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Interactive marketing and other great advertising ideas since 2003
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July 31, 2005
Zippo Love Tour

"Come on baby light my fire" says Zippo launching in France its "Love Tour". With a mix of dating and club music Zippo celebrates online its 73rd anniversary, inviting single consumers to find their soul mate at the its parties. The Zippo Love Tour moves around France visiting Lyon, Saint Tropez, Montpellier and of course Paris.

A part from the dating idea, Zippo has also launched a Zippo Art Contest, in which design talents are challenged to create original lighters patterns on the theme "love and women".

[news via Marketing Relationnel & Internet]

July 30, 2005
Webisodes for Unilever

Unilever has launched a series of four webisodes to promote its brand "I Cannot Believe It's Not Butter". "Sprays of her life" is a sort of animated soap opera parody starring the beautiful Spraychel and the evil Buttricia. Check it out, it's quite funny.

July 29, 2005
Top advertising agencies in the UK

A survey carried out by the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising's 44 Club questioned 276 people (with less than six years in the advertising business) to find out the best UK agencies. artle Bogle Hegarty and Wieden & Kennedy where named the top two creative agencies to work for, while while Garry Lace and Sir Martin Sorrell are seen as two of the industry's role models. Mindshare and Mediacom were singled out as the best media agencies to work for.

Revolution Magazine reports although most of the people is happy to work in advertising, only 36 percent of respondents expected to still be in the industry on ten years time.

Saddam: the wrong face on a calling card

Phone carrier Telefónica has been obliged to withdraw from the Brazilian market 200.000 pre-paid calling cards showing the image of Saddam Hussein with US soldiers running after him. The card belongs to the series "History of the World" and has generated a lot of negative reactions and a legal action which forced Telefónica to retire it from the market.

I wonder how much a collector will be willing to pay to get one of the few cards that have been sold...

[news via Noticiasdot]

Sony Pictures ready for the mobile push

New Media Age (sub. req.) reports Sony Pictures is going to set-up a mobile site for every major film and DVD release.

The fist m-site will be for the DVD release of Hitch (with Will Smith) and it will be promoted with offline (print & outdoor) and online ads. The movies debuting in theaters will instead try to engage consumers asking them to text a shortcode in order to receive the a WAP message to install the site on their phone.

Minick is the technology provider for this massive mobile strategy. The Swiss company it's particularly strong in the entertainment sector: it has also an agreement with Sony BMG to power multimedia downloads, and provides its services also to MTV Germany and Ministry of Sound. Minick has launched more than 60 mobile portals since the beginning of 2005.

July 28, 2005
MMS, eventually the deal

Good news for US mobile users and mobile marketers: MMS interoperability is now possible among most of the carriers.
Bad news for US mobile marketers: here in Europe we're still trying to make sense of MMS (and to make money out of it...)

To check the pulse of mobile messaging in the United States, you can read this article published yesterday on

A collection of unpublishable ads

Three Brazilians, Victor Marx, Eduardo Dencker and Marcel Aires have launched Desencannes, a website collecting unpublishable ads.

The idea is to engage the entire Brazilian advertising community, invited to submit the best of their worst ads (or viceversa?). Even if the site is in Portuguese/Brazilian, I'm sure you'll find it wit and entertaining. The graphics is excellent, just click on "Perolas" on the left side menu to access the collected ads.


Desencannes is also a festival which in the next months will assign its prizes.

The Chemical Brothers promogame

Matt passed me the link to the Chemical Brothers advergame. Created by Starvingeyes the game has a simple but unusual gaming mechanism which together with the soundtrack (CB music of course!) delivers well the Chemical Brothers' promotional message and brand.

Brick wall: campaign for road safety

Lowe Paris for DSCR French Road Safety (France) winner of the bronze lion at the Cannes Advertising Festival.


The Jaguar advergame

Shall we call it a luxury advergame?
In the UK, Jaguar has launched an online Urban Golf challenge, an advergame created by Skive Creative and seeded by Cake New Media at Eatmail.


Jaguar's idea is to promote it's S-Type R model to over 35 affluent males and to build up a database of opt-in contacts. Players who submit their score automatically enter a draw where they have the chance to win a "golfing day" with European Tour player David Howell.

Continue reading... "The Jaguar advergame"

Brands and testimonials news

T-Mobile has signed a partnership with Robbie Wiliams for an advertising campaign promoting mobile music downloads.

Electronic Arts has chosen football player Wayne Rooney (Manchester United) as global brand ambassador.

Vodafone has decided to stop "using" David Beckham's image in its advertising campaigns. The marriage is over and Vodafone has no plans to replace him.

Actress Brittany Murphy is the first celebrity appearing in Jordache jeans ads.

Advergame proves successful for

MarketingDirecto reports about a successful advergame campaign run in June by Lastminute Spain.

The game, created by eMascaró Consulting was associated to an online competition giving away free travels to London, New York and Maldives. It reported 39,000 registered players and 275,000 visits. Unfortunately the game is no longer online, so we cannot understand if the success was due to the attractive prizes or to the game mechanism. Online advertising on MSN and Wanadoo supported the initiative.

July 27, 2005
Young users are the future of US mobile marketing has release a new report "The U.S. Youth Market: How 15- to 24-Year-Old Consumers Are Transforming the Marketplace" in which it investigates the role of young users in shaping the future of . Teenagers and young adults are the most promising segments for the wireless industry, and marketers have to understand how to communicate with them using their favorite media: the mobile phone. Don Montuori, one of the editors of the reports comments:

"Companies that target the 15-24-year-old crowd need to realize that traditional marketing and advertising venues may not be effective for young adults. Along those same lines, marketers should note that women in this age group are more likely than men to use a computer, and more likely to own a cell phone and use it for text messaging."

It's just a football match

FCB/Tapsa Espana for Televisión Española to promote the football match Spain vs Portugal.


