Advertising on ChatRouletteChatRoulette, the new procrastination destination of the web, has been exploding in popularity since its launch in November 2009 and subsequent features on Good Morning America, New York Times, and Daily Show. In short, upon logging onto ChatRoulette.com, you are automatically paired with a random videochat partner with the ability to move on at any time. This often leads to random, wacky, lude, disturbing, and funny encounters, as well as presenting a challenge of maintaining interesting conversation with a stranger.
Here, Fancy Feast took advantage of the captivated audience (thousands of chatters at any given time) with some product placement [via]:
Warning: IF you have not yet tried CR, just know that it can be a jolting, scarring experience. Not recommended for the young or faint-hearted. Also, my friend once got the Jonas Brothers.
Competitive Media Placement
Apple and Microsoft ("PC") have been at each others' throats for a while. Whenever I hear about their tiffs, though, it's usually through trade pubs, and never through first-hand experience.
This morning, though, after browsing PCMag, I came across this homepage takeover, and realized the extent to which this war raged on.
When I Grow Up
This circulated my community a few years ago. It's interesting to watch it now because I have a much, much better idea of how the industry works than when I first saw it. I understand and appreciate it a lot more, now.
It's also funny because I used to desperately want to be in Account Services (1:53), but now I want to be a Media Director (:24) ... which, please note, is the only position without anything miserable attached to it. Thank goodness.
Fav part (1:07): "When I grow up, I want to be a Copywriter ... and lie awake at night writing the great American novel that will never get published."
That's How I Roll
For being a classic, Coke is pretty innovative. In the past six months, they have created revolutionary concepts for:
1) Vending Machines:
"Coca-Cola recently unveiled a vending machine that dispenses customizable soda drinks and tracks users’ favorite choices. The prototype vending machine will carry a staggering 140 beverage flavors and customers can pick their drinks based on calories, caffeine content or just color via a touch screen interface. Each choice is customizable and the basic flavors can be played with by the user’s modifications." - [via PSFK]
2) Can Design:
"For years, the popular method to freshen the appearance of soft drink cans was to clad them in eye-catching graphics. Since every beverage maker uses the same shape of can, designer Samal thought there was room for improvement in the physical design of beverage cans. His new concept for a Classic Coke can does away with the typical round cylinder shape in favor of a more faceted look." [Via PSFK]
Wonder if these will catch on and be embraced... or, will people freak out the way they did with New Coke?
At my High School prom, there was a girl in a Duct Tape dress. Apparently, Duck Tape holds a contest each year called "Stuck at Prom" to see what male/female pair can create the best enemble completely out of Duct Tape. Why do it? The winners receive $6K scholarship.
What are they talking about? I freaking love interning. Being able to absorb company culture, business life lessons, and network like it's your job for a predetermined period of time? I wish I could intern full time...
My big goal, as previously stated, is to reconcile the differences I have with big business and my morals by changing it from the inside. That being said, there are two major paths I see my advertising career taking.
1) Working endlessly in the big media firm world until I climb the corporate ladder and earn a position of importance and and impact.
2) Create my own advertising agency
I recently dabbled in trying number two. Long story short, it was a bit of a failed experiment. I've lost a bit of hope, but after speaking with Ricky Van Veen, and seeing this video, I know it's within my reach.
Mad Men Yourself
A lot of digital promotion nowadays has a user-generated online component. For instance, Elf Yourself from OfficeMax, Jib Jab sendables promoting different events, etc.
As such, Mad Men has been promoting its new season with a fun little "Mad Men Yourself" microsite. Even though I'm an ad junkie, I've only watched 1 episode of this show, as well as only 1 episode of Trust Me, which has been canceled. Still, I generally appreciate all things Madison Avenue.
What was interesting about this application is that it seemed to promote smoking... several times in the "choose your outfit/accessories/etc" realm, there were cigarettes and other smoking related options from which to choose. Granted, it was the 50's, and smoking was an integral part of the working world (especially advertising). Still, it gives the slight intonation of promoting that life choice.
15 Minutes, Take 2
Last semester, I was a Media Buying Intern at EnviroMedia Social Marketing. They put together an agency tour video, and I make a cameo appearance around 1:03 in the "brainstorming room."
Consider Life a Continuous Education Opportunity
Networking really takes a lot of of a person. It's all worth it, though. It only takes one contact to completely change your career.
Ex: Yesterday, I was conducting interviews for a project, and the first person I talked to happened to have been in the ad biz. What's more, he's moved on to the fashion industry, and is currently hiring. I happen to know a bright aspiring fashionista, and hooked them up. Small world.
Meet as many people as you can, and be as genuine as humanly possible. It always helps.
