Archive for the ‘Win Something!’ Category

Hardee’s

Wednesday, 10 January 2007; 12:25

Every once in a while, The Distillery finds something done quite right. For example, if your firm is determined to use rehashed TV commercials as its online multimedia content, then let Hardee’s show you how to do it–put them on TV! Even The Distillery cannot complain when such a novel approach is taken. Look and learn.

Beyond that, we find a wealth of other engaging content. Register to win a Harley-Davidson–in return for your e-mail address and future spam. You’ll find Paris Hilton’s phone number. (Not really, I suspect.) Play games, either Burger Time or Burger Invaders. And, there are dollar-off coupons for a couple of Hardee’s food products.

In sum, Hardee’s has a superb, engaging, and content-rich site. The firm is clearly in step with its fairly wide range of target audiences. You’ll find a little something for everyone, and all done quite well. Congratulations to a firm originally from my own home state of North Carolina. (One more thing as a lesson for others–pay attention to the little sounds throughout the site. Although many are just barely audible, they make a huge perceptual difference.)

Home page: Hardee’s

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MarthaStewart.com

Tuesday, 12 December 2006; 12:15

Every convicted felon should have it so well. Martha’s felony conviction has obviously not put a single dent in her sales and followers’ shopping. And, she provides a very media-rich web site for her loyal Martha wannabes.

We start with megabytes and megabytes of video from Martha’s video library. Full past shows can be found there. Recipes, of course, can be found there. (I especially liked the one for venison.) In fact, just as in retail stores, virtually everything Martha can be found in her video library.

You will even find video about a GE dream kitchen some lucky Martha lemming will win. And along with much more, but especially given the season, you’ll also find the 12 days of Christmas. All of that is just the beginning. There is enough rich media content at MarthaStewart.com to keep you busy for days.

The Distillery admits MarthaStewart.com is a very easy site to judge. It is excellent. Martha obviously spent her time in prison most productively.

Important note:  Do *not* misspell the site’s name and type in marthasteward.com. That takes you to a bad place where you will likely pick up computer cooties. I know, I’ve been there.

Home page:  MarthaStewart.com

Martha & friends
Martha and fellow inmates out on parole?

2006 Nobel Prize Awards Ceremony

Monday, 11 December 2006; 11:45

We have all heard of dumb geniuses, right? Well, you will probably not find many such persons among this year’s cadre of Nobel Prize winners. But also, the Nobel Prize committee is not so dumb as not to recognize a changing of the guard online. And just what is meant by that?

Instead of the usual boring fare previously found at the Nobel Prize web site, with one notable exception highlighted here several months ago, we now have an on-demand video presentation of the 2006 Nobel Prize Award Ceremony. And at only 71 minutes long, they must have limited the recipients’ time to make their acceptance speeches. (Are any as good as William Faulkner’s acceptance address for the literature award in 1950?) Surely, there had to be more hot air in the Stockholm Concert Hall than that. On the other hand, the relatively short length just might inspire a few future Nobel laureates to have a look at the pomp and circumstance surrounding one of the world’s most valued awards.

Home page:  Nobel Prize
Home page:  Nobel Week 2006 (for more multimedia content)

Alfred Nobel
Photograph of Alfred Nobel

Gerber 300 (revisited)

Monday, 16 October 2006; 9:45

Addendum (17 Oct 06):  Sometime and somewhere last night, “Gerber 300” was born. SippinWhisky’s Distillery offers a heartfelt congratulations to “No. 300,000,000” and her/his mom and dad.  (BTW, current U.S.A. population = 300,001,857…and counting.)

A reminder (16 Oct 06):  Sometime very soon, America’s population will reach 300,000,000 with the birth of an October 2006 newborn. Gerber 300 has something very special in store for that baby. Check in at the original posting for readers’ comments–and even a comment from a Gerber employee.

Home page:  Gerber 300

Gerber baby face graphic

Tolerate Mornings (Folgers)

Friday, 25 August 2006; 12:43

Coffee. The holy bean. Seductively addicting. The start of Lloyd’s of London. Possibly second only to oil as an essential fuel. A food group. And from the latest news, a downright healthy one at that.

