Rant: Conference Blog Coverage Aggregation

Why aren't conference organizers aggregating blog coverage (and Flickr pics) created by their numerous attendees somewhere on the event website?

Take Virtual Worlds 2007 that just ended in NYC. Must have been another great event that I couldn't go to. Greg Verdino blogs about it, SL Herald, too, and Clickable Culture. Each of them writes about one particular thing that attracted their attention, but together with other bloggers covering the event they paint a fairly good picture.

Put up a sign at the registration desk that says, "Blogger? Please technorati-tag your conference entries with VirtualWorlds2007". Then scoop it up and put it online in a single stream. Prominence and traffic for the bloggers, free content for the conference that will need to attract new attendees next year, convenience for the unlucky ones who couldn't make it.

It's not a rant about this particular event, though; I am yet to see one that does it. If anything, it's a feature request.

Designing Usable Conferences

AdAge Discovers DIY Games

AdAge writes about tools that let players create their own games: "What it is: The next wave of user-generated content?" No. Levels, quests, environments and entire games are some of the oldest forms of digital "user-generated" content. The other such form is pr0n.

Above, a map editor for Doom that came along with the game. Below, a "user-generated" map for the Counter-Strike Source shooter featuring a McDonald's restaurant:

The article does point out some tools: The Games Factory 2 and Microsoft XNA Game Studio. Also check out GameMaker if you need a simple but powerful making tool, and Kongregate, "the YouTube for games".

Virtual Earth As Gaming, IM Platform

CNet reporting on ETech: "Microsoft executives are also holding regular discussions on where to take Virtual Earth in the realms of entertainment, gaming and commerce, according to Curlander. For example, Microsoft might open up the software so developers can create games for the Xbox 360 out of Virtual Earth.

Also, Curlander said the company currently has 370 million users of instant messaging, and MSN is considering merging those users with Virtual Earth so they can chat in the virtual setting. But, he said, Virtual Earth developers want to blot out the real cars depicted in the application so people can drive virtual cars in the 3D world."

Microsoft Launches Virtual Earth with Billboards
Rumor: Google Planning Virtual World
Creating Games with Google Earth

Get a Third Life

A nice use of machinima and a pop-culture jab in this new KitKat commercial from the Netherlands, via Adverblog.

Get a First Life
Machinima Commercials

TiVo Adds Social Features

"Rather than going through the lengthy process of burning and mailing DVDs, or viewing videos on a computer, TiVo gives you a private channel for family and friends to share photos, and videos on their TV set."

Once you have captured the footage, upload it to www.onetruemedia.com/tivo. Starting as low as $3.99 per month, One True Media lets you to share home movies with your choice of TiVo subscribers. You'll also get access to One True Media’s video editing suites to add transitions, titles, and sound effects. Once you have created a home movie at One True Media, you'll receive a personal TiVo channel code. This will enable you to share home movies with family and friends directly on their TiVo Now Playing List. If ever you desired to be head of programming of a TV network, the day is here. Only TiVo gives you a channel of your own to share home movie productions."
-- TiVo

The Rise of Remotely Social Television
John Battelle on Social TV

Emoticons from Photographs

Computer scientists at the University of Pittsburgh have developed Face Live Icons, a way to contort a face from a single photograph to make emoticons. "By keying in familiar text symbols, such as ":)" for a smile, the user automatically contorts the face to reflect his or her desired expression."
-- MIT Tech Review

Cellphone Projectors Possible by 2008

Microvision , Texas Instrument and Explay are working on a new mobile device category called "nano" or "pico" projectors "that could be available in various forms by early to mid 2008."

"These are video projection systems that can either be built into cell phones, or, in some cases, could be stand-alone auxiliary projectors that can be connected to a cell phone and project an image up to 30 inches on a wall, or a simple sheet of 8" X 11" paper for multiple people to view content coming from the cell phone itself."
-- physorg

Korean Company Shows Prototype Of Pocket-Size Projector
Future: Personal Video Projectors
Siemens Shows Off Phone With Projector
Future: Virtual (Not Only) Keyboard

Google Files Patent for Targeting In-Game Ads

US Patent Application 20070072676: "Information about a person's interests and gaming behavior may be determined by monitoring their online gaming activities (and perhaps making inferences from such activities). Such information may be used to improve ad targeting. For example, such information may used to target ads to be rendered in a video game being played by the person."
-- via WebProNews

Nielsen Links Phone Models to Personalities

I am a young, career focused, success driven, fun seeking, Samsung-toting woman, if one is to believe the new study conducted by Panorama and released by Nielsen Media Research. The study found that "while all makes of mobiles have a wide spread of customer types some groups are more attracted to certain brands than others." Above is my Samsung Trace, here's my pic.