The Ultimate Moral Dilemma
The advertising industry is seen as one of the most morally objectionable professions in the world... with good reason. Liquor advertising, hyper-consumerism, deception and lead way to America distrusting the practitioners.
Which leads me to my main goal in life: to reconcile the moral differences I have with big business.
The biggest question I've faced deals with clientele. Can I refuse to work on a client? Do I even have a say in the matter? What if it costs me my job? Is there any kind of client I absolutely could not work for? Should I even apply to an agency that works with questionable clients? etc etc.
I think this video outlines every adman/adwoman's dilemma nicely:
What's Next... an Edible Milky Way?
First, they put a man on the moon. Now, they're putting brands.
"With a patent pending for what it dubs "Shadow Shaping" technology, Utah-based firm Moon Publicity is anxious to use roving robots to "create small ridges in the lunar dust over large areas that capture shadows and shape them to form logos, domains names or memorials."
Bidding for lunar messaging, which began this week and will last through October 20th, starts at $46,000. Soon, 12 billion+ eyeballs could be susceptible to branded moonlight because after all, nothing spruces up an evening more than a ginormous Walmart logo." - AgencySpy.com
Very clever, yet slightly disturbing. A few things to consider: 1) Misspellings 2) Offensive brands and ads 3) Environmentalist FREAK OUT 4) Cheesy taglines such as "Out Of This World!" 5) I hope my husband proposes to me this way.
Look Who's Calling The Kettle Vicious
As of late, Microsoft has been running "Laptop Hunter" ads in which they give a family has $1,000 to find their ideal laptop. Inevitably, their choice always ends up being a PC of some sort, because they can get all the programs etc they need, for less. "Apple" or "Mac" generally isn't mentioned in these ads - just the glory that is cheap PC-dom.
Apparently, this ad campaign really worked. Earlier last week, Apple angrily asked Microsoft to stop running the ads, as they dropped their prices (by about $100 or so). Keep in mind that there has been little to no word from Microsoft's end asking Macs to stop running their "I'm a Mac, I'm a PC" attack ads.
I see this move as a huge indicator of the stereotyped personalities of Macs vs PCs. Correct me if I'm wrong, but "Macs" tend to be younger, hipper, more carefree, less corporate, and more fun. Basically, that guy you had a crush on freshman year of college. On the other hand, "PCs" tend to be older, more corporate, more business-minded, colder, dorkier... basically, your parents after they've given you a curfew.
How fitting that when the Macs directly attack the PCs, they take it like grown men. However, when PCs allude to the fact that Macs are legitimately overpriced, Mac whines to get its way.
Grow up, Steve, and learn how to swallow your own medicine:
It has recently come to my attention that there are several fabulous jobs open in New York / Austin. I will be sending most of these out in the TAG Email within the coming weeks. However, because I know the majority of those who read my blog are starving students, I want to give you a sneak peak. Good Luck!
This Has Been a Public Service Announcement
Public Service Announcements are notorious for being one of two extremes: A) Mind-numbingly boring, or B) Shockingly gruesome.
I find it interesting that this is almost expected of PSA's. Either the nonprofit is dealing with a sensitive subject, and wants to be considerate and careful, or they want to create as much buzz as possible by through shockvertising.
Funny... when big business tries to harness shock value to generate buzz, they usually get negative press (cue Burger King, United Colors of Bennetton, etc). It's the nonprofits that get all sorts of positive buzz whenever that let them get away with this sort of thing. Truth is, all advertisers want to shock you - it gets you talking about their brand. It just seems that only when it's for a good cause do people refrain from playing the "offended" card... take, for example, this anti-smoking ad:
Jewlicious: "Produced by McCann Erickson, it has divided the nation as some are horrified by the use of the Separation Barrier as a prop in a light-hearted cell phone company commercial, while others see it as a harmless and humorous riff on an otherwise difficult issue – something Israelis are particularly well known for. Me? I think it’s cute but I am sure someone is going to jump down my throat and call me heartless. Or something."
The ad ends with, "What do we all want in the end? To have a little bit of fun..."
It's very telling of the Israeli / Sabra condition. Even though uncertainty and danger hail from all directions, suck it up, and make the best of it.
Axe For Women
Until I started working at Mindshare, who handles all the Media for Axe, I loathed the cologne... as a scent, as a brand, as a mindset, etc. It physically and professionally hurts to see a product stoop so low as to try to use the basic sex appeal to sell their products. It's cheap.
Even though I don't work on the Unilever / Axe account, I've really come to appreciate the brand's sharp, witty satire during my time here (see World's Dirtiest Film and The Fixer Show).
But what would happen if the philosophy was reversed? Axe for women: