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April 14, 2009

Social robots

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This is the best thing I've seen in a while - Tweenbots.

Take some simple mini robots, and set them on their way through a big city with only a flag that says "help me get to my destination". Will people help?

April 13, 2009

The $14.7M charity website


I found it interesting that on the same day I read this post about digital agencies going low-fi and steering away from the "million dollar websites" is the same day I read about the Starlight Foundation spending $14.7M on a social platform for sick kids called Livewire.

This includes $7.2M donated by the government. The rest was raised by other means. Oh and they will be looking for more money once this initial funding runs out at the end of 2009.

I know I'm late to the game as this issue is a month old but it's still not resolved.

There is a great interview with Omar Kalifa, Managing Director, and Cinnamon Pollard, Partnership and Marketing Manager, of Livewire in which they are asked about the cost involved. Listen here.


They do explain the costs are also involved in setting up a wireless network and computers for kids in hospitals and the fact it's actually 3 websites in one, kids, teens and adults. But this still does not justify the huge cost that is only until end of 2009.

They explain they have a few paid chat hosts that monitor the chats 24 hrs a day and had to design special tables for laptops. They mention "the majority of the money is not spent on the website, it's for doing research, maintaining computers, generating content etc etc" Seems like all part of the website even if it's not "the technology".

I also cannot see the "games" they refer to in this podcast. In fact the site looks barren and doesn't seem like fun site for kids.

The CMS was developed by LoungeTech which is the same people behind Life Lounge. The same people behind The Vine which Cinnamon Pollard was part of the roll out. That explains the way this project was tendered.

I'm not sure how much each element costs (CMS, Live chat, research, monoriting) but the guys at Life Lounge would have come out with a pretty $ figure. This is better than having Bigpond on the books.


I also tried to view some content like the first video from celeb Youtube blogger Natalie. Check the page that teases the content here.

But you can't see the video unless you login. Sorry kids you'll have to wait until you are approved before seeing anything.

You can read more about this here and Nathan breaks down how this (even with crazy spending) would have cost just over $1M to produce and probably would have been better and cheaper to run.

Also check the letter to Senetor Conroy asking WTF!

Someone is getting an easy ride on this project and with Starlight asking for more money when they obviously have been wasting the money they already have.

I hope the issue is raised further than these few blog posts and that the charity is held accountable for this use (misuse) of funds. This kind of thing might have been OK in 1998 during the bubble but in 2009 it's a complete shambles.

What makes this worse is not the amazing amount of money that has been spent on the project it's how bad the actual site is. It looks barren, boring and there is nothing there that kids won't already get elsewhere online.

I only wish I had more power to influence issues like this and wonder where the oversight for our Government is?

April 11, 2009

Oneshow Interactive Finalists


Australia has pulled a record haul for this years OneShow Interactive finalists. Pulling in 9 finalists. With N.Z not far behind with 7. This is a better showing than in the other disciplines.

One thing worth noting is that besides Resn in NZ no other awards were one by dedicated digital shops. All by integrated agencies. The Clemenger network did very well with 7 of the noms coming from an agency with Clemenger BBDO in its name.

Clemenger BBDO Melbourne Australia
01A: Single - Banners - Fixed Space Mercedes-Benz Let's Talk
03A: Microsites - Corporate Image NAB NAB Community

Clemenger BBDO Sydney Australia
05A: Brand Gaming - Online Sega Pony Heart Quest
09B: Online Branded Content - Campaign Sega Offset the Evil

GPY&R Melbourne Australia
06A: Branded Applications - Web Spring Valley Sensibles

Saatchi & Saatchi Sydney Australia
07B: Mobile - Campaign United Nations UN Voices Project

CumminsNitro Brisbane South Brisbane Australia
11A: Other Interactive Digital Media - Single or Campaign Tourism Queensland The Best Job in the World

BMF Pyrmont Australia
12B: Integrated Branding - Interactive and Non-Interactive Lion Nathan Australia TED 696 Project

Mark Sydney Australia
14E: Public Service - Mobile Sydney Dogs & Cats Home Throw Us A Bone

And N.Z

Clemenger BBDO Wellington New Zealand
01A: Single - Banners - Fixed Space New Zealand Transport Agency Distracted Drivers
14A: Public Service - Banners - Fixed Space New Zealand Transport Agency Distracted Drivers

Saatchi & Saatchi Auckland New Zealand
01A: Single - Banners - Fixed Space TVNZ Stealth Banner

The Hyperfactory Auckland New Zealand
07A: Mobile - Single Coca-Cola Europe Fanta More Play - Augmented Reality Tennis

Resn Wellington New Zealand
09A: Online Branded Content - Single Luke Buda Special Surprise

Colenso BBDO Auckland New Zealand
11A: Other Interactive Digital Media - Single or Campaign New Zealand Book Council Read A Book At Work

Aim Proximity Auckland New Zealand
12B: Integrated Branding - Interactive and Non-Interactive The Yellow Pages Group Yellow Treehouse

We'll have to wait until early May to find out who takes home the metal pencils.

Congrats to the agencies and the teams. I was surprised a few more Aussie and NZ campaigns didn't make the cut but this is still a great result for a region that usually shits on it's own work and standard of the industry so much.

April 10, 2009

Lynx: Primal Instinct

Lynx (Axe everywhere else) has released a new fragrance "Instinct" along with a new campaign based on the adventures of a caveman called Flex.

Here's the current Instinct TVC production by Passion Pictures.

Catchy song. For those that don't remember the original film clip here it is

The BBH and Acne Digital in the UK has created a micro site/game called "The Roar Off" and invites guys to roar into the microphone to "earn their leather" or "Unleash the Man Leather" which doesn't sound as manly when you say it out loud :)


There was also a viral video to promote the UK's game but this didn't set the world on fire.

Soap worked on the Australian campaign which took a different approach creating a multi-player game in which the players walk around a pre-historic world "saving" cave babes from the impending Ice Age. In Lynx Primal Instinct the emphasis was on engaging the users over a longer period of time rather than a single one off experience. Oh and also catered for those that don't have a microphone.


Soap also worked with the media agency to have babe codes put into print Ralph and FHM ads in addition to online ads which rewarded users extra points. It also allowed Unilever to track response rates on the various media.

Players can also play a sexy game of Pre-Historic Paper, Rock, Scissors with the cave babes.


You can also check out the Rock, Paper, Scissors and Roar takeover banners from this campaign here.

This was Soap's first campaign for Lynx since winning the digital account in late 2008.

Disclaimer: I'm a partner at Soap and rather that write the post in first person decided to just throw this at the end.

April 8, 2009

Lovells Virtual Pub Tour Thingy


In the name of responsible drinking, Lovells Lager and Whybin\TBWA\TEQUILA\Sydney have created the worlds first HANGOVER FREE PUB CRAWL! The Lovells virtual pub-tour takes you on a journey through the streets of Australia, showcasing the finest establishments to enjoy a refreshing Lovells Lager.

In a daring mash-up with Google’s infamous Streetview technology, we’ve inserted or rather geo-tagged, giant 3D bottles of Lovells into Streetview to map the locations. All you need to do is click on the giant bottles to start the tour. Why not join Matt Lovell and Ben from The Devoted Few and go on an intimate pub-tour today.

Check it out @

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