Friday, August 22, 2008

Do 'Mad Men' characters have time to Twitter?

It's time to spend a little quality time on the subject of whether all of these "Mad Men" characters showing up on Twitter are part of an AMC marketing stunt. I first became aware there was an @don_draper on Twitter from Alan Wolk, so I decided to follow him. He's elusive, as you might expect, and keeps popping out of the office for extended periods of time. Then, last night, I got an email that Peggy Olson was following me. Peggy is much more prolific on Twitter—work has been keeping her up at night. Pete Campbell, Bertram Cooper and a couple of other characters seem to be tweeting away too. When it was just Don Draper, I thought this was a late-summer time-waster. Now I'm not so sure, although, on the other hand, it isn't exactly in keeping with the series' slavish devotion to retro to embrace a newfangled online service like Twitter.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Think twice before you complete the "Triple Play"

Those of you who follow me on Twitter, or read my earlier post on Cablevision, Verizon and me, have no doubt gathered that I've been in the midst of an infrastructural makeover.
And what a disaster it has been.
For awhile, my husband and I courted the overtures from Cablevision to switch to the "triple play" of Internet, cable and phone service for a low, low $89.85 per month, and finally switched from Verizon. And, though I have never professed any particular love for Verizon, which seems to always find a way to get the bill you worked to reduce back to its previous level and beyond, I'm now wishing I'd never made the switch.
Here's the deal: the moment we installed our cable modem, the wireless connection went haywire. Either it didn't work at all, went offline for no reason, or, in the weirdest of its permutations, would be working, as would the cable modem, but mysteriously keep the computer from being able to go online.
I consider my wireless connection important. It helps me work at night, particularly when it's time to put the kids to bed and I don't want to keep them awake with the continuing clatter of the keyboard from my upstairs office, located way too close to their bedrooms. Yes, that's one reason I haven't been blogging as much— I can't take the laptop downstairs.
In the weeks since early July when we made the switch, I've been told various reasons for why this situation exists from the two sides involved: that something was wrong with the Ethernet cable (I went to a Cablevision walk-in center and picked up a new one), that cable modems have problems with electrical surges and go out more than DSL lines (you can guess whether it was NetGear or Cablevision which told me that). You get the drift. Cablevision promised me I'd save money by switching, and yet, here I am, almost two months later, with a non-working router, which seems only fixable by buying a new router for at the very least $50.00 (but probably more) and countless hours trying to fix the problem. Cablevision keeps saying that the problem with my router is not its problem, but all I know is that my router worked just fine until the very moment the cable modem entered the picture. The company seems to forget it is in the customer service business. It promised me it would save me money. In fact, it is costing me money, and time, and aggravation after weeks and weeks of trying to court me. So far, my pleas to them to give me a discount in the amount it will cost me to buy a new router have gone unheeded. And yet, I've checked the Web site. There is no disclaimer that I could find that said, oh, by the way, if you switch, and your wireless router goes awry, it's not our problem. There is nothing in the reference guide that discloses this either. But here I am, left holding the bag on a problem that started because I took Cablevision up on its offer. I talked to a very nice supervisor tonight named Jordan, but he's off duty until Sunday. In the meantime, I can't take it anymore, and am set to buy a new router tomorrow. After all the crap I've gone through, I may not see this as objectively as many of you, but what do you guys think? Should Cablevision reimburse me for the trouble I've gone through to give them my business?

Dove's campaign for "The Women"

I like skincare products. Lots of 'em. So, when Dove emailed me to say it would send me a basket of goodies and a pair of free movie tickets to a flick called "The Women", I said yes. And now I'm blogging about it. So there. (I'll never get to actually go to the movie, BTW. Seeing a movie outside of the house is beyond my current abilities.) Dove has invested heavily in promoting what looks like the ultimate chick flick, in that it features, among others, Meg Ryan, Bette Midler, Annette Bening and Jada Pinkett-Smith. Dove is hosting a whole bunch of videos about the movie on its site here, and promoting it via emails to bloggers-with-no-standards who will post for the sake of free skincare products. Ha! Apparently, the movie deals with many issues that have been the focus of "The Campaign for Real Beauty." If it seems unsynergistic that Ryan--who became a poster-child for bad plastic surgery--is behind this movie, look the other way, though she looks a bit more natural in these vids than she has in years.

