Potty-Mouthed Grandma has Choice Words on Saving Water in New Poo-Pourri Video

 

If you thought Poo-Pourri's first video was outrageous, just wait til' you see what Grandma has to say about it all. 

In the latest from Suzy Batiz and her Addison, TX-based "spray-before-you-go" bathroom spray demonstrates once again how to market sensitive products by being as up-front and flagrant about it as you can about it.

Clearly, this isn't for every audience.

But Batiz (full disclosure: a past client) knows how to reach the hipper, hard-to-reach 18-35 audience she's after to round out her base of fun-loving women 38 to 64. This new video may even be a, er, slam dunk with all her constituents.

Either way: Who knew bleeping out an everyday word like "flush" could be so fun?

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'Like A (Super)Girl': 3 Ways CBS Could Do Some Serious Good This Fall (Video)

 

Can a new TV show about a female superhero aspire to create positive messages for girls and women as well as (or better than) a certain viral video from a feminine products brand?

In just the last few weeks, Procter & Gamble's viral sensation "Like A Girl" won the GoodWorks Effie, which is designed to recognize marketers for effectively using their platforms for "purpose-driven' campaigns. That is to say, campaigns that accomplish some social good, beyond (just) promoting the brands behind them.

As most everyone in the world of marketing and advertising knows by now, the video, for P&G's Always brand, explores the meaning of the phrase "like a girl" - and how to redefine it. It's powerful stuff, and since its debut last summer, it has generated nearly 60 million views—and has been likened to some of the best work coming from Unilever's long-running "Campaign for Real Beauty."

Right around the same time, we also saw the release of a six-minute trailer for CBS-TV's new show "Supergirl" from Berlanti Productions—the team behind "The Flash," "Arrow," and the upcoming "Legends of Tomorrow" on CW.

 

Based on the character in DC comics, the series follows Kara Zor-El, the preteen cousin of baby Kal-El, as she is rocketed to Earth in the moments before the planet Krypton explodes (or the surviving Argo City becomes contaminated, depending on your origin story of choice).

Through the peculiar dynamics of space-time, Kara arrives on Earth many years after Kal-El has grown up as Clark Kent, finding herself in awe of the man (and hero) he has become. As she enters her twenties, Kara must forge her own path, and decide if and how to best use her own considerable gifts to make a difference in the world.

Just as with "Like A Girl," the trailer instantly broke the Internet. In just its first week, it had generated over 10 million views—though no exclusively to fanfare.

Commentary on one side included the usual fanboy outrage, as well as criticism likening the trailer (not without merit) to some of the  rom-com tropes parodied in a recent SNL spoof for a "Black Widow" movie, based on Scarlett Johansson's character in "The Avengers."

In fact, part of the ensuing online conversation was debating whether the "Supergirl" trailer was actually sexist.

 

On the other side: Viewers who looked past the cliches and saw something more promising. (A leaked video of the full first episode seems to have put reviews decidedly in the positive column, with some indicating the worst elements of the trailer are only minor facets of the show.)

'The World's Greatest Heroine'

One can't help but find star Melissa Benoist utterly captivating here.

But as a marketer who has written extensively about cause marketing in books such as THE ON-DEMAND BRAND and BRANDING UNBOUND; as a lifelong genre fan; and, I should add, as a husband and father, I see lots of potential for something that is not only a blast to watch, but something that can make a difference.

This optimism has a lot to do with Greg Berlanti, whose "Flash" has balanced unabashed exuberance with unexpected heart. The Season One finale is chock full of both, served with enough Easter Eggs to fill a master's thesis.

That show, based on another DC property, follows a young Barry Allen and his origins as The Fastest Man Alive. And it toys with our understanding of the character, as well as themes and story lines shaped through 70 years of mythology (including a pivotal moment in the character's history—a moment he handled to disastrous effect in the comics, and tackled in another, more painful and poignant way in the show), in compelling ways.

 

"The Flash" and "Supergirl" will not feature crossovers for some time, if ever, due to the fact that they air on separate networks.

But press reports indicate they do exist in the same universe. And it is not lost on Berlanti (or fans) that within the mythology, Barry and Kara are bound by a shared destiny at the center of a cataclysm that has been amply foreshadowed in "The Flash."

A Force for Good—or Not?

"Supergirl" is clearly aimed at teenage girls, far more than even "The Flash" or "Arrow," which have found footing with both sexes—and all ages.

So how can "Supergirl" do some good this fall?

1. Play Up the "Girl Power" Ethos.

This appears to be built into the equation.

Just look at the show's (brilliant) tagline: "It's not a bird. It's not a plane. It's not a man....It's Supergirl." Throw in Rachel Platten's "Fight Song," and the trailer makes an unambiguous statement. Even better: Despite hints to the contrary, word has it that despite hints to the contrary, the pilot at least avoids indicating that Kara needs a love interest to complete her.

This kind of roll model is not without precedent.

Decades ago, Wonder Woman became a symbol of female empowerment, inspiring Gloria Steinem to feature the character on the cover of the first issue of Ms. magazine. That was three years before Lynda Carter hit prime time as the character, in a version of the heroine pulled from one of the more prominent of DC's alternate realities. And it was 40 years before psychologist Amy Cuddy took to TED to share research with 26 million viewers that striking a Wonder Woman pose for two minutes every day can help women build self-confidence. (Read more on this amazing history here.)

This didn't happen through didactic, "After-School Special" moralizing.

It happened through the simple act of portraying a powerful force for truth and justice who just happened to be a woman.

Berlanti's first job is to entertain, not preach. But there's no reason the show can't redefine what facing danger and demonstrating heroism "like a girl" can mean.

2. Grant Viewers a Whole Lot Less "Cat"

Calista Flockhart's "Cat Grant" character could make for an outstanding rival, so long as Kara's view of "girldom" counterbalances Grant's worst stereotypes.

I'm not (just) talking about the "Devil Wears Prada"-esque elements in general—which are freaking painful to watch. I'm talking specifically about a certain (overly-long, overly-precious) moment between Kara and Cat, after Grant has dubbed Kara's alter-ego "Supergirl":

KARA: We can't name her that.

CAT: 'We' didn't.

KARA: Shouldn't she be called 'Super Woman'?

CAT: What do you think is so bad about 'Girl'? I'm a girl. And your boss. And powerful. And rich. And hot. And smart. So if you perceive 'Supergirl' as anything less than excellent, isn't the real problem you?

Kara seems to take this not as the narcissistic blather of a preening ass clown, but as words of wisdom. Or at least the trailer seems to play it that way, with Kara immediately proclaiming she's all-in.

This character will either provide Kara with a model for what not to be, or a simplistic and negative template for how powerful women establish dominance.

Berlanti's track record—along with word that the show has less of the trailer's most irksome elements—give me hope.

3. Extend the Platform

Find advertisers who don't just fill ad space with empowering commercial messages. Find partners who leverage the storytelling in ways that can be extended into digital initiatives that encourage girls to start being "super" in their own lives, through public service and/or by identifying and building on their own strengths to shape their futures in positive ways.

Which is a way of saying that while the show can't be pedagogic, perhaps extensions can.

A Real Cliffhanger

Will "Supergirl" transcend its cliche-tinged trailer to become a positive cultural influence?

Will consumer brands from the likes of P&G, Unilever and others recognize the potential of this platform, and leverage it for "purpose-driven" campaigns aimed at girls?

And will CBS avoid screwing up a show that CW would ride to long-lasting success?

Time will tell if Kara Zor-El soars high—or bites Kryptonite dust—on these and other scores.

Here's hoping it's fun finding out.

 

 

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3D Projection Mapping vs. Augmented Reality: Q&A with Go2's Adrian Scott (Concl)

 

"Like magic before your eyes."

That's how Go2 Production's Adrian Scott puts it when comparing 3D projection mapping to most virtual and augmented reality experiences requiring mobile phones, Oculus Rift, Google Cardboard or other consumer devices to enjoy.

