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Interactive marketing and other great advertising ideas since 2003
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December 23, 2004
Merry Christmas

Dear readers,

It's Christmas time, so relax and don't think about online advertising ;-)
Merry Christmas everybody, see you next week!


December 22, 2004
Gaming and advertising

The Journal of Interactive Advertising is now out with a special issue on "Gaming and its Relationship with Advertising, Marketing and Communication". Among the others, the following papers are particularly interesting: "Advertainment or Adcreep? Game Players� Attitudes toward Advertising and Product Placements in Computer Games" and "Hispanic Attitudes toward Advergames: A Proposed Model of their Antecedents" and "Experiencing Interactive Advertising beyond Rich Media".

December 21, 2004
Top Australian agencies named

Australian magazine B&T; has named the top agencies in the country for 2004. Clemenger BBDO Sydney has been awarded with the "National Agency of the Year" recognition. M&C; Saatchi received the prize for "Integrated Agency of the Year", while M&C; Digital won as "Interactive Agency of the Year". M&C; Digital has experienced an impressive growth in 2004, with a particular success with airline companies, winning accounts like British Airways, Qantas and Australian Airlines. In the same category, the "silver medal" has been assigned to Tribal DDB, while NetX, OneDigital and The White Agency received honorable mention.

December 17, 2004
SMS push for Interflora

Interflora is running its first ever direct marketing campaign, using direct mail and SMS. As DM Bulletin reports, the campaign, by WWAV Rapp Collins Leeds, includes elements like an advent calendar, which reminds customers that Interflora takes orders up to 11am on Christmas Eve for delivery the same day.

Epica Awards winners

The Epica Awards have been recently assigned. In the interactive categories the following winners have been named:
- Best website: Clockwork (Amsterdam) for "First8, Foundation Against Poverty"
- Best online film: The Viral Factory (London) for Trojan Condoms “Weight Lift” & “Vault”
- Best online ads: Modem Media (London) for "Care for the wild" (disappearing ads)
- Best integrated campaigns: Forsman & Bodenfors (Gothenburg) for "Volvo S40 The Inside Story"

The full results are available on Epica's site (.pdf).

Piaggio offers free music

Buongiorno Vitaminic has created a pan-european campaign to promote the new Piaggio NRG Power. The initiative will run in Italy, France, Germany and Spain with the aim of driving traffic to the site and then building the NRG Community. Young users who sign up in the site receive the possibility of downloading free music. There is also an in-store promotion which allows people collect a card and join a competition to win an NRG Power scooter and a bunch of Mp3 Sony Vaio.
Further details on: E-consultancy.

December 16, 2004
Videogames advertising will be measured

Nielsen will provide third-party measurement for a videogame advertising network. As MediaPost the service will be available from the second quarter of 2005 providing reports to the Massive Video Game Advertising Network.

December 15, 2004
An iMode guide to the museum

HWW Mobile has launched a new Telstra imode� site built specifically for the Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) in Sydney. The service will run during the Bridget Riley Exhibition, until 6th March 2005. Jennifer Wilson, Head of HWW Mobile, said:

"We wanted to find a way to make this exhibit intimate and unique for each visitor, and few things are more intimate than a mobile phone. As content specialists, HWW recognises the importance of contextual information. Tying the audio commentary of the exhibit into a Telstra i-mode� experience adds another layer to the experience of viewing Bridget�s work. HWW Mobile ensures that the technology in the mobile experience is transparent, letting the content shine through."

Money rings in The Netherlands

Emerce (in Dutch) reports the ringtones market in The Netherlands has generated a business worth among 20 and 30 million euros in 2004. The difference in the evaluation depends from the provider to talk to (for the article Emerce got in touch with Tutch, Denda, Mobillion and

Orange king for a day on MSN

International mobile carrier Orange will run a pre-Christmas campaign for a day on Msn network. As Revolution Magazine explains, tomorrow, December 16th, Orange's brand will "invade" Msn's portal as well as Hotmail and Messenger. Advertising focuses on the Orange pay-as-you-go service and is expected to achieve 100m impressions across all placements according to MSN.

