Target selling gamer shirts with the games attached

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Or are they selling games with the shirt attached?  In any case, I think it's a great idea that shakes up the traditional sales channel that games go through, providing additional value (and nerd cred) in actually buying the games. It's also a great way for indie game designers to get big time exposure they wouldn't normally get.   The game is included in the large tag on the shirt, as well as information on the actual game designer, going against the age old precedent set by Atari that the company comes before the designer. 

My guess is that as transparency becomes the norm in marketing communications, its going to continue to put a spotlight on the designers behind the games, giving rise to a new kind of rock star…unless it does not. 

(via Kevin and Raph)

Is Starbucks hurting itself by trying to be better?

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Maybe its just me, but I had no idea that Starbucks was having any problems. There are long lines whenever I go, wherever I am.  Coming into work in the morning, its hard to find a desk without a Starbucks cup on it.  Sure there were some articles in the press about it, but it didn't seem like anything major.  I certainly never heard anyone complaining about the quality of their latte…

Then came this and this. 

Bada boom, bada bing:  They've successfully convinced me that they are a brand in trouble. 

The next agency

Iain has written a great piece on the rise of the creative ad industry as we know it, and the factors that led to why things happened the way they did.  He then superimposes those factors into the modern marketing world and draws some conclusions about what the next great ad agency model may look like.  I've read a lot of speculation on this before, but I thought this was a more interesting and more grounded way to go about it than I've seen anywhere else. 

Check it out…