You are currently browsing the archives for May, 2008.

Universal and Marvel Invite You to Draw Your Own Incredible Hulk

To promote the June 13 launch of The Incredible Hulk, Universal and Marvel have sponsored a Hulk-drawing contest in Facebook’s Graffiti application.

Incredible Hulk Graffiti Contest

My favorite entry so far is Scott Sokolyk’s iHulk:

Hulk iPod Spoof

(Credits: Megan Crowell and Tim Fleming at Ignited Minds; Mark Kantor at Graffiti; Paige Duca, Bernie Albers, Karleen Engel, Liam Boylan and Stephanie Loleng at Federated Media.)

Business Week on Chevy's Best of Green Web

The crew at Business Week’s Blogspotting isn’t convinced that Chevy’s Best of the Green Web sponsored site is conversational enough:

“Chevy says on the site that it wants to start a conversation. But if that’s the case, I would expect the site to be all about the technologies that will make cars more fuel efficient and less damaging in terms of resources used and carbon dioxide emitted. And I would expect Chevy’s folks to be contributing their own news about what they’re doing.”

I don’t think Blogspotting spent enough time at the site. Here’s the comment I posted to the original story:

“I agree with your critique of conversational marketing where marketing brands don’t have a voice in the discussion. In the case of Chevy’s sponsorship of the Best of the Green Web site, however, they do have a voice. Chevy is providing its own news and updates on its fuel-solutions technologies — see the left column, just below the Recent Comments. The idea is to take consumer feedback, and to addressed it issue by issue. Even tough questions like ‘Aren’t you the guys who killed the electric car?’ Creating authentic media — whether it’s editorial media or media connected to a marketing project — is hard work, and success is defined by each reader or viewer. Based on traffic and repeat traffic to this site, and engagement with the content provided by Chevy, this experience is working for a fair number of green-minded consumers. At the very least, it’s a move by Chevy in the right direction, a move towards a more fluid two-way dialog with customers.”

Tired of Letting Fans Love Its Brand, Disney Shutters Virtual Magic Kingdom

I guess successful marketing can become too much of a good thing. Last week, Disney shut down Virtual Magic Kingdom, its popular (and free) virtual-reality theme park.

Disney Protesters

“Disney plans to throw everyone out of VMK and lock the gates — erasing their online profiles, lives and collections of virtual trinkets and real estate. Disney says it never intended the 50th-anniversary promotion to run this long, but money is also a factor: Virtual Magic Kingdom is free, and full access to Disney’s other online game sites — like Club Penguin and Toontown — costs as much as $9.95 a month in the case of Toontown.”

Will the subscription-fee windfall be big enough to recover the lost value in brand-love by a core of its most evangelical supporters?

(Thanks, Matt!)

Print Magazine Gets Hip to Crowdsourcing

Telstar Logistics, a spoof company of sorts, has zigged when its competitors zagged. As other publishers abandon their print-magazine efforts in favor of Web 2.0 editions, Telstar is bringing Web 2.0 to print. Welcome to the newsstand, Everywhere!

(Thanks, Justin!)

FM Launches 'Green' Federation

You careful ChasNote readers may have seen this coming when you read last month about Chevy’s sponsorship the Best of the Green Web project (or Dell’s sponsorship of a green drawing contest in Facebook’s Graffiti), but now it’s official. FM has launched its Green Federation, a collection of the best green-leaning sites online, including Inhabitat, GigaOM’s Earth2Tech and the ViroPOP video network.

Inhabitat Logo

Here’s the press release.

William Morris Execs Create 'Agency 3.0'

From Ad Age.

“Hollywood’s oldest talent shop, the 110-year-old William Morris Agency, is partnering with a triumvirate of digital media, wireless and advertising executives to create a joint venture called Agency 3.0, a digital-marketing-services company seeking to marry digital technology to strategically developed content….

“In an interview with Ad Age, Mr. Johnson said TV advertising ‘is becoming less effective,’ in part because ‘it’s highly disconnected from the creative process.

“His partners’ new venture aims to ‘bring the ad dollars that much closer to the creative process,’ Mr. Johnson said.

Smart idea and an impressive team. I bet, though, they will come to regret that name.

Torrence Boone Hired As CEO For Dell's New Agency

The former president of Digitas will head up WPP’s Project Da Vinci, Dell’s new agency. More at Ad Age.

Torrence Boone

Congrats, Torrence and congrats, Dell!

Haagen-Dazs Draw-A-Bee Contest with Facebook's Graffiti

Here’s a sampler of entries in the contest.

Starbucks Dabbles with Corporate Democracy

In a piece for Business Week Jeff Jarvis, author of BuzzMachine (among other things), profiles Starbucks’s MyStarbucksIdea.com concept — an initiative Jeff calls a foray into corporate democracy. The site allows Starbucks customers to offer advice on improving its customer service, products or business practices. Starbucks (the retail chain) benefits from good ideas it may soon implement, and Starbucks (the brand) benefits by connecting with customers at higher, more emotional level — through a conversation in which customers have a voice, and Starbucks listens and responds.

“‘If [an idea] fails,” says [Starbucks CTO] Bruzzo, “our customers who are on MyStarbucksIdea ought to participate in being accountable for it.’ Whether an idea is accepted or not, customers get only the satisfaction of participating; there are no payments or other tangible rewards.”

What an excellent example of a brand-as-conversation, or what we at FM call (and Jeff often criticizes!) conversational marketing.

Starbucks Splash Stick

Charlene Li: Social Networks Go From 'Platforms' to 'Air We Breathe'

Most people talk about social networking services as platforms on which to build communities and media. Forrester’s Charlene Li goes a step further:

“I believe they (and we) will look back to 2008 and think it archaic and quaint that we had to go to a destination like Facebook or LinkedIn to ‘be social.’ Instead, I believe that in the future, social networks will be like air. They will be anywhere and everywhere we need and want them to be. And also, without that social context in our connected lives, we won’t really feel like we are truly living and alive, just as without sufficient air, we won’t really be able to breathe deeply.”