Tuesday, October 31, 2006

30 Seconds of Chipotle Fame

This year's SuperBowl is quickly turning into the "please make our commercial for us bowl" for many major companies. Although Chiptole's 30 Seconds of Fame contest uses consumer-generated content, it has a fresh take on the concept.

Chipotle has enlisted students at 22 colleges, including my Alma mater, to create and post videos on YouTube. The most-streamed video will win $10,000, be posted on Chipotle's Web site and have a chance at some national television air-time. Boulder agency and avid YouTube enthusiasts TDA are behind the contest.

Targeting college ad kids and filmmakers shows a little social responsibility and donates some money to the winning school. Chipotle treats their customers well and often goes after the college crowd.
For example, Chipotle in Lawrence, KS offered to pay for out entire homecoming float and give us free burrito coupons to hand out at the parade if we incorporated a burrito into the float. That's how you create brand advocates!

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Monday, October 30, 2006

Red October

The St. Louis Cardinals are the 2006 world champs! Going to the World Series was everything I hoped it would be, even though I was cheated out of my destiny. I had tickets for game five, but due to the rain, my game became game four and game five was played the next night. So I wasn't there in person, but I did see them win it from the biology lab at Visitation High School. I got tickets to my sister's musical, so we watched her and then ran into the other room to see the end of the game on TV. That'll make a good story for the grandkids.

I don't have all of the photos up yet, but you can get a little preview here. I'll try to get all of them up soon, but first, I've gotta get caught up.

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Wednesday, October 25, 2006

I'm Going to the World Series

It's official. I'm going to fulfill one of my life-long dreams tomorrow night. I'm off to St. Louis to see my Cardinals play in the World Series! The picture above shows you where I'll be sitting.

After 22 long years of hardship, failure and infancy preventing me from seeing my team in the World Series, my day has finally come. However, it turns out these aren't the toughest tickets in town.

My sister is in the Sound of Music and it's sold out. It's ridiculous. I got tickets to the World Series, but I can't get in to see my little sister's musical. So I know one of you out there has two tickets you'd be willing to part with. You can't have my World Series tickets, but anything else is on the table.

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Dogs Rule Billboards

Here's one of my all-time favorite billboards. TBWA/Chiat/Day did this one for Pedigree and it took best of show at the OBIEs in 2005.

Agency: TBWA/Chiat/Day
Worldwide Creative Director: Lee Clow
Creative Directors: Duncan Milner, Eric Grunbaum
Art Director: Margaret Keene
Copywriter: Chris Adams
Photographers: Sharon Montrose, Jim Craigmyle

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Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Barkley Blows Sonic's Throwdown

The local Kansas City agency that earned mad love for its cool rocket and car on cup promotion just gave it all back.

Barkley, the agency of record for Sonic Drive-Ins, saw spoofs of Sonic's silly in-car ads popping up on YouTube. They cleverly
responded by posting a video of Pete and TJ challenging people to create their own ads. So far so good.

But it all goes wrong when Barkley violated major Web 2.0 etiquette and disabled users from embedding the video on Web sites or blogs. A little research from Teresa Valdez Klein
over at the Blog Business Summit reveals that Barkley doesn't distribute the Sonic commercials online because they didn't pay the talent accordingly. What a waste of a seemingly good throwdown.

So in return, I'm throwing down the gauntlet. That's right Barkley; I'm talking to you and your cohorts over at Citizen Brand, Risley Ranch and Woolard Speak. You guys need to give the content to the people, and that means making all your Sonic ads available online or everyone who reads this blog will come after you.

So as your commercials state, you'd better watch out for my mom and her neighbor.

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D.C. United Embraces Bloggers

Add D.C. United to the short list of businesses that understand how to leverage Internet 2.0. United took to the Internet to generate buzz for Cosmo's Bachelor of the year candidate and United defender Bobby Boswell. Kyle Sheldon, communications coordinator for United, sent this message to many a blogger:
Hello soccer fan -

For those of you who haven’t heard, Bobby Boswell of D.C. United is one of 50 candidates for Cosmopolitan magazine’s Bachelor of the Year award. For those of you in the blogging world, it provides for a great opportunity to a) spark interest amongst your female readers, b) make fun of Bobby and c) link a couple of pretty funny videos Bob and I put together for it all. The links to the videos are below, as is the link to Bobby’s Cosmo page.

For Cosmo: http://youtube.com/watch?v=urjk5N51Yvc
Bloopers: http://youtube.com/watch?v=BqA1S85kZ_U
Also, folks should go here to vote…


So he loses points for "Dear soccer fan" and you can definitely tell he hasn't scrounged around for links before. Erroneous! Erroneous on both counts because United got the idea right when they went after the bloggers. They even threw in some self deprecation, which is essential to any self promotion on the Internet.

Soccer isn't all over the TV or widely mentioned on talk radio. So die-hards have sought refuge on Internet message boards such as BigSoccer. D.C. United's marketing efforts really cater to those fans. United's intelligent marketing effort is pretty good,
I don't think Bobby Boswell will win Bachelor of the Year - that's for the ladies to decide.

Props to Throughball for the hot tip.

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Monday, October 23, 2006

World Series Commercials

It's not exactly the World Series of advertising like the Superbowl, but the fall classic features some big brands rolled out new campaigns. Here are some of the noteworthy new spots.

Dodge Nitro:
The new spot for blocky-looking Nitro shows the behemoth SUV blowing some dude's hooptie sky-high. The tone and attitude in the commercial are reminiscent of the ads for the Dodge Caliber. Snarky and in your face. Overall, it's pretty funny, but the vehicle is pretty funny looking so the jury is still out.

US Postal Service:
I can't remember a TV campaign from the USPS since a gentleman named Lance Armstrong went postal in France seven times in a row. The new spot shows a conversation between a package headed for Japan and a lamp, which was coincidentally made in Japan. They chat, make nice and also make you laugh.

After years of success with their identity theft commercials, Citibank turns to a guy who acts like Borat's older and more toned-down cousin to promote its rewards points. Along with Victor, his little Napoleon Dynamite friend, he goes to outrageous lengths to show you how Citibank is "Rewarding. Very, very, very rewarding." It's a little odd, but it's not exactly an offer out of left field.

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Friday, October 20, 2006

YouTube Fuels Spitgate 2k6

After the University of Kansas' horrendous collapse last Saturday a video appeared on YouTube allegedly showing an Oklahoma State coach spitting on a KU player. Spitgate 2k6 was off and running.

On Wednesday, the clip was loaded to YouTube. By the end of the day, it was all over KU blogs, forums and news sources. Yesterday, only one day after spitgate began, the BIG XII investigated incident using more camera angles and exonerated the OSU coach.

Now, whether the coach spit on the player is not very remarkable. However, the ridiculous speed at which this issue rose and fell is remarkable. YouTube really gave this thing the legs to be virally distributed so widely, that the Big XII conference took notice and looked into the matter. This all happened in the span of two days in which the video was viewed 12,985 times.

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Thursday, October 19, 2006

MLB Urns and Caskets for Die-Hard Fans

On the eve of the Game 7 in the NLCS, we learn that Eternal Images signed a licensing deal with Major League Baseball to emblazon the logos of all 30 teams on designer caskets and urns. Although this is completely ridiculous, it proves how a brand can become a part of someone's life, or death in this particular instance.

As America's past time, baseball and the teams we love or hate occupy a special position in many hearts. Any other brand would gladly sacrifice their firstborn child for this kind of embrace and devotion from the public.

As for Eternal Images, the company has already received more than 1,000 inquiries about the product since June. So rest assured, branded coffins are on the way.
And if I die of agony tonight because my Cardinals can't get it done; you'll know where to put my remains.

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Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Advertising That Goes Splat!

Here's a cool little ambient ad for Middleton Lawn & Pest Control. The work is from Push Here.


Monday, October 16, 2006

Advertising Like No Other

I should be in bed. Instead, I'm here at the computer so I could see the new Sony Bravia commercial right when it came out. I'm totally geeking out right now.

So after all the anticipation and excitement, I finally saw the new spot. Just like the movies, the sequel wasn't as good as the original. Don't get me wrong. It was good, but the original was fantastic.

Regardless, those darn fools from Wieden + Kennedy, London and Sony did a great job with the spot and its promotion. They hyped it up and got idiots like me to stay up and watch it - and there must have been many others watching because the download moved at dial-up speed.

Just go watch the spot; it's worth your time. As for me, it's bed time.

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Jousting on the Construction Site

Saw this commercial, entitled "Joust", for Stanley's Fat Max Tape Measure during the weekend's playoff baseball games. It's absolutely phenomenal. It shows the benefit, even if it is way over the top, and I'm sure Stanley loves that the product was the hero.

Good for Stanley and Mullen for putting the commercial on the Web site
. Any commercial your company feels is good enough to air on TV, should also be on your Web site. It's inexcusable to not provide eager consumers with the branded content they want. They actually want to watch your commercial. Most people watching TV don't want to see your spot. Take a lesson from the Stanley, not to mention the Snapalope, and give the content to the people!