L'Oréal launches an advergame party on MSN

In Italy, L'Orèal Paris is promoting its new Party Proof gel with an advergame on In order to play, users need to register, and automatically access a draw which will give away 1000 music credits on MSN. The game itself is not particularly engaging: in a disco, dancing and listening to the new hit single by DJ David Guetta (who's the testimonial of the campaign), you have to spoil the people who don't use Party Proof.

The agency behind the advergame is Adacto.

Journal of consumer marketing

If you're interested, this week you can access for free the past three issues of the Journal of consumer marketing.

The soft drinks battle is online

Le Journal du Net (in French) investigates the importance of the Web for soft drinks brands. In France, but not only there, Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Orangina-Schweppes and Unilever are fighting to get people's attention online. They are moving more and more money to the Internet and even changing their own corporate structure to adapt to the new challenges: Orangina, for example, since 2001 has its own internal web agency.

Since the main target audience for soft drinks (12 to 30 years old) is heavily using the Web, the communication strategy needs focus on the Internet, where advertising budgets are also easier to manage if compared to Tv. Micro-sites, online competitions with a touch of mobile content tend to be entertaining and funny and to take advantage of the new options offered by digital music.

A message for my Dutch readers

Dear Dutch friends, from Sep 1st I'll be relocating to A'dam.
As you know, housing over there is a little bit problematic, so if you know of an apartment available for (at least) six months, please drop me a line. Dank U!

Space Boy, a mobile tamagotchi for your brand

If you're considering to extend your brand on mobile phones, and teenagers are your target, think about "Space Boy". "Space Boy" is an interactive mobile mate, introduced by Vodafone and Player X, that responds to practically everything a user does with his phone. From dancing excitedly when the phone rings, or receiving a letter when an SMS or MMS arrives, through to fixing an aerial when the network signal is weak or becoming tired when the battery is low, a Mobie is the user's mobile phone. Space Boy is a "Mobie", a sort of mobile tamagotchi, and is the first of a series of characters debuting on the UK market.

As Tony Pearce, CEO at Player X points out, the Mobies have characteristics that make them particularly appealing, considering the current trends in mobile phone personalisation:

"We believe Mobies are going to be enormously popular with mobile phone owners as they bridge the gap between the interactivity and fun of mobile games and the personalisation of ring tones and wallpaper."

I like the Space Boy idea. It is not as easy (and cheap) as ringtones to develop, but if it gets people's attention, I see an attractive future for marketers creating their own branded Mobies...
.... a Mobie who starts eating a cheeseburger when lunch time is approaching and maybe connects to a LBS (location based service) to find the closest Mc Donald's... am I dreaming? I don't think so...

Viral marketing for holidaymakers

In France, SNFC, the national railway company, has put online four fairly funny (viral) videos to promote its night trains Corail. The idea is to invite people to reach their holiday destination traveling by train so that they get there more relaxed ready to fully enjoy the vacations.

[news via Culture Buzz]

July 26, 2005
Is it ROI time for mobile marketers?

InternetWeek writes about in the United States.
The article quotes the opinion of Nihal Mehta, founder and CEO of Ipsh:

We're finally seeing a significant tipping point. People aren't just testing it anymore, they're starting to see return on investment."

However Jupiter Research analyst Julie Ask has an opposite view:

"The majority of online adults is not interested in receiving promotions via SMS, even if they receive free or discounted goods and services, are assured that their privacy will be protected and don't have to pay for the messages."

Who's right? Who's wrong? Probably the truth, as usual, stands in the middle.

A car or a mobile phone?

Honda's Airwave outdoor ad in Japan. This car looks like a Motorola...


[via Flickr]

Coca-Cola, a World of refreshment

coca_world.jpgCoca-Cola, despite the fact it has been named once again brand of the year by BusinessWeek/Interbrand, feels it is loosing touch with the UK market. This assumption derives from an article published today on Bran Republic announcing the "World of refreshment" campaign.

The multimillion-pound campaign includes outdoor advertising and a web site (, with the aim of promoting the full range of soft drinks produced by the Coca-Cola company. Vallance Carruthers Coleman Priest created the ads that target in particular health-conscious drinkers who might be afraid of having soft drinks.

Mc Donald's french fries relay

DDB Praha for Mc Donald's Czech Republic (2004).


The Axe effect: tons of ads!

Thanks to Marketingfacts I've found out an extensive collection of Axe ads... enjoy!


Peroni, beer and football

Italian beer Peroni has launched a competition to engage football fans and make them win tickets for the National team matches. "Peroni Stadium" is promoted with print ads and a website which unfortunately just provides the information on how to enter the competition. Despite the fact it lacks interactivity and it's only in Italian, the website is definitely worth a visit for its graphics: it features an above view of a living room which looks like a football field.


Peugeot: Life shouldn't be this easy

Life is not as easy as stated by Peugeot 1007. The new UK online campaign moves from the tagline concept "Life shouldn't be this easy" but, in my opinion does not fully deliver what promised.
First of all, the automaker has split the information into two micro-sites: (with the car's characteristics) and (with news and goodies). The presence of two independent, although connected, websites might disorient the visitor, who might miss some info Peugeot wants to deliver.


The second point, is that once you land on the news site, at first sight you think you are forced to register in order to access the information. Of course there is a link at the bottom of the page allowing you to preview the site content without registering, but it's not very intuitive.

These are the negative aspects of Peugeot online effort, but don't get me wrong, the campaign created by Euro RSCG has also some very interesting points to highlight. As reported on 160 Characters, the TV advert for the new 1007 car offers SMS as the only contact channel. The call to action at the end of the spot invites viewers to text the word "easy" to 81007. This allows mobile users to access a the car's WAP portal, where they find information and entertainment goodies. For example, they can book a test drive or watch the mobisodes of key 1007 features.

Sony: take your best shot

To support the launch of its new K750 camera phone Sony Ericsson has launched an online photo competition. An international microsite, localised in several languages gives users the opportunity to learn tips and tricks to take an excellent picture.


Magnum agency photographer Martin Parr unveils his secrets and invites people to submit pictures to win a seven days photo safari in Costarica and a series of his own photo in limited edition.

