When Baltimore, Md. city councilman William "Pete" Welch's proposed to fight Baltimore's budget crunch and keep the city's fire companies open by offering ad space on fire engines, he heard almost immediately from PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.). PETA fired off a letter to Welch, asking to ads on one or more of the city's fire trucks.
PETA wrote Welch on Saturday the 20th, and PETA spokesperson Shakira Croce told us there was no response from Welch yet. There was from Adweek’s David Kiefaber, who wrote yesterday that "I'll give PETA this much: They reached out to the right guy if they're interested in keeping Baltimore citizens firing.” Kiefaber grumped that Welch is best known for living off of his mother’s name (she held the council seat before him), and firing a gun into the ground in an argument over $40.
The Baltimore Business Journal reports that three of the city’s 55 fire companies, to close a budget gap. "Cities in the future aren't going to be able to have these budgets alone," Welch said. "They are going to have to form partnerships with business."
PETA’s Ashley Byrne, director of campaigns, wrote the letter, and she describes the ad this way:
“Our ‘Vegans Are Hot! Free Smokin'-Hot Recipes: PETA.org’ advertisement, featuring a sexy woman showing off her vegan physique, will drive Baltimore residents to PETA's heart-healthy vegan recipes that will keep them firing on all cylinders…Our ad will help your city keep all of its fire departments up and running while passing along a lifesaving message: By going vegan, Baltimore residents can save animals, protect their health, and help themselves become ‘hot stuff’!”
“Stupid idea,” wrote Kiefaber, who lives in Baltimore. But However quirky Welch is, or overbearing PETA can be in its messaging, sponsorship and outdoor advertising have saved high school gymnasiums and school buses. The idea is worth considering, and will spare Baltimore's firefighters from having to pose for another of those "Firefighter Hunks" calendars to stay in operation.
• Apple has been “shopping around for TV parts,” reports AllThingsD, meaning an Apple-platform smart TV is inching toward reality. Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster wrote in a note to clients that Apple has been talking to TV component vendors. This following some January meetings in Asia, supposedly to scope out manufacturing facilities, which led Piper Jaffray to believe Apple is looking to manufacture large-scale LCD displays.
• Citing “inventory oversupply” in the mobile ad space, Digiday reports that during Q3 of 2011, only 18 percent of impressions were filled by the top 20 U.S. mobile ad networks, and 10 percent worldwide. This says Digiday makes it “increasingly difficult for publishers to generate revenues from their mobile audiences.”
• About.com (a New York Times company) with its evergreen content may not seem a serious ad outlet, but, it is serious enough for Charles Schwab and Procter & Gamble. Now the online outlet has launched Real Recipes, a free app for iPhone and iPod Touch, to deliver About.com’s “deep catalogue of culinary content” (more than 25,000 recipes and numerous menu-planning tools) to the digital space.
• Former “NBC Dateline” anchor will bypass television and anchor straight from the web, reports TV Newser. In a video message on the StonePhillipsReports.com website, Phillips declared that after 20 years in broadcast news, he will now report on stories important to himself. First out of the lineup—head injuries in youth football, in a story called “Hard Hits, Hard Numbers.” As yet, Phillips is not accepting advertising, just donations. Dateline NBC did not review Phillips’ contract in 2007, and he has not been on broadcast television since.
• In an attempt to promote its Bing search engine over Google, Microsoft has launched its “Putting People First” campaign in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times and USA Today. As Social Times describes, Microsoft argues in the ad that Google sells out users to advertisers by using personal information to influence the type of advertising each customer sees. Microsoft products including Hotmail, Microsoft Office, Internet Explorer and Bing, are far safer and more private, the company claims.
- Twitter will launch its enhanced brand ads on February 1, according to Business Insider. The Facebook-like functionality has been available to a few select brands, including Coca-Cola, but now will be generally available—at a pricetag of $25,000.
- ESPN and Jeep caught heat from Digiday, which named the network and automaker in its Bad Ad of the Week.”ESPN covered the memorial service of former Penn State head football Joe Paterno. A rich-media ad for Jeep had a Jeep Wrangler “crash through” the computer screen, as well as Paterno’s casket, which sat dead center.
- The Sundance Film Festival and YouTube have cut a deal to rent out Sundance titles, reports Streaming Media. Most Sundance titles will rent for $2.99 to $3.99 for a 48-hour rental--$1 or more cheaper than from Comcast. The Sundance Film Festival wrapped over the weekend.
- Consumer-goods maker Procter & Gamble will “throw caution to the digital wind,” reports AdExchanger. Chairman and CEO Bob McDonald in an earnings conference call said the company would eliminate 1,600 non-manufacturing jobs, and invest heavily in its digital marketing. "In the digital space, with things like Facebook and Google and others, we find that return on investment of the advertising when properly designed, when the big idea is there, can be much more efficient."
- Angry consumers used Facebook to storm the gates of clothing retailer H&M last week. They accused the company of lifting a designer’s ad idea, reports Adweek. The company has begun marketing goods with the simple tagline “You look nice today,” with a red heart shape. Atlanta artist Tori LaConsay created the tagline—complete with red heart—for a sign in her neighborhood, in 2008. She was unpaid for the sign. Supporters have since deluged H&M’s Facebook site with hate messages. H&M at first attempted to dismiss the similarities as a “coincidence,” but is now seeking a resolution with LaConsay.
When asked where Americans get their political news, fully 44% of Americans responded “Television,” reports Poll Position. Only one segment—adults 30-44—responded “From the Internet.” In that 30-44 segment, 35% chose the Internet, 32% said television was their source for most political news, 18% said somewhere else (e.g., radio, magazines), and 14% picked newspapers.
The overall results are grim for newspapers, at only 16% among all surveyed. 2011 was a tough year for newspapers, with ad revenues a mere $24 billion in comparison to the record high of $49.4 billion in 2005.
Poll Position surveyed 1,113 registered voters nationwide, and claims a margin of error of ±3%.
Marketers can better justify their Google, Android and Facebook ad spends. The Association of National Advertisers (ANA) has revealed its findings that integrated marketing communications (IMC) programs are on the rise; and that mobile marketing and social media are especially significant in those communications.
ANA surveyed a cross-panel of its membership on integrated marketing, a topic it studied in 2003, 2006 and 2008. Of those sruveyed, more than half are currently developing and executing IMC programs, aimed at creating a unified message to all stakeholders (including consumers, employees, retailers, stockholders, etc.) and across all media. Since 2006, the percent of marketers developing and executing integrated marketing programs for all brands/products/services has steadily grown:
- 2011: 51%
- 2008: 33%
- 2006: 19%
Also true, 42% rated the effectiveness of IMC as excellent or very good, up from 25% in 2008.ANA attributes that perceived effectievness to the greater availability and use of newer media platforms, such as mobile platforms, which enable better targeting and enhanced metrics.
The period 2008 to 2011 saw a significant leap in the percentage of marketers rating mobile marketing and social media as "important" or "very important" to their efforts. Because of their relative insignificance at the time, neither mobile marketing nor social media were measured in the 2003 or 2006 studies.
Finally, 74% measured IMC success by sales growth, and 61% by brand tracking (e.g., awareness, usage, purchase intent).
- In step with the success of its iPhone, iPod touch and iPad content that has more than a million active users, PBS has launched a PBS KIDS Video for iPad App, reports Broadcasting & Cable. The app offer free video streaming of over 1,000 episodes from PBS KIDS and PBS KIDS GO! series, including The Cat in the Hat Knows A Lot About That, Dinosaur Train, Super Why, Sid the Science Kid, Sesame Street and Wild Kratts. The app, available from the App Store, also has content for parents.
- Pepsico, in partnership with Edelman and Weber Shandwick Worldwide, took home the Platinum SABRE Award for the best public relations program of 2011, for its Pepsi Refresh campaign, which used social media to engage consumers in the company’s corporate social responsibility efforts. Burson-Marsteller took home the North American Agency of the Year trophy; Kekst and Company, which was named Specialist Agency of the Year in addition to its Strategic Agency of the Year award; and Text 100, which was named the Best Agency to Work For in North America. The Holmes Report’s SABRE competition for the public relations industry acknowledges PR campaigns that demonstrate creativity, integrity and effectiveness. All North American winners are listed here.
- Email Institute's has released a collection of top emails in its “Spring 2011 Email Gallery Look Book,” reviewed and commented upon by Epsilon. The report takes a look at 28 emails considered the season's leaders in email marketing, and has some pointers and ideas helpful to any campaign. The leading emails were selected for strong design, copy standards.
- The Ben & Jerry’s Scoop Truck will tour Miami from May 2nd through June 10th attending community event and non-profits to help build awareness and raise support for a local food shelf. Miami can help direct where the truck should go by plugging into the tour via Twitter and Facebook. The tour plans to feature Ben & Jerry’s new flavors and products made from Fair Trade-certified ingredients. The lineup includes “Late Night Snack” inspired by Late Night with Jimmy Fallon – vanilla ice cream, a salty caramel swirl & fudge covered potato chip clusters, and the Stephen Colbert AmeriCone Dream. The truck will also go to San Francisco, LA, New York and Boston.