Creativity in Public Relations » Pop Culture http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/ryanpeal Creativity, marketing, great ideas, smart thinking, public relations, insights, inspirations, innovations and more. (Formerly known as Ryan's View) Wed, 05 Aug 2009 00:52:54 +0000 http://wordpress.org/?v=2.9.2 en hourly 1 Samsung’s 24-Hour Dance-Off http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/ryanpeal/2009/07/07/samsungs-24-hour-dance-off/ http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/ryanpeal/2009/07/07/samsungs-24-hour-dance-off/#comments Tue, 07 Jul 2009 00:34:51 +0000 Ryan Peal http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/ryanpeal/?p=639 24-hour Dance-off – love it!  On July 7th in London 100 competitors will take their positions on the dance floor, slip on headphones, turn on their Samsung BEAT Edition DJ music phone and start dancing . . . and dancing, and dancing for up to 24 hours as they compete in The Last Call to win €10,000 and a date with Swedish pop star September.

Last month Europeans in 9 countries entered for the chance to win a trip to London to compete in the finals, embedding a competition widget to their blog, Facebook and MySpace pages.  The widget was active for only 24 hours, so contestants had to encourage friends and family to cast their votes quickly.  The widget had a built-in leader board element so you could see if you were in the race fairly quickly.  A few weeks ago the 100 lucky winners got the call that they won a new Samsung mobile and a trip to London to compete in the grand finale.

Now this week the 100 contestants will compete at nightclub “Matter” at the O2 arena in London – each dancer has one square to dance in, and stay in.  The trick is that if anyone receives a text or a call during the competition they are out.  So the contestants have been telling their friends via their social networks that they are in the finals and to not call or text on July 7 – a natural way to talk about Samsung, the new mobile and the competition.

For the last few weeks each contestant has been working on a campaign page, adding photographs and videos (connected to the campaign’s YouTube site) and links to follow them on Facebook, MySpace and of course Twitter.   Each was interviewed answering a few questions and talking about the competition.  Everyone has some fun stories on what they are doing to make sure no one calls or texts them on that day.  And on the site you can suggest music tracks to be added to the playlist.  The whole fun will be streamed live on the campaign site, worth watching and seeing how it all plays out.

What can we learn from the campaign?  As always, having an simple concept always works – dance for 24r hours, last one dancing wins.  Doesn’t get any easier than that.  Next up, integrating the product into the campaign.  That works here naturally as the Samsung mobile provides the music at the event and people have to tell friends/family not to call/text because of the competition- a natural way to talk about the product and for it to be a part of the fun.  Leveraging social media to spread the word.  This too is built into the competition, using widgets to drive awareness, creating fan profile pages, etc., all scoring major points.  And finally, great visuals/content and a way for all to participate – 24-hour streaming of people dancing in little squares to music on their headphones, you can’t help but be a bit curious about the whole thing.

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8 Examples of “Win Great Stuff” Efforts To Drive Twitter Followers http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/ryanpeal/2009/07/01/8-examples-of-win-great-stuff-efforts-to-drive-twitter-followers/ http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/ryanpeal/2009/07/01/8-examples-of-win-great-stuff-efforts-to-drive-twitter-followers/#comments Wed, 01 Jul 2009 12:12:04 +0000 Ryan Peal http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/ryanpeal/?p=637 Getting followers on Twitter for brands is an obvious new way to engage and entertain people (and of course raise awareness of products they sell).  I’ve been watching a new trend over the past few months of brands using a new “tweet to win” tactic to motivate and encourage people to follow them on Twitter in exchange for the chance to win some big and small things – an easy way to build an active and current database, with people “opting-in” to actually hear from these brands.  This isn’t for every brand (although I’m totally waiting for BMW or Mercedes to giveaway a car – you know it’s coming) but for some it can work very well.  Here are 8 of some recent favourites – great to check out to see if this could work for you.