New Format: Ads Around Your Images

AdBrite has a new advertising format out called BritePic. (Reading this on RSS? Click through to the post to see it in action.) If you are a blogger, you can re-route the URLs of your images through the service and it will convert it into a flash viewer complete with ads (based on pre-defined keywords) and some useful sharing features. It's a bit tedious now; AdBrite doesn't host the images, so first you need to upload them somewhere, then manually feed the URLs into the system, then copy-paste the new code back into your blog, but the idea is pretty cool.

Adbrite Launches Customizable Video Player

Dad Activist's Favorite Agency Dropped

Glenn Sacks has started a campaign against Arnold, one of the agencies in Volvo's creative review, because, he says, Arnold is anti-male in its work. He writes, "We are asking Volvo not to award the contract to Arnold Worldwide and instead award it to one of the other agencies, preferably Euro RSCG." Today, Euro was dropped from the review, leaving Fallon and Arnold in the running. Wonder how this turns out.

List of Brands in Second Life

Inspired by KZero's map of brand presence in Second Life, I thought about compiling a more usable list with SL URLs and everything, but then I found a fairly complete one over at SL Business Communicators wiki. Instead, I flew around the world and took a few snapshots of islands I hadn't seen before.

The Mercedes-Benz island that opened in February is very impressive. It looks and feels like a real car dealership, it sells virtual cars (L$ 1,500 a pop), and gives away racing suits. It was also one of the rare branded islands full of people. SL URL, official blog, trailer, mixed tape, press release. February 2007.

Microsoft is apparently working on an island of its own but the access is restricted. SL URL, Blog post from 2006 on Clickable Culture.

Another recently opened island, by MovieTickets.com. SL URL, blog post on 3pointd, press release. February 2007.

A Sony-Ericsson pavilion in Second Life that opened in time for CeBIT. Free virtual replicas of the new phone models on display. SL URL, trailer on YouTube. March 2007.

The AMD set up an island for its developers. SL URL, a post on AMD developers site, coverage in The Inquirer. February 2007.

I don't know much about BMW's island besides that it's been quietly opened some time in December 2006. SL URL, interview with BMW's head of brand relations, review on SL Herald,

The sprawling virtual campus of Cisco Systems that apparently is used for training and tech support. SL URL, Cisco's blog post, coverage in The Street.

Leo Burnett's tree finally bloomed. The initial announcement came out last September or October, but the build has been completed very recently and is easily one of the most imaginative brand landmarks in SL. SL URL, extensive review in SL Herald by Prokofy Neva.

There are few companies whose islands are either not launched yet or closed. Aloft is rebuilding its hotel, Philips (press release), Autodesk, and Bain & Company are restricted-access, Intel is empty.

Offtopic: Staring Into Gaping Void

Adverlab got paired with the Hugh MacLeod's insanely popular Gaping Void (who says Advertising 2.0 doesn't exist) at Joseph Jaffe's (who says it does) March Blogness Voting. It probably sounds defeatist, but yeah, it's an honor. Big thanks for putting this blog on this list, and also on Todd And's Power 150, and CA's 50 Essential Bookmarks. And numerous blogrolls. And RSS feeds.

source: Lardbiscuit.com

And if you are looking for something to queue up on Netflix or Blockbuster, check out Idiocracy (wiki, IMDB), a 2006 movie by Mike Judge (Office Space, Beavis and Butt-head) that was released by Fox on only 125 screens and then got dumped to DVD.

If you liked how Minority Report depicted the future of advertising, you'll love it in the Idiocracy's world set 500 years in the future. See Lardbiscuit's spot-on review: "How can you market a film that's all about how viciously horrible and destructive marketing is?" The movie is not big on plot, but the vignettes are priceless: a miles-long Costco that has its own law school on premises, Starbucks that has evolved into a massage parlor (mmm, latte!), branded podium of the US president. Very cool.

source: Lardbiscuit.com

Map of Brand Islands in Second Life

See the full image on Kzero. Via the recently launched Metaversed.