Sanjaya is here, if you care

Sorry not to have been blogging much lately. It's because of a weird combination of lots of work and lots of play colliding in such a way that squeezing in time for Adverganza has been difficult. OK, so here, finally, like about a year and a half after he was the talk of the Idol-o-sphere, is Sanjaya in that Nationwide commercial. Yes, there is an appearance by his faux-hawk. Sometimes, when I link to commercials like this, I wonder if I'm, like, codependent or something.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Adverganza's Tuesday morning picks, 08.19.08

Wherein I scan the Tuesday morning headlines because I goofed off yesterday.

From Advertising Age (no print issue this week):

—Remember account reviews? No one ever writes about them anymore. Well, Stella Artois is in review.
You're shit out of luck if you want to see a preview of the new 90210.
—Maybe people don't run away screaming from pre-rolls.
—Users more and more and more satisfied with Google.
—Influential mad women talk at the Women to Watch luncheon.

From Adweek:

—SAG and AFTRA talk about a contract. Blah.
—Huge power company simplifies agency pitching process!
J&R Music World discovers this thing called an ad agency and picks Toy.
—Time Warner Cable looks to take its media account out of the house.
—Fox unveils a Hispanic wiki.
—Barbara Lippert on why political ads airing on the Olympics don't fit the Olympics zeitgeist.
—What Commercial Alert doesn't like about Olympic sponsorships.
—All about Steffan Postaer's second novel.
Tom Bedecarre's rose-tinted glasses.
What Harvey Marco plans to do at JWT N.Y.
Axe's foray into branded entertainment.
—JWT's Tom Doctoroff from inside the Bird's Nest.

From Brandweek:

Dow XLA is the new Spandex, in case you were looking for a new Spandex.
No more red carpets for GM.
—Allegedly, credit card companies aren't sending out as much as direct mail. Yeah, right.

From Mediapost:

Microsoft invades Sheraton lobbies.
No new bookbags or shoes for school kiddies.
Everyone loves Benadryl. In fact, I'll be buying some later today.
—The cute little Ford Ka rides with James Bond.
Nielsen looks for better ways to measure DVR viewing.
Will the Tribune Co. default in 2009?
—Gannett tells 1,000 staffers to hit the road.
The Banana Splits are back!
—This economic downturn is so powerful it's changing our belief systems. Whew.
—Economic downturns don't mean it's time to let the pet get sick.
Westin's Heavenly Bed coming to United Airlines.
Levi's unbuttons for art.
—ABC takes over TV Guide. Temporarily, anyway.
—Magna Global's Steve Sternberg is steamed about Olympic ratings not including numbers for individual events.
—Soon to come: a British version of "The Apprentice." Fortunately, the Donald will stay on this side of the pond.

From Mediaweek:

MSN debuts "The Republicrats." Yeah, it's about Republicans, presidential elections, stuff like that. Can't imagine where they got the idea.
Washington Post, Newsweek with the major political convention video streams.

From The New York Post:

—Some guy I should probably know called Ed Castillo blogs about "Mad Men."
Nautica gets a lot of sweat equity out of Misty May-Treanor's head band. Personally, I think most people spend more time looking at her Nike bikini.
This Olympics is all about the gals.
—Who cares about his leg. What will happen to Liu Xiang's endorsement deals?

From The Wall Street Journal:

—Coke plies the Chinese with Coke. Free.
Barnes & Noble pissed at Amazon, Obama. Free.
—Now the race is on for Michael Phelps endorsement deals. What a predictable metaphor. Free.
Olympic ads compete in tug of heartstrings. Free.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Where are the Monday morning picks?

Due to this situation called me and the kids are having too much fun in Rhode Island, I'll be posting the picks tomorrow, as in Tuesday. Wish us no traffic on I-95. As my cousin's daughter says, "Peace out!"