July 25, 2005
Hello Moto, Hello Mtv

New Media Age reports MTV and Motorola have signed a deal to offer free mobile content to its viewers. In Europe, people with a Motorola phone will be able to access a WAP portal and download videos, ringtones and wallpapers.

Officially, the initiative aims at raising awareness of mobile video among end users, but rumors seem to indicate this is just a smart move from MTV to make the mobile channel attractive to advertisers.

Billy the Finger promotes Virgin Mobile

Help Billy the Finger escaping a life of crime and despair. And have fun.


Billy the Finger or Pat le Doigt if you prefer the French version, is a viral idea to promote Virgin Mobile in Canada.

BMX: ride everywhere

Saatchi & Saatchi London for BMX Rider Magazine. I think this is a print ad, but it would have been cool also if adapted to outdoor.


[ad via Advertising/Design Goodness]

Porn stars offers mobile advices

Porn star Ron Jeremy has signed a deal with UK carrier 3 to launch a "dear Ron" mobile advice service. features Ron Jeremy avatar, and is part of a wider mobile content strategy the actor (?) has decided to launch. RJmobile also offers mobile videos, wallpapers and, of course the (now) popular groan tones (!!).

[news via moconews]

It's raining ads

Apparently, in Japan researchers are working on "information rain" to grab people's attention and deliver promotional messages to their hands. Australian magazine Herald Sun and Yahoo! News have articles on this weird idea.

Wanted: an interactive cartoon

In the US, TNT network has launched a micro-site to promote its upcoming television series "Wanted". The best thing you find on the website is three interactive comic books presenting the show. Studiocom did an excellent job creating something really innovative and entertaining. The only problem, as AdJab also points out, is that you need to have Superman's sight to read the text in the boxes.

Ferrero and the kids' online paradise

Pubblicità Italia reports Kinder and Ferrero snacks brands have launched an advertainment website targeting 4 to 12 years old kids. The site is called Animotosi and is built around the ideas of fun and movement. Advergames, e-cards, personalised cartoons create an attractive environment for young web surfers.


The only thing I don't really like is that there is also a mobile goodies section, where kids can download ringtones and logos. Even though I understand in Italy we have very young boys and girls owning a mobile phone, I'm not sure it's very ethical to offer them such kind of content. Let's be honest, 99 percent of the times kids don't need a mobile phone, so why should we make them desire something completely unnecessary? Am I too radical in my views?

Vodafone targets cynical mobile users

In Australia, mobile carrier Vodafone has launched an integrated advertising campaign to target consumers who show cynicism and distrust towards the "mobile deals" offered on the market. Rosie Gray-Spencer, General Manager, Brand and Communications at Vodafone, explains the concept:

"People feel like they have to compromise to get good value from their mobile carrier and often this means making commitments that day-to-day life just doesn't allow. Customers have become cynical and complacent, resigning themselves to the fact that this is 'just the way it is' ...not any more".

Moving on from this assumption, Vodafone asked JWT Sydney to create an integrated campaign using tv, radio, print and online advertising to make people think about how they're being treated by their mobile provider and dispel the myth that you have to always do it their way.

A part from the nice words spent by Vodafone, what is interesting about this campaign, is that the actors for the TV spot have been recruited via SMS among Vodafone's existing customers. In a massive casting exercise, real customers were recruited through viral email, by TXT and in store. After only one day over 3,000 customers had responded to the TXT message alone, starting a month long casting process before the final selection.

Viral and advergame for Sunsilk Styling

OgilvyInteractive has created a viral video and a pan-European website to promote Sunsilk Styling (hair) products. The viral video featuring a "man behaving badly" has been distributed to 55,000 women via email. Digital Bulletin reports the campaign has launched in Belgium, UK, Ireland and Finland, and it will be extended to the rest of Europe by the end of the summer.

The website has a nice, trendy look and features original advertainment and infotainment content with an advergame (with an extremely cool graphics) and video with styling advices.

July 22, 2005
Get ready for Mercedes Benz World

Mercedes Benz has recently launched two campaigns to target the British market. The first effort is dedicated to the new B-Class model which will arrive on the market at the beginning of September. Tv and print ads aim at building curiosity and driving traffic to the B-Class website.

The second effort is inspired to Mercedes-Benz World, a new retail and leisure complex to be opened in Summer 2006 at Brooklands. The Mercedes village will include a top class hotel, exhibition and conference spaces, kids' spaces, a restaurant as well as circuits for test drives. According to the description provided on Revolution Magazine, Mercedes-Benz World appears to be a large-scale experiential marketing effort to engage the entire family.

Bluetooth marketing and privacy concerns

Bluetooth marketing is a risky business, with the spam menace just around the corner. New Media Age has a good article on the privacy issues connected to the use of Bluetooth technology to deliver promotional messages.
Big brands like Nokia and Volvo have started exploring this kind of communication which requires an initial (unsolicited) message from the advertiser to start the conversation. The problem is most of the people with Bluetooth enabled phones don't know they can modify the status of their device to accept or refuse by default external communication with other mobiles located within 10 meters. Marketers are taking advantage of this lack of knowledge considering that anyone with the "fully discoverable" option turned on is open (and willing) to receive commercial messages.

With the industry still in its infancy, the risk of spoiling with spam a promising business is very high. Regulations and industry standards are required ASAP.

Talk it easy: put the jargon away

RSS, blog, podcasting and other Internet terms we might consider popular and widely accepted, actually sound weird to a lot of Internet users. A study by the Pew Internet and American Life Project found out 87 percent of US Internet users don't know what podcasting is, while 91 percent ignore RSS.

Recently I spend a couple of hours trying to explain my mother what the hell Adverblog is...

July 21, 2005
RSS advertising: will it deliver?

You probably already heard The Washington Post has decided to add text ads to its RSS feeds (news via Adweek). Google, Yahoo and Kanodlee already offer the RSS advertising since a couple of months and Google has just opened the service to its AdSense program. According a Pew Research survey at the beginning of 2005, more than 5 percent of US Internet users already take advantage of RSS.
These are the facts, but the (still) unanswered question is: do RSS advertising work?
Unfortunately no numbers nor information is yet available, so the debate is now open.

