Wednesday, November 29, 2006

It's a Viral Cycle

Viral videos are an amazing way to spark buzz among the public and target audiences. They're very easy to point in the right direction and ensure the right audience sees them. At the Learning Center, you'll learn important viral video tactics such as filming yourself sitting at a desk, the art of falling, hurting animals, using animals to hurt people, working with excrement and vomit and "many more." But this is no normal viral video. This hilarious DRTV spoof takes whacks at both the DRTV genre and viral video itself.

But what is the point of this viral video? Simply to poke fun at viral video? No. This viral video is actually promoting a website that is….yes….all about viral video! Quite the ironic situation. The site is called Ziddio and is one of those "we pay you for your video" sites.

Frankly, as humorous as it is to have a viral video that's promoting viral videos by making fun of viral videos, I think if I was actually enjoying the slander that I would be severely annoyed once I found out the true cause of the movie. But that might just be me.

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  • Tuesday, November 28, 2006

    I See Dead People

    Australia's Watch Around Water is placing images of a little drowned boy at the bottom of swimming pools to improve pool safety. I have to say, one of these posters would definitely catch my eye. Of course eventually people are going to catch onto this whole fake-dead-people-as-props thing and it's going to lose shock value. Then what will happen? People will start walking around and if they come around a dead boy in a pool they'll just shrug.

    Essentially this ad campaign is playing the game of the agency-who-cried-wolf. But seriously, it's a very effective idea. It's eye-catching and gets the audience emotionally involved immediately. Not only is the effect immediate, but also it reaches everybody. No one can ignore the image of a dead boy in a pool. It's simply human nature: I know I shouldn’t look but I can't help it.

    There's a fear factor involved in this campaign and I'm not sure it's of appropriate measure. I feel it might create a negative association with the firm even though it might work in terms of increasing drowning awareness.

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  • Monday, November 27, 2006


    Durex has created a new fashion and it's found in cities dominated by college students. But you can't find it in department stores, shops, or boutiques. In order to find this sexy little fad you have to go to men's restrooms, Maxim, FHM, and the Durex website where you can print out costumes ranging from tuxedos to superhero capes. And there's nothing subtle about these ads, even the text is forthcoming: "Click here to download this dickoration."

    While I highly doubt that many college guys (sober college guys) will actually cut out these paper outfits and use them, the ads do seem to perfectly match their target. The immaturity of the typical college guy parallels the immaturity of dressing up his lower member. I cant say I know a single person who wouldn't find this campaign amusing to say the least.

    All in all, a well done and extremely creative campaign designed to create buzz. I like the way Durex plays on the idea of wrapping your tool and makes it something fun and colorful. Durex is now addressing and dressing two heads instead of one...

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  • Saturday, November 18, 2006

    Kleenex; Thinking Outside the Box

    Kleenex has come out with a new Oval promo for their new oval-shaped tissue dispensers. This new packaging is targeted at hipsters who obvioulsy enjoy clean noses. For as long as Ford has made cars, Kleenex has used the ho-hum quadrilateral box. Cheers to Kleenex for changing it up for once! The campaign they're using to promote these new boxes is actually quite clever actually.

    Ads use other objects like a lime or a rug that have colors directly reflected in the colors that appear on the corresponding boxes. For instance, the lime used in one ad represents "tangy oval", a box strewn with light greens and yellows. As shown above the "bling oval" is decorated in shades of pink and white to reflect the gem above.

    The true reason this campaign caught my eye is because upon arriving at home on Thursday, I noticed different looking tissue boxes. And sure enough! The same boxes placed around my house are the new Kleenex Ovals. What a small world! While I feel the idea of an oval box is cute but nothing to brag about, I really find the ad campaign pretty decent. Not inspiring, but clever in "we're not trying to be super clever" kind of way.

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  • Friday, November 17, 2006

    More OJ Please?

    Remember when O.J. was just a drink? Those were the good old days. On November 27th and 29th, Fox is going to air the OJ-sponsored special called OJ Simpson: If I Did It, Here's How it Happened. When you're driving on the highway and suddenly traffic builds up due to an accident up ahead...the worse the accident is, the slower you drive by it. The same phenomena is going to happen when this tv special airs because it has a certain "I shouldnt look but I have to" appeal.

    This two hour segment will allow OJ Simpson to reveal to Judith Regan and the public how he would have killed Nicole and Ron IF he actually did commit the crime. Of course, we dont realllly believe he did, not a famous football player like himself. Mike Darnell, Fox's executive Vice President of alternative programming, says "This is the definitive last chapter in the Trial of the Century."

    Frankly this hypothetical admittance while admitting that he's not actually admitting to anything is just slightly disgusting. When I saw this article I was in disbelief that something like this would actually be allowed to happen. It's an interesting way for OJ to position himself to the public. I really can't imagine that this doing any good whatsoever. I'd be surprised if it doesn't hurt his reputation even further. I'm very interested to watch the special and report on the reactions it gets from the public.

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  • Wednesday, November 15, 2006

    Love; Passion or Politics?

