Boomerang shifts focus from social gifting to viral marketing

Chicago-based Boomerang is kicking to the curb its initial local-merchant approach to social gifting. Instead it’s focusing on what it believes is a much bigger opportunity: tapping into the viral marketing potential of online gift cards.

Bo Burnham Gets Schooled in Yo Teach

If there’s anything that deserves to be made fun of, it’s the hacky sitcom. Bad jokes followed by overly enthusiastic laugh tracks, punctuated by moments of treacly sentiment so thickly sweet your teeth rot. But all those elements are played up to perfection Yo Teach, a subtle online ad campaign supporting Judd Apatow’s upcoming movie Funny People.

As Videogum writes, Yo Teach appears to be one of those shows-within-a-movie (think: those fake movie trailers in Tropic Thunder), with Jason Schwartzman playing a teacher who connects with his class because he’s young and hip and has patches on his corduroy jacket. He even gets troubled student — played by piano-rapping YouTube sensation Bo Burnham — to appreciate that the greatest rapper of all time is William Shakespeare.

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Subservient Chicken Turns Five

It’s hard to believe, but five years ago a viral ad campaign featuring video of a guy in a chicken suit danced, spun, kicked, sat and did whatever else you could think of into our hearts. It was Burger King’s Subservient Chicken, and it was huge.
The Barbarian Group, one of the ad agencies that helped create the chicken, has a more-extensive-than-you’d-expect blog post about the creation of the ad campaign. Here’s an excerpt of when they knew they had a hit:

In the next 48 hours, before the spots even had a chance to air, the little viral site that could had already bombarded the poor XServe in Crispin’s internal data center with 25 million hits. Within days, a cultural phenomenon was spawned.
All for a creepy dude in a chicken suit with garters, who looked like he was running some sort of shady web cam operation.

The Subservient Chicken site is still up and running (how many years is that guy in the suit going to just stand there and take orders?). Stop on by for old time’s sake and wish it a happy birthday.

Vid-Biz: DTV, Veoh, Super Ads

DTV Delay-related News; according to Nielsen, more than 5.8 million U.S. homes (5.1 percent) are unprepared for the DTV switch (Nielsen Wire); the Consumer Electronics Association warns that the recent push back to the DTV switch could result in a shortage of converter boxes. (Broadcasting & Cable)

Universal Music Group Can’t Sue Veoh’s Investors; judge throws the part of UMG’s complaint that accuses Shelter Capital, Spark Capital and Eisner’s Tornante Company of “vicarious copyright infringement” and “inducement of copyright infringement.” (TechCrunch)

A Breakdown of Super Bowl Ads Online; 4,000 clips of ads from the big game have been uploaded and have received more than 75 million views. (Visible Measures)

SAG Feud Goes to Court; drama over the ousting of the union’s former executive director and chief negotiator continues, judge denies SAG president’s request for a restraining order against the union and the national board. (The New York Times)

PlayOn Releases Beta; software moves Hulu, CNN and other content from Windows PC to TV-connected boxes like Xbox 360, PS3 and other DLNA and UPnP devices. (Zatz Not Funny!)

Jaman Gets Indie Distributor E1’s Titles; deal will expand movie rental company’s library with roughly 3,000 feature films, documentaries and TV shows. (The Hollywood Reporter)

Blinkx Changes Up its Homepage; new buttons such as “Entertain Me” and “Inform Me” deliver automated entertainment and news streams. (Contentinople)