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January 20, 20112 Comments

on: content creation

Content used to be a passive consumption experience, when it's well done, its the beginning of a conversation.  When you have the right conversation you can renegotiate the relationship between art, media, advertising and people.

on: content creation via @jpenabickley

September 17, 20072 Comments

ON: Mercedes-Benz.TV

DaimlerChrysler AG has blended the line between content and ads with the launch of Mercedes-Benz TV.  That's my motto... screw the line!  Now the best known luxury brand has taken digital and created content for the automotive enthusiast in us all.

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Mercedes-Benz TV will feature a weekly 20-minute news magazine and
five channels running content on cars, engines, sports, lifestyle,
history and automotive legends.  What I love about this venture is that they have learned from Bud.TV and not spent the bank on a place for more of their ads... but TV opened up a new and very emotional communication channel for our customers and anyone interested in the brand.

Check it out at : http://www.mercedes-benz.tv/

ON: Mercedes-Benz.TV via @jpenabickley

March 15, 20075 Comments

ON: Spring Break, Ice Breakers Sours and MTV

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The sand of the Mexican Riviera (Cancun) beneath my feet, the sunlight bouncing off my D&G shades, Fall Out Boy playing in the background, but I am the only one on the beach.  Here I thought I was going to be amidst America’s youth taking a break from the books.  Nope!  They are all standing in line waiting to get their 15 MB of fame.  Ice Breakers is holding an open casting call in the MTVu
Pavilion
at the Oasis Hotel. 

I do have to admit that this is a bit of shameless self-promotion on a portfolio-building case study I am working on.

We started with the Ice Breakers Sours and joined them with MTV & the Cancun Spring Break Broadcast from Cancun, Mexico. Then we sprinkled in brand partnerships with iFilm, PureDigital and MTV.com to give this promotion some lift. 

Here is the promotion skinny:

  • We held an open casting call for a male and female to appear in the next sours commercial.
  • After the hundreds of Spring Breakers got their chance to read for the Director we began to narrow the pool of candidates.
  • Our fabulous four joined us on the beach to compete in branded challenges and fun activities that will air exclusively on watchandwhoa.com and iFilm.
  • The real fun begins with your vote.  We open a digital democracy @ watchandwhoa.com in order to enlist you to participate by helping us choose which “couple” will appear in a our “Beach” spot that is being shot later in the week in Cancun.

Be sure to give you’re MySpace page the chill of our Cancun-Spring Break MySpace skin.

(Do not forget to come back after the vote to see the folks who did not make the cut, Whoa! moments brought to us on PureDigital Cameras; and don’t miss the launch the Podcast “The Making of Whoa”)

Vote for a Whoa! @ watchandwhoa.com

http://www.ifilm.com/efp

ON: Spring Break, Ice Breakers Sours and MTV via @jpenabickley

March 15, 200710 Comments

ON: Spring Break, Ice Breakers Sours and MTV

Picture_1_2

The sand of the Mexican Riviera (Cancun) beneath my feet, the sunlight bouncing off my D&G shades, Fall Out Boy playing in the background, but I am the only one on the beach.  Here I thought I was going to be amidst America’s youth taking a break from the books.  Nope!  They are all standing in line waiting to get their 15 MB of fame.  Ice Breakers is holding an open casting call in the MTVu
Pavilion
at the Oasis Hotel. 

I do have to admit that this is a bit of shameless self-promotion on a portfolio-building case study I am working on.

We started with the Ice Breakers Sours and joined them with MTV & the Cancun Spring Break Broadcast from Cancun, Mexico. Then we sprinkled in brand partnerships with iFilm, PureDigital and MTV.com to give this promotion some lift. 

Here is the promotion skinny:

  • We held an open casting call for a male and female to appear in the next sours commercial.
  • After the hundreds of Spring Breakers got their chance to read for the Director we began to narrow the pool of candidates.
  • Our fabulous four joined us on the beach to compete in branded challenges and fun activities that will air exclusively on watchandwhoa.com and iFilm.
  • The real fun begins with your vote.  We open a digital democracy @ watchandwhoa.com in order to enlist you to participate by helping us choose which “couple” will appear in a our “Beach” spot that is being shot later in the week in Cancun.

Be sure to give you’re MySpace page the chill of our Cancun-Spring Break MySpace skin.

(Do not forget to come back after the vote to see the folks who did not make the cut, Whoa! moments brought to us on PureDigital Cameras; and don’t miss the launch the Podcast “The Making of Whoa”)

Vote for a Whoa! @ watchandwhoa.com

http://www.ifilm.com/efp

ON: Spring Break, Ice Breakers Sours and MTV via @jpenabickley

March 3, 2007No Comments

ON: Hammer & Coop

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For those of us who are small car enthusiast this is a fun site.  Well-produced content takes you through a clever, yet simplistic experience.   Make sure to visit the Action Name Generator.

Visit Hammer & Coop at http://www.hammerandcoop.com/

ON: Hammer & Coop via @jpenabickley

February 24, 2007No Comments

ON: Nokia’s The Passenger

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From the moment the flash loader began loading the first bits of information, my heart began pumping harder, then the first transition from the Eiffel Tower to the Champs-Elysées and I was in love.

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The Nokia – The Passenger site came with all the fixings for an amazing experience. Video, sound, easy to use navigation, call to action that made me takes action… You can even get subtitles!

Driving the streets of Paris was easier in this interface than it was when I was gallivanting the streets of the seventh district.

Having just returned from Paris, It made me long for my favorite place outside Manhattan.

Visit this art work @ http://www.the-passenger.com/

The concept to promote the new multimedia car kit GPS device was designed by Hyper Happen, London and aims to connect with Nokia’s tech-savvy, affluent male target audience.

The
site combines an online gaming experience which incorporates real film
footage to create a driving and navigation experience. Gamers play the
part of the driver helping a mysterious woman, while relying on the new
Nokia Multimedia Car Kit CK-20W to reach the
destination and get pay off in the final scene. The driving sequences
and plot structure gives the audience the opportunity to experience the
product and immerse themselves in the real streets of Paris.

The
story contains all the essential elements or at least, the stereotypes
of a film noir; a femme fatale, a driver, and a mysterious man are the
key characters. Digital strategy agency Hyper Happen worked with Fuel Industries & Karbon Arc, both from Ottawa (Ontario) on the game engine build and video production.

The game was promoted by 60-second trailers on Nokia’s homepage and seeded with influential technology bloggers.

ON: Nokia’s The Passenger via @jpenabickley

February 9, 20075 Comments

ON: Bud.TV

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Fresh off their USA Today Super Bowl advertising poll victory, Budweiser has flipped the switch on Bud.tv.  This might turn out to be one of the biggest stories
in advertising this year. Anheuser-Busch will spend over $30 million
this year on this online video network.

The site would be on my top 10 in the usability category if the age verification actually worked.

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Once you call the toll free number and get an access code because the flawed age verification system in place did not let you in despite being in your mid-30's...the site uses video in an exciting way.

The site is easy to use and features short films like “Finish Our Film”.
This mash-up of reality show and making-of-a-film documentary produced
by LivePlanet, Matt Damon and Ben Affleck’s production company.  Not
surprisingly most of the videos lean towards 25-year guy humor with
high art concepts like “Replaced by a Chimp” in which a chimp tries to
do a real job.

This is a new play on one of the oldest tactics in marketing known
as branded entertainment. P&G started it in the age of radio with
the soap opera. There have been
many attempts by marketers to create content online that provides a
contextual envelope to advertise their brands some have done a great job (The Rookie & 24) some have failed miserably.  Success is always found in the story that they brand tells.  A-B's Bud.tv is the
most ambitious.

A-B intends to tread carefully in how they promote their brands.
They are acutely aware of how easy it would be turn off their audience
with excessively blatant promotion. You’ll know it’s for Bud brands but
it will be subtle s, so they say. 

As many of you know, I am a huge advocate of branded entertainment and relevant content.  But then I factor in the ROI or the impressions model as a layer to be considered.

  • $30 million is about 5% of A-B’s ad budget. 
  • Their goal
    is to reach 2-3 million 21-34 year-old guys per month.
  • Lets give an educated guess as to streams -24-36
    million exposures per year
  • That works out an average of $1 to get
    each customer to spend time with them.

Compared to a 30 sec spot
on the Super bowl that’s expensive. But is it really? 
How might we begin to measure the engagemnt model for this form of advertising?  It would be nice to see an equation that factors in an average of 16 minutes of engagement for each consumer who will spend
lots of time on Bud.tv, giving A-B the opportunity to put lots of ad
exposures in front their customers.

What are your thoughts?

ON: Bud.TV via @jpenabickley

January 17, 2007No Comments

ON: Degree Hooks Up with 24

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If the last four hours of 24 was not enough for the biggest fans, Degree has created branded content micro site so that fans can get the word on the back stories on the Rookie. 
View the site at: http://www.degreemen.com/men/cturookie/ 

The Degree promotion is a series of side stories based on the 24/ CTU
universe featuring "Jason Blaine," a rookie analyst/field agent.

Chapter 1 of the online series was launched last night. The stories will connect to cliff hanger commercials and be
the basis for other Degree/24 promotions. More about the program can be
found here.

This isn't the first time that 24 has ventured into branded
partnerships, spin-offs or a combination of the two. "24: The
Conspiracy," was a mobile video spinoff developed for exclusive distribution on select mobile carriers and Toyota recently sponsored the Season 6 prequel which was bundled into the Season 5 DVD set.

In a new development, Fox has released a retail DVD
of the first 4 hours of Season 6 for the fans who may have missed this
week's airings.  For those of you who are 24 junkies, this may explain the episode 1 leak on BitTorrent.

The site would be stellar if it added an RSS feed and widget that I could put on my MySpace for promotional pass along.

ON: Degree Hooks Up with 24 via @jpenabickley

December 14, 20061 Comment

ON: AOL & MSN Getting Busy

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In the rush towards meaningful content provision online, the big
hitters are heading in some intriguing directions. If you can feel your
brains melting out of your ears from an overdose of YouTube’s cats on trampolines and could do with something slightly more cerebral for a change, read on.  This week, AOL took the next step forward with a website that will distribute documentaries. The website, dubbed AOL True Stories, will offer titles before theatrical release and between cinema and DVD release.  http://video.aol.com/video-category/true-stories/2546

The
site's current library of twenty films is available to stream,
download-to-own and buy as a DVD, and will accompany community forums
where viewers can share their perspectives through blogs, live chats,
message boards and video posting. Additionally, filmmakers can maintain
a blog to communicate with viewers regarding different aspects of their
film. Jordan Kurzweil, VP of development and
production at AOL programming, commented at launch: ‘We're hoping to
create great conversation online where people will debate about films.’

Launch titles include the controversial 1998 Oscar nominee ‘Waco: Rules of Engagement’ and ‘Shadow Company’,
which examined the role of private security firms in post-occupation
Iraq. Three new titles will be added each month, with this rising to as
much as twelve when the site is established. Revenue will be generated
from 30-second ads at the beginning of a film, which will be shared
with distributors as well as filmmakers.

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Following the unpopularity of Amazon’s film download service ‘Unbox’, the terms of which popular blog BoingBoing
likened to telling customers to ‘eat shit and die’, AOL’s integrated,
sensitive and targeted approach to this area could be a well needed
tonic. So – if you’re fully intending to watch something meaningful on
TV when you get home tonight but know full well that the hours between
7 and 10pm will be spent watching Friends on DVD, get your brain engaged early on with this video on demand service.

At the same time, Microsoft has been busy, unveiling the new Vista operating system, the much anticipated Zune, plus myriad additions to their Live Search service. The latest of these is the announcement of an online library to digitise the world’s books – a claim made by rivals Google not 5 months ago. The service, Live Search Books,
will apparently attempt to make ‘the reading experience as natural as
possible’. Using their blog to both make the announcement and respond
to comments, an unnamed Microsoft spokesperson said: ‘The US beta
launch of Live Search Books is a big step forward in advancing the way
people discover information through the integration of content that has
been off-limits to the traditional search experience, until now.’ http://blogs.msdn.com/livesearch

Picture_4_5
Books
online is a tricky one – whilst we can see what it would add to the
search experience, we can’t see the pleasure of curling up in an arm
chair with an actual hard copy and a glass of wine/bar of
chocolate/disgruntled moggy disappearing just yet. However, as Ferris Bueller once said – life moves pretty fast, and we’d be the last person to resist change. Hand that Sony Reader over here. www.learningcenter.sony.us/assets/itpd/reader

ON: AOL & MSN Getting Busy via @jpenabickley

December 14, 20061 Comment

ON: AOL & MSN Getting Busy

Picture_5_6
In the rush towards meaningful content provision online, the big
hitters are heading in some intriguing directions. If you can feel your
brains melting out of your ears from an overdose of YouTube’s cats on trampolines and could do with something slightly more cerebral for a change, read on.  This week, AOL took the next step forward with a website that will distribute documentaries. The website, dubbed AOL True Stories, will offer titles before theatrical release and between cinema and DVD release.  http://video.aol.com/video-category/true-stories/2546

The
site's current library of twenty films is available to stream,
download-to-own and buy as a DVD, and will accompany community forums
where viewers can share their perspectives through blogs, live chats,
message boards and video posting. Additionally, filmmakers can maintain
a blog to communicate with viewers regarding different aspects of their
film. Jordan Kurzweil, VP of development and
production at AOL programming, commented at launch: ‘We're hoping to
create great conversation online where people will debate about films.’

Launch titles include the controversial 1998 Oscar nominee ‘Waco: Rules of Engagement’ and ‘Shadow Company’,
which examined the role of private security firms in post-occupation
Iraq. Three new titles will be added each month, with this rising to as
much as twelve when the site is established. Revenue will be generated
from 30-second ads at the beginning of a film, which will be shared
with distributors as well as filmmakers.

Picture_3_10
Following the unpopularity of Amazon’s film download service ‘Unbox’, the terms of which popular blog BoingBoing
likened to telling customers to ‘eat shit and die’, AOL’s integrated,
sensitive and targeted approach to this area could be a well needed
tonic. So – if you’re fully intending to watch something meaningful on
TV when you get home tonight but know full well that the hours between
7 and 10pm will be spent watching Friends on DVD, get your brain engaged early on with this video on demand service.

At the same time, Microsoft has been busy, unveiling the new Vista operating system, the much anticipated Zune, plus myriad additions to their Live Search service. The latest of these is the announcement of an online library to digitise the world’s books – a claim made by rivals Google not 5 months ago. The service, Live Search Books,
will apparently attempt to make ‘the reading experience as natural as
possible’. Using their blog to both make the announcement and respond
to comments, an unnamed Microsoft spokesperson said: ‘The US beta
launch of Live Search Books is a big step forward in advancing the way
people discover information through the integration of content that has
been off-limits to the traditional search experience, until now.’ http://blogs.msdn.com/livesearch

Picture_4_5
Books
online is a tricky one – whilst we can see what it would add to the
search experience, we can’t see the pleasure of curling up in an arm
chair with an actual hard copy and a glass of wine/bar of
chocolate/disgruntled moggy disappearing just yet. However, as Ferris Bueller once said – life moves pretty fast, and we’d be the last person to resist change. Hand that Sony Reader over here. www.learningcenter.sony.us/assets/itpd/reader

ON: AOL & MSN Getting Busy via @jpenabickley

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