Account Planner Idol - Australia

This is a fantastic idea...I am not much of one to read rules & regs but I am wondering if I can enter and if I win will they get me Visa/work permit and pay for me to move?

If anyone feels like reading the details let me know.


The hunt for Australia's next hot planner starts here..
There is a real shortage of young account planners in Australia – smart young people with a strategic brain, who can make a real difference to brands and businesses. To address this issue, the APG is embarking on a hunt to find the hottest young strategist in Australia – Australia’s first Planning Idol. Why are we doing it? Because as Australia’s official planning industry body, we’re committed to growing the next generation of planners - recognising, encouraging and nurturing them.

Deadline for entries: Friday 26 October 2007
Presentation to Judges and Award ceremony: Wednesday 28 November 2007 (provisional)

FULL DETAILS including the BRIEF

The brief is based on a significant social issue and sets a simple challenge: “To combat the growing threat of Ice in Australia.” Australia is currently facing a serious drug problem through the growth in usage of Methamphetamine (also known as crystal meths or, more commonly, Ice). Ice is highly addictive and it has been estimated that 73,000 Australians are currently addicted to it, more than twice the number of heroin addicts. Worse still, almost one in ten Australians have tried Ice and the fact that it can be smoked makes it more accessible to younger and recreational users.


Leaked CP+B Al Gore Script

In an article on copyranter today, a leaked script from a CP+B pitch was posted to the blog. Al Gore's Alliance for Climate Change has asked 4 major agencies to pitch for an upcoming campaign. The campaign will be centered around raising awareness of climate change and encouraging the American public to vote for an environmentally friendly candidate in the 2008 Presidential election.

A credible tipster sent the script through to New York city writer - copyranter - and has allegedly already been shot in LA. The script?

"Open on a downtown area of Manhattan. A kid stands holding a bucket and a paintbrush next to a brownstone apartment. He paints a blue line on the wall, about five feet high.

Kid: The reality is, if we don't pass legislation to avert the climate crisis, ocean levels will rise this high in the next 10 years.

The kid then gets on the ladder and climbs several feet, where he paints another line.

Kid: In 25 years, they'll be here.

He paints a line on the side of the building and climbs higher still.

Kid: And in 50 years the oceans will rise to here, 50 feet.

The camera pans up and over, to a window just above the kid and above the last line he's painted. His mom is standing inside the window, looking at the camera.

Kid: But this isn't going to happen. No way. Because this is my mom. And she can vote for candidates who support livable carbon standards. I can't save my future. But she can.

Cut to Alliance for Protection of Climate logo

Even though the script does have some impact, this isn't a mind-blowing idea. CP+B seems as if they are trying to ground the idea of climate change to ensure that people know it will affect them and their families in the coming future. That being said, it sounds more like a public service announcement than a great ad idea.

Quote of the Day #2

"The advertisement is the most truthful part of a newspaper" - Thomas Jefferson

Thanks to Lyss for the quote!

Apple talks - the world listens part uno

I am pretty sure that this post is like a belly button for blogs - everybody has got one, but here we go....

If you just woke up from a 2-day sleep Apple has made some pretty exciting announcements. My comments are in (brackets) - your comments go below:

  1. $200 price drop on iPhone (about time).
  2. Increased battery life on all products
  3. iPod Touch, an iPhone-like iPod without the phone function, complete with a touch screen, photo slideshow feature, Wi-Fi and Safari Web browser (including direct links to Facebook, Google and Yahoo, among others), and a YouTube application on the homescreen

  4. iTunes Wi-Fi music store, enabling iPod Touch users to purchase music on the go. (This eliminates the so-called competitve advantage of the Nokia Ovi - see my previous post)

  5. Customizable iPhone ringtones for 99 cents (I think they should integrate a mash-up function on iTunes where you can create your own musical mash-up and turn it into a ringtone or a song. Once you create your mash-up you can forward a sample to friends, etc and every time your ringtone or song is purchased a % of the sale is credited to your account).

  6. New color palette and design for the iPod Nano, including widescreen video, 3 new games, split-screen functionality, and coverflow (Did they just say "Widescreen video" on a nano? I think Steve Jobs has a different definition of the word "wide" than myself).

  7. Video iPod is now called iPod Classic and comes with double the memory

  8. New Shuffle color palette, including a Product Red model (Wow, how revolutionary).

  9. Starbucks partnership in which a free Starbucks ID button pops up on the iPhone and iPod Touch, enabling users to know what songs they’re playing in Starbucks and the ability to purchase it with the tap of a finger. (At least you will have something to do while you are waiting in line for 10 minutes to get your non-fat, soy milk, extra foam, extra-hot, splenda only, grande mocha-vanilla frappa-latte in a double venti cup to go).

