You are currently browsing the archives for March, 2008.

BMW Invites Illustrators to Decorate 1-Series

Over the weekend BMW rolled out its What Drives You? contest in Facebook’s Graffiti. Participants choose from a library of outlines of the 1-Series:

BMW 1-Series Outline

Then they color them in — more than 2700 entries so far. On Sunday, submissions were rolling in at a rate of one per minute. Here are a few faves:

BMW Entries

And as those participants color in their entries and/or become Fans, other Facebook friends hear about it in their Newsfeeds:

BMW in Newsfeed

New Yorker: Death and Life of the American Newspaper

Not much good news for print newspapers, according to Eric Alterman’s piece in the New Yorker.

“Few believe that newspapers in their current printed form will survive. Newspaper companies are losing advertisers, readers, market value, and, in some cases, their sense of mission at a pace that would have been barely imaginable just four years ago…. [T]rends in circulation and advertising––the rise of the Internet, which has made the daily newspaper look slow and unresponsive; the advent of Craigslist, which is wiping out classified advertising––have created a palpable sense of doom. Independent, publicly traded American newspapers have lost forty-two per cent of their market value in the past three years, according to the media entrepreneur Alan Mutter.”

New Yorker Cartoon on Newspapers

Disney Offers More For Contextual Mis-Targeting File

Caught in the act by AdRants, Disney family resorts ads have been running alongside near-porn photos and content at sites such as Egotastic.

“Last Fall, some contextually placed Disney ads appeared in a webcam video of ‘Andrea’ fondling her breasts. Now, a series of banner ads are appearing on celebu-porn site Egotastic next to Keeley Hazell covering her breasts, images from a Kristen Davis ‘sex tape,’ images from a Lindsay Lohan sex tape, Denise Richards displaying her crotch and more. Screenshots are here. No nudity per se but possibly NSFW. More than likely the ads appeared on Egotastic as a result of a blind buy with neither the agency nor Disney having knowledge. It’s yet another reason why blind buys are rarely a good thing for most brands, especially one so very conscious of its family-friendly image.”

Disney Ads Next to Nudes

Intel, PopURLs Partner on PopURLs Blue Edition

Intel has underwritten the launch of a version of PopURLs dedicated to enterprise IT content, PopURLs Blue. Another great example of Intel’s strategy to sponsor product enhancements at existing third-party brands that already reach their customers, like the launch of Digg Images, Digg’s Arc visualization widget, and a better music experience for My Space members.

PopURLs Blue Edition

Battelle, ESPN: The Trouble With Ad Networks

Battelle takes a deep look at the difference between media companies and ad networks at Searchblog, and how the big online portals are confusing the two.

“Do we [in the media business] sell inventory to the highest bidder via algorithms, automated processes, and platforms? Or do partner with marketers and creators of media to build brands – both media brands, and consumer marketing brands?

“I know how the folks who no longer work at AOL, Yahoo, or MSN feel about this question. They’re all brand people. And it’s entirely clear how the Google-chasers have answered that question: They’ve collectively spent billions of dollars amassing ‘access to inventory’ and ‘ad platforms’ in single-minded competition with Google.

“It seems the future, according to AOL, Yahoo, and Microsoft, is in ad networks.”

Meanwhile, one of the top brands in quality content and marketing relationships with global brands, ESPN is severing ties with ad networks:

“The sites like ESPN have cut ties with Specific Media and several other ad networks saying that ad selling that relies heavily on arbitrage and algorithms is not for them. ‘We’re heading down a path where it no longer suits our business needs to work with ad networks,’ said Eric Johnson, Vice President, Multimedia Sales, ESPN.”

Jeremiah Owyang, MediaPost Cover Dell's Facebook Graffiti Contest

Jeremiah Owyang, at his site, writes up a case study of Dell’s Facebook Graffiti Contest, part of its ReGeneration campaign. His “what could have been better” section — that conversational campaigns should be given longer life spans, and that the content they produce should be given more exposure too — is worth a full read at his site. His summary of the campaign overall:

“Unlike most marketing campaigns that deploy heavy ads, fake viral videos, or message bombardment, this campaign let go to gain more. Overall, this is a successful campaign as they turned the action over to the community, let them take charge, decide on the winners, all under the context of the regeneration campaign. The campaign moved the active community from Facebook closer to the branded Microsite, closer to the corporate website, migrating users in an opt-in manner that lead to hundreds of comments was clever. Well done.”

And MediaPost’s Social Media Insider blog says:

“There are a lot of impressive stats here: 1.1 million people voted on their favorite illustration, 7,300 people entered a submission, the contest has almost 1,300 friends, and there are currently 209 comments to the post at ReGeneration.org announcing the winners. Clearly, Dell’s ReGeneration effort supports [FM CEO John] Battelle’s contention that social media may finally make online advertising much more interesting to users than the ongoing crop of forgettable banner campaigns.”

JG Etc Scooping ChasNote

Geez, you go offline for a few days of vacation, and your colleagues mutiny. Here’s James Gross and John Shankman, of FM New York, encroaching on ChasNote turf at JG Etc. What cheek.

iVillage Sex Tips, Sponsored by Oscar Mayer, Cool Whip

I was at iVillage, getting my daily fix of sex tips from “Love Bytes with Tracey Cox”, when I was struck by the unlikely line-up of advertisers. A pre-roll video ad for Crystal Light used the uncomfortably apt tag-line “Pump It Up” for a segment on improving hand job technique by watching your man masturbate. I know you don’t believe me, so here’s a screenshot:

iVillage Crystal Light

I assumed this to be an unfortunate, if funny, snafu created by a behavioral-targeting engine that misfired, so I refreshed the page. Next up: Kraft’s Cool Whip whipped topping. Hmm. I refreshed again. Then — continuing through the Kraft brand portfolio — Oscar Mayer, the folks behind the famous 1963 made-for-TV song “The Oscar Mayer Weiner Jingle.” Oh no, I thought. Someone in Kraft’s online marketing department just lost his or her job!

Unless, of course, this is part of something bigger. A multi-generational, cross-platform subliminal messaging campaign that started with this risque 1952 promotional give-away.

Oscar Mayer Weiner Whistle

(Screenshot grabbed from Kraft’s official website.)

Thanks, Neil!

American Express OPEN Forum SMB Content Site Gets Link Love

The more high-quality, credible content that’s published at American Express’s OPEN Forum blog site, the more instances that other sites will tell their readers about it, link to it and improve the OPEN Forum’s “relevance” in search engines. Here’s another from the official WOMMA site.

WOMMA Points to AMEX

Comcast Offers Small Businesses “Efficiency Center” Site

Given that human brain chemistry makes us jones for new information, it’s a smart idea that Comcast built their latest online campaign around an information-rich Small Business Efficiency Center for its professional customers, with business tips pulled from the pages of Guy Kawasaki’s, Anita Campbell’s, John Jantsch’s, Chanpory Rith’s and the Behance community’s websites.

Comcast Small Business Efficiency Center

Comcast’s ad banners, running on the sites that licensed the content and others, lead with content headlines rather than promotions.

How to be a Demo God

This campaign was put together by Jessica Richards at One to One Interactive, and John Shankman, Teresa Nielsen Hayden and Matt Jessell at FM.