Writing on AdJab, Chris Thilk suggests agency reviews, rather than being closed door events relegating the losing agency's work to the Recycle Bin, should become a television reality show pitting 12 agencies against one another for 12 weeks. His premise calls for the public to vote for their favorite agency-created campaign and eliminate the agency-created campaigns they don't like. While we're sure the entire, incestuous ad industry would salivate over this like paparazzi after Jessica Alba's bikini-clad butt, we're not sure "regular people" would care. That is, unless it was done in a way that caused the public to take pity on our pathetic efforts to get them to buy our products. Reality TV's pretty good at conjuring up those endearing emotional moments and a shot of a pair of hot looking, 20-something creatives crying because their campaign was just shot down or a pompous account director berating an intern for ordering roll ups instead of Thai food for an important client meeting might do the trick. Mark? Mark Burnett? Are you reading this?
One of the pillars of Dov Charney's American Apparel is that the organization prides itself on its "Made in America" product so we reacted with great humor to these images, sent to us by the ever present Bucky Turco, which shows the new American Apparel store at 119-121 East 23rd Street in New York under construction with "Made in Canada" boxes all over the place. Now we're quite sure Canada is no sweat shop but we're sure whatever's in those boxes could certainly have been found somewhere in America if someone looked hard enough. View more of the new store here.
Chainsaws and Gucci are not exactly two things you'd find associated with one another unless, of course, there's an artist involved as Spunker points out. In this case, it's Peter Gronquist who's taken a chainsaw and given it a Gucci makeover. Gronquist has a history of creating whacked-out brand placements.
Ford Belgium has launched a speaking ad campaign, called Ford Miracles that, well, speaks. And we're not talking about TV or radio. Created by Ogilvy Belgium and consisting of outdoor posters and customizable e-cards, the ads say, well, something. We don't really know what because we don't speak French or whatever language is spoken in Belgium. The campaign site even has a live webcam that is mounted to one of the posters to monitor viewers reactions. It's a bit spooky.
Adrants reader "Campaign Critic" had such insightful things to say about the recent Capitol One ad campaigns that we figured we'd just extend him a Guest Contributor title for the day. Campaign Critic Writes:
Let's just get to the point: Capital One's credit card advertising is annoying, hard to follow and stupid. It quite frankly breaks a few of the most basic rules about advertising any product, let alone something as complicated or, these days, downright scary as handling a credit card.
One: don't go so afar afield from the point at hand that you lose the hook on what your product really is. Capital One's ads for their credit cards do just this: they somehow equate credit card service charges with barbarians (they have tried others in this series, but they take this one bad step further). "Credit card charges are like barbarians attacking you every time you use them." (Not barbarians-credit cards.) Sure.
In the spirit of Jonnie Walker and the Marlboro Man, New York-based agency Amalgamated has launched a new ad campaign for Svedka vodka which introduces the futuristic, party-going, fembot Svedka_Grl, built by the famed Stan Winston studios, and brought to life in print, outdoor and OOH, to brand Svedka as the vodka of the future. With the campaign set in the future, this give Svedka the ability to say anything they like including headlines such as "Svedka. The choice of the stem cell baby boomer generation in 2033, "Svedka says 'thank you' for making the gay man's gene available over-the-counter in 2033" and "Voted #1 vodka of 2033. Goes great with A $450 pack of cigarettes."
The first print ad launched in this month's Vanity Fair and pays tribute to those who participated in the Blue State Secession of 2032. Other work will hang on kiosks and billboard throughout NY and LA initially, then expand to five other markets. Certain ads are humorously location specific, for example, the ad addressing the "gay male fashion gene" will hang in the meatpacking district. Good stuff. See all the work here.
As part of still-under-construction affiliate marketing site Empire Design Online, Microsoft's Xbox is being promoted with a set of banners that encourages shooting black gangsters. Whether most gangsters are black or not, we think Microsoft is going to have a little problem with this. The much-sued Scott Richter is said to be behind this.
The PLUS Coalition, a non-profit organization on a mission to simplify and facilitate the licensing of images, has just completed an international, industry-wide review of the PLUS Glossary, the first component of the Picture Licensing Universal System (PLUS). Due for release in the fourth quarter of 2005, the PLUS Glossary aims to provide standardized terms and definitions for use in image licensing transactions.
You'd think after a long career in advertising, we'd be immune to to-good-to-be-true online promotions such as the ongoing Glam promotion which promises a free iPod Nano if you get ten friends to sign up and take an online shopping quiz. Well, we must have been feeling soft or finally caught the iPod disease - even though we have an even better MP3 player, the Creative Zen Micro - because we subjected about 20 friends to this charade. As it turns out, you only get a free iPod Nano if you invite friends, take a survey AND spend $100 shopping on Glam. Oddly, this isn't explained on the promotional page. It looks like Glam tried to but they seem to have, in an apparent typo, forgotten to add the necessary dollar amount to point four of the rules:
"4. Finish registration by completing your profile, taking a fun free style test. Completing any qualifying purchase of or more at Glam.com merchants and return a copy of your receipt with your redemption form. That's it!"
No mention of $100. So now I've aggravated a bunch a people - for which I am truly sorry. In fairness to Glam, in an explanatory email to one friend who asked Glam for clarification, Glam responded, "We ran a limited-time offer to kick things off, and gave away our initial allotment of iPod Nanos in two days. By adding a qualifying purchase requirement, we can keep the fun going and reward shoppers who give Glam.com a try."
Fine, in the future, Glam, just remember to modify all your promo pages so that not-so-small details like this are clearly explained.
After a week of debate, Swedish clothier H&M has, finally, decided to drop Kate Moss as spokesmodel and cancel an upcoming ad campaign that would have featured Moss. Last week, news buzzed about her cocaine use and that didn't sit well with H&M brass. Company spokeswoman Liv Asarnoj said, "After evaluating the situation, we have decided that a campaign with Kate Moss is not consistent with H&M's clear disassociation from drugs."