Where would we be without coffee? Still in bed? At Tolerate Mornings, Folgers goes beyond supplying us our needed morning fix of caffeine. It also provides morning Wake-Up Calls to your cell phone — for free. (Click on the button farthest to the right on the coffee-maker. Then select either Lucy, Sheldon, or the other generic somebody.) So even without Folgers coffee at hand, Folgers Coffee still wakes you up in the morning. (Ya just gotta love marketing.)

There appears to be an application of sorts called the Boss Tracker. I downloaded it, and suspect it allows several users to connect to a server and then each person can pinpoint the boss and have the information appear on each other person’s screen. Interesting and most unique. However, I did not test if fully and that is merely supposition. But before looking at that, instead click on the television to view a Tolerate Mornings “film.” (It looks like a TV ad.)

The Auto-Email Responses are actually not bad, except for a couple of them. They really are believable. And, Snooze-Saver is a screensaver. Another recycled TV ad can be found here. Feel free to sell your soul to Folgers’ marketing department by entering the Enjoy A Second Cup sweepstakes. (Actually, it asks for far less personal information than one typically sees requested. They don’t even ask for your telephone number! But, no P.O. boxes. Darn.)

In all, Tolerate Mornings is not a bad effort by Folgers. It is lame in some respects, but funny, unique, and downright useful in others. Still, I’ll take either my Kona or Costa Rican La Minita Terrazu in the mornings.

Home page: Tolerate Mornings
Home page: Folgers

Folgers Classic Roast coffee graphic Folgers Simply Smooth coffee graphic

Eveready (Energizer.com)

Wednesday, 23 August 2006; 14:45

First, the bunny has been found in its proper place at Energizer.com. It must be an evil albino twin which has gone over to the dark side at Duracell. Also found is a firm clearly more aware of its markets and potential customers, and the internet.

One of the first things noticed are contests which are easy to enter. There’s no chasing an animated gif. In fact, the user is given complete navigation control. With only that, Eveready is obviously less clueless than one of its major competitors. In fact, this single page at Energizer.com reflects almost all that is missing at one of its competitor’s sites. (Note: We’re not mentioning any names.)

In addition, one will find a learning center with advice for emergencies, projects for kids, and [silent] demonstrations of how batteries are made and work. But best of all, we find multimedia content. Granted, it appears to be rehashed TV ads, but we’ve always enjoyed those Energizer Bunny ads, haven’t we? And, The Distillery will give a few points for the Hispanic-targeted ads. (Note: The “Runner” ad can also easily service the locale it presents. In less developed countries without widespread and modern utility infrastructures, batteries are the primary source of power.)

However, this is the internet and 30 seconds cannot be more than .03 nanoseconds in internet time. Where is the 2-5 minute engaging online promotion? Is this it? Or is it this pitch for a flashlight? No, each of those is only 1.5 minutes long and pretty much all else to be found. Close, but no cigar. So although Eveready’s online presence is better than at least one of its competitors, it appears the battery industry isn’t that charged-up about the internet just yet.

Home page: Energizer.com

Daylight Savings Time reminder graphicEnergizer bunny graphic

Duracell

Wednesday, 23 August 2006; 13:17

Okay, so batteries are inherently boring and don’t exactly set the world on fire. (Oops, I forgot about Dell’s laptop batteries.) The Distillery is very disappointed with the Duracell battery site. It is apparently unwired, except for boring Superman Returns trailers which can be found everywhere now and Duracell’s Grand Prix High Performance Racing. (When did Duracell hire the EverReady Energizer Bunny as its Grand Prix driver?) The game is not the best game discovered by The Distillery, but it kills time. You will have to register to play. (Just give anything; there’s no confirmation.)

Also, you might register for a $25,000 USD grand prize in the Duracell “Picture It!” promotion — if you can catch the animated graphic at the right moment. Now that’s a novel (a.k.a. stupid) design idea. Make the entry form a moving target and thereby the contest hard to enter. If you’re lucky, you may not even have a winner to whom the money can be awarded. Instead, you can keep it!

