Virgin Money Offers Anger Release With Online Game

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If for nothing more than to waste a few minutes during your lunch hour or during the excruciating boring weekly traffic meeting, have a little fun with this Virgin Money game, Lose Your Lunch Hour, in which you get to wreak havoc and physical damage to a bank branch of your choice because they closed the window right when you got to it. We like getting our virtual anger out and this game made it easy for us to do which is a very good thing becasue we suck at online gaming.

by Steve Hall    Feb- 6-07    
Topic: Games, Good, Online



HR Block Doesn't Just Save You Cash, They'll Even Give You Some

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Tax preparation firms aren't known for giving their own money away, but that's what H&R Block is doing with Toss Out Your Bills, a contest where entrants can win up to $10,000 toward everyday expenses.

In tangent with that campaign is the Super Sweet Refund contest, where users can send in videos in the hopes of winning $5,000. One video features a girl prepping herself for plastic surgery and another features a boy who collects paper clips. Other entries are also really strange - and here we were, thinking everybody uses their super sweet refunds to pay off credit card debt. Maybe this year we'll use our refund to have a tail surgically implanted. We always thought we'd look nice with a tail.

by Angela Natividad    Feb- 6-07    
Topic: Games, Online



Mac Takes Bite Out of Vista in New Mac vs. PC Ad

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Shortly after a Bill Gates interview in which he discusses Vista and finally blows his top about Apple, Apple releases its latest Mac vs. PC ad. Looks like they're getting meaner: this one features a Secret-Service-looking guy standing behind the humanized Mac and PC. Every time they say something he asks, "Cancel or allow?"

The ad pokes fun at Vista's hyper-anal new security features, which, if this ad is any authority, may hamper the user experience rather than improve it.

We don't know about you but we're pretty sick of the Mac vs. PC campaign, particularly now that they're getting damn snarky. Really, how old are we, five?

by Angela Natividad    Feb- 6-07    
Topic: Campaigns, Commercials, Television



Family Explodes Into Tears Over Spilled Milk

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Some spilled milk is worth crying over. This weird little ad from Hood Simply Smart starts out normal enough and ends in tears.

Hood is typically known for squeaky-clean happy-family ads so we're guessing some sadist in the ad department finally got his way. We're happy about it. The spot is quirky, plus we like seeing people cry.

by Angela Natividad    Feb- 6-07    
Topic: Brands, Good, Television



Sex Sells Approach Not Used In Female Arousal Ad

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Oh well of course we have to write about this. We wouldn't be Adrants if we didn't bring you every last morsel of sexually-related advertising news now would we? But, this time, it's a little different. Rather than this being about how sex is used to sell, this is about actual sex and better sex according to female arousal product Zestra. Hey, men have Viarga, why can't women get a boost too, right? The ad claims it's not a drug nor hormones rather botanicals "clinically proven to increase sexual arousal and pleasure in women." It's too bad, though, the company chose to go the cheesy direct-to-consumer drug route rather than the more humorous Herbal Essence approach.

by Steve Hall    Feb- 6-07    
Topic: Commercials



Super Bowl Second Most Watched, Campaign Hijacked by Porn Company

- Cynopsis Reports, "CBS Sports had a super night Sunday with Super Bowl XLI averaging a fast national household rating/share of 42.6/64 from 627p-1004p. The 9-930p time period earned the highest rating/share of 45.0/65. Super Bowl XLI was the second most-watched Super Bowl ever, averaging 93.15 million viewers. Sunday's NFL championship telecast also ranks third overall as the most watched program in television history after the series finale of M*A*S*H and Super Bowl 30."

- MediaPost reports, "A total of 58% of Super Bowl advertisers, some of whom paid as much as $2.6 million for a 30-second spot, also purchased pay-per-click search ads on their brand names--up from 42% last year, according to Reprise."

- Adland has the story on a Swedish teaser poster campaign that was hijacked by a porn company who took all the glory for it leaving the originator of the advertising, SJ Train, up the creek.

by Steve Hall    Feb- 6-07    
Topic: Online, Outdoor, Research, Super Bowl 2007, Television



Marketing Book Promoted With Intellectual Strip Video

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In a mash up of a webcam stripper video and that news show where the anchors strip while reading the news, the authors of the book, Punk Marketing, have placed a video on YouTube in which a bespectacled, smart-looking, sexy woman, Cleo, reads an excerpt from the book while slowly removing her clothing. It's hard to pass judgment on this one since there are two ways to go with it. Close your eyes and listen leading you to believe you are present at a fancy book reading event or open your eyes, turn down the sound leading yo to believe you are just enjoying yourself watching many of the thousands of webcam stripper video floating about the web. So, as a dutiful reporter, we think we're going to have to watch this again...and again...and again to properly assess the effort and offer you a fair and balanced report. Pardon us while we click the Play button again.

by Steve Hall    Feb- 6-07    
Topic: Good, Publishing, Video



Snickers Pulls 'Kiss' Website, Sales May Drop

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Apparently, the backlash over the Snickers Super Bowl commercial in which two men end up kissing after eating a Snickers bar from opposite ends was too much for the company to take and, as a result, the candy maker has taken down the commercial's accompanying website, afterthekiss.com. Typing in the URL simply redirects to the Snickers site.

While we liked this spot purely for its shock value, there's a faintly high probability this will have a very real negative affect on sales. Can you imagine the looks one will now receive from the checkout clerk when they buy a Snickers bar? That's just way too much snickering for most people to take and there's plenty of other perfectly good candy choices with far less embarrassment attached to them.

more »

by Steve Hall    Feb- 6-07    
Topic: Brands, Commercials, Opinion, Strange, Super Bowl 2007, Worst



Northwestern Says Wreck Worries, Get Insurance

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Looks like Northwestern Mutual realized that marketing is about engaging customers, not just setting impersonal messages out to sail and hoping that small nudge into the big ocean will yield die-hard customers.

Per their own words, the brand "no longer desires to remain reserved and
unassuming." This year they'll be bold and assertive in their communications efforts.

Wreck Your Worries, a calming space where you can characterize your concerns and choose a weapon to destroy them (we picked the golf club), heralds the intro for the new Northwestern. The campaign reminds us that we do take our problems to the office space, and now instead of stewing over them in passive aggressive silence we can blow holes through them with a mase on an insurance website.

A little silly, but we like it.

by Angela Natividad    Feb- 5-07    
Topic: Brands, Good, Online



Pepsi Asks Consumers for Billboard Help

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We're going to venture a guess and say Pepsi is fast losing the identity contest between itself and Coke, which reminded everyone in its series of Super Bowl spots of its place in feel-good Americana. That's the only explanation we have for this invitation to design Pepsi's next billboard, a campaign that falls in line with their new series of customized can designs. Very Jones Soda.

Well, here's to hoping Pepsi finds what it's looking for (a salute to the spirit of youth and discovery, according to their site intro). If nothing else, the Super Bowl showed us consumers can outdo marketers on their own territory. And we have yet to see a really good consumer-generated print ad.

by Angela Natividad    Feb- 5-07    
Topic: Brands, Games, Online







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