  • twtFM – Yesterday this new twitter app launched a way to win a new iPod Touch complete with Colbie Calliat’s new album (Breakthrough) and tickets to an upcoming show by checking them out and tweeting about it.  With twtFM you can stream your favourite music using Last.fm mashed up with Twitter (worth check out)
  • Moonfruit – these guys who create do-it-yourself website building tools are celebrating their 10th anniversary, and doing it in style giving away 10 new MacBook Pro’s, one each day for 10 days.  All you have to do is tweet using #moonfruit and a creative message and follow Moontweet on Twitter to see if you’ve won – nice!  Still a few more days to win.
  • SquareSpace – also celebrating an anniversary (their 5th) with a Twitter giveaway is Square Space, makers of great software to create beautiful websites.  They are giving away 30 new Apple iPhone 3GS, one each day for 30 days – anyone who sends a tweet with #squarespace is entered to win and of course you need to follow them on Twitter to see if you win.   One more week to win.
  • Mr. Tweet – One of my favourite ways to find people via Twitter, Mr. Tweet, has regular giveaways of books and flash drives, T-shirts and more fun.  You can obviously follow Mr. Tweet on Twitter and/or check out the Mr. Tweet blog to see what the latest giveaway.  (Also, when you visit the blog scroll down to see the “live traffic feed” and you’ll see yourself visiting from your home town in the sidebar – nice added fun.
  • The Pro Designer – an easy one from these guys, you simply make a comment on their website and you are automatically entered to win a one-of-a-kind Twitter T-shirt.  And of course you need to follow them on their blog and via Twitter, so a nice casual way to attract some new followers.
  • Buddy TV – this one was from a few months back, but simply offered fans a chance to win a new Sony Blu-Ray Disc player by following them on Twitter and tweeting a specific message about the competition – plain and simple.
  • Twitter Power – another one from a few months ago but a great example of an author who hosted a live show via UStream to talk about his new book, giving away bookstore gift certificates every hour he was broadcasting via Twitter when people tweeted a simple tweet about him, his book and the competition.  Another one that was simple and to the point.
  • Mashable – one of the goliaths of Twitter really understands how to do “tweet and win” contests right – as evident by a book giveaway they recently did.  To win people simply had to tweet a fun Twitter tip to @mashable with #twittertip included in the tweet.  The most original, funny or creative tips, as judged by Mashable, won one of 5 books.   And a few weeks ago did a similar contest to win passes to the “140 Characters Conference in NYC  (people won by simply tweeting why the wanted to attend, using the @mashable and the #140conf in their tweet).
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4 Reasons Why I Now “Get” The Possibilities of Augmented Reality http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/ryanpeal/2009/06/30/4-reasons-why-i-now-%e2%80%9cget%e2%80%9d-the-possibilities-of-augmented-reality/ http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/ryanpeal/2009/06/30/4-reasons-why-i-now-%e2%80%9cget%e2%80%9d-the-possibilities-of-augmented-reality/#comments Tue, 30 Jun 2009 00:41:01 +0000 Ryan Peal http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/ryanpeal/?p=635 I love new technology advances and what it does to your brain – stopping you in your tracks and having something you see every day in front of you become something totally different.  I’ve been watching the new world of “augmented reality” (AR) and have been waiting for the “A-HA” moment – not from the musical group from the 80’s introducing a new augmented reality music video (although it could happen) but to see the technology in action and to see how I’d have fun with it or how it would basically make life easier or better.  Over the past few weeks a few great examples have made their way into my world and now my brain can’t stop thinking of how to use AR in some campaign coming up.  To stop you from scratching your head on the AR scene I thought I’d share them with you (and recommend to keep an eye on this interesting area:

Layar. This is the world’s first mobile Augmented Reality browser (and only works on an Android mobile operating system and I think probably on the new iPhone 3GS) showing real time digital information on top of reality, reality in this case the camera screen of the mobile phone. While looking through the phones camera lens, a user can see houses for sale, popular bars and shops, jobs, healthcare providers and ATMs. The first country to launch Layar is The Netherlands and yes, it rocks.  Watch the video here (it’s awesome).

Zugara. Imagine standing in front of your webcam and “holding up” clothes of all colors and designs and styles in front of your body, helping you see what each would look like – all from home.  Then send a photo to your friends simply asking “does my butt look big in this?”  With a new online shopping app from Zugara that brings together the functionality of Augmented Reality and Motion Capture in some incredible fashion fun.  No more embarrassing moments trying on clothes in public.  Check out the fun here.

