21 December 2006

Entertainment For Marketing

It's a time when ad agencies finally get to flex a little creative muscle and show just how creative they can be... the Christmas Holidays. Every year agencies all over the world look forward to putting their creative spin on the holidays to show just how creative they are.

This year our shop went with a Boxing Day theme. I'm really happy with how the creative looks and am very pleased with the response we've received from clients so far. If you want to see it give me a shout... I'm not posting it on here though. I have also seen very creative cards and presentations from many of our peers. And, this is good.

What I'm starting to see though is others using this time of year to put forward developed (and sometimes highly polished and produced) creative ideas in an attempt to keep their product in the forefront and distance themselves from the pack. And, this is good... really good.

An example of this is: http://www.elfyourself.com - this site is courtesty of Office Max, an online office supplies retailer. This site is absolutely hilarious, very well made and is truly entertaining. And this is just one of many sites that Office Max has put together this year and they are pure entertainment - their own logo appears in a very small spot on the very bottom of each of the sites. Some of the other sites include arm wrestling reindeer, shaking snowglobes and mistletoe in an elevator.

Here is how I 'Elfed myself': http://www.elfyourself.com/?userid=ec51be5aaa4ea0acb9c96c1G06122120

So, the question is; does this type of marketing work? I have not seen any hard data on this but it's easy to draw the line between the two - and I'm sure there's plenty of successful examples out there. I think with the growth of these types of marketing initiatives and viral campaigns there has to be something more to it than just shits and giggles.

I will be developing a viral campaign for a customer in January and believe that, if executed properly, the word of mouth the commercial will generate should bring plenty of attention to them within their industry. I'm looking forward to this project as it will allow us to flex some creative muscle.

My plan is to measure the effectiveness of this somehow - thinking through that portion of the campaign out right now. If we can't measure its effectiveness how can we determine if it was a worthwhile endeavor?

In the interim, please be sure to forward any viral campaigns you come across to me - I would like to see what methods of delivery are being used.

07 December 2006

Shit Music

While Christmas shopping I came across this useful item – the iCarta Stereo Dock… really.

Here’s the description on this little gem:

NEW! The king of all iPod docking stations! Why do we call it the king? Because it's the only docking station made especially for the "throne" room. One-of-a-kind unit plays your iPod while also charging it, so you can take your music anywhere (and we do mean ANYWHERE!). Includes a bath tissue holder - perfect for the man who has everything. Moisture-proof construction with four built-in speakers. Includes AC adapter. 8 1/4"L x 3 2/3"H x 7 1/2"D. Arms fold when not in bathroom use. iPod not included.

This hotel’s got bathroom telephones and an iPod dock next to the shitter.

Let’s have a good look at this interesting new listing, likely featured in the Den for Men, Skymall or other fine retail establishments where the chia pet is also sold.

First, it states that this one of a kind unit plays your iPod while it charges the battery – how long does this take? Most battery chargers I’m familiar with take hours not minutes to charge - unless I've been going to the bathroom wrong all these years. How does the charging work? Does the turning motion of the convenient toilet paper dispenser charge the battery somehow? Oh, it has an AC adapter… good thing – now when was the last time you saw an electrical outlet next to the toilet? I'm pretty sure there’s actually building codes in effect that prevents these type of conveniences from turning into a tragedy. If you have your heart set on it though... be sure to order the iXtension Cord with your toilet dock.

Second, it includes a bath tissue holder – perfect for the man who has everything... yeah, everything… except maybe taste. Is the man that has everything really the right target for this product? I submit that perhaps the man who doesn’t have anything would be a better target, as this would knock a few things off the list all at once.

It goes on...

Moisture-proof construction – what does that even mean? I can only assume that the workers were kept dry while they manufactured it. I guess it’s assurance for those that don’t aim so well.

Four built-in speakers. I should hope so, for $99 US I would expect it to have built in speakers… hell, it should pitch in with some of the paper work for that price. At that price it can’t even be used as a joke gift for most people - which is what I would consider it.

Arms fold when not in bathroom use – whos arms? No big woop - mine fold all the time.

Truthfully, this could be a useful product, afterall, there’s a lot of music I’ve heard that makes me want to defecate.