Suicide the New Stupid Dad Ad Trend

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We've done stupid dads, talking animals, women in bikinis, rape, humor, shock, poignancy, cavemen, rodents out of a cannon and hundreds of other hooks to get people to look at our ads. The meme of the moment now is suicide. GM did it. VW did it. Now we have children contemplating suicide for...lollipops. Yes, Chupa Chups thinks it's the end of the world without their lollipops with girls contemplating a jump from atop a doll house and boys contemplating death by milk. Surely the Center With Nothing to do But Complain About Innocuous Ads will have something to say about this one.

by Steve Hall    Feb-22-07    
Topic: Bad, Trends and Culture



Social Meme Mash-Up Makes Art on Big Ball

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A cross between a collaborative rubber band ball and a chain letter, this piece of "potential art" has been bouncing through the webosphere, inviting collective creative design for an ever-growing montage.

Drawball zooms into a spot about 1/4096th its size, which is where users can leave their mark. The result isn't just a mishmash of arbitrary graffiti; it includes americana logos like Coca-Cola, new pop culture icons like Digg and representations of various subcultures.

Like Wikipedia.org, the Drawball project proves surprising to some: people left virtually unregulated will work together to build something meaningful, even if the meaning can only be seen in the aggregate.

To witness the evolution of Drawball from beginning to end, check out Drawball Playback, where a year's work of collaborative art unfolds. It's a little like watching the progression of mankind in hyperspeed, as various image colonizations and social eclipses take place over the life of the project.

We wonder if human colonizations are this provocative from a distance. Maybe that's why God never intervenes.

by Angela Natividad    Feb-22-07    
Topic: Best, Consumer Created, Online, Trends and Culture



Miller Lite FedEx's DirecTV to M&M With T-Mobile Call to Burt Reynolds

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Some celebrities do their thing, have their day and then quietly disappear. Not Burt Reynolds. After his Deliverance and Smokey and the Bandit days, there were his Boogie Nights days. Over 150 movie and TV appearances since he began his career. Now, perhaps tired of acting for ego-maniacal, self-centered, Hollywood directors, Burt turned to ego-maniacal, self-centered, New York advertising agencies popping up in FedX ads, DirecTV ads, Miller Lite ads, Kodak ads, T-Mobile ads and now M&M's BecomeAnMM campaign spotted by Copyranter in the March issue of InStyle. Surely Depends is next.

by Steve Hall    Feb-22-07    
Topic: Campaigns, Celebrity



Hardaway Actually Is Irresistible to Gays, to His Chagrin

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Tim Hardaway chases his recent anti-gay remarks with an apology that's feeble at best. Meanwhile gay comedian and activist George Takei makes a judicious retort, assuring the paranoid Tim he's not only liked by gays; he's liked by gays.

An apt response. There's even a bit of rubbing, and who can do without maniacal laughter?

by Angela Natividad    Feb-22-07    
Topic: Celebrity, Good, Television



Guy Spews ESPN News Out of His Ass

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We don't have confirmation that this is a sanctioned ESPN commercial but we don't really care. It's funny. And that's all that really matters. We think we may have seen this before too so go easy with those "Dude, this shit is old" emails. That, or we've seen so many ads they all look the same.

How may times have you told someone they're talking out of their ass? Well, the guy in this ESPN News spot gets so much information from ESPN that he spews sports news out of his ass. You have to admit, that "problem" is a lot less smelly that what usually comes out of your ass.

by Steve Hall    Feb-21-07    
Topic: Commercials, Good, Video



Rubenesque Ruby Hawks Soothing Self Esteem Message

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Adhurl brings our attention to Ruby, The Body Shop's attempt to cash in on the real beauty hype. In addition to the pear-shaped doll, the website purveys tips on self-esteem and being an all-around better person instead of just a skinnier one. Because we all know where that path leads.

We dig the idea of perpetuating an equal-opportunity beauty myth. We just don't think chubbier dolls are the answer. When we were kids, this isn't stuff we thought about.

We played with dolls because dolls were awesome. We didn't care if they were Amazonian like the short-lived Maxi or small as Polly Pocket. We didn't even care that most were blonde; once we hit a certain age we cut all the hair off anyway. And forget Barbie for a minute - is anybody checking up on the psychological repurcussions of Glo Worms or Teletubbies?

by Angela Natividad    Feb-21-07    
Topic: Campaigns, Online, Packaging, Social



Burden of Inch Angst Now Shared by Both Sexes

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We grow ever nearer to the elusive notion of gender equality. Don't believe us? Now men aren't the only ones breaking a sweat over the measuring tape.

Start your conditioning on the merits of the designer vagina right here. And to think! Just a few years ago the makers of Gattaca thought perfection paranoia would end in pursuit of good health, pretty eyes and sharp minds. The devil is always in the details.

by Angela Natividad    Feb-21-07    
Topic: Online, Racy, Strange, Trends and Culture



Sweet Home Alabama Likens Sex Toys to Prostitution

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Boing Boing reports some news that bummed us out. The 11th US Circuit Court of Appeals just upheld a new Alabama statute that bans commercial distribution of sex toys, comparing such stimulation to prostitution.

It is "unlawful for any person to knowingly distribute any obscene material or any device designed or marketed as useful primarily for the stimulation of human genital organs," says the statute.

We hang our heads for any state stripped of the right to experience Lelo, more a high culture bearer than detractor by any measure. Boing Boing also points out that while the gentle vibrator has gone into exile, guns are still A-OK. What a consolation!

by Angela Natividad    Feb-21-07    
Topic: Policy, Strange



Perelli Debuts New Film Staring Uma Thurman

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Following last year's The Call, Pirelli has a new film called Mission Zero which stars Uma Thurman who begins her day driving a yellow sports car when she passes a kid who, apparently, is helping a group track her down. At a stop light, she is attacked by some killers who chase her through the streets, over bridges and around lots and lots of corners. She ends up in a diner, makes a call and then realizes the people in the diner are after her too. She escapes and hits the road again only to meet up with a telephone worker who turns out to be a sniper. After much more tire squealing and bullet wholes, Uma then...oh...just watch the film to find out. We don't want to spoil the ending.

It's nice work. It's watchable. It's certainly better than your average television commercial.

by Steve Hall    Feb-21-07    
Topic: Good, Video



Reporters without Borders Poses Press Freedom Question

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Why visit the Maldives? For the lack of air conditioning, professional torture methods and occasional loaf of stale bread, of course. Offer for journalists only.

In its ongoing mission to drive home the importance of press freedom, Reporters without Borders runs this sad set of PSAs that invite watchdogs, travel agency-style, to exotic locales for a taste of the hard knocks. We particularly like Cuba.

The no-freedom-without-press-freedom line has probably been repeated from the birth of unregulated reporting (read: gossip) but takes on a new meaning these days. While the country pores over Britney's latest attempt at relevance and Googles news coverage on Anna Nicole postmortem, we haven't any idea what zany hijinks Bush is cooking up on the regular.

Is this a symptom or a forfeiture of genuine press freedom? Before answering that question, maybe we should work out what exactly it is the press does. There's enough news coverage now to spark any interest, so is it just a matter of mainstream priority what appears on legit news sources?

Does the public indeed determine media coverage, or is the media managed by bourgie-ass interest groups and corporations? What does it actually mean to have press freedom, anyway?

by Angela Natividad    Feb-21-07    
Topic: Campaigns, Magazine, Poster, Social







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