Monday, September 22, 2008

More Annoying than Speed Bumps

Experiential campaigns usually involve a product spokesperson at some wine and cheese event, but Honda decided to skip the spokesmodel and instead dig grooves into highway asphalt. The groves in the payment play the William Tell Overture when motorists drive over the stretch of highway, which is what you expect for a Honda Civic campaign or so someone at Honda thought who conceived this breakthrough idea.

Well the Lancaster, CA residents didn't find the idea very compelling as they convinced the county to pave over the stretch. "One says the road music sounds like a high-pitched drone. Another says it keeps him and his wife up at night." Personally, I can't find these so called 'neighbors' when viewing the video and knowing what I know of Lancaster, CA. It's a desert with not a house in sight in the video. Must be quite an echo out there in the vast wasteland of sand and well more sand. more.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Esquire & Ford Produce First E-ink Magazine Cover

The first digital magazine cover hit the newsstand this week as the Ford moved to promote its new vehicle, the Flex.

Overall, I think the treatment is well done especially from the front cover perspective when you see it against all of the static magazine covers. Though I wonder if other magazines adopt this concept your daily bookstore will start to look like Time Square? Bad thing? Probably not, certainly would make the bookstore window compelling at night.

The connection with Esquire was around the magazine's 75th anniversary with the tag line "The 21st century begins now." Oh well, I guess Esquire is 8 years late but who cares it's advertising and we can define when things start. Right!?

Unfortunately, the impact isn’t as positive for the sponsor of the ad – Ford. The Flex image on the inside of the cover does a three light ‘dance’ that really isn’t as compelling as the billboard text implementation on the front cover. However, the creative is inline with the Flex’s overall dark, techie, electrifying campaign look and feel. So, it is on message.

Overall it is an interesting concept and attempt at buzz. Regarding buzz: Some heard about the upcoming “E-ink” cover and wrongly thought of it as something that could be changed or would resemble some of the E-ink reading tablets out on the market; instead, it was simply a bit of electronic billboard motion.

That said, reception has been positive in media circles and less positive by technocrats. Personally, I think it is similar in fashion to the recent BMW 1-series ad, it is an unique approach to traditional media and plays with what is traditionally a marketing free zone --the front cover -- in a new way that breathes some life into declining interest in magazines.

<video showing the magazine>