US Postal Service. You know when you are ready to ship something with an overnight delivery service and not sure if what you are going to ship will fit?  Now, thanks to this cool tool, you can find out in a very fun way.  Check it out here.

Topps 3D Live baseball cards. And my favorite of the new ones thus far, a very cool interactive 3D baseball card augmented reality masterpiece from Topps.  Your baseball card comes to life via AR, creating a cool 3D baseball player and the ability to play a game too.  It’s hard to explain, but easy to watch to see for yourself via the video below.

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Hot, Sexy Lady Underwear Models and Rollercoasters http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/ryanpeal/2009/06/26/hot-sexy-lady-underwear-models-and-rollercoasters/ http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/ryanpeal/2009/06/26/hot-sexy-lady-underwear-models-and-rollercoasters/#comments Thu, 25 Jun 2009 23:41:32 +0000 Ryan Peal http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/ryanpeal/?p=631 Yes, this headline basically sums up today’s post.  While I’ve written about the viral video sensation sweeping the brand world these days in the pas (from the likes of Trident, Doritos, Samsung, Gillette, Cadburys, etc.) , the one I came across today (thanks to my pal Aden at Digital Buzz) uplifts the fun to a whole new level.

A leading UK underwear brand – Ultimo – has put its best boob forward into the video viral phenomenon, outfitting a dozen hot ladies in a variety of the company’s bras and putting their spill and support factor to the G-Force test found on rollercoasters at Alton Towers Resort.

The video definitely has the funny, entertainment factor in focus with the ladies in their bras bouncing and swirling with every twist, turn and drop of each ride. The editing of the video could have been better – the girls are shown taking off and then arriving a few seconds later on one ride, and then taking off on another and it gets a bit confusing, but the storyline probably wasn’t a big focal point.

The brand connection for the resort comes through naturally but the reference to Ultimo is non-existant except for the description on the YouTube page.  So perhaps this will drive more attendance at the park than sales of the underwear. (I hope people aren’t upset if they come and ladies have their tops on.)

I’m not sure it beats some of my other classics, including the hot girls playing soccer in their bra and panties selling a Samsung TV and the girl band playing in their bra for Vanity Fair but this effort is definitely up there, reinforcing that the “sex sells” dreams/hopes are alive and well in the world of marketing.  Now, take 55 seconds to watch the fun for yourself (no ones watching).

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Indie Sydney Radio Station Asks Richard Branson For $1M http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/ryanpeal/2009/06/15/indie-sydney-radio-station-asks-richard-branson-for-1m/ http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/ryanpeal/2009/06/15/indie-sydney-radio-station-asks-richard-branson-for-1m/#comments Sun, 14 Jun 2009 22:43:32 +0000 Ryan Peal http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/ryanpeal/?p=615 Before the economy drama independent radio stations were already having a tough time, battling not only the mega broadcast radio networks that own multiple stations but also iPods, MySpace music, digital radio and satellite radio, just to name.   But when you throw in reduced advertising dollars it’s easy to see why indie radio stations are hoping to hear a different economic tune soon.

One great indie radio station in Sydney – Fbi – is tackling their financial challenges head on, recently launching a fundraising campaign with one target in mind:  Richard Branson and $1M dollars (or 450,000 British Pounds).  While Sir Richard may not seem like an obvious choice – he’s not Australian and he doesn’t have any connections to independent radio – but he does like one thing . . . publicity.

The campaign – Ask Richard – launched a little over a month ago and works on a simple premise:  get Richard’s attention through some type of publicity stunt or event or something that motivates him to donate $1M to FBi.  If your action/idea/stunt was the catalyst for Richard to hand over some big bucks you get rewarded too – to the tune of $50,000.  (And don’t worry, if Richard donates less based on your idea you still get 5% of whatever he gives.)  The campaign blog site and Twitter activity captures everyone’s amazing ideas and inspires others to do more.

