An interesting commercial caught my attention when it aired on SpikeTV last night - it was a Tim and Eric Awesome Show Great Job-esque infomercial promoting a supposed new product from Budweiser call Bud Light Speaker Box. The product is purportedly a case of Bud Light (or "two-four", as my Canadian brethren would say) with a built-in speaker that you can plug your MP3 player into.

After it aired I went to YouTube to find the ad, but it didn't come up. Thinking there must be some mistake, I Googled it. No luck there either. All I found was one silent video of a rotating case:

video

Strange. Why would the ad not have been posted? I started scratching my head about this and did some digging. It soon dawned on me that something suspicious was going on with this product... mainly, that it didn't seem to actually exist. My Google results brought up tons of results, mainly of what appeared to be blog posts about the product. Thing is, I took a closer look at these blogs and I'm fairly certain they were set up by a marketing agency to hype the product. Examples:

ttp://momentumoffailure.wordpress.com/2009/07/24/hot-off-the-wire-the-bud-light-speaker-box/

Pic here, for when they no doubt remove the site once the campaign is done:


This "blog" has no other content on it besides filler... but VERY easy to miss if someone just pops in to look. Another example:

http://gizmosgadgetsnews.info/sports/bud-light-speaker-box-tailgate-approved

Pic here:


Gizmo and Gadget? Come on guys... but admittedly, pretty slick. I love the generic posts on the front page about the Honda Accord, Blackberry Storm and The Sims - all basically Wikipedia copy and pastes.

There are countless other fake posts about this thing - entire blogs set up just to promote this product, but written as if it was coming from independent bloggers. My favorite:

http://gourmetretailer.firstlightera.com/EN/Microsites/1/AnheuserBusch/BudLightSpeakerBox.htm

Pic here:


This is what APPEARS at first glance to be an online store selling the product, but as you can see, it says "Sponsored by Anheuser Busch" at the top. If you dig on the "Gourmet Direct" site you see it's all just AB product info. And no order link, which is most telling.

So at this point, I'm fairly convinced this reeks of shenanigans. I decide to download the "Product Sheet" offered on the Gourmet Direct page, and I get a Powerpoint deck with two slides in it, talking about the product. I decide to do some meta-digging... I wanna know who created this and I quickly find out by checking the document creator info. Turns out it was a gentleman named Greg Litwicki, from Shaw Company. A quick trip through Google lead me to this page:

http://www.shaw-company.com

Not surprising to find out that Shaw is Anheuser-Busch's advertising/marketing company (one of them at least). Please keep in mind that all this proves is Shaw created the Powerpoint deck for AB - but it certainly seems to suggest that this is a larger marketing initiative cooked up by Shaw.

I must say, this is a very well-executed campaign, as it is certainly not obvious. My hat is off to Shaw Company, if they are the ones to have come up with this... The real question is, will the Bud Light Speaker Box ever actually come out? Perhaps this is all pre-marketing to build hype around the product for football season. More likely: the product doesn't actually exist and this is simply to generate buzz for Bud Light. Interesting concept - promote a product that doesn't exist, get people into the store, and they pick up a case of Bud Light anyway. Nice.

Request for Shaw or AB: Please post the commercial on YouTube. I need it to fulfill my original goal: demonstrate the incredible influence of Tim and Eric Awesome Show Great Job on mainstream media. Thanks. Appreciate it.

My little brother Moose (yes, that is his name) turned me on to Google Wave, Google's still-in-beta take on the email client. While I have a number of observations on the product itself (mainly around privacy issues), it struck me last night that there was something much more ominous about Wave: the logo.

The Google Wave logo not only uses the same colors as the Microsoft logo, but it is essentially an upside-down "M"! Is this Google taking one step closer to really becoming the next Microsoft? Check it out above.
Via Kotaku

Another 8-bit marvel here - Swedish rapper Pato Pooh (badass hip-hop name) has given himself and his crew the old-school treatment in his video for "Follow Me". This guy has basically taken old NES games and re-appropriated them for the hip-hop world (i.e. putting a backwards baseball cap on the in-game characters). Drawing heavily from Mega Man, the video also makes call-outs to tons of other classic NES titles. The ones I spotted:

- Castlevania
- Contra
- Starfox
- Super Mario World (love Boo's bling)
- Duck Hunt
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
- Pac-Man
- Metal Gear (All your base are belong to us)
- Street Fighter
- Double Dragon
- ET
- Donkey Kong
- Mike Tyson's Punch Out
- Super Mario Bros.
- Superman
- Legend of Zelda
- Ice Climber
- Tetris
- Kirby's Adventure
- And of course, Pong

At 2:01 of the video a background appears but I can't figure out what game this is (I definitely recognize it though). Anyone have any guesses? Did I miss anything? Correct me in the comment section below.

I also caught a reference to "Chocolate Rain" at 2:59 when the video flashes to an 8-bit studio and the note "I move away from the mic to breathe in".

Pato Pooh - Follow Me:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Plhgyp0KNQQ

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