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Archive for February, 2006

Lord Soley

by henrycopeland
Tuesday, February 28th, 2006

Trying to Google the spelling of “solely,” I mistype “soley” and stumble on the blog of a conservative member of the UK house of Lords. Meet Lord Soley… the sole blogging Lord?

Working hard

by henrycopeland
Friday, February 24th, 2006

PETA, one of our most innovative advertisers, is hiring marketeers.

Meanwhile, some insight into Wall Street salaries at the great new UndertheCounter. .

T-shirts?

by henrycopeland
Friday, February 17th, 2006

We’re going to get some t-shirts made up with our new logo. (Yes, the site will eventually have the logo too.) Any strong preferences? Write me.

Option 1:
pic

Option 2:
pic

Option 3:
pic

Option 4:
pic

Blogging RIP (part 25)

by justinabbott
Friday, February 17th, 2006

Writing in the fine tradition of Boston Globe journalist Haiwatha Bray, who declared in early 2002 that “blogging is an ephemeral fad, destined to burn itself out in a year or two,” we’ve got another nice flush of “blogging is dead” stories today.

Writing in the Financial Times, blogger Trevor Butterworth poses some questions:

we must ask whether we are being sold a naked emperor. Is blogging really an information revolution? Is it about to drive the mainstream news media into oblivion? Or is it just another crock of virtual gold – a meretricious equivalent of all those noisy internet start-ups that were going to build a brave ‘new economy’ a few years ago?

He interviews some bloggers and concludes it’s all much ado about nothing. (But wait, aren’t all Cretans liars?)

And in Slate, blogger Daniel Gross makes some deft points and concludes “as businesses, blogs may have peaked.” Absolutely. Blogging is in a financial bubble. Please go away people. Leave us alone.

Dr. Myrna in NYTimes.com

by henrycopeland
Thursday, February 16th, 2006

More blogads go up today for Dr. Myrna Vanderhood’s Pherotones, which was unveiled in the NYTimes.com as a tease for ring-tone seller OasysMobile.

The article lays out the pros and cons of viral strategies like this one deployed by ad agency McKinney & Silver, our neighbors in Durham.

“You have a brand that nobody knows what it is and you have a consumer that’s very specific,” said David Baldwin, the executive creative director at McKinney, a unit of Havas. “They don’t engage in traditional marketing. But they live online and they live with their cellphones.” …

And the planners of buzz marketing campaigns often say that in order to reach the modern multitasking consumer ‘ who may be simultaneously watching television, talking on a cellphone, reading the Internet and sending instant messages ‘ advertising must be a two-way conversation to have an effect.

“The consumers in that target demographic do not want in-your-face marketing,” said Gary Ban, the chief executive for Oasys Mobile. “We wanted something that was risqué, funny and something that involves the consumer. If you’re doing something that they can identify with, that they can participate in, that’s basically something that that generation can tune into.”

The “is it OK to fool consumers?” question also comes up in the article. The question is a canard in this case, since Pherotones was clearly a prank from the get-go, at least to anyone old enough to click a mouse. (Here’s an earlier rant on foolish worries about fooled consumers.) In a stroke of genius, McKinney has included Adrants, one of Dr. Myrna’s critics, in the latest buy.

Sadly, the new round of Dr. Myrna’s blogads dump all the text links into one page, rather than linking to multiple pages on the site, particularly the video. More importantly, the ads should link to blogs talking about Dr. Myrna — see fun examples like 1, 2,3, 4, 5. Multiple links help prove that advertising really is a multi-filament conversation and not a one way monotone. (See examples of great blogads from Kelloggs,Audi, Budget-renta-car, Knopf, Warner Brothers Music, TBS.)

Pythonads

by henrycopeland
Tuesday, February 14th, 2006

Just got an ad for a new Monty Python series on PBS starting on Feb 22, with six one hour slices of Cleese, Gilliam, Chapman, Idle, Jones & Palin’s greatest work. This got me Googling Monty Python. I still love these guys. Here’s Mrs. Premise calling Mr. Sartre, who she met on vacation last year

Oh, thank you, Mrs Varley. (dials) Hallo. Paris 621036 please and make it snappy, buster… (as they wait they sing ‘The Girl from Ipanema’) Hallo? Hello Mrs Sartre. It’s Beulagh Premise here. Oh, pardon, c’est Beulagh Premise ici, oui, oui, dans Ibeezer. Oui, we met… nous nous recontrons au Hotel Miramar. Oui, à la barbeque, c’est vrai. Madame S. – est-ce que Jean est chez vous? Oh merde. When will he be free? Oh pardon. Quand sera-t-il libre? Oooooh. Ha ha ha ha (to Mrs Conclusion) She says he’s spent the last sixty years trying to work that one out. (to Madame Sartre) Très amusant, Madam S. Oui absolument… à bientôt. (puts the phone down) Well he’s out distributing pamphlets to the masses but he’ll be in at six.

Another point of interest for blogad geeks: yesterday we got some ads for Coke’s Turino blogs.