In the conclusion of my recent conversation with Scott, we talk about a 3D projection experience we developed for Seagate Technology's brand relaunch at CES this January.

Playing off the "data tile" elements of Seagate's new Living Logo (the world's first patent-pending brand identity), the experience (video at top) features the voice talent of William Lyman (narrator of "PBS Frontline"), as well as an original score from Alain Mayrand, who did orchestrations for the movies "Ender's Game" and "Elysium").

 

Be sure to check out the behind-the-scenes video, too (directly above).

And then listen to the finale of our audio interview, where you'll hear about some of the considerable challenges associated with trying to pull off a 3D projection like this in the middle of the day, in a very unconventional space—and about Scott's favorite 3D projection project ever.

Adrian

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO: 3D PROJECTION VS. AUGMENTED REALITY - A Q&A WITH GO2'S ADRIAN SCOTT (Conclusion)

(Approx 4:47)

PLUS:

LISTEN TO PART ONE: Move Over 3D Projection, 4D Projection is Here

LISTEN TO PART TWO: From Here to Holograms

LISTEN TO PART THREE: The Secrets of Success with 3D Projection

 

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The Secrets of Success with 3D Projection: Q&A with Go2's Adrian Scott (Pt 3) (Video)

 

So how do you do 3D projection mapping right?

Go2 Production's Adrian Scott gets into the secrets of success with 3D projection mapping in part three of my recent conversation with him.

We'll hear about some of the Copperfieldian stagecraft he and his team used to pull off experiences like the one shown above, which was part of a project we worked on together for LoopNet and involved making a 10-story building disappear.

 

The effort went on to win Best 3D Projection Mapping Content at the 2014 Digital Signage Expo, and was part of an integrated campaign that won Best of Show: B2B Marketing at the Summit International Creative Awards

In addition to the main event, we'll get some insights on how to use video of your 3D projection as a social media lever long after the projector lights have gone dark.

AdrianCLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO: THE SECRETS OF SUCCESS WITH 3D PROJECTION - A Q&A WITH GO2'S ADRIAN SCOTT (PT 3)

(Approx 4:08)

PLUS:

LISTEN TO PART ONE: Move Over 3D Projection, 4D Projection is Here

LISTEN TO PART TWO: From Here to Holograms

 

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Q&A: Go2's Adrian Scott (Pt 2): From Here to Holograms (Video)

 

Call it "ROI at the speed of 'Like.'"

In part two of my recent conversation with Adrian Scott, head of Vancouver-based Go2 Productions, we discuss why the real power of 3D projections like the ones shown in the highlight reel above isn't the display itself—it's what you (and passersby) do with it afterward via social media.

We'll also hear about some of the emerging technologies that will see 3D projection evolve into something closer to the Star Trek Holodeck—or at least like a certain scene in another fabled space opera.

AdrianCLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO Q&A: ADRIAN SCOTT, GO2 PRODUCTIONS (PART 2)

 ALSO:

LISTEN TO PART ONE: Move Over 3D Projection, 4D Projection is Here

 

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Farewell Q&A with NY Times Ad Columnist Stuart Elliott (Concl): Uncertainty Certain

Can someone who has never worked in advertising really cover it?

Or is it even better that way?

In the conclusion of my recent "exit interview" with legendary New York Times ad industry columnist Stuart Elliott, we discuss what it was like to cover such a idiosyncratic industry without much first-hand experience in the business. 

How did being one step removed hinder - or help?

As Elliott says goodbye to the Times, we'll get his views on that topic.

And we'll try one last time to get his predictions for what's next in the world of advertising. His response is worth noting even for those of us who do work in this crazy, wonderful industry.