To get Richard’s attention, the station has given its loyal listeners an open playbook – do whatever you think could work to get Richard to write the big check.  And the listeners have responded with a number of amazing ideas, including:

  • Hosting a flash mob wearing Richard masks in front of Sunrise (Australia’s top morning news show) studios when Sir Richard was in town and being interviewed on the show
  • Having a “We Play Til You Pay” all day concert event, inviting people via Twitter and Facebook to be a part of the event
  • Creating a mini viral video game with a Richard character grabbing money off of a tree and giving it to FBi before the tax man comes
  • Launching a Google Ad Words campaign under the assumption that Richard Google’s his own name and will then see the FBi campaign
  • Making T-shirts and posters and having fans wear them and put them up everywhere
  • Translating “Ask Richard” into as many languages as possible

The campaign works on multiple fronts.  First, selecting a high profile target (that would be Richard) and leveraging a known insight that motivates his daily life (that would be publicity).  Next, giving everyone a “do whatever” call to action, not limiting any idea or thought.  And of course the simple visual for the campaign being used on T-shirts, posters and social media banners ties everything together.  A great example of a campaign that knows its audience, keeps the conversation credible and authentic.

Now the finale – Richard Branson called in this morning (15 June) to FBi for a live radio interview from his Necker Island home.  Turns out, as the story goes, that Richard heard about the “Ask Richard” campaign first from an Australian girl who allegedly swam 2 1/2 miles from an island close to Richard’s island, swimming right up to his beach and telling him about the campaign.  (Sounds fishy but let’s go with it.)  Richard said he has asked his teams at Virgin Mobile and Virgin Atlantic and V- Australia to help out FBi – and on-air promised to give a few flights to the UK and LA via his airlines for some lucky winners of the radio station.  The station is starting a “Save FBi” supporter drive campaign and will definitely use these prizes for some great fundraising efforts later this year.  The on-air host for FBi was able to get some money out of Richard – $70 – to become an annual member of FBi.  Richard stated the obvious – they get asked for money all the time and try to channel their funds to their global efforts around climate change and disease control in Africa.  The $70 is not $1,000,000 but no doubt Richard’s Virgin empire will be jumping in to help as much as possible, and hopefully will help keep the FBi radio station on the air for years to come.

Who knows, maybe Richard will change his mind.  Come on Richard, pay up already.  We’ll call it RFBi – Richard’s FBi – haven’t you always wanted to “own” the FBI?

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MC Hammer Rocks Back On The Scene http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/ryanpeal/2009/06/09/mc-hammer-rocks-back-on-the-scene/ http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/ryanpeal/2009/06/09/mc-hammer-rocks-back-on-the-scene/#comments Tue, 09 Jun 2009 01:47:39 +0000 Ryan Peal http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/ryanpeal/?p=611 A friend of mine in the US just sent me another flash mob video sensation, this one connected to the return of MC Hammer and his new “Hammertime” TV series which launches next week on the Arts & Entertainment channel.  The video was unveiled a few days ago and showcases the world famous hammer pants (you know you wore a pair and had several different styles, be honest).  A group of dancers flash mobs a trendy clothing store in Los Angeles, entertaining the shoppers and proving a reason to capture the fun on video, aiming for a video viral sensation to raise awareness for the new TV show.

Did it work?  Yes (as evident by this blog post).  The flash mob video is obviously creaetd to fuel a pass-around effect, hoping its funny enough for people to want to be the first to share it with their friends.  The subtle URL reference at the end of the video provides the only direct link to figure out why people are flashing mobbing hammer style (note, they TV series link should also be in the YouTube description box so people can jump right to it).  And finally, the TV series site provides an easy and solid promotion, to win tickets to see MC Hammer perform in Vegas (with the grand prize winner getting a phone call from the Hammer personally).  If only everyone who entered received their very own Hammer pants – now that would get the entries flying in.

What a great way to start the week, Hammer style, with the video (feel free to dance along with it).