Fictional Brands Coming to Life

(source: Springfield Weekly)

Reverse product placement that you might have read about here some time ago refers to bringing a fictional brand to the real world. Check this out: "If all goes as planned, the convenience store chain [7-Eleven] plans to refit 11 stores across the U.S. to resemble the front of the Kwik-E-Mart (wiki), the convenience store that Homer and other characters frequent in the classic cartoon TV series.

Customers also will be able to buy products inspired by the nearly two-decades-old show, including KrustyO's cereal, Buzz Cola and iced Squishees (the cup says Squishee, but the contents will be Slurpee)."

The quote from the spokeswoman is priceless: "We've done research, and research shows us that our customers like . . . movies." (via Gadling)

Ever seen a positive reaction to anything that has to do with marketing on Digg? Here.

On a related note, the United States Postal Service is celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Star Wars franchise by replacing the old mailboxes with these ones looking like R2D2. A set of stamps is also in the works. "And now, for only the second time in its 256-year-history, the U.S. Postal Service invites you to vote for your favorite stamp."

Reverse Product Placement in Games

Google Apps on LG Phones

eCanadaNow: "LG Electronics has inked a deal with Google to feature many Google services such as Google Maps, Gmail, and Blogger on their mobile devices."

DIY Submilinal Messages

Download this free software (PC and Mac versions available) that will brainwash and coax you into calling mom or buying groceries by flashing "text messages, pictures, or both in the center of the display, on top of everything." Somebody with tech skills should make a virus out of it, now that we are being bombarded with subliminal spam.
--via Make

Joost Runs on Apple TV

Not naturally, of course, but the recently released Apple TV has been hacked to run the still-in-beta Joost. See Tutorial Ninjas for details (via Joost Team).

ToonDoo Powers People-Made Comics

is a very cool site (via Techcrunch) that lets people create and share their own cartoons in the familiar YouTube style. It comes packaged with some clipart, but you also can upload and crop your own elements. ToonDoo is also running contests, which, if sponsored, might become part of their revenue stream.

If you are into making comics but can't draw, Comic Life seems to be a great tool that creates stylized comic strips out of your pictures.

I'm also playing with Marvel's Comic Book Creator.

Ad Pubs Bearish on Second Life

Two sister VNU publications Brandweek and Adweek are running the same article today under two similar headlines: Are Marketers Dying on Second Life? (the former) and Second Life Loses Luster. It's mostly a follow-up with the author of the Komjuniti study about second lifers not being all happy with how RL brands present themselves.

On a related note, there's this Unofficial Tourists' Guide to Second Life coming out in April ($10 on Amazon). It reminds me a lot of those Internet Yellow Pages books that in the beginning used to list FTPs, Gopher sites, and newsgroups. By the time the SL guide comes out, half of the landmarks will probably be gone, but it's a good buy for the future nostalgic value.

RSS to Instant Messaging

An update to the Twitter rant. GigaOm picked it up, and in the comments you'll find a reply by Jesse Newland who says he'd created the Woot notifier for his own use and then turned it over to Woot when they asked. In case you were wondering, I don't have a problem with Twitter or Woot -- both are great services -- it's the idea of posting and reading about every mundane detail of someone's life that's disturbing (and making a big deal out of it, too). But Jesse raised a good point: apparently, Twitter is a great way to deliver RSS feeds through instant messaging and txt.

A few other similar services out there:

Instant Messenger as Content Delivery Platform
Advertising Robots

Visa in "The Game of Life"

USA Today: "This summer, "plastic" will replace cash in the new edition of the nation's second-most-popular board game. Last year, in Europe, Visa replaced money in a Monopoly game." It's the upcoming "The Game of Life: Twists and Turns" by Hasbro's Milton Bradley.