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO: FAREWELL Q&A WITH STUART ELLIOTT: WHAT I SAW AT THE REVOLUTION (CONCLUSION): UNCERTAINTY CERTAIN

(Approx: 3:29)

Listen to Part One here: What I Saw at the Revolution

Listen to Part Two here: The Rise & Risks of Content Marketing

Listen to Part Three here: Change is (On) the Air

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Farewell Q&A with NY Times Ad Columnist Stuart Elliott (Pt 3): Change Is (On) The Air

By now, we're all familiar with the rapid rise of the Internet, the mobile revolution, the emergence of social media and more.

But beyond the technological changes and what they mean to the way we connect with consumers through new platforms, there is the impact of societal changes on how we reflect consumer sentiment back to them.

After 25 years of covering the advertising industry for the New York Times, Stuart Elliott says he never could have predicted that television advertising would be so much less lily white, a little less nuclear family.

In part three of an expansive "exit interview" I conducted with Elliott just weeks after he announced his retirement in December - he points to how ad agencies used to pretend they were bigger, until that became a liability, and why brands had better keep up with demographic trends, or risk being left behind.

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO: FAREWELL Q&A WITH STUART ELLIOTT: WHAT I SAW THE REVOLUTION (PART 3) - CHANGE IS (ON) THE AIR

(Approx: 3:53)

Listen to Part One here: What I Saw at the Revolution

Listen to Part Two here: The Rise & Risks of Content Marketing

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Farewell Q&A with NY Times Ad Columnist Stuart Elliott (Part 2): What I Saw at the Revolution

Content marketing may get a lot of buzz these days - but it's as old as advertising itself. 

In part two of my conversation with longtime New York Times advertising columnist Stuart Elliott, we continue to talk about how social media has paradoxically fueled growth in television viewership - especially for events like the Super Bowl.

But as part of this wide-ranging farewell Q&A with Elliott - who retired in December after nearly 25 years of covering advertising for the Times - we get into sponsorship advertising, as well as so-called content and video marketing.

Surprise: None of this is future-forward at all. Indeed, it's a return to the golden age of advertising. But while it sideswipes the problem of ad-skipping technologies and an ever-expanding universe of digital distractions, it comes with some considerable challenges of its own.

Click Here to Download: Q&A WITH STUART ELLIOTT: WHAT I SAW AT THE REVOLUTION (PT 2) - THE RISE (& RISKS) OF CONTENT MARKETING

(Approx: 5:40)

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GEN WOW AWARDS: Digital Dozen Ad Tech Innovations 2014 (Video)

Some of our favorite digital marketing innovations from the year just past, from the whimsical to the sublime.

PAULIG MUKI: MUG SHOTS

This coffee mug that uses heat from coffee to produce pictures, messages, quotes, comic strips or even today's weather, on a screen embedded in the cup, when hot drinks are poured.

SELFIE MIRROR: PERFECT HANDS-FREE PHOTOS EVERY TIME

SELFIE in this case stands for "Self Enhancing Live Feed Image Engine." Though the practical applications for most consumers may be a bit of a head scratcher, I can imagine this kind of technology built into clothing store images similar to those developed by Tom Nicholson at Nicholson NY. This would enable social shopping experiences where users could solicit real-time feedback on whether an outfit is say, "fly" or "forgettaboutit" from their extended social networks.

APOTEK: SUBWAY AD DISPLAY IS A HAIR-RAISING EXPERIENCE

It's not every day a hair care ad blows you away. This digital signage from Apotek in Sweden senses incoming trains at this Stockholm subway station, and makes the poster model's hair react with dramatic flourish.

3D PRINTING CLOTHES & FURNITURE

3D printing technology has me wondering about what constitutes a "brand" in categories seen for so long now as immune to digital media disruption: Fashion and furniture.  First up, news that a company called Electroloom hopes to launch ready-to-wear clothes that you could print from your 3D printer at home. And second, a look at what happens when this technology eventually results in home 3D printers (or even "bays") capable of printing out furniture.

BRITISH AIRWAYS: MAGIC BILLBOARD

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? ... oh wait, it is a plane. Flight 186 from New York, in fact. This effort from OgilvyOne and Storm won the Direct Grand Prix at the Cannes Lions Advertising Festival for the effective use of ground-breaking technology matched with a brilliant idea.

OREO 3D PRINTED COOKIE VENDING MACHINE

And then there's 3D-printed munchies. Oreo's experimental "Oreo Trending Vending Machine" uses 3D printing technology to print out cookies. The initiative comes via a partnership with Twitter that includes "trending flavors" based on trending social conversations, which customers can then select to watch their cookies being built. It sounds like it takes about two minutes - which seems like a long time wait - but hopefully novelty will trump timeliness in this case.

OSCAR-MAYER: BACON-SCENTED ALARM CLOCK

Yes, it's a thing. Oscar Mayer's new "Wake Up & Smell the Bacon" device plugs into your iPhone so that when the alarm goes off, you bask in the smell and sound of sizzling bacon. Fun, effective and cruel, all at the same time.

COCA-COLA: 'FAIR PLAY'

You have to love the latest installment of Coca-Cola's Happiness Campaign—involving two vending machines on opposite sides of a sports stadium, where you can't get a Coke for yourself. But you can give one to a fan of the opposing team. Genius.

FELT: IPAD APP THAT LETS YOU SEND HANDWRITTEN CARDS BY MAIL

THIS new app integrates digital and physical worlds with handwritten notes you can send via snail mail.
Let's face it, it's print and snail mail when you want to send the very best, Hallmark or otherwise. Felt, the company behind this app, understands this - and looks to have delivered a very nice app just in time for this last holiday season. How might your brand use digital to pay off in physical?

AR+INFRARED = NEW INTERFACE FOR WEARABLES

I'm digging this vision video from augmented reality player Metaio, which foresees a world where thermal heat scanning wearables enable users turn any surface into an interactive touch screen interface. Think of the implications for communications, and then think further. Gaming, mixed reality movies and shows, layered brand experiences. Entire environments and cross-reality social media, activated and annotated by a simple touch. How can your brand lead the way?

SEPHORA: 3D AUGMENTED REALITY MAKEUP MIRROR

Here's looking at you - in a whole new way. Sephora's Milan store has a new AR mirror that enables shoppers to try on makeup without applying anything. Live AR like this represents a compelling application of AR at retail - empowering the consumer to do what previously would have take a lot of time and tissues to even attempt. The tech, from ModiFace, looks to work quite well. For many other applications, be sure to pick up a copy of my book THE ON-DEMAND BRAND.

DISPLAY MAPPER: 3D PROJECTION MAPPING FOR IN-STORE DISPLAYS

Called a MirrorBox, this unit from DisplayMapper is billed as the "world's first" projection-mapped display unit for retail. Best of all - it works in daylight. And content updates are managed through a cloud-based interface. Perfect for many lifestyle goods brands.

Without a doubt, digital is the ultimate sandbox. If you can dream it, you can do it. What will your brand do with ad-tech in 2015? And most important of all, how might this kind of ad-tech innovation reshape not just your marketing, but your business model in the decade ahead?

 

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GEN WOW AWARDS: Top 10 Best Branded Videos 2014 (Video)

 

GenWowAwards-logo_2014It's no secret video marketing is a red hot topic these days, from micro-videos to how-tos to promos to feature-length movies.

But for us, our favorite brand videos tended to fall into one of two categories - narratives (ie, more akin to short- or long-form commercials) and prankvertising (mostly covered in our upcoming list of Best Prankvertisements of 2014) - and tended to be specifically built to maximize sharability (ie, more humorous or poignant, less demonstrative and visually astounding).

So sit back and enjoy our picks for Top 10 Best Branded Videos of 2014. Then let us know if you agree or not, and which videos made your own personal list over the last 12 months.

APPLE HOLIDAY SPOT: 'THE SONG'

Okay, so this wasn't technically a brand video in the online sense, though it has flourished there, generating 3 million views in its first two weeks. Indeed, I only saw the spot (which is an unconventional 90-seconds long) once over the holidays - and found it as compelling, if not more so, than last year's much ballyhooed "Misunderstood" (which went on to win a Creative Arts Emmy for "Outstanding Commercial).   Apple has posted a special look at the story behind "The Song," here.

