Weekend Showcase: Angry Alien Productions

Trying to decide on a Blockbuster or Netflix movie for the weekend?
We recommend an Apocalypzian alternative that will take a lot less of your time and none of your money.

In 2004, the brilliant Jennifer Shiman, head of Angry Alien Productions, created something innovative and refreshing called Bun-o-Vision.

What's Bun-o-Vision?

Parodies of classic and near classic movies presented as animated 30 second shorts, starring bunnies.

That's right, bunnies. Titanic, Casablanca, The Exorcist, Brokeback Mountain... They're all here, all starring bunnies and all of 30 seconds long.

These aren't spoofs of the films but instead are surprisingly on-point condensed renditions of characters, plot points and dialogue. Actually the Bun-o-Vision version of My Dinner with Andre makes more sense than the interminable original.

Angry Alien Productions, winner of two Webby Awards in 2008, has an inventory of over 50 shorts, with Terminator, Top Gun and Gone with the Wind in the works.

If you're in the mood for something refreshingly different check out Angry Alien. But be forewarned, the site can be be very addictive as you click your way through the movie archives.

Did we mention the bunnies?

You're in the Pepsi Generation...

Guy Kawasaki has been talking about this for a long time.
Building a brand isn't just about shouting louder. It's about spreading the word meaningfully, with precision and impact. That's what the new movers and shakers are trying to doing through viral marketing.

But this new approach seems somehow more akin to PR than traditional marketing.

CRT/Tanaka tells the story perhaps as well as anyone. They claim to help build brands via social networking. Companies like this one don't come up with cartoon elves baking cookies or leprechauns hiding breakfast cereal. They use the new media to weave their brand message into the fabric of our day to day experiences.

If that's where we're headed then we've come a long way, baby.
A 60 second package of snappy taglines and catchy jingles used to rule the advertising world. Here's what Pepsi was doing in the 1960's to try to win the Cola Wars by appealing to people who think young...

That's the silky smooth voice of Joanie Summers, BTW. As an aside, do you get the feeling watching this that younger people were a lot older in the 1960's?

Joanie Summers meet Maria Sansone.
But Pepsi's trying to win over a new generation now and they're using viral marketing to do it. Compare that vintage 60 second spot to what they're doing today with Pepsi's PopTub.

Better yet, check out what Family Guy's Seth MacFarlane is up to with his Cavalcade of Cartoon Comedy, in alliance with Priceline and Burger King.

Do you think it's time for the Mad Men Ad Men to move aside and let the PR guys take over? How well do you respond to the viral approach? Who's doing the best job of it? Who isn't?

Was Anonder Patient Zero of the Blogosphere?

In the Beginning...

In the pre-apocalyptic world, long before blogs, tweets and FaceBook, there was Anonder's Journal, which was, simultaneously, mundane and fascinating.

Every few days or so Anonder, a thirty-something, semi-retired computer programmer, would reveal the intimate details of his day to day existence on the web.

How intimate?
Very. Everything from his hopes to his fears and from his bedroom (with others or alone) to his bank account.

This was all happening within that ecotone where, and when, the concept of the personal and very private diary was slowly transitioning into that of the very open and globally accessible blog.

Anonder's site is still up though he hasn't posted to it in many years. The simple text on a plain grey background is a reminder of the frontier days of the world wide web before flash, or even graphics for that matter.

Social Networking Pioneer
Anonder was one of the pioneer's of social networking, daring to share himself with the world in a way that seems common now but was anything but common not so long ago.

Of course, it's possible that there really was no Anonder. That, instead, he was a fictional character created to make us believe that he was who he said he was.

There's no Anonder on Facebook, and everyone is on Facebook. That, alone, may be proof positive that he never really existed.

The Ice Cream Truck Cometh...

Sometime, maybe around 1956, someone recorded a fairly bad rendition of Turkey in the Straw and sold it to every Ice Cream Truck vendor in the US. Somebody thought that the discordant chimes of that tune would induce children to crave an icy treat. And now more than a half a century later -- at least in this neighborhood -- the beat goes on.

But Marketing Brillo reports a twitterific innovation. Kogi, famous for the Korean Taco (an innovation in itself), uses trucks that send out tweets telling potential customers what corner they'll be stopping at next. Kogi's followers then know where and when to go to buy Asian-Mexican meals right off the truck.

I think Kogi may even have its own theme song, which is not, BTW, Turkey in the Straw. Thank Goodness!