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Campaign launch

The Koch Brothers Want to Hit the ‘Reset’ Button

If you follow politics and consider your partisan orientation to be somewhere near or left of the “center”, then you may know Charles and David Koch as right-wing bogeymen allergic to the words “regulation” and “government.”

As with most things in politics, the story is a bit more complicated than that–and the brothers want you to know that their energy and consumer goods company Koch Industries is not the mythical bad guy. In fact, they’re all about Americans, values and the things Americans value.

To that point, today Koch launched an ad campaign titled “From the Heart”:

Why are we interested in this story, beyond the obvious political angle? It’s a classic example of a company trying to repair its image via a “refresh” or reintroduction to the public.

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George R. R. Martin’s Epic Charity Campaign Going Strong

Win A Wolf Sanctuary Tour and Helicopter Ride with George R.R. Martin - YouTubeWho better to raise money for a wolf sanctuary than the resurrector of direwolves himself, George R. R. Martin? And what better way to encourage donations than to offer fans a chance to die at the author’s hands like so many of their beloved characters (not to mention the dozens of extras who died during last night’s half-hour battle)?

So far, over $300,000 has been raised by Martin’s four-day-old campaign to support the Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary and The Food Depot of Santa Fe, and two people have already won the highest honor (their very own grisly deaths being written into the next book) by each donating $20,000 to the cause. But if you couldn’t quite afford such a hefty sum, fret not!

With just over $150,000 to go before Martin’s $500,000 goal is met, there are still some epic prizes up for grabs as of this writing, including a hand-written thank-you note ($1,200 donation), a signed and dedicated Game of Thrones book ($600 donation), and T-shirts and other memorabilia for smaller donations. Plus, each donor is automatically entered to win the grand prize: a helicopter ride to the wolf sanctuary with the famed author himself. Martin describes the future excursion this way: Read more

Imgur, Reddit and Boing Boing Launch Anti-NSA Campaign

Reset the Net

This coming Thursday, June 5, major websites including Reddit, Imgur, Boing Boing and others plan to take part in a collective effort to push back against government surveillance online.

The “Reset The Net” campaign, coordinated by Fight for the Future, will feature multiple websites showing a splash screen to all visitors, encouraging them to install privacy and encryption tools. Meanwhile, other sites plan to bone up their own privacy by enabling standards like HTTPS, which stops outside parties from “listening in” on what site users are up to.

General Manager of Reddit, Erik Martin, said of his company’s decision to join the campaign, “We can take back control of our personal and private data one website, one device, one internet user at a time. We’re proud to stand up for our users’ rights and help Reset the Net.” Read more

LeVar Burton’s ‘Reading Rainbow’ Kickstarter Already Exceeding its Goal

LeVar Burton wants the web to save reading and _Reading Rainbow_ | The Verge

Just like it always did, “Reading Rainbow” is counting on “viewers like you” to bring access to books and excitement about reading to children across America. And “you” are seriously stepping up to the fundraising plate.

By now, you’ve likely heard that the classic show’s longtime host, LeVar Burton (who may have been our childhood hero), has taken to crowdsourcing website Kickstarter to fund the resurrection of “Reading Rainbow” in a new, web-based format that would bring an unlimited library to kids everywhere and schools most in need.

Though Burton launched a successful Reading Rainbow tablet App two years ago, he points out that not every child has access to tablets, either at home or at school, but 97% of American children have web access. As the Kickstarter page explains: Read more

This Week’s Most Bizarre Branding Move: Axe’s Pheromone-Infused Business Cards. Gag.

In case Axe‘s incredibly misogynistic and epically douchey ads and overpowering fragrances don’t make you gag enough, here comes the brand’s newest campaign: “Pheromone Business Cards.”

In the promo video below, we see “Axe associates” (every frat boy’s dream job) working out while wearing sweatbands. The secretions collected in the bands (ugh, I can’t even write this without nearly losing my breakfast) are then extracted by “scientists” who go about “isolating their essence, distilling it into a concentrated solution that could only have come from that specific axe associate.” That solution is then infused into business cards stamped with the gross proclamation, “Infused with the essence of (name here).”

The idea, as the spot explains, was to create a business card that goes beyond communicating an associate’s contact information, and instead “communicates the very essence of that person’s attraction.” As such, it’s designed to be “a card that may attract more than just business for our associates.”

Yeah. Like a slap to the face and panicked use of hand sanitizer.

Lunar Advertising: Japanese Company to Launch Can of Soda to the Moon

LUNAR DREAM CAPSULE PROJECT | キミの夢を、月に届けよう。

Japanese soda company Otsuka is about to take “one giant leap” for advertising.

The moon’s surface, once described by Neil Armstrong as “magnificent desolation,” is about to become a bit less desolate thanks to a 2.2-pound titanium capsule filled with “powdered sports drink and children’s dreams,” which the beverage maker, in partnership with Pittsburgh-based aerospace company Astrobiotic Technology, plans to bestow upon our lunar neighbor.

Astrobiotic is currently in competition for the $20-million Google Lunar X prize, which will be awarded to the first company to land a payload on the moon’s surface that can travel at least 1,640 feet and transmit high-definition images back to Earth. To fund such a project and to purchase a spot on a launch vehicle (which, in this case, is the Falcon 9 rocket designed by Elon Musk’s SpaceX), the company needs sponsors, and Otsuka has offered Astrobiotic a hefty half-million in exchange for a can of its Pocari Sweat sports drink acting as a stowaway. Read more

GE and Jimmy Fallon Show You Their GIFs

Here’s an interesting little case study that combines three things we like: sponsored content, social media and real-time marketing.

General Electric is all about invention, right? So the company encouraged fans and followers to submit their own great ideas using the hashtag #SomeoneShouldInvent and created customized GIFs of their favorites.

On to the sponsored part, which features Jimmy Fallon and a bunch of adorable kids (come on, you have to click)…

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UPDATED: ‘The Oatmeal’ Cartoonist Leverages Love of Tesla Motors to Support Nikola Tesla Museum

tesla-review-hed-2014

I’m a longtime fan of The Oatmeal, and particularly appreciate how cartoonist Matt Inman exuberantly describes and animates his unbridled passion for the things he loves — his dog, grammar, the fiendishly-terrifying Mantis Shrimp, etc.

As it turns out, Inman also happens to love Tesla — both the legendary inventor and the car company — and is attempting to leverage his love and endorsement of the latter to support a museum honoring the former.

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Kevin Bacon’s Brother and Oscar Mayer’s Turkey Bacon Team Up to Challenge Their More Famous Siblings

It’s tough to be the equally talented, more heart-healthy sibling of a famous celebrity; if you’re going to have to share their last name, shouldn’t you be able to share their spotlight, too? Now, the other Bacons (Kevin’s brother Michael and Oscar Mayer‘s turkey bacon) are teaming up to help make this underdog fantasy a Twitter-fueled reality.

Sure, Michael Bacon might be 50% of the band The Bacon Brothers, but Kevin is likely almost 100% of the reason people want to hear them play. And while turkey bacon is undeniably delicious, T-shirts, recipes, and burger joints all celebrate its porkier counterpart. This campaign aims to change all that.

The campaign urges people to celebrate the story of the #UnsungBacon by following Michael on Twitter, with the eventual goal of overtaking his movie-star-brother’s number of followers — a lofty goal to be sure, as Michael currently has 1,680 followers while Kevin boasts over 431,000. But Oscar Mayer, brand king of all processed meats, really believes in Michael (and its own product), and is determined to show the world the wonders of both. Read more

Diet Coke Never Really Had a Drug Problem

Apparently, Diet Coke was just fake-dabbling in drugs; it never really had a problem.

You may recall that the “You’re On. Diet Coke” campaign attracted a bit of mockery back in March from a bunch of journalists who may or may not have written from personal experience.

We assumed that was the joke, but in the wake of such harsh media criticism Diet Coke seems to have grown both self-conscious and overly confident. They’ve been acting a little nervous and jittery. They want something new, something fresh. Just a little taste.

At any rate, the company decided to turn in-house and develop a new campaign…with a thirty-year-old tagline.

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