Friday, December 7, 2007

Go Elf Yourself!



Put yourself in some green tights and a funny hat, record an elfin' funny message, and let the holiday spirit move your elf incarnation to your friend's email addresses at elfyourself.com

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Some Sirius Evolution

The domino effect just never gets old, does it? Especially in this commercial that uses some stand-ins recalling the musicality of yesteryear.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Eric O'Shea- TV Commercials

Need better songs to help promote products!
Hottest Products of 2007

Where the Buzz Was each year, a new crop of products takes center stage -- that handful of items that really seems to resonate with consumers and the media. Whether the products are highly anticipated or they shoot up out of nowhere, they create a tremendous amount of buzz. So which products were hottest this year? From toys to drinks to gadgets, click through the gallery to see the top 15 picks.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Getting The Led Out

To promote its newest album, "Mothership", Led Zeppelin partnered with the website netdisaster.com to enable fans to direct mothership vessels to crash through the web pages of their choosing. The practice is called "Zeppelising" the net.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

The Midas Touch?

King of Spain, Juan Carlos made international headlines last week for telling Venezuelan President, Hugo Chavez to shut up at an Ibero-American summit meeting in Chile. The marketing signifcance of it?.....The phrase "Por que no te callas?" or "Why don't you shut up?" has since been turned into a ringtone and downloaded by half a million people, earning the enterprising ringtone makers $2.2 Million to date.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

From Ad Supported to Sponsor Supported?

The debate over pay per download vs. ad supported vs. subcription models may now have a new entrant into the mix. RCRD LBL, an online music label just up that offers sponsor supported mp3s completely free to consumers has forged relationships with companies like Puma, Nikon and Virgin America to distribute music freely in exchange for sponsorship dollars. Perusing the artists currently offered through the site, it's hard to make a leap of faith that such a model could exist at the 'majors' level, but it's another interesting twist on a wide open music marketplace.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

A Marketing Campaign That Lives Forever: Priceless


Mastercard's Priceless campaign, now a part of the pervasive pop culture psyche, joins forces with one of the most recognizable US football players and brand spokespersons to create Priceless Pep Talks. In the same vein as Career Builder's 'Monkey-Mail' marketing tool, and New Line Cinema's 'send a phone call from Samuel L. Jackson' for "Snakes on a Plane", MasterCard and Peyton Manning have crafted a number of facetious pep talks that can be personalized for greater poignancy. Don't have much of a social life at the moment? Peyton thinks you should learn some new dance moves.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Computerworld : DRM-free music boosts online album sales

check out the full article:

November 11, 2007 (Macworld UK) -- Even if some of the major labels remain shy of them, actual data shows paying music customers will buy non-DRM tracks at four times the rate they purchase music with DRM (Digital Rights Management) attached.

According to U.K. music download store 7 Digital, DRM-free music downloads are outselling other formats provided by the online music store by a factor of four to one. Given the choice, consumers prefer MP3 DRM-free formats, the website explains.

Good news, too, for the albums market, where DRM-free MP3s downloads are encouraging the purchase of digital album bundles, with 70 percent of MP3 downloads by value being albums. Physical album sales in the U.K. declined 20 percent this year.

It all adds up. The company observes that 78 percent of track and album downloads through its service are now in MP3 format, stripped of DRM.

7 Digital also confirmed that data rates and compression count, admitting that consumers "greatly prefer high-quality MP3s encoded at 320kbps" rather than WMA or AAC, the format offered by iTunes.

7digital.com also announced that more than 60 percent of its 3 million-strong music catalogue is now available in DRM-free MP3 format and that it expects that proportion to increase to close to 100 percent by summer next year.

"Consumers are a lot savvier than some people think, and overwhelmingly choose MP3 over any other format when given the choice. MP3 is the only truly interoperable format that works with the iPod, most mobile phones (including the iPhone) and all MP3 players," said Ben Drury, MD of 7digital.com.

"The MP3 format is also good for the music industry as a whole. As physical sales on the high street and online continue to drop, it is vital that labels find a way to increase digital album sales to make up the shortfall. In order for music industry revenues to flourish again, all four majors need to get on board and make music available to the consumer in the format of their choice," concluded Drury, who is also deputy chairman of the Entertainment Retailers Association (ERA).

Friday, November 9, 2007

Sony's Bravia Ad Painted Gold

Sony's "Paint" spot for its Bravia LCD line was named the most awarded commercial of 2007 globally by the Gunn Report.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

The Guinness Book of Viral Advertising

Guinness is not launching its newest advertisement on TV. In fact, to the normal eye the advertisement isn't being launched anywhere. Hidden somewhere on the web, Guinness has created an Internet treasure hunt for the ad, with clues amongst video clips and beer blogs for one savvy sleuth to find and unlock to the masses. With the level of difficulty set high however, prospective hunters may want to remain sober. The main contest site is located at GuinnessTipping.com. The first domino clue is apparently hidden in this video:

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Merchandising PiZazzle from MySpace

Artists on MySpace can create and sell their own merchandise through a virtual merch store widget embeddable on MySpace pages. The widget is the result of a partnership between MySpace and Zazzle, an 'On-Demand Retail' company. Artists will have the freedom to set their own royalty rates, anywhere from 10% to 99% of the retail price, while incurring no up front production costs. Maybe cooler for fans of artists who set up these merch stores is the ability to customize any product with their own photos, colors, designs, etc. Wow, now even merchandising has gone 2.0!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Hulu Hoopla

Hulu.com, a video sharing hub created by NBCU and News Corp. has just launched in private beta. Dubbed by some as a potential "YouTube Killer", Hulu offers users access to full length television programming, feature films, clips and other content. Currently, programming has been made available by NBC, Fox, Sony, MGM, Universal Pictures and 20th Century Fox. Key points of differentiation from YouTube, however, include the fact that users are not able to post their own content. They can, though, take content to post to their own websites, blogs, etc., even splicing the video to create new in times and out times. Additionally, each video contains a 15 or 30 second ad that cannot be skipped. Hulu has also partnered with AOL, Comcast, MSN, MySpace and Yahoo to place its programming on their video sites. Surely, the muscle behind Hulu is banking on its format becoming 'the next big thing' in marrying video and the internet, and music videos will be right there on the front line.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Vringo is its Name-O

Vringo, a video ringtone service now up and running in public beta phase is set to give the ringtone a makeover. Not only does it make video (both licensed and user generated) available as a 'visual ring', but it changes the paradigm for ringtone delivery; instead of me determining what ring plays on my phone when a given aquaintance calls, my aquaintance would dictate the video ringtone appearing on my handset at their call. At a time when the ringtone/mastertone business has started to flatten out, this may be a perfectly timed shot in the arm.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Separated at birth?



On the left: old press shot for Apple iPod Nano . On the right: new press shot for Sony Cybershot camera.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Off-Road but On Message

If the line between entertainment and advertising isn't already completely lost to you, check out Toyota's new commercial set amidst 'World of Warcraft' videogame scenery.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

MySpace Gets In The Game

MySpace and casual gaming company Oberon Media have announced a partnership to create a MySpace Gaming Channel for launch in early 2008. The games themselves will be embeddable, and offer multi-player modes inviting competition amongst friends. Participants will also be able to chat with one another while playing. Of course, not to be forgotten is the allure for advertisers of being able to place ads in and around the games - an advertising terrain attractive for marketers targeting a captive gaming audience.

Dance Dance Resolution

South Korean Company, Samsung takes choreography to an entirely new level, using over 1,100 people and apparently only clothing (no cards) to create a gigantic human LCD Television and programming to boot.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

For Consumers with a Street Tooth

Honda's new advertising campaign for its CR-V SUV focuses on consumer cravings. To this end, Honda has purchased indulgent search words like "cupcakes", "chocolate" and "banana split" as part of an SEM initiative to direct people with a sweet tooth to its website to play a "Guess What You Crave" game. The game uses an image of the CR-V's navigation screen to ask a player 20 questions, after which it guesses what the player is craving. Too bad it can't emit that "new car smell" through the computer; that's always been the deal sealer for me.

Arcade Fire: First Interactive Video?

We've seen interactive ads, games, short stories, teasers... but a full length video? Check out the new video from Arcade Fire.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Using the car as a platform and distribution channel for music



In a digital age where the CD is losing it's fanbase, the automobile industry is shifting it's focus to the newer medias of music. Out with the old and in with the new. Some examples below...





Sony BMG & Honda re teaming up on an online branded music player to jointly promote new video releases and the Honda Civic model. The player will feature Avril Lavigne, Christina Aguilera, and Dido amongst others.


http://www.adweek.com/aw/magazine/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1003654898





The Twingo Nokia is a music-enabled phone on wheels. The new car features an MPS-compatible radio & CD player (with USB, jack & iPod inputs), steering wheel controls, hands-free bluetooth phone control, and GPS navigation via the new Nokia 6110 Navigator phone.


http://www.twingoconcept.com/

Hugo Boss Holds Court



Finding an attractive way to market its brand in a place where a multitude of eyes are focusing at once, Hugo Boss used models as ballgirls at the Madrid Masters Tennis Tournament last week.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Smart Like a Foxy?

Rapper Foxy Brown's sentencing to a year in jail in late September makes her another in a growing field of female recording stars running afoul of the law and public opinion. Foxy and team, however, appear to be embracing her mishap as part of the marketing strategy for her new album, creating the website freefoxybrown.com. The pretense of the site is to allow Foxy to stay in touch with her fans while she's incarcerated, but with heavy promo language around her forthcoming album, and links for ringtones and merchandise, the "free Foxy" message looks more like a fox(y) in sheep's clothing. A more fitting adage may be, 'You do the crime, you sell the rhymes.'

Functional Fantasies?

Came across an interesting adaptation to the fantasy sports hobby that has become an obsession for many sports nuts (19 million participants in the U.S. and Canada alone according the Fantasy Sports Trade Association) - a similar points based fantasy game for wannabe TV Executives.
TVBigShot.com provides players with a virtual budget of $300 Million dollars with which to create their own television network comprised of existing shows. Points are earned on actual ratings performances, finishing first for a specific time-slot, ratings growth, magazine covers, Golden Globe awards, etc. Players can then buy and sell the programs in their network to further bolster their budgets and points totals.

For the networks themselves, interactive involvement by viewers to this degree has to be appealing on account of the heightened attentiveness that participants will likely give to guest appearances and other newsworthy items, which in turn can generate added promotional buzz amongst the players themselves. Moreover, if networks are tapped into why players are selling specific shows, and for what reason, there are learnable opportunities for possibly turning a show around, or fortuitously cutting the chord sooner rather than later.

Now, considering that most people's career daydreams involve themselves as a Rock Star, and that settling for the life of a Record Label Executive isn't too far behind, why couldn't a fantasy game for wannabe music executives be a big success? Say, give players a virtual budget with which to invest in a number of actual upcoming releases. Points could be accrued on sales success, chart position, magazine covers, Grammy and music video awards, and lost upon release delays, etc. The insight which could be gleaned for artists attracting a lot of investment attention, as well as the increased awareness of album release dates before they've streeted, would certainly be valuable for informing the real decisions that occur within our walls.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Combating Ad Fatigue

An interesting piece from the Wall Street Journal earlier this week examining the challenge marketers face in making sure that their advertisement's don't run too often in one medium so as to turn consumers off. Advertising wear-out - as it is called - has been researched primarily in the television commercial format, leading to conclusions that an ad can be viewed 3 to 25 times before losing its effectiveness, or can be brought back in the original format after being off air for at least 12 weeks and regain its initial effectiveness. The short of the article being that maximum reach and success require creative ways of adapting a single creative work across multiple mediums and formats. Nothing mind-blowing there.

However, for us music marketers, it is interesting to take up the question of consumer fatigue as relates to the job we're trying to do. In our business, the music itself is always the biggest marketing tool, and everyone is familiar with the concept of a song being "played out." Still, leading up to an album's release, our focus becomes getting a song played on as many music channels, sites, and radio stations and formats, and anywhere else, as much as possible. We aren't in the business of managing against listener fatigue, and I don't think we ever will be. But as we continue to play with questions for how long to lead with a single to radio before an album's release date, or whether to make a radio single available for download at first detection, it may be worthwhile to consider listener fatigue as affects purchase behavior during different time periods of song exposure.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

In Their iSights

Open season on Apple's iPhone by competitor carriers is officially here, and imitation appears to hold as the ultimate form of flattery based upon the look of the new Voyager by LG. One of Verizon Wireless' four new phones for the approaching holiday season, The Voyager slides open sideways to reveal a full QWERTY keypad in addition to its large touch screen seen at left. Other features are an HTML Web browser; Verizon Wireless' V Cast mobile TV, video, and music service; plus the ability to play MP3, WMA, and unprotected AAC files. Anticipated to be available for sale before Thanksgiving, Verizon is literally hoping to help you ring in the New Year.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Out of Their Radiominds?


Rock band, Radiohead is releasing its new album on October 10th. Want to buy it?....name your price. Seriously. Fans visiting radiohead.com are asked to enter what they're willing to pay (as little as 1 pence/2cents, plus the 45pence credit card fee). Independent after completing their contract with Capitol Records, the band is going what the LA Times calls the "tip-jar route" to maximize fan awareness and engagement on the album as opposed to sales revenues. Any attempt to qualify the success of the strategy will likely be up for debate, but, then again, if we're debating the album then Radiohead'll have accomplished a primary goal of the maneuver.

Monday, October 8, 2007

amazon.com mp3 shop - also available for non-us consumers

Last weekend I was reading that this download shop is also accessible for us people overseas:
Simply use your credit card and fake an US billing address - only the ZIP code need to match. So I created a new amazon.com account added my details with my German credit card and billing address 550 Madison, NY and than checked out the shop.

First of all it looks the same as the usual shopping cds at amazon and so I instantly liked it. Checking out the charts I recognized that our friends at Universal have chosen to make a big part of their catalog available as MP3's, EMI of course too and a lot of US Indies. Currently I am not buying music digitally because I simply not like DRM (call my and I will explain in detail why) and rather still buy CDs and rip them into my Itunes. So I was pretty exited to check out the shop.

To download with "1 Click" you have to install an "amazon download" manager which worked alright on my Mac and which downloads the tracks to a new folder (you can also choose to have it added to your iTunes automatically).

So I started to put some music into my basket. Being a little bit cautious I started with just one track from the "Apples in Stereo" for 0,89 cents (pretty cheap price especially if you live in EURO land) - all good and after I moved it my Itunes library I recognized that it's been encoded into 256kbps - nice quality and better than I usually use when I rip my CDs.

So why not to buy an album - I checked out "Spoon" and bought the full album for 8,99 $ - nice stuff and also the download worked fast and smooth. Later that day I bought the latest from "Stars" and an old record from "The National" which is not available yet in Germany.

Actually I spend more money than my total Itunes spending was in the past three years. If you check out the charts on the site looks like there is a lot of old "classic" songs like Verve , Nirvana or Don Mclean alongside new releases and my gut feeling is that this shop will turn more CD buyers into digital music buyers (and hopefully also some who get their music from illegal sites yet).

The sad part of it is of course that there is no SONY BMG or WARNER MP3's in that shop (that my opinion as a consumer) and that there is no news yet about how SONY BMG will deal with DRM in the future. We keep patient but want and need to know soon (that my opinion as a SONY BMG marketing guy).

Friday, September 28, 2007

Mornings May Never Be the Same......For Your Friends

The possibilities are endless (all mischevious of course) with a new service that allows you to send "wake-up" calls to any phone number. Drunk dialing without the after effects of getting drunk; that's genius. If this gets big, maybe we can look at creating stock 'wake-up messages' from our artists for a nominal purchase amount: something like, "Mornin', this is T-Pain, it's time to wake up so that you can get your drank on."

Thursday, September 27, 2007

The Clash / Nissan Rogue spot

I had to post this. Really creative spot with a great music bed.
http://creativity-online.com/work/view?seed=5f1c6d18

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

If the Shoe Fits, Wear it on Two Feet


As we consider global solutions for artists whose music and appeal find legs beyond their home territories, it is interesting to examine big brand companies hard at work on the same task. Check out Reebok's newly launched 'Two People in Everyone' global campaign. The personalities and languages featured on the .com site reflect a broad lineup of iconic figures of varying degrees of international renown.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Go Go Gadget Ads

Google unveils a new ad format to complement web 2.0. The advertisements themselves can feature video, maps, audio, and flash or html actions in what was once the domain of flat, one-dimensional displays. I wonder how long it will take for the first adisode to be produced?

Monday, September 24, 2007

Not So Bunny

Van Halen's "Hot for Teacher" meets the anti-Sir Mix-A-Lot in a recent burger chain commercial that has numerous educators' associations up in arms. Is anyone considering the Patty Melt in all of this?

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Painfully Entertazeing

An incident at a recent University of Florida John Kerry forum has the phrase, "Don't Taze Me, Bro" showing up everywhere from t-shirts to bumper stickers to music video remixes. Please Hammer, Don't Hurt 'Em; He's already been tazed.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

http://www.dylanmessaging.com/index.html

This is a brilliant bit of marketing (simply because it features Bob Dylan) and is precision-built for me. It allows you to 'doctor' the iconic cue card sequence in Dylan's 'Subterranean Homesick Blues' video with your own (invariably rude) message.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

This Video is the Shi...sh Kebab

This Parisian Kebab Vendor's ditty on his cuisine specialty earned a deal with EMI. Maybe the follow up single will promote whatever beverage goes best with his fare.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Cadbury Gorilla ad

I love that this has nothing to do with chocolate, but makes the brand cool. Cadbury has made a lot of noise and fans with this ad.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Loose Lips Sink Ships or Set Them Asail?

The preponderance of recent music leaks to the internet from big name artists is a little perplexing. Is it really becoming an uphill battle to preserve early tracks for an album's street date? Or is intentional leaking the new piece de resistance for a viral marketing strategy? An interesting Village Voice article insinuates such a conspiracy theory around the leaks of Kanye West's Graduation and 50 Cent's Curtis on the same day last week.

Remember in grade school how by way of flirtatious speculation you'd be asked if you liked someone, which was then followed by, "but do you like them, like them?" It seems we may have to start asking internally not whether a song was leaked online, but was it leak leaked?

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

A New (and valuable?) Offspring of the Music Video

Youtube continues to spawn phenomenons. Most recently, anyone wanting to get up to speed on Hip Hop artist, Soulja Boy's 'Crank That' dance need only visit the video site for a literal step-by-step tutorial on how to be official with one's moves the next time the song plays. The instructional clip featuring Soulja Boy himself has received over 3 million views in the month it's been posted (half of the 6+ million of the actual video). Soulja Boy, or his team, has even displayed the wherewithal to scroll the online address for his merchandise store across the lower third of his video to entice greater revenue out of the song's/dance's popularity.

To take it a step further, the web site nowplayit.com recently launched in beta phase offering downloads for purchase of instructional clips from artists like KT Tunstall and Coldplay on how to mimic the guitar mastery of their hit songs.

Makes some sense, doesn't it? We admire our favorite artists for their skill, showmanship and musicianship, and often attempt to emulate their dances, guitar play and singing short of ever having a how to video to follow. If an instructional clip is coming straight from the artist we admire, wouldn't it be worth a reasonable fee to download, keep, play and imitate?

Friday, August 31, 2007

Mobile Device Industry Enroute to Making Waves on the Web?

Nokia yesterday introduced Ovi, their new internet services brand name. ‘Ovi’, meaning ‘door’ in Finnish, signals a huge step for Nokia from the mobile device market into the internet. Ovi will serve as a gateway for customers to access many of Nokia’s services and will also become a social network for Nokia’s customers and users. From Ovi, customers will be able to download music, games and GPS maps. A key thrust is also the aim to create Nokia web communities, which will enable interactivity with other users and also easy access to individual’s content and contacts.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

What We Stand to Game

I've been having a go with one of the marketing tools for T-Pain - a flash video game where one directs T across a bar floor to catch dranks that are falling from the sky (T-Pain's Cocktail Crazy.) Apparently I am one of the biggest barroom butterfingers alive, however. Still, it is quite addicting and I'm itching to give it another shot. My running infatuation with social networking widgets got me thinking whether a game like this could be turned into an embeddable widget. Surely, fans of T-Pain would like to house such a game on their site to see if visiting friends and strangers could best their score. Moreover, what if the stakes were raised so that someone scoring over a certain threshhold then earned the privilege to download the single "Buy You a Drank" for free? This might spur viral sharing and awareness. And maybe for those not reaching the ultimate threshhold, various incremental scores would garner a corresponding reduction off of the standard $.99 price for purchase.

It's even possible that - in this instance - the falling drinks all clearly display the Bacardi brand or something like that so that they not only foot a contribution to be the exclusive promoter of the game, but also cover the free and discounted downloadable tracks for players attaining the requisite scores. Just some food - or should I say drank - for thought.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Levis - Both Ways


Have you seen that Levi’s TV spot where the guy pulls up his pants, along with another world and a hot girl? It's great. But you'd have to watch the gay and lesbian Logo cable channel to see a different version airing there, where our same pant-pulling He-man brings up a guy through the floorboards instead of a woman.

Now that's SEGMENTED advertising.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Gettin' Wiki Wit' It

fuse.tv today announced the launch of www.wiki.fuse.tv, an interactive community site that encourages fans to personalize artist pages. Ultimate fandom or fiefdom? Check it out.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Friday, August 24, 2007

The Race to Free in France

This past week the French have hit on a trifecta of free music deals further bringing into focus the sign of times to come. Jockeying for the favor of broadband consumers, both French telco companies Neuf Cegetel and France Telecom have announced plans to provide free unlimited music downloads to subscribers for their respective "triple-play" internet, telephone and tv bundles. Neuf Cegetel's deal is with Universal Music and makes the service available immediately. France Telecom's response won't launch until 2008, but promises a wider selection than the nine pre-specified musical genres comprising Neuf Cegetel's free offer. For Neuf Cegetel customers to download music from genres not a part of the pre-specified nine there is an additional monthly subscription cost of EUR 4.99 ($6.99).

Almost simultaneous to the news above, the old BlogMusik.net has resurfaced as Deezer.com announcing its free and legal on demand streaming service as a result of a deal with French collection society, SACEM. The agreement compensates record companies and other claimants with monies from advertising revenues earned by the site. Deezer.com is available in 16 different languages

Is it now official that music has become a value-adding throw-in/enticement for other revenue generating services?

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Mix(tape)ing It Up

Two interesting stories this week bringing the mixtape debate back to the forefront. One has Universal Music experimenting with a legal mixtape series called "Lethal Squad Mixtapes" to the bemusement of retailers who stopped carrying the product after the RIAA's crackdown on DJ Drama and wider-spread mixtape outfits. The other details a brand new initiative between Hot 97's DJ Envy and mobile content distributor, Cellfish Media to distribute seven-track mixtape compilations as ringtones and full downloads to paying consumers.

Both touch upon the viral power of mixtapes in generating critical buzz and artist credibility. Maybe more telling is the stated importance of the DJ actually doing the mixing. Universal's foray is being criticized for using an unknown DJ. Envy offers a supporting claim that "if I have a hot mixtape, it'll sell out. A new album will be hot only for a few weeks, then die down. That's what the kids want."

With the above in mind, as labels move away from the "record company" moniker to operating as talent developers/brokers, etc., should once 'antagonistic' street DJs be brought into the fold? And must mixtapes only be a tool for Hip Hop if their value can be capitalized upon?

Monday, August 20, 2007

Intimate-Tones (Intimatones?)

Last summer about this time, I, like many others I'm sure, received a call from Samuel L. Jackson. He knew my name, the fact I sported a bald head, and he even made mention of the scooter I rode. I was touched. Not touched enough to actually go and see the movie "Snakes on a Plane", which he was exhorting me to see, but touched to the point that I logged on to http://dev.snakesonaplane.varitalk.com/ at first opportunity to personalize phone calls from Samuel to a number of my friends. Everyone got a real kick out of it.

Thinking of the music industry currently and the assortment of digital/mobile product elements available, ringtones and mastertones and ringback tones have certainly proven profitable, but they still exist primarily within the paradigm of items one would purchase for oneself. Aren't we all still trying to figure out how to capitalize on the inertia for sharing that great music compels us toward? That said, I would relish the opportunity to pay $2.99 or $3.99 for a customizable digital transmission, which I could send to a friend's phone so that when my call was answered or voicemail retrieved, the recipient would hear (in Justin Timberlake's voice) "Hey Lauren, this is JT, and I wanted to personally thank you for bringing sexy back" (then followed by the song of course). Or something like that. Thoughts?

Friday, August 17, 2007

Just the ticket for the CD's Golden Years?

The 2005 remake of Roald Dahl's 1971 cult-classic 'Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory' had grossed over $268 Million in International Box Office at last count. Thus, people everywhere are well aware of golden-ticket-mania. Seen in the real world, millions of people play national lotteries every week with the grandest of hopes. And when the numbers are pulled, these same millions are left with nothing but a worthless piece of paper. Yet millions more will buy-in again the next week.

Applied to the music industry, what if for a coordinated worldwide release of a major artist with a rabid following, 5 CDs around the globe contained a golden ticket awarding the opportunity to accompany said artist on their upcoming tour? Could this be a lottery-esque tipping point for fans who straddle the fence on whether and how to by new music? Would the reward be grand enough to influence 'Johnnie' to buy more than one copy? Would 'Johnnie's' aunt also make a purchase in hopes of being golden in her nephew's eyes? Regardless, even for a fan who didn't win, being left with an album in the end would have to be much more valuable than a worthless piece of paper; a rationale which in itself may be a purchase influencer.

Too gimmicky? Maybe. But any opportunity to toss around an idea that rekindles visions of Oompa Loompas is worthwhile in my book.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Widget or Won't It?


Hi all! My name is Maikel and I am thrilled to be rotating through Sony BMG's Global Marketing department for the next four months or more as part of the company's Management Trainee program. Well, widg'ya believe the prominence that the mini-app phenomenon has assumed in the Web 2.0 world? While the functionality of many of the touted embeddable applications may as yet be more smoke than substance, their growth and popularity is undeniable.

Earlier this week Apple launched three "My iTunes" widgets, which enable users to share their iTunes purchases, reviews and recommendations in blogs, personal websites, or social networking pages. It appears everyone wants the tools to customize their web presence to share what makes them who they are. Question is - are our artists sharing enough with the fans who visit their sites using similar tools? Not sharing in the sense of giving more away, but is there value in incorporating widgets that promote the music our artists are listening to? the concerts they'd be interested in attending? It depends widge way you look at it, I guess.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

What happens when the shoe's on the other foot?

Futbol or Football?

Who’s better...?
Beckham or Bush?
David or Dubya?

Friday, August 3, 2007

Is Copy Dead or Just Evolving?
Call Me Old-Fashioned, but I Like Words...Small Agency DiaryI recently came across a circa 1950's print advertisement for Budweiser hanging on a wall in a Jersey Shore (Avalon) bar. A colored drawing of two hardy guys enjoying their Buds in a far off cave. Within the design was an encyclopedic-like paragraph that ran the entire length of the ad where there was a mention of Bud using "water that came from stalagmites for purity," etc., etc. A number of multi-syllabic words were threaded throughout the highbrow prose that was an obvious focal point of the ad. Something about this ...

Thursday, August 2, 2007

1-18-08 - viral movie campaign

A very impressive and powerful viral campaign started in US theatres in july 2007:



Prior to the movie "Transformers" a trailer (see below) was presented, which had no information on the movie itself and only gave the information "J.J.Abrams" towards the end. The trailer itself was composed of shaky pictures filmed with a handheld camera and did look anything but like a trailer the audience is used to. This left some people quite irritated and statements such as "WHAT THE F*** WAS THAT!?" were quite common. As a lot of viewers were familiar with the name "J.J.Abrams" (creator of mystery show LOST) people started seeking information on the web with the goal to put the pieces of the puzzle together. The result: Lots of talk in the internet and on the media about the trailer and the upcoming movie Cloverfield which is supposed to hit theatres on 1-18-08.



This campaign shows how the buzzword "viral marketing" can be filled with actual meaning.








More details can be found on wikkipedia/cloverfield.



André Bohnet-Armstrong

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Madlib's Beat Konducta

Yes this is a real promo tool. Don't ask me who thought up such an infectious, clever scheme using Bollywood's finest and Youtube! ... but it works. Madlib's Beat Konducta in India will release the hip hop laced album, "Beat conductor Volume 3 & 4" on August 28th. What can we expect? Yes you heard it... "Breaks, disco, Rock n Roll!"

Monday, July 30, 2007

Monday, July 23, 2007

Oops!...They Did It Again

Oops! ...They Did It Again

Zomba is on a hot streak again, with hits from performers like Justin Timberlake, R. Kelly and T-Pain, a rapper-turned-singer whose new CD surpassed Paul McCartney's last month to enter the Billboard chart at No. 1.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Ray Ban Viral Part 2

Have you seen the Ray Ban print ads for "Never Hide" in Rolling Stone this month (40th Anniversary Edition)? They are running a competition with Rolling Stone, calling for bands to submit a song at myspace.com/ray-ban, which will be judged by a panel made up of Tyson Ritter (All-American Rejects), Ben Berkman (A&M/Octone) and Jonathan Ringen (Rolling Stone). The winning band will perform at Rolling Stone's 40th Anniversary party in Sin City and featured on MySpace.

I like the "Never Hide" theme, personally.

As a follow up to the Ray Ban viral You Tube video which I posted here last month, they have now created a sequel...

Josh Warner, viral video creator, said, "As you know, one of this summer’s most successful viral brand videos was from Never Hide Films sponsored by Ray-Ban. "Catch" or "Guy catches glasses with face" as it was titled on YouTube featured two young filmmakers from Santa Monica, CA throwing Wayfarer sunglasses at each other from increasingly challenging distances. After 11 million views on multiple video share sites and blogs; features on MSNBC, CNN, and the BBC; and over 11,000 comments on YouTube alone, "Catch" filmmakers Steve and Benzo are back with a summertime sequel ‘Bobbing for glasses.’"

Check it out...

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Behavior Defines Consumers
Deeper Understanding: Don't Ask People What They Think; Watch What They Do
Some people are bouncing between so many pursuits, it's impossible to determine their priorities. But most of the time we can cut through the "I do it all" cover stories and discover the real person, by focusing on behavior. In other words, actions really do speak louder than words.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

“We in the bed like ooh, ooh, ooh…”

Funny or Die is a user generated website full of youtube like content from various comedians around the country mixed with clips created by your average Joe. Users upload their videos and wait to see what happens. If the video has all the right ingredients for a successful viral video, the vid’s popularity will gain more exposure and eventually carry on to other sites. If it just doesn’t cut it, the clip dies. This T-Pain parody of “Buy U A Drank” was posted 3 hours ago and has 73 views. U can follow the video’s success by checking back with the site to see if it has what it takes to live... or die.
White Guy recites T-Pain
This next clip entitle "The Landlord" submitted by Will Ferrell has been viewed more than 39 million times.
The Landlord

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Sharks Roam Manhattan
Moving Fin Projected on Skyscrapers for Discovery's 'Shark Week'
Just when you thought it was safe to spend a summer evening in Manhattan, sharks are swimming along the buildings. No, global warming hasn't kicked into high gear and submerged Manhattan -- yet. But Discovery Network's 20th annual Shark Week starts July 29, which means the media push beforehand has brought the chondrichthyes (that's "cartilaginous fishes" to all you non-marine biologists) to New York en masse.

Friday, July 13, 2007

The Rakes rakin’ it in


I love this new contest for the London based band The Rakes. Fans enter to win signed “Rakes” artwork and memorabilia by purchasing their new single, "The World Was A Mess but His Hair Was Perfect." Participants simply send in proof of purchase for the single via email or they send in a physical copy or the receipt. The best part is fans are encouraged to enter multiple times by buying more singles. The single was released today so we’ll see how this promotion affects sales. For more contest details visit http://www.therakes.co.uk/go.php?object=news&mode=default&newsID=231

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Thirsty? ...for some Black Eyed Peas?

Pepsi-Doritos and the Black Eyed Peas have entered a two year multi-brand partnership that recently began with this new Pepsi spot. The BEP's specifically wrote a new single called "More" just for this commercial. Check it out!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Pepsi Goes on $55 Million Binge for Diet Max
Cola Giant's Largest Investment in a Decade for a New Brand Looks to Awaken Men to the No-Cal Category
This is no yawner. That's the thinking at Pepsi-Cola Co. North America, which this week begins pouring its largest investment into a new brand in a decade -- as much as $55 million -- into Diet Pepsi Max, a cross between a soft drink and an energy drink to rouse men out of that 2 p.m. slump. Pepsi is so confident in Max, which it said tested higher than any other diet-cola concept in its history, that it's putting two to three times its normal launch budget behind the theme "Wake up, people!"

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Coke plunges into viral mode

This is a brilliant viral piece from Coca-cola's "Happiness Factory" campaign. The "Happiness Factory" commercial has been very successful at stirring the emotions of the consumer and branding coke as a quality product. This viral release is a behind the scenes extention of the original concept and broadens the effectiveness of the campaign to millions of youtube viewers.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Simpsons movie: 7-Eleven turn into Kwik-E-Marts

Promotion for the Simpsons movie is reaching a new high as 12 7-Eleven markets across the USA are turned into Kwik-E-Marts from the well known cartoon series:


Can anyone get me a Duff or a Squishee, please?

More pictures here

Friday, June 29, 2007

Candies’ Co-op with Fergie Ferg



Candies recently announced its partnership with 3 time Grammy award-winning artist, Fergie for its Candie's brand fall advertising campaign. The entire line is available exclusively at Kohl's. Candies teamed up with the duchess to style her music video "Big Girls Don't Cry," which features everything Candie's… including all apparel, footwear, jewelry, sleepwear, hats and bedding.
The Candies TV spot will be a direct cut from the "Big Girls Don't Cry" music video and the print campaign will feature candid shots taken on set during the shoot. This is the first time a junior fashion brand has extracted their campaign from a music video. "Big Girls Don't Cry" is in the top five on Billboard's Hot 100 chart and among the top 10 most played videos on MTV and VH-1.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Giant Whisker

Norelco's new innovative campaign... check it out

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Interscope Preps Artist-Branded Drinks, Readies Roster




Straight from my Daily Music News supscription:

Interscope Geffen A&M is now preparing a number of artist-branded drinks, according to an announcement issued this week. The initiative involves Drinks Americas Holdings, Ltd., a Connecticut-based company specializing in customized liquid concoctions. According to Interscope, a division of Universal Music Group, the companies will jointly develop artist concepts and marketing approaches, and share resulting profits. Drinks Americas has already launched a number of celebrity-branded beverages, including the Donald Trump-inspired Trump Super Premium Vodka and Willie Nelson's Old Whiskey River Bourbon. According to the company, the Trump concept is slated to sell 100,000 cases in its first year, a strong achievement.

For the Interscope partnership, specific artist names were not disclosed, though a number of potential tie-ins were tossed around. The celebrity branding possibilities include Eminem, Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, 50 Cent, Busta Rhymes, G-Unit, Daddy Yankee, Sheryl Crow, Enrique Iglesias, Chris Cornell, and Gwen Stefani, according to the label group. "There is a large opportunity here for both companies to generate substantial incremental revenue and profits and create valuable assets," said J. Patrick Kenny, chief executive of Drinks Americas. "One only needs to take note of the huge purchase prices recently paid by large beverage companies for new, icon-associated and proven brands to see the tremendous potential in the products to be developed through our venture with Interscope Geffen A&M."

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

2nd Life into 1st Life

I've been working on a pitch for the Foo Fighters to perform in Second Life. The question I have to keep asking myself is this: if only 500 to 1,000 avatars will see this performance, why are we doing this? They key is, therefore, to generate enough awareness OUTSIDE of Second Life to make a real impact on the band's image and consumer awareness.

In my search to bring Second Life into First Life, this video fits perfectly (this will only be funny if you've been in Second Life):

Monday, June 25, 2007

Norway Innovation

Ditlef represented the Nordic countries at our global Alicia Keys & Foo Fighters meetings last week in Los Angeles. Why Norway and not its much larger neighbor Sweden you ask? Well, first, because Ditlef is much better looking than Johan. Second, Ditlef has a twin brother and also twin sons so he knows all about equal representation and fair sharing. And third, because the Norwegians are super cool, as shown here in the coolest video ever made to lure children into the magical world of engineering (my son is 7, dies for trains and has watched this spot a hundred times).

Hydro is a Scandinavian producer of oil, gas and aluminum.

If they can make gas & oil interesting, music should be a no-brainer.

Thanks Ditlef!

Friday, June 22, 2007

Free?


Skint Records is currently running an interesting promotion and contest involving a free 10 track sampler for what’s to come later this year (including material from Fatboy Slim, Lo-Fidelity, and All-Stars). By signing up to receive the sampler, participants are automatically entered to win a free vacation. So what’s the motive?… not quite sure, but it doesn’t hurt to have email addresses, demographics and addresses for all interested listeners/potential buyers. To sign up, participants have to divulge their personal contact info etc. allowing Skint to further reach them about future releases.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

iPhone

I think Apple is one of the greatest companies in the world. They are so clever and they are always one step ahead of everyone else. They are constantly setting the standard for where technology is and where it should be heading. The thing is, though, anyone could be doing exactly the same thing with their products. Apple's main goal, in whatever product they market, is to make the product easy to use for the consumer. If the product is easy to use, the consumer is much more comfortable with it and thats probably the second thing any consumer notices after the shocking whiteness of any apple product.

Recently, apple has decided to take a risk. They looked at cell phones, and realized they could do it better. The risk here is that they are already in the computer and mp3 markets, and when companies start to spread themselves too thin on vertical product branding, they sometimes cannot capture the market. However, Apple's stance is that they are introducing a new technology to the world through the touch screen, and they hope that people, who already trust their easy-to-use products and their phenomenal customer service, will trust them when they say they will revolutionize cell phones.

From a marketing standpoint, this commercial is brilliant. It is presented so simply. They tell you what you want, show you that their product has it, and puts it all to the perfect music score. It really gets you intrigued and excited about this mysterious product.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Month's Top 10 Most-Liked New TV Spots

Consumers Like the Verizon Wireless Vcast Song ID Ad
Verizon's Vcast Song ID spot was the commercial most liked by viewers during the last month. See the full IAG lists of top-liked and top-recalled spots.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Kings of Leon T-Shirt contest


Hey everyone! My name is Eric Henry. I'm new to the Global Marketing department. I graduated from the University of Pennsylvania last year, and I was consulting for a year before I finally wised up and came to the music industry! I really look forward to meeting all of you.

Anyway, I received an email today that I thought was an interesting concept and I wanted to share it with everyone. The Kings of Leon have started a contest to design their new tour t-shirt. Anyone can enter the contest and they can enter as often as they like. The grand prize winner gets an epiphone guitar signed by the band and a KoL prize-pack with tons of KoL merchandise and apparel with their design incorporated into it. There are also ten second prize winners who will receive the entire Kings of Leon RCA Records CD catalog.

What I find cool about this is the fact that the band members themselves will decide the winner. This brings them closer to their fan base. It gives the fans a chance to feel connected to the music they listen to on a different level. I think this is a great tactic that all bands should use. Getting the fans directly involved with the band makes them more willing to tell their friends about the band, and maybe, on some level, makes these fans feel worse about illegally downloading the content. The best way to start getting rid of illegal downloading is to at least get fans to buy the music of their favorite bands; the bands they are emotionally involved with.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Bob Marley's Exodus into Memory Stick Mode


New ideas in a digital age are crucial. How can we release and market digital music in a new and exciting way? …and how can we make hard copies so special that people will want to buy them, even though they already have the digital format? The creators of Bob Marley’s marketing and distribution plan for an upcoming anniversary release of Exodus, seem to have caught that vision. A limited edition of Exodus will be featured in a unique USB stick/dog tag mode, featuring 10 original songs from the album, in addition to other audio and video content, including three video tracks recorded at London’s Rainbow Theatre in June 1977. The original album will also be re-released in vinyl, which is a great selling point for a hard copy release.
Other merchandise available for the album's 30th anniversary include a commemorative CD, limited edition CD/DVD with concert footage, a commemorative book and a t-shirt based on the Exodus tour t-shirt.
Gotta think outside the box!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Lap Dancing - Anytime / Anywhere....



This advert is causing a small uproar in the UK and hitting the headlines creating a reach far beyond that of the original advert.

