• Column: Branded -- Bring On the Knight
    Meet the Weinstein brothers: Harvey, Bob -- and Martin. OK, Sir Martin Sorrell isn't a blood relation. He's adopted. Or rather, he's the adopter, having recently welcomed cinema impresarios Harvey and Bob Weinstein into his WPP family, plunking down $25 million for limited custody rights. Nevertheless, these boys are truly brothers, in more ways than one.
  • Column: The Department -- Strategy Is Creative Too
    Here's one for you: Why, when clients and agency people work on creative campaigns, does the word "strategy" mean one thing, while in the practice of media the same term seems to mean something else entirely -- something smaller, duller, and, quite frankly, not at all inspired?
  • A Hard Soft Sell
    The Vermont Department of Health uncovered some distressing news about the state's young adults, ages 18 to 24: They have a higher smoking rate (30 percent) than Vermont adults as a whole (19.5 percent). To counter the trend, Kelliher Samets Volk created a campaign that hits young people below the belt by stressing that sexual dysfunction is a possible side effect of smoking. Matchbook condoms and napkins with phrases like "Keep smoking and you might not get it up" were distributed to bars, colleges, community organizations, and events throughout the state. Radio spots reinforced such saucy messages as "Your spaghetti …
  • Transit TV: A Really Mobile Medium
    In-bus programming and advertising have only recently begun to approach critical mass, with transit systems in Atlanta, Chicago, and Los Angeles tapping Transit TV to mount LCD screens in their fleets. Now Transit TV has partnered with mobile messaging provider Vibes Media to offer a location-based text messaging service.
  • Buzz Media Strategy Bears Fruit, Takes The Cake
    There are many ways to get maximum exposure for a word-of-mouth marketing campaign. One sure way is to get in front of millions of TV viewers. That's just what Cold Stone Creamery did with its "Fruitcake Freedom" rallies.
  • See-Through Marketing
    As proven by a recent headline in the satirical weekly The Onion -- I'd Love This Product Even If I Weren't a Stealth Marketer" -- buzz marketing isn't known for its transparency. But fueled by a study correlating word-of-mouth campaign performance with full disclosure, Boston-based BzzAgent has toughened its own disclosure policy. BzzAgent CEO Dave Balter says the study, which showed that full disclosure drives trust and deepens product-related discussions, frames disclosure as a business issue, not an ethical one. "Saying 'be transparent' is nice, but nobody had articulated what 'being transparent' meant to the bottom line," Balter …
  • Baths of a Nation
    Who knew that high-thread-count, granite-topped America wants to celebrate its own design disasters? HGTV's upcoming series, set to debut in May and tentatively called "Bad Baths," will employ a new model in which consumer-generated content makes over well-worn programming strategies. The idea for the series came from the responses HGTV.com's Kathy McCleary received to an e-newsletter column last spring. McCleary bemoaned the dizzying plaids in the bathroom she inherited from previous owners. A tiny text note invited readers to weigh in on their own crazy loos. The result was "an avalanche" of pictures, says site director Christy …
  • Multiculti Media
    Many U.S. advertisers pride themselves on their ability to adapt to change. When it comes to 21st century multichannel media and technologies, that's often justified. But when it comes to facing the reality of the global multicultural marketplace, many marketers remain stuck in a monocultural mindset. To help keep them up to date, New York-based Global Advertising Strategies released the "Multicultural Marketing Toolkit," an in-depth resource for marketers to reach 20 underserved and undervalued ethnic markets, including Bosnian, Bulgarian, Czech, Croatian, Egyptian, Hungarian, Israeli, and Turkish Americans. The kit includes 20 different market profiles, including statistics on …
  • Visible Targets
    Imagine that you and your spouse are watching the same TV show, but in different rooms. An auto commercial comes on, but he sees a two-ton truck while you see an SUV. It's happening, thanks to Invidi Technologies Corp. and Visible World, who are working with cable and satellite providers and advertisers to offer targeted TV ads. Invidi's system targets based on gender, age, income, ethnicity, and geography, and soon will target by advertisers' keyword criteria. "They'll be able to say, 'I want to buy women ages 18 to 49 with household incomes of over $75,000, and …
  • Kiosk Theory
    Thanks to DSA/Phototec, a supplier of graphic display systems, some ads can now truly be attention-grabbing. The new Radiused Kiosk, designed for indoor and outdoor use, employs heat lamps to assure that graphics are evenly illuminated. A sleek all-aluminum design ensures that the kiosks can hold up in the most extreme weather conditions. And they can be customized to fit any size, from 40" x 50" to 72" x 144". The kiosks' most notable feature, however, is their ability to store multiple graphic designs and turn those designs around in as little as 90 seconds. …
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