Sign of the Apocalypse?

Unless I'm mistaken, that's a decidedly lukewarm review of the iPhone 3G from Uncle Walt.

Now *That's* Authentic

Quoting the Times story on brand-supported music: Caress, the body-care line owned by Unilever, commissioned the Pussycat Dolls singer Nicole Scherzinger to record a version of Duran Duran’s “Rio” that it gave away on its Web site to promote its “Brazilian body wash” product.

Just think: a manufactured artist doing a cover of an 80s standard by Birmingham new romantics that, while the actress in the video looks vaguely Brazilian (she's actually English-Lebanese), was really filmed in Antigua and is about a girl named after the Rio Grande.

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Happy 232nd

American_Flag_2.jpg

This year's patriotic plug, even it disparages a few Virginians.

Happy Fourth. Throw another burger on the grill for me.

Era-Ender?

The more I think about it, the less this is like "slip-sliding into a recession" than "End of an Era."

    Starbucks Corp. on Tuesday effectively ended its era of blanket expansion by saying it will close 500 more locations in the U.S. and cut 7% of its work force.

Starbucks -- IPO 1992 -- is as much a symbol of our times as Netscape or Google. Or as Toys R Us or McDonald's of theirs. Which will it end up resembling more? Onward.

Nostalgic Fourth

What they do in my hometown on the Fourth.

No Mas, Por Favor

I got a Verizon LG ad on my MyYahoo page this morning. In Spanish. Rest assured that, though I have lived in California, in classic dumb amuhrican mode, I do not speak Spanish. Yahoos, you're going to have to prove you target a little better if you're going to get those CPMs up and hit all your aggressive advertising revenue goals.

Promoting Baseball the Old-Fashioned Way

I really like the creative for the subway advertising campaign that's running in support of baseball's All-Star Game, which is in Yankee Stadium this year. I wish I could link to it, but I can't find any online references, even after searching pretty hard. Modell's, Nike, and the MLB seem to have hands in it. Anyway, sharp photos back a single word of a series of five- or seven-word koans. Nice, and very New York:

The back page is our front page
A closer in a city of closers
We stay for all nine

Best Wishes, Charlene

Best wishes to rival fellow analyst Charlene Li on her new adventures. Even if they do call it "social computing" -- bleah -- in Cambridge....

Can Cannes Align to the Changes Agencies Need?

Mary Beth Kemp

The French advertising trade press this week proclaims an end to frontiers and the blurring of the lines between categories - I read media - following the close of the Cannes Festival on the 21st. 

The Cannes Festival is about ideas, which should vibrate beyond the concrete fact of one media.  The problem is, the creative and the container are often closely matched.  It’s often the juxtaposition of the two which make the magic happen.  For example, the HBO ‘Voyeur’ campaign was clearly an idea working its delight in a specific media - in this case, outdoor. 

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More Tail-Wagging

The Journal's Lee Gomes goes after the long tail again, aided by a Harvard Business Review article. Wired's long-tail hypemeister Chris Anderson responds, and a little more.

To paraphrase myself from some Jupiter research, it's not saying much to acknowledge there are long-tail markets. Rather, you have to prove:

- there's significant demand for non-blockbusters
- that the long tail could re-arrange Pareto-principle (80-20 rule) industries and markets
- and that anyone can make money off the tail, without also supplying the head

So far, no, maybe, and no.