A marketing company is facing a fine of up to £2,500 after the silhouette of a naked lap dancer appeared on a field beneath a busy flight path in Surrey.

The 100,000 sq ft advert, promoting a lap dancing website, has been painted under a Gatwick Airport flight path.

Tandridge District Council said the advert was illegal and had been painted without proper planning permission.

Sports Media Gaming (SMG) has refused to get rid of it, and claimed it was "operating within its rights" as it could only be seen from the air and therefore didn't require council planning permission.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

The 2nd Coming

2 weeks and counting down till the glory of the iPhone is upon us. Will it SINK or SWIM?

A clever take on it from TechCrunch this morning:

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Webby Artists of the Year


The Beastie Boys are putting power back into the hands of their fans. The Boys were honored at the 11th Annual Webby Awards last night, June 5th in New York for their work on their, “Awesome, I F***ing Shot That.” The video was filmed entirely by dozens of audience members using hand-held cameras provided by the group, epitomizing the Internet's interactive spirit and foreshadowing the boom in user-generated video, which is really hot right now thanks to youtube and other related sites. The trio has also been a longtime advocate of flexible copyright rules that allow artists and fans to legally swap, share, and remix their music.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Who Is Today's Gamer? You Have No Idea

Once the Domain of Cellar-Dwelling Teenage Boys, Video Games Hook Fans From All Walks of Life.
Can you guess who's at the control of this video-game screen? If you said a teenager, you're only 17% right. In fact, it could be a senior citizen or a young kid, a fan of global multiplayer fantasy games, or a sudoku fiend. Online gaming, in particular, attracts a varied crowd of players.
Click on the link and see the spread from virtual shoppers, casual gamers, gamblers, penny pinchers, little kids, console owners, movers & shakers, women and the middle class.

Friday, June 1, 2007

Audi's Stolen A3

Called the Art of the Heist, a recent Audi campaign began with a fictionalized theft of an Audi A3 at a Manhattan dealership in late March. The company went so far as to stage the theft with a broken glass door at the dealership, police tape and placement of officers standing on guard at the alleged crime scene. Immediately, postings went up around New York and other cities inquiring information about the stolen vehicle. This was all part of an elaborate campaign that tapped into the world of Virtual Reality Gaming. The campaign began its second stage where players were given the chance to put together clues found in online footage of the heist on youtube, as well as placement in traditional print and TV ads. Each clue led the participants deeper into the game, with an estimated 125,000 players that followed the complete campaign. Similar to “Street Games,” this campaign is interactive and involves individuals on a much deeper level than any other type of ad. Think, if the right combination of components were successfully intertwined, this could be the next big thing for the masses. The key is finding something that is completely captivating and engaging. Otherwise, the general public will choose to use their time more wisely.



NewsBreaker

"NewsBreaker" is msnbc.com's version of Blackberry's "Brickbraker" on a MUCH larger screen: a MOVIE THEATER screen. The game was launched last week at the premier of Spiderman 3 in Los Angeles. Played by the audience as a pre-movie promotion for msnbc, the game is the essence of "thinking out of the box".

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Avril's Make 5 Wishes

An article I found on one of the comic blogs I look at:

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Avril Lavigne by Greg McElhatton


I have a confession to make: I really know very little about Avril Lavigne. Don't get me wrong, it's hard to not know that she exists, but the only song of hers I could instantly recognize from the radio is "Complicated" and that's thanks to all the ads for that horrible Uptown Girls movie with Brittany Murphy and Dakota Fanning. Sure, I know she had a hit with the unfortunate name of "Sk8er Boi" and that she's a really big star. But in the great Avril Lavigne vs. Michelle Branch war, it was Branch who was my everything, and I always thought Kelly Clarkson could kick both of their butts.

With all that in mind, I was perhaps not the target audience for Avril Lavigne's Make 5 Wishes, a new graphic novel by Joshua Dysart and Camilla d'Errico. Generally speaking, comics starring a celebrity are something for true fans only, with shoddily written plots that dumbfound even the best of us. I doubt there are many people who look back fondly on All My Children's Walt Willey appearances in The Second Life of Doctor Mirage where assassins are after the mystical tattoo on Willey's hand (I am not making this up), or perhaps the issue of Shadowman where the evil Master Darque steals Aerosmith's souls. (Who knew they weren't already traded away decades ago?)

But then a funny thing happened. I took my car in for its 15,000 mile tune-up and what was supposed to take half an hour stretched into two hours, and I had nothing else to read but a review copy of Make 5 Wishes, and that's when it happened. I didn't care how long it was taking for the incompetent dealership to work on my poor Matrix. (No relation to Lavigne's old songwriting and producing team of the same name.) Because, and I'm almost mortified to admit this... I really liked it.

The plot in many ways is pretty familiar. A young girl named Hana feels like an outcast throughout her entire life, unable to relate to friends or family. Instead she adopts different identities on the internet, and has fantasies about her best friend being Avril Lavigne. Then one day she discovers Make5Wishes.com, a website that promises for a fee to make anyone's five wishes come true. Faced with her parents on the verge of a divorce and school becoming harder than ever to deal with, Hana decides to give it a try and is sent a five-horned demon that promises to grant whatever she asks for. And that's when things begin to get really bad.

Make 5 Wishes owes a lot to stories like The Monkey's Paw with the idea of being careful what you wish for. The fact that Hana's wishes are going to go badly is in many ways obvious, because it would be an awfully boring story otherwise. What makes it interesting is how Dysart and d'Errico (who co-plotted the book with Dysart scripting) followed through with the actual execution of the idea. It's a creepy, slightly sinister book; Hana's wishing demon Romeo isn't content to merely grant Hana's wishes (triggered by her breaking off one of his five horns), but affects the world around Hana as well, dismantling all of her carefully constructed fictions and destroying anything that gives her comfort. With Hana's wishes rapidly dwindling, one can't help but wonder how it will all end, and if there's really a truly "happy" ending even possible.

The use of Avril Lavigne in the book works well, perhaps because she's only a hallucination on the part of Hana. In many ways she's Hana's conscience, telling her the things she needs to hear even as she doesn't listen. As the book progresses, the shift in what happens to Hana's imaginings of her "best friend" becomes all the more interesting, adding an extra layer of dread to the story. Add in d'Errico's beautiful art, with its loose, styled pencils that seem to flow across the page, and you've got a real winner. I've only seen a little bit of d'Errico's art in the past, but I'm quite impressed here, especially with her ability to make Romeo look both cuddly and sinister at the same time. Now that's not an easy feat.

So, I admit it. Avril Lavigne, can you ever forgive me? I love this book that you agreed to lend your name and likeness to. My friend Julie says I next need to listen to her new single "Girlfriend" and I'm so excited about this book I might just do that. The conclusion is being published in June and I am absolutely dying to find out what happens. Above all else, Avril Lavigne's Make 5 Wishes is a book that should be held up to the industry with the important message: this is how you create a book starring someone real. Dysart, d'Errico, Lavigne, and Del Rey Manga? I take my proverbial hat off to you. Well done, well done, well done.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Mash it up

In the ever evolving landscape of music, producers, remixers, dj's, and labels are constantly on the search for the next "hot" tune.

