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Lavazza Grinds Beans the Way We Like It

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Apparently Italy, Adrants and the dependable folk at Caffeine Marketing share a palate when it comes to coffee. Here's a coffee campaign that draws our attention in a way no Folger's ad ever could. Copy reads, "Italy's favorite coffee."

For Lavazza of Italy, ad photographer Eryk Fitkau marries the heady effects of raw, unadulterated coffee beans to equally intoxicating raw flesh. We're being sucked into the texture of the ad as we speak. We can almost smell it.

Oh ick. Coffee beans are oily. Romping around in them must be even worse than sand. And the smell! God the smell!

We've been focusing too long. Check out a variation of the ad right here.

by Angela Natividad    Mar-15-07    
Topic: Good, Magazine, Racy



Wrigley Starts Solstice Sweepstakes, Makes Good on Digg

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In its ongoing effort to deluge us with distractions, Wrigley's Candystand pulls yet another promotion out of its candy ... self.

After a brief registration process you, yes you, can take part in a sweepstakes for a Pontiac Solstice. The Wrigley/GM contest is heavily branded with information on the Big E Pack, which contains an inordinate illogical amount of Eclipse gum (over 60 pieces!!!). Its unique packaging and the way it's hocked on the short sweepstakes introduction ("Keep one on the counter ... in a desk...") brings baby wipes to mind.

While we're here we might as well tell you about Candystand's sequel to Flash Element TD, lamely titled Flash Circle TD.

David Scott of the original Flash Element assisted in creating the Wrigley-fied remix. It's doing nicely on Digg, whose community doesn't seem to mind that the game is swathed in LifeSavers ads. It did spark an interesting conversation on idea-ripping though.

Who'd have guessed candy would mesh well with cars or even consoles, for that matter. What is the point of candy anyway?

by Angela Natividad    Mar-15-07    
Topic: Games, Online



Old Farts Fight With Wise-Ass Youngsters Over Ageism

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A recent thread in an industry forum focused on the issue of age and ageism in advertising. Like diversity, it's a hot issue and people take sides. One line of thinking holds "old folks" have no business in the industry because they are inflexible and unable to learn new things. Another line of thinking holds there's no replacement for experience.

While ageism is alive and well, it doesn't make it right. Attitudes that assume anyone over a certain age isn't capable of adding value are alive and well but that doesn't make them right. That line of thinking is idiotically stereotypical and lacks any consideration for the individual's, whether 20 or 80, ability to do a particular job well. It's like saying because you're a woman, all you should do is stay home and cook. Or, because you're black, you should just pursue a career as a hip hop artist. These are stereotypical statements with no basis in fact.

more »

by Steve Hall    Mar-15-07    
Topic: Opinion



Knitting Needles Take Stabs at Time, Stress

We can think of few things less sexy or exciting than knitting. But Balendu at Adpunch points us to this campaign by Katia, which illustrates the slogan "Kill [Time/Stress], Knit" with a knitting needle stabbed into a phone (for stress) and a clock (for time). A creatively knit puddle of blood running from the gash dribbles down to the floor. The red thread against stark white makes the whole thing deliciously dark.

Pulling off racy knitting humour is a feat worthy of laud. And maybe a knitting needle purchase or two. But we can't just credit Katia; CIA Comunicacion out of Barcelona brainstormed the idea. We wonder what kind of intra-office accident went down in the creative department before they came up with it.

by Angela Natividad    Mar-15-07    
Topic: Best, Magazine



Mo'Nique's Charm School Hits VH1, Ladyfies Hoodrats

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No one ever gets tired of fully-developed women in school uniforms or reality television. Why not mash them up?

That's the logic behind VH1's Charm School, a reality show hosted by Mo'Nique and featuring chicks with names like Pumkin, Smiley, Goldie, Bootz, Buckey and Buckwild. We don't know how well the show will pan out but we are big proponents of the charm school thing. Charm school worked for us! Before our intervention we were mobbin' down 65th and answering to the name of Snake-Eyez.