New Monopoly Edition Comes with Branded Tokens
Monopoly Switches to Plastic
Concept: Advertising with RFIDed Toys

Rocketboom Struggles for Ad Dollars

"Rocketboom is searching for a new way to put fuel in its tank. Advertising is not doing it. "It's frustrating that we haven't worked it out by now," said the daily video blog's founder, Andrew Baron. "Even though we have a relatively large audience, advertisers are just not happy to do 'small deals," he explained in an interview. Baron says there are 200,000 downloads of Rocketboom shows, seven days a week. "They say they want to blast their commercials to millions of people." So, Rocketboom is again toying with the idea of charging for content." (MarketWatch)

Andrew Baron last summer: "Or maybe in the future we will decide to take a hit and not run ads some days because we could afford to."

Wonder what happened to the Rocketboom being shown on TiVo.

Rocketboom's Advertising Rates
First Ad on Rocketboom Goes Live

Second Life Shorts, Set 3

I just watched Second Life hit five million residents (happened between 3.47 and 4.04 pm EST). It was three million last time I did the Second Life Shorts edition in end-January.

The beautiful and popular Amsterdam sim went on sale on eBay last Thursday and was snagged this morning for the "Buy it now" price of $50K (see SL Insider for more).

Calvin Klein is showing off its new ckin2u (however you spell it) perfume on Rivers Run Red's Avalon island. You can pick up a bottle and it will emit some bubbly stuff, plus it comes in a box with some poseballs and a gesture. The bad thing is you can't find it by typing Calvin Klein into the search box.

Bain & Company is using SL for recruiting; here's a write-up, but I am yet to find their island. The IBM island also has a recruiting booth, but it's not manned or terribly interactive.
Update [March 27, '07]: Found the Bain island, but the access is restricted.

In case you missed it, Komjuniti released a study saying people aren't too happy with brands in Second Life.

Fortune writes about the real estate company Coldwell Banker getting into Second Life (also see press release). Above is an actual screenshot from one of the Coldwell Banker locations; hang on for the more in-depth First Impressions post. Seems like they are doing a lot of things right; here's what they say in the press release:

"Coldwell Banker has an inventory of more than 500 homes on 550,000 square meters in the Ranchero section of the Second Life mainland, one of the largest home developments in this virtual world. These virtual homes will vary in price based on size and style, including southwestern, colonial and contemporary, among others. In addition, Coldwell Banker is offering homes perched atop a picturesque hill overlooking the ocean. Second Life residents can meet with a Coldwell Banker sales associate avatar in the brand’s virtual office and schedule an appointment to tour virtual properties of interest. Homebuyers who close a purchase with Coldwell Banker will receive free “virtual furniture” for their new home as a closing gift.

Coldwell Banker is the first company in any industry to employ tracking technology to analyze how residents interact with the brand’s Second Life headquarters. The ability to monitor traffic allows Coldwell Banker to track visit minutes, unique visitors and total visitors, as well as determine which features are used most in the Second Life headquarters. "

There have been a lot of other random brand events in the world; I get most of my scoop delivered by Virtual Worlds Weekly newsletter.

Second Life Shorts
Second Life Shorts, Set 2

Advertising with Twitter

I still can't understand why everyone's so excited about Twitter, which looks like a pinnacle of narcissism and is more boring to read then The Dullest Blog in the World, but in case you care, here's how an online shop Woot is using it to send out alerts about its new products.

The Pop-Up Book of Celebrity Meltdowns

Reinterpretation of popular culture through a traditionally "kids" medium. This dry summary isn't doing it any justice, I'm afraid. $15 on Amazon. Also has a website. Via Trendhunter.

Product Placement in Lonelygirl15

"Lonelygirl15, the pseudo-video diary that became a YouTube phenomenon last year, has signed its first major product placement deal with Hershey’s for its Icebreakers Sours Gum brand.

In a video posted on March 20 on the official Lonelygirl site, Lg15.com, the show’s main character Bree is seen offering her friends a piece of Icebreaker’s gum, and a closeup of the product is shown. The sponsored episode of scripted teen drama is slated to eventually be featured on YouTube and other video-sharing sites in the near future, said officials."
-- MediaWeek

First Ad on Rocketboom Goes Live
Wired on Lonelygirl15, Future of TV

Google Earth Install Based: 200 Million

If you were looking for data points on Google Earth, one publicly released (and just confirmed) number is 200 million of "unique user activations" as of February.

