Created: Ray-Ban's biggest fan?
We've written about consumers' love of brands before, but we think this is taking it a little far. A new viral video making the rounds depicts a man, "Matthew," getting a pair of Ray-Ban glasses tattooed on his face. Can this be real, we wonder? An online search reveals the video is the latest in the Never Hide series, a campaign by eyewear retailer Ray-Ban. So, is the tattoo authentic? Some of the other Never Hide videos have been called out as fakes, but we don't know about this one. Matthew, who has obviously been to the tattoo parlour before, doesn't shed a tear under the needle, but he does shed some blood. The video itself reveals little: nothing about Ray-Ban's involvement in the stunt, nor about what Matthew might have gotten out of this. It makes us wonder if there are any lines left to draw, so to speak, when it comes to getting a product noticed. Well, we hope Matthew is not shy, because with a pair of Ray-Bans tattooed on his face and 330,000 views and counting, he now has nowhere to hide. Dianne Nice
Noted: VANOC shows us its colours
We don't have the right to celebrate our national pride as we want. That's the lesson we can draw from this week's slap-down by VANOC of a new campaign by Scotiabank calling on Canadians to upload photos that capture the spirit of this country. Sure, the Show Your Colours campaign, which promises daily winners a camcorder, is a nakedly cynical attempt to piggyback on the Olympics without paying a dime for the privilege, thereby stomping on territory bought and paid for by the official bank sponsor, RBC. We have no pony in this race: As far as we're concerned, the banks are equally, you know, bankish. But VANOC's suggestion that Canadians curb their enthusiasm for anything that hasn't received its expensive stamp of approval has the nasty whiff of a private corporation trying to privatize public pride. VANOC says it couldn't afford to put on the Olympics without the hundreds of millions in official sponsorships. Really? Somehow the ancient Greeks managed just fine. Simon Houpt
Quoted: Secret sauce? No thanks
The cardboard complaint is the most common one.
Phil Lozen, Domino's spokesman
Can a pizza chain win back its customers' confidence by insulting their taste? A new Domino's campaign is exploring that question, telling customers it knows its sauce tastes like ketchup and its crust is like cardboard, but it can do better. Domino's is putting a big marketing push behind its pizza relaunch, with behind-the-scenes footage of the first makeover in the company's 50-year history. In the first spot, we see real focus-group participants complaining about the taste, as ashen-faced Domino's chefs look on in shame. Then we flash forward to the big reveal, as beaming pizza chef Roxanne Swamba brags about the garlic, basil and other ingredients in the new sauce. But wait, one of the ingredients has been censored as "secret." Suddenly we're reminded of last spring, when two U.S. employees gave us a behind-the-scenes look at themselves putting what they called "boogers" into Domino's food and posted it online. Domino's, we like your new-found candour, so please, no more secrets. Dianne Nice
30-second spots: Dispatches from the world of media and advertising
Krafty product integration
In a case of art imitating life, or something like that, the fictional town of Mercy from CBC's Little Mosque on the Prairie is joining hundreds of real towns vying to be named Kraft Hockeyville. On Monday's episode, Amaar and Reverend Thorne will create a video submission for the contest, which will award to the winning town $100,000 in arena upgrades, an NHL preseason game and a visit from CBC's Hockey Night in Canada. A Kraft spokesman said the point of integrating the contest into the show is to emphasize that all towns are eligible. The publicity for Kraft probably doesn't hurt, either.
Putting a half-spinal twist on the rules
Lululemon has once again found a triple-toe loophole in Olympic marketing rules. This week the yoga wear company announced it is teaming with Vancouver-based YYoga fitness centres to provide complimentary yoga classes from Feb. 12-28. Hmm, those are the same dates as the Winter Games. We recall that last month, Lululemon half-mooned the Olympic committee with a clothing line inspired by a "Cool Sporting Event That Takes Place in British Columbia Between 2009 & 2011." So far VANOC has taken this posturing in stride, but can it be long before the toe picks come out?
C is for Cellphone
We all know Elmo loves his crayons. What we didn't know is that he also loves cellphones. Nokia has teamed with Sesame Street Workshop for its third annual " Calling All Innovators" contest, which challenges mobile developers to create applications for use on Nokia devices. The contest website explains that the apps will be used to teach early literacy to communities around the world and may include the use of Sesame Street characters. So Nokia is making a push for emerging markets. We get that. But are they making a push for emerging preschoolers, too?
Insulting mothers is a bad idea. Agree?
Giving kids cellphones, sheesh! Only working moms would do that. Oops, did that offend you? You're not alone. British mothers are up in arms over billboards that posed the question: "Career women make bad mothers. Agree?" The ads, plastered on buses and buildings last week, directed viewers to post a response at Britainthinks.com, which they did in droves. Many of those responses were very angry, causing the Outdoor Advertising Association to pull the ads. The OAA said the purpose of the stunt was to prove ads are effective and "provoke discussion." Mission accomplished.
Ad industry having a ball
Big names are heading to Toronto this month for Advertising Week, including Robert F. Kennedy Jr., who, among other roles, serves as senior attorney for the U.S. Natural Resources Defense Council. He joins HuffingtonPost.com editor Arianna Huffington, who will talk about how to be fearless in uncertain times. Advertising Week runs events in six Canadian cities from Jan. 25-29. The Cassies awards honouring exceptional ad work will be handed out on Jan. 28 and the Toronto events will wrap up the next night with a "Fashion Fetish" ad ball. We're guessing that's not as interesting as it sounds.