scratch and spin



Here's what the world looks like to a dj. Great spot for Pro X Fade.

teens like the internet

Uh, duh. A new study reported by Internet Retailer says that teens go online to help make their purchasing decisions about fashion. Yahoo sponsored the research. I would guess, so that Yahoo could give brand managers the ammunition they needed to incorporate more funds towards search marketing in the promotion budgets for their products. Uh, duh.

brainstorm tool



Here's a cool site to use the next time you're coming up completely dry of ideas. MouseBrains is a web-based tool that serves to deliver what we call "launching points." They're not finished ideas - but it might be just what you need to get to the finished idea.

Whenever we have brainstorms here, people are welcomed to share their "half ideas." Because you never know when your half idea will give someone else the best-ever full idea. We also encourage a lot of "what if..." questions. Mousebrains works on the same philosophy.

espn finds that people don't want to pay for ads



Big surprise - people don't want to pay $1.99 to watch a commercial. Duh.

ESPN experimented with iTunes, and sold (or attempted to sell) their infamous "This is Sports Center" spots. The spots are absolutely great - some of the best advertising in years - but would you really pay $1.99 to watch a :30 spot? MicroPersuation has the right idea - watch the preview for free, and you'll see the bulk of the spot.

Or go to the This is Sports Center site, and watch them online.

iggy pop says hi



Iggy Pop stopped by our office this morning. He wanted to let me know that he was really pulling for us to win the Battle of the Ad Blogs. He says he's gonna kick the ass of anyone that doesn't vote. I assured him that wouldn't be necessary, and he seemed to calm down a bit, but was miffed that we weren't winning. You can vote for us by going to Battle of the Ad Blogs, and scrolling about halfway down the page for "Best Agency Blog."

gene simmons ad agency?



Whoah. Two posts on Gene Simmons in one day. What are the odds? AdFreak reports that he's starting his own marketing company. This, with the coffin company, the apparel company, the coffee mug company, and the pinball machine maker.

Maybe he got the idea he was here earlier, talking about Battle of the Ad Blogs.

Viral HQ



Viral HQ is a new site that's attempting to archive online viral promotions. It's a good start to an archive, but I agree with Adrants - they really need to add a search function. I also think it would be nice to include a link to the original site/offering, as sometimes the best viral pieces feature more than just an ad.

The site indicates that they intend to offer seeding and tracking services in the near future. They host all of the media, rather than linking, which I suppose will be nice, as sometimes old virals have a habit of disappearing from the internet.

gene simmons says hi



Gene Simmons stopped by the office this morning. I was telling him about the Battle of the Ad Blogs, and when he heard that we weren't winning, he got really pissed. He said something to the effect of "This is ridiculous. I'll burn down any agency that beats you." Or something like that - I'm not sure if I heard him correctly, because he had his tongue in my ear.

He says that you should go to Battle of the Ad Blogs, scroll about halfway down the page, and look for "best agency blog". Vote for VIA's Brand Flakes for Breaksfast, of course. Thanks Gene!

meet esp billy



Fallon has created a new viral campaign for MSN Messenger, titled ESP Billy. You can watch the first episode at ESPBilly.com, and then you'll need MSN Messenger to view future episodes. Nicely produced. The piece will be heavily promoted in online and print media in the next few weeks.

white castle for valentines



White castle is really stepping up their PR and online promotion efforts. Last week, we reported on their viral day after the game effort - and now, they've got a romantic valentine's day promotion.

White Castle romantics will be created by a hostess, and seated at a cloth covered, candle-lit table. And then the belly bombs arrive, and love is in the air.

Sound crazy? White Castle claims it's become a tradition for many couples - some even arriving in limos. Many couples met at the Castle after proms, late club nights, or whatever other activity might have you craving slyders. I can remember a few fun White Castle escapades.

that sum 41 guy



That guy from Sum 41 stopped by the office this morning to say hi to Kevin. He says he's concerned that we're not winning the Battle of the Ad Blogs. He's agreed to write a special song about our struggle, and says that he really wants you to vote for VIA's BrandFlakesForBreakfast as the best agency blog. He says that you should go to Battle of the Ad Blogs, scroll about halfway down the page, and look for "best agency blog". Thanks Sum 41 guy!

titarenko photos



Lens Culture has a feature on Russian photographer Alexy Titarenko. His photographs use extra long exposures, and document movement in the most beautiful way.

google in regional pontiac campaign



In the book "The World is Flat", Thomas Friedman makes the statement "Google is God."

A new post on Adjab shows an excellent example of how Google has become the see everything, be everywhere search tool. The post refers to a new regional television ad for Pontiac, where the viewers are urged "Don't take our word for it. Google Pontiac and discover for yourself." The spot shows a Google screen, with "Pontiac" typed in.

Here's an advertiser who realizes that people rely on the power of the internet to complete their purchasing decisions. People don't just view a tv spot, and run to the store.

From AdJab:
That's a huge step forward and much better than making the assumption that a 30-second spot has given the audience all the information they need and they're just chomping at the bit to get in their cars to drive to the dealership. People are smarter and have more tools at their disposal than ever before to cut through the jargon and devices advertising relies on.

what we're dancing to today



We work in an open office environment. One of the many cool things about our office is that our entire workspace is wired with a sound system. There's a 50 disc changer, and every week, VIA staffers fill it up. The player goes into shuffle mode, and well, anything goes. It's never quiet here - and we love that.

Today, we finally redeemed an iTunes gift certificate we received during the holidays (thanks Brent!) It's a pretty picture of who works at VIA. Perhaps a scary picture - you decide.

Here's a sampling of the songs chosen:
  • Dead and Lovely - Tom Waits
  • Wild Style - Time Zone (Featuring John Lydon & Afrika Bambaataa)
  • Birdhouse in Your Soul - They Might Be Giants
  • C'mon C'mon - The Von Bondies
  • Whatchu Want - Notorious B.I.G
  • Captain & Tennille - Do That to Me One More Time
Can you guess which VIA staffer belongs to which songs?

all other agencies suck



Just a reminder that there's a full scale war going on. I'm talking of course, about the battle of the ad blogs. BrandFlakes was nominated for "Best Agency Blog" by the Ad-rag contest.

And we need your votes. We need your friends votes. We need your mom's votes. Right now, we're in fourth place. And we're real sore losers.

To inspire you to stop what you're doing, and go vote right now, here's a picture of Kevin, celebrating our win. Imagine sharing a donut, in celebration with Kevin.

So go to battle of the ad blogs, scroll down to "best agency blog" and vote for VIA's BrandFlakesForBreakfast. Thanks!

you flush, we all flush, lets flush together



Great minds think alike. Today, we were planning on launching a cute promotional piece celebrating the superbowl. You can see it here, at SuperbowlFlush.com.

And then, this morning, AdJab announces the Scott halftime flush viral promotion. And their flush is better than ours. I mean, uh, they make toilet paper - so that's to be expected. They flush for a living. We're just a design and branding firm. We're amateur flushers.

i know more about sports than you think



When I posted the other day about my system of using brand equity and uniform/logo design to pick a winning team, apparently I was not so far off. Adfreak reports that a study proves my system true. Which means that the Steelers are going to win - because anyone knows that a hardened, kickass steel worker could eat some bird from Seattle for dinner. That's my system, and I'm sticking to it.

corporate identity reference site



Here's a site that features everything you ever wanted to know about hundreds of logos. Who designed them, what PMS colors and fonts are used, and even previous versions.

booth babes banned at E3 show



The 2006 E3Expo trade show in Los Angeles has outlawed "booth babes" from the show floor. Exhibitors who feature scantily clad women in their booth will first be served a verbal warning, followed by a $5000 fine for a second violation.

The policy states that "Material, including live models, conduct that is sexually explicit and/or sexually provocative, including but not limited to nudity, partial nudity and bathing suit bottoms, are prohibited on the show floor, all common areas, and at any access points to the show."

I'm pretty sure the girls pictured above will be ok, because they're police officers.

two beautiful cancer psa's



Seems like every couple of months you know someone else afflicted with cancer, and it hits even closer to home. Yesterday, a good friend of our agency broke the news of her diagnosis with Ovarian cancer.

Here's two beautiful spots showing some of the challenge, and people getting through it. spot 1, spot 2. From TheSpunker .

Titles translated, read "It is necessary to believe in healing of cancer" and the second, "Everybody needs a friend to face cancer. We too."

We're thinking of you, Cyndy!!

coke does smart media buy for superbowl



There's always a smarter, more creative way to your goal. Rather than paying $2.6 million per spot during the Super Bowl, Coke will be spending only half that - by purchasing the naming rights to the last 30 minutes of the pregame show on ABC. It will be titled the Full Throttle Kickoff Show, promoting their Full Throttle energy drink - in an effort to compete with the category leader, Red Bull.

According to Ad-Jab, that block of programming will not only include frequent name-dropping of Full Throttle but also 2.5 minutes of actual commercial time including a 60-second spot that shows a Full Throttle semi truck going up against the Red Bull minivan. That's smart media buying. Meanwhile, the Full Throttle package design is still ugly.

ladies and gentlemen...the whopperettes



Burger King will introduce the Whopperettes in a :60 second Super Bowl spot. The piece is inspired by 1930's musicals, and features girls dressed as burgers, flames, pickles, lettuce and tomatoes. They'll dance and sing the Have it Your Way jingle, in an over-the-top musical type of way.

But that's not all. The BK will compliment the ad with a host of online efforts, including iPod versions of the ad, and "extras" for Sprint subscribers who opt-in within 30 minutes of the ads airing.

Meanwhile, MCD's continues to follow, rather than lead.

superbowl virals kickoff



Or, I guess we mean "the big game" virals have started. White Castle has created an online effort that suggests we all take the Monday after the game off. They even supply handy excuses to give your boss:
  • I’ve got a 360-degree fever
  • I think I ruptured a kidney. Maybe all three of ‘em.
  • I’m still trying to figure out what the halftime commercials mean.
Not the most impressive online viral - but one of the first to market - so it will definitely get them some good mileage.

photographs that look like models



The photo above is real. Olivo Barbieri has created a technique of taking aerial photographs, that make landscapes and architecture appear as models. Olivo photographs from a helicopter, and uses a tilt-shift lens – a method, that he says, "allows me to choose what I really like in focus."

8 bit artwork



There's loads of really cool video game inspired artwork at i am 8-bit. The gallery is definitely worth a visit - and there's a lot of stuff that you can afford there, too. Even on a starving artist's salary ;)

the postal service - we didn't know about apple ad



You might have already seen all of the hoopla over the new Apple ad. It all started when bloggers reported on how similar the new Apple ad is to a music video by the band The Postal Service. There's even a side by side comparison of the two. Lots of blog entries ensued. And it turns out that Apple (or their agency) hired the Director for the Postal Service music video to produce the Apple spot. Mystery solved, kind of.

Well now, the band is speaking up. Ben Gibbard, from The Postal Service says "we did not approve this commercialization and are extremely dissappointed with both parties that this was executed without our consultation or consent."

battle of the ad blogs 2006!



Please join our army. We've been featured in Ad-Rag's Battle of the ad blogs 2006!!! We're one of the 15 blogs featured under "best ad agency blog." So now we need your help. Please vote for us. Have your friends vote for us. Have your mom's hairdresser vote for us.

We're up against some pretty big guys. Wieden & Kennedy London. TBWA Portugal. Coudal Partners. Veer. And plenty of other agencies that could pretty much eat us for lunch.

So if you've ever dreamed of going back to high school, and turning the tables on the "popular" people, this is your chance. Vote for VIA's Brand Flakes for Breakfast. Vote for the people that don't sit at the "cool" table. Vote for the art students. Vote VIA. Because you know we'll never make the football team.

being approachable is good for business



Steve Rubel, blogging from the Word of Mouth marketing conference writes about Scott Ginsberg, and his company, HELLO, my name is Scott. Mr. Ginsberg says that being approachable is good for business. He offers four key principles to being approachable:

Do something cool
Be that guy (e.g. the go-to person on a subject)
Cultivate fans, not customers
Own a word
Market yourself daily

I love this advice. To this day, I can't believe how many design firms fly with a snotty do you know who I am? attitude rather than being approachable. As if people will put them on some pedestal, if they just act more important. Hilarious. Asses.

We've always taken just the opposite approach as the snot hole designers. We constantly make fun of ourselves. We realize that design and branding work isn't surgery. Or engineering. We're probably not going to save anyone's life. And we don't know everything. (Especially math.) So check out Scott's site, and blog. And be approachable today.

la to nyc in less than 5 minutes

See what it's like to drive from LA to New York in this time lapse video.

And, totally unrelated - but similar to time lapse - Paris Hilton's never-changing facial expression.

street suckers



Street lollipops above by Mark Jenkins, the guy who makes those incredible sculptures out of packing tape. Check out his site, if you aren't familiar with his work. Amazing.

uniform design



If you know me well, you probably know that I'm clueless when it comes to team sports. When talk of playoffs start around our office, I usually pick winners by the "brand equity" of their names. For instance, the Pirates could kick the Bengals ass. Because that's what Pirates do. They kick ass. Who's going to mess with a guy wearing an eye patch carrying a machete? A Bengal? I don't think so.

(Kevin and Justus will now probably kick my ass and point out that the Bengals are a hockey team, and the Pirates are a football team. Or something like that, I'm sure.)

Anyway - I was pretty stoked to see that ESPN has a column devoted entirely to uniform design. Which is my other successful method to picking winning teams - uniform and logo design. Right on, ESPN.

unicef ads for earthquake relief



Here's an outstanding in-store tactic that UNICEF has taken in Belgium, to help raise money for earthquake victims in Pakistan.

Newspaper "clothes" hang on the racks mixed with other clothes, and include the line "Is this the only thing homeless Pakistani children will wear this winter? Help them with a gift at the pay desk." Nice work.

the beginning of the end?

Many people are predicting a Web 2.0 crash. Right before the big dot-com crash a few years ago, I recall many web agencies getting funded with ridiculous deals. They're all closed now.

On Friday, the Wall Street Journal reports that the Boston buzz marketing firm BzzAgent is about to receive a roughly $14 million cash infusion from venture capital firms General Catalyst Partners and IDG Ventures Boston. Buzz marketing firms are "growing rapidly with [profit] margins that are very interesting," said David Carlic, a managing director at Vantage Point Venture Partners.

I'm the first to tout the benefits of non-traditional media, viral marketing, social networking, buzz media, whatever. And I'd gladly accept a $14 million cash infusion. But how long before a $14 million cash infusion pays off? Investors want to get their money back. And then some. Fast. Can they really turn BzzAgent into a $30 million company?

Let's hope they're not using it to hire Britney Spears to play at the launch party.

mcdonalds launches ronald statue campaign



McDonald's has just launched a "me too" branding effort, to compete with Burger King's mascot campaign. In the new McDonald spots, people are shown interacting with the life size Ronald McDonald statues, found in their restaurants around the world. It's the battle of the plastic mascots.

How original. Way to differentiate. I imagine that they won't be using the photo above - or the countless others that litter the internet. (Adage article requires simple registration - you can email me if you want me to send you a copy - or use the new FireFox Bugmenot plugin.)

only dorks wear watches



According to the Journal Sentinel, watch sales are down big time. Why? Kids don't need them - because their cell phones tell them what time it is. Why wear a clock on your wrist if you've got one in your pocket? The exception are fashion watches - which kids wear only for the statement they make - like the Nixon Dork watch, pictured above.

you have just 50 milliseconds to make a good impression



Yes! And this is why great design is sooo important. Nature.com reports that most website users form an opinion on a site within 50 milliseconds.

Gitte Lindgaard of Carleton University in Ottawa, has published the research in the journal Behaviour and Information Technology. Finally, designers get scientific proof that first impressions count.

ray caesar show



There's a Ray Caesar show in NY this week - and if you're in the area this weekend, it'll be worth the visit. His work is stunning. And it's entirely digital - from its creation, to the method of printing. Ray produces a 3D model for each piece, and then builds an entire virtual set for the model.

cheesy law firm promotes pizza



I'm sooo jealous. Agency Martin Williams has created a cheesy law firm site to promote pizza. This is fantastic work. A totally believable, cheesy law firm site - with tv spots, free advice (a lawyer version of subservient chicken) and all of the design glory that only a lawyer's administrative assistant would typically deliver.

Bad logo, bad type, bad design. And it's absolutely beautiful. The site promotes Donatos Pizza. Because if you get bad pizza elsewhere, you should of course, sue. From Adrants.

remember segregation



Since 1992, DDB Seattle has produced an annual campaign honoring Martin Luther King day. Just a reminder that it's more than a day off. This year's campaign, titled Remember Segregation reminds us of what segregation was like. Beautiful work.

oooh, gross.



SkinBag is a synthetic product made to look like skin. I suppose that if you're a huge Texas Chainsaw Massacre fan, this might be your thing. They make shirts, vests, purses and more. Would be a great promo product for the next gore film. How about skin postcards, or a skin covered booth? Perhaps I'll wear the skin apron to my next client meeting, just to see what happens. What? It's an apron. Don't you like it?

Is print doomed?

Just as I'm reading this article in FastCompany, two funny coincidences occurred. I received in the mail the very last print version of Film and Video Magazine, a trade publication that's now moved online. Seconds later, I received a call from one of the many printer reps that call on agencies like ours, looking for business. People are printing less, he says.

FastCompany puts a blogger and a magazine executive together to argue about the future of print. John Griffin is President of the National Geographic Society's magazine group. Jeff Jarvis is a former print editor, now a consultant and blogger at BuzzMachine.com.

urban exploration photo gallery



Gothamist posts about the urban exploration galleries at Netherworld Online. The pic above is from inside the new World Trade Center #7 (note the guy sitting in the bottom right corner.) A couple of us are urban explorer fans - and Leigh's actually posted about her explorations months ago. Now you can explore the gallery from your desktop - experience all of the beauty and excitement without the dirt, grit or danger of getting caught by the cops.

red cross interactive



Publicis in Holland created this interactive piece for the Red Cross, to solicit aid for the people of Pakistan. I won't spoil it for you - check it out yourself.

latest social networking sites numbers

USA Today reports on the number of members for the top social networking sites:

MySpace.com
Nov. 2004: 4.9 million
Nov. 2005: 26.7 million

Facebook.com
Nov. 2004: N/A
Nov. 2005: 11.1 million

Xanga.com
Nov. 2004: 5.8 million
Nov. 2005: 7.9 million

MySpace "is growing by an amazing 160,000 new users a day, according to MediaPost". We're now producing custom MySpace sites for VIA clients - and are doing some pretty interesting stuff. Contact us and find out what's possible for your brand.

sun pres says blogging impacted its business

In a post from Micro Persuasion:
“Companies need to speak with one voice and be authentic. Blogging allows you to speak out authentically on your own behalf, and in the long run people will recognize that. Do it consistently and they trust you.” Jonathan Schwartz, President and COO of Sun Microsystems.

brand extractors



What if the Razr phone was killed by committees, or in a brainstorm, and never realized? Grant McCracken writes about Brand Extractors. Sounds a little like an evil dentist in a Steven King story - but this is actually a pretty cool proposition.

Brand Extractors could audit a company, and search for valid ideas that are left sitting in reports from consultants, buried in internal committee work, neglected on the lab bench, or ideas that have been taken up and let slip.

An excerpt:
If BusinessWeek is right to say that we now live in a creative economy, no corporation can afford to practice infanticide of this kind. Really good ideas must be identified, brought forward, and be allowed to find the light of day. Shareholder value depends upon it.

found photos



There's a handful of these sites that have made their way around the internet, and it's always interesting to view found photography. This guy takes film from old cameras found at flea markets and garage sales, and processes the film and posts them on his site.

5 steps to a successful viral promotion

You might have seen our holiday greeting card, A Christmas Gory. We sent a special box to 265 friends and clients pointing to the Christmas Gory website. As of today, over 100,000 people have visited the site - and it's been covered by BoingBoing, EBaumsworld, iFilm, The SF Chronicle, About.com, America Online, and hundreds of other online media outlets. Admitedly, 100K is a smaller audience than even some of our own client's sites - and only a small-scale success when compared to legendary virals - but still absolutely amazing considering the original audience of 265. I mean, it's just a christmas card, right?

Here's five things that we believe made our production a successful viral promotion:

1. A timely message. Obviously, a holiday themed site is timely during the holidays. We launched our site in the first few days of December, to maximize the amount of time that the message would be deemed valid. In retrospect, (and if we were ready in time), we could have launched on the day after Thanksgiving. When a viral communication is snowballing, every day counts - and we only had 25 days in December. While this is obvious during the holiday season, the same can be said during any other part of the year. Make sure your message is topical in some way. Perhaps it could tie to a current trend, something hot in the media, a popular television show, or some other seasonal event. Think JibJab.

2. Cool factor counts. Your message can't speak to everyone. We chose a cult film, popular with geeks, marketing types and pop culture enthusiasts. Some people on our original mailing list no doubt said "what the F is this?" (In fact, a few people really did call us and ask.) If we tried to please everyone, we'd please no one. Our production struck a chord with a select audience - on a few levels. Geek sites covered it for it's value as a "mashup." Pop culture and humor sites covered it for its satirical value. And advertising industry sites covered it as a unique agency promotion. We were able to create something that felt cool to a variety of focused audiences, which resulted in a more diverse distribution.

3. Safe for work. Realize that the majority of your distribution will happen in the workplace. Many developers believe only the most over the top productions will go viral. But think about it. When was the last time you sent something with boobies in it to everyone else in your office? I can think of only a handful of succesful non-work safe viral examples (Paris Hilton, Tommy & Pamela, etc). But I can can give you a list a mile long of virals that are "work safe." This is also important to the timing of your release. Over a weekend, a funny site can be forgotten about, and lose steam. Release it on a Monday, and you've got an entire week to grow, before losing a couple of day's momentum.

4. Seed it, and if it's good, it will grow. There's a little secret sauce here. We've developed some fairly successful methods of getting a site noticed online. (Hire us, and we'll tell you more.) We've seeded unsuccessful virals too - and we've learned that seeding alone isn't the answer. Putting a product into a retail store doesn't move it off the shelves - and that's true on the internet as well. The message has to be just right - and if it is, it will take flight. If it doesn't hit home with a particular audience, it's just going to sit there on the shelf.

5. Promote at every opportunity. We built some site promotion into our piece - with AOL instant messenger icons, send to a friend options, wallpapers, etc. But we also used them. Everyone in our office (and some of our friends) used the AOL screen icons. We included a link in our email signatures. We blogged about it. Every company resource for getting the url out there was utilized.

There are absolutely no guarantees on the internet. Dumb luck helps as much as any of the above tips. And we've all seen brilliant work go unnoticed. But we also see promotions every day that don't meet these basic criteria. So be brilliant. Go viral. Or hire a good agency to do it all for you ;-)

GIF or JIF?



I don't care what this guy says, Jif is for PB&J Sandwiches.

superbowl ad guide



Here's a guide to who's purchased spots for the superbowl, from Adage (site requires fairly simple registration - you can email me for the list, if you don't feel like filling out the form.) The guide includes advertisers, ad placement, creative descriptions and agencies responsible. Print it, and show it to your friends who are pissed that you keep telling them to be quiet during the commercials. Oh, wait - that's my house.

killer booth ideas at CES




Engadget
is a great source for the latest news at CES, with a blog devoted exclusively to CES coverage - but it's also a great place to get fresh exhibit/environmental design ideas. Their outstanding CES coverage includes booth tours - sure, to see the latest gadgets - but you also get a peek at some of the latest big money, cost-more-than-a-house-in-the-midwest, booth installations.

behind the scenes with steve jobs



How many times do you rehearse an important presentation? What kind of resources do you allocate to a major presentation? Have you ever watched Steve Jobs delivering one of his magical keynotes, and thought "How simple. How brilliant."

Well, the media frenzy is already buzzing in anticipation of Steve Jobs' presentation next week. Rumours are all over the Internet about what he might be showcasing.

Here's a behind the scenes look at what's involved in a typical Steve Jobs keynote, written by someone who was on his team. What seems like a simple, elegant presentation is actually a super produced, ultra rehearsed stage show. It's the ultimate presentation, produced with the talents of many people from the Apple organization. This is a real candid look at all of the planning, preparation and production that's involved behind the scenes. It's also a peek at what a demanding, driven and talented leader Steve Jobs appears to be.

Ever have your laptop freeze in the middle of a presentation? Then you'll appreciate this excerpt from the article: "Then there are the people who set up all the computers used in the keynote, each with at least one backup that can be instantly brought online with the flick of a switch." That's presentation Jobs style.

alcohol marketers don't believe advertising really works



Ad age reports on a new study linking alcoholic-beverage advertising to increased drinking levels by teenagers and young adults. And representatives of the marketing and alcoholic-beverage industries are not liking the results. The study claims that young consumers who were exposed to alcoholic beverage advertising drank more alcoholic beverages. Duh.

But an executive with the American Association of Advertising Agencies wants to pretend that advertising doesn't work.
"Dick O'Brien, exec VP of the American Association of Advertising Agencies, disputed the findings. “We’ve seen over the last several decades that as alcohol-advertising spending increased, underage drinking substantially decreased. The raw facts of the marketplace contradict the main finding of the report,” he said."

Dick says that it's not advertising that's working - but instead, kids are learning from their parents. I wonder if Dick would say the same thing in a pitch to a soda brand. Kids won't buy soda with an advertising campaign. Let's just send a memo to their parents.

how blogs doubled sales for Stormhoek



Every product manager should read this post on Adrants.

I'm constantly met with the conversation "should our company start a blog?" Of course, there are many reasons you might. But the first question is always, who do you want to reach? The Adrants post is an excellent case study of U.K. wine brand Stormhoek, and how the blogging community helped them double sales in less than 12 months.

Stormhoek used a smart approach. They didn't just create a Stormhoek blog, and expect the masses to start reading. They reached out to their audience. To their blogs. And started conversations about their product. They helped break open the porous membrane. The "wall" between what the company is saying, and what the audience is saying. Through blogs, they were able to allow their audience to have the same conversations about their product as the product managers were having. Things were in sync.

Wine buyers noticed. Retailers noticed that wine buyers noticed, and stocked more product. More product in stores brought attention to even more customers. More conversation, more product sales.

new intel logo



Intel has launched a new logo and branding effort. They've retired their old logo, with the dangling "e", as well as the ubiquitous "intel inside" statement. They'll be shouting their new brand statement "leap ahead" at the CES show this week, while they announce two new brands - Viiv (rhymes with "alive") and Core. Viiv will be the product in your PC, and Core is the product expected to appear in Apple machines, and possibly other devices, (since it requires less power to run.) Expect much more shouting from the rooftops later this week at CES.

top 10 time wasters on the net

About.com points us to the top ten time wasting sites on the Internet. We've already blogged about the sand game, number one on the list. I admit to wasting a few hours of my own life on that one. We like the About.com lists - because they featured our ChristmasGory production as one of their humor sites of the day. So what are you waiting for? Start wasting your day away!

10/20/30 rule of powerpoint



Meet Guy Kawasaki. Guy's a venture capitalist. Which means Guy sees way too many PowerPoint presentations. So he's the perfect person to revive the 10/20/30 rule. In his blog, Guy explains that your presentation should be no more than ten slides, no more than 20 minutes, and use fonts no smaller than 30 points.

This is great advice - regardless of the topic of your presentation. And if you're looking to get some venture capital, he also supplies an outline for your ten slides.
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