Study: Second Lifers Unhappy with Brands

Press release: "In a survey of 200 participants conducted by the agency Komjuniti, Second Life users (“avatars”) were questioned about their perceptions, their satisfaction with the products on offer and the brand content in the online community.

The first thing to stand out is that 72% of respondents expressed themselves as being disappointed with the activities of the companies in Second Life. Over a third of them were unaware of the branded presence and 42% said they thought it constituted nothing more than a short-term trend, lacking durable commitment from the companies. Just 7% consider that it has a positive influence on brand image and their future buying behaviour.

The most positively judged were brands from industries such as hotels [Loft?] and retail [American Apparel?].

The aim has to be to build communities around Second Life sites and look to serve them over the long term. One-off promotional initiatives are punished over the long term with a lack of attention by Second Life users and can provoke a negative consumer backlash effect on the brands in real life."

How to Advertise in Second Life, Part 2
How to Advertise in Second Life

A Better Way to Eggvertise

Here's one way to illustrate McLuhan's cryptic "media is the message":

CBS Egg promo: the medium carries the message; the message is only tangentially related to the media container.

Wilkinson Quattro Titanium promo (epromos, marketing alternatif): The medium lends its core properties (shape, color) to the message; the medium is part of the message.

Advertising on Eggs
CBS To Advertise on Eggs

Advertising Lab's New Editor

Meet Beyonce, AdverLab's new assistant editor. Her impressive advertising credentials include a gig at the surreal campaign by Push to promote a new condo complex (blogged last November). Many thanks to Push and especially Lori for letting her move from Atlanta to the still chilly Boston; good she brought a hat.

Beyonce's friends (source).

Google AdWords with Checkout Button

Just spotted an AdWord ad sporting a Google Checkout button. The button doesn't seem to do anything in particular; it kind of just sits there but the ad does stand out.

Advertising Decoys on P2P Networks

Last fall, Wall Street Journal wrote (and AdLab blogged) about how advertisers were injecting ads into peer-to-peer networks used to trade pirated wares. Now Ars Technica brings more details in its tour of Media Defender:

"Last year, the company partnered with Jay-Z and Coke in a widely-covered promotion that saw MediaDefender pushing a legitimate piece of Jay-Z concert footage to fans who searched for videos by the artist. In essence, these are "decoys" that contain real content. The company has also helped promote Vitamin Water commercials that were deemed too "edgy" for network television, along with video game trailers and exclusive P2P remixes.

Some of [the] small firms have actually paid MediaDefender to serve content by their acts, often in response to users searching for a related (but better known) artist."

The Tom Sawyer Effect of Ad Widgets

image credit

Wired ran a story yesterday by Dave Demerjian on the future of ad technologies. I've got a chance to share a few thoughts for the article (ad robots and such), but naturally not everything we talked about found its way into the print. Here are a couple of questions that have come up that I thought I'd share.

On "widgetization":
I think that the single most important effect of "widgetization" of advertising is that it has become much easier for small publishers (and by publishers I mean everyone who "publishes" something, be it videos on YouTube, blogs and other such things) -- to participate in the advertising economy.

Some do it for fun -- hey, check out this cool ad; others do it for profit. Amazon with its affiliate system is a great example of how to put an army of small publishers to profitable -- for everyone involved -- use. Instead of publishing and sending out expensive printed catalogs, they let others to pick whatever products they like and do the advertising job for Amazon for a slice of revenue. Publishers get paid and Amazon knows exactly what it is paying for, down to each individual unit. This is what I call the Tom Sawyer effect -- remember how Aunt Polly asked him to whitewash the fence but instead he made it look attractive enough for other boys to line up to do the work for him?

[Jeff Chausse wrote more about Amazon on Hill Holliday blog.]

Do you agree that technology has fostered a new kind of acountability in advertising:

It is inaccurate to argue that advertisers were somehow not accountable for the past 100 years and only have become so with the advent of new technology. What happened, I believe, is that technology has brought about new thinking and raised expectations about how advertising can and should be measured.

Historically, there has been a gap between the moment an ad is seen and the moment the corresponding product is bought. Because of that, we have largely relied on indirect means to measure and predict the extent of causation and advertising success -- for example, brand recognition change after an ad campaign would be a proxy indicator of future sales. It worked well for established products that had some marketing track record where future results could be inferred from past performance, and not so well for new products with no such record to rely on.

