'Friday Night Lights' Shows Promise, Heart


Europe loves futbol. America love football. Both games bring out competitive spirit and national patriotism. After viewing NBC's airing of Friday Night Lights, we feel we have to say never before has a TV show done such a wonderful job illustrating the love for and importance of a sport. A spin off of the 2004 Billy Bob Thornton movie of the same name based on H.G. Bissinger's book about the Odessa, Texas Permian High Panthers, the show brings to light small town America's love for the sport and the importance it plays in everyday life. While American soccer is alive an well on the fields of suburban America, that sport is unlikely to ever overtake the intensity of and love for good 'ol American football.

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by Steve Hall    Oct- 3-06    
Topic: Good, Opinion, Television

Rear Entry Advised For Family Planing


Sometimes when a copywriter sits down to hone the craft, the intended meaning of the written words occasionally takes on something other than what was originally intended as in this directional sign in the UK's Northhampton General Hospital which reads, "Family planning advice. Use rear entrance."

by Steve Hall    Oct- 3-06    
Topic: Point of Purchase, Poster, Strange

Apply Directly to the Forehead. Again. Again. Again


The Slug offers up a retrospective on this past Summer's inane Head On commercial and the media frenzy which ensued because of it. If you haven't seen the spot, it's the one that repeats, "Head On. Apply directly to the forehead," over and over and over but offers no actual statement as to what the product's purpose might be. Created completely without ironic insiderism, the commercial found itself the subject of many parodies, an MSNBC interview with Barbara Lippert in which she just won't shut up, coverage on NBC Nightly New with Brian Williams, again with Barbara Lippert, and, finally, a self-referential spoof created by the company itself. Still, no one knows what the hell the product is supposed to do. OK, yes, it's for headaches but they never say so. Witty.

As Brian Unger said on MSNBC, we shouldn't be surprised to hear "Bud, put it in your mouth" during the Super Bowl.

by Steve Hall    Oct- 3-06    
Topic: Commercials, Opinion, Strange, Trends and Culture, Video

Munchies, Brownies, Eyedrop Shelf Talkers Support Marijuana


With help from Spinach (the agency, not the food), pro-marijuana group NORML placed shelf talkers in grocery stores directly adjacent to the very products seemingly associated with feeding yourself weed. Very nice media placement, indeed. See the creative here.

UPDATE: Spinach contacted us and would like to clarify that it was a local chapter of NORML they worked with and not the national, parent organization. The work was pitched on a project basis to a local chapter which decided to go with the campaign. Beyond that, Spinach informs us that even though the local chapter approved the work and decided to use the signs, the agency is now seeking verification the local chapter actually used the signs.

by Steve Hall    Oct- 3-06    
Topic: Good, Point of Purchase

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With 'Huge Flavor' Comes Huge Portions


While this Draft FCB Interactive-created site for Applebee's does a great job highlighting four new "Huge Flavor" dishes, the site (and every other American restaraunt site) should really be called Huge Portions since each featured dish looks like it could feed an entire family.

by Steve Hall    Oct- 3-06    
Topic: Good, Online

Free Hugs: He Said, She Said


"No! No! No! No, it's not a clandestine promotion for the band Sick Puppies, " our intern yelled at us. "But, come one, a guy in a video with a sign that says Free Hugs roaming around in Sydney, Australia just hoping to brighten the world with nothing to gain from it?" we shouted back. "Yes you jaded idiot," screamed the intern, "Not everything on YouTube is trying to sell you something."

Not convinced, we stood up and asked, "What about this little gem on the Free Hugs website that says 'With grass root marketing tactics we promote products and ideas that are in line with our core values and the FREE HUGS message.'? I suppose that just means the products and ideas they claim to promote are love and goodwill?"

"Damn," the intern who was now jumping out of her seat bellowed. "You pompous, unfeeling know-it-all! Do you think the only thing every human being thinks about is getting the newest version of the iPod?" "Um, yes," we answered.