I believe the success of RSS advertising will rely on a few points connected to the very nature of RSS and the way they are used. Let me explain. Some news site like, for example The New York Times, provide the feed with the title and an abstract of the article. Other online publications, such as Le and the WSJ, just fill the feed with the article's title.
My point is, the shorter text in the feed the less effective (and the more annoying) the ad will be. It's a question of relevance, because with a short text it's more difficult to deliver a relevant contextual ad. But it's also a question of getting people's attention. How fast do you go through the feeds you're subscribed to? If you just have to read the title, it simply takes you the blink of an eye to understand whether you're interested or not and click or read on. In less two seconds you're attention is already on the next title. But if you are provided with an abstract of two or three lines, it will take you a longer time to go to the end of the text and probably notice there is also a little tiny text box politely claiming your attention (and your clicks).

Continue reading... "RSS advertising: will it deliver?"

Aprilia, does sex sell?

This ad by Aprilia by Burnett BGS for Aprilia (Italy) got my attention on the newspaper this morning. I find it difficult to understand whether I like it or not. From one perspective it makes me think "is female nudity the only way to sell men a scooter?". Then I think it delivers well the message expressed in the tagline "On my scooter everything has to be perfect". But at the end I believe it basically communicates the idea women are like objects and if your girlfriend is a little bit fat you won't take her around.

What's your opinion?

Manchester United to launch mobile campaign

Another football team is using mobile phones to connect with its supporters: Netimperative reports Manchester United has launched a mobile campaign to sell its mobile content on the Internet or through their WAP portal ( Manchester United is very strong in marketing its brand around the world and recently signed a deal with Vodafone to create MUmobile in order to target its estimated 75 million fans.

Smartphones and mobile advertising

According to the numbers recently released by Gartner, smartphones will represent one fifth of all mobile handset sales by 2008. 3G eventually appears to be around the corner, and we need to start thinking about the real opportunities on a mass market scale the new technology will provide us with. After the failures in the early stages of the mobile market, mobile advertising is about to come back but, of course, we need to take into account the lesson learned from past mistakes.

Basically the marketing approach to mobile phones should be "push" not "pull" but, with the growth of WAP 2.0 portals and mobile HTML browsers, this concept will evolve. I see a near future of "light" contextual advertising, while I believe we still have to wait a couple of years for mobile rich media. Of course the technology is already there to support streaming media ads and now even Flash animations, but marketers need to remember the "pricing" issue. Given the current prices of 3G connections in Europe (recently I spent 15 Euros with Vodafone to download 300 Kb!!!) making the user pay to watch your ads is a crazy idea that could absolutely damage a brand. So while we wait for 3G to reach the mass market with carriers applying fair prices, SMS and partly MMS will still remain the best option.

Blogs and copyrighted content

MarketingSherpa's publisher, Anne Holland, wrote an article on bloggers cutting and pasting the entire text of her publication's content in their blogs. Apparently it's an emerging trend and I'm experiencing it too (even if fortunately on smaller scale).

Continue reading... "Blogs and copyrighted content"

Yahoo! Messenger open for ads

Yahoo! UK is about to start selling ads on it IM service. The first advertiser on the Messenger will be fashion brand FCUK which will allow users to customize the IM avatars with its latest collections. Quoted on Brand Republic, Darren Cairns, head of marketing for Yahoo! Messenger, explained this is an excellent marketing opportunity to target the "i-generation" (???) of 16 to 34 years old Internet users.

July 20, 2005
Surf 'n listen to the radio

According to a research carried out by the IAB and the RAB (Radio Advertising Bureau) in the UK, one in five Internet users listen to the radio while the surf the Web. Netimperative points out that 59 percent of the respondents claimed to have looked for products and services on the Internet after hearing about them on the radio.

Questioning advertising accountability

Can you tell me what's the return on investment from your advertising spending? Don't be shy, if the answer is no, as a consolation I can tell you you are not alone. Stuart Elliott today on the New York Times writes about a recent research commissioned by the Association of National Advertisers, that found out most of marketers are not able to forecast the impact on sales of their marketing investments. There are plenty of data to collect, but apparently people haven't the right models to figure out what those numbers mean.

Mc Donald's ethical marketing

DDB Philippines for Mc Donald's.


BBC World: the news is moving

Bates Singapore for the BBC, winner of the Bronze Lion at the Cannes advertising festival in the category corporate image.
BBC World: the news is moving.


Advertising and podcasting

AdFreak and Random Culture have two interesting posts on podcasting and advertising.

How long should a podcast ad be? 15 seconds seems to be the answer, which means don't give listener the time to push the fast-forward button ;-)

The angels of toilet paper

Adverblog's reader Ashley Gillam points us to the new Angel Soft advertainment website.
I find somehow weird just the idea of a toilet paper doing online marketing, but I also think taking an advertainment approach is the best way do it. The website is build around the "Bathroom Moments" idea, with funny video clips, an online contest, sweeptakes and a collection "fun bathroom facts"... every family has a bathroom story to tell...

How well do you know Marilyn Monroe?

Dutch beer Grolsch, which declares to be the "Blonde Legend" is running an online test taking advantage of Marilyn Monroe's image. The game asks you to compare Marilyn's pictures and find the differences. The prize for the "MarilynQuiz" is a travel to Los Angeles. If you speak Dutch, you might enjoy browsing through the site which is fully of Marilyn goodies.

Again, dead man walking (in the ad).

Do-it-yourself online marketing

It is getting more and more common to engage prospects with "do-it-yourself" online marketing ideas. Here you have two good examples of what I mean where, as you will see, it's the end user who adapts and creates a marketing message that fits his personality and individuality.

