Tuesday, February 24, 2009

weekly media watch - 02.23

Here is my WMW for the week. As you can see, I did another write up of Coraline. Hope you enjoy!


Coraline Finds 50 Lucky Bloggers

What is it?

Last week, I had the pleasure of seeing Coraline in 3D. For those of you who think it’s a kids’ movie, I assure you there is enough to keep adults entertained. Some parts were downright creepy and the 3D effects really brought the movie to life.

Oh yes—back to advertising. Coraline, created by Laika Studios, is touted as the first stop-motion animation feature to be shot entirely in 3-D. Naturally, lots of props remained after shooting was complete, and their Wieden+Kennedy marketing team decided to do something special with them. They compiled a list of their favorite blogs (among them: NotCot, Pink is the New Blog, boingboing) and asked each blogger if they wanted to receive a “free gift.” 50 unique, whimsical boxes filled with movie props and items were created and sent, and the chosen bloggers immediately rushed off to show of the contents of their boxes. Even the actual handwriting on the address labels reflected the film’s tone and themes. If you have a moment, check out the film’s site – it’s a visually stunning, immersive experience. (Sources: NOTCOT.com, Future of Ads)

Why is it interesting?

We often chat about “influencing the influencers” and how we can get bloggers to talk about cool products in the digital space. Since Laika Studios is owned by Phil Knight (co-founder of Nike), he pushed W+K to come up with an innovative campaign (check out the Nike Coraline Dunks!). This brilliant idea for Coraline made use of some one-of-a-kind props and put them in the hands of people that have extensive networks of readers. The variety of blogs they came up with was impressive in itself – who knew there were so many knitting blogs?!


AdAge Confirms: Unpaid McFlurries

What is it?

It appears as though we all spoke too soon. AdAge confirmed that McDonald’s didn’t pay for the McFlurry product in the story line. “30 Rock” asked McDonald’s executives in advance if they could use a restaurant for filming purposes and write some products into the story. Since nothing portrayed the company in a bad light, McDonald’s didn’t push back or make any changes. The TV spot that ran during the show was “part of the traditional media buy” and no spots were moved around to be near that episode. (Source: AdAge)

Write-up from last week, in case you need background: There has been, well, a flurry of McFlurry activity online after last night’s 30 Rock episode aired. 2 characters on the show (Elisa and Jack) sat on the couch last night eating McFlurries – and after some discussion about how great the vanilla swirl, candy and cookies go perfectly together, Elisa exclaimed that it is “the world’s greatest dessert.” New York Magazine, Gawker and countless blogs have initiated virtual discussions around the product placement.

Why is it interesting?

Paid or unpaid, last week’s episode sure got bloggers and media sites writing furiously about the issues surrounding product placement. Where should the line be drawn? Are audiences becoming too cynical to accept advertising like this? As I mentioned in last week’s write-up, ad avoidance behavior continues to grow. DVRs make it far too easy to find the content that we really want. I’m sure we are all curious to see how 30 Rock will handle any product placement opportunities in the future…


How to be a Better TJMaxx Shopper

What is it?

Through my normal search and online shopping patterns, I recently stumbled upon TJMaxx’s online community. Called “What’s In,” it is intended to function as a social shopping utility with daily alerts and insider tips. Users can upload photos of Fashion Finds from their local stores and provide details about the department, price and brand. Votes and comments are also recorded, adding to the social functionality of the site. (Source: What’s In)

Why is it interesting?

From what I can recall, TJMaxx hasn’t done much to promote their What’s In site through their print or TV ads – a missed opportunity, since cross-promotion would be an easy way to drive more traffic. While the site could use some tweaking in certain areas (especially with their mapping and voting features), the concept is a great one for discount stores such as this. Allowing the users to hunt for bargains and share them instantly is more compelling than posting a weekly circular online. A mobile version may also work for their customers if they continue to see activity on the site.

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