A style of music that has been creeping up the playlists of dancefloors, mixshows, music blogs, and ipods is the "mash-up" - usually a combination of two or three songs creating a completely different song.

Does the mash-up give us an opportunity to create an additional tool to promote our music in a new may? Possibly. Download the below link and you be the judge.

Unk vs. Avril Lavigne ft. Toni Basil

Disc-Go Vending Machine


My name is Clint and I recently started interning here at SONY BMG in the Global marketing department. While attending college I was broke and most of my movie entertainment came from Redbox. Redbox is a vending machine that rents videos for $1.00 per day. Most machines are placed in convenient locations like Supermarkets, drugstores and McDonalds. I loved the fact that it was convenient, cheep, and I was in control. After one use I was hooked.

This week I came across an interesting article that focused on a new wave of vending machines where music is the focal point. Using the new Disc-Go, listeners can create their own CD full of whatever songs they choose. Not only are the prices affordable, but consumers are given the power to decide how many tracks they want at any given session.


Since installing the machine in his store, George Daniels, manager of George’s Music Room in Chicago, has noticed a large increase in single sales and a flood of new business. George says he loves it “because it puts me back in the singles business.” This shows the importance of being aware of new sales opportunities, especially in a business where change in technology and tactics are constant. Already a fast growing trend for movie rentals, this may be a good way to market physical singles for the near future??

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Street Wars

A friend of mine has invited me to join a secret crazy shooting street game called StreetWars. It's a 3 week long, 24/7, watergun assassination game that has already started rounds in New York City, Vancouver, Vienna, San Francisco, Los Angeles, London, and begins in Paris this September 2007.

When I sign up, I have to submit my photo, my home & work addresses, my name and my contact info. In return, I am given a target... the same information of someone else. I have three weeks to find my target, surprise and shoot him/her... with a water weapon (water gun, water balloon, etc.). While at the same time, someone is trying to do the same to me.

After I "kill" somone, they give me their target. If I can eliminate everyone without being shot myself, I win CASH (not sure how much, they'll tell me once I've been accepted into the game).

FREAKY!

Even though I know it won't hurt, it's still a spooky, thrilling rush to walk the streets knowing someone is looking for me, maybe waiting for you me around the next corner. It's like a real-life video game!

I signed up tonight. The rules on the site are:


At the start of the game you will receive a manila envelope containing the following:
  • A picture of your intended target(s)
  • The home address of your intended target(s)
  • The work address of your intended target(s)
  • The name of your intended target(s)
  • Contact information of your intended target(s)

Upon receipt of these items, your (or your team's) mission is to find and kill (by way of water gun, water balloon or super soaker) your target(s).

You can hunt your target down any way you see fit; you can pose as a delivery person and jack them when they open the door, disguise yourself and take them out on the street, etc.

If you are successful in your assassination attempt, the person you killed will give you their envelope and the person they were supposed to kill becomes your new target. This continues until you work yourself through all the players and retrieve the envelope with your (or your team's) picture(s) and name(s). Then you win. Cash…but first live in fear.

There are games also running in Toronto, Paris & Chicago this Summer. Marc & Stephane...watch your backs!!!

Here are some videos explaining the phenomenon:

San Fransisco



Vienna



Warsaw

Monday, May 28, 2007

Pepsi Preaches Dubs n' Decks




PEPSI continues to show its creative edge and as always has music as a central part of its strategy. Below are its latest online initiatives which includes a fun "Move the Crowd" component where Dusko pratices his skills preparing for the weekend.

Continuing its 2007 Choreography initiative, Pepsi-with Tribal DDB Worldwide again at the creative helm-is now tapping both car and club cultures with two microsites that'll likely rouse both pimped ride enthusiasts and bedroom DJs. With Street Motion, Pepsi teamed with DUB magazine to entice competitive auto-philes to design their own set of rims, from base and spoke to center cap and inlays. The artistes can indulge in a broad spectrum of colors, and a multitude of styles for each component, with the top dub winning its creator a real-life set of his or her design. But for those tuning out the bling-friendly fare, DJ Division gives vinyl-spinning neophytes the chance to stake their claim on the 1's and 2's with its "Superstar DJ" contest. Starting June 15th, the site will feature nine DJs each from twelve separate regions squaring off to land a spot in the finals (ending on September 7th) where users at home can then rank their performances, with the winning mixmaster joining Pepsi's elite DJ Division. All it takes is an uploaded MP3 of your best mix to enter, but for those with a bit of stage fright, the site also offers a "Move the Crowd" option where you can create your own beats and loops from the obscurity of your home computers.. Check out the US campaigns at
Pepsi - 'DJ Division' and 'Street Motion'

Sunday, May 27, 2007

MTV - The Opposite of Everything

The newest wave of MTV adverts are here. I'm not sure what this has to do with music (well, that fits MTV I guess), but it's both funny and creepy as hell:



Saturday, May 26, 2007

Star Wars - the beginning of Viral

November 2002 marked the beginning of the viral video outbreak.

A fanatical Star Wars fan (like my son) videotaping himself fighting as a Jedi warrior with nothing but a golf ball retriever, was discovered in the archives of a high school camera room. As a practical joke, the video was uploaded to the net, and from there… a phenomenon.



From its first upload on Kazaa, the funny, quirky video spread like wildfire through file-sharing sites, youtube and eventually several TV shows like Arrested Development and The Colbert Report. The outbreak of the video continued to snowball as people began editing the video with their own special effects, sending it to friends, and making movie trailers from the footage.








The various pieces and versions of the boy's original video have now been viewed over 900 Million times!

And all of this was absolutely self-propelled. No agency or corporate promotion was needed to make it work.

So what made this video so viral? The possibilities for promoting artists/bands using viral footage are endless. What makes one more powerfuly viral than another? I wrote a post about the viral nature of video a few months ago... which has a recipe for "viral", but it's obviously not as simple as that because I see a TON of very un-funny video floating around everywhere nowadays.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Color Changing Card Trick!

Watch the video first.



It's amazing to see how the way we focus on something affects our whole perspective and attention level.
We are conditioning ourselves to the traditional card trick, we try to catch "that specific moment" where we will understand how the thing works. But as you see, all the environment is changing at that time. And once that someone shows it to us in an obvious way, we say "wow, I did not even realized it!"

well, it seems like this video is a good picture of the world we are living in.
we have got to catch the whole thing changing instead of wasting time, trying to understand the tricky point which is distracting and locking us...

why are sales declining, how has our customer changed?
it seems that not only the customer has changed color. "nothing is like it was a few years ago".

Friday, May 18, 2007

What if God had a MySpace?

Just a funny youtube discovery for the weekend - interesting to see how MySpace still inspires people to create crazy stuff...




Mathias