Oh it's been a while since the "blogosphere" - to coin a humorous and long-dead term - got their panties in a twist over some stunt a brand pulled. But these "kerfuffles" - to coin yet another humorous term - are always great fodder for a good 'ol internet bitch-fest.
So what's all the hubbub about? In August, ConAgra Foods, parent to the Marie Callender's brand of frozen foods, invited food bloggers to a New York restaurant they were told was owned by TLC Ultimate Cake Off Host George Duran and where they would receive a special, four course meal.
But instead of a meal cooked by George Duran, the bloggers were served frozen lasagna from Marie Callender's. Hidden cameras were in place to record diner's reactions. As it turned out, about 62 percent of the food bloggers actually liked the dish. But they were miffed and claimed they had been misled.
Sadly, we have arrived at a place in our culture where there is no longer a place for a pun or a joke. The latest demonstration of this cultural shift is the uproar which arose as a result of a t-shirt JCPenney is selling which reads, "I'm too pretty to do homework so my brother has to do it." Oh sure, buried in that statement is the not too subtle jab that pretty girls are stupid or, conversely, they are so hot they can get away with whatever they choose. But, seriously. what girl hasn't uttered that in jest at one point or another?
The trouble is when a brand says it, the entire world is watching. And while the statement may, on it's own and said one to one, be rather innocuous, when it has the heft of a brand like JCPenney behind it, it's bound to draw fire from the naysayers.
Currently, the brand is putting out fires on Twitter and Facebook. For once, we'd love to see a brand simply stand up and say, "Can't anyone take a joke any more?" Alas, given the current reactionary state of current culture, that would be akin to brand suicide. So sucking it up and apologizing is really the only way to go.
- Yawn. Woody Allen's new star Lea Seydoux appeared in racy American Apparel underwear campaign.
- Orangina wants to see your originals. Your original Facebook friends, that is. And they've launched an app to make finding those original friends easy and fun.
- A new M&C Saatchi campaign the New Mexico Tourism Department aslks you to help them find Billy the Kid.
- A couple of new Footlocker commercials (one, two) re-envision the invention and creation of the sneaker.
We really, really like this campaign from three students attending Creative Circus. Nine months ago, they embarked upon a mission called Grad Men to get Mad Men character John Hamm to speak at their graduation as Don Draper. You can view the details of their efforts in the video below. Last week, AMC saw the video and got in touch with the three students behind the project. The two parties are working with John Hamm's handlers to see if the mad man can speak at the graduation.
As part of the project, the students traveled the country to collect pleas from fifty of the countries creative greats. everyone's rooting for Draper to do his part and enlighten Creative Circus students on how wonderful and amazing a career in advertising could be.
Dear AMC and John Hamm; please make this happen.
Partnering with Smirnoff, Madonna has launched Global Nightlife Exchange, a JWT-created campaign which uses Smirnoff's Facebook page to ask people to share their nightlife experiences. Part of the campaign includes a November 12th event that will consist of 50 parties held simultaneously in 50 different countries. Madonna will attend one of the parties and choose her next tour dancers. To enter, a dancer has to submit a 60 second video.
- Dildos and sausages. Only in advertising.
- L.L. Bean has hired Weber Shandwick to create a campaign for its upcoming 100th anniversary celebration.
- Here's Andy, Arby's new commercial boy.
- Sam Pepper thinks he has the answer to the challenge of ending riots in the UK.
- What to look for in an app according to L'Oreal's Men Expert.
- AOL is out with an iPad magazine.
Sort of like Dove Evolution...but not...at all...in the least...comes this new work from L'Oreal which is pimping Ask the Expert, a Facebook page on which you can, apparently (Facebook isn't working quite right at this very moment), find out how to craft the perfect profile picture. We're guessing there's a few L'Oreal products in there along with tips on how to strike the perfect MySpace Angle when photographing oneself.
- Foster's Beer does the James Bond Goldfinger thing with Holly Valance. last year, Sky+HD did the same thing with Kelly Osbourne.
- The Monkeys are no longer Drunk. They're just regular Monkeys now. Australian Agency Three Drunk Monkeys will be now known simply as The Monkeys.
- Ten memorable ads that defined a generation.
- Facebook never liked breast feeding. Now they don't even like the word "breast."
- This is what Calvin Klein thinks is customers do all day long.
- American Express has launched Friends of Japan, a program that is "designed to reignite attention and support for earthquake relief efforts."
Admitting it isn't at the top of the list when it comes to digital agencies, EURO RSCG Brussels set out to change that by becoming the most visible virtual agency. How? It set out to check in on Foursquare at 42 of its rivals until it became mayor. When it did, it posted the mayorship on Facebook along with a message encouraging area creatives to join the agency to help make it better. Sadly, no word on whether or not the effort actually paid off.
Last summer during Affiliate Summit in New York during a session given by Jeremy Shoemaker we learned Facebook ads that feature boobs and cleavage improve response rates by 61 percent. While we weren't at all surprised at that finding, we are very surprised at this latest Facebook ad response finding from Red Square Agency.
The agency ran several ads on Facebook touting the usual stuff agencies do. Then, as an experiment, they ran an ad that featured a cat named Cous Cous. The ad read, "This ad features a cat. It has nothing to do with Red Square Agency, but we hope you'll click on it anyway." People did. 78 percent more than they did the "regular"ads.