Thursday, September 4, 2008

Sarah Palin Bikini Pics - Adventures in Memeland

What I choose to do in my free time is no concern of yours. If I want to spend a sunny Saturday afternoon Photoshopping Sarah Palin's mug on a bunch of bikini-clad rednecks, then so be it. Feel free to pass this on. That way these past 15 min of my life weren't spent in vain.


THANKS! Looks like you guys did your job in disseminating this lovely image. A shitload of blogs and online newspapers have actually posted the pic! Nevermind that they identified it as Photoshop bait. Or that the majority of them are right-wing publications. At least I've sufficiently wasted their time.
Hell, I even have my own urban legend entry in AND Snopes! Yeehaw!

To add fuel to the fire, Time magazine wrote an article about how "Sarah Palin bikinki" was one of the top searches online this past week. If you go into Google image search right now, my pic is NUMBER ONE.

The original photographer and girl actually found the pic and reposted it on their Flickr account. They don't seem to be mad at me. In fact, Elizabeth, the girl donning the bikini, is fwding the image to everyone she knows.

This guy even uses my photo as a prime example of photo manipulation in politics for his article:

Here are the rest of the blogs below that included my photo:

Monday, May 12, 2008

Ending on a High Note: Red Bull Gives You Wings

Here comes another urinal ad, but this time, the ad IS the urinal. Har har! This latrine in Valencia, Spain is about 6 feet up in the air with a little bumper sticker reading, "Red Bull Gives You Wings" en EspaƱol. Get it? You'd have to be hopped up on 8 cases Red Bull to fly this high, or at least have enough urine pressure to aim your stream 6 feet off the ground. But honestly, who's thirsty after thinking about all that peeing?

Advertisers loooove to hit consumers in the loo. I'd like to see the piece of market research that revealed the public restroom as the most optimal place for advertising (or the state of urinary urgency as the most receptive to ad messaging). Oh wait here it is...
According to Glenn Gowen, head of marketing and public relations at UK agency Admedia:
"You have got a captive audience with little to do other than read your advert. The long dwell times—an average of 105 seconds for women and 55 seconds for men—give people plenty of time to take the information in. We have found that because of the one-to-one nature of the communication, there is high recall: up to 100% recall, and 78% prompted awareness."

Considering most people carry a paper or magazine with them to the toilet, each of which contain dozens of ads, I guess this isn't too different.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Coolspotter: Yes, I'm a Tech Groupie

I've had the same crappy LG Musiq for over 2 years. 2 years! For most of my friends, 6 months is the expiration date for any and all mobile technology. I usually don't get rid of my cell phone until a) it breaks or b) I leave it in a cab on a drunken rainy night. In my case, when situation A finally rolled around, I buckled and bought (gasp!) a BlackBerry.

Why did I willingly decide to join the legions of CrackBerry users? Well, I'm on Sprint plan, and the Apple iPhone hasn't yet crossed into inter-service-provider waters. To me, this was the next best thing. I'll tell you one thing, after 5 years of using crappy non-smartphones, I love my BlackBerry 8830. And today, that love doubled as soon as I logged onto is a user-gen site that logs every time a celebrity is "spotted" holding, wearing or using any number of consumer products. It even creates dedicated pages for each product. I'm happy to say that my BlackBerry 8830 has been "coolspotted" in the hands of Lass Bass, Jay-Z, and even Paris Hilton! If this phone is good enough for the queen of all excess, it's good enough for me. What's great about the site is that it actually tags photos of celebs with their products, so you don't just have take someone's word for it.

