Wednesday, November 21, 2007
FreeRice was started on October 7, 2007, and has generated a donation of 3 billion grains of rice for the United Nations World Food Programme. The donations are underwritten for by advertising dollars, using Google AdWords. The advertisers include top electronics manufacturers, retail stores, publications, hotels, and more.
On the site is a vocabulary quiz, and all you do is click on the word you believe matches closest to the word you're given. If you're wrong, it shows you the correct answer and finds an easier word to fit your vocabulary. Find out what level your friend can get to and have a friendly competition. Tomorrow on Thanksgiving, gather around the computer with your family and see who is the wisest in word knowledge. Not only is this a fun way to expand your nomenclature, but it's also a fantastic way to help feed the hungry.
Fifteen minutes of your time could feed a family for one day. "With almost 200 million grains being donated per day, the site’s creator, John Breen has already handed a US$100,000 cheque to the Agency, which will help provide food rations for 26,000 Burmese refugees sheltering in Bangladesh" (WFP).
According to Global Voices, Facebook has been banned in Syria. Not very many Syrians were users of the social networking site (about 28,000 were affiliated to the 'Syria' network, out of almost 18 million citizens). Golaniya from Damascus says, "people are starting to organize their interests in concerts, galleries, conferences, plays, screenings…etc. and Facebook is facilitating the process which is very hard to do in an inactive militarily controlled society." Now none of them can gather together via Facebook and will have to resort to other avenues of communication, like Myspace. They're not sure why, and they're not sure who exactly ordered the ban. Blogger has already been banned, so they won't be reading this, either.
Exactly twenty days ago from today, the public chose a Web page concept for Nonsense, a creative agency in London. I cast my ballot in September. After voting, I entered my contact information and chose the "Just tell me when you have finished the entire project, as if I was one of your relatives" option. I am still waiting for them to contact me. It makes me wonder who else is waiting, or worse, who has forgotten about the whole thing.
The idea for their Web site is really smart. Free PR. Get the ad industry involved by having them post about the participatory election in blogs and online news sources. I'm sure there were other people who voted that aren't in the industry or even interested in advertising. A critical role agencies play is communication, and for me, Nonsense failed to communicate. It doesn't matter if the target audience was the ad industry or prospective clientele. Nonsense may have kept up with people who have their e-mail address ending in @ny.ddb.com, @bbdo.com, @ogilvy.com, etc., and not with the regular public. I don't know; maybe I was the only college student who voted. If the agency cannot create a dialogue with their product or brand, they aren't doing their job.
By the way, the winning vote was for 'The Rocking Chair Test'. The difference of 0.3% separated Media: Mixed from winning. On the Board was the big loser, with a 4.4% difference. This information is from their development blog, which Nonsense has created to update us on their progress. Hopefully they'll stay true to their word.
Sunday, November 11, 2007
Last year, SS+K and Brand Experience Lab came up with Newsbreaker for msnbc.com, a game using human joysticks and a motion sensor camera. Volvo is working in the UK with Brand Experience Lab and Carlton Screen Advertising by using this awesome idea as an interactive advertisement for the XC70 crossover. The audience is directed to move their hands left or right to gather as much luggage as possible within the time limit. I believe the brand recall will be high because the game looks like so much fun to play. I would probably go see the movie again just to interact with the technology, as well as with friends and strangers. At the end of the game, the theater's score is shown against other venues who are putting their hands up in the air like they just don't care. This is a great concept that works well with Volvo's tagline: 'Life is Better Lived Together'.
2006 | Newsbreaker
2007 | Volvo XC70
ihaveanidea's annual Portfolio Night is looming forth for the sixth time. May 8, 2008 signifies a night of dancing with the devil, or sitting down with brilliant creatives from the world's leading agencies. Aspiring creatives get three opportunities and 10 to 15 minutes to show their best stuff to creatives within an hour; it's more like speed dating rather than a formal interview. Last year, it was held in over 21 different time zones on the same day. This year, at least 33 cities are getting involved. ihaveanidea has submitted the event for application to Guinness World Records for the World's Largest Portfolio Review. Registration isn't up yet, but I'll let you know when it is.
Saturday, November 10, 2007
Tonight I saw an ad online (left) for Buick. The Buick Enclave is the crossover vehicle in the picture. It seems like they're saying "we don't suck anymore, give us a chance" through Motor Trend magazine's review. It's your choice to accept a brand that's only acceptable and not the leader. Buick has been around for over 100 years, and we all know by the incredibly slow drivers that the brand still exists. Buicks are known to be called the car for an old person. I have heard younger people complain and say, "oh, they're driving a Buick", when in fact they're driving a Cadillac, Oldsmobile, or whatever. Buick is working to erase the stereotype by making their vehicles –- or at least the Enclave -- more romantic and family-oriented.
The 30-second spot, done by Vigilante, for the Buick Enclave features the Director of Design, Interior, Michael Burton, who subtley lets you know how he supposedly chose what materials to use in the design.
I would compare this commercial to the Lexus spots, done by Team One, which specifically talk about music and remind consumers about the Mark Levinson sound system. Lexus, a division of Toyota Motor Sales, is the number one luxury automaker company in the world. It was a great idea by them to focus on a small but important piece of the pie rather than the whole thing. It's engaging and entertaining. You can watch the other two here.
Michael Burton explains how he got inspired. (Video ends at 2:15)