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Soprano's, AE Launch Multimedia Ad Hunt for Suitcase of Cash

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The Sopranos and A&E pair up for Suitcase of Cash, an intelligent though slightly labyrinthine campaign that aims both to court interactivity and get people more involved in their advertising (rather than having them turn in a bunch of manic self-aggrandizing homemade videos).

The game coincides with the January 10 premiere of the show and recalls McD's annual Monopoly contest, though it makes better use of multiple media. Users collect game pieces to arrange on a virtual gameboard.

The game pieces are banner, print and outdoor ads, which can be photographed and uploaded, then mailed to an address that uses military face recognition (kind of like MyHeritage?) to ID the piece in the photo. For online ads, users just need to click, which we're sure will generate higher numbers for everybody's media kits this year.

Our heads are spinning but it sounds like fun and a $100,000 grand prize ain't small pickin's. It would be awesomer still if there was an Assassin twist to it - knocking people off and taking their game pieces would be right up our alley and even better for the Soprano's tie-in.

by Angela Natividad    Jan- 9-07    
Topic: Games, Good, Magazine, Online, Outdoor



AdWeek Bestows Agency of the Year Awards on Actual Agencies

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It shocked us a little that for 2006 somebody will actually get credit for doing more than being you or spending money. But instead of dicking around like its counterparts, AdWeek stays on track by asking vital questions like, "What's more important, growth or creativity?" which they say contained the big answer for which agencies deserve the gold stars for blood, sweat and tears.

And that's why they've awarded Global Agency of the Year to TBWA, which orchestrated the oft-spoofed but beloved Mac v. PC campaign.

AdWeek also gave Goodby, Silverstein & Partners the coveted US Agency of the Year Award for their "Got Milk?" campaign, featuring an odd alien twist and even some scandal in '05.

Hats off to Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, to TBWA and to AdWeek. They deserve an award for not shirking the responsibility of doling out much-earned credit in favour of that consumer-as-marketer hype. But we can't just blame Ad Age and Time for slacking when lately even major brands prefer to beg for ads instead of creating something themselves.

But hey, it's a fine line between generating legit consumer interactivity and generating yourself out of a job, yeah?

by Angela Natividad    Jan- 9-07    
Topic: Agencies, Events, Good, Industry Events, Research



GE Spins Samurai Fable with Three Legged Legs

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For client General Electric, BBDO New York creates Samurai, fable about a Japanese fluff-ball on whose shoulders is set an Algieresque task to save the world from an evil emperor. With animation by Three Legged Legs, Samurai is part of GE's Imagination Theatre effort which marries the brand giant's proclaimed passion for innovation and imagination. It also serves as an illustrative and musical platform for their most current technological offerings.

The concept brings Toyota's misguided and busy world of Flash to mind, except without the misguided and busy world of Flash. GE also does Suzuki one better by taking the branded film idea and blessing it with their own personality instead of copying somebody else's and throwing in Fast-and-the-Furious-style cast members.

We like it. But who can hate on anime? It's the only sanctioned form of animation that gets to be both adorable and violent without pissing the PC police off. Plus it has ninjas, and we've already established that anything involving ninjas is automatically cool.

by Angela Natividad    Jan- 9-07    
Topic: Best, Campaigns, Online, Video



'Waterfallvertising' Makes Splash at North American International Auto Show

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Apparently water, when directed a certain way, can make words. More importantly, those words can be ads. Who'd've guessed?

by Angela Natividad    Jan- 9-07    
Topic: Outdoor, Strange



Fake Hookers Lobby for Low Rent

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This Tel Aviv campaign by Veecee protests rent spikes by adding cardboard prostitutes to a neighborhood in hopes that landlords will stop addressing humble one-bedroom flats as lofts with vaulted ceilings. Trendhunter has additional imagery and video.

The idea is neat but we're not sure how well it stands up considering bewildered passers-by in the 'hood didn't seem to have a clue why cardboard hookers were appearing at every turn.

Perhaps they can take the campaign further and populate badly-lit areas with cardboard drug dealers, car thieves and crack addicts. And while they're at it, strew a bit of sludgy litter here and there. Park a few cardboard Pintos haphazardly in corporate lots.

There are so many directions this idea can take. Do we have to stop at hookers? Just a smidge more cardboard deviance would get the message across loud and clear.

by Angela Natividad    Jan- 9-07    
Topic: Outdoor, Social



IPAS Puts Pain on the Platform for Women's Rights

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Women's health and reproductive rights organization IPAS campaigns to get women to speak up when they've been sexually abused. The ads well illustrate both the rage and sense of isolation that occurs when a person's been compromised. The little tear on the right cheek is helpful too, and the font is nice and raw.

The ads were put together by Santaclara, a spankin' new Sao Paulo agency. Well, this is a good strong start. Ethnic variations for IPAS are here and here.

by Angela Natividad    Jan- 9-07    
Topic: Good, Magazine, Online, Poster



'Time' Blogs, Bloggers Rally, Ecommerce Billions, Consumers Create

- Cynopsis reports, "The retransmission rights payments disagreement between MediaCom Communications and Sinclair Broadcast Group came to a head late Friday and into Saturday with MediaCom being forced to drop 22 Sinclair stations from its cable system in 12 states as of 12:01a January 6."

- Time Magazine is getting into the blog game with a site makeover, a news aggregator and topical blogs.

- Ecommerce hit the 4100 billion mark in 2006 and continues to charge ahead.

- Brands should know by now an angry mob of bloggers is something to steer clear of lest you want amplified what you intended to be hushed.

- Time says you are the Person of the year. Advertising Age says the consumer is the Agency of the Year. Jonah Bloom explains they really didn't copy Time.

- The free 411 services are catching on with advertisers. Aegon Insurance and Absolut are the latest brands to become advertisers on 1-800-FREE411.

- Heavy.com has closed on a second round of financing, $20 million from Polaris Venture Partners. The financing will be used to expand the network internationally.



Time Gets Web 2.0 Facelift

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Time revamps its tired old site to better serve the interests of 2.0-savvy readers who'd rather sift through snarky blogs than stiff Reuters streams.

The new site vibes like a cross between Yahoo, ZDNet and AdAge, which can be useful if not totally confusing. Critiques about Iraq rub shoulders with Top 10's, quotes du jour and wincing-hip TV-related titles like "Whiteyz with Attitude." Urg. Well, it'll definitely make eye-candy for the scroll-happy.

Time will provide 24/7 news and, in a surprise move that contrasts those of major papers like the New York Times, rendered the entire Time archive of stories, covers and images - from its 1923 debut! - available for free.

Neat. For a brand so big we're sure they'll come up with a way to keep profits from hurting during this most curious process. And we probably won't be the only ones watching closely.

by Angela Natividad    Jan- 8-07    
Topic: Brands, Good, Magazine, Online, Publishing



BEL Says Integrate Stores and Sites, Be Authentic, and Everyone's a Critic

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Brand Experience Lab occasionally releases a series of predictions we're invited to peruse from time to time. They recently updated their list to include a few profundities that might ring redundant considering '06 was ridden with questions of ad ethics, authenticity regarding social networking and "flogs" and the craze for congratulating consumers for being consumers, as best illustrated by Time and AdAge.

If you feel so inclined, read admonitions on why authenticity is key, why consumer capabilities on your website should reflect what can be done in your store, and why we're looking at an age in which everyone - including us - wants to criticize your shit.

by Angela Natividad    Jan- 8-07    
Topic: Online, Opinion, Research



Training Keeps You Out of Trash

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This is one of the more pleasantly inventive and eye catching outdoor campaigns we've seen in a while. It makes its point quite clearly. Unless you invest in yourself - in this case, corporate training - you're just a piece of useless, outdated trash good only for the trash bin. See another version here.

by Steve Hall    Jan- 8-07    
Topic: Good, Outdoor



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