Sure there was a time when I was nearly brought to tears when I saw a pregnant Britney Spears wearing a Catharine Malandrino gown I had just bought on the cover of US Weekly, but that's so different. For one thing, she was 7 months pregnant and still with K-Fed. I doubt there's a woman alive that would be happy to find out she should be wearing maternity wear. And Jay-Z is D a powerful businessman. Who knows where my new phone will bring my career. Although there is a downside to this Coolspotter phenom. The front page shows you different rankings for products and my 8830's 11 celebrity spots pales in comparison to the BlackBerry Curve's 21. Looks like I'll be taking a trip to Sprint this week for an upgrade. I gotta keep my street cred, yo,

A Little Tease

Talk about an interesting integrated campaign. To promote an upcoming burlesque show, tassled pasties were slapped on local parking meters in St Johns, Newfoundland to generate buzz for the event. Lucky for marketers, the street meters already resembled the proper anatomy. Hidden cameras caught reactions from passersby and provided enough footage for an accompanying viral video (above). Not only did the show sell out and get tons of press coverage for the stunt, every single pasty was stolen as a souvenir. And who says Canadians don't know how to have fun?

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Microinteractions = Branding 2.0

I came across this really intriguing slideshow created by David Armano, VP of experience design at Critical Mass, "a professional services firm with a sweet spot for creating outstanding experiences." In his view, microinteractions between consumers and brands--social media, widgets, mash-ups, etc.--are the building blocks behind the brands themselves. It sort of turns the whole top-down branding idea on its head. On some level, it goes against the basic tenet we're instilled with in the Strat Comm: brand positioning first and everything else follows.

For Armano, since technology has allowed consumers to become hyper-engaged and co-authors in their own brand experiences, these mini interactions are more important than the overall brand messaging.

He says:

“We live in a world where the little things really do matter. Each
encounter no matter how brief is a micro interaction which makes a deposit or
withdrawal from our rational and emotional subconscious. The sum of these
interactions and encounters adds up to how we feel about a particular product,
brand or service. Little things. Feelings. They influence our
everyday behaviors more than we realize.”

So what does that mean for companies? It seems as though they'll have to relinquish control over their brands, giving audience's the control over their own experiences. So are brands then just a forum for user interactivity? As Sunya stated in our JetBlue presentation, are they just a branded playground for people to communicate with one another? I think the most successful brand are just that: facilitators. Starbucks creates a welcoming cafe environment where customers can come in and relax with their friends. Apple, who even though operate on a closed-technology business model, creates a community of users who feel like they "own" a piece of their brand.

Then it not only becomes a question of interactivity, but also a question of consumer empowerment. Umair Haque of Havas Media Lab says it best:

"[The] future of communications as advantage lies in talking less, and listening more. The decision to invest in consumers is also a decision to listen to consumers – instead of talk at them."

[Via Adweek newsletter]

Monday, April 28, 2008

Genius: Zyrtec Ad on Telephone Pole

Oh this brightened my day. Adrants posted this funny Zyrtec ad found on a telephone pole in Boston. They ask, "Can A Sharpie Poster Push More Sales Than A Glossy Ad?" Apparently their source took the time to take down the ad and pass it around the office. Even though I suffer from horrible skin allergies, I don't think I'd really act on this if I saw it.

It kinda reminds me of the Craig's List ad the guy from Ogilvy put up for Six Flags.

Throwing $ Away: Levi's Copper Microsite

You know, I used to love microsites. Until building microsites became a unnecessary and/or gratuitous addition to an integrated ad campaign. Case in point, Levi's Copper Jeans site, Hot models? Check. Snazzy Flash/Actionscript animation? Check. A point? Hmm, you lost me there.

Not only does the site takes a couple of minutes to load, the wait is no where near worth it. A flashy 3D rendering of a girl and guy stripping (not as sexy as it sounds), only to be be swathed in copper armor is all you get to see, and that only takes a few seconds to view. Boo. Give me a game or a customizable jean design or something.