December 14, 2004
The perfect virtual showroom

If you are an automaker and you'd like to take full advantage of the Internet's potentials, you should follow Saturn's example. Goodby, Silverstein & Partners have created one of the nicest micro-site in the industry to promote Saturn's Relay model prior to its official launch. The agency created a website which is dynamic and viral, offering up information that appeal to families, the RELAY's target audience. The project is featured this week on iMediaconnection.

Consumers ready for LBS

According to a new report by In-Stat/MDR US consumers are ready for wireless location-based services. 2005 will be a banner year for carrier deployments of LBS, driven initially by the integration of location capabilities into existing services such as mobile web browsing, information applications, and directory assistance. In 2006 and beyond, as the market grows, consumers will begin to see more advanced LBS applications such as user-configured tracking services and location-enabled games. In-Stat/MDR�s recent Consumer Mobility Study (CMS) found out that
privacy issues were a concern for 35.0% of respondents, but 81.8% of that group said they would be less uncomfortable if they could easily disable the location tracking technology on their phone.

Nordic Christmas for Coke

Swedish agency Perfect Fools has created the Coca-Cola Christmas Tournament 2004. Running in Denmark, Finland, Sweden and Norway the competition features three advergames (Castle Climb, Triple Trouble and Knight Flight) and allows users to win an mp3 player. The initiative is supported also by an online advertising campaign.

December 13, 2004
Virgin Holidays looking for a restyling

Virgin Holidays has appointed interactive agency Underwired to redesign and enhance its website. The company is looking to increase its online sales and improve the promotion of Megadeals, its discounted holiday service. By having a fresher look and feel, it is intended that the customer call to action will be stronger. Megadeals will have better linkage around the site which will go live later in December 2004.

Texting in France

Sending an SMS in France it's too expensive: 0.12 � per message is a price that discourages French users from texting. In the rest of Europe the average price is 0.10� (but I pay 0.15� with Vodafone Italy), and this has helped the sms mania to explode. An article on Le Figaro (in French) explores the texting habits in France, collecting data and opinion on a market that still has to show its potentials.

Marvel Universe goes wireless

Mforma has signed a deal with Marvel to distribute its entertainment content worldwide, except for Japan. MFORMA will also co-publish selected Marvel-based mobile games with Activision. The offer will include heroes as Spider-Man�, X-Men�, Fantastic Four�, Incredible Hulk�, Captain America�, Daredevil�, Iron Man�, Blade�, Ghost Rider�, Elektra�. In addition to distributing the new Marvel content through MFORMA's global network of more than 100 wireless operators in 39 countries, MFORMA will create and host Marvel Mobile, a branded wireless and online website featuring informational, promotional and transactional links to all Marvel Mobile content.
Bruno Maglione, president of Marvel International commented:

"Wireless entertainment has been talked about for several years now, but we have really seen the industry starting to break into the mainstream in this past year and we expect that trend to continue into 2005 and beyond. Accordingly, the timing is right for Marvel to develop its presence in this medium especially as our brands synch perfectly with the most popular emerging applications and the user profile we see developing."

December 10, 2004
Text & get the discount

Cosmetics brand Maybelline New York has launched a mobile-based campaign to distribute discount coupons in The Netherlands. Emerce (in Dutch) explains the initiative is supported by online banners where users can find the number to text their request to in order to get a 2€ discount on Maybelline NY's products.
New media agency Clockwork and sms technology provider HotSms worked on the campaign.

Spot the Vegan

Spot the Vegan... It sounds like a menace, but it's simply the tagline of a new viral campaign launched by the Vegan Society to promote the benefits of a vegan lifestyle. Revolution Magazine reports the campaign invites users to choose between six healthy-looking individuals to work out which one is a vegan.
The creative is by Limone Media.

Merry Christmas from Publicis

You'll better turn your speakers "off" before visiting Publicis' Copenhagen Christmas card, whose staff sings "Jingle Bells"... Actually, to fully experience and enjoy the card you need to listen to the improvised singers. You can hear the whole agency all at once, departments on their own, or even each individual solo - highly unrecommended...

Burger King offers coupons on the Web

Burger King has started an online campaign to distribute coupons through the German portal The initiative allows surfers to download and print coupons to redeeem a metal poster cards branded Coca-Cola in Burger King's restaurants. The campaign also includes an in-store promotion.

Napster goes Mobile

Napster and Dwango have signed a deal to launch �Napster Mobile� across major North American carriers. The service will allow users to choose ringtones that fit their lifestyle, musical tastes and mood from an extensive song catalog while they earn credits redeemable for PC downloads.

Disney Mobile lands in Spain

Telefonica Moviles Espana and the Walt Disney Internet Group have signed a wireless content distribution agreement to launch Disney Mobile in Spain. Disney Town site will become part of "MoviStar emoci�n", Telef�nica M�viles Espa�a content portal.
Disney Town offers video, ring tones, wallpapers, logos, games and greetings cards drawing from Disney's classic characters. It also includes links to the latest Disney movie content, The Incredibles, with videos, wallpapers, games, MMS cards, ringtones and calendars with their favourite characters.

December 09, 2004
Mobile marketing for immediate results

MindMatics is helping Pitcher & Piano (a bars' chain) with a mobile marketing campaign. It will be divided into three phases, with the aim of gathering data and strengthening the relationship with existing customers. Tristram Hillier, marketing manager at Pitcher & Piano, comments on Revolution Magazine:

"Unlike other types of marketing, mobile gives us an edge through its immediate impact, so our brand is still fresh in customers' minds when they go out. Flyers, posters and other methods can't deliver this."

December 08, 2004
Starbucks: The Red Cup

We don't hear often about Starbuck's ads, usually they prefer to market their products in other ways, but this time they have decided to take the Christmas season seriously. As Lewis Lazare wrote on the Sun Times about one month ago, Starbucks has run a major Christmas season teaser campaign in the New York Times. The Internet also plays a role in their marketing effort: there is a web film "The Red Cup", developed by Creature which represents the filmed extension of an idea that is running in the real world in which Starbucks red holiday venti cups have been attached to taxi cabs and unmarked cars.
Well done for Starbucks, from no ads to guerrilla and viral marketing, also in the coffee business you need to keep running...

The Big Poster is watching you

An old form of advertising (outdoor) is starting to take advantage of an new communication medium (the mobile phone). Love is in the air between street posters and cellular phones, giving a new meaning to the word interactivity.
Netimperative talks about Hypertag and its recent marketing campaigns in London. The company that installs interactive devices on posters which allow passers-by to download information onto their handsets, is currently running a campaign for Transport for London.

It's ringtones mania (for now)

Ringtones will generate a huge business also in the United States, where now there are about 40 million cell phones capable of downloading such a content. Mercury News dedicates an article to the ringtones mania in the US, providing a brief comparison with Europe and Asia and quoting the opinion of Adam Zawel, analyst at the Yankee Group who thinks awel that the market for ring tones may loose importance as other downloads gain in popularity, including screen savers and games.

Porsche runs online ads

iMediaConnection presents in its "Creative Showcase" one of the few luxury brands that have decided to invest in online advertising: Porsche. To introduce the new 911 Carrera Porsche has asked Eyewonder to create a video banner that could deliver their traditional brand message "There is no substitute". The opinions on the ad are quite different. Someone says it's sexy and classy like Porsche is, someone else the campaign fails to deliver the emotions one would expect from a Porsche.

In October, Porsche promoted in the UK its Cayenne model with an online advertising campaign developed by Clark McKay & Walpole Interactive.

December 07, 2004
Firefox users don't click on ads

Internet Explorer users are at least four times as likely to click on Web ads than Firefox users, according to, Adtech AG, a German research company. They found that during October and November only 0.11 percent of Firefox users ever clicked on an ad, compared to around 0.5 percent of IE users.
According to an article on ZdNet the reason for this trend is probably the different surfing habits of Firefox and IE users. These findings could have significant implications for the online advertising market since the number of Firefox users is growing, and web sites might face a(nother) decline in click-through rates.

Nike presents the "Chamber of Fear"

NBA player LeBron James stars in Nike's latest campaign "Chamber of Fear," which promotes James' Air Zoom LeBron II shoe and are based on the 1978 Bruce Lee flick "Game of Death." The Tv ad has been banned in China since it "violates regulations that mandate that all advertisements in China should uphold national dignity and interest and respect the motherland's culture".
Nike has also created a complicate site and an online "Chamber of Fear" game.

Marie Claire picks Espotting

Neteconomie (in French) reports Marie Claire has picked Espotting Media as provider of contextual advertising. Marianne Le Menestrel, in charge of Internet activities of Marie Claire's group said "they have been seduced by Espotting's reactivity". let's plow has launched "Snowplow Game" a catchy online feature to engage New Englanders. Players steer a snowplow through Boston after a blizzard, whizzing by popular city landmarks such as Fenway Park, the Citgo sign, and the John Hancock tower, in a quest to clear the streets and accumulate points, peppermints and snowflakes before time runs out. The top ten scorers will be ranked publicly on, allowing players to compete for top honors. The competition, developed by Barbarian Group is part of the "Get Wrapped" campaign, a local awareness and affinity-building promotion that will continue through the end of the year.

Mobile soap opera arriving to Australia

"My Kind", a six-month series, is arriving to Australian mobile phones. Iconmobile and Media Republic will try to replicate the success of the made-for-mobile drama which is succesfully runnning in The Netherlands. You can read more on The Age.

Mobile greeting cards

Enpocket has signed an agreement with Hallmark Cards to create, distribute and market mobile greeting cards. The mobile applications, available in Java and Symbian applications, make it easy to interact and share images using underlying technologies that users are not yet fully familiar with, such as MMS. For important seasonal occasions or personalised messages mobile subscribers can click and select branded images and text, before sending them to the mobile phones of friends, colleagues and family.

"Sin" to win

Mobile users are now turning to their phones to confess their worst sins... Virgin Mobile Bites presents a service called ‘Sin to Win’, in which customers are invited to send in their sins in order to relieve themselves of a guilty secret, and to be in with a chance to win prizes for the best confessions. As Response Source (via Textually) reports, the response to ‘Sin to Win’ service has been staggering; since Virgin Mobile Bites launched in August 2004, more than 10,000 people have used their mobiles to send in confessions, highlighting the desire for a high-tech solution to the guilt brought about by the deadly sins.

December 06, 2004
Mobile Application Awards 2004

Ericsson has announced the winners of the Mobile Application Awards 2004. The purpose of the Awards is to find the best, market-ready mobile applications focusing on services that add value, create convenience and make daily life and work easier and more efficient. Over two hundred applications from 34 countries where submitted for the 2004 Awards. Twelve finalists where selected in four categories, based on criteria such as professionalism, market potential, innovation, consumer friendliness and ease-of-implementation by the operators and the media industry. The finalists came from Australia, Germany, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Hong Kong, Austria, USA, and the UK. The finalists got the unique opportunity to present their services live to an exclusive audience comprising of executives from mobile network operators, venture capitalists and other industry players.
The winners were selected by the audience through live SMS voting. In the category "Best Mobile Enterprise Application" the winner has been Lavasphere by Gavitec AG (Germany), while Best Mobile Information Application has been named Wayfinder EuroNavigator by Wayfinder Systems AB (Sweden).

AdWords and clicks' frauds

The issue is hot, even if players in the industry try to hide its relevance. Financial Times writes today that companies advertising on the Google keyword search engine are becoming increasingly concerned about the practice of "click fraud". The problem isn't new (see Adverblog, Sept. 29) and the pressure on Google (and Overture) is growing, since more and more companies are seeing their daily advertising budget vanishing in a few hours. Oscar Jenkins, chief executive of Dynmark,
a company that sells bulk text messaging services says about PPC advertising:

"When it works, it works really well. But the whole system is based on underlying honesty. Once that is undermined, the whole thing falls apart like a house of cards."

Star Wars goes wireless

THQ Wireless has signed a deal with Lucasfilm which grants THQ Wireless to develop and distribute a comprehensive offering of Star Wars branded content for mobile phones. Fans worldwide will be able to interact with and personalize their mobile phones with Star Wars-themed mobile games and ringtones such as the Imperial March, one of the most recognizable themes in movie history.

Internet Advertising Competition Awards

The Web Marketing Association today announced the launched of its third annual Internet Advertising Competition (IAC) Awards, a program to honor excellence in online advertising and to recognize the individuals and organizations responsible for the best in Internet marketing. The Competition Web site is located at and the deadline for entry is January 31, 2005. Further details in the press release announcing the challenge.

Merry Xmas (via sms)

Australians would rather get (and send) a text message during the holiday season than a Christmas card, according to a survey commissioned by Motorola. As ITnews reports, the findings are interesting also because they show that nearly half of those surveyed preferred to send text messages rather than talking on the phone.

December 05, 2004
Sexy content for US mobiles

Adult entertainment for mobile phones branded Playboy will hit the US market early next year. Playboy has just signed a deal with Dwango Wireless to distribute custom content including Playboy-themed games, images, video clips, voice clips and ring tones. With the addition of the United States, Playboy is now offering wireless entertainment services through licensees in 17 territories around the globe including Germany, the United Kingdom, Australia and Brazil.

Chase the paper...

Australian agency Channel One has just launched PaperChaser, an online game created for Double A paper to compliment the current TV and outdoor campaign. The game centres around the female character from the TV ad, who’s job it is to keep the office running smoothly. Armed with only a ream of Double A paper she has some serious paper whacking action to do. The advergame is supported by online advertising across NineMSN and an e-mail campaign.

Esso targets hockey lovers

Without their beloved NHL Canadian hockey fans are looking for hockey content of any kind. Imperial Oil’s Esso brand, a long time hockey sponsor in Canada, has launched The micro-site, developed by Launchfire Interactive, features an NHL trivia advergame and an online skills competition advergame. Hockey fans can test their knowledge of hockey, or play the skills game to see how accurately and how hard they can shoot the puck!

December 04, 2004
MuLiMob, Multilingualism and Mobility

If you work in the wireless industry, you might be interested in the MuLiMob project. Funded by the European Commission as part of the IST programme, MuLiMob SSA aims to make the most of Europe's multilingual and multicultural diversity for the benefit of its mobile users and workers, by making information available on current and potential developments and by identifying research to be done. Benefits of participation are:
- presence of your brand/company in our reports
- exclusive access to the findings and analyses of our research
- to get connected to the Mulilob network and community

If you want to learn more about the program, just visit the site:

December 03, 2004
Branding campaign for Meetic

Dating site Meetic has invested 10 million euros in a pan-european campaign. They have decided to change their marketing approach differentiating the brand image from the competitors by avoiding the "classic" boy & girl image. Journal du Net (in French) dedicates an extensive article to the campaign which debuted in France on November 29. The article quotes Cécile Moulard, new marketing director at Meetic, as well as a few indications by Guillaume Buffet director at Singapour, the advertising agency which created the campaign. Ads will run on about hundred sites, including Tiscali's and Msn's European portals

New web look for Campari

Tribal Ddb has developed the corporate web site for Campari. The site, a part to the information for investors, distributors and journalists, allows users to download a desktop version of the calendar 2005, get e-cards and screensavers and read the online version of Campari's international magazine.

McDonald's: an "incredible" promotion

Following the success of last year's campaign connected to the movie "Finding Nemo", McD Italy has decided to repeat the "text & win" initiative with "The Incredibles". Everyone buying a soft drink at McDonald's will get a code to text to a special number, together with the brand and model of their mobile. Prizes range from logos and ringtones to mobile games and 50 Nokia 3220.

Heineken engages Thai mobile users

Mobile React reports about the successful conclusion of Heineken's recent mobile marketing program in Thailand. The two month activity adopted a sales-linked loyalty rewards program and generated a participation rate in access of 17%, probably the highest measured response rate in the country. The 2 month campaign ran from 1st September to 31st October 2004. It utilized a point collection mechanic wherein consumers who accumulated enough points could exchange them for exclusive premiums from Heineken. Specially designed 6-pack of Heineken beer cans contained an embedded scratch-off code inside. Adrian Stewart, CEO of Mobile React explained us how the initiative worked:

"Because we untilized a true unique code embedded in every pack, each entry received was firmly sales-linked. This meant Heineken could observe transactions and other valuable data from this campaign. Each code embedded was truly unique and could not be used once. Multiple entries using the same code were rejected. Consumers must SMS the code to a dedicated number and receive automatic replies with points they have obtained, for first time participants and with the current balance for repeat consumers. Codes provided 1, 2 or 5 points and consumers could keep track of their points via SMS, through Heineken's website or via an 24-hour automated interactive voice response (IVR) system. Redemption for giveaways began with 5 points."

The program was promoted via SMS alert to Heineken's existing database members prior to start of campaign.
During campaign, communication by SMS was also utilized to remind members to get more points i.e. purchase more Heineken to qualify for the lucky draw or to redeem their gifts before the campaign ended.

Speedy Santa!

It's Christmas time and, as usual, the online world gets ready for the event with games, goodies and jokes. Speedy Santa is a cool viral game by Inbox Digital where you have to drag Santa Claus around a track. The nice thing is that you can create your own personal league challenging friends and collegues.

December 01, 2004
o2 promotes the "Bundesliga"

"Bundesliga", the German football championship is been promoted through a mobile marketing effort by o2. The initiative takes advantage of a dedicated micro-site, where the available mobile content is presented. Football fans can sign up to receive MMS and video Bundesliga Highlits, updating via SMS during the matches and football related news. Furthermore o2 allows users to download logos, games and ringtones.

Make love, Not Spam (and beware of hackers)

makelove.gifSwedish agency Starring has developed cool online campaign for Lycos Europe. On the site users can download a screensaver which makes visits to spammers' sites. By generating a lot of traffic spammers' servers slow down and face higher bandwidth costs.

The idea sounds nice, but the action isn't probably very fair... It has generated a lot of polemics and as a result, someone has hacked and downed Lycos' site just hours after it went live.

3.12 update: Actually there is another version of the story... Calle Sjönell, creative director at Starring, emailed me saying that the site went down because of the high traffic received: "We upgraded the server since the old one was melting from all the attention".

Advergames for BBC Radio 4

BBC Radio 4's web site is launching two advergames developed by Magneto Interactive. As New Media Age reports, the games are a crossword with audio clues and an online quiz to complement the 'Round Britain Quiz' radio show.

Mobile Advent calendar

An advent calendar for mobile phones. It's the latest idea by Zed, which will offer daily seasonal content such as ringtones, graphics, jokes or trivia to UK cell phone users for just 12�. To activate the service, users just need to text "XMAS ON" to 80115.

Are looking for more cool interactive ideas? Check the archives

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