B2B Marketing With Viral Videos: Watch It Shred

SSI Shredding Systems sells really big industrial shredders that destroy everything from pianos to cars.  The company has been putting out videos of its products in action, very much in the style of Will It Blend.  Actually, the first Watch It Shred video on YouTube is dated September 25, 2006, a month before the earliest Blendtec's piece.  Presumably, different audiences, too.

How cool would it be if they had a video of an SSI machine shredding a Blendtec blender?

Free Strips of Paper

There's something depressingly philosophical about this image, perhaps a commentary about the ultimate product of all our work.
- source

You're All A Bunch of Users

Wallpaper, t-shirt, via.

If Shakespeare Had Twittered

Here's what the first nine lines of the "To be or not to be" passage would've looked like had Shakespeare crammed them into the 140 characters of Twitter. Love the "2 die, 2 zzz" part.   

"2 be, or nt 2 be: tht's the q:
Whether 'tis nblr in the mnd 2 sffr
The slngs & rrws of trgs frtn,
Or 2 tk rms gnst a sea of trbls,
by ppsng end thm? 2 die: 2 zzz;
No mr &  by a zzz 2 say we end
The hrt-ache & the thsnd ntrl shcks
That flsh is hr 2, 'tis a cnsmmtn
Devoutly 2 be wsh'd. 2 die, 2 zzz;"

If you liked this, you'll also like "From Hamnet to Mad Men".

Obama's Face on Coffee Foam

To celebrate the inauguration, Krispy Kreme in Britain was giving away Barack Americano, a coffee with Obama's visage smiling from the foam (how? stencils, that's how).

Watch the video by Telegraph below.

- via

Morton Salt Girl Tattoo

Why? (Also, a bloodier "during" picture, and icon's history.) And it's not like it's an isolated incident -- here's more, more, and more. Or, say, Campbell Soup? Also, assorted food tats on Flickr and here, and Rachel Ray, too. Wtf?

Update [Feb 11 '09] - One of the Morton Salt tat owners speaks up (in comments to this post):
"i got the morton's salt girl tattoo because it was used by one of my favorite bands, jawbreaker, with the tagline "when it pains, it roars." i wouldn't normally get a brand logo tattoo."

A few days ago: "Invisible" Black Light Tattoos

Animated Favicon in Autocomplete Menu

Caught my attention today -- an animated favicon in Firefox's autocomplete menu. This one was a square with changing colors, but you can have one with a scrolling text, for example.

Obama's Look-alike Stars in Heartburn Commercial

Ilham Anas, Barack Obama's Indonesian look-alike, stars in a TV commercial for Domperidone (wiki), a drug that is used to treat nausea, vomiting, heartburn and excessive wind.
-- Story by Reuters, via AgencySpy

Look-alike we can believe in: Ilham Anas in a photo by AP/Fox

Who Is Macon Phillips?

"Welcome to the new WhiteHouse.gov. I'm Macon Phillips, the Director of New Media for the White House and one of the people who will be contributing to the blog." A new feeling -- to have someone at the White House one "friend" button away at LinkedIn, Facebook, or Twitter. Also, looks like you can't measure real influence by the number of Twitter followers or other virtual friends after all. As Steve Jobs says, real artists ship.

On a tangentially related topic, love Trident's timely John Biden's Teeth.

Username Squatting on Twitter

Is there a secondary market for squatted premium usernames? "Of the top 100 global brands, 93% have had their Twitter usernames taken by somebody else (i.e. Twittersquatted)." (source).  Check if yours is taken across a bunch of sites at usernamecheck.com.

Social Marketing Down on Hype Cycle Graph

Seems like social marketing is plunging into the trough of disillusionment on the Gartner's hype cycle graph, with a couple of recent reports showing marketers are getting sick of Web 2.0 (the table above is from a survey of 643 marketing execs by Anderson Analytics, "MENG Marketing Trends Report 2008").

Loading Screen Design

Site of the week: a collection of loading screens at Pretty Loaded.  Some are just pretty, while others are actually entertaining and all illustrate a couple of points made earlier, one about queue design and the other about wasted opportunities.

Burger King's Flame Body Spray

That body spray by Burger King called Flame -- you can pre-order it here, due out by the end of January. How does it smell? "Like a wicked lactose intolerant fart," according to a (possibly planted but still funny) comment.

Also read:

Diagrams in Anthropology and Linguistics

A collection of "Great Diagrams in Anthropology, Linguistics, and Social Theory" on Flickr.

Imagine Ikea in the White House

I like just about everything about Ikea that's not its furniture (nice mattresses, though), and this timely Embrace Change campaign is no exception (via AdRants).

