According to CSX Transportation it's common for co-eds to wander drunkenly onto traintracks in dead of night and die grisly railroad deaths that often involve bright lights, loud noises, metal on flesh and decapitation.
(We've also heard this happens to koalas in the wild. Drunk off eucalyptus, they fall off their trees and are often hit by cars. But that's a digression.)
To get the word out to college students, agency Exit10 of Baltimore distributed wallet-sized bottle openers that portray a man being decapitated when used. We thought this was a silly idea until we actually saw the bottle opener. Now we just feel very uncomfortable. "This is what a train can do to your body," reads the sober black text against the metal finish.
The sight of it made us rub our necks and put down our requisite Adrants martini. Dude. Talk about a buzzkill.
In this commercial, we're not sure whether McDonald's is telling us all kids have an active imagination or whether their food is an addictive hallucinogenic. Or maybe, they have to make us hallucinate in order to make us believe McDonald's is actually a place you'd want to eat. Oddly, it works. Mostly because it's not your average McDonald's spot. It was created by Leo Burnett in Sydney and the the effects were done by Fuel International.
On a semi-completely unrelated note, a friend tells us she sat next to a guy on an airplane trip whose company manufactured flavors. Flavors for everything. Every taste. The man's biggest customer? McDonald's If you have to add beef flavor to a hamburger, you know something is definitely just not right. No matter how convincing a commercial might be.
No idea's original, but in any field the taboo is the same: if even a successful idea can be traced back to somebody else's sleeper hit, fingers get pointed. For a shining example, just look at Suzuki's attempts to be BMW.
A source tells us elements of the STA World Traveler Contest are suspiciously similar to an existing campaign that's lesser-known but more complete in scope. St. Georges School in the Grenada West Indies used the same pinpricked-globe format to highlight, not starry-eyed co-eds, but far-flung alumni they've accumulated over 30 years. Visit the St. Georges website and click on the 30 year anniversary logo at bottom left to catch the similarities.
If you don't feel like clicking back and forth, that's okay; we'll show you.
Long the symbol of manhood for geeks of all generations, the traditional Rubik's Cube gets dolled-up for ... well, we're not sure who for. Anybody who likes the Rubik's Cube likes it for its original frustrating merits and the countless number of secret solutions that have been passed from geek to geek for centuries.
Nonetheless, somebody thinks the Cube's appeal can be improved with bright blinking lights, programmed electronic games, multiplayer play and a new name: Rubik's Revolution. That's flashy. But if you're going to tamper with an original by making it all pretty and blinky, at least put a prize in the middle. And not just any prize. We're thinking Stella Artois chalice of beer, here. Otherwise, why bother?
When you mix cheesy with double entendre, what do you get? An oddly watchable two minute commercial for Vermont Teddy Bear. On has to assume this was purposefully created to be, well, bad. Cheesy bad. We suppose a Teddy Bear might be a great Valentine's Day gift. It's easier to buy than jewelry. It's definitely cheaper. And if it makes your girl go, "so much bigger than I thought," it just might be worth buying.
It's not the first time a political candidate will have used social networking as part of a campaign strategy, but it's probably the first time a political candidate has ever created his or her own social networking site.
Enter My Barack Obama, a social networking space dedicated to users who'd like to help Obama get into the White House in '08. He also has a MySpace that's of course not made or endorsed by him but by some very serious fan out there who happens to have little to do but make thousands of friends on his behalf.
There's not too much you can say to trash a guy who acknowledges his own lack of qualifications and admits to doing drugs in college. But we've all seen how internet influence can make or break you. A word of warning, Obama: remember Howard Dean.
True.com has colonized sex so effectively, dating sites that once mistook sex for neutral domain are now scrambling for the next Holy Grail of human characteristics.
So in its ongoing quest to find a personality, Match.com resorts to the webcam, a tactic shared by those bastard cousins of dating sites, amateur porn purveyors. "See who's on Match.com right now FREE!" a banner bubbles while running videos of attractive people drinking coffee and taking off their shoes.
The effort is unsettling. We don't know if it'll help draw hot single traffic, but we did stare for a long time. This is mainly because we harbor the quiet hope people will forget they're being watched and do something to satisfy our voyeuristic desire to witness something childish but unsavoury, like ball-scratching or nose-picking.
But these things didn't happen. Maybe they should. Maybe that would turn the ads into winners. It's hard to tell at this point and we don't see much hope for the future because Match.com changes campaigns faster than Mr. Rogers changed his sweaters.
Not that we didn't think it was a big joke in the first place but as the furor over Boston's Cartoon Network guerrilla campaign subsides, the predictable trend of spoofs and games has begun. Boing Boing points to Save Boston, a whack-a-mole style game in which you gain points by clicking on the light bright/moonite objects as they dart in and out of Boston's architecture. Depending upon how many Moonites you get, you are graded by hairstyle. Some one send this to Mayor Menino.
Everyone's all worked up over that Snickers Kiss ad and all the publicity it's getting. Flickr user cliffsteringo may further fuel the hype with a few suggestions on how Snickers might extend the Kiss campaign by incorporating it into to the long-running wacky word portion of the campaign.
This is what it's come to. A guerrilla marketing campaign for a show no one had ever heard of and which caused a city to cry terrorism has now caused the CEO of the network that hosts the show to resign. Drudge has the resignation letter but because his flash links aren't permanent, here's the letter:
From: Jim Samples
I am sure you are aware of recent events in which a component of an Adult Swim marketing campaign made Turner Broadcasting the unintended focus of controversy in Boston and around the world. I deeply regret the negative publicity and expense caused to our company as a result of this campaign.
As general manager of Cartoon Network, I feel compelled to step down, effective immediately, in recognition of the gravity of the situation that occurred under my watch. It's my hope that my decision allows us to put this chapter behind us and get back to our mission of delivering unrivaled original animated entertainment for consumers of all ages.
As for me, there will be new professional challenges ahead that will make the most of the experiences I've had as part of this remarkable company. Through my 13 years at the company I have found myself continuously in awe of the talented artists and business people surrounding me, from those who realize their vision in creating a cartoon to those who so brilliantly deliver the animation to viewers.
I will always cherish the experience of having worked with you. I appreciate the support that you have shown me. As a friend and a fan, I also look forward to seeing your best and most personally fulfilling work yet. Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, Boomerang and each of you deserve nothing less."
Spineless appeasement to overly sensitive reactionarys or appropriate response to the blown out of proportion event?