Television and mail-order catalogs -- direct-response ads -- have narrowed this time gap considerably, and Internet brought the two moments closer together still, which gave us a way to measure (internet) advertising success directly through sales, while often disregarding the effect of other media. Here we have two problems:

1. Internet advertising raised expectations of measurability for other media that may be equally effective but for technical reasons are impossible or very expensive to measure with the same precision.

2. Internet advertising sometimes is given credit for transactions that seem to occur as a result of a customer seeing and clicking on an internet ad, but in effect may be rooted in "brand recognition" that was due to something the same customer had seen on TV earlier.

Offtopic: Hillary 1984 Remake of a Remake

The video of Hillary Clinton as Big Brother that's making rounds on the net and was picked up by mainstream media (SF Chronicle, for example) seems to be a remake not of the original Macintosh 1984 ad, but of the remake Apple made 20 years later, where the iPod was digitally planted onto the actress's body (see more about the two on Milk and Cookies).

Since we are on the subject, here's a video of the keynote were Steve Jobs unveiled the ad and the new computer, and a great spoof of the ad taunting the iPod culture.

Rethinking Matchbox Ads

I've been a long-time fan of the creative work for Blush lingerie (see their bags, receipts and outdoor teasers). Love how they take a medium and focus on one particular property. Here's what they did to a box of matches:

-- via Fresh Fish

Later: [Apr 9, 2007] Ford truck matches

Brand Mascots in Erotic Fantasies

What does it tell you about your brand's popularity and its place in the pop culture if the mascot comes to life in a hard-core porn movie? This is Mr. Clean (aka Mr. Proper in some markets) in a screenshot from a film with Brooke Banner -- a Cinderella story of a girl left to clean the house who falls asleep in the kitchen. In her dream, she is visited by Mr. Clean who, true to the brand slogan, "cleans your house and everything in it". Thankful Brooke asks how she can pay back, and the rest is not suitable for this family-friendly blog. Throughout the clip, Mr. Clean is (ahem) firmly on the brand message. And he's not alone in this erotic dream-space. Here's an older story on Slate about the changes Brawny man has undergone with this quote:
"Is it silly to think that women would buy paper towels based on a fantasy romance with the cartoon hunk on the packaging? Brawny doesn't think so."

Advertising With Porn
Shai Interactive Porn Fails to Move Goods
Porn Spam Has 5.6% Click-Through Rate
Forbes on Advertising and Porn
Subservient Store Clerks

Kaneva: First Impressions

A new social 3D space Kaneva is launching soon, but apparently they just opened their doors for a public beta and guess who has sneaked (snuk?) in. In a nutshell, it's a rather good-looking MySpace-like social networking site in 3D that lets its users to customize rooms with stuff (photos, video and music). With its limited functionality, it's no Second Life killer, and it also suffers from some, in my opinion, unfortunate interface decisions, although the MySpace crowd probably won't care.

No Mac support yet, and a pretty hefty PC upload. It's a rather claustrophobic world since there's no "outside" -- you jump from one room to another much like you visit websites. Apparent advertising opportunities so far: video and audio channels, branded items in the Kaneva stores, textures, branded avatars, and sponsored events. Yeah, and you can advertise on the 2D site through AdSense. More details in the comments to the SlideShare deck. Also see Greg Verdino's (Digitas) take.

Funny, I have a friend in Bulgaria whose last name is Kaneva.

Voice Analyzer Detects Lies over Phone

This KishKish lie detector has been around since last August when the news popped up on Skype blog, but World Tribute is breaking it today and I'm following the cycle. The software plug-in works with Skype and analyzes stress levels in real time or in a voice recording. The makers claim that "Researchers found that frequencies in the human voice are sensitive to honesty. When a person is being honest the average sound in that range is generally in the lower frequencies, but is usually higher in dishonest situations."

Would be fun to run KishKish on telemarketers, or record and test soundtracks from ads.

Friday Special: The Inherent Poetry of Advertising

I wrote this a couple of years ago on my personal and now half-dead blog, but AdRants brought the memories back with its post about trademarked sentences poetry generator. So, here.

Due to the nature of their business, advertisers view their campaigns one at a time, with little regard for how their production will be weaved into the cultural landscape once the ads hit the tube (this is not to say that copywriters don't rely on the landscape to produce the ads in the first place). The perception on the other side of the fence is rarely that fragmented. The corporate utterances pile onto each other, and not unlike the Poem of the Masses, they evolve into complex layered monologues that acquire new and perhaps unintended meanings.

Many slogans come out as pre-canned poems already (Relax, it's FedEx), but others, too, have these magic characteristics, largely unrecognized, that unlock new poetic narratives when put together. Think of it as a conspiracy of a fridge poetry variety. An exclusive Corporate Poets Society, that's what it is.

What follows is an attempt to put some of the pieces together. All verses except the very last batch are made entirely of corporate slogans. Many are quite famous, but if some of them don't seem familiar, consult the TagLine Guru and a Slogan Database. And if you find the poetry crappy, don't blame the messenger.

Where do you want to go today?
Obey your thirst. Have it your way.
Reach out, think outside the bun.
Just do it. Prepare to own one.

Expect more, pay less,
Tastes great, less filling.
Flick my Bic, experience success.
Got milk? Go get the feeling.


Let your fingers do the Dew,
Invent the ultimate driving machine.
You are due, definitely due.
Think, but please don’t squeeze the Charmin.


Think different. Think small.
I can't believe it's not butter.
Mama mia, thatsa spicy meatball!


Friends don’t let friends
melt in your mouth,
not in your hands.


What happens here, stays here.
Some of our best men
are women -
no fear.


The quicker picker-upper
takes a licking
and keeps on ticking -
my wife. I think I’ll keep her.


More casino - more fun,
Ask the man who owns one.


Live richly. Have a coke and smile.
When you’ve got it,
flaunt it.
Be yourself for a while.


A diamond is not
just for breakfast
anymore. Hot.


We try harder. Nothing comes
between me and my Calvins.
Fun anyone?


Wassup?! Can you hear?
Me? Now? In your mirror
the objects are closer
than they appear.


Finger-lickin' good connecting people
think outside the box, share moments, share life,
never follow, eat fresh,
look sharp, feel sharp, think different,
invent the way to fly.


I’d walk a mile for a camel
And put a tiger in your tank.
I really enjoy my flannel
And also love a hearty spank.

User-Generated vs Pre-Canned Ads

Last night, an AdSense ad popped up on the site promoting a new pre-canned ads service Idea House. This looks like a place where a small business owner without a big ad budget can go and get a creative slapped together by moonlighting agency folks with stock photos (here's the one with the morgue tag at Getty.) and some copy. Love the FAQs:

"Will my ad be the only one of its kind in its category?
Yes, within 250 miles of the zip code of your choice. If you wish to use it for a larger area, you can own a 1000 miles radius for 2X the price."

Some obvious concerns aside -- that the morgue idea has been used so many times it has holes in it or that the business owners still need media budget to place this "creative" -- it brings up an interesting idea. What happens if you connect crowdsourcing ad services like Zooppa and Vitrue (read more) with the needs of the Idea House's audience? Big brands are fairly unlikely to be consistent buyers of the amateur ads for a variety of reasons -- strategy, quality, control, politics -- but it should work fairly well for small businesses, no?

Quote of the Week

"Using electrons will revolutionize how we reach consumers."

Westinghouse Annual Report, 1950, quoted by ANA Chairman Steve Sullivan (Liberty Mutual) during his introductory speech at the Ad Club in Boston. See notes from the event on the panel with MIT's Henry Jenkins and MINI's Jim McDowell on fan culture at Hill Holliday blog.

Future: Innovation Timeline 2050

E-ink, 3D printers, disintegrator, mindwipes, replicators, human memory downloads, reputation trading, 3D fax, video wallpaper, virtual reality windows. All this is due before 2050 according to the Innovation Timeline (pdf) by NowAndNext.com. Also useful is their list of links to sites similarly concerned with the future.
-- via Fallon Planning

White Paper: Digital Outlook 2007

Avenue A | Razorfish has released Digital Outlook Report 2007, a 140-page PDF that "describes where marketing dollars are being spent online, key trends that will impact marketers in 2007, and new quantitative research on best practices for measuring the effectiveness of advertising campaigns" (press release).