Glad those days are over. But apparently the journey's worth watching. Tune in; at the very least you get to see a bunch of chicks talk about how they take pictures and hug people all day, and what could be funner than that?

by Angela Natividad    Mar-15-07    
Topic: Television



Pedestrian Traffic Signals Get All Gang Like On Each Other's Ass

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Have you ever wondered what life must be like as a lonely pedestrian traffic light? No, neither have we but Snickers has in what appears to be a commercial for the oh-so-gooey, rich-and-chewy, homophobic but not homophobic Snickers bar. There's nothing like dueling colors livening up the hood with a little street fighting.

by Steve Hall    Mar-15-07    
Topic: Good



Truf Flips Off Hegemony, Bares Self for the People

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Seeking to position itself as a no-bullsh*t kind of agency, Truf does two things most agencies wouldn't: lets consumers know they exist, and shakes up the belief system we've worked so hard to make normal.

The results are provocative indeed. Their self-promoting Youtube campaign kicks off with Junkie and Flamer, both of which manipulate sights, sounds and timing to juxtapose taboos and norms. Is there really a rhyme or reason to which social habits get accepted and which don't? That's what the basis seems to be behind the masthead question, "Where Does the Truth Lie?"

We like Truf's manifesto and think agencies can only benefit from making themselves more personable to the culture, which grows increasingly more curious about what we're doing and who we are. Why not fuel the flames?

We also like the campaign for other reasons. When you think about it, it hasn't been too long since the first time we heard people were injecting botulism into their faces. WTF, mate? How did that become a slumber party activity?

by Angela Natividad    Mar-15-07    
Topic: Agencies, Best, Video



SXSW: Tune in Isn't A Turn On

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While television content may be king, the overall user experience is moving in to claim checkmate. How we interact and interpret television currently is on a static plane of directional geography: surfing channels up, down, left, and right. Helping break the tangible and virtual norms at the recent SXSW conference, David Merkoski (Frog Design) narrated the audience through an up and coming product yet to hit the markets.

Appropriately titled Mondrian, the product set to go public next year, is a TV navigation and recommendation Zoomable User Interface (ZUI) that attempts to rethink TV user interaction. A few major differences with Mondrian is that a user no longer needs to be stuck within nested menus while navigating and it has an active anticipation engine that takes in the content, time, and environment you watch in to build a profile and recommendations. It goes without saying that Mondrian becomes an easy target for Big Brother contextual advertisers. While there have already been proposals for all-advertising channels within the ZUI grids, Merkoski remained unclear on any efforts to save the product from advertising overload.

more »

by Ariel Waldman    Mar-15-07    
Topic: Industry Events, Television



SXSW: Tinker Toys For Technologists

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This week, SXSW Interactive featured a keynote conversation with Limor Fried (Adafruit Industries) and Phil Torrone (MAKE Magazine). Hacking the DIY culture, Torrone and Fried discussed the techniques of tinkering with technology. With examples such as the Bacon Alarm Clock, skin-embedded RFID chips, and the recent Gummy Bear Chandelier, the panelists whetted the audience's palate with a selection of delicious DIY snacks.

Hacktivism culture has been spreading at a rapid rate as of late. Simply said, "People make weird and bizarre things," Torrone stated in response to the movement. Sharing "recipes" has now become commonplace among tinkering communities and unlike dating, you're not slapped if you show all your intimate parts too soon.

more »

by Ariel Waldman    Mar-14-07    
Topic: Industry Events, Online, Social



Wheatpaste Street Art Speaks for Absence of Homeless

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We like to think of street art as advertising that pushes back. After all, even graffiti's got its own idea to sell.

Wooster Collective points us to some paste-on street art by Mike Newton, who says, "I noticed how the police would move the homeless from street to street, doorway to doorway around the town. This gave me the inspiration for my latest piece 'removing me won't solve the problem,' a kind of twist on the removal of graffiti."

A similar campaign we once conducted also involved reintroducing absent social pariahs to their natural environments. But we don't think our parents were super thrilled when we wandered into the kitchen wearing Mom's "Like a Virgin" outfit during Pops' business dinner. We bet it left a lasting impression, though.

by Angela Natividad    Mar-14-07    
Topic: Good, Guerilla, Social



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