"Fuck you," she screamed as she turned and left, likely to go give someone a free hug.

by Steve Hall    Oct- 3-06    
Topic: Consumer Created, Trends and Culture, Video, Viral

Humping 'Donnie Darko' Bunnies Somehow Promote Brazilian MTV


We know most MTV promotions are whacked but this Brazilian one whacks the ball way out of whack. Aside form potential references to Donnie Darko and that freakish bunny suit, we're guess the creative brief or this ad had two words in the "tone" section: fucking whacked. If we could read "Brazilian," we probably be able to better resolve the whole humping bunny thing with the intended goal of the spot.

by Steve Hall    Oct- 3-06    
Topic: Online, Video

Sobey's Cures Masochistically Obsessive-Compulsive Behavior


If you ever feel like your life is in a rut and your days are filled going through the same masochistically obsessive-compulsive routines over and over and over so much so that you can do them blindfolded or in complete disregard to alternative routines, you might want to go see a psychiatrist. Or, you might want to watch these ReginaldPike-produced commercials from Vancouver's ReThink for Sobey's food stores.

by Steve Hall    Oct- 3-06    
Topic: Campaigns, Commercials, Good, Strange

AT&T Thinks Adrants Is A Sports Site


We just love when we get "personalized" emails from PR folks like this one from LA agency Fanscape which, apparently, did a considerable amount of research to determine the subject matter of each site they sent the release to so they could properly personalize it. Writing to Adrants which, apparently research determined to be a site that focuses on sporting news, the email read, in part, "It would be great to get a mention about AT&T Home Turf, including the Roy Williams segment, up on your sports site as either a news item or feature. Photos from the AT&T shoot are also available. The Roy Williams episode, as well as past "webisodes" are available here: http://www.attblueroom.com/sports. Take a look and let me know what you think!"

Well, you cut and paste buffoons, you ask what we think? Well, aside from the fact it took no less that three minutes, 7-8 different screens and innumerable confusing navigational issues just to find this video which carried the educational side text "THIS IS AN INTERACTIVE VIDEO" as if a person couldn't figure that out on their own, you might want to update your press list so you can craft oxymorons like "personalized mass emailings" that carry at least a modicum of intelligence.

by Steve Hall    Oct- 3-06    
Topic: Bad

Sony Lets People Choose Ending to Commercial


Leveraging a previous commercial for its line of HDTV, Sony has released a collection of alternative endings to the original commercial so that...well...we don't know what becasue the endings are so stupid we lost track of what the ad was trying to accomplish. Oh but wait. The endings are riffs in actual movies and they choices tie into the tagline. Witty. It's always great fun to let the consumer think they're controlling things with these prepackaged, predetermined "optional endings" but sometimes it seems a lot of people forget what an ad is supposed to do: sell stuff. Oh but wait, maybe this does sell stuff but we didn't realize that until we watched the ads a few times. Oh but wait, that's why we have this thing called frequency.

by Steve Hall    Oct- 3-06    
Topic: Commercials, Online, Video

Netflix Needs Help, Altoids Get Shot, Walkman Saves Ears


- The Bay Area Interactive Group has launched its second season of its Big Sessions podcast with industry guru interviews.

- Netflix doesn't know how to improve its movie recommendation feature but it thinks there are people out there that can so the movie rental company is offering $1 million to anyone who can improve accuracy by 10 percent.

- Tokion's Fourth Annual Creativity Now Confernce will be talking place October 14 and 15 at Cooper Union in New York City.

- Here's a litte shoot the Altoids out of the sky timewaster for you.

- To promote the Sony Walkman (they still make that?) in Italy, Ebola Industries created a site, SaveYourEars, on which videos show people singing horribly out of tune in concert presumably to show using a Walkman will prevent youo from hearing this badness. We're not entirely sure since the site's in Italian.

by Steve Hall    Oct- 3-06    
Topic: Games, Online

Ripped From the Lips of Carat's David Verklin: FSIs in Danger!


Recent speculation that Wal-mart and other big box retailers may stop using free standing inserts in newspapers is predicted to cause a giant stampede to the newsstand as the public realizes it can actually read a newspaper without having to wade through an inch thick pile of irrelevant advertising just to catch up on the status of Paris Hilton's ass flap or whether Dick Cheney still exists. While newspapers are said to be in a state of shock over the impending doom, many fail to realize people might actually agree to pay for their product, thus increasing circulation thus increasing ad rates thus increasing revenue, if they could actually find the editorial buried beneath that orgy of advertising known as the FSI. OK so that's cracked logic but, on the other hand, if newspaper publishers finally realize the importance of deodorant that costs five cents less pales in comparison to the important news of who George Clooney will date this week to foil paparazzi, this recent news might not be so hard to swallow. OK, that's cracked logic too but...oh forget it.

by Steve Hall    Oct- 3-06    
Topic: Newspaper, Trends and Culture

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