In the first case we have Burger King and its co-marketing effort to promote the Fantastic Four movie. Visitors are invited to create their own comic book using the Fantastic Four characters, a series of text balloons and "crash, sckreee, thwack and blaaam" exclamations. At the end of the job , the improvised cartoonist can also print out his strip. I love this idea because it's engaging and also because it perfectly delivers Burger King payoff: Have it your way.

The second example is related to the "do-it-yourself" Wedding Crasher trailer. You can upload your photo and automatically become the protagonist of the movie by "crashing" the trailer. Give it a try.

July 19, 2005
Beers and advergames for men (and curious women ;-)

I usually don't like the use of stereotypes in advertising but this time I make an exception pointing you to the Milwaukee's Best Light beer micro-site. Mother/N.Y. and The Boston's Barbarian Group created a site full of stuffs which will generate a lot of buzz among men (and curious women ;-)

Just check out the "Act like a man" advergames section to understand what I mean (have a look also at the guy reading the site privacy policy...).

Dangerous (but sexy) holidays...

I love this TV ad created by Wirz Werbung for Kuoni Switzerland (the travel agency).
The tagline says: Holidays in which you forget about everything.

Raid Kills Bugs Dead

This ad is two years old now, but it's still a good example of outdoor advertising.
Giovanni FCB for Raid Aerosol (Brazil, 2003). I guess you already now the tagline... Raid Kills Bugs Dead.


Stylish website for the new Nokia 9300

Nokia is getting ready to launch on the US market its new 9300 phone. It is raising curiosity with online ads on the New York Times (where I found the link) driving people to a very stylish black micro-site. To tell the truth, I believe people clicks on the 9300 ads because there is an online prize draw, which will give away a Nokia 9300 every two weeks starting from August 1st.


Personally, I like the website more than the phone itself (maybe because now I've eyes only for my new 6680...)

Movies, advertising and stress

I must start by saying I have a negative attitude towards product placement in movies, because most of the times it's done in a stupid way. Fortunately I'm not the only one thinking product placement is going to far. Rance Crain, editor in chief of Advertising Age wrote an interesting article yesterday on movies becoming "one gigantic product placement" and consumers getting tired of paying to watch a movie full of advertisements.

Now there is also a new source of stress for movie lovers: Bluetooth promotional kiosks eager to connect with their mobile phones while they wait for the movie in theater lobbies. The New York Times reports 20th Century Fox has signed a deal with Loews Cineplex Entertainment to distribute movie trailers, ring tones and pictures through kiosks in three Loews theaters, in New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco. To me, the only good thing about this kind of initiative is that if you're really interested in this such goodies, at least you get the content for free.

Actually I'm not against Bluetooth technology used to deliver (permission-based!) marketing messages, I'm just against movies becoming an advertising show.

If you're interested in movies and product placement read also this: "Must love dogs" becomes product placement bonanza

Online "subtracts" money from traditional media ads

ZenithOptimedia cut its growth forecast for 2005 global advertising spending to 4.7 percent from 5.4 percent. The main reason behind this change is connected to the declining interest in US network television. Reuters reports total 2005 ad spending is now seen at $403.9 billion, with an increase of Internet advertising which is expected to "subtract" $3.6 billion from traditional media.

Sony EU summer promotion not so pan-European

Sony is running a pan-European online summer campaign to promote its My Sony membership program. Visual communication agency Tonic created a series of online ads, an email marketing campaign and a micro-site available in 17 EU countries. I am astonished to note content has been localized for Slovenia, Bulgaria, Hungary and Romania, but not for Italy, Belgium and The Netherlands. I really wonder why the decided to ignore these countries.

Continue reading... "Sony EU summer promotion not so pan-European"

Pepsi online strategies in France

Le Journal du Net explores (in French) PepsiCo online strategies in France, talking with Martine Pelier, a marketing executive at the soft drinks giant. Pepsi is investing more and more money in online advertising, reducing at the same time its spending in Tv ads. TV spots haven't been dismissed, simply they have become part of a more integrated strategy in which Pepsi wants to substain its anticonformist image.

Given the target audience (15-25 years old) the company is focusing on Internet activities and on music content. In particular Pepsi has launched this year, in cooperation with Virgin,, where people can win music, ringtones and mobile phones. The site is also connected to the Pepsi Town the online community launched in 2002, which at first sight looks like an Habbo Hotel. Pepsi Music Play among mid-April and the end of June received over 1.8 million visitors who went online to redeem the winning codes found on Pepsi drinks.


The interactive agency helping Pepsi deploying its online marketing strategies is Chewing Com, which also works for BMW and Nintendo.

Kellogg's: your new dress

JWT SSA for Kellogg's Special K (Spain), winner of the bronze lion at the Cannes Advertising Festival in the print sweet foods category.

(Click on the image to enlarge it)

Save the account!

I know it might sound weird, but what I'm gonna talk about now is apparently the first example of viral marketing in Italy. Save the account is a provocative idea by ebolaindustries to promote the advertising agency Enfants Terribles. Enfant Terribles has a peculiar characteristic: it works only with planners and creative people, no account manager nor executive finds a place in the agency's structure.

save_account.gifThe accounts loosing their jobs and stressed by an hard daily life decided to gather and protest against their dismission. The sit-in took place in Milan on May 16th, in occasion of the Advertising Gala, generating a lot of buzz in the industry. The (fake) accounts, in a pure guerilla marketing style, distributed 300 pins and flyers to the people attending the advertising event, asking them to go online and support the Save the Account movement. In a few days the word spread around and hundreds people visited the site to find out more about this strange activity.

Save the account is a nice website, full of advertainment content many of you will appreciate, for example visit "How to recycle an account" or "Couple therapy" for accounts and their clients. There is also a viral video to watch, which highlights the frustrations in an account daily relationship with a difficult client.

July 18, 2005
Dead man walking (in the ad)

In this post I point you to "In search of the right dead celebrity", an article where Anna Heinemann investigates the use deceased entertainers as stars in TV spots. Marketing Evaluation even compiled a chart of "dead celebrity likeability", with Lucille Ball and Bob Hope leading the way. The main question is of course: do people still recognize dead celebrity in ads? Apparently the answer is yes, at least for what concerns the US market.

Continue reading... "Dead man walking (in the ad)"

An MMS soap opera for a football team

What do football players and soap operas have in common? A lot, if you open any gossip magazine here in Europe, and also if you have a look at what is going on in Germany. The St. Pauli football team has launched an MMS based soap opera, starring his midfielder Benjamin Adrion. The mobile service is called Paulisoap costs to the recipient € 0,99 per message.

As football teams become brands, marketing becomes more and more important for them, and this is just another example of using the mobile channel to get in touch with their customers fans.


Logitech launches it's "bLogitech"

Logitech probably has the best brand name to launch an online business blog... and it didn't miss the occasion launching the bLogitech blog in Germany. The corporate blog is accessible through the Logitech Cordless Club portal and gets entries from three journalists specialized in gadgets and online culture.

It's interesting to note that the entries are not directly connected to Logitech's business. Posts cover topics from music to games, movies and "future", showing that Logitech prefers an advertainment/infotainment approach to the blogging world.

Tag: Business Blogging

Ryanair partners with to sell ads

Ryanair, probably Europe's most popular low cost airline, which states having Europe's no.1 travel site, has decided to take advantage of the huge amount of traffic it gets to start selling advertising spaces. generates 20 million unique visitors per month and 700 million hits per month. The ads will be sold by LM Media, a subsidiary of, which just debuted on the market signing this three years deal with Ryanair.

Quoted on Eye for Travel, Matt Gower managing director of LM Media said:

"The creation of a full-service online advertising agency was a logical step for, which leveraged the skills and expertise of the commercial team and its existing network of advertisers, coupled with the fact has 15,000 plus suppliers which is a unique resource for both advertisers and new clients for LM media".

A mobile trivia for Cry Wolf

Cry Wolf is not only a song by A-Ha, but it's also an upcoming movie which will be promoted through a mobile initiative called "IM in the Hunt". AOL, Chrysler Corporation and Rogue Pictures have joined forces to create a mobile trivia game to be played through AOL Instant Messenger, independently from the mobile carrier. "IM in the Hunt" targets teens and young adults giving away a trip to Los Angeles and a final grand prize, a Chrysler Crossfire.

BBC ready to start selling online advertising spaces

Revenue, revenue, revenue. The BBC is not immune from the money attraction, and is about to start selling advertising spaces on its website, but only to overseas visitors. In an interview published today on The Guardian Ashley Highfield, director of new media and technology explains the BBC is getting ready to start selling downloads of popular programs over the Internet. Since almost half of the traffic gets comes from abroad (22.8 million of the website's 48.1 million average monthly users) and the technology now allows much more precise geotargeting, the UK media giant is also considering to add ads to elements of its website, to be displayed when overseas users visit the pages.

Advertainment for Nestea Ice

Nestlé has launched an advertainment style microsite to promote its Nestea Ice product to a 12-to-24-year-old males audience. Mediapost reports the site is currently getting 2,200 unique visitors a day, but the number should increase as soon as online ads and traditional advertising will kick off.

The agency behind this online effort is Juxt Interactive which created a paradisiac graphics, rather fresh and relaxing with an excellent sound design. The site also includes a competition which isn't available yet forgetting that "Coming soon" or "under construction" disappoint visitors.

Of course Nestea Ice tries to drive some word of mouth with a (funny?) video starring El Yielazo, who wants to save the world from hotness. Again, the video soundtrack appears to be the nicest thing to pay attention to. It's an improbable mix of Mexican and Yoodle music, maybe to help people remembering Nestlé is a Swiss company...

Do blogs affect purchasing behavior?

On iMediaConnection an article tries to investigate the impact of blogs on shopping. Don't be biased by the attractive title, unfortunately the information provided are not as compelling as you might expect. It just provides a few indications but it doesn't say how and then they apply. Disappointing.

July 17, 2005
Win with American Airlines

In the UK American Airlines is running an online competition to give away a series of prizes. Visitors are invited to match pictures with US destinations, upon completion of the (silly) game, anyone automatically enters a draw to win flight tickets, headsets or theatre tickets.


Sorry but I can't help smiling thinking about the game idea: this week on his show Jay Leno said that according to a National Geopraphic survey, many US teenagers are not able to point the United States on a world map... so Brits should show them where they are ;-)

The Kangaroos have arrived

Del Campo Nazca Saatchi & Saatchi for the Buenos Aires Zoo (Argentina), winner of the Bronze at the Clio Awards 2005 for Entertainment Promotion.
The Kangaroos have arrived.

New Focus Dailies site in Spain

In Spain, Barcelona Virtual as created a micro-site for Focus Dailies the Ciba Vision contact lenses. The site is extremely simple and has only three pages, but I mention it because I liked the way the Tv spot has been integrated with the content on the homepage.

Viral email marketing for BP

In the UK, BP has launched a viral video email to promote its Ultimate range of fuels. The petrol giant is targeting Nectar cardholders aiming at educating them about the available fuel choice.

July 16, 2005
The value of search engine marketing in Europe

According to Forrester Research, in Europe the search engine market will generate 1.4 billion Euros of spending in 2005. The definition "search engine marketing" includes everything related to commercial search: paid listings, contextual search, site optimization, and paid inclusions. While search marketing’s share in online advertising will increase for another two years, Forrester believes it will start decreasing in 2007. The slowdown will be due to a probable increasing negative attitude of consumers towards paid listing, but also to the growth of rich media ads and the increase in the price of keywords.

Hellen Omwando, Consumer Markets Analyst at Forrester Research, says:

"While it's unlikely that prices in Europe will reach the same levels as in the US — where the same keyword might command five times the price than in Europe — increases will be significant enough to make it difficult for some marketers to justify the ROI of high prices; they won't be able to compete for popular keywords."

