Agencies: Mother Goes Regional, RGA Lays Off

The establishment of Mother Productions will extend their NBC creative partnership further. The new arm will have a staff of 12-15, including writers, motion designers, editors, producers and others, and will also draw from the agency’s existing talent pool. It will orchestrate everything from station brand ID and promos to digital efforts and ads, while also creating locally-based content and relationships. “For us, it’s exciting to have a client in 10 of the largest markets across the U.S,” said Andy Deitchman. “We get that much more ingrained in those communities. We’ll explore what the best solutions are to connect across all platforms. Maybe it’s finding a great blogger who lives in that community who becomes an on-air personality. It’s creating things for people to feel more connected to their community.”
andy deitchman
A disgruntled RGA ex-staffer writes: “Unlike most advertising-related copy, this is actually true. It’s not my opinion of what happened, back-of-the-box puffery or an attempt at advertising fan fiction, this crap happened. I hope anyone who stumbles on this site and reads this enjoys it as much as I did living it.”
really giant assholes
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Twitter: Fish

By 7 a.m. each morning Carl Galvan has already been Twittering for close to three hours. Galvan, a sales representative at Supreme Lobster & Seafood in Villa Park, uses the messaging service Twitter to post photos of fish and other seafood Supreme is offering and to interact with chefs interested in placing orders based on those photos. Since Galvan started using Twitter four months ago, he estimates his sales have doubled. “What helps the most is that the chefs who follow my updates can actually see the quality of the product we’re carrying, in real time,” Galvan says.
twitter fish

I should point out that unless the fishing industry makes radical changes, there will be no fish left by 2048.

Related:

EU backs ban on bluefin tuna fishing (telegraph.co.uk)

An Inconvenient Truth for Fish (telegraph.co.uk)

Tuna Town in Japan Sees Falloff of Its Fish (nytimes.com)

The Mob Comes After Twitter (hermenaut.org)

Sea Turtles Under Increasing Threat In Miami Beach (huffingtonpost.com)

Bluefin Tuna — The Ocean’s Bling (andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com)

‘The World’s Fish Will Die Out Within 50 Years’ (news.sky.com)

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Facebook: Obama Death Poll, User-Generated Apps

The US Secret Service is investigating a poll posted on social networking site Facebook, asking people if they think President Obama “should be killed”. The poll, posted on Saturday, was taken off the site as soon as the company was made aware of it. It was put up on the site using a third-party application that was unconnected with the social networking site itself. US Officials will take “the appropriate investigative steps,” a spokesman said. The poll, described by Facebook as “offensive”, asked respondents “Should Obama be killed?” and offered four possible responses: “No”, “Maybe”, “Yes”, and “Yes if he cuts my health care”.
barack obama points
AppBank, a Seattle-based startup, today is launching a free application in beta that lets people without coding skills build their own Facebook apps, such as a quiz or game, in four steps — and earn a cut of the revenue from ads placed within them. The company provides a database of statistics and tutorials on its web site to help people manage and modify their applications in order to attract users and ultimately, pocket more cash.
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NPD: Ms Taken, Tru Blood, Starbucks VIA, matsune & subal

Ms. Taken
Single guys know that a shiny ring finger on the left hand means do not disturb. Or at least that’s what women want them to think. Ms. Taken is a novelty ring meant to thwart the approach of less-than-desirable male suitors. It looks like a ring and works like a ring, but can be easily hidden in a handy little keychain if the right guy enters the scene. Included with the purchase of the faux band is a deck of “Playaz” trading cards, which profile 20 types of guys that should be rendered completely powerless with the proper use of the ring. With catchy names like Neal Anderthal and Jamaall That, the cards should help women remember which dudes to decline.

This month’s release of Tru Blood, the “blood-red” beverage created for HBO’s hit vampire series True Blood, got us thinking: What other fake products successfully jumped off screen and onto store shelves? Marketers are only too happy to get these products into the hands of fans. And the fans can’t wait to scoop them up–if only to blog about how awful they are. Here’s a look at some fictional products that became a reality, and our thoughts on whether they were any good.

We’re already over a week late on this but…Starbucks recently launched it’s new VIA product yesterday. For those of you living in a coffee vacuum VIA is Starbucks’ answer to the one shot coffee pod trend in home brewing. The brand is touting the offering as being so good “you won’t be able to tell the difference between Starbucks VIA and our brewed coffee.”

For four days only, matsune & subal bring you “store” – “a collection of more than 60 amazing and astonishing, unique performance products. Priced to sell! No budget too small! But when this store’s gone, it’s really gone. So don’t miss this brief opportunity to consume like you’ve never consumed before! With both ingenuity and humor, store questions the consumption of art and our consumption of the consumption culture. It lets audiences/customers/viewers analyze their own roles as consumers of performance and as performers of consumption, as they purchase individualized performance products that they may consume on the spot, take away, or get delivered in the mail.”


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Social Media/ OoH: Crandon Wants to be your Facebook Friend

Town Uses Billboard to Promote Facebook Page
“Sadly, no one talks about billboards much any longer”, opines Steve Hall, “So why are we talking about the lowly billboard today? Social media, of course. After all, social media is the only thing anyone cares about these days, right? It’s big news when a billboard is used to promote a Facebook page which is exactly what Northern Wisconson’s Forest County Chamber of Commerce recently did. Located just south of Lakewood on HWY 32, travelers from Milwaukee and Chicago heading north will see the board which carries an invitation from the Crandon Chamber to ‘Become a friend of Crandon’ on Facebook.”

crandon facebook billboard

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Social Media: Missed Connections, Squidoo, Luxury, Social Mention

Some young artists are looking to the scintillating world of cyber prose to inspire their latest works. For Brooklyn illustrator Sophie Blackwell, Craigslist is her muse. Comparing the classifieds site’s Missed Connections to “messages in bottles, smoke signals, letters written in the sand,” Blackwell takes her artistic cues from these posts and then lets her paintbrush run wild. The results are touching, graceful, playful images that resonate far more intimately than seeing that “Kiss at City Hall” poster for the billionth time.
craigslist art missed connections

SWill Squidoo Kill Your Company’s Shot at (Free) Feel-Good PR on Twitter?
Today Squidoo founder Seth Godin announced that his company would begin launching websites for major companies that collect social buzz–good and bad–from around the Web. In his blog, Godin says that these “conversations” are already happening, so Squidoo is simply going to funnel them into one aggregate spot. That lets any customer or company see what the buzz is around Brand X. But for companies to get on the page and respond, it will cost them money. Is this fair to companies? More importantly, is it good for customers? (Below, one such page for In-and-Out Burger.)

squidoo

Nine Ways For Luxury Brands To Use Social Media
Rohit Bhagava believes “luxury brands are the IDEAL brands to be using social media and that social networking, microblogging and online content creation represent big opportunities for these brands to really stand out, improve their customer loyalty, drive sales and, in fact, maintain the image they have worked hard to create for their brands.”

Like Google Alerts but for social media. You can receive free daily email alerts of your brand, company, CEO, marketing campaign, or on a developing news story, a competitor, or the latest on a celebrity.
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Retail: Odin

It’s been a busy season for the guys at Odin: a new collection of colognes, a collaborative line with Duckie Brown, and a little retail-space musical chairs. The new West Village shop is now open in Oliver Spencer’s old Greenwich Street digs (and Spencer’s up and running on East 11th Street). Here’s a peek inside: From the look of it, grabbing brunch at the neighboring Spotted Pig just got a lot more dangerous for your bottom line.
odin
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Harley Davidson Takes A Right Turn

Dave Nottoli alerted me to the fact that “It appears Harley-Davidson advertising has yanked the brand far to the right. In a full page ad appearing on the back of today’s USA Today sports section, the American motorcycle company has chosen the risky strategy of embracing political speech. The ad, whose copy reads: “It’s A Free Country. But Have You Felt Like That Lately?” continues in red and blue typeface over an image of a biker flying the Stars and Stripes “Has the torch of liberty gotten a little dimmer? Is it starting to feel claustrophobic inside the safety net? Do we still live in the home of the brave?”

harley davidson right wing crazies

Related:

Interbrand Report: The World’s Most Valuable Brands (time.com)
Harley-Davidson cutting more jobs (news.bbc.co.uk)

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Local v Ubiquitous

Local First, a Grand Rapids. Michigan based organization that encourages sustainable, locally-based economies has made a simple but effective illustration of how money flows if it’s spent at a locally owned business versus a non-local business.
why-buy-local

No Escape From McDonalds
Attempting to escape chain restaurants and big box stores in the US can seem like an impossible task. On a recent road trip, artist Stephen Von Worley noticed that they were popping up everywhere, even in the middle of formerly barren landscapes. Curious to see just how rampant this problem had become, Von Worley gathered data showing the exact location of all 13,000 U.S. McDonalds. What resulted was a visualisation that draws a spot on map of the United States – and showed how pervasive the chain really is.

Escape-McDonalds

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Zac Posen: From Duds To Domiciles

Page 6: “Zac Posen is moving on from duds to domiciles. Sources said the fashion designer is teaming with architect Morris Adjmi to create a luxury boutique residence just south of the Flatiron District. Posen, who also has a furniture line coming out next year, will be in charge of creating the fixtures, trims, and furnishings of the units, which will go on sale in December.”
zac posen
Zac Posen and 16 West 21st Street
Earlier today Page Six reported that fashion designer Zac Posen is “teaming with architect Morris Adjmi to create a luxury boutique residence just south of the Flatiron District.” According to a press release announcing the collaboration, “[Adjmi’s] ‘whiter than white’ pure glass design for 16 West 21st Street provides a stately yet minimalistic canvas, affording Posen the opportunity to create an environmental tapestry that evokes the rich colors and textures that are emblematic of his approach to fashion.” Not quite what we’d call concrete specifics, but this is not just a name licensing thing. We’re told Posen really is going to be putting his stamp on the building’s guts, including getting into the nitty-gritty on everything from cabinetry and hardwood inside the units to shared spaces like the lobby and hallways. Should make for an interesting sales pitch come December. There are 11 units, including a garden duplex and triplex penthouse.
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