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Archives: December 2011

Friday Odds and Ends

-And just like that, Verizon flips the script and scraps its $2 online bill pay fee. Wonder why. link

-Kodak is joining in on the Times Square New Year’s Eve revelry with an “interactive group photo experience.” link

-Meanwhile, if you have nothing to do on New Year’s Eve, Facebook might be here to help. link

-Kelly Clarkson‘s Ron Paul endorsement cost her some Twitter followers. link

-Report: E-commerce and digital media deals in 2011 were valued at more than $44 billion. link

-PepsiCo’s Frito-Lay division will introduce Tostitos’ new “spokesman” (above), which was concocted by TBWA\Chiat\Day, during Monday’s Fiesta Bowl broadcast. link


Have a Happy New Year everyone, thanks again for reading and we’ll see you on Tuesday, Jan. 3.

 

 

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Hey, There’s an ‘Eyebrow-Raising’ Billboard in Times Square

Around midnight EST tomorrow, those within view of a television will watch a giant glowing ball shimmy slowly down a pole, ushering in 2012 AD (CE if you want to get weird about it). Some will cheer, some will toast, some will mumble made-up lyrics to “Auld Lang Syne,” and many will grab a significant other or stranger and engage them in a full-on lip-lock. Each of these, the last especially, is unavoidable. Why? Because it is tradition, so deal with it.

So, what better time for gay social network site Manhunt to drum up some publicity by placing the above billboard in Times Square? Located at the corner of Broadway and 47th Street, Manhunt’s billboard, which will be up through Jan. 6, was described to us in an email as “raising some eyebrows” and featuring “two sweaty guys in dog tags about to make out.” In the days since the “Zero Feet Away” campaign rolled out, it’s already greatly offended one L.A. mom, despite the fact that a similar Michael Kors billboard (depicting a woman placing her hand inside a man’s briefs) has been the subject of no such controversy. Most curiously will be how much (if any) airtime the Manhunt ad gets during the broadcast of ABC’s “New Year’s Rockin’ Eve,” where the American public will be subjected to performances by Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber, and (new mother?) Beyonce.

Thanks for tuning in this year, spies, and let’s look forward to these final few months as we plunge headlong into the Apocalypse. Have an awesome New Year’s Eve, click here for the actual lyrics to “Auld Lang Syne,” and watch Mariah Carey do whatever it is she does below.

Most Popular Stories on AgencySpy from 2011 (5-1)

And so, our week-long countdown of the most popular posts of 2011 on this here site comes to an end. It’s been quite the year on AgencySpy and we thank you for continuing to check back, comment, hate, love and all of the above. Save the drumroll, we’ll just get right into the top five (we can’t explain some of these either). Have a safe, happy New Year, everyone. See you on the other side. Read on after the jump.

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Friday Morning Stir

-Sears Holdings has revealed 80 of the 100-120 “under-performing” Sears and Kmart locations that will be closing in 2012. link

-Visa launched the “You+Ten” Facebook app that was built by AKQA and promotes the brand’s ongoing NFL/Super Bowl XLVI campaign (above). link

-Google is testing a new email subscription ad format. link

-Orville Redenbacher teamed up with its digital AOR Possible Worldwide to launch a Facebook game complete with augmented reality. link

-RIM’s share of the U.S. smartphone market keeps slipping. link

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This Week on the mediabistro.com Job Board: Apartment Therapy, TubeMogul, Initiative

This week, Apartment Therapy is hiring a digital account executive, and TubeMogul needs a new director of ad operations. Initiative is on the hunt for a media planning supervisor, while Draftfcb is seeking an account director. Get the scoop on these jobs and more below, and find additional just-posted gigs on mediabistro.com.

For more job listings, go to the Mediabistro job board, and to post a job, visit our employer page. For real-time openings and employment news, follow @MBJobPost.

Thursday Odds and Ends

-Dave Moore officially assumed the title of co-CCO at Avrett Free Ginsberg. link

-With its third outage in a month, is Verizon really “America’s most reliable network” (let’s not even start with the $2 online bill pay fee). link

-Mitt Romney wants to bring commercials to Sesame Street. That’ll win ‘em over. link

-San Francisco-based director of photography Alex Walker discusses shooting a car commercial with no budget (above). link

-No surprise: Facebook accounts for 3 in every 4 social networking minutes. link

-Fast Company picks out the 22 best infographics of 2011. link

-GSD&M: All about “culture jamming.” link

-Survey: Ad/media/marketing execs are more likely to buy or sell a media-related business than they were at the same time last year. link

 

 

Google, TNT Welcome Back the NBA with New Spots

On Christmas Day, the NBA returned after a 5-month lockout put the entire 2011-2012 season in jeopardy. The league’s shortened 66-game season kicked off with some very exciting games on Sunday which included a Chicago Bulls last-second come-from-behind win at the L.A. Lakers, perennial losers the L.A. Clippers looking unstoppable with the addition of point guard Chris Paul, and the Miami Heat avenging last season’s championship series by drowning the Dallas Mavericks. Also, we had Kevin Durant‘s disgusting shoes for some reason.

Of course, advertisers couldn’t be happier that America’s second most-popular professional sports league is back. Aside from media buyers rejoicing that prime time sports will continue well into 2012 after the NFL season comes to a close, creative types are giving a nod to the NBA. Above, NBA commentators Bill Walton, Steve Kerr, Kenny Smith, Spero Dedes and Jon Berry star in a new spot for Google+ from GS+P. The spot is one of three highlighting Google+’s “Hangouts” feature (the other two were created internally by Google Creative Labs), a critically adored but oft-ignored feature of the social network that has lost considerable buzz since its launch five months ago. Aside from the “Big Red-Head” and his buddies doing a very nice job commenting on an backyard game of hoops, the campaign features a spot that uses “Hangouts” to watch the Muppets rock out to David Bowie and Queen’s classic collaboration, “Under Pressure.” Like The Muppets (currently in theaters), it’s well-worth a viewing.

Also, we would be remiss not to give some mention to TNT’s epic opening day promo, “Forever,” which was directed by Sedna Films’ Drew Watkins. The above spot delighted NBA fans across the county (Kiran and I included) by pairing today’s superstars with legends of the game. Above, you’ll see the impossible become a reality, including Magic Johnson and Kobe Bryant running out on court together, Brandon Jennings playing alongside Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and Michael Jordan fist-bumping Derrick Rose to Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors’ track “Live Forever.” Considering how upset and jaded NBA fans got over the course of the lockout, it’s stunning that TNT of all things was able to remind us why we love this game so much.

Presenting Your Original iPhone Film Festival Winners

A few months back, we briefly mentioned a call for entries for the Original iPhone Film Festival, which featured a panel of judges ranging from Maroon 5 and director Lasse Hallstrom to ad folks such as Chuck McBride, Court Crandall and Regina Ebel. As you can deduce from the title of the inaugural competition, the OIFF was launched by obvious Steve Jobs fans Matt Dessner and Corey Rogers to show how the iPhone 4 can serve as a powerful filmmaking tool.

Anyhow, the 12 winners in categories including Music Video and Brand Film have been announced and below, you can see two examples of how the “mini-film studio” that is the iPhone 4 was put to good use. With the dozen top entries in tow, the guys behind OIFF are now asking you to pick a Grand Prize winner by liking you favorite film from the winners showcase here. The Grand Prize-winning effort will be announced at the MacWorld/iWorld Expo in San Francisco on Jan. 26.

Most Popular Stories on AgencySpy from 2011 (10-6)

Consider this our attempt to pile on in a week that’s sure to be filled with a billion countdowns. It’s been quite the year on AgencySpy and we thank you for continuing to check back, comment, hate, love and all of the above. So without further ado, we’ll kick off our top 20 most popular items of the year list that will run through Friday, Dec. 30. The list is somewhat surprising, but hey, we’re just going by the numbers. Read on after the jump (15-11 here).

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Thursday Morning Stir

-Alibaba has hired a Washington D.C. lobbying firm in a sign that it’s getting serious about a Yahoo takeover. link

-CP+B integrated production intern Jules Ameel spent four days creating a “Cheesy Font” to celebrate Domino’s new Stuffed Crust Cheesy Bread (above). link; link

-Go Daddy hopes an ad featuring a naked Danica Patrick will distract you from its whole SOPA mess. link

-Groupon’s deal to acquire Silicon Valley start-up Campfire Labs “is closed.” link

-Google edged out Facebook to become Nielsen’s “top web brand” of 2011. link

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