  10. The bible has been replaced by the iPod instruction manual has the most printed book ever.(Ok I made this one up - but i wouldn't doubt it. All hail Steve Jobs).

Absolut New Orleans

Absolut Vodka has annouced that they are relasing a limited edition "Absolut New Orleans" vodka. 100% of the profits (not revenue) will be donated to various New Orleans charities. The taste of the drink is described as "a fruity mango vodka with a spicy black pepper kick." Sound good to you? That's what I thought.

Aside from the strange taste, Absolute has decided to make a long term campaign out of this idea. On their microsite, they allow users to nominate the next city that will be supported by a specific, Absolute vodka. Options include Boston, New York and Chicago (amog others).

Even though it is nice for a brand to offer charitable donations, something about this partnership feels a bit forced. Although this is a neat idea, it falls a bit short and comes off a bit cheap - almost a clear "hopefully you feel good about our brand" ploy rather than a naturally nice thing to do.

Ad Quote of the Day

"To many advertising account executives, chronic nervous dyspepsia, psychosomatic tension, and hyperacidity are more than just medical words used in television commercials. These are the very real terms that describe what is probably the most common occupational disease off the advertising game."

- Harry R. Gasker, quoted in Samm Sinclair Baker, The Permissible Lie: The Inside Truth About Advertising, 1968, Cleveland, OH: World Publishing Company, p. 8.


New Campaign - Elle Macpherson Intimates

Apparently these are all ads for Elle Macpherson Intimates. See all the campaign with branding right HERE. HERE HERE HERE .

The Glue Society created this unconventional campaign that shows that women can do more in lingerie than just be mind-blowing, unbelievably hot. My Question is this; Why did they remove the branding from the spots on Youtube? Your thoughts?

Skittles touch

Why People Hate Advertising - Reason #1

In the September Issue of Vogue, only 13% of the magazine is editorial content. How big is the September Issue? 840 pages. Of those 840 pages, 727 are ads.


Cadburys Dairy Milk - Let's Get Viral

The UK agency Fallon recently released this :90 second spot for Cadburys Dairy Milk bars. The microsite, developed by Glass and a Half Full Productions, simply shows the spot and leads to more information about the chocolate bar.

Already, this spot has garnered over 55,000 views on YouTube and a number of bloggers are writing about its effectiveness. I like it mainly because this song is great (who doesn't like Phil Collins) and it is really, really random.

Even if this video doesn't get truly viral, it is a great attempt at creating impact (through a totally random spot).

Your thoughts?

Just for fun - predict the brief with me.

Lets all play a game. It is called predict the brief - here is my 10 cents.
Client brief:
Objective: To create an ad campaign that positions our new skinned HP laptops as fashionable and trendy PC alternatives to the Apple macbook offerings.
Target: Urban men & women aged 16 - 30.

Insight: Our consumers want their laptops to reflect their personality and to show the world who they are much like the fashion they wear and the way they decorate their house. Our deep dig research shows that laptops and tech products have become an increasingly more important accessory to our target.

Agency - "Let's take the laptops and have them behave just like high-fashion. We can do a TV spot that shows celebrities and models talking about how their laptop is very personal that it truly is an extension of their character and represents them as much as the clothing they wear. (and it is tied into our "the computer is personal again campaign line"). For a buzz campaign lets get the top designers in the world to create a custom one-of-a kind laptop, autograph it and sell it on the clients website with the money raised going to their favourite charity. And then to show the client that we can think non-traditional lets ummm, hmmmm ....I know, I know we can create a fashion show with the models only wearing laptops. That would be so out-of-the-box it would cut right through the clutter."

Client - I only want print executions.

Creative team - "Just put the fucking things on a clothes hanger then." that is creative.

Think I am wrong.... comment below. Oh yeah and one question - do the computers come skinned or do you buy the sins like big stickers and put them on yourself?

Ad Quote of the Day

"Curiosity about life in all of its aspects, I think, is still the secret of great creative people."
- Leo Burnett, quoted in 100 LEO's, Chicago, IL: Leo Burnett Company, p. 26.


Nokia launches Ovi in the EU

In June when Nokia announced that they were restructuring the company to remain competitive many industry insiders expected a large part of Nokia's future to be based on internet services.

On Wednesday Nokia launched Ovi, and internet based music, gaming and maps store that will be accessible on the new Nokia N81 phone that offers 8GB of memory as well as their N-gage handheld. Ovi means "the door" in finnish and they are positioning the service as the gateway to a digital world.

The music store is set-up to be a direct competitor to itunes. Nokia has contracts signed with 4 heavy-weight music labels (Sony, EMI, Universal & Warner) and 2 million songs will be available in windows media format for downloading over wi-fi or the 3G network.

Ovi users will be able to download directly to there phone, versus the iphone where you must download to your computer then to your phone. You can pay 1 euro per song ($1.37 cdn) and download to your phone or receive unlimited PC streaming for $10 euro's per month.

The gaming section will offer access to Electronic Arts and Gameloft titles for downloading to the N81 or the n-gage hand set. The games will start at about $8, download.

Finally Nokia Maps will provide users with free access to maps of over 100 countries with impressive integration. The maps function will let you search for a specific nearby service such as restaurants and be connected directly to it through a "call" feature.

All in all this appears to be a very well thought out brand extension. My only question is that I feel service providers may be looking for a profit sharing deal from Nokia as they enter the territory of becoming a service provider. Here in Canada Rogers, Bell and Telus all have their own "music store" that will be directly competing with Ovi. Would you carry the enabled phone if you were them? Maybe if you saw a cut from profits.

Product Placement - are we on the wrong track?

The summer blockbuster Superbad continues to impress at the box office holding number one again last week. Over the past 10 years brands have become increasingly more prevalent and integrated into major motion pictures. So what brands are capitalizing on the movie Superbad?

Try these ones:

American Eagle Outfitters, American Express, bic, Camel, Casio G-Shock, Cheetos, Cocoa Puffs, Dartmouth College, Doritos, Ford, Frito Lay, Fritos, Geo, Honda, Kool, Marlboro, MasterCard, Motorola, MySpace, Nike, Oldsmobile, Orbitz, Pellini, Pepsi, PUMA, Quaker Oats, Red Bull, Sierra Mist, Slim Jim, Slushee, Sony PlayStation, Under Armour, Vans, Welch's

This is one area where I think our industry has become increasingly lazy. In my mind our goal as marketers, advertisers and brand builders should be to make our brands so entrenched within pop culture and to create brands that consumers become so emotionally connected to that Hollywood is forced to include your brand within the movie if it wants to be seen as relevant to a specific target market. Paying Hollywood through product placement is the easy way out. Do you think Harley Davidson paid for it's references in Easy Rider? I think not.

Thank you to brand channel for the Superbad brand breakdown. - You Make the News is one of the most popular user generated new sites on the web.

How does it work? Register (very easy) and post any stories or content that you think is interesting. When you submit it, you pick the category (ie. Politics, sports, entertainment), write the title and a brief description of what your story is about. The story is then posted within the site and users can read it whenever they want.

If users like the story then they can "digg" it. The more your story gets digged, the more prominent it becomes on the site (ie. The top 10 most "digged" stories are on the front page). As the day goes on, more stories are dug, top stories are replaced and the news cycle continues.

It's a very interesting concept, well worth checking out if you have a second. The stories aren't the usual variety (some about technology, others about cool or weird stuff) and its nice to get some content that's different from the traditional CBC's / CNN's of the world.

Pong with Andy

The US Open is going on right now and American tennis player Andy Roddick is featured in a number of different ads during the tournament. Last year, American Express had a great spot (below) of Andy playing against a giant Pong Paddle.

For 2007 Lacoste, Roddicks clothing sponsor, leveraged this AMEX spot to create a neat promotion and Microsite. In it, you can challenge Andy to a 6-point game of Pong. If you manage to beat him (the interface is a bit challenging) your name is entered into the contest (you can win tickets to this years US Open).

It's nice to see two different brands leverage something successful from a previous campaign. Rather than try to be completely different, Lacoste used a successful spot from AmEx and created a nice, quick promotion for their athlete.

The Best in the World

I wanted to share this old Tiger Woods ad - not because it's great (it is quite good) - but because of the follow-up talk with the director after this ad was shot. Pay attention to the final shot of the ad and then watch the quick interview after.

Great stuff.

Seth Godin - Marketing on the Web

Another great video featuring American marketing guru, Seth Godin. In this short clip, Godin talks about the transformation from Web 1.0 - 2.0 and what advertisers and marketers should be doing better when using the web to communicate (hint - it doesn't involve screaming at the viewer).


Ad Quote of the Long Weekend

"I am incredibly fascinated by what ever interests my client."
- Anonymous