Side effects of Wired’s “Best Accidental Discoveries”

Catching up on reading this weekend – page 28 of the March issue of Wired has a list of "The Best Accidental Discoveries."  The top ten: 10.  Potato chips9.  Silly putty8.  Vulcanized rubber7.  Brandy6.  Microwave ovens5.  Artificial sweeteners4.  Penicillin3.  X-rays2.  LSD1.  Viagra These have done the world more good than harm, but I thought of …

Sponsorships have saved and ruined the Olympics

A fun read over at ESPN from Darren Rovell on the top 10 worst Olympic marketing moments.  Sponsorships involve risk and over the past twenty years, sporting goods manufacturers have clearly become more risk tolerant in placing their bets.  Beginning with Barcelona 1992, we have entered into the corporate-era of the Olympic Games. As recent …

Yahoo bans trademark keyword bids

Cross this one off of your guerilla marketing to-do list.  According to CNet and other sources, Yahoo will prevent advertisers from bidding on competitor keywords starting March 1st. My understanding, mostly derived from hearing Alan Rimm-Kaufman speak on the subject, is that current law is meant to prevent deceptive or misleading advertising – like if …

Staples easy button – some background

Adrants previews a new commercial featuring the Staples easy button – kind of silly but humorous nonetheless.  Now you can buy your own for $4.99 online and Staples has also turned it into an desktop marketing tool – smart. However, in the beginning, Staples had no intention of doing anything with it, aside from being …

KFC’s “no-skip” ad

Good PR for KFC regarding their "anti-TiVo" commercial (WSJ, PVRwire, AdJab).  Although the technique is neither new nor foolproof, it’s a great hook to get exposure for the client and agency. I’d love to see advertisers experiment with some other tactics: US TV networks vary length of ad slots, adopting European/Asian 7", 10", 15", and …

Starbucks and one-way brand expansion

Thinking about Starbucks recently – reminds me of a theory I have on how brand extensions can work.  It’s much easier for a premium brand to extend "downscale" and retain its core/prestige than it is for a mass market brand to reposition itself as upscale. I recalled this after reading a couple of interesting mentions …

Do-Not-Email “child protection” registries – suspect timing

Interesting timing on this topic, as we approach mid-term Congressional elections in the U.S. this year.  Two states have implemented registries (Michigan and Utah) while five other states are considering similar programs (Connecticut, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, and Iowa).  An assortment of trade and advocacy groups are opposed to these efforts, including the ANA.  Even the …

Helio + MySpace: more light than heat

I thought this was an interesting announcement, coming so close on the heels of Mobile ESPN‘s launch the day after the Super Bowl.  There’s been a flurry of press but I’m not seeing a lot of analysis, even from some names like Om Malik…maybe people are holding their breath until the service actually launches. Going …

Will advertising ruin consumer-generated content?

I was asked recently if advertising will motivate more users to generate content and ultimately lower the quality of content online.  Some thoughts:  Social computing already has a lot of momentum.  Getting paid may eventually become a competitive differentiator for companies that rely on user-generated content.  However, being paid is unlikely to become the primary …

Guerilla keyword buying

In the wake of "google pontiac," I was checking Google and Yahoo! during the Super Bowl to see if anyone was trying to piggyback on major brand investments.  Sure enough, terms like "whopperettes," "brown bubbly," "dove," and "godaddy" were purchased by companies offering services totally unrelated to the keywords.  It looks like the 3 companies …