They think it's funny, but Ikea stuff is likely to end up in the White House for real. Wall Street Journal in today's feature about the upcoming extreme makeover of 1600 Penn Ave: "But for now, you can expect to hear lots of talk about shopping at Ikea and West Elm, at least for the girls' rooms; Mr. Smith is savvy enough to know that it isn't in the Obamas' interests to give the impression that they have launched a bailout for the high-end design industry."

Also, "IKEA has set up a mock Oval Office in the main hall of DC's Union Station complete with Secret Service officers." (-apartment therapy)

Ikea Stuff Pack for Sims 2 Confirmed
Ikea Awarded for In-Store Signage
Ikea Showcase on Wheels

"Invisible" Black Light Tattoos

Apparently, the meme of the "invisible" tattoos done in blacklight reactive ink has gone viral, but there aren't many details about the artist known only as Richie. You can see some of his work and contact info here and here.

I think I've heard about at least one billboard done in this type of ink but can't remember now.

Disappearing Advertising
Digital Cameras Reveal Hidden Images

Book: Simultaneous Media Usage

I know about BIGresearch from their SIMM studies of simultaneous media consumption, which I quoted before ("30.2% viewers mentally tune out during commercials").  I received an email from them promoting their new book "Media Generations: Media Allocation in a Consumer-Controlled Marketplace", which apparently is based on SIMM findings. I don't know much about the book beyond that, and the abridged text of the email is below.

"Media Generations is a ground breaking book that has been seven years in the making entailing 189,000 interviews with consumers.

By turning the media planning world upside down and starting with consumer-centric holistic media consumption measurements by BIGresearch combined with advanced analytical tools and techniques developed by Martin Block and Don Schultz of the Medill School of Northwestern, a new model has emerged to increase ROI through better allocation.

The new findings provide key and actionable insights into how marketing organizations and their agencies should consider, develop and implement brand communication programs with consumers in, what we define as, the “consumer-controlled marketplace.”

Branded Animated URL

Sixt, a rental car company that brought us ASCII AdWords ads, is back with an animated racing ASCII cars in the browser address bar. Check it out in action here (Firefox 3 only), or in the video below.

Advertising Agency: Jung Von Matt / Neckar, Germany
Agency website: http://blog.jvm-neckar.de/
Creative Director: Michael Zoelch, Matthias Kubitz
Copywriter: Jens Frank, Alexander Seifriz
Programmer: Oliver Mueller
Released: 12, 2008

Whopper Sacrifice Hacked

There's a line of JavaScript that you can enter into your browser's address bar while at Whopper Sacrifice's Facebook page and get to the coupon claim page without de-friending anyone. The hack is described here in one of the comments. The page screenshot is below.

Update [Jan 13, 2009]: Looks like the hole has been patched up.

Update [Jan 14, 2009] Looks like it's over (due to privacy concerns by Facebook). From 14,230 sacrifices on January 8 to 232,654 a week later.

Quote: Devices Online

"In two years, 90 percent of all Sony products will connect to the Internet, Howard Stringer, the chief executive of Sony, predicted."
-- NYT

150 Winning Campaigns

Advertising Next: 150 Winning Campaigns is a new compilation of excellent non-traditional creative by Tom Himpe, whose Advertising is Dead: Long Live Advertising (AdLab's review) went on to become AdLab's bestseller.

In a sense, Advertising Next is an update to Advertising is Dead highlighting the cool ad stuff that has happened in the two years since the first book came out.

Just like the first book, Advertising Next has a fair number of campaigns that have been discussed to death on the ad-blog circuit, and it adds little to what you might already know about them.

Also like the first book, Advertising Next includes its share of international gems that have largely escaped the radar of the American-focused blogs, such as the mobile campaign around sinking a decommissioned F69 off the coast of New Zealand.

Regardless of how much you know about any of the 150 campaigns, Advertising Next is a good book to own. Ad blogs may be skilled at capturing the zeitgeist of today but will hardly be around 10 or 15 years from now. This book, on the other hand, will age well. Put in on the shelf and reach for it in 2020 to smile at the retro wackiness of what today we see as the best creative ideas ad budgets can buy.

Advertising Next
Tom Himpe / Chronicle Books
400 beautifully illustrated pages at about $38 on Amazon
(AdLab received a review copy)

Search Engine for Alternative Media

Not unlike Balihoo, DoMedia is a search engine for all sorts of outdoorish media vehicles, from trash bins to kites to beach sand

Promotion: Give Up Ten Friends, Get a Whopper

Whopper Sacrifice: Delete 10 Facebook friends, get a free cheeseburger. Brilliant. There's already a group of people who offer themselves up for sacrificial befriending.
-- via CNet

Update [Jan 12, 2008] -- The promo's been cracked.

Twitter Snobborati

ZOMG!  Why I won't follow you in return on Twitter.
Sorry, had to vent. Feeling better already.

To not waste a blog post -- consider it a lesson in writing a perfect linkbait trap. But really: ZOMG!

