvision." Like I had a choice? Seriously. The movie was okay. My grandma let me drive her car again and I went home. Later on that day, after being so bored doing nothing on my birthday, my mom took me out to eat dinner. We went to the local neighborhood Applebee's. My mom told the hostess that it was my birthday. She knows how special it is. When we sat down, she told our waitress, too. The service was quick and whatever, but the waitress never brought out my dessert and NO ONE sang. The waitress just said like, "Is there anything else I can do for you" and then left. Right as we were leaving, my mom asked if they did anything for birthdays and some other hostess said that they give free sundaes. Where's my free sundae!? How can all of this be happening on MY day? Well, to make it up to me, my mom made me a cake and I had ice cream. Above is a picture of the cake. Because it's my day, she let me help design it and place the candles. I think I did a pretty awesome job.

Hillary's Campaign Song

To announce Hillary Clinton's campaign song, she made a video that spoofs the 'Sopranos' finale. At the end of the video, a Web site address is given to find out the winning song. If you don't want to register and listen to what she picked, go here.

(via Drudge)

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

"All the pretty ladies goin' crazy in my A380..."

Forget Cadillac, Ferrari and Maybach, as they soon will be a thing of the past in lyrics and music videos for billionaire rappers, hip hop stars and other artists. Realizing the emissions spent with these vehicles has been depleting our ozone and causing glaciers to melt, they'll decide to go green.

The first order of the world's largest private jet has come in. The Airbus A380 will normally hold approximately 700-800 passengers when it takes flight with airlines across the globe late this year. The price: $300 million. Though this first buyer seems likely to be from the Middle East, we may be seeing Diddy with one in the years to come.

John Travolta would have to move if he wanted one -- it wouldn't fit in his backyard.

(via Drudge)

Friday, June 15, 2007

DIY Advertising

Make the logo bigger has recently pointed out Xbox wanting concepts from consumers. A lot of this Do-It-Yourself advertising has been going on lately.

Shedwa has also let us know about a cool contest Mountain Dew has developed for designers.

Pepsi did this, too. Now you can vote on the design you like the best.

Yesterday, I had dinner at Applebee's and saw something I thought was a coaster at first. After a better glance, I thought, "how innovative, a flip book." To my dismay, it was a large pad of paper that customers can peel off for where to go for more information to enter the contest. Applebee's is having the big Burger Showdown with Food Network chef, Tyler Florence -- a somewhat new addition to the menu. (I thought Bobby Flay handled all the showdowns/throwdowns.) If you make the best burger, you'll win $5,000, a trip to New York, and more.

Even the locals are doing it. Midwest fast-food chain Taco Tico invites everyone to make a two-minute commercial on why they love Taco Tico. Every accepted entry will earn a free combination meal. The grand prize winner will receive $3,000 and free Taco Tico for a year (once a week). The winning entrant's commercial will also be in the ad campaign.

A while ago, I read online that it is more costly for advertisers to let consumers make a commercial or design their product. I don't remember where this information was at though. Does anyone know?

Does this really produce more ROI than if an ad agency created a campaign? Is it more effective? Is it worth it?

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Giant Pole Dancing Ad Seen from the Sky

A 100,000 square foot advertisement is causing turbulence because of its silhouette of a pole dancer. It can be seen by passengers from inside the fuselage of planes arriving to and departing from London's Gatwick Airport. The ad has been painted on a field underneath the airport's flightpath with water-based, biodegradable paint.

The local district council has called for the removal of the titillating ad because it was painted without permission. Planners have begun an investigation. Stephen Pearson, director of the company behind the ad, believes the council is unsure about their own regulations. Pearson also hopes the council finds humor in all this. "Myprivatedance.com follows on from the huge success the Lynx advert had last summer which caused a lot of controversy due to the graphic nature of the advert but was the most talked about advert in the month of July." Whenever it does get removed, by the council or the contract, the dyed grass or crop can be cut away easily.

This type of advertising would be particularly smart in busy areas where planes have to circle the airport time and time again for a cleared landing.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

'Captivity' Captured

Browsing through Facebook, I checked out my friend's photos of her recent trip to L.A. Something that caught my eye was a billboard for the upcoming torture film, "Captivity". Is this the new and approved billboard?

The image has been cropped, so there are no other distractions.

Here's a better picture with a slightly different format, taken from Rotten Tomatoes.

In mid-March, the (banned) billboard was released, but the wrong file was sent to the printer; they released the version that was only supposed to be seen by the film exec's. Oops. It depicted the abduction, confinement, torture, and termination of Elisa Cuthbert's character. The public was outraged, and the producers paid for the removal of the ads that appeared on 30 billboards in L.A. and 1,400 taxi tops in NY.

