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September 29, 2005
Vatican angry over new Playstation ad

La Repubblica reports the Vatican got really angry after seeing the new Playstation ad appeared on Italian newspapers. The ad (see below) portrays a young man as Jesus Christ during his Passion, with a crown of thorns representing Playstation buttons. After the negative reaction of the Catholic Church, Sony apologized and immediately suspended the campaign.

September 29, 2005
The Garnier "beauty-hangman"

In the UK Garnier is online with a "beauty-bar" website. A part from the fact that the idea reminds me the Coca Cola UK site (but Garnier is online with this since 2001), what actually got my attention is the "games" section which, among the others, features an horrible "beauty-hangman".

The Burst Bubble billboard

McCann-Erickson for Perfetti/Van Melle Big Babol (India).

Bumvertising against KFC

Animal rights group, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), is paying homeless people in London £5 an hour to keep customers out of KFC restaurants. Brand Republic explains they hand out leaflets during the busiest times of the day inviting customers to eat elsewhere.
I'm not sure this is exactly a form of "bumvertising", but it's surely an example of guerrilla marketing taking advantage of homeless people and I don't really like it.
PETA is claiming that KFC has done nothing to eliminate abuse at factory farms and is not committed to poultry welfare (!??!).

The age of media multi-tasking

A new report by Middletown Media Studies reveals that people spend an average of nine hours a day consuming media (tv, radio, computers, books, telephone). This makes media the number one activity people spend doing every day. But what is more interesting to note is that over 96 percent of the interviewed people said they use two or more media concurrently for about 30 percent of the day.

Revolution Magazine highlights the fact that television still plays the gorilla role, followed by computer and radio on the second place.

Continue reading... "The age of media multi-tasking"

September 28, 2005
Quick links for September 28th

- Norwich Union embarks on Web campaign (on Netimperative)
- Reach "Ad Skippers" Via Online Word-of-Mouth (on ClickZ)
- MSN takes on Google AdWords (on CNET
- RSS-Sense (on iMediaConnection)
- Dove team discusses Real Beauty campaign (on Brandrepublic - sub. req.)

CSI on your mobile (maybe)

CBS is considering making the popular Tv-series CSI: Crime Scene Investigation available to mobile phones. MediaWeek reports their are thinking about creating so-called "mobisodes" as Fox is already doing with 24.

What's the best day for email marketing?

Quoted on eMarketer a new research by ExactTarget suggests that the "best days for opens are not necessarily the best for clicks". Of course, maximizing open rates is important for brand exposure, while generating clicks is the key if the goal is conversion. The research found out that if you send out your commercial emails Wednesday through Friday you get the highest opening rates, but if you're looking for clicks, than the week-end is the best time. According to ExactTarget data, over 97% of campaigns are sent Monday through Friday.

Renault "viral" safety campaign

IB left a comment here on Adverblog pointing to a nice online marketing campaign run in Germany by Renault. On (which means Safety) you find a funny video (click Crash! Boom! Bang!) promoting French cars, which the spot claims to be the safest you can buy.
I really the video because it makes a smart use of stereotypes through metaphors. It's a little bit cryptic the first time you watch it, but once you understand it, you realize it's brilliant since it's not obvious.

I suspect Nordpol Hamburg is behind this, but I'm not sure. Does anyone know?

Twix Eaters Anonymous

Erick sent me the link to the Twix Eaters Anonymous website, which offers online consults to teach people the importance of sharing their Twix. The site (in Dutch and English) provides some funny confessions of anonymous Twix eaters who received help to get past their greediness.

Of course, Twix denies being behind this, but once you get on their Dutch website, the only content you find is actually a message saying they shouldn't be held responsible for Twix Eaters Anonymous (TWA). At the end of the message, if you want to get further information on the TWA, you're invited to click to visit the TWA website...

The TWA idea is somehow nice (but I'm not sure it really makes me visiting the website again), but I would have expected something smarted to show/hide Twix is behind it. Generally speaking a good idea which could have been executed much better.

Blogs, podcasting: what the hell are you talking about?

Thanks to AdPulp, I found out this article on Reuters which should really make us think:

"Proponents of the latest Web trends were warned on Tuesday that the rest of the world may not have a clue what they are talking about. A survey of British taxi drivers, pub landlords and hairdressers -- often seen as barometers of popular trends -- found that nearly 90 percent had no idea what a podcast is and more than 70 percent had never heard of blogging."

A research by DDB London found out that there is no buzz about blogging and podcasting outside of our media industry bubble, and also that people have no understanding of what the words mean.

September 27, 2005
Bread is life

Lorenzo Marini&Associati; for BICE (Italy). Bronze FigLeaf winner at the Lisbon Erotic Advertising festival 2002.

The Slim Fast Jail

M.E.C.H. Berlin for Unilever Slim Fast (Germany). Cresta Award winner in 2004.

Window shopping and bluetooth marketing

Another Bluetooth marketing campaign using Hypertag technology. This time it comes from the UK, where bookshop chain Waterstone's has partnered with Macmillan Children's books to promote the upcoming title All American Girl: ready or not.

New Media Age (sub. req.) explains Hypertag's technology is now placed in shop windows and offers the chance to win Waterstone's vouchers, free copies of the book and mobile screen savers. This an incredibly smart idea, because it gives brands the possibility to interact with the prospect when he/she is actually interested in a product. If you spend a few seconds in front of a shop window, most of the times it means you're interested in its content, so you're going to be more likely to ask (pull) further information about the products.

Boom time for food ads in the UK

Once the "obesity" crisis has passed, food companies in the UK have decided to invest £70m in advertising. About one year ago the government was about to issue a ban on food ads to provide a solution to the obesity diffusion among teens. They eventually decided not to do it, but they obtained a positive result anyway. Basically food brands are now promoting healthier products. In an article on Media Guardian people in the industry provide different explanation to the growth: someone admits there is a trend towards healthier eating, some others, like McDonald's simply claim they are advertising more because they have more things to say...

Lost in translation aka the decline of Hollywood stars in Japanese ads

Do you remember Bill Murray flying to Japan to promote a whiskey brand? Well, the happy hour for Hollywood stars starring in Japanese Tv commercials is almost over. They haven't disappeared yet, but they aren't as requested as in the past. The LA Times has an excellent article on the evolution of the advertising market in Japan, saying there isn't a unique explanation for their decline. Some advertising industry analyst say this is due to the reduced ad budgets. Some other explain that, because of the Internet and the globalization, Japanese people no longer need American pop culture highlighted through Tv ads, because they have it just one click away.


Whatever the reason, the fact is that Japanese agencies are increasingly turning to more affordable Japanese talents. The other option is to hire Korean stars, who are becoming more and more popular now that the drama series called "Winter Sonata" has achieved an incredible success.

Tomoko Kamiguchi of Dentsu Casting & Entertainment, explains the cultural change:

"Five years ago, two years ago even, I could never have imagined this happening. After 'Sonata my clients are all looking for synergy with this Korean drama. The Japanese market has changed. We have accepted Asian talent. After 'Sonata,' we no longer have an allergy to Asia."

That's a vacuum cleaner!

Young & Rubicam Copenhagen for Electrolux Vacuum Cleaner (Denmark). Winner of the Clio Award for best outdoor ad in 2004.

September 26, 2005
Pureprofile: the reverse search engine

If traditional marketing no longer works, why don't we try it the other way around? This is probably what Pureprofile has thought when it decided to set up a new service which allows consumers to publicly advertise the products they are looking for. It is called "Reverse Search Engine" and allows brands to get in touch with prospect who decide to share their interest online. The service has been officially launched in the UK this week after a test period which attracted 120,000 people. Revolution Magazine reports that Avis, Abbey and Churchill Insurance have already signed up for it.

What Australian women really want

My friend Mike sent me an excellent article published on Bandt which unfortunately I cannot link because it requires a subscription. It's about what (Australian) women really want, and it's written by Catherine Heath, strategic planner at Young & Rubicam. Among the other things, Catherine writes:

"The new woman is a complex combination of smart, focused and radical, traditional, committed and feminine. She is rewriting the rulebook on how brands can to talk to her. (...) Women want the same things as men, last year in Australia, women bought 60% of iPods sold. (...) Women’s need to share is fundamental and applies equally to consumer behavior as to life. (...) A woman won’t complain about a bad experience—she’ll simply leave. Ninety-six per cent of women will discard a product or service without complaining."

If you're really interested in the topic, last March Fairfax Digital published a similar article which just requires a free registration to be accessed.

Pepsi's sense of humor

In Australia, over 160,000 people visited a web site called which is spoofing the new Pepsi Max Heaps Rich campaign. As Adrants points out, Pepsi Australia is actually behind the spoof. In the end, it's not important how people talk about you, what matters is just that they are talking about you. Anyway, I really appreciate there is still someone out there with some sense of humor!

Mercedes promotes the new R-Class with rich media

A car for rich people promote with rich media. Excuse my silly joke, but this is actually what MediaPost points out today talking about a new online campaign Mercedes is about to launch in the US to promote its R-Class luxury vehicle.

The online agency which designed the ads is Critical Mass. They created a virtual avatar which enters the screen to delivered tailored sales pitch as a user clicks an ad. The innovative rich media will appear on and ideally it will help generating a more engaging online experience. A micro-site will of course support the campaign.

I must say I'm always a little bit skeptical when I see things moving around my monitor but, of course, in this case things are different since the avatar shows up only if the user clicks on the ad.

Exploring the digital media landscape

If you're still wondering where digital marketing is going, I strongly suggest you reading Eric Picard today's article on ClickZ. Probably he doesn't say anything new, but he really helps keeping the eyes on the ball in the crazy world of digital media. Rss, mobile, in-game advertising and the life after the 30" spot: a useful compendium to learn how (and where) to move your next step.

Piggies for London commuters

BrandRepublic reports reward-based consumer website is giving away anti-stress piggies to London commuters. At Tube and railway stations field marketing teams dressed in pig suits are looking for 25-35 years old women who represent the target audience for this campaign.

The idea (by Tribe) is to generate brand awareness and curiosity, driving traffic to the website.