Brand: Stanley
Spot Title: "Joust"
Agency: Mullen
Chief Creative Officer: Edward Boches
Group CDs: Jim Hagar, Jason Stinsmuehlen
Art Director: Bob Gates
Copywriter: Jeff Baxter

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Friday, October 13, 2006

Coca-Cola and Target Aren't 'Red'

Coca-Cola and Target are completely missing the boat by not participating in the (product) Red campaign from the Global Fund to help fight AIDS in Africa.

There are lots of things that define a brand, and one of them is color. Yet, Coca-Cola and Target, two brands that absolutely own the color red are not involved in this campaign.

"Red" seeks iconic brands to partner with to fight AIDS in Africa. When consumers buy a "Red" product or sign up for a "Red" service, the company donates money to purchase and distribute AIDS medication. Coke could certainly use the some good publicity after claims of egregious working conditions in its international bottling operations.

If nothing else, Coke and Target could reinforce their brands' color equity, get some good press, help save some lives in Africa and have Oprah and Bono promote their swag. Sadly, the most important reason to participate is probably the least compelling to the companies in question.

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Thursday, October 12, 2006

MLS Should Sell Out With Style

Major League Soccer announced that it will take after every other professional soccer league in the world and allow advertising on the front of jerseys for the 2007 season.

While the rest world sells the precious real estate on jersey fronts, no one uses the space for anything more than a brand name or logo. I think there is a huge opportunity there for an advertiser to do something creative such as a contextual tie in or campaign message. If you're going to sell out, do it with some style.

For example, QuickBooks could partner with the Kansas City Wizards to let soccer moms know that their tax wizard makes completing your family's taxes a breeze. OK, so that's a pretty cheesy example, but the opportunity to do something clever and generate plenty of publicity is there.

Hopefully MLS teams can get some clever sponsors to buy into this idea; otherwise they might have to resort to putting "Chico's Bail Bonds" on their jerseys.

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Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Sonic: From Drive-In to Driving Around

Sonic Drive-In is promoting themselves with the classic "I left my drink on top of the car" bit. There was a little piece in the KC Star about it last week, but I was unable to find a picture until today. I snapped this picture with my camera phone on the way to lunch, so the quality is a little more Blair Witch and a little less LonelyGirl15.

Sonic also has radio spots that mention the tactic and offer a special on its Route 44 drinks. Local Kansas City agency Barkley is behind the idea and while I've seen this one online many times, I've never actually seen it executed in real life.

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The Advertising Creative's Bible

I just finished reading Luke Sullivan's, Hey Whipple, Squeeze This: A Guide To Creating Great Ads, for the second time, and I'm sure I'll read it many more times in the years to come.

The book is the advertising creative's Bible and is required reading for all those who aspire to advertising greatness. Sullivan tells it like it is and tells us the way it should be. The book is geared more toward copywriters than art directors but Sullivan's primary focus is the brilliant idea behind the ads, not the execution.

The book's one drawback is that, like the Bible, it's old. The ever-changing advertising game moves fast. The book was written before the rise of Web 2.0 and the many other places advertising seeks to dominate the world. Sullivan simply looks the future by preaching evolution and solid strategy.

If you haven't read this book; it's time to come to Jesus. If you've read it before, it's time top renew your faith in the church of advertising and read it again.


Monday, October 09, 2006

Run London Features a Photo Finish

Here's a cool Web site for Nike's Run London, courtesy of Weiden + Kennedy, London. The race pitted North London against South London to see which half of the city would finish faster.

The site has full team and personal results, but the coolest feature lets each runner watch video of themselves crossing the finish line. They also added in a nice little social feature to send your video "to a mate." I'm sure if I was involved is this little trot, you'd all be treated to some lovely digestive pyrotechnics. Luckily, I was unable to make it to London for the occasion.

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Friday, October 06, 2006

I Don't Do Window Cleaners

The glass cleaner ad has been done to death. We get it; the glass is so clean that you don't see it and then you bump into it. I've never been amused by any of these ads.

However, this Glassex ad from Spain made me laugh. But please, no more.


Jonathan Schoenberg: Commit to Your Mistakes

Last night Jonathan Schoenberg, creative director and partner at TDA in Boulder, spoke at a Kansas City Ad Club event. Although he had something important to say, he was smart to let his work do most of the talking. When your work is as good as his, it's easy.