HUGGIES: 'MOMENT-CAM'

Whooping it GoPro-Style: Helping new moms in South Korea capture everyday moments is nice. How Huggies packaged them up into this video is pure magic.

LINCOLN: JIM CARREY

Lincoln probably didn't love this SNL video featuring Jim Carrey spoofing Matthew McConaughey's spots promoting the brand. In fact, this is probably the last way the brand (or McConaughey) hoped the spots would be perceived. But we enjoyed it. And I'm not sure we'd be talking about the Lincoln campaign without it.

EVIAN: 'BOTTLE SERVICE'

This initiative is illustrative of an important element to social media marketing: It's not just the promotion itself; it's the video that captures the promotion and spreads the word. Hard not to love this effort from Evian, which among other things boosted social engagement stats dramatically (click through for more.)

P&G ALWAYS: 'LIKE A GIRL'

Unilever's Dove brand has been revolutionizing the way women's brands connect with the audience by helping change perceptions of the nature of beauty (as counter-intuitive an approach as they come, as I pointed out to Broadcasting & Cable magazine, and in my book THE ON-DEMAND BRAND).This last fall,  P&G's Always brand got in on the action. And while it clearly is borrowing a page from Dove, what's nice here is that its perspective isn't about outward appearance at all. It's about what it means to be a capable, powerful human being. For the effort, the campaign won the coveted Grand CLIO Award. That's beautiful all the way around (though not with without some controversy)

WEIRD AL: 'MANDATORY FUN'

Also a mandatory case study on generating media coverage of your online video campaign. But hey, how can you not love a video series that includes a modern spin on "School House Rock" that reminders to all of us to avoid "Word Crimes" in our real-time, online stream-of-consciousness?

BRITISH AIRWAYS: "MAGIC BILLBOARD"

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? ... oh wait, it is a plane. Flight 186 from New York, in fact. This effort from OgilvyOne and Storm won the Direct Grand Prix at the Cannes Lions Advertising Festival for the effective use of ground-breaking technology matched with a brilliant idea.

COCA-COLA: "FAIR PLAY"

Another case of capturing the initiative being as important than just implementing it. In this case, the latest installment of Coca-Cola's Happiness Campaign—involving two vending machines on opposite sides of a sports stadium, where you can't get a Coke for yourself. But you can give one to a fan of the opposing team. Genius.

DOVE: "SELFIE"

It's not like Dove left the field to P&G's Always this year. Indeed, despite some blow-back for efforts like Dove's "Beauty Patch" video, the 10th anniversary of the "Campaign for Real Beauty" found Dove scoring yet again with "Selfie."

WREN: "FIRST KISS"

This video had gone supernova with 11 million views in just hours before anyone realized it was actually an ad for an up-and-coming fashion brand called Wren. Then the spoofs began (the kind a brand dreams of achieving) — from the likes of Jimmy Fallon ("First LIck," featuring puppies and kittens) — followed by spoofs of the spoofs (including "First Sniff"). Now at nearly 100 million views, this has to be the biggest return on investment for a startup fashion brand ever.

BONUS—LEGO: "THE LEGO MOVIE"

Yes, everything is awesome when you're part of a team. Especially when that team created what was without a doubt the single greatest piece of content marketing of the year, maybe the decade. A piece of content that found audiences gladly paying to immerse themselves in a one-hour-and-twenty-minute commercial about a "highly sophisticated, interlocking brick system" made of plastic. Sure, the same can (and has) been said for movies like the GI Joe or Transformers franchises. But those films were based on toys. This movie featured the actual toys, both as animated avatars, and as actual toys. And it solidified the brand's value proposition as the ultimate catalyst for childhood creativity. This movie shouldn't (just?) win an Oscar. As the Guardian points out, it should win a Grand Prix at the Lions.

What videos made your list? And more importantly: How will your brand plan to use video in 2015?

 

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