Viral marketing campaign? Or morality play for a new age?
You could try telling your teenage boy that amateur Internet pornography is the work of the devil, or you could just show him. That's what Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. decided to do. Promoting the new Eli Roth horror flick The Last Exorcism, the studio and its L.A.-based agency the Visionaire Group turned to online service Chatroulette, which allows users to chat with complete strangers … or, just as often, to expose themselves to complete strangers.
Visionaire planted a video on Chatroulette showing a pretty young girl, giggling and preparing to take off her top for the camera. Just then, her eyes roll back in her head, her skin crawls with blue veins and she attacks the camera in a demonic rage. The movie's website address flashes on the screen afterward.
It's not the first time Chatroulette has been used for marketing purposes. Among others, French Connection UK and Dr. Pepper have tried it - but judging from users' reactions, it was certainly unexpected. Perhaps two of them, after unleashing a string of expletives, summed it up best to each other: "I thought she was real!"
"That was real, dude."
Attention advertisers: Want to reach out and touch someone? You might want to take those wandering hands elsewhere. As the telephone emerges as the new information superhighway, Canadians are enthusiastic about technology, but are far less tolerant than others about having ads delivered in the mobile space, according to a new survey by KPMG.
Of the consumers surveyed in Canada, only 21 per cent said they'd be willing to receive ads on their mobile phones in exchange for free or cheaper content and services. KPMG's global "Consumers & Convergence IV" survey found twice as many consumers outside of Canada were willing to see mobile ads.
And Canadians are even grumpier about paying to fill the advertising-free void they crave: 85 per cent said they'd look elsewhere for free content if asked to pay for access to a site through their mobile network, compared with 76 per cent in the U.S. and 57 per cent in the rest of the world.
"Read Ayn Rand."
That's the message Nick Newcomen drove more than 19,000 kilometres to tell the world.
Mr. Newcomen who spent about $4,000 on the trip, used a GPS device that, when turned on, recorded his travels. He uploaded his route to Google Earth, complete with links along the way to videos and photos, and then climbed into his car to drive routes across the United States in the shape of the letters of his message.
His website, World's Biggest Writing, catalogues the adventure. What he appears to have created is the world's biggest unpaid advertising campaign. His trip was not sponsored, but his website is a member of Amazon's affiliate program, which lets sites post links to products and gives the website's owner a commission if anyone clicks the link and buys something. What can visitors purchase at Mr. Newcomen's site? Why, Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead, of course.
"I believe that if more people would read her books and take her ideas seriously. the U.S. and world would be a better place - freer, more prosperous and people would be more optimistic about the future," Mr. Newcomen says.