Using only 'Confinement' from the previous billboard makes it a little more tame. But it's still going to be rated R for "Strong Violence, Torture, Pervasive Terror, Grizzly Images, Language and Some Sexual Material". Oh, is that all? The people at Creative Skirts and Ad Age have their very firm opinion of the film's content. And I agree. This movie will probably gross a lot more people out than it will gross in the box office.

Welcome, Visitors!

After writing about the new AIM Buddies, or bots, a lot of people have been stopping by to visit this blog. Thank you to PC World's Techlog, Erin at AIM BuddyBlog, The Register, and Architectradure for the links.

Thank you for stopping by. I invite you to continue to frequent this blog at your convenience. In other words, please, make yourself at home (although you are probably there already)!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

AIM Adds New Buddies/Bots

AOL has added new Buddies, or bots, to its instant messaging system. Here are the reviews.

Prof Gilzot

"Created by a team of experienced tutors who have helped thousands of students raise their test scores", Prof Gilzot is here to help high school students prepare for their SAT with practice questions.

Looking like he just got out of grad school (but received his Ph.D. from Stanford in 2002), his image is supposed to make things more comfortable and fun for your driven child. This bot is a nice idea, but there's a catch; you can only study so much with the bot. Methodtestprep.com is where the courses originated, and you can take them if you're a paid subscriber.

This is a nice idea for high school students who don't want to leave their computer to study. It's a trial version of the whole package mom and dad can subscribe to.


According to Mike Blackwell, CEO of ShareThis, "ShareThis makes it easier and faster for everyone to share stuff like photos, videos, and web pages, to whoever you want to communicate with, wherever they are located... whether on AIM, MySpace, Facebook, email, or even a cell phone." Sharethisdotcom enables users to send messages to their friends without having to be registered to ShareThis.

Users already can share via AIM. That's one of the reasons we have it. Why do we need this?


Don't get her confused with other bots. Born in Avignon, France, Spleak is a "21-year old virtual girl currently living in the heart of San Francisco, California." She has her own blog and is currently 'stressing out' about job interviews at several retail stores. Spleak has her own virtual friends, too (even LDFs (Long-Distance Friends). You can make more friends by using BuddyHub and creating your own profile. Originally created for MSN Messenger, this young woman is more than willing to spread gossip about every celebrity, from Lindsay Lohan to My Chemical Romance.

She can be somewhat of a tease.

And with the right imagination, Spleak is scandalous.

This 'virtual girl' is 21 years old, but she's not fit for the audience Spleak has targeted. They've also put a restriction on her; since she has a birthdate, she has to get older. She's going to have to keep up with what is 'in' for her particular age group and not the teeny boppers. Lohan will be old news, and Haley Joel Osment may be the next Hollywood hunk (doubtful, though). If your child uses this, steer clear of the BuddyHub program, as it is probably not monitored.


The Wall Street Journal online updates you with current monetary events when you type in "news". You can also manage news alerts and choose for them to be delivered to you at 10 AM, 1 PM, or 5 PM (EST). Lastly, you can receive quotes on any publicly traded company (with a 20 minute delay).

It's faster than typing in www.wsj.com in your Web browser, and there are text advertisements, as opposed to the interactive ones on the site, at the bottom of the article. The bot sometimes displays links (News, Financials, Charts, etc.) which connect you to interact via their site. Subscribers have full access to the Online Journal's Quotes & Research section for complete news and press releases; others will have to take what they can get. You are limited to news headlines and will have to read other articles on the WSJ site.

Monday, June 11, 2007

YouTube Set To Test Video Fingerprinting

YouTube, owned by Google Inc., is set to test a video fingerprinting program with Time Warner and Disney that will ID users who upload copyrighted video content. After the media moguls are notified, they can choose whether they want to remove it or keep it up. Once implemented, the program could block the uploading of copyrighted videos. This would cut down on a lot of re-posts on YouTube. Google has already been privately testing audio fingerprinting for the music industry. See the whole story here.

How To: Utilize Great Web Design

Lines and Colors explains how not to display your portfolio on your free Web page (the one with the forward slashes and that squiggly line thing). Really good advice.

Apple displays their newly redesigned Web site. Great design. I love how clean and concise it is; that's their job. The bars (Top Songs, Top Albums, Recent Stories, etc.) show what you want to see if you scroll over them and hide everything else. (Perhaps this was synchronized with the unveiling of the near-final version of Mac OS X Leopard. Or maybe it's the release of Safari for PC.)

I'll admit it -- this blog is lacking structure. I've been working on learning how to make it better. If you can help me out, especially with html, I would very much appreciate any help. Feel free to contact me. Thank you!

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Sick Game Review by the Church of England

Usually when you hear 'sick' in a game review, it's not a bad thing. But the Church of England is calling the Playstation 3 game, "Resistance: Fall of Man", sick for other reasons. The church is asking for Sony to take the game off store shelves because it uses Manchester Catherdral as a backdrop for a large battle in the interior of the structure. But the battle is against an alien race, not humans. They probably didn't even see the whole game, if at all.

The bishop of Manchester, the Rt. Rev. Nigel McCulloch, said: "It is well known that Manchester has a gun crime problem. For a global manufacturer to recreate one of our great cathedrals with photorealistic quality and then encourage people to have gunbattles in the building is beyond belief and highly irresponsible."

The Church of England will be sending a letter to Sony on Monday. Sony responded by issuing the following statement: "Sony Computer Entertainment Europe is aware of the concerns expressed by the Bishop of Manchester and the cathedral authorities... and we naturally take the concerns very seriously. Resistance: Fall of Man is a fantasy science fiction game and is not based on reality. We believe we have sought and received all permissions necessary for the creation of the game." Sony plans to reply with a more detailed statement on Monday.

(via Drudge)

Update (June 11, 2007): The church has called on Sony to contribute funds to help Manchester Cathedral combat gun crime, a problem the city has had in recent years. Gamers have posted walkthrough footage of the cathedral on YouTube, and the church isn't happy about that, either. "They can only be described as virtual desecration", said Rogers Govender, Dean of Manchester Cathedral.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Free Root Beer Float at Sonic!

If you haven't seen the commercial, in 24 hours from now (that would be June 7th), from 8pm - midnight, you can get a free 10 oz. root beer float from Sonic. There's no catch -- no "with the purchase of" -- just free.

'London 2012' Triggers Seizures, Nausea, Disgust

People in the UK have gone awry since the unveiling of the 2012 London Olympic Games logo. There have been (edit: eighteen) reports of people having seizures while watching the new launch event animation on the official Web site or TV broadcast.

According to BBC News, a London 2012 spokeswoman said the section of footage concerned showed a "diver diving into a pool which had a multi-colour ripple effect". It was not the logo itself that has caused the problems.

"Some have had seizures, but others are feeling very unwell with potentially worrying symptoms including vomiting and headaches. A lot of people are very frightened", said Ingrid Burns, spokesman for Epilespy Action.

The London 2012 Web site has taken down the video to re-edit the clip. London's mayor, Ken Livingstone, opposed the logo from the start. He also criticized the designers for not testing the video for 'health checks'. It took a year to make the logo, but it only took seconds for everyone in the world to hate it.

(via Drudge)

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

2012 Olympic Game Over for London Logo

London has recently unveiled the logo for their 2012 Olympic Games, and the public are not pleased. Especially when it cost them £400,000 (US $797,640). They had no say whatsoever, but they're speaking out now. BBC was, of course, all over this coverage; the Sport Editor's Blog asked for comments and has received over 3,300 reactions so far - mostly negative. Also, according to the blog, an online petition has been set up and has received almost (edit: 50,000 signatures) to bring the old logo back or start from scratch. A Facebook group has also been set up for a petition. BBC is taking a poll on what people think of the logo.

The logo was designed to inspire social, structural, and social change. It's also aimed at the young person. In five years, some of the young people who are currently on Facebook will still be on there. Granted, Facebook is for everyone now, but the majority are college and high school students. Yet there is a Facebook group asking for the logo to be changed.

I guess I could be considered a young person, too, still attending college. What do I think? It's a kind of drawback from the 80's, but one we'd like to keep there. Even my sister, a junior in high school, said, "It looks a bit older, like from the 80's". The emblem will be coming in a series of shades of pink, blue, green and orange and will evolve as the Games draw closer. I like that idea. But it's really hard to believe this was done for over a half a million dollars.

The logo in itself is not inspiring, but the Olympic Games themselves, when you look far past the controversy, are. The best of the best athletes from around the globe competing against each other - that's inspiring. Hopefully that will be enough to overshadow the logo and keep the torch burning in everyone's minds.

BBC and the official London 2012 Web site has encouraged everyone to create their own design. You can see the BBC designs here and here. The London 2012 designs are here. You can also watch a film about their new brand/new look. (I think it's an honest message but a little cheesy. With the reactions already made about the logo, I think the public may be less forgiving.)

What do you think?

All 4

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