1) Is it just us, or is bungee jumping on a, um, rebound? This week, Chevrolet grabbed some Internet heat by putting one of its new Sonic subcompacts atop a tower of shipping containers and inviting people to nudge it slowly toward the edge by clicking a spot on the website LetsDoThis.com.
By Thursday morning, after more than 2.4 million clicks, the car tilted off its platform and plummeted toward the ground – only to be saved by an industrial-strength bungee cord. It’s a way of publicizing The Game of Firsts, a contest that lets people win a Sonic by being the first to do wacky things and share them with friends. Alas, the game isn’t open to residents of Canada, where we prefer to do less flashy things with our cars, like drive them on roads.
2) There’s another bungee act unfolding south of the border, this time with a career, after editor Michael Wolff and the trade publication AdWeek parted ways this week. Mr. Wolff, a noted magazine writer and biographer of Rupert Murdoch, had been at the publication for only about a year, but reports of tension surfaced soon after he unveiled a redesign last spring that folded in the sister publications MediaWeek and BrandWeek, and sought to cover the ad industry with moxie and a point of view that may have rubbed advertisers the wrong way. We’re chagrined at his exit, in part because the industry needs to listen to criticism if it’s going to adapt for the challenges it’s facing. Mr. Wolff, of course, will be fine: He always bounces back.
3) Just like the pectorals of “Anthony,” a hunky fellow who wants you to download an app to teach ladies how to check their breasts for signs of cancer. He and five frisky friends star in a popular video , now doing the rounds, that suggests hot guys are the best, um, learning tool. Still, we’re not sure what we’re supposedly learning in the last 30 seconds of the video, where the guys are bopping and bumping in their boxers. The spot is sponsored by Rethink Breast Cancer, which also staged the stunt we reported on last week in which four ladies doffed their tops and hit the streets to publicize the annual Calgary and Toronto Booby Ball fundraisers. (And yes, for the record, a young lady in the Report on Business section asked us to write about the video.)
4) Nobody, however, asked us to write about Cineplex’s new ad initiative; sometimes we just do these things because we want to. This week the cinema chain announced TimePlay, a mobile phone app that will enable moviegoers to interact with some ads shown before the movie previews, and compete against others in the audience for prizes. The games – er, ads – will roll out in 13 cinemas around Southern Ontario this fall and, if they prove popular, will then expand across Canada. Some will surely find them entertaining. We, on the other hand, would prefer to have as little contact as possible with our fellow audience members: They’re the main reason we barely go to the movies any more. Honestly, we’d rather go bungee jumping.