Monday, March 29, 2004

This just in.

+ Guinness under fire for using Wolverhampton's motto. "The advertising agency behind Guinness's new TV promotion has come under fire from the Black Country - for using Wolverhampton's city motto.
Civic dignitaries are frothing at the mouth at the use of "Out of darkness comes light" as the Irish stout's new slogan.
The 19th Century College of Heralds crest carries the inscription Out of Darkness Cometh Light, and anyone wanting to use it has to ask permission from the mayor, said Labour Councillor Geoff Foster.
But the ad agency, Abbott Mead Vickers, said the use of the phrase was coincidental and no copyright or trademark issues were at stake.
Councillor Foster said: "To use it on an advertising slogan for Irish beer without acknowledging the city or asking permission is a bit cheeky. They could have acknowledged where it came from - but just to pinch it after we have had it for more than 100 years is a bit rich."
But city mayor Councillor John Rowley, a member of the Campaign for Real Ale, was more laid-back. "I think it's a very good advert in its own way and I don't think you can have copyright on a motto."

+ American Express is returning to old spokesman Jerry Seinfeld in a new "webisode" which shows the daily adventures of Seinfeld and Superman. You can view the "webisode" here. Shot on location in NYC, the film was co-written by Seinfeld and directed by Barry Levinson. Seems sort of odd that they are returning to Seinfeld now. He's not in the limelight as he had been when they started to use him in their ad campaigns. And what's with this new term "webisode"? Strange.

+ A jeans company in Australia makes a very bad call, attempting to use employees wearing t-shirts as advertising.

+ Advertisers planning makeover for men. Excerpt from the article: "Many American companies have been rethinking their approach to men. Even beer companies, long the standard-bearers of traditional male attitudes, have noticed something different. Miller Brewing said that its research found that men were not content with the bikini-babe fraternity-party image of much beer advertising.
"Men are tired of being depicted as Neanderthals, as if they have no mental capacity and can't make choices," said Tom Bick, senior brand manager for the Miller trademark.
In his research, Bick has found that men are more able to express their feelings and more willing to see women as people rather than party accessories.
As a result of this research, Miller has reworked its new television commercials, which focus on Miller's beer as an intelligent alternative to other beers and portray its drinkers as people who stand apart from the crowd. In one ad for Miller Lite that started during the winter, people in a long line fall into one another like dominoes until one person steps out of the line and orders a Miller."

+ TV spots find new home on the web. From the article:
The 30-second television spot, the viability of which some have said is threatened by ad-skipping machines like TiVo and its ilk, could live on in another form: as Web advertising.
Introduced in January by Manhattan-based online ad solutions provider Unicast, the full-screen video commercial has enjoyed a successful launch and could provide a way for marketers to use TV resources to strengthen their online presence, the company said.
The ads work by loading imperceptibly when a user first visits a site that employs the format. Once the 2-megabyte file is fully loaded, it begins playing the next time the user clicks a link within the same site. The full-screen ads run at 30 frames per second, the same picture quality you'd find on TV, and they include a button to close the ad if you'd rather not watch.
It was important to give users the same control over Web ads that they have while watching TV, when they can skip uninteresting ads by changing the channel, or in print, when they can turn the page, said Allie Savarino, Unicast's senior vice president. Moreover, because the format loads in the background, it allows both dial-up and broadband users to view the ads, she said.
This new technique will still face many challenges, especially if it is implimented in the same way pop-up ads have been. There's a large difference between being forced static banners (or animated banners) on a page, and being forced to watch 30 second spots when you're not interested. Especially on the web, when many people are surfing for specific information and are easily pissed off with being force-fed ad messages.

+ Trojan's new ads in the UK rip off Coco De Mer's Ads from 2001. Tsk tsk.

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