DC Curling team blogads: “momentum beyond our wildest dreams”

by henrycopeland
Saturday, February 11th, 2006

I wrote John Hlinko, one of the maestros of political viral marketing, to see what was up with the blogads he’s been buying for “the DC Curling team.” The what? Exactly. Here’s the back story:

In just two weeks, the Washington DC Olympic Curling team has gained huge momentum, explosive coverage in the blogs, and media coverage (print, TV, etc). In the process, it’s brought a wave of attention to the lack of DC voting representation in Congress — and has also been a fantastic guerrilla marketing campaign for Labatt beer, our sponsor. And blogads.com was a critical part of this success.

Here’s how it started…

Mike Panetta is my buddy and co-worker at Grassroots Enterprise. He’s also the founder of DumpSantorum.com (part of the blogad network). Anyway, back in 2004, he was watching the summer Olympics, and noticed that Puerto Rico had an Olympic team. And so did Guam and the Virgin Islands. So he thought… well heck, they don’t have Congressional representation either. So if that’s enough to justify them having teams, why not the District of Columbia as well? And specifically, he came up with the idea of the winter Olympic curling team.

And that’s really the heart of it — a creative way to raise awareness for the fact that Washington, DC has no voting Congressional representation.

Flash forward to late 2005… Mike was talking with me and some other colleagues at Grassroots who live in DC — and who were equally pissed off by the lack of representation. More importantly, we thought his idea was a riot. So we teamed together, built the web site, and launched it in late January, 2006. The heart of the site was a letter writing campaign to the International Olympic Committee, asking them to officially recognize the DC team.

Well, we decided that if we were an Olympic curling team, we probably needed to actually go curling. So we went up to the Potomac Curling Club, and the great folks there tought us how to do it. We got lots of great pictures as well, and even some video, which we now released on the site as our “inspiring” training video.

Well, one of our buddies at Grassroots, Bill McIntyre, had been in contact with some folks at Labatt Beer from an earlier effort. He told them about the DC Olympic team. They thought it was brillliant, and agreed to sponsor it. Specifically, they sent us some sweet uniforms and are sending some full on warm-up suits.

Further, they agreed to give a few thousand dollars for us to run some online advertising. Needless to say, we went with blog ads in a heartbeat — the value is great, and more important, we know the media reads them. And ultimately, the media is who we want to reach.

Well, the good news is that in just two weeks, we’ve already had momentum beyond our wildest dreams:

- Nearly 10,000 letters have been sent to the IOC, asking for recognition of the team.
- The story has been all over the blogs
- The Washington Post wrote a *huge* article on us last week, calling this the best effort on behalf of DC voting rights since 2000 (when they added “Taxation without representation” to the license plates)
- Salon followed up this week with a great article
- Last night, it ratcheted up further — with a great story on Fox 5 news, here in DC.

At our official launch party last night, in DC, the place was packed, NBC news filmed us, and a number of DC elected officials came to show their support.

When it comes to getting attention for DC’s plight, and when it comes to creative marketing for Labatt Beer, the “bang for the buck” has been off the charts. And Blogads.com has been a critical part of this.

Here is one of John’s blogads. I’ve only curled once, driving way out of NYC with a wall street buddy to some secret court or field or rink or whatever you call the place. A key play in curling is the carom, bounching your stone off the other guy’s so you wind up in a key new spot. With all the ice, weird angle, long delivery and reliance on random bounces at the other end of the court… it’s a lot like advertising.

Grrrrreat! New ads (cereal and soup!) and first Amsterdammers

by justinabbott
Wednesday, February 8th, 2006

I never thought I’d see the day when we’d be doing business with cereal companies.

Whiskey, cheese, amusement parks, corndogs, condoms, flights to the moon, funky shoes, utopias one and all. Anything but cereal.

But what do you know, we’ve gotten ads from Kelloggs and General Mills this week.

And, glory be, they are smart ads.

Best of all, they come from inside giant ad agencies. While stuffed with smart people, big organizations often have trouble coping with the cut and thrust of the blogosphere. Institututions tend to uniformly generate a talk-at/down baked-three-month-ago-ness in their online advertising, and miss any sense of joy or horizontal effervescent chatteriness of the blogosphere. Not so Kelloggs and GM.

The Kellogg’s ads, created by Starcom IP in Chicago, tap into the blogosphere’s t-shirt and retro fascination.

And the General Mills ads, produced by Asabailey on behalf of Saatchi & Saatchi, are for a soap opera hosted by Progresso soup.

Both include strong images and lots of links. As Tony the Tiger would say, grrrrreat!

While I’m posting, I should note that James Joyner. was the first to fly out in the BloggersinAmsterdam project, followed by Heather and Jon Armstrong. Several bloggers have asked for suggestions from their readers and have gotten numerous great replies. Links are in this post.

Amsterdam selection process

by justinabbott
Wednesday, February 1st, 2006

Some folks have wondered about how/why certain bloggers were chosen for the BloggersinAmsterdam project. To clarify: there was more gut feel than science as we pulled together the list of bloggers. (Blogads staff decided who to invite, so any ill-feelings if you weren’t contacted should be directed at us.) We wanted a balance of perspectives and blog sizes, but the bottom line was “who might have fun on a trip to Amsterdam?” While the Netherlands Tourism Board was most interested in blogs focused on pop culture, they also wanted strong voices. I’ve seen some posts suggesting we’d pulled “lefties;” in fact, any political skew was a function of bloggers’ vacation schedules or self-selection. We pinged 10 politically focused bloggers, five from the left and five from the right. Only James Joyner said yes.


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