Yahoo's Widgets On TV Screen

ConnectedTV.Yahoo.com: "TV Widgets enable popular Internet services and online media to reach viewers with applications specifically tailored to the needs of TV enthusiasts. The integrated Internet experience, powered by the Yahoo!  Widget Engine, will be available in a variety of consumer electronic products, including television sets manufactured by Samsung, Sony, LG Electronics and VIZIO. With TV Widgets, developers can deliver new, interactive experiences to millions of television sets in 2009." 

MySpace is among the first available widgets (news).

There's more TV-Web convergence stuff to come out of CES, so stay tuned. Wall Street Journal had a preview on Monday.

Electronic Newspaper Prototype in 1994

Another blast from the past for you after yesterday's story about videotex.

More than a decade before the New York Times began trial of an electronic newspaper device in 2006, the Knight-Ridder's Information Design Laboratory had been working on its own prototype of the newspaper of the future. Roger Fidler, the lab's director, was "betting that a portable, battery-powered flat panel, or what he calls a "personal information appliance," will become the main vehicle for newspaper, magazine and book publishers. He says the tablet – which will be about two pounds, a half-inch thick and roughly the same dimensions as this magazine – could begin replacing newspapers by 2001 and serve half of the country's newspaper readers by 2010 with highly readable multimedia, digital displays." (American Journalism Review, 1994).

Roger Fidler, who now works as Program Director for Digital Publishing at the University of Missouri, has been working on electronic newspapers since at least 1991 when "he created the first prototype electronic newspaper designed specifically for viewing on magazine-size tablets" while at Columbia University (source). With the popularization of devices such as Kindle, he is finally seeing "the breakthrough years approaching".

In 1997, Fidler published a forward-looking book Mediamorphosis: Understanding New Media. Would be an interesting reading now.

A few related articles I picked up on the way:
Earlier on AdLab:
Advertising in Electronic Newspaper

Keywords: electronic ink, e-ink, eink

iPhone Skin Displays 3D; WSJ Gets Really Excited

This is pretty cool if it works as advertised: "The Wazabee 3DeeShell uniquely depicts 3D content such as games, pictures and videos on the Apple iPhone in an extraordinarily realistic way.The housing contains a lens that eliminates the need for special 3D glasses, while serving as a stylish protective skin at the same time. The lens can easily be removed at any time in order to switch back and forth between normal 2D and spellbinding 3D graphics." Due in a few months. The company also sells 3DeeCamera, an $.99 iPhone app out that combines two pictures into an anaglyph image.

Oh, and something else. WSJ seems really excited by 3D movies, judging by the amount of recent coverage in the paper. Yesterday, it ran a big piece (subscription) on one of its section covers about 3D video tech for home: 3D-ready TVs, Blue-Ray, nVidia glasses and other stuff. Today, it writes about the upcoming football game that will be projected in 3D in selected theaters as part of a Fox Sports test. Last month, 3D tech was a prominent part of the newspaper's special report on the future of home video entertainment.

It's not like this isn't an exciting technology, but why so much enthusiasm for a publication that is not exactly Wired?

Also, if you are interested in how this tech evolves, there's a blog that tracks publications on the subject.

Advertising on Videotex

An article in today's Slate examines the relationship between newspapers and electronic content delivery that goes back further than many imagine: from the experiments with faxes in the 1940s to the emerging media of 1970s -- videotex services (?).  Slate writes: "So intense was the industry's devotion to videotex and so rampant its paranoia that some other medium would usurp its place in the media constellation that the American Newspaper Publishers Association lobbied Congress in 1980 to prevent AT&T from launching its own "electronic yellow pages."

New formats:  In April 1984, publishing industry's trade mag Folio ran an interview with a videotex content publisher: "It is possible for an advertiser to "sponsor" information segments, which are then distributed at no cost to system operators in much the same way that broadcast radio features and television shows are syndicated to broadcast outlets. But as far as I know, no such arrangement currently exists. In addition, print-publishers shouldn't overlook using videotex to promote sales of subscriptions, books, merchandise, reprints, back-issues or special services to the videotex user.

Familiar concerns: "Quite simply, advertisers aren't interested. They would have their name and logo displayed on the bottom of pages on 'which the news might be bad, thereby associating them with something  unfavorable." (Ryerson Review of Journalism, 1984)

A couple of other resources:

Advertising in Recession, 2009 Edition

Ads on Edge
View SlideShare presentation or Upload your own. (tags: branding recession)

A pretty presentation from the sales department at The Economist about why marketers should be increasing their budgets during a recession instead of doing otherwise. No arguments we haven't really seen before, but very well laid out.

Perhaps media publishers should get together and put out a deck of generic slides agency folks could use in their own client meetings. Until then, there's this $99 white paper from AdAge.

- via a link left in a comment