- Cynopsis reports ComScore will now begin measuring the reach of widgets, used more and more buy brands as a commercial platform.
- Cynopsis also reports the first major upfront deal has been struck between NBC and Group M. The deal is reported to be between $800 million and $1 billion and was based on live plus three ratings.
- There's a bit of a bitch fight going on between Google and eBaby over Google's courting of unhappy eBay merchants who Google would like to have as Google Checkout customers. In an apparent reaction to that, eBay has pulled all its AdWords advertising
- When NBC's Heroes returns this fall, Nissan will be all over the show like Syler on Hiro with increased product placement and exclusive sponsorship of the season opener.
- Ford Models has hooked up with MySpace for its International Model Search. MySpace will be home to the search for both aspiring models and those who just like to look.
- It seems the iPhone is too big for some over at Apple and they want to make it appear smaller in their ads.
Perhaps to avoid confusion with much larger shop, Portland-based Via, or simply to reflect the agency's model of bringing in outside talent, smaller, lesser-known VIA (Visual Intelligence Agency) from Connecticut is re-branding itself Plaid. In doing so, the agency is launching Brand Aid 2007, a three week summer road tour during which agency personal will hop in a van, travel across the country to visit clients, prospective clients and share the social media love with all while web 2.0ing the whole thing with videos posted on YouTube and other content published on social media style sites such as Twitter. Twitter Tripping. That's a new one.
Rather than going it alone and funding it on it's own - though the agency promise it will take the trip regardless of funding, Plaid is looking for sponsors who, they promise, will reap the benefits of publicity that is sure, they claim, to shower this tour. While we're not so sure about that, we can't fault an agency for going about promotion a bit differently with at least the intent towards using emerging media to do so.
Quicken Loans and the Cleveland Cavaliers have partnered with George Vlosich who claims to be the "world's greatest etch-a-sketch artist" to produce a video in which Vlosich creates an Etch-A-Sketch portrait of LeBron James. It took Vlosich five hours to create the drawing but don't worry, the video is presented in time-lapse so you can witness the wonder in just three minutes.
So we're guessing this is going to be like The Pussycat Dolls but in movie form. As part of its promotion for the movie How She Moves, Paramount Vantage is conducting a MySpace contest which will award three people an all expenses paid trip to movie set to appear in one of the movie's scenes. Starring...well...no one, the movie follows the story of a girl who, after her sister's death from a drug overdoes, returns home from her sweet private school life to the crime-filled streets of her neighborhood where she takes up competitive step dancing.
Those interested in appearing in the booty-shaking dance-fest have until June 11 to send in their MySpace profile information to the contest's MySpace page. Once chosen and footage of their movie appearance is shot, paramount will place it on the promotional site as well as the profile pages of each of the three winners.
We don't know what's worse; having to slog through no less than eight pages just to read one article or having to endure the annoyance of trying to figure out which ad banner was auto-playing audio so we could turn it off the read the article in peace. All of this on a site that should now better: iMediaConnection.
Anyway, distractions aside, marketing consultant BL Ochman has written a concise, illustrative and educational article about social media, the brands that have excelled at it and the brands that have failed miserably. Citing famed failures such as the Edelman-created fake Wal-Mart blogs, Microsoft's supposed "bribing" pf bloggers with free Vista-equipped laptops and Sony's fake PSP blog, Ochman slaps brands upside the head for their idiocy.
There are unconfirmed and likely false rumors floating about that Nike will sign a marketing deal with high school pole vaulting sensation Allison Stokke. A few weeks ago, Stokke became the subject of a leering Internet drool fest much to the chagrin of Stokke and her family who felt, first hand, what's it's like to be the object of Internet admiration. While images of Stokke are said to have been circulating for years, it wasn't until an image of her posing her her pole appeared on the sports blog With Leather that things broke loose.
Stokke, 18, is a senior at Newport Harbor high school in Newport Beach, California, set the freshman female pole vaulting record of 12' 8" and now jumps consistently over 13 feet. She's won titles, broken records and earned scholarships but now she's feeling the unfortunate fame of becoming an Internet celebrity. At first, she kept it a secret when friends tipped her her images were beginning to appear all over the Internet. Shortly after that she told her parents and has now considered consulting handlers to deal with all the sudden media attention.
We like gluelondon but we're not that impressed for their recent work done for Britain's Royal Navy recruitment efforts. Basically, it's a website that lets you send personalized video messages to your friends. Well, not all that personalized. From several videos of the Royal Navy doing their thing, one is chosen, the sender writes a message, chooses a name from a name list and then emails the thing to a friend or to the friends mobile.
Sadly, the site takes eons to load. It's one thing for a site to go through a slow pre-load which then results in a stellar experience but this site goes through a slew of very slow pre-loads, some of which stutteringly occur in the middle of the presentation which, itself, is far from stellar.
Targeted to 15-24 year olds, famous for their lack of attention span, we question how many will make it far enough through this site to actually click the Send button.
OK, it's a slow news day around here so forgive us if we report the stunning news Playboy is going to set up shop in Second Life. Set to occur in June, details are scarce and Second Life Herald has a lot of questions such as will there be a virtual Mansion? Will the real world bunnies have anything to do with the virtual bunnies? Will there even be virtual bunnies? How many Playboy Bunny avatars will actually be fat, balding, middle aged gamer geeks getting their rocks off while staring at their virtual Bunny? Do tell, Hugh. Inquiring geeks want to know.
As a follow up to their Livin' Large in Aveo, Chevy is doing the "this car's so awesome you could live in it" thing again. Chevy is sending Eric Schackne and Filup Molina on a cross-country quest for so-called stardom. The two will travel from Gainesville, Florida to Hollywood, California continue to to see if they can make it big in movie land. Along the way they'll document the people they meet, the experiences they have and the "performances" they deliver in comedy clubs and with improv troupes in cities along their route. Eesh. That oughtta be good. If you aren't lucky enough to be one of their stops on their week-long road trip, the whole thing's being chronicled with videos and a blog.
No one really wants to live in a car but a road trip is a right of passage and we're liking Chevy a lot for helping these two dudes fulfill this important life chapter. We think more automakers should get in on the game too. After all, there ain't much money in the pockets immediately after college.
Riding the vertical social network trend, TitleRound, a new social networking site for men hopes to offer guys what they can't find on MySpace, Facebook and other broadly focused networks. We're told the site will provide "a centralized area where guys in their twenties, thirties and forties can communicate on a public and personal level about the topics and interests that matter to them, including sports, gear, entertainment, activism, business, sex and health." Probably a good thing. There's only so much time a guy can spend looking at and fantasizing about things he'll never get his hands on. At least with TitleRound a guy can win stuff through the site's Triple Crown baseball promotion.
Not completely ignoring a guy's primary needs, TitleRound also features a baseball hottie contest in which guys can leer at women dressed in baseball uniforms. Some things will never change.