The Distillery cannot help but think that Duracell is completely missing the boat on this one. What target market(s) and/or demographic(s) both use the internet extensively and also have/use pocketfuls of battery-powered gadgets and gizmos? Duh! (The Distillery will let them figure the rest out now that they have a clue.) Okay, another hint: Who is buying iPods and digital video recorders and cameras? With that now being made obvious, there’s a marketing manager somewhere within Duracell who needs to be fired and replaced.

Home page: Duracell
Home page: Duracell Grand Prix High Performance Racing

Duracell battery logo graphic Duracell battery pack graphic

Borletti-Buitoni Trust Award

Monday, 21 August 2006; 20:47

You probably have not heard Jonathan Biss playing the piano. (Go ahead and click on the link. He is indeed a superb pianist. Given it’s classical piano, you may not even have to close your office door.) However, as a winner of the prestigious Borletti-Buitoni Trust Award, he may one day be a household name. (In households that listen to classical music, that is.) And although the Borletti-Buitoni Trust Award web site has not yet caught up with its more recent winners, you may still enjoy several video clips offering closer personal looks at the 2004 award winners.

Home page: Borletti-Buitoni Trust

Jonathan Biss (classical piano) photo graphic Hyunah Yu (soprano) photo graphic

Drive SRT (Dodge)

Monday, 21 August 2006; 18:47

Moonshine. It’s a tradition even in my family. Or at least it was until my Uncle Chester died, the family’s supplier. (And, the world’s greatest deer hunter.) But why is The Distillery bringing up stump hole liquor? Because in some respects, it’s the daddy of most Dodge SRT high-performance vehicles, including the Dodge Viper SRT10 Roadster. Remember, it was here in North Carolina that high-performance stock cars and moonshine went hand-in-hand.

Also found is the Viper V10-powered SRT RAM Regular Cab pickup truck. A top speed of over 154 mph in a production pickup truck and 0-60 mph in only a few tenths over five seconds?! One can get around the ranch pretty quickly in that — if it actually ever sees a ranch. The Distillery is guessing these will be bought not for work, but for play. Owners may well assume that the gods and goddesses forbid any dirt ever getting on that “work truck.”

But don’t stop there, the entire Drive SRT site is filled with videos, including one of the 21st century version of the classic Dodge Charger, the SRT8. (Note: It’s not any faster than the pickup truck!) However, any car which can stop in only 110 feet from a speed of 60 mph is much more than just a road rocket. It’s a car that can get you out of trouble just as quickly as it can get you into trouble. You could even get lucky and win one.

But what’s up with the music at Dodge Drive SRT? Given the MSRPs of these vehicles, The Distillery is assuming the site’s lame rap music targets pimps and drug dealers. On the other hand, elsewhere at the site a completely different style of music is found. Is Dodge confused about its target audience(s)? Or, is it making the classic mistake of using the shotgun approach in attempting to target all possible buyers?

Even my Uncle Chester knew better than that, and I’m certain he didn’t even finish high school. When a large covey of quail was flushed, he didn’t just randomly shoot into the covey hoping to hit one. He took deliberate and deadly aim at every single one we would have for dinner that evening. Maybe Dodge should come on down to North Carolina for some marketing and moonshine lessons.

Home page: Dodge Drive SRT
Home page: Dodge

Dodge Special Edition VOI.9 Viper SRT10 Coupe graphic

Gerber300.com (Gerber)

Monday, 7 August 2006; 12:39

Oh, Miss Scarlett, I don’t know nuthin’ ’bout birthin’ babies!

According to Gerber, a baby will be born sometime in October 2006 and his or her birth will mark the United States’ population reaching 300,000,000. And at the Gerber300.com web site, it appears Gerber has something special planned for that milestone baby. What’s in store? That remains unknown given there is now very little at Gerber300.com. We are told to return on August 10, 2006. Mark your calendars.