Another viral for Tim Burton

Culture-Buzz reports the new Tim Burton movie (The Corpse Bride) is going viral also in France. "Les noces funebres" website offers a love calculator to test your affinity with your partner. I got an astonishing 96 percent (pour l'eternite) which really scares me :-)


This is the teaser Burton launched in the US.

Axe and the nun

VegaOlmosPonce/APL for Axe (Argentina). Clio award winner in 2000.


September 25, 2005
A cup, a soup and a hug

The weird image below belongs to the new website launched in the UK by Bachelor, to promote its Cup-a-Soup brand.

The site presents all the range of Cup a Soup products, the Hug Buddies (a series of sandwiches that perfectly fit with a soup) and the hug-o-meter to measure how much you need a hug. Having spent another week-end alone in Amsterdam, I must say I got a pretty high score...

P&G; and "the first moment of truth"

Dominic Basulto on Corante New York points to a very interesting article on the WSJ discussing the importance of in-store product placement. According to Proctor & Gamble shoppers make up their mind about a product in three to seven seconds, just the time it takes to note a product on a store shelf. This time lapse is called (by P&G;) "first moment of truth" and it's considered the most important marketing opportunity for a brand. To give you an idea of how it's relevant, just consider that P&G; created a position 18 months ago, "Director of First Moment of Truth" to produce sharper, flashier in-store displays.

To tell the truth, Paco Underhill has been talking about the importance of in-store product placement since years. His book "Why We Buy: The Science of Shopping" is a must read not only for marketers, but for anyone interested in the aspects of shopper/store interaction. It is one of the first marketing books I read, and it's amazing the lessons you learn from it, both as a marketer and as a consumer. Read it, and then your supermarket shopping experience will never be the same...

Hollywood marketing through Churches

This is really weird: Hollywood has started advertising at churches. For example, The Walt Disney Co. is currently marketing "The Greatest Game Ever Played" to faith-based groups, saying the film is about values (family, courage, dreams) which reflect secular virtues, potentially Christian virtues...

ABCnews points out the approach reflects the next step in Hollywood's attempt to capitalize on the business lessons of "The Passion of the Christ," a surprising blockbuster last year thanks to unprecedented marketing and mobilization in churches. Anyway the whole thing is more complex than you might think because, for their part, churches recognize that just denouncing violent or sexually explicit films doesn't influence their content so their members are using buying power to support films that reflect their values.

Personally, I find it inappropriate, but I live in Italy, not in the US, and the approach to church and religion in the two countries is very different.

September 24, 2005
Yahoo! goes hard gay

Yahoo! isn't really behind it, but this viral video is generating a lot of buzz in Japan. The comedian Razor Ramon Sumitami has created "Hard Gay" a character parodying stereotypical homosexuals. Hard Gay claims the “Hoo!” in Yahoo! is stolen from his often used exclamation and goes to visit Yahoo! headquarters to try to get a deal. He wants to be in their ads and tries to prove he can do...

On his blog, Joi Ito even says that all the kids in Japan walk around constantly doing the funny pelvic thrust that Hard Gay does. Definitely a great example of what word of mouth can do.

Bumvertising gets trademarked

Mr Rogovy the "inventor" of bumvertising (which means paying beggars to attach advertising stickers to their signs) has trademarked the name. Despite the undiscussed originality of the idea, concerns and polemics remain as far as ethics is concerned. Quoted in the news article, Mr Rogovy simply defines bumvertising "Possibly insensitive. Definitely accurate".

Goodbye Mr Jeeves

ask_jeeves.gifAsk Jeeves has decided to sack Mr Jeeves. They say it generates confusion over what the butler character represents. BBC News reports it is still unsure when the character will disappear from the Ask site, but it will soon stop being the brand's most prominent icon.
Basically the idea is to make clear that the search site has evolved, and it can now handle many more types of queries than just straightforward questions. Probably a new brand name will be chosen over the next months to reflect this evolution.

September 23, 2005
The old woman and the bike

Yes, in Amsterdam bikes do get stolen. In a way, it's part of the daily life, Amsterdammers are used to it usually don't care reporting to the police their bike has disappeared. So the police this spring started an integrated campaign to fight the problem. Here you find three posters which really give you an idea of how the issue is relevant around here. Too bad I don't know the agency who did this. Anyone can help?


Continue reading... "The old woman and the bike"

Advertising to dogs

A great outdoor ad created by Leo Burnett (Germany) for Affinity Petcare.


[ad via Advertising/Design Goodness]

September 22, 2005
Vodafone introduces the MMS shortcode

Eventually, at least in the UK, brands will be able to launch MMS campaigns taking advantage of MMS shortcodes. New Media Age reports Vodafone has introduced the service this week, enabling mobile marketers to advertise the ability for consumers to both text or MMS using a single five-digit number.

The first World Cup advergame

With less than a year to the World Cup in Germany, Inbox Digital has launched a lovely advergame to promote the videogame Sensible Soccer. It's the Sensible Soccer Kick Up World Cup, and it's really cool: you can pick your own country and play by yourself, or you can setup a league and challenge your friends.


The game itself is simple, but engaging and of course I like it also because it reminds of the first versions of Sensible Soccer I used to play for hours against my brother :-)

Nintendo goes shady

A shady Nintendo ad (from Japan?) found on Flickr...