    Online dating has become the new fad, I should know. My mom, my dad, my sister, and pretty much every single adult I know has resorted to it. My mom, after two plus years, is still with one of her first dates and, as it happens, they just bought a house together. However, my dad has been through three girlfriends in one year and my sister just went on a date with a guy who's idea of affection is to lick her neck seven times in one hour at a bar (on their first date!). So it's fair to say the results are mixed, but nonetheless, everyone is doing it.

    You can find your "perfect match" through niche sites specifically organized by location, religion, and now, political views! Yes - that's right, two new dating sites have sprung up: Democratic Match and Conservitive Match. Many hearts have been broken over conflicting political views, it's true. These parties are embedded in our interests, beliefs, motives, opinions, and lifestyles so of course they're going to play a major role in a relationship. Letting politics play a certain part in love is acceptable, even expected, but how far is too far?

    When you go to a site to find a potential partner and this site blocks out everyone except democrats, one has to wonder, are you blocking out your partner as well? Not necessarily because they're not a democrat, but simply because they may not identify themselves as such in the dating scene. As much as this isnt exactly an example of guerilla marketing, this marketing ploy is coming from the public. As with marketers, sometimes we target too specifically, thus blocking out potential buyers. Ultimately this dating arrangement, as well as most societal constructs, is being far too exclusive.

    Part of love is acceptance; loving the flaws in a person simply because they're part of them. I mean, really, what happened to Prince Charming? Mr. Right? That can't eat, can't sleep, reach for the stars over the fence, World Series kind of stuff? Is this isolated way of marketing ourselves targeting our dating pool too much? Are we messing with what's "meant to be"?

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  • Tuesday, November 14, 2006

    Looking, Seeing, Feeling

    Coming from Boston, Massachusetts I've seen my share of the homeless lying in the commons or sitting on the sidewalks of Harvard Square. I know what it's like to walk past them, staring straight ahead at some focus point, just so you dont have to look in their eyes. This is how we justify the idea in our minds that these people dont actually, really, truly exist.

    ACLC, a Toronto-based firm, created a heart warming campaign for Canada's Salvation Army. This creative campaign exemplifies excellent craftsmanship and asks the public to open their eyes to what they've been so actively trying not to see. We are asked to see those less fortunate who are in dire need of our help. We are asked to see that something can be done to help them, something that all of us can do.

    This campaign, which includes print and TV, is called "Invisible" and shows how ridiculously easy it is for us to let underpriveledged people fade away into the background to a point where we dont even see them anymore. We only see our focus point that allows us to look past all that we dont wish to notice.

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  • Tuesday, November 07, 2006

    Coming Zune!

    Right now I'm listening to "I Lost It" by Kenny Chesney on my iTunes and do you think I bought it? I think it's safe to say that the majority of MP3 owners are not actually paying for their music libraries. But's a secret! No, seriously, it's just so easy to download music files especially in a college setting where the internet connection is top-notch. I dont know a single person who buys MP3s, it's just unheard of.

    However, Microsoft is embedding viral expansion into Zune, the new iPod "competitor". People using the Zune MP3 players can send songs to friends through a Wifi connection between the snazzy devices. Their friend has 3 days to listen to the song before it's disabled. If said friend chooses to purchase said song within said three-day time span, the sender will recieve credits for a portion of the song's selling price. These credits can then be used towards purchasing music or other items from the Zune marketplace. (I took a peek at what they have to offer - not too shabby - less selection than Apple but that's to be expected.)

    Obviously it's going to be um...very dificult (understatement of the century) to compete with Apple's iPod. However, this approach is a great example of a way brands should be venturing away from traditional advertising, providing concrete motivation for consumers to use their product. While this strategy seems like it will push consumption, increase brand awareness and loyalty, and up Zune's market share, I'm not sure it'll actually work. It depends how easily credits are accumulated and how much they're worth, but I hightly doubt it'll be enough to make consumers stray from Limewire and BitTorrent. Even though it sounds easy enough, it doesn't sounds easier than the means we use now. I'm skeptical...

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  • Friday, November 03, 2006

    Personalize Your Plane

    Northwest Airlines is the world's fifth largest airline and, with its partners, serves more than 900 cities in more than 160 countries on six continents. One of these partners is KLM airlines which has recently launched a new advergame called Fly for Fortune. Prior to playing the game you are invited to watch a Pixar-style game trailer that promotes the game and features of "cars-style" talking airplane.

    What makes this game really special is that you can personalize your plane with different hair styles and facial features. The whole experience becomes individualized upon designing your plane. Players fly to catch certain objects and avoid others. Those who are successful can win tickets o anywhere in the world. Also, not only does the game come in 10 languages but also, players from 58 countries can enter the contest.

    At first glance the idea seems fun, engaging, and interactive but aimed at an irrelevant target audience: kids. However, once I learned the reward for winning this advergame, I was whole-heartedly supportive and impressed. This game allows adults tap into their inner-child's secret infatuation with the mario brothers nintendo game. And better yet, it gives them a completely justifiable reason to do so. I kind of want to play...

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