Today, GE has launched the online component of its Healthcare Re-Imagined campaign currently running during the Olympics. The company has published a podcast with Judy Hu, GE's global executive director of Advertising & Branding and Jen Walsh, GE's director of digital media in which Judy describes the thought process behind the campaign and Jen explains why the online medium is so important to GE's healthcare focus. In the podcast, Judy explains the company chose to go with a more serious tone in the campaign as research found humor didn't play well with healthcare topics and Jen explains the online component which includes a Yahoo page takeover February 14 and 15, videos on Webshots and AOL.com and a local language International roll out.
AOL has hired Ashton Kutcher and his production company, Katalyst, to develop several planted characters who will work their way into AOL's AIM community. The characters, each part five separate projects, will "appear" in 20 episodic storylines which, yes, will be sponsored by advertisers. Katalyst Partner Jason Goldberg says he hopes to create the first Internet star. Of course, star, is a reletive term but we think Goldberg might be too young to have remember one of the first stars of the Internet, the I Kiss You Mahir guy who did his thing back in 1999 or so. OK, so we're talking a vastly different caliber of "star" here but it's not like this effort will be the first time an given entity has risen to fame. That said, if these characters can inject a bit of humor into our day, we might be able to deal with the goons that incessantly IM us.
Duval Guillaume Antwerp has created an ambient (cool word for out of home) campaign that will transform fountains across European countries into Schweppes bottles illustrating the product's sparkling effervescence. Though we're not sure we'd like to enjoy beautiful fountains across Europe adorned as Schweppes bottles, we will say this is most certainly a show stopper in terms of garnering notice for the product.
To promote HBO's upcoming series, Big Love, a drama starring Bill Paxton which centers on polygamy, HBO online agency Deep Focus sends along a unique, in-house promotion HBO is doing that places little signs promoting the show atop wedding cakes in display windows of bakeries. Pretty nifty if you ask us. See a close up image here.
Advertising for Peanuts points to this beautiful commercial created by DDB London for the new VW Jetta in which not a word is spoken but the message is clearly delivered, even if in a misunderstood manner.
In a same but different approach to its business model, buzz marketing firm BzzAgent has launched an Agency Partner program that packages BzzAgents services in a way that is easily packaged for ad agencies to implement word-of-mouth campaigns for their clients. The new service allows members of the company's Agency Partner Program to implement word-of-mouth campaigns for their clients' products and services on the BzzAgent network. Partner agencies maintain significant control over campaign strategy, creative and messaging with BzzAgent supplying the technology platform to implement, manage and measure the campaign.
While extending the service to agencies, making it easier for them to engage in word-of-mouth marketing, let's hope that the control afforded agencies doesn't turn buzz marketing campaigns into staged elevator speech message delivery. After all, though things are changing, we all know how us agency types like to "stay on message."
Noting how a friend explained no one needs any more promotions reminding one Valentine's day is tomorrow unless that person lives under a rock, David Berkowitz wittily coined the term "rockvertising to reach those who have simply left the building and disconnected from society. Berkowitz states igneous rocks work best at reaching the elusive 18-35 year old male and he would be happy to craft a well-form rockvertising program for you.
You know, it's always a bit disconcerting to arrived at the house of your daughter's friend and find her proverbial "playdate" glued to the television watching some trash talk show of some movie clearly made for adults so this stat does not surprise. What does surprise is parent's lack of control and judgment over what their children watch on television and how long they are allowed to watch. One "playdate" who spends time in this house can't even sit still in front of the television (on the two weekend nights it's allowed here) because his brain has been so ADD'd by constant television watching at his house since birth he doesn't know how to follow a plot.
Microsoft's new OS Vista "Welcome Center" screen, seen by all PC users when they start their computers, will display ads. Because that practice has caused complaints, the company is facing trouble from the U.S. Department of Justice as well as states attorneys general who are considering legal action. A report was filed last Wednesday with the judge handling Microsoft's antitrust compliance.
With millions if not billions of people viewing that screen on initial boot
at least a few times a week, calling it prime advertising real estate is an understatement. While TV has died as a mass media, Microsoft's "Welcome Center" will cause marketers to drool over its reach but cause extreme concern among those who feel Microsoft will use the space to promote the company's own products.
UPDATE: Catch the "diggversation" over here where diggers crucify Adrants Farker-style.
UPDATE II: Here's the actual legal brief (pdf) that confirms the story except for our misinterpretation about the ads appearing every time Vista is booted versus just during initial boot.
Now here's an ad for a CD you don't see very often. We leave it to the music aficionados to inform us whether or not this image makes any sense for the album being promoted.
UPDATE: In comments, a reader provides more detail, writing, "Well, actually, the CD is quite cool. Not so very new, though. The singer is also a model and obviously endeavours to do it all in a very arty-crafty way. There is also a DVD with bonus material - all very artistic, as well. Not very much like the usual mainstream Jessica-Simpson crap. It is indeed cool artwork. So yes, the whole thing makes sense in a way."