Welcome to the Trojan Hotel

Trojan condoms is online in Canada with a new website to "showcase" its products. The site is conceived as an hotel, and visitors are invited to explore the rooms to discover what the silhouettes are doing and, of course, the different Trojan condoms available.
If you're in the office, be aware to visit the site with the audio turned off.


Book samples to your mobile phone

In Australia, Harper Collins Publishers have partnered with Legion Interactive to offer customers book chapter samples directly to their mobile phone. The service is called MobileReader and it was created to fulfill the needs of booklovers who don't have the time to gather information on the upcoming books.


The first excerpts will be from bestsellers authors Dean Koontz and Paulo Coelho and from the Australian author Janine Allis. Mobile can sign up online, on the MobileReader website.

Virgin Mobile and the Parental Enlightenment Kit

Mother New York and The Barbarian Group have created the "Parental Enlightenment Kit" a series of tools kids can use to persuade their parents to buy them a Virgin Mobile phone.


The kit includes a "Pressure Point Presentation", t-shirts, posters, email blasts and other misterious stuffs such as "The Instigator" and "The Weaseler". Basically, the "Enlightenment Kit" collects a series of tools kids can use to start a guerrilla marketing campaign targeting their parents...

Mobile marketing, lemon and... Tequila

From the UK, the news of a successful mobile marketing campaign run by Tequila brand Cuervo. According to Netimperative it achieved a surprising 80 percent response rate in a promotion giving away tickets for a night-club party. The call to text was diffused through PR, print and outdoor advertising in London. As Kirianne Green, Brand Manager at Cuervo explains, mobile communication is probably the best way to get in touch with people who like club-music:

"By using text message invitations as part of our campaign we allowed our target audience to communicate with us in a way that best suited them, which ensured impressively high response rates."

September 21, 2005
Online campaign for the BBC

The BBC is about to launch its biggest ever online marketing campaign to promote its news site New Media Age explains the campaign will last six months and will target users across Europe and the United States. What is interesting is that the creative will take live RSS feeds from BBC news sites and link in with IM services such as ICQ and MSN Messenger. So if an important news comes out, it will immediately featured in the rich media ads.

The campaign was developed by Agency Republic.

Nike: always on the run

Press and outdoor ads created by DDB Paris for Nike (France/Europe).

Continue reading... "Nike: always on the run"

Top city brands in the world

Strategiy reports global ad agency Leo Burnett has conducted research with leading pollster YouGov among 4,000 adults in the UK to understand their perceptions of 50 global cities, on a number of dimensions developed specifically to determine brand health.

New York, Sydney and London topped the list of the 50 leading city brands worldwide, ahead of Barcelona, Paris, Rome, Las Vegas, LA, Toronto and San Francisco respectively.

Vicks VapoRub, a deeeep breath

Oveja Negra (TBWA) for Vicks VapoRub (Dominican Republic).


The Eurostar viral casting

Patrick pointed me to another Eurostar online campaign. This time it comes from France, where the train company has launched an "online casting" to promote its Business Premier service. A series of strange characters presents the main features of the new service, and if users believe they can do better, they're invited to submit their own home-made videos.
Fullsix is the agency behind this campaign.

Vodafone to change its "How are you" strapline

Vodafone is getting ready for a global branding campaign to change its strapline and reinforce its brand position as world's biggest mobile operator.
Brand Republic (sub req.) explains the campaign will debut in October, featuring the new message "Now". JWT and Bartle Bogle Hegarty are working on the project, which will presumably take advantage of a budget of over 100 million pounds (which was the amount of money used to launch the "How are you?" in 2001).

Sweden to cut taxes on print advertising

M&M; Europe reports Swedish government has decided a €32m cut in the tax on print advertising, as a first step in abolishing the tax altogether. Swedish publishers have long argued that the advertising tax is unfair, as it does not apply to other media.

The Easycruise advergame

Advergames' specialist Korb has just created an online challenge for EasyCruise, the new cheap cruising service launched by Stelios. The game tests your skills in docking a ship. Don't expect anything special, actually I doubt people in the Easy target audience will actually give it a try for more than five minutes...


September 20, 2005
Ford billboards: look who's talking now

Thanks to an hint from Philip I've found out that today Ogilvy (Alain Caviggia is the creative behind it) introduced in Belgium an interactive outdoor campaign for Ford. The "Ford Miracles" ads consists of interactive posters that look at people and react to their actions. The voice and facial expressions of the guy in the poster are controlled by an actor hidden in a booth nearby. The interactive billboards can be found at the main train stations in Belgium and if you find them I believe it will be very funny to see how people behave in front of them. It's a sort of Candid Camera ;-)


There is also a website supporting the campaign, check for example for the French version. On Philip's blog you also find a video showing senior German tourist interacting with the billboard.

MTV, share what you have inside

Tiempo BBDO for MTV (Spain).
Copy says: "To love is to give others what we have inside. Take, this snot is for you".

