CMM News points to a Sydney Morning Herald article which calls to our attention the odd proliferation of videos on YouTube that show women smoking. Now that wouldn't be so weird except for the fact that in many of the videos, that's all they're doing: glamming on the cam while puffing away seductively. Sydney University School of Public Health Professor Simon Chapman viewed many of the 27,000 smoking-related videos on YouTube and while he acknowledges the videos could simply be an innocent social phenomenon, Chapman also wonders whether it's a clandestine effort by tobacco companies to promote smoking's cool quotient.
While tobacco advertising in America has been severely limited, it's been completely outlawed in Australia since 1992. Whether or not any tobacco company is behind this is likely to remain a mystery. A Philip Morris rep neither confirmed or denied involvement in with the video and said the company adheres to local laws and Internet advertising to minors should be banned. YouTube declined to comment for the story. While we find it hard to believe tobacco companies have any involvement in this and there's plenty of not-so-glamorous smoking videos to back up that belief, stranger things have certainly happened regarding this industry's marketing efforts.
AIGA launched the Polling Place Photo Project, which seeks to further citizen democracy by encouraging people to snap photos of voters in action.
We're not really sure what this will show us unless somebody can snap a picture of maybe some machines miscounting votes or some naked cheerleaders voting in the snow. But they did land some interesting and occasionally heartfelt candids of people that some politician will probably use in a humanizing re-election campaign in the near future. Cheers. - Contributed by Angela Natividad
With some hyper-prevalent advertising, that is. Eric Schmidt, CEO, tells Reuters that even if mobile phones aren't entirely free in the near future, costs will definitely go down.
Which is something we're definitely not opposed to. We're quite used to living side by side with advertising in all other aspects of our lives. And hey, if they want to make money, the ads have to at least be helpful, yeah? Maybe one day we'll be able to order directly from our "Call" buttons and have the costs added to our wireless bills. - Contributed by Angela Natividad
Perhaps everyone has seen this already but in yet another confirmation the new idea bucket is empty, Scamp unearths this ten year old clip from Dave Letterman which shows colored balls being unleashed down a steep hill. Oh, and there's watermelons too. As Scamp correctly points out, using a previous idea is not necessarily stealing. After all, all sorts of things have been "re-gifted" and passed off as new. It doesn't make the creation bad or the creators stealers. If each successive reincarnation serves its own purpose then it's more a good thing than bad. And the 'Balls' ad was a very good thing. Creativity comes, in part, through inspiration. Inspiration comes from the appreciation of something that profoundly influences. Influential work comes from...well, you get the point. It's a cycle. Hopefully as the cycle continues, value and relevance are a part of the deal.
Today Jim Donald, CEO of Starbucks, rang the NASDAQ opening bell. This marks the company's 35th anniversary and the start of holiday festivities at all stores, which will be decorated in big-bright red.
Awesome. Now is there any way we can talk them out of that naked 35th anniversary mermaid that got teachers all pissed off? We're not prudes or anything but it's seriously not cute. - Contributed by Angela Natividad
Reporters without Borders released its 2006 list of "internet enemies," comprised of countries that stifle free speech. Placeholders include China, which reigns supreme in 'net surveillance and censorship and blocks "subversive word strings."
Cuba was also a mainstay. Private internet connections are banned. To get online Cubans visit public cafes, universities and computer clubs. These networks trigger the police when subversive keywords are spidered.
Egypt was a new inclusion for 2006. While they don't do much censoring, several bloggers were recently arrested for rallying for democratic reform. Other bloggers are regularly harassed and websites can be closed if they're suspected of threatening national security.
And apparently the US ranks 53rd in terms of press liberty in general. Finland is #1. But do the Finns actually have anything interesting to report? They're not really big "conflict" people. - Contributed by Angela Natividad
Rimm-Kaufman Group released a study about the difference between pay-per-click ads proffered by both sides of the election. Some findings are below. Oh, and we're going to call the Republicans and Democrats Elephants and Donkeys because the animal names are funnier than the euphemisms:
- Political advertisers prefer Google to Yahoo. (We always thought that was just a universal preference)
- Elephant and anti-Donkey ads outnumber pro-Donkey and anti-Elephant two-to-one
- Donkey ads are three times more likely to be negative than red ads
- No campaigns reference Bush
- Donkey ads are longer than Elephant ads
- Donkey ads are more likely to include exclamations; Elephants favour provocative questions
We'd conclude this political digression with something trite but meaningful like, "God, can't wait until this day is over," except we'll probably just drink ourselves to oblivion like any other night. Cheers and may the best heels win. - Contributed by Angela Natividad
It seems the booth babe trend has passed and in its place, a new trend has appeared: The Booth Dude. A visit to the CPA Empire booth will offer you the anti-booth babe, a fine collection of the male specimen clad head-to-toe in white tuxedos. Definitely an eye catcher and, dare we say, as eye catching as booth babe cleavage. Yes, a new trend is upon us at ad:tech. Relish it until its days are played out and it turns in to a Chippendales nightmare.
Kicking off ad:tech New York 2006, incoming ad:tech Chair Drew Ianni gave outgoing ad:tech Chair and current ad:tech Chair emeritus Susan Bratton a nice nod touting her tireless work over the tears growing ad:tech through thick and thin and presented her a giant bushel of roses.
Ianni told the audience this year's ad:tech, in addition to 10,800 pre-registered attendees, has 330 exhibitors. He then discussed ad:tech's global expansion which new and planned shows acoss the globe in London, Sydney, Paris, Hamburg, Mumbai, Bubai, Tokyo and others. Also announced was a fourth domestic show in Miami June 26-28, 2007.
Ianni then reviewed the state of the online advertising citing such nuggets as revenue hitting $20 billion in the next year, consumer packaged goos spending hitting $1 billion and online video revenue hitting $1.3 billion in 2008. China's also expected to get active with $200 million in revenue predicted by 2008.
After the overview, Ianni introduced BBDO Chairman and Chief Creative Officer David Lubars who mostly continue's BBDO's mantra of "insight" as the driving force behind making great creative. Seems we've heard that before from former BBDO legend Phil Dusenberry but there's nothing like carrying on tradition. Related to insight, Lubars told the audience agencies shouldn't have to convince their clients to go online stating the insight, as the driving factor, would make that decision a no brainer.
Much negativity has surrounded the launch of a new marketing company called Crayon. The company chose to make their launch announcement within Second Life where they established an island outpost. Some seem to think it's the end of Second Life because Crayon, along with all kinds of other marketers, will enter Second Life with no respect for the world's current residents. To coin a Second Lifers anti-marketing sentiment, it's all a gallery of lies. Second Life will be just fine with or without marketers.
First of all, Crayon is not a company whose sole purpose is to create marketing programs within Second Life. The company created the outpost as an efficient place to conduct business. Sure, some of the work they do may be Second Life-related but that is not the focus of the company. We don't profess to know anything more than what a couple months-worth of visits to Second Life have provided but, as far as we can see, no one is forcing Second Life residents to pay any attention at all to brands entering the world. In fact. most have been set up on islands which can easily be ignored or never discovered in the first place.