July 15, 2005
Mobile marketing for the Herbie Parade

On July 30th Berlin will host the probably longest "Herbie Parade" in the world. On the occasion of this very special event, MindMatics has created an SMS campaign with a prize draw for Volkswagen, which invites Beetle and New Beetle drivers to come to Berlin and do their bit for the Guinness World Record attempt.

The mobile marketing mechanism isn't obvious, and requires some active behavior in the recipients who can text back to be sure they'll have a place at the parade and also to enter a draw and win one of ten weekends with a Volkswagen New Beetle Cabriolet.
Of course, the main idea behind this campaign is not to set a Guiness World Record with hundreds of Beetles "marching" in Berlin, but to promote the movie remake which will debut in Germany on the same day.

An advergame as preview of a videogame

If you enjoy shooting videogames (I loved playing Call of Duty and Medal of Honor with my colleagues), you will surely enjoy the "mini" version of Bet On Soldier created by Inbox Digital. The graphics is excellent and the online game really gives you the idea of how the PC game will be.


This isn't an advergame at 100 percent, but it's a smart use of the Internet to generate interest in an upcoming release.

Oli Christie, Creative Director of Inbox Digital commented:

This exciting game furthers our capabilities in the viral gaming area. The game takes production values to a new level and this gaming experience should really drive the viral opportunity to create interest this the game amongst the core target audience – PC gamers; it will be a perfect springboard for the launch campaign".

July 12, 2005
Advertising spaces in mobile games become available

Mobile content provider Infospace will start selling advertising space during its "For Prizes" multiplayer game tournaments. Since consumers are increasingly relying on mobile phones for entertainment, this looks like an attractive opportunity to advertisers who want to reach not only the "text generation" but also young adults with higher incomes and less time to play from home.

Online advertisers running more global campaigns

If the Internet is everywhere and allows you to reach customers and prospects from Alaska to Andorra (guess where this country is ;-), why should a brand limit its marketing efforts to the US? The globalization of digital marketing isn't something new but, as ClickZ reports, now it's becoming the rule, no longer the exception. The article quotes Andy Chen, interactive media director at Carat International, who explains their clients are increasingly looking to expand their interactive efforts overseas. The approach they follow is "think globally, act locally", and agencies need to be ready to follow or, better, lead, their clients in the discovery of new interactive markets.

Among the agencies expanding their operations in other countries, we recently heard of Dare Digital that should be about to open an office in New York City, or R/GA which is following the inverse path, looking forward to start working in London. A part from Europe which might appear very attractive to US advertisers, China is absolutely the market to follow. For example, UK agency Panlogic has decided to open branch offices in Shanghai and Beijing.

Marketers discovering the "third screen"

Big brands are launching this summer mobile marketing campaigns in the US. Bringing with them the experience of similar initiatives run in Europe in the last few years, companies like Coca-Cola, McDonald's and Heineken have started using mobile elements to target the American market. AdAge reports consumers packaged-goods brands like Nesquik and Starburst are particularly active, opting for low risk on-pack promotions. Coca-Cola instead is exploring the rich and fascinating world of mobile games.

But the article highlights an interesting aspect: marketers are increasingly interested in mobile marketing, but the agencies aren't (yet) there to help them and provide ideas and resources... All right, if you need help, you know where to find me...

Tag =

Lacoste promotes online its fragrances

Lacoste has decided to use online marketing to make people discover its new fragrances. Clark McKay & Walpole North developed a campaign which takes advantage of a micro-site where visitor can request to receive perfume samples. Of course anyone who ask to try the fragrance for free will be added to a database for future promotions.

Save Gerard!

This campaign has been online for a few weeks now, but it's worth posting anyway. Save Gerard (Sauvez Gerard) is an advertainment site launched by Discovery Channel in France.
The idea is to save Gerard and his bunny who still haven't found out about the existence of Discovery Channel.

The site features a series of funny videos and highlights the programs currently showed on the Channel. The goodies section allows people to download a logo and print it out on a t-shirt. You can also support him leaving a message in the board or send around postcards to your friends.

July 11, 2005
R/GA dressed for success

Congrats to my friends at R/GA for the article appeared today on AdAge celebrating the success of the agency led by Bob Greenberg.

Find it on the Yellow Pages

BBDO Guatemala for the Paginas Amarillas de Publicar (Yellow pages in Guatemala).


Coke promotes World of Warcraft in China

In China Coca-Cola has launched an iCoke branded World of Warcraft site. A funny tv spot is also part of the effort. You can download it here, just beware it's 11 Mb.


[news via Tokio Genki]

Crazy Frog leads the "Ads That Make News" chart

Crazy_Frog.jpgBrandRepublic has an article on the most talked ads on the UK scene, the ads which get the most editorial exposure on national newspapers. The Crazy Frog created by Jamster continues to obsess everybody, but also KFC ad ("Staff talking with mouths full", you can watch it on AdLand) created by Bartle Bogle Hegarty, managed to annoy people a lot. However, BBC News reports the KFC TV advert which prompted a record 1,671 complaints did not breach industry guidelines, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has ruled. The full chart of "Ads That Make News" is available here.

Continue reading... "Crazy Frog leads the "Ads That Make News" chart"

Mobile marketing, it's a question of trust

On his company's blog, Juanjo gives us some insights from a recent campaign Duplex Marketing has carried out for Sony. It was an on-pack promotion which urged people to text the shortcode they found on the CD pack to a special number, in order to win prizes. The initiative obtained a 10 percent redemption rate, with about 20 to 40 percent of the people submitting codes more than once.

I know text2win is just the simplest way to try mobile marketing and it's doesn't help much in building a relationship, but I do like it as a "way-in". On-pack promotions and SMS codes are a good solution to educate both advertisers and the public to the potentials of wireless marketing. It's a question of building trust: advertisers will learn there is a new, direct and personal channel to promote themselves, and users will understand they can enter mobile sweepstakes at no risk of being spammed with unwanted SMS.
Of course this is a delicate game that needs to be played by the rules. Cheat and die.

Tag =

Meet Chuck Porter

I have an idea has an interview with Chuck Porter, Chairman of Crispin Porter + Bogusky. He talks about the "Truth" campaign against smoke launched in 1997, which proved to be one of the most effective social marketing campaigns ever. Furthermore Chuck tells about his experience as freelance and shares his opinion on focus groups:

I think focus groups are good for certain things. I think they can help you in coming to a potent strategy. I think they can help with that. I think that focus groups can be good for product research, to see if they like something to eat or the way a car looks or whatever. I think focus groups can be useful for that. I think focus groups, in terms of focus grouping creative is a disaster. Because they’ll all say what you think they should say.

The Pentax camera and the fish

Viaduct Hamburg (Germany) has created this funny ad for Pentax digital cameras which are water resistant.
The copy says: "For extreme sportsmen, danger seekers and parents with curious children.


[thanks to Der Markenlotse]

A new G Unit site for Reebok

Reebok has launched a micro-site to promote its 50 Cent's new GxT II line. Zugara did the job, also creating a stickball advergame. The site also presents the TV spot and a "behind the scenes" special, the RBK ringtones will be added soon.


Usually I don't enjoy sites which heavily use photographs, but in this case I very much like the animation effects when you move from one section to another.

The real mobile banking

reise_bank.jpgMarkarina has a post on a cool promotional initiative in Germany, where Reisebank has launched a new "mobile banking" service.
A "cashmobil" car goes around the airport in Munich, allowing people to withdraw money on the go. An excellent idea which could be easily replicated in shopping malls also... buy, buy, buy, spend, spend, spend...

Festival Buddy, smart viral idea for Virgin Express

virgin_express.gifAnother smart viral campaign from Belgium, with offline marketing integrated with online and mobile. Virgin Express has launched Festival Buddy, allowing Belgian music fans to win free flights.

This is how the idea works: you sign up via SMS or online and you're immediately sent an SMS with your "buddy word". Then you go to one of the music festivals sponsored by Virgin Express and you look for someone with same buddy word. If you find him/her, go together to the Virgin Express stand and you'll receive a free flight each. Smart, isn't it?

The agency behind this campaign, Duval Guillaume, say nearly 20,000 people have already entered the competition. And the buzz is spreading: people are looking for Festival Buddies through blogs, forums and IM, and a guy has even set up a website to find him.

Measuring the value of corporate blogs

How can you measure the ROI when you launch a corporate blog? Someone says it is impossible, but Heidi Cohen on ClickZ does not agree and provides readers with several hints to understand the blogs' ROI. First of all you need to ask yourself what's the business objectives a blog will fulfill, then you can develop a set of metrics to assess your blog success (or failure). I particularly enjoyed two points in the article:

Blogging is a form of strategic PR to raise your brand's or company's salience, not a carefully timed marketing promotion.
Just because blogging is new, you can't assume evaluating its effectiveness is impossible.

Ready for the Pinky Panty Poker?

Crispin Porter + Bogusky Miami is the agency behind the Pink Panty Poker Victoria's Secret PINK has just launched. The campaign targets 18-24 women, but I'm sure a wider public will enjoy the game ;-)

Scott Linnen, VP Creative Director on the project said:

A few of us were sitting around playing strip poker at the agency one Monday night when the idea hit us like a ton of bricks. Poker is really hot right now. And who doesn’t like seeing total strangers in their underwear? Especially when that underwear is by sexy Victoria’s Secret PINK brand. So what if we combined the two? And have V.S. Supermodel Alessandra throw a panty poker party with a few of her model friends. We just thought it would be a fun way for girls to get a glimpse of the latest PINK styles and get a little eye candy with the guy players. Like a Tupperware party. But for thongs. With hot guys. And a Supermodel.

July 10, 2005
Kobe Bryant is back as Nike testimonial

ABC News reports Kobe Bryant is back in Nike's ads on Sports Illustrated. Photographs of the basketball player have been used for the first time since his arrest two years ago (Bryant was accused of rape). The article explains "Bryant had signed a $45 million deal with Nike shortly before his arrest. McDonald's and Nutella both dropped Bryant from their roster of celebrity endorsers after his arrest".

July 09, 2005
Pepsi unveils global mobile strategy

New Media Age reports Pepsi is about to launch a global mobile campaign, with a WAP portal at the centre of its activity. In the UK the initiative will use the Pepsi Max brand. The agencies behind this effort are Graphico, which is Pepsi's mobile agency and Communicator from Australia.

Communicator is the agency that helped Pepsi creating the extremely successful SMS campaign "Win an iPod every hour" which received over 555,000 entries generating an incredible 15 percent redemption rate.

July 08, 2005
Look me in the eyes, baby

Ogilvy has signed a deal Eyetools to test email campaigns by looking at what people looks or ignores. Ok, I'll say it better: using a camera embedded in the monitor, OgilvyOne will follow eyes movement patterns of people reading commercial email. The idea is to investigate what recipients actually read and what they ignore.

It's called eye-tracking and it's usually a practice used in psychology and medical research. Since advertising people are going crazy to get people attention, Ogilvy's study perfectly makes sense.

Magnum, 5 Senses worth £6.5m

Magnum 5 Senses ice-cream is currently being supported in the UK with a marketing campaign worth £6.5m. Unilever has decided to invest a lot in online marketing, asking MRM Partners to create an online competition to make ice-cream lovers happy. People collect barcodes on products and then go online trying to win a "sensory journey"or an iPod... On Digital Bulletin Oliver Rudgard, Magnum brand manager, said:

The online environment has played an essential role in creating a fun, yet highly effective platform for reaching and interacting with our target audience of 18- to 34-year-olds.

I don't know, but the site just looks sad to me...

Got Milk? around the world

Two campaigns promoting milk consumption. The first is an outdoor ad created by Advico Young & Rubicam for Schweizer Milchproduzenten (Switzerland).
Milk gives strong bones.

The second is a billboard created by BBDO Montreal for Le Lait (Canada).
One glass of milk is good, but two are better.

I prefer the Swiss one...

Are looking for more cool interactive ideas? Check the archives

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