J's Page

Originally established for times when I needed more than 140 characters to finish a thought on marketing or media.

Kenny Powers is f-in’ IN March Madness

Tournageddon: Experience March Madness the Kenny Powers wayED’S NOTEThis post reflects my interest in advertising as a marketing student. It does not endorse any product, services or agency. The opinions expressed here are mine and in no way reflect the opinions of my employers.

Kenny Powers is back hawking K-Swiss Tubes during the sweat-soaked, beer-stained, testosterone-fueled insanity that is March Madness.

Yes, this news is about as fresh as a towel on a locker room floor  — I have to admit that I had forgotten about our loveable anti-hero and his side job for K-Swiss (NASDAQ: KSWS). Even so, I want to quickly examine  the most recent leg of the campaign I wrote about last summer. “Tournageddon” is a balls-to-the-wall social-media push that starts on Facebook and ends up on Yahoo Fantasy Sports.

Fans can submit their picks, pore over team analyses, get recaps filled with Kenny’s insights and — ultimately — they can spend more times him and his Tubes. And when fans are done killing time mourning their busted brackets, they can download the Muscle Machine app from iTunes or let Kenny manage their Facebook page with the Workout Wingman app. The idea behind the Wingman app is you’ll be “training in K-SWISS Tubes like a true frickin’ champion” instead of Facebooking (fat chance) and Kenny will answer your friends’ posts (“You’re f-in’ OUT, MOM!”).

Since I last wrote about Kenny Powers and Tubes, the Tubes site has been overhauled with a very masculine red and black theme. Very fiery. Powerful. Like Hell. Makes me want to go buy some Axe body wash or something. Lame jokes aside, it’s a very comprehensive e-commerce portal: Shoppers can customize a pair of Tubes, watch the very funny advertising spots featuring Patrick Willis and Jeremy Shockey, connect with Kenny on Facebook and Yahoo, and even order season one of Eastbound & Down, the critically acclaimed six episodes that introduced us to a foul-mouthed has-been ballplayer that somehow stole our hearts.

I think what I appreciate most about the Tubes campaign is how all the copy maintains Kenny’s voice, such as it is outside of the HBO series, while promoting the athletic shoes. It’s unlikely actor/Kenny creator Danny McBride was available to whip up copy for 72andSunny, the agency behind the Tubes campaign, so props to the writers for keeping Kenny real and an appropriate PG-13. He’s still a crass buffoon, even when he’s not dropping the f-bomb after every third utterance.

Finally, here’s Kenny in the spot “Gravity,” featuring New Orleans tight end Jeremy Shockey. I had planned to post this a long time ago, but I couldn’t find it and then I eventually lost interest. Perhaps the lackluster second season of Eastbound & Down played a role in my forgetfulness.



No surprise results here

In its February analysis, ComScore (NASDAQ: SCOR) reports Google has again dominated the U.S. search market with 65.4% of the market share, followed by Internet pioneer Yahoo with 16.1%. According to comScore, more than 15.4 billion searches were conducted in February, and 10.1 billion of those searches were conducted through Google Sites.

The entire report can be found here on comScore.com.


Facebook + Yahoo = An uneasy match made online

The Wall Street Journal looks at Yahoo’s efforts to co-exist alongside Facebook, as the social networking giant lures users away and eats into the $9 billion display ad market. The WSJ quotes an eMarketer report that showed Yahoo with a 16.2% share of that market in 2010, and Facebook following with a 13.6% share. Facebook had a much smaller piece of the pie in 2009 with 7.3% of the market.  Big ouch for Facebook competitors.

In addition to hanging on to its ad revenue, Yahoo is also trying to rein in wandering users as time on Yahoo sites continues to slide. In addition to installing Facebook’s “like” and “share” buttons on Yahoo’s news and sports sites — so Yahoo users could share articles with their contacts on Facebook — Yahoo is making sure its content appears in Facebook’s search results. (We’ve seen Yahoo do this before with Twitter and other sites.) And Facebook is no stranger to uneasy partnerships. The WSJ article goes so far as to call Yahoo and Facebook “frenemies,” a label that both parties reject. Big Wheels from each company tout the success of the year-old “partnership” and the enhanced user’s experience on both sites. (That said, there still seems to be a bit of veiled snarking going on, so read the article for the quotes.)

And although Yahoo may be making the most out of its rivalry with Facebook, the Journal reports that Internet icon has other solo ventures in the works, including plans to serve online content providers to enrich the user experience and Livestand — though not mentioned by name in the article — the personalized digital newsstand for the super-mobile tablet and phone crowd.

As a bonus for social media geeks, the WSJ offers a great timeline that looks at Yahoo’s social efforts dating to 2005’s Yahoo 360 venture (Anyone remember that?), as well as an interactive timeline of Facebook’s ambitions.