Although awaiting its due date, the special site for that special baby already deserves a look. The soft background music of Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star is most pleasant, especially given it does not repeat ad nauseum. The graphic of a nighttime skyline with twinkling and shooting stars is beautiful and holds at least one secret as of now. Some of the links below the skyline graphic exit the site, but you might enjoy sticking around by clicking on Trivia or Watch TV Commercial.

What more does Gerber plan for that special baby boy or girl? It seems the firm is not yet saying, but The Distillery suspects the parent(s) of that little bundle of joy will be even more pleased with a forthcoming rash of gifts. (Remember to inoculate the little one for the other rashes.) Meanwhile, let’s stay tuned and keep up with the country’s current population count, a running total of which is also found at Gerber300.com. (As of this posting, it was 299,406,866 people.)

Home page: Gerber
Home page: Gerber300.com

Gerber baby logo 02 Gerber newborn graphic Gerber baby and dad graphic

Take Back the Capitol

Sunday, 6 August 2006; 17:38

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Are you better off now than you were four years ago?

It’s the economy, Stupid!

Those two lines are well-remembered sound bites from previous U.S. presidential elections. For the next presidential election we have, Take Back the Capital, an open source political video project and clip contest dedicated to overturning Republican control of Congress in the 2006 November election, and guided primarily by Sim Sadler, a well-known filmmaker, video artist, and editor out in Los Angeles. It appears Sim and a few of his friends (i.e., video artist Fernando Sanchez, writer/director Paul Liggett, activist Joanne Weldman, and assorted aliens) have grown weary of the current administration and its seemingly incessant blunders. And, they would like your help.

How might you help? You can:

submit a short video clip (a sound bite, a slogan, a gesture, a dance step, etc.) in response to the question “Why must we overturn Republican control of Congress?“. The best clips will win cash prizes and be compiled into a fast-paced music video by producer and editor Sim Sadler, which will be offered for viral distribution via e-mail/cell phone/iTunes ahead of the election.

What’s in it for you? Read on:

The 3 best clips will receive cash prizes of $500, $250, and $100 as chosen by our panel of judges (to be determined). All other clips used in the final video will receive an honorarium of $20. Prizes will be awarded by October 15, 2006.

Not bad, eh? If you think this is your calling, surf on over to Take Back the Capital and review the project’s complete details and all its requirements. You might win a few bucks and/or possibly launch yourself into a new career. At the very least, you’ll have opportunity to meet a few movers and shakers out in L.A.

A sampling of Mr. Sadler’s work:

  • Talk Therapy: Dr. Phil vs Bill O’Reilly
  • Hard Working George: The President’s verbal virtuosity
  • Arnold Debates Himself: The Action Hero vs the Governor
  • The Bush vs Chaney Debate: The Vice-President has second thoughts about GW
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    Home page: TAKE BACK THE CAPITOL
    Entries (YouTube.com): Take Back the Capitol

    Sim Sadler video still graphic

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    Sing the Jingle (Oscar Mayer)

    Wednesday, 2 August 2006; 15:49

    Some of us have advertising jingles in our heads that even the dreaded memory-robbing Alzheimer’s disease fears. For baby boomers, that means every single one of us can sing, entirely from memory, the Oscar Mayer jingle we heard a million times as kids. Oh, I wish I were an Oscar Mayer weiner….

    It must be a great jingle. It has certainly lasted the test of time. (Is there another even close to its equal?) And now, decades after its introduction, we can not only sing the jingle, but also play with it at Oscar Mayer’s Jingle Jam. You get to choose the beat, musical instrument, auto or manual play, or best of all — play it yourself on your computer’s keyboard!

    It’s always nice to find something new, different, and most unexpected. It’s an added bonus when that find has you recall your childhood and smile. With clearly deliberate design by Oscar Mayer, that means both children and adults will enjoy playing around with this online promotion.

    Some of your kids (or you?) might still catch the current internet video wave with Oscar Mayer’s Be A Star video contest. Go ahead, give him or her your videocam. S/he just might make you famous. Many of these entrants, however, probably will not.

    Oops…don’t overlook the games page. You might even go retro and hot dog your Pong skills.

    Home page: Oscar Mayer

    Oscar Mayer logo graphic