"Viral" ad campaigns: everybody's sick of them! What to do? Just think of a more appealing name for them. Because appearance, not reality, is what matters, and if you agree with that you just might have a future in advertising. "Viral" campaigns are now called "Dandelions," because they flutter beautifully across the landscape, sowing their brand messages that will grow into beautiful brand flowers. This, according to a new agency that is perfecting the art of being a smart sellout: The agency is called Dandelion, of course, because why let someone else run off with your awesome viral marketing analogy? And Dandelion is not a vulgar "ad" agency; rather, it is a "brand storyteller." For reals. All your favorites are lining up for some of that sweet marketing budget pie:

To help accomplish that, Dandelion is signing writers for projects that will integrate brands into the plot lines of stories. Ed Herbstman, who has written for Sacha Baron Cohen’s “Da Ali G Show,” will be the head writer. Among the other writers are Eric Gilliland, of sitcoms like “My Boys,” “Roseanne” and “That ’70s Show”; Scott Sherman of The Onion and the parody “The Dangerous Book for Dogs”; and Charlie Todd, the creator of a roving band of pranksters, Improv Everywhere, perhaps best known for the annual “No Pants” ride on the New York City subway.

Next up for Improv Everywhere: "No Pants Except Dockers™ Iconic Ranger Khaki."[NYT; pic via IE]