Sheikh Mourns End of Oil Heyday in Tale as Old as Time

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It's no secret that the US's slow divorce from oil dependence is a transition frowned upon by some. But to joke about it? Publicly? Quel faux-pas.

That's why we dig Toyota Prius' ballsiness. This ad, put together by Saatchi & Saatchi in Poland, throws an ice breaker into the discourse. It doesn't make the Prius any prettier, but it certainly makes the brand more appealing.

Something about the sheikh's despondent expression brings to mind those sad westerns in which ways of life get torn asunder, and natives cruelly displaced, by the new guys in town. Oh sheikh, don't mourn too long for the past. We'd pat your shoulder, but we probably wouldn't recognize you through the tinted windows of the gold-encrusted Hummer.

by Angela Natividad    Feb-20-07    
Topic: Brands, Good, Magazine



Layers of Denim History Revealed in Storytelling Striptease

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We suspect Levi's puts its design cash toward licensing fees for the awesome songs they use in ads that keep us trying, year after year, to find a cool pair of Levi's jeans, even if history tells us this will never happen. Lame denim fits aside, the ads are sensory pop art.

We love -- love -- the Dangerous Liaisons ad for their 2007 line. At first we thought it was the usual booty-call striptease bit, because we've seen that gimmick a thousand times, but as the spot wore on we realized something more interesting happening.

In the Bartle Bogle Hegarty masterpiece, a couple undresses to reveal layers of decades suggested in clothing, demeanour, style and even background noise. It moves fluidly from the rough-and-tumble 19th century workjean years to 2007's waifish verge-of-tears emo period. All to the haunting and playful tune of "Strange Love" by Little Annie Bandez.

Time for another futile trip to the flagship store.

by Angela Natividad    Feb-20-07    
Topic: Best, Brands, Online, Video



Beyonce Puff-Puffs and Pisses Off Aussies

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Balendu draws our attention to this promotion for Beyonce Knowles' upcoming tour in Australia, which is drawing controversy from the usual slew of anti-smoking groups and mean PC people. One such group actually contacted the Federal Dept of Health to say the ad acts as a tobacco promotion, thus breaching the Tobacco Advertising Prohibition Act.

We're surprised by the lifelong groomed artist's decision to use the old-fashioned cigarette holder, particularly because of strong negative sentiment about tobacco's effects (as if nobody knew before). Nonetheless, the act makes a statement and we're impressed by B's gumption. The untouchable Audrey would appreciate the political hat-tip, even if her immortal pose with the long cigarette is decidedly more chic.

by Angela Natividad    Feb-20-07    
Topic: Celebrity, Outdoor, Policy, Social



Dolce & Gabbana Ad: Cartoonish Edginess or Gang Rape?

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What, exactly, is going on in this Dolce & Gabbana ad and does it really matter? Don't fashion labels get a pass when it comes to raciness and imagery that connotes culturally questionable activities? According to National Organization for Women President Kim Gandy who told BrandWeek, "It's a provocative ad but it is provoking things that really are not what we want to have provoked. We don't need any more violence," the answer is no. Her organization plans to protest the ad and has added to a section of its website that highlights ads it feels are offensive.

One could argue the ad certainly paints a questionable picture and perpetuates an activity that certainly does not need perpetuating. Others might argue the ad, and many other fashion ads, is so over-the-top cartoonish in its desire to be "edgy," that it's a harmless toss off passed over as one glosses through the fake world of fashion magazines. What do you think?

by Steve Hall    Feb-20-07    
Topic: Campaigns, Magazine, Racy, Trends and Culture



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German Ad Makes Words Spit Flames

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TJ "I Told You So" Swafford dropped a link to this interesting Audible.de ad in our Soflow group forum this morning. It's a cross-promotion with Eragon in which words flow out of some suspiciously iPod-looking earbuds and smash together, giving phoenix-like birth to a dragon.

The copy reads "Lebendige Worte" or "living words." We're not sure what the narrator is saying but dragon visuals and German-speak have a way of demanding one's strictest attention. We also like the gobbledygook mash-up of disconnected letters that turn into a fire-breathing monster. We shoot for the same type of effect when we throw together scathing diction.

Do we now want to watch Eragon? No, but that's because we were burned by Dragonheart, which ruined live-action dragon films for us forever.

by Angela Natividad    Feb-20-07    
Topic: Good, Online, Promotions



Nourish One Another Makes Print Statement with Harvest Divinity

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Project Open Hand is running a Bay Area print campaign called Nourish One Another to encourage donations for nutritional services and AIDS assistance.

We took note because we often see this strange print ad displaying an ecstatic upward-looking man with wings and a huge halo. It took us a few days of nonchalant notice to realize the wings were made of - what are those, bananas? - and the halo was made of wheat. Then we thought, hey, that's clever and quaint in a pastoral sort of way. And it's also got this understated weirdness going on. We always have to credit an ad whose details we learn over time, and not always intentionally.

by Angela Natividad    Feb-20-07    
Topic: Good, Outdoor, Poster, Strange



Aflac Duck to Take Backseat in Future Campiagns

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Everyone knows the Duck. Everyone's seen the Duck. Everyone's heard the Duck. Ben Affleck shared The Tonight Show couch with the Duck. The Duck has 85 percent brand awareness. But, what the hell does the duck stand for? That's the very question New Aflac CMO Jeff Herbert is dealing with right now. He claims the Duck has gained the company awareness for awareness' sake but hasn't done a good job supporting Aflac's brand messaging. He plans to lessen the Duck's role in future marketing and, surprise, actually explain what Aflac does. Gee, now there's a novel concept. Tell people what you actually do.

Herbert has reorganized Aflac's marketing department and plans to alter the company's media mix. relying less on television.

UPDATE: Aflac to media: Damn you, you trigger-happy journalists! A recent press release pumped out rom Aflac today states, "Contrary to recent media reports, Aflac has no intention of abandoning its use of the Aflac Duck." Herbert said, "Like all of America, we love the Aflac Duck. It is as central to our marketing efforts today as it will continue to be going forward." Um, Jeff, we never said the Aflac duck was disappearing. Ad Age said its wings would be clipped and we said it would take a backseat. OK, so maybe that was misleading and we (well, at least us here at Adrants) apologize if we misconstrued things.

However, we do think your brand needs to be identified with something more than a duck. You've achieved great awareness. We still don't know what you do. Maybe we're dumb but your advertising and that of many other's could stand to be a bit more descriptive and a bit less cute. After all, you do want people to hand their money over to you? They can't do that if they don't know what you can do for them.

by Steve Hall    Feb-20-07    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns



Sirius and XM Merge, MySpace Does Comics, eBay Does TV

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- The inevitable has happened. Siruis and XM have merged in a $13 billion deal to become a single satellite radio provider. FCC approval is needed to seal the deal.

- MySpace is launching a comic book site. Seth Cohen would salivate.

- eBay will launch its online TV marketplace in March and will play a role in second quarter scatter.

- BudTV is not having a good time. Attorneys General from 21 states are on the brewer's ass about age verification for access to the service claiming it's too easy for minors to get in.

- Well, hallelujah. DVR owners watch commercials.

- Ooo, ooo, ooo! Leaked email outlines Yahoo's new publishing and advertising structure.

- With Dell Idea Storm, the computer maker is turning to consumers for input on what they'd like to see in future products.

by Steve Hall    Feb-20-07    
Topic: Online, Radio



Campaign Chastises Ineffective Second Hand Smoke Reduction Methods

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The Colorado department of Public Health & Environment has a new ad campaign out created by Denver's Cactus Marketing Communications and produced by Reginald Pike. While the campaign leaves the duty of informing people they shouldn't smoke in the first place to others, this campaign suggest the only way to prevent children from inhaling second hand smoke is to "step outside." All three scenarios which include the use of a fan, blowing smoke out of a car window and using aerosol spray are common, however stupid, methods smokers use to make them think their doing the right thing. Maybe this campaign will kick some of those idiots in the ass. And for fuck's sake, can you all stop throwing your cigarette butts out your car window? That's what the fucking ashtray is for, idiot! No one wants your smelly butt bouncing off their windshield.

by Steve Hall    Feb-20-07    
Topic: Campaigns, Commercials, Good



Walking Lightbulbs Promote GoaFest Ad Show

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Leo Burnett Mumbai puts AAAI's GoaFest ad festival on the map with a set of Youtube videos personifying ideas that might pop up during the event.

Here are the spots for viral ideas and powerful ideas.

The videos were sent to marketing and creative people in India over a week's time and have since circulated the subcontinent, allegedly launching GoaFest into the worldwide advertising community as India's advertising award show of note.

That's some big talk for a bunch of illuminated heads. We like the notion of encompassing broad concepts in a short tongue-in-cheek clip, and with most they did a great job. Unfortunately we think the humour is lost outside the professional ad world (and maybe that's okay). After sharing a couple of clips with our friends they gave us the "WTF?" face and forced us to sit through another episode of Homestar Runner.

more »

by Angela Natividad    Feb-20-07    
Topic: Industry Events, Online, Video



Hotel Room Hotties Aside, Diesel Takes on Global Warming

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Following up on it Heides website takeover, Diesel has introduced its Spring and Summer 2007 fashion line with a new site, promoted by nicely artified electric trolleys, that takes on the theme of global warming. It professes the need to acknowledge global warming but realizes we can't stop our lives because of it and illustrates how we can enjoy laying about a world ravaged by global warming. It also offers up ten tips people can use to minimize global warming which include having sex (it generates heat), insulate your home with recycled denim, never take a shower and eat red meat in a restaurant (it saves on your home refrigeration and ills cows which cause damagaing mathane gases when they fart).

The site also points to stopglobalwarming.org and offers Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth for purchase. Whether or not you think global warming is human-caused or just a natural, cyclical temperature change, this site is nicely done. Afterall, who wants to see the same thing everytime the visit a website?

by Steve Hall    Feb-20-07    
Topic: Good, Online, Video







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