The Odder Adder = An Odd Ad

Ha! Can you see it? My likeness is on a T-Mobile banner ad! Don't believe me? Look a little closer below:

Striking resemblence. no? The bangs, the flat nose, even the smile are uncanny. Except for the fact that the girl sports a stump. I can attest both of my hands and all ten fingers are still intact. Therefore, this model, as lovely as she is, is NOT me. And check out the crappy copy:


Really now. Like this is actually going to sell home cell phone service packages? I know no Gen X, Gen Y or Millenial would be willing to shell out a hundred bucks when they can just call up Maury Povich.

In any case, when this ad splashed on my screen, I quickly jumped over to my coworker's desk to make sure this wasn't some super-duper-targeted marketing campaign. Imagine if your face popped up on every ad you come across on the web.

But if this were indeed a picture of myself, I wonder where it came from. My thoughts can't help but wander to Virgin's lawsuit from using a teenager's Flickr photo without permission for an ad campaign. Over the teen's picture, Virgin wrote, ""Dump your pen friend," and "Free text virgin to virgin" at the bottom. At least my accompanying copy isn't so condemning.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

WTF? Copyranter Fakes Own Death

What a smarmy bastard. Two days after my fawning eulogy for the ad blog Copyranter, he decides to resurrect himself from the dead. The sudden resuscitation is due in large part to the other fawning eulogies the ad community left in his comments and other blogs. What an attention whore.

Turns out Mr. Ranter took on a pseudo day job at AnimalNewYork, yet another blog dedicated to decoding the underbelly of NYC. (Yawn.) He now only has time to blog on Copyranter 2-3 times a week, much to the chagrin of the ad industry.

My assistant asked why he hadn't just hosted ads on his blogs if he's so worried about productivity. Well, wouldn't that just go against everything he stands for? What purpose would a contextual ad touting the wonders of "Men's Stylish Underwear" from next to your American Apparel crotch rant serve?

The best thing about the Copyranter phenom is a) the writer is criticizing his own industry, and b) his readers are largely from the same industry. I guess Gawker bitching about the publishing world is no different. I wonder what's fueling all these blogs. Is it self-hatred? Perhaps it's joy from seeing our competitors get a good knock in the nuts. Maybe it's twisted cocktail of both.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

RIP: Copyranter

Oh no! One my most favoritest blogs in the whole wide world is throwing in the towel.

The man behind the advertising blog Copyranter, best known for tearing new ones for countless ad campaigns with his searing commentary and verbal abuse, is calling it quits in favor of more productive pursuits. (You mean to say blogs aren't productive?) When a diabolical genius like like Copyranter goes belly up, one can't help but wonder if this is an omen of things to come. Is the blog world going bust? Or was he just bought out by Kenneth Cole, American Apparel, or any one of his many archnemeses?

In any case, Copyranter was one of the reasons I chose to become an ad blogger in the first place. In his memory, here are some of the top lessons I've learned from his 3 glorious years in the blogosphere:

Lesson #1: Puns Are for Wimps
And the wimp in question is designer Kenneth Cole. With a blog called "Awearness," not to mention ad copy like "We're forgetting AIDS," "Beware weapons of mass distraction," and," Help re-pair the lives of the homeless" (an ad for shoes), Cole, who does all his own copy, BTW, is a walking case of pundemonium (sorry, I couldn't help it). Save the the cutesy-ness for the clothing.

Lesson #2: Too Much T&A (&P) Can Be a Bad Thing
If you don't know what I mean by "P," check out any one of American Apparel's ads. But really, there's only so much softcore '70s porn we can take in a day. Make that a lifetime. We get it, Dov Charney. You like women and you like to f###. What does that have to do with your Fruit-of-the-Loom-on-Acid outfits?

Lesson #3: Subliminal Messaging is Alive and Well
Okay, maybe it's not textbook subliminal. Any dingbat with working pipes would see right through any of these, but the creatives don't give a crap. Not that I agree with everything Copyranter ranted about (the lemon vagina and shoe penis, for instance), but there are some notables that I wouldn't have noticed had he not noted them.

Goodbye, Copyranter. You shall be missed.