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Dell Swarm – Group Buying Saves Big Bucks http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/ryanpeal/2009/06/02/dell-swarm-group-buying-saves-big-bucks/ http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/ryanpeal/2009/06/02/dell-swarm-group-buying-saves-big-bucks/#comments Tue, 02 Jun 2009 01:14:00 +0000 Ryan Peal http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/ryanpeal/?p=604 All of my Singapore readers are going to love this, and the rest of us can only hope this program comes our way.  A friend of mine (thanks Janice) in Singapore just told me about an exciting new program from Dell that encourages a group of people to all buy a Dell computer at the same time, on the same day, and save big bucks in the process. It’s called Dell Swarm and I think it rocks.

Here’s how it works:  Pick a Dell PC you’d like, join a swarm (with a guarantee the price will be lower than the price found at dell.com), watch as more people join the price of your PC goes down, when 15 people have joined (or 72 hours has been reached) the price is final and you’ve scored with swarm.  It looks like swarms can save $400 off an already discounted started point if the swarm reaches its limit.

Dell makes it easy to invite friends/family to join the swarm for a cheap price by providing a ton of social media examples to get the word out via Twitter, Facebook, Digg or good ol’ fashioned email.   And you can follow Dell Swarm on Twitter and be told when a swarm is about to happen so you can jump in for the fun and the savings.

Bulk buying is nothing new, sites like eSwarm and others have been grouping people together online for a few years now.  And I’ve heard stories from way back in the day when moms would  go into a story to buy all of the baby clothes in one shop for big deals because of the mass buying power.  What’s different about the Dell one is that it’s easy, intuitive and a bit of fun in the process.  You can imagine other companies are watching this Singapore test to see how well it works.  Think of companies that manufacturer mobile phones, TVs, refrigerators, video games and more, all offering a similar digital experience and consumer savings.  Love it!

What can we learn from this campaign?  Easy one is the need to create a site that is easy to use, is packaged appropriately with good content and ensures the process is transparent to all.  I also give the effort big props on making it easy to share swarms with friends/family with a great pop-up box that puts it all in one place.  And of course the overall idea scores on the creative front, providing solid inspiration for others to follow in their swarm steps.

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Miley Cyrus, Jonas Brothers and Disney Give Away $1M http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/ryanpeal/2009/06/01/miley-cyrus-jonas-brothers-and-disney-give-away-1m/ http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/ryanpeal/2009/06/01/miley-cyrus-jonas-brothers-and-disney-give-away-1m/#comments Mon, 01 Jun 2009 01:05:25 +0000 Ryan Peal http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/ryanpeal/?p=597 When I heard about this new campaign from Disney I was surprised that an idea like this hadn’t happened before as it makes sense on so many fronts.  But, better late than never as Disney and a star power line-up announces “Friends For Change: Project Green.”

The campaign is grounded on creating a community of Disney fans that all want to do their part in helping to change the world by focusing on four specific areas:  climate, water, waste and habitat.  The campaign tackles each area for three months at a time, culminating on one day when everyone involved will simultaneously do something together like reducing water or changing their home thermostat.  Ongoing the campaign will encourage youth to turn off lights, reusable water bottles and more – great things that hopefully will become habits for the next generation.

Disney is getting the word out by leveraging all of the big stars in its world like Miley, Jonas Brothers 1, 2 and 3, Selena Gomez and all of the other teen rock stars connected to the company.  YouTube has lots of videos from the stars, Radio Disney will air special messages, public service announcements on the Disney Channel and I’m guessing some storylines may drop in the Friends for Change campaign in some capacity.  And with the ability for participants to vote on their favorite charity that receives part of a $1M donation from Disney, this campaign is sure to be a winner.

This had to be an easy decision for Disney, creating a campaign that leverages its star power talent, helps the environment, has an education message parents will love, drives online buzz and polishes the Disney halo of all things good to shine brighter than ever.  And it’s easy to see how this campaign can become an ongoing, community driven effort for years to come, helping new charities, teaching more environment tips and providing a “feel good” element to up-and-coming stars of Disney.

With this in mind, some things to think about for your next campaign.  An obvious ones, the power of celebrities to motivate the masses is alive and well.  Can your campaign include a way for people to connect online to help and change things, feel like part of a community?  Line up some solid media partners that can naturally be used to raise awareness and drive traffic to the campaign site.  Don’t forget a “show me the money” element by shifting dollars away from non-effective TV ads and into a conversation-driving, let-people-decide charity giveaway – some real big bucks that get people excited.