Jonathan's message was "commit to your mistakes." He took us through many of the mistakes he made in his career, and by mistakes he meant things that didn't quite work out or risks that drew negative attention. However, Jonathan had no regrets. As he showed us his work he would say, "man, we're really gonna piss some people off with this Dick joke ad," "every movie theater in California banned this one," or "will we still run the
ad if the he's really dead?"

That's not to say TDA just pisses people off for the sake of controversy. Their messages have a purpose. Jonathan likened advertising to a conversation. You want to talk to someone who has something interesting to say and advertising should be the same way. TDA knows their approach isn't for everyone, so they end each client pitch with a video entitled "hookers"
. If the client laughs, they know it's a good fit for their agency. If not, the client probably wants a different type of agency that won't make mistakes.

One of Jonathan's mistakes even earned him an upcoming appearance on
the Late Show with David Letterman. He also announced that TDA had just won the Jones Soda account and had already done some work for them including a video response to the Diet Coke + Mentos phenomenon.

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Thursday, October 05, 2006

Buffalo Bob Wants You to Get Your GED

One of my friends sent this to me a while back. Someone put a lot of Photoshop time into this one. I'm confident it's not real, but it wouldn't surprise me if it was student work.

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Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Advertising Observations From the Races

This weekend's NASCAR race at Kansas Speedway was jam-packed with all sorts of advertising goodness. Here are some of the highlights:

The Budweiser Donkey
Remember the furry little guy who was born a donkey, but meant to be a Clydesdale? He now travels with the Clydesdales, who have brand equity than any other animal alive. The little guy stole the show from his larger counter parts and even shakes hands with visitors. Now that's the power of advertising.

Aerial Advertising
There were seven or eight banners flown around the track by planes all weekend. In the past, there have only been one or two planes toting banners. It sounds like buying billboards in and around the track is so expensive that many advertisers, such as Nextel, vitaminwater and others have turned to aerial advertising for a cheaper way to get in on the party.

Ricky Bobby
You knew it had to come to this, but just like me, you wouldn't have it any other way. One of the most popular attractions on the Midway was the Talladega Nights trailer featuring tons of Ricky Bobby swag. Shake and bake baby!

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Use Only What You Need

Here's a cool little campaign I saw while I was in Denver last week. The campaign, which totes the tagline, "use only what you need," promotes water conservation for Denver Water. Check out a few more executions from the $500,000 campaign over at Sukle Advertising + Design.

I've seen a similar execution from a University of Texas advertising student for Mini, however, I haven't seen anything like the park bench before.

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Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Barkley Blasts Off

The largest independent employee-owned agency in the country, Barkley Evergreen & Partners is doing an extreme makeover: advertising edition. Yesterday, they officially changed their name to Barkley and introduced their new rocket logo, a tribute to the three-story rocket which will top their new location.

The rocket is a throwback to the Disney-"Imagineered" Moonliner, which sat atop the former TransWorld Airlines headquarters for years. Barkley renovated the building, which is located in the Crossroads district of Kansas City, MO, and will officially move in on Halloween. The rocket will be unveiled this Friday during the Crossroad District's First Fridays.

Via BE&P employee, Jeremy Fuksa at The Martini Shaker.

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SES Local Search Conference - Denver

As promised, here's the full recap of my trip to Search Engine Strategies Local Search Conference in Denver.

This was the first SES conference to focus exclusively on local search. As a result, it came off too specific and spent too much time trying to convince an audience who already saw the importance of local search to drink the Kool-Aid. It wasn't necessary, we were already there.

My favorite session was "Coping with Convergence: Local Search Meets Mobile and WiFi." It was very forward thinking and dealt with reaching consumers through mobile devices and technology. I think this will be where local search truly hits it big. This includes maps, finding the nearest pizza place and even opt-in coupons.

As we move toward a more WiFi future, automatically determining a user's exact location will rely on WiFi rather than GPS or IP addresses. Although this has security and stalker implications, it benefits the user because it allows them to find and get directions to the closest businesses without having to input their location.

One cool program that already uses this technology is Loki, which is a local search application that automatically recognizes a user's location through WiFi. Loki comes from Skyhook Wireless whose VP of Market Development, Jed Rice, presented the application and gets the nod for best speaker at the conference.

The conference featured speakers from Google Local, Yahoo Local, MSN's Live Local Search, Local.com and TrueLocal.com. It also threw out some great ideas and strategies for local businesses to increase their internet presence. Not everyone can afford to buy an add on CNN.com, but everyone can get a free listing on Google Local, Yahoo! Local and MSN's live Local Search. It also outlined some strategies to reach a geographic targeted audience using text ads.

All in all, it was well worth the trip. However, the conference needs to evolve and mature with the technology before the next local search conference.

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