Sure, at one time or another we've all wanted to hurl our annoying child into to the violent sea's foamy maw, where no amount of petulant whining will save them from Poseidon's cold embrace. Particularly on one of those "sightseeing cruises." Ugh, have you been subjected to those? Talk about Supposedly Fun Things I'll Never Do Again, amirite? It's enough to make anyone cast their spawn into the deep. Still, you shouldn't.
According to Paul Caine, president of the Time Inc. magazine group that includes Entertainment Weekly, the ballpark dollar cost for one of these video units is in the "low teens," although he said the cost may come down before the issue comes out.
Sites like Myspace and Facebook, which are technically called "social networking" sites but are better known as "Lisa is...OMG are you watching The Hills right now? Craziness" ego-projection mechanisms for creating alternate realities, are suffering just like everyone else during this recession. Not traffic-wise; humans' desire to keep the outside world appraised of their moment-to-moment "status" only continues to increase. But money-wise, things are not looking quite so wildly engrossing:
Lord, America is going to be forced to raise itself up from this economic crisis just so that we don't go insane from the repetition of advertising slogans about it. It was tolerable when just banks were running "Wall Street meltdown? We can help!" ads, because, you know, they're obliged to say something. But within a few short weeks even candy stores and home builders were using it as a creative crutch, and now it appears there are no ads left in America unrelated to "these troubling times": HBO. Crate & Barrel. Brooks Brothers. Denny's. Equinox. Even Mary-fucking-Poppins. All are running recession-themed ads, like some ill-informed country relative who fills all awkward pauses by repeating what they saw the other day on the tee-vee.
Who's ready for Christmas? The answer is: you, the consumer. Don't be one of those Grinches who grumbles and grouses about how the ads for Christmas items seem to start earlier every year. You're right, they do, so what? It just means more time for you to shop around for the best price on your "Thomas Kinkade 'Holiday Reflections' crystal Christmas tree" and "Ultimate Disney Holiday Village." Capitalism is here to turn that frown upside down, Scrooge McDuck! As you might be aware, Christmas ads are already going in full force in magazines, online, and everywhere else. Fake Christmas trees! The Radio City Christmas Spectacular! And "trinkets, bric-and-brac and collectibles" from the unfortunately named Hamilton Collection! Why are we flooded with these annoying pitches year after year? Because of our own lack of spontaneity. Advertisers say people's need to "plan" their purchases mean these early ads work. So you don't like Christmas in September? Don't plan anything until December. This way you can thwart the greedy Jews, who are behind all this:
Michael Ian Black, comedian and VH1's go-to analyst of pop culture, has started an online feud with testosterone and beer-fueled guy blogger Tucker Max. Black challenged Tucker to a fight, Tucker accepted, and now they are both talking trash in a way advantageous to the promotion of Black's new book. This would all be cuter if Black didn't just try to start another online feud with David Sedaris, to promote the same book. These online publicity stunts are incredibly difficult to pull off without being annoying; below, a jaded look back at five that sucked the big one:
Are you fond of air travel, but loathe to be out of sight of advertising messages for a single moment of your trip? Sure, they put ads on the airplane tray tables and all through the airport and on the cabs and on the outside of the planes themselves. But are you expected to stand there at the luggage carousel for up to five minutes without seeing an ad pass in front of your face repeatedly? Not any more, damn it! A marketing company is now selling ads on the luggage carousel itself. So it goes by you again and again until you just can't stand it. A good media buy for the Suicide Hotline. [The god damn press release, via Adfreak]
So that "Office Berserker" video we linked to last week—security camera footage purportedly showing a man going crazy at work and destroying his entire office, along with many of his coworkers—has been confirmed as another freaking viral marketing video (as suspected). This time the prankster was a Russian director trying to build buzz for a film called Wanted. Damn you, Timur Bekmambetov! It's getting to where you just can't trust online footage of unprovoked violence any more. If you care to, watch the clip again with a more jaundiced eye, after the jump.
TV networks continue to come up with new and better ways to morph their shows into continuous advertisements. MTV is already selling ads that are designed to be mini-shows in themselves, and ABC has gone subliminal. Not to be outdone, Turner Entertainment is now telling advertisers that it can strategically insert their ads into commercial breaks directly following part of a broadcast that relates to their product. I'm not sure how this is supposed to make us more disposed to buy crap, but it will certainly make watching movie reruns that much more annoying: