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.
Google Search Stories - Washington Heights
The fact that Google created a TV commercial is huge. The fact that it aired during the Superbowl? How much more so. To me, though, the best part about Google's Search Stories (and specifically, "Parisian Love,") is how easy it is to spoof them. Here's one I made about Washington Heights:
(Story of a girl who moves to Washington Heights, as told through her Search Queries)
Ice Cream and Behavioral Targeting
Israeli food giant Tnuva targeted their new chocolate dessert to only the recently single. By signing a deal with JDate, its ads are only showed to those returning to their accounts after an absence of several days. The idea was that people who logged into their profiles after time away had presumably been dating, but the relationship had since ended.
I wonder how many of my friends were served this ad [via].
College Kids and Happiness
A lot of times, advertisers will try to execute guerrilla ad campaigns that don't necessarily align with the brand messaging. Coke, however, recently pulled off a truly integrated and relevant stunt.
Keeping with the theme of Coke's "The Happiness Factory" spot, agency Definition 6 installed a special vending machine on a college campus, basically acting as a "Happiness Factory" in and of itself.
Skip to 1:02, at which point the Coke executives grin widely and declare this a "success." [Via]
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."
A company at a German trade show attached tiny banner advertisements to flies and set them loose on unsuspecting visitors, in a bizarre yet effective marketing stunt.
"One marketing creative's stroke of genius is another person's animal cruelty."
The banners, measuring only centimeters across, seemed weigh the flies down. This forced them to rest more often, which is a stroke of genius on the part of the marketing creatives: the flies end up at about eye level, and whenever a fly is forced to land and recover, the banner is clearly visible. What's more, the zig-zagging of the fly naturally attracts the attention because of its rapid movement. (via Kottke)
Kids These Days
Have you seen that Microsoft commercial where the 4 year old girl creates a pretty impressive slideshow? "I'm a PC and I'm 4 years old." In his writing, Marc Prensky notes that kids these days are not only growing up differently, but they have literally started speaking a different language and thinking differently than we have. They are, what he calls, "Digital Natives," and the older generation is made up of "Digital Immigrants."
Interview Messups, Case Study #2
Another tip from my vault of embarrassing interviews:
Tip #2 - Research the agency thoroughly. No, more thoroughly than that...
JWT Interview, Spring '09, New York, NY
HR: So, Rebecca, your resume looks good and you are qualified. Where do you see yourself fitting into this agency? Me: Well, as part of the TexasMedia program, I'm really interested in Media Planning HR: JWT doesn't have a Media department. We outsource everything to Group M. Me: Ah, I see (foot in mouth).
JWT is very prestigious, so naturally I researched them a lot before the big day. Not enough, apparently... Unbeknownce to me, a lot of the major holding companies (WPP, Omnicom, IPG, Publicis) have a strong Media-Only arm, and the rest of their agencies handle the creative/interactive/planning/etc.
Truth is, even navigating an agencies' website isn't enough to tell you whether or not they have a media department. It's important to also peruse the trade pubs to make sure you know what you're up against. Especially helfpul is the Ad Age Agency Family Tree. It's currently hanging on my wall.
Boss: So, Rebecca, what do you do in your spare time? Me: Well, I really like to cook. I've especially gotten good at "dorm cooking" - frozen vegetables and canned tomatoes. It's delicious! Boss: Oh. I'm a cook, and I don't exactly consider that cooking...
I completely forgot that although to college kids, frozen and canned food is considered cuisine, the "adult world" doesn't share the sentiment. Whoops. Luckily, I made up for this blunder with my experience and positive attitude, and ended up getting the Media Buying Internship. I have since developed a love of traveling, which HR Generalists see as a much more legitimate pastime.
Recenlty, PleaseFeedTheAnimals, a blog for the recenlty unemployed advertising professional, released a trailor for a new movie they are producing, called Lemonade. It's an inspiring documentar of what laid off professionals have done with their time now that they are no longer in the biz:
This, of course, is another way to go about unemployment (note his hat):
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.
"Now, in just a few simple steps, you can begin displaying ads that are relevant to the topics you’re discussing — in an unobtrusive screen above your head.
Anyone taking part in the conversation can hit the ad with their hand to immediately take advantage of the product or service being offered. With our new Teleportation Technology(TM), you’ll be transported directly to the site where the service is available, or have the product appear instantaneously in your hands.
How do I add Google ads to my conversations? Once you sign up, we’ll send you an adjustable screen and special AdSense headgear to attach it."
Truth is, though, a concept like this may not be that far off. Advertisers have already found a way to sponsor graudation speeches. Advertising in conversations doesn't seem so foreign, huh?
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...
There are a lot of things to look out for when buying media. You have to make sure the environment in which you are placing your message is conducive to positive feelings about the brand. In other words, you don't want to send mixed messages. Here are some examples of when the vendors and the buyers got it wrong (via CollegeHumor and CollegeCandy):
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: