Friday, November 30, 2007

Sins of the father?

Interesting debate going on in the advertising world. If you're like me and apparently live under a rock, read about it in this article from Advertising Age: "Dove Viral Draws Heat From Critics."

Here's the sitch. We've all seen Dove's revolutionary campaigns for women. (What? Ads that don't make women feel ugly and disgusting? I can't believe it!) Watch the infamous "Evolution" ad here.

(For the record, the "Evolution" ad caused some great debates on the Fordham Sociology message boards last year when I was still in the program there, not unlike Dove's ad campaigns in general. The two arguments sound something like this. Side 1: Dove's Campaign for Women is a huge advertising scam, playing on women's insecurities to sell products while pretending it's noble. Side 2: All companies advertise, including Dove, and all advertising is trying to sell products. Wouldn't you rather have positive advertising that's empowering for women?)

Anyway, this newest controversy is over a more recent Dove internet ad that picks on the beauty advertising industry. It's a nice ad, called "Onslaught." Watch it here:



Here's the controversy: Dove is owned by Unilever. Unilever who? The same Unilever who brings you Axe body spray, with its amazingly misogynistic ad campaigns. Critics cringe at the hypocrisy of Dove picking on the beauty industry while its hot sexy brother company is one of the worst offenders. So this video has been circling on the web lately, "Onslaught Exposed." Check it out:



This video was made by an industry insider... Rye Clifton, who's a senior strategic planner at another agency. Adds an interesting twist, no?

I'm not sure how I feel about all this. On one hand, Dove and Axe have two different advertising agencies running their campaigns. Should one be held responsible for the other? On the other hand, they are separate brands owned by the same company. Does that make Dove too full of hypocrisy? The Dove campaign is great, and ultra-representative of Dove's branding and mission statement. I appreciate the new ads. Does the hypocrisy take away from them? I'm not sure. I'm pretty jaded in general, and tend to see all corporations as hypocrites off the bat. I distrust anyone trying to sell me a product at all. They may be hypocrites because of their brother brand, but at least Dove's ads themselves are positive.

Regardless, perhaps the most interesting aspect of the controversy is the power of social media. These Dove ads are internet-release only, I believe. The "Onslaught Exposed" ad was created by a strategic planner purely for release on the internet. The discussion around the videos is happening on blogs and forums. Fascinating stuff. She types, while on the internet.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Red and GREEN

There's just something about the Christmas coffee cups at Dunkin Donuts that makes me want to buy coffee and then go Christmas shopping. Have you seen them? They're the standard styrofoam DD cups, but they have tiny red and green Christmas trees on them. I don't know what about them is so attractive to me.

But the environmentalist in me cringes. Why does Dunkin Donuts still insist on using styrofoam cups? Even if they're decorated all cute-like and Christmas-y.

On the other hand, the world's new superpower Google has started going green. Read the article from CNet News here: "Google to enter clean-energy business"

Google founder Larry Page said: "We feel hypocritical as a company so we want to make the investments so that alternatives are available down the road."

Sounds like a pretty decent plan to me. Now if only the other superpower - you know, America - would follow suit...

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Personal info, anyone?

Google's one step closer to taking over the world...

Google Plans Service to Store Users' Data

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Vid city

Forget Last.fm. (see my post here) Apparently I'm behind the times all over the place. Did you know about these?:
Hulu
Bebo

return to sender

What say you, Cred readers? Is email dead?

Food for thought in this age of changing technology.

Darth Tater!!

These Mr. Potato Heads are amazing. Click on their names to go to their pages at Amazon.com. Or just enjoy the pictures below:

Opti-Mash Prime:



Artoo Potatoo:



Darth Tater:

"The half-pipe stays"

Fed-Ex is rocking it with their commercials lately:



"Awesome"

"Office Meeting"

This Fed-Ex commercial is funny. It reminds me of the Truth in Advertising video that I talked about in an earlier post. Anyway, enjoy:

Monday, November 19, 2007

Last.fm – The Social Music Revolution

Apparently I'm the last person on the face of the planet to hear about Last.fm, so humbly subtitled: "The Social Music Revolution." And revolution it is indeed.

Basically it's a social community site where you create a profile centered around music. It synchs with your iTunes or your iPod -- and serves up on your profile the songs you're listening to, your music habits, your ratings, and other personalized music info. It also shows you band and song info about whatever you're currently listening to. Then the coolest feature is that it personalizes a radio station for you based on your taste in music. And all of this is for free.

Hook me up, man! This is awesome.

Ad immunity?

Interesting article from Advertising Age today: "Ads keep spreading, but are consumers immune?" Definitely worth a read.

I was actually thinking about this over the weekend. I've been 2-3 weeks behind in my television watching, and the DVR gods have clearly been feeling a bit spiteful. You guessed it. The only show that my DVR caught over the last couple weeks was How I Met Your Mother. Thank gods for that one. But this meant that in order to catch up on my shows, I had to watch them online.

Anyone who has watched their fave prime time fare online knows that the video advertisements are extremely annoying. That's not news to you. (By the way, did you know that the movie This Christmas is coming out November 21?! Yeah I certainly do now, since I was forced to sit through the commercial 7 times per show...)

But what I was thinking about this weekend was why those commercials were irritating me so much. Obviously the repetition is one reason. (Once you've watched the Febreeze guy bend down to smell the carpet about three times, you start hoping this next time maybe he'll break his nose.)

But I think this article from Ad Age is on to something here. Maybe the biggest reason the video player ads are so annoying is because I NEVER sit through commercials anymore. Thanks to DVR, I watch everything on a time-delay, specifically so I don't have to watch irritating ads. I also have a blocker on my web browser to help me avoid those pesky internet pop-up ads. My eye ignores internet banner ads these days, not to mention the TV ads that glide across the bottom of my TV screen during my shows. I'm always listening to my iPod and reading a book on the bus or the subway, so I rarely notice taxi-top ads and billboards (although they probably catch my attention more than any other ad types).

So what's the fate of advertising? They always said in advertising classes that while you THINK you might be ignoring advertising, you never actually could. But with all these advances in technology, I really don't think that's true anymore. Obviously ad agencies are coming up with new and better (well, "better" is relative) ways to serve ads to us. But are we becoming immune even to new tactics? I've gotta say, eventually I started checking my email during the commercial breaks online. And, for the record, I NEVER read Google Ads. So I eventually avoided even the most intrusive of online ads. Maybe I'm not as much immune as I am clever and resourceful in avoiding ads. Or maybe not.

What say you, blog readers?

No Mo' NaNoWriMo

Due to various unforeseen circumstances that managed to eat up my nights and weekends this month (ad:tech, car breaking down, trip to Boston, client meetings, plagues, floods), I'm (un)gracefully bowing out of NaNoWriMo for the month of November. Yes, I'm a failure. Still have a grand total of 0 words -- and haven't even made an attempt to start. But I'm not giving up altogether! I think I'm going to choose another month as my own personal NaNoWriMo. (December maybe?) I encourage you to do the same!

(Don't know what the hell I'm talking about? See my earlier post here.)

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Planet unicorn, heyyyy

My two favorite unicorn vids. (Ok, my only two unicorn vids. Surprisingly, however, these vids are unrelated to each other. Go unicorns.) These are "Planet Unicorn," and "Charlie the Unicorn." Thought I'd post in case you live under a rock and haven't seen these. Warning: They're funnier if you're drunk. But still. Enjoy.



"GoogleZon"

Check out this vid about the internet (and media) in 2015. It's a little dramatic, but pretty powerful. The craziest thing is that when it's put in the context of what's gone on in the last few years, it doesn't seem crazy at all. (Of course, I mean that it doesn't seem unrealistic. It's all pretty crazy indeed.) See for yourself:

Monday, November 12, 2007

Entertainment Weekly's iPod Inspection

Entertainment Weekly suggests that the last 5 songs played on your iPod can tell a lot about your mood. So I thought it would be something cool to try for the blog. Here goes:

Lisa's iPod:
- You Know I'm No Good (Amy Winehouse)
- My Stupid Mouth (Audra McDonald's cover of John Mayer)
- Paper Bag (Fiona Apple)
- Hey There Delilah (The Plain White T's)
- Kill (Jimmy Eat World)

Yeah, that's actually pretty accurate. Okay, now try it yourself!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Googled.

I'd be remiss if I didn't write yet another post about Google, after attending the Google party after ad:tech this week in NYC. (I felt so privileged to be "on the list." Ask me about it sometime.)

As you know, I've posted ad nauseum about Google taking over the world. (See my older posts here and here. Some of my friends post about Google too, like my friend David at DavidChivers.com. Read some of his Google posts here and here.)

Considering that, I was surprised today to hear that a couple of my non-blog-reading friends had no idea how powerful Google has become. I joked that I was sure my retinas had been scanned and all my personal information had been "shared" (read: stolen) while I was at the party. Their response? Confusion.

After I sent them a few links to do some reading up on one of the biggest superpowers I know, they were legitimately creeped out. No need to be creeped out, but you should be aware of what's going on in the web space, even if you're not in the biz. You use the internet, right? We could all use a little education.

In that spirit, try keeping up with Google news. Here's a link from my favorite dumbed-down, pretty-charts newspaper, USA Today. (You might be surprised to find Google at the gas pump, on your phone, at your online checkout, and in many other places you'd never have guessed. Collecting your personal information.)

If you have patience for some more substantial articles, you can read the ones that led to my suspicion and paranoia about Google. And yes, I'm aware that Google's reading this right now, thanks to Google's Blogger program that I use to produce Street Cred. First read this article from the NY Times: "Company will monitor phone calls to tailor ads," and then read this article from Slate: ""Google's Evil Eye: Does the big G know too much about us?" -- and then tell me you're not just a little paranoid...

Monday, November 5, 2007

NaNoWriMo

Well, it's officially National Novel Writing Month (aka NaNoWriMo... find it at http://www.NaNoWriMo.org).

The goal of NaNoWriMo is to write a 50,000 word novel in one month. That's about 175 pages. Because you only have one month to write, you're supposed to focus on quantity, not quality. There's always time to edit later. You "win" NaNoWriMo if you complete 50,000 words, counted by computer robots. That's it. No judging, no scores. Nobody even reads it, unless you show it to them. It's a great exercise for a perfectionist like me. I don't care so much about the novel - I'm trying to learn to let go a little bit and stop trying to make everything perfect. Maybe NaNoWriMo will be just the thing.

If you've never heard of NaNoWriMo, that probably means you don't have any friends who have done it. I'm lucky enough to have one!

Becca rocked NaNoWriMo last year, and this year she encouraged me to try it out too. My sister's participating as well. (Currently Becca's up to 6,688 words, my sister's up to 1,070 words, and I'm up to a grand total of 0 words. But I'd like to point out that I keep a total of two blogs and, as far as I know, they keep a total of zero. Hehe. Okay, so that's not an excuse.)

NaNoWriMo has some suggestions to help you actually complete your novel in the month. One of those is public embarrassment. You're supposed to tell people you're doing it, so that you feel pressured to finish - for fear of looking like someone with no follow-through. Clearly I need some kind of extra motivation, since it's been 5 days and I've written 0 words. So I'm posting it here. Any words of encouragement are appreciated!

Want to try it yourself? You won't be any further behind than I am. Go to NaNoWriMo to sign up!

searchin

Mostly common sense, and mildly patriarchal... but still good advice nonetheless:
"How (not) to get a man" from Oprah Magazine (of course)

Friday, November 2, 2007

Hate Book

My coworker found this site today: http://www.hatebook.org -- it's amazing. Especially for a hater like me. ("Aw Lisa you're not a hater!" Oh, no? View my Bottom 10 to be proven wrong.)

Some examples of profile fields on Hatebook:
"Websites I hate"
"Quotes that suck"
"Why I'm better than you"

This site is great for anyone who hates Facebook or Myspace -- or even if you don't hate them but you're just a hater in general, like me.

Go forth and be a hater.