Kobe Bryant Helps Lenovo Launch the K900 Smartphone


Lenovo, with help from social media agency We Are Social, has launched a campaign to introduce the brand’s new K900 smartphone.

To promote the launch and boost Lenovo’s presence in Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and Philippines, the brand partnered with NBA superstar Kobe Bryant to create “The Everyday Kobe Challenge.”

We Are Social created a Facebook app, hosted on Lenovo’s local market Facebook pages that allows people to submit their jump shot videos and vote for their favorites, with the most popular jump shot winning a Lenovo K900.

Indonesia: https://apps.facebook.com/everydaykobe_id
Thailand: https://apps.facebook.com/everydaykobe_th
Philiipines: https://apps.facebook.com/everydaykobe_ph
Malaysia: https://apps.facebook.com/everydaykobe_my

In Vietnam, India, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Russia, Ukraine, Mexico, Peru and Serbia, a separate campaign, “What’s Your K900 Style,” will promote the launch. The campaign asks consumers to express their style by putting together items/outfits/accessories that would best pair with the K900 because as we all know, the smartphone is a fashion accessory worth celebrating.

After selecting their K900 “Lookbook,” fans of Lenovo can upload their photos on to their market’s Facebook page using a “What’s Your K900 Style” app. A voting mechanism will choose the most popular “looks” which will be entered into the running to win a K900 smartphone.

UAE: https://apps.facebook.com/lenovomobilestyleuae
Saudi Arabia: https://apps.facebook.com/lenovomobilestylesa
Vietnam: https://apps.facebook.com/lenovomobilestylevn

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JetBlue Reminds Us Just How Much Flying Sucks


Here’s the problem with JetBlue’s new Mullen-created commercial for JetBlue. No matter how you sugarcoat it (bags fly free, most legroom in coach, unlimited snacks, free TV, friendly flight attendants), flying still sucks. Know why? Because people refuse to pay a lot to fly so the airlines have no choice but to pack as many people into a plane as possible and give them as few “perks” as they can.

In this new commercial, JetBlue attempts to identify with the plight of the frequent flier — in the form of a pigeon — in a way that accomplishes nothing except to remind people that, well, flying sucks. Does anyone really believe that flying JetBlue is markedly better than Southwest, American or United? Oh sure there are differences but all in all, unless you’re paying for the first class, the experience is equally bad.

The whole legroom thing is a joke. Until airlines make seats WIDER so you can prevent the invasion of one’s personal caused by the avalanche of your seat mate’s fat bulging from beneath and above the arm rest, flying will always suck.

And no amount of free TV, friendly service or free snacks (which, in actuality, just makes the problem worse), is going to solve this problem.

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Bouncing Boobs Burn Fewer Calories Than Sports Bra-Encased Boobs


It’s funny the things you learn when watching ads. Who knew bouncing boobs, while a whole lot more fun to watch in action, cause a woman to burn fewer calories when working out than if she were to wear a bounce-inhibiting sports bra? That’s really the only conclusion we can come to after viewing this Tony Petrossian-directed spot for Sportsmaster, a top european sports retailer.

Perhaps Hitomi Tanaka (semi-NSFW) should shop at Sportsmaster.

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Red Bull’s Titanic Joke Not Well Received


It’s an age old question. How soon is too soon to poke fun at a disaster? As history would inform, the answer is usually never. There are just too many emotions tied up in certain unfortunate events to make light of them. Even an event that happened 101 years ago is seemingly off limits.

When Red Bull made light of the Titanic sinking by suggesting the Titanic would not have sunk had it been carrying Red Bull, viewers were outraged and lodged complaints with the UK’s Advertising Standards Authority.

The animated ad, which began running in Germany earlier this year and then more recently in the UK, features a captain telling a dock worker to stop loading Red Bull and, instead, load champagne. After the dock worker tells the Captain, “Red Bull gives you wings,” the captain laughs and replies, “Wings? Why on earth would you need wings on a ship?” The crate then lowers revealing the ship to be the Titanic.

The ASA has received 50 complaints but the organization has not yet made a decision as to whether or not to ban the ad.

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Ladies, Be Sure to Wax Before You Wear A Bikini And Pumps in New York City


We’ve written about the European Wax Center before. And you’ve probably seen their ads on busses in and around New York City. They’re easily recognizable since it’s hard to miss gigantic ass cheeks protruding out from under the shortest short shorts you have likely ever seen.

The Strawberry Frog-created campaign continues with a new bus sides and outdoor posters that touts the importance of a a good bikini wax. One version of the ad, which features a woman in a blue bikini bottom wearing pumps which are pressed against her inner thigh, carries the headline, “More Ooh La La’s on the Sidewalks and Catwalks.

While we’re pretty sure we’re not going to see — although we’d love to — a woman walking down the sidewalk in New York wearing a tiny blue bikini and heels, we get the message; the only hair anyone wants to see is the hair on your head.


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ESPN SportsCenter Ad Reduces Women to Candy-Loving Bimbos


Wieden + Kennedy is out with another ESPN SportsCenter spot. This one features U.S. Open winner Rafael Nadal as a lady magnet while ESPN personalities John Anderson and Bram Weinstein attempt to figure out Nadal’s secret. Alas, it has nothing to do with Nadal’s sexual prowess and everything to do with a tired stereotype that hot office bimbos can be motivated to do anything if you just give them a piece of candy.

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Why Kenneth Cole’s Syria Tweet Was Smart Marketing


You’ve heard the old adage “any publicity is good publicity,” right? When marketers are on the receiving end of “any publicity,” that usually means bad publicity. And it’s usually not intentional. Oh, sure, there are marketers like GoDaddy and others who play the “banned ad” PR card by claiming a network banned their commercial from the Super Bowl when, in fact, the brand never had any intentions of running the submitted version. But for the most part, marketers avoid bad publicity like the plague.

Unless that marketer is Kenneth Cole. You’ve probably read some of Kenneth Cole’s tweets. Most famously, he weighed in on the Egypt uprising in 2011 when he tweeted, “Millions are in uproar in #Cairo. Rumor is they heard our new spring collection is now available at http://bit.ly/KCairo -KC”

More recently, Cole, who runs his own Twitter account separate from that of the Kenneth Cole brand, weighed in on the Syrian crisis.

While many have chastised Cole for his tweets, this is why we think his controversial tweets are smart marketing (this article continues on the Central Desktop blog where it was originally published).

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What is ‘Social Good’ And How Can Brands Benefit?


What do we mean and understand by the term “social good”? This is the first question brands must ask themselves before incorporating social good into their business model. It is not a homogenous and neatly defined entity. Rather, social good is an umbrella term that incorporates many business practices, effects and outcomes.

Because social good is a fluid and evolving concept, it is up to each startup to set their own definition of “social” and “good.” If you don’t have parameters for social good, you can’t thoughtfully incorporate it into your business model.

Google came up with a well known answer: “Don’t be evil.” No one can deny that there are genuinely non-evil (or good) aspects of Google: most services are free, the company strives to make page ranking democratic and Google is completely transparent about what content is sponsored or not. When Google does something deemed shady, the public holds them to accountable to the motto.

In companies with a clear sense of social good, social good-driven actions are unmistakable. For example, Tom’s “one for one” founding premise means that the company donates one pair of shoes for every pair of shoes customers buy. Deloitte is known for training its employees on volunteerism and nonprofit management–not just consulting skills for Fortune 500 companies. Dell ensures that none of the minerals it sources from the Democratic Republic of Congo are being used to fuel conflict in the war-ridden country.

The question of what is social good, is complicated. It has been over 2000 years since the first philosophers debated the notion, and we are still no closer to finding an agreed upon definition that fits all understanding and practices of it. So don’t put too much pressure on yourself to find the right, one and only answer. As a startup founder, you just have to land on a definition that speaks to you and your company’s culture and value proposition. If you care about access to healthcare, global warming and gender equality, come up with a definition of social good that encompasses all three, and build them into your daily operations.

Second, ask yourself why you are incorporating social good into your business model. What drives you to have a triple bottom line business model, rather than a solely revenue driven model? What are the benefits?

From a business sense standpoint, contemporary startups need social good intertwined within their business model because consumers expect it–today, it is a sign of integrity and good practice in organizations people trust. When this assumption is shown to be incorrect, consumers can quickly become apathetic to a brand and business.

The backlash against corporate involvement in the NSA’s PRISM program is a perfect example of what happens when organizations violate expectations of socially conscious behavior. The BP oil spill in the gulf of Mexico threw into question the hydrocarbon giant’s commitment to environmental safety and protection. Nestle still suffers considerable backlash, including ongoing consumer boycotts, due to the baby formula scandal first reported in 1974 . In each case, there was a disconnect between consumers assumptions of what trusted organization’s social and good practices should be and what in reality was happening.

On the other hand, making social good the sole focus of a startup can be risky. Great socially conscious enterprises fail when they focus too narrowly on their social goal and lose site of the business model. Sustainable revenue and social good need not be mutually exclusive.

However you incorporate good into your startup, make sure the agenda is realistic and relevant to your enterprise. Don’t think of social good as compensation for your business practices that might generate criticism. Instead, focus on making those practices conform to your definition of social good, and let your customers know that you have made that conscious decision. In the short term it should help you build up a loyal and trusting customer base and in the long run it will help you stake your claim in the ever increasingly conscious-consumer world.

This guest post was written by Lucy Bartlett, Marketing Manager at VigLink, a technology company helping publishers earn from the content they create and the commerce they drive.

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French Online Gambling Site Pokes Fun At JFK Assasination


We’re pretty sure some people are going to have their panties in a bunch over this one. While we’re all for humor and making light of serious topics, there are some things that are sacred. In advertising, it’s never a good idea to touch on topics like Hitler or 9/11.

Or the JFK assassination. But French online betting site, PMU, seems to have no problem sharing an alternative scenario of the fateful day in Dealey Plaza back in 1963.

Is the ad funny? Sort of. Has it been long enough to poke fun? That’s an individual decision. Is it ever a good idea to poke fun at tragedy? Not usually but, then again, humor has a funny way of making certain things OK. What do you think?

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This Southern Comfort Ad Makes Us Long For A Fat Guy in A Speedo


It’s hard to follow up on a classic. And Southern Comfort’s original Whatever’s Comfortable ad, Beach, was, indeed, a classic. Wieden + Kennedy miraculously made a paunchy guy walking down the beach in a Speedo actually look cool.

That ad was followed by Shampoo and Karate and now we have Dance. Dance is all about a guy “dancing like the entire internet isn’t watching.” And we really shouldn’t bother watching because, well, it’s boring beyond belief and carries none of the original panache.

Sadly, it appears the campaign is now being dialed in which is a shame given the potential the original presented.

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