Hoping in the future Disney motivates participants (and their parents) to work in the offline world, like inviting people to clean up a identified park in specific cities or donating toys around Christmas and more.  Until then, welcome Disney to the world of giving and sharing and community, glad to see you using your power for good.

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Sydney Is On Fire http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/ryanpeal/2009/05/27/sydney-is-on-fire/ http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/ryanpeal/2009/05/27/sydney-is-on-fire/#comments Wed, 27 May 2009 01:11:09 +0000 Ryan Peal http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/ryanpeal/?p=602 On fire with creativity that is.  Last night Sydney’s new multi-week, multi-event smorgasbord of creativity exploded on the city as part of “Vivid” – the largest lights, music and ideas festival in the Southern Hemisphere.  The festival is a playground of stimulation and inspiration for any creative mind, turning city monuments such as the Opera House, Harbour Bridge and more into canvases for lights of all varieties to come to life.  Here are some of the highlights:

Luminous.  The ambient maniac superstar Brian Eno has been let loose on the city, with amazing light and art installations appearing in his wake.  Visuals that make your head spin and your brain in need of a scratch to fully take in the views all around you.

Fire Water.  This one I can’t wait for, it’s an artistic recreation of the 1814 story of a convict ship – The Three Bees – that exploded into flames right on the harbour.  The event promises “fire sculptures, floating lanterns, light installations” and some amazing visual feasts re-enacting the explosion.  Yes, this one you have to grab some popcorn and a front row seat by the harbour.

Smart Light Sydney.  Crazy light sculptures, projections and more advanced technology used in clever and unique ways will illuminate various parts of Sydney with works from all over the world coming down under.

Creative Sydney.  This is an extensive lecture series with lectures/events hosted by a mixed bag of people from various backgrounds and philosophies all doing their best to showcase the brilliance of the creative community in Sydney.  After hosting last year’s event I’m thrilled to just be an attendee of what will no doubt be an incredible series of conversations.

As Europe is celebrating an entire year of Creativity and Innovation it’s great that Sydney is also showing off the creative smarts of the city.  If only every city around the world would showcase the power of creativity, just think of the world we’d create.

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Toyota Turns Up The Volume With “Rock The Space” http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/ryanpeal/2009/05/25/toyota-turns-up-the-volume-with-%e2%80%9crock-the-space%e2%80%9d/ http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/ryanpeal/2009/05/25/toyota-turns-up-the-volume-with-%e2%80%9crock-the-space%e2%80%9d/#comments Mon, 25 May 2009 01:12:17 +0000 Ryan Peal http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/ryanpeal/?p=593 Providing a solid example of why MySpace still has a place in the marketing mix, Toyota unleashes “Rock The Space” – a competition for unsigned bands or solo singers to win fame and fortune in the form of a recording contract and massive exposure on MySpace.

The competition is pretty straight forward; bands submit an original MP3, design a demo tape on the site and submit their music.  In July MySpace Records will select five finalists and then members of MySpace will vote to select the winner.  In a nice twist, the finalists will be given an advertising budget to create and place banner ads on MySpace to help secure votes.  The winner will be announced in September and get premium placement on the MySpace Music Home Page.  The campaign complements Toyota’s ongoing effort on MySpace – “Toyota Tuesdays” – a day when the company gives away free downloads on its MySpace site.

I’m hoping/assuming Toyota has some street teams out and about raising awareness of the competition in bars and clubs where aspiring talent may be performing as well as malls and beaches and concerts where youth will naturally be out and about.  Outreach to music blogs and forums would also help drive awareness and traffic.

There also have been a number of artists that have been discovered on MySpace, including Colbie Caillat and Lily Allen.  It would have been great if Toyota was able to enlist the support of these gals or any of the other discovered talent to leverage in any media relations outreach – providing a credible ambassador for the campaign to highlight the reality of being discovered on MySpace.

Overall a good campaign to check out – simple, to the point, spot on with the audience and a solid incentive to motivate bands/artists hoping to make it big to start by rocking the space.

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