Amsterdam, the new capital of advertising

Having recently moved to The Netherlands to start a new job, I was particularly happy to read that Amsterdam is emerging as a plucky player in the global advertising market. An article on the IHT points out the advertising market is flourishing, not only at local level but most of all with international accounts winning. In Amsterdam you find, among the others, 180, Wieden + Kennedy, StrawberryFrog, KesselsKramer and Selmore.

I'm here from three weeks now, (but I've been studying here in 1999) and I can really tell Amsterdam is an excellent place to live (and work) in. The people is really nice, there are a lot of cultural events and things to do to keep your mind alive and kicky, everybody speaks English (but I'm already learning Dutch), there are no cars in the city center and you meet people from all cultures and backgrounds. Let's go Dutch :-)

Banner trends in France

Le Journal du Net (in Frech) has a good article on the "trendy" online advertising formats in France. The traditional banner popularity is declining (-9,3 points in 2005) but this is still the most used format. The 468x60 banner is still alive because it's a complentary ad format, which works good when associated to the emerging rich media (skyscrapers in particular).

Generally speaking, intrusive ads such as pop-ups and pop-unders are disappearing from the French scene, with advertisers rather preferring ads which fit into the editorial content.

(see also Static banners aren't dead)

The Australian banner blog

From Australia, a blog to showcase and review online advertising coming out of the country. Banner Blog is edited by Ashley Ringrose who works at Soap Creative, a small & friendly independent agency and Ashadi Hopper who works at RMG Connect, one of the larger multinational agencies around town.

You find a lot of interesting and inspiring stuffs there. For example, have a look at the Toyota banner created by HotHouse (in Orbitz style).

September 19, 2005
Quick links for September 19

- Why Dove is lucky to be known as "the fat brand" (on AdAge)
- Marketers pop up on eBay (on UsaToday)
- Unilever cuts adspend on "ill" TV (on MediaGuardian)
- Heinz goes direct to consumers with new ecommerce website (on Revolution Magazine)

Mobile coupons at the shop next door

Consumers will soon be able to redeem their mobile coupons at high street stores. Netimperative reports i-movo has developed a new mobile commerce system which will enable the existing payment terminals to accept SMS coupons. The ideas sounds interesting both for consumers and retailers. By definition it is paperless, and this make the refunds easier for retailers, furthermore, the voucher issuer can decide how many times the code can be used.

The yoga sandwichman

Rethink Advertising for Flow Yoga (Canada).


Billboards go off Indian highways

The Indian government has banned all advertising along national highways. The Business Standard reports the move is likely to hit the outdoor advertising industry as well as the income of road operators. The decision has been taken since large billboards often distracted drivers, provoking car accidents.

The highway operators, however, will still be able to place ads in toll plazas, rest areas, bus shelters and telephone booths if the roads and highways department finds them non-distracting.

Nike Football: the vending machine

An excellent outdoor/guerrilla campaign for Nike Football in Singapore to promote the idea of football anytime/anywhere. Footballs vending machine placed were placed in high-traffic urban spots, such as metro stations.

The agency is Kinetic.

A business model for podcasting

Forbes explores the podcasting world, questioning if and how it is possible to make money out of podcasts. Stan Sorensenm, senior director of product management and marketing of Melodeo, suggests there a few possible ways to monetize podcasting: embedding advertising and creating premium channels.

Ad-supported model for podcasting (replicating the radio model) is probably the easiest and (at the moment) best solution. However finding the right ad-format still requires some testing. The "traditional" 30 seconds radio spot is way too long, with the fast-forward button just one touch away. Ads need to be short enough where it does not make sense to skip them.

Static banners aren't dead

Rich media dominate the scene of online advertising, but don't think static banners are dead. They might be less attractive but their conservative appearance is still appreciated by certain audiences. On blogs, in particular, static ads get better results than the animated ones. As Tessa Wegert writes on ClickZ, "Static banners are also useful in contextual and behavioral advertising, where grabbing consumers' attention is more about being relevant than conspicuous".

Keeping in mind that creating a positive user experience is priority number one, both for publishers and advertisers, the combination of rich media and static ads appears to be the best solution.

September 16, 2005
Bus shelter advertising for Sony Ericsson

Dan passed me this ad currently showing in London. It's a huge Sony Ericsson Walkman embedded in a bus shelter. You can watch real videos from it.

Certainly a good example of how outdoor advertising can evolve.

Eurostar uses podcasting as marketing tool

Eurostar has started podcasting to its Brussels-London connection. "The London Tapes" are a mix of information on London presented by a popular Belgian radio presenter, Wim Oosterlinck. The podcast, which is available only in Dutch, is promoted on the Xperience website also presenting the "making-of" video. Hypervision is the agency behind the branded entertainment idea.

[Thanks to Bert for the hint]

Leo Burnett for Amnesty International

Leo Burnett Budapest for Amnesty International (Hungary).
Copy says: "Join Amnesty International today. There are many things in the world that require our urgent action."

Bacardi abandons the Latin Quarter

Bacardi has abandoned its controversial Latin Quarter advertising and replaced it with an advert featuring ugly people. Media Guardian reports the new ad is a response to the criticism towards the idea of mixing sexy people and alcohol. Robert Senior, managing partner at Fallon, Bacardi's new agency, explains:

"The joy of the campaign is that consumers will recognise a bit of themselves and their best evenings."

September 15, 2005
BMW Italy: new campaign, old mistakes

In Italy BMW, is presenting its Serie 3 with a Tv spot directed by Spike Lee (D’Adda, Lorenzini, Vigorelli, BBDO is the agency) and an online campaign which takes advantage of (rather intrusive) video ads. The video ads present exactly the same spot aired on TV, which is a nice spot, but is not really the kind of ad you’d like to watch online. The second disappointment is when you click on the banner: you are taken to the BMW Serie 3 website where your only option is to register in order to access the content. I’ve tried to fill the form, but there are just too many personal info you need to provide, I got annoyed and preferred to leave. I wonder how many people actually registered without even knowing the kind of content they will be getting...

The Coke Pizza

Biedermann/McCann-Erickson for Coca-Cola (Paraguay).

Text and recycle in London

Mobile marketing is not just for brands, it can prove effective and powerful for public administrations also. In London residents will be able to request details of when their recycling is collected or where their nearest recycling facilities are, all by texting RECYCLE and their full postcode to the number 63131.

E-Consultancy reports the service is part of an effort to encourage Londoners to recycle more. An outdoor advertising campaign by Recycle for London has also been launched to support the initiative.

An alternative to "bluespamming"

Bluetooth marketing is raising concerns since it is basically based on an opt-out, rather than an opt-in principle. Since the technology offers interesting opportunities, but consumers are sensitive and brands don't want to spoil their relationship with them, NTT DoCoMo, the biggest Japanese carrier, has come up with an alternative. It's called "ToruCa" and it will enable users to obtain information by simply waving their phones in front of dedicated reader/writers installed at restaurants, theaters, music stores, arcades and other establishments. Digital Media Asia reports the news, and TechDirt adds some interesting comments on the value advertising content should bring to consumers, especially when it comes to mobile phones.

Continue reading... "An alternative to "bluespamming""

September 14, 2005
Virgin Express: pee & win campaign

In Germany, Virgin Express is online with a "pee & win" advergame to promote its new Berlin-Brussel route. The game is inspired to the popular Belgian "Mannekin Pis", and challenges players to do their best to hit a fly and win a 50 percent discount on their plane ticket.

The campaign also takes advantage of outdoor advertising. There is an incredibly long billboard in Berlin with the world's longest advertising headline repeating the core message (destination and price) over and over again. See the pictures here.

The campaign was created by the Belgian Duval Guillaume Antwerp (offline) and Duval Guillaume E (online).

Quick links for September 14

- Children exposed to 77 junk food ads a week (Sidney Morning Herald)
- JCDecaux 1st-Half Profit Gains 20% on Asian Expansion (Bloomberg)

Viral (and scary) teasers for The Corpse Bride

Boston based Pod Design created three viral teaser promotions for the launch of the new animated Tim Burton film The Corpse Bride, starring Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter. The first one is Post Mortem where you ask questions of The Corpse Bride via the amazing mystifying oracle a Ouija board-styled not-so-instant messenger from the afterlife (you can also send notes to friends). Then you have Bonymail where you draw pictures and write messages to your friends from The Land of the Dead via the bony hand of The Corpse Bride. And finally there is the mysterious graveyard footage found at:

There is also an amazing official movie website which takes forever to load, but it's really worth a visit.

A great video challenge for Saab

Random Culture points to another (see the KFC entry) online video adventure (but I suspect this is online since May). This time the automaker Saab is behind the challenge on the streets of London. The smart idea is to promote the new Saab 9-3 Sportwagon challenging players to race against time. Saab is supporting the campaign also with a 100-page adventure game book featuring the Saab 9-3 SportWagon sent to 50,000 prospects and existing customers.

I really had fun playing the game, even if I did't prove to be a very good driver. I guess it's because the driver was sitting on the right :-) Anyway, it's nice to see that advergames are evolving and getting more and more engaging.

September 13, 2005
Quick links for September 13

- Boom times hit the billboard industry (AdAge)
- Boom is back: Firms feast on ad spending (MSNBC)
- P&G; turning website into TV show (AdAge)
- Honda Element Crosses Over From Web To Net (Brandweek)

Levi's, get the original

A very good TV spot from Levi's, promoting the idea that it's better to get the original jeans. Click here to watch it (then download the video)

Accounts of the week

Leagas Delaney has won the creative account for Blackberry.

EasyJet has shortlised five agencies to handle its pan-European account: Omnicom's AMV BBDO, Interpublic's Lowe, WPP's Ogilvy & Mather and Publicis' Saatchi & Saatchi.

AdAge reports Lowe's has awarded its $315 million advertising and media business to Omnicom Group's BBDO and OMD.

Word-of-mouth for the new Renault Clio

The new Renault Clio is promoted in France with three short clips, quite funny and a little bit mad. The ads will only appear online, pushed with an online campaign and word-of-mouth.

Publicis Net is behind this campaign, which is supported by a nicely designed website localised in several European languages.

The commercials' colonization

USAToday reports marketers have started placing products in other marketer's commercials. You might say this is just a natural market evolution, a new way of coming up with co-marketing ideas. Someone calls it the commercials' colonization, but the point is it is actually just a way to spare some money when planning a campaign. You share the expenses, you might share the success, as the combination Starbucks Frappuccino and Michael Bublè managed to do.

Again, the traditional TV commercial is dead.

Tommy Hilfiger on air in Europe

In Europe Tommy Hilfiger has launched its first TV campaign ever to promote its Hilfiger Denim collection. The 45 seconds spot debuted on MTV last week and will be presented in cinema theatres across Europe during September and October. Toursurlacom reports the spot has been directed by Swedish director Robert Logevall.

MTV UK, another step towards interactivity

New Media Age reports MTV Networks UK & Ireland is about to launch an interactive service that will allow viewers to interact with the program MTV Hits using their mobile phone. With an SMS music fans will be able to text their questions to Mr Know It All, who will answer to best ones live during the show.

The idea behind this initiative is to put viewers in "collective control" of MTV's content, a move which appears perfectly in line with the brand image MTV always worked on.

Download Yahoo! IM and win your family

In order to promote the Yahoo Messenger with Voice, the portal has launched an international competition in eleven countries. Each time a user downloads the new IM version or refers a friend, he collects points to win a travel somewhere in the world to visit his family or a friend. Among the others, the campaign is running in Hong Kong, Brazil, Mexico, France, Australia, UK and US.

AdAge: The (advertising) Terminal

Remember the movie The Terminal where Tom Hanks got stuck in an airport for weeks? Well, the same thing will happen to an AdAge journalist, Greg Lindsay who will spend the next three weeks reporting on advertising from airports and airplanes around the world. Check out his column "Airworld" at

September 12, 2005
Coup-a-soup, grab a prize

In The Netherlands Cup-a-Soup is running a successful online challenge at The game combines online and offline elements, with users able to collect extra credits by using the unique codes they find on the product packages. In five weeks the game has been played over 125,000 times by over 70,000 unique users. A smart viral idea is playing a role in this campaign success: by referring friends, users get extra credits and therefore gain more chances of winning prizes.

As Marketingfacts (in Dutch) reports, the campaign has mobilized in particular women between 35 to 55 years, an audience which isn't usually accustomed to online gaming.

Leibniz, Milk & Honey

Kolle Rebbe for Leibniz cookies (Germany).

Really discounted titles

Saatchi & Saatchi Milan for Mondadori books, offered with a 30 percent discount.

(1984 - 30% = 1388.8)

(100 years of solitude - 30% = 70 years of solitude)

[ad via O Mundo de Claudia]

EuropAssistance starts blogging

Insurance company EuropAssistance has just launched a blog in Italy where it discusses travel related issues. The first posts are dedicated to the fear of travelling and to stomach related problems when travelling by sea. Of course there is also a very much corporate post explaining EuropAssistance's activity.

Mobile users want mobile coupons

Mobile marketing is gaining popularity among marketers, but it will become a killer application only if not used as a stand-alone solution but rather if integrated in the marketing mix. From Germany two studies from the Instituts für Mobile Marketing (ifmm) and Carat Direct confirm more and more brands (81 percent, according to Carat) will adopt mobile marketing in the next three years. Cell phones users are reported to be favorable most of all to initiatives where they can get immediate discounts, aka mobile coupons.

For more information on the Carat Direct study, which I suspect is only in German, you can get in touch the Managing Director, Tina Beuchler, Tel. 0611/7399-560, [email protected] For more info on the study by the Instituts für Mobile Marketing visit their website.

Olympic advertising: forget about de Coubertin

logo_beijing.gifAdvertisers targeting Chinese people at the next Olympic games in Beijing in 2008 will have to think different and forget about the traditional "soft and fuzzy".
Quoted on The Guardian, Tom Doctoroff, the chief executive of advertising agency JWT greater China and area director of north-east Asia says:

"Don't go soft and fuzzy in the western humankind brotherhood tradition. Chinawill view the games with completely different eyes. Chinese revere and fear winners. You should directly link the product with the conquering spirit of the victors".

The Chinese market is huge and therefore extremely attractive, but brands need to learn playing by the rules, the rules provided by the government but also the rules set by the Chinese culture and tradition.

Bruster's ice-cream and charity

Bruster's ice-cream is online with an advertainment website targeting young surfers. The virtual visit allows users to interact with a series of cartoon characters and find out about the Bruster's promotions. Among the features offered, coupons to get discounts on ice-cream's purchase and a charity initiative: each time a user refers a friend, Bruster's donates 10 cents (yes, they won't go bankrupt with this :-( to Operation Warm, which provides winter coats to kids-in-need.


September 11, 2005
Fan Club Germany, an advertising challenge for Germans

Product: Germany. Target: Germans.
Looking at the surveys, 89 percent of French and 79 percent of Russians have a favorable view of Germany. Unfortunately, the same surveys say only 64 percent of Germans perceive their own country in a positive way. This is an issue the government will try to solve with a $20 million advertising and public relations campaign. As The International Herald Tribune explains, a business and government-funded group called FC Deutschland (Fan Club Germany) in soccer fashion has been created and further similar initiatives will start soon.

The advertising campaign, branding Germany as "The Land of Ideas" will target Germans but also Americans, who apparently haven't a good opinion of Germany since it objected to the US-led invasion of Iraq. Scholz & Friends will handle the creativity.

September 10, 2005
Chooseyoursauce, the KFC video adventure

Foote Cone & Belding is behind the $35 million campaign to revamp KFC appeal. It's the biggest campaign ever for KFC and even The New York Times has an article on it.

A website, the features a video adventure where users are invited to pick their favourite sauce and see how the story develops. The site also has a contest offering a year's worth of KFC meals (to start an healthy life...).

Online campaigns for Sony Playstation

Exposure Digital is behind two interactive pan-European campaigns now online for Sony Playstation.

The first one is to support the release of 24 - The Game. The site currently online offers just a trailer of the new game, further content and viral elements will be added soon.

The second campaign is for EyeToy Kinetic, highly personalised workout programme designed to improve personal wellbeing. For the development of the website, exposure Digital worked close with London Studio, the creators of the game. This has resulted in a website which fully integrates the core elements of the game, the two personal trainers Matt and Anna in particular.

One of the highlights of the site is the personal training section where you can subscribe for a personalised training programme. Users will receive a series of email that include instructional videos from the 2 personal trainers. Other sections of the site include a Body Balance quiz, Desk Exercises and a downloadable Meditation application.

Jeroen Matser, Digital Director at exposure unveils:

Working with London Studio was a great opportunity for us to further push the boundaries on integrating game and video footage into a consumer website. People should have a look at this website to see how a brand like Playstation uses information on personal wellbeing and the multi media possibilities of the internet as an add-on to the actual game. This is your own personal trainer online.

September 09, 2005
A bloody viral...

From Belgium an online blood analyzer...
If you want to see how it works, enter your name and email address after clicking on "pieger un ami" (yeah, it's complicated understand how the see the site's content, but this actually is just a landing page). The viral video is a teaser to promote BubbleClub which is a new dancing, the rest of the campaign will be unveiled next week.

The agency Bytheway created the concept while Carlsberg (the beer) is sponsoring it, and I really wonder what's the value for them of such campaign. Bytheway surely did a much better job with the Ugly Duck campaign.

French guide to corporate blogging

If you can read French, have a look at this article on Le Journal Du Net on corporate blogging. It provides an overview on the topic and a five tips to get the best out of it. 1. Be transparent 2. It's forbidden to forbid 3. Bring value added content 4. Blog regularly 5. Be open to the outside world.

Loïc Le Meur, one of the top French bloggers, currently Executive VP & Managing Director of Europe for SixApart (the Company behind TypePad and Movable Type), contributed to the column.

Marketers don't get SEM results right

According to a new study by JupiterResearch, most companies don't get search engine marketing right, in the sense they evaluate the results in the wrong way. ClickZ reports there is a lack of measurement of business goals, with many marketers unable to tie conversions to search marketing activities.

Basically, what the research points out is that, despite its growing popularity, search engine marketing is still rather immature. Most of the times it is just a "one shot" activity, and it isn't fully integrated in the brand marketing strategy.

September 08, 2005
Quick links for September 8th

- Samsung aims to be elite brand name (via CNN)
- Digital gamers reduce TV viewing further (via AdAge)
- Carat International expands to Asia (via MediaBulletin)
- Canadian Online Advertising Grows Dramatically in 2004, 2005 (press release)

Viral marketing for e-commerce

Onedegree points to a really smart (viral) idea to drive t-shirt sales. It's The Cyborg Name Generator, where you fill in your name, select an avatar and get a personalised t-shirt. If you like it, you buy it and probably send the link to several friends.

It should be cool to walk around wearing a shirt like the one below...


Discover the Daewoo Matiz city

From Russia a good website to introduce the new Daewoo Matiz. Visitors are invited to move around the city to discover the car's models. It's night so the urban setting looks rather charming, I'm sure you'll appreciate it even if it's in Russian. Just take your time while the site loads the first time you visit it...


[news via Fred Cavazza]

Seth Godin's guide to blogging

Marketing guru Seth Godin has just release online a free e-book on blogging and how it is changing the consuption of information.
You can download it following this link (opens .pdf), and do it fast, because it isn't going to stay free forever...

Duracell, pure power

Ogilvy & Mather, New Dehli for Duracell.



[ad via The Hidden Persuader]

Harry Potter on your iPod

Harry Potter goes digital: J.K. Rowling has decided to make all six novels available for audio download. The files will be sold on iTunes for prices ranging from $32.95 for a single book to $249 for the whole series. Not exactly a podcast marketing news but certainly a clear example of the new opportunities iPod and other portable MP3 players offer to publishers.

Lee Jeans, viral ideas for you career

If you're looking for tips to skyrocket your career, you should check out the new Buddy Lee Guidance Counselor website. You can watch funny videos, find out how much you will make if you start a new career as sheep farmer, beer vendor or crab fisherman, or play a couple of advergames to test your ability in various jobs (what about matador??).

Lee Jeans is behind it, but the brand is not clearly presented (a part from the name of the buddy), and this makes the whole thing even cooler.

[via RandomCulture]

Are looking for more cool interactive ideas? Check the archives

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