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Hank Lends Rhapsodic Comfort to Emo Adfolk

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We've all experienced the heart-crushing feeling of losing the perfect demo because it was too costly, the estate was too stingy or because some crappy local band promised your creative director they'd do a more contemporary cover. With this soul-searing emotion in mind, Taxi New York brings the concept of Hank to life.

In pseudo-disease style a promo video for the site showcases symptoms of demo-longing, performed with impressive desolation by some faces in the ad and marketing world. What does Hank do? Pair the afflicted with the fully-licensable tracks of their dreams, of course.

We considered shedding a tear for the suffering but decided to kick a kitten instead. They're always getting in the way of our feet.

by Angela Natividad    Apr- 2-07    
Topic: Online, Strange



Ad Council Lays Smack Down on Gen-Y Exhibitionists

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Here's a campaign that's too relevant for comfort. Merkley + Partners get cozy with the Ad Council -- which was recently in bed with the US Army for a grammatically icky and unconvincing get-edumakayted campaign -- to inflict fear upon teens for more conservative internet practices.

Part peer pressure, part plain creepiness and all mortification, the spots are entitled Bulletin Board and Everyone Knows Your Name. A typically over-informative PR tells us it's meant to raise awareness about online sexual exploitation but could just as easily be a cautionary wrist-slap over the ever-growing epidemic of Google-happy employers.

more »

by Angela Natividad    Apr- 2-07    
Topic: Campaigns, Online, Radio, Social, Television



Sunsilk Advances Women's Cause With Hair Color Showdown

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Hmm. Let's think. How can we launch a campaign that celebrates the advancement of women and their transformation from refrigerator advertisement decoration to glass-ceiling breaking CEOs and Presidential hopefuls? Ooo. Ooo...we got it! A campaign that rests solely on hair color and pits blondes against brunettes in an intelligence challenge. Now that's sure to remove any doubt we'd be positioning women as objects of desire, right? Sunsilk thinks so.

by Steve Hall    Apr- 2-07    
Topic: Games, Online



FWA Wins, Runaway Bride Campaigns, WMA Calls, Goodby Scoops

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- Chicago Tribune writer Steve Johnson thinks the U.K.'s Favorite Website Awards is the best online awards site out there.

- The Runaway bride is now an ad campaign for the Albuquerque, New Mexico Police department.

- The Web Marketing Association has announced its call for entries for its 11th annual WebAward Competition which judges website development against peer sites within 96 industries. The deadline for entry is May 31, 2007 and the competition Website is www.webaward.org.

- MDC Partners is merging Kirshenbaum Bond + Partners with Margeotes Fertitta Powell.

- Cisco is sponsoring the redesign of Slate's forum, The Fray. Forum members will have the opportunity to make design and feature suggestions and vote of potential designs.

- Goodby gets goodies in the form of $1.2 billion dollars worth of Sprint Nextel business.

- Patron Tequila gets slapped for using sexual imagery and innuendo to sell its wares.

by Steve Hall    Apr- 2-07    
Topic: Agencies, Brands, Industry Events, Strange



MSNBC.com Launches 'Fuller Speculum...Uh...Spectrum of News'

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With rss-fed online banners, 33 topic-specific print ads, an online game, screensavers, television and an in-cinema game, MSNBC has kicked off an ad campaign with the tagline "The Fuller Spectrum of News" "which exemplifies the captivating journey and multiple perspectives of news, entertainment and information consumers explore on the site." Hmm. whatever happened to just reporting the news? Oh yea, everyone else does that. Marketing 101: product differentiation. Silly us. Anyway, SS+K created the campiagn, BEAM is handling online executions and Fuel Industries whipped up "Newsbreaker" the RSS-fed online and in-cinema game. Check out the creative here.

by Steve Hall    Apr- 2-07    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns



Kenneth Cole Uses AIDS to Sell Fashion

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Kenneth Cole is having fun again. This time with AIDS. He's making AIDS fashionable. Well, sort of. Nothing like showing a hot fashion chic to attract attention and then slapping the tagline "we're all potential carriers" to repel with plague-like force. Oh wait. AIDS is kind of like the plague and even hot models can get it so we'll just shut up now and let Ken do his thing.

UPDATE: Even more Kenneth Cole idiocy. This time with weapons of mass destruction.

by Steve Hall    Apr- 2-07    
Topic: Bad, Celebrity, Magazine



Seven Eleven Finally Evolves Into Kwik-E-Mart

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As kids we actually thought Kwik-E-Mart was a real but mislabeled place, and now Seven Eleven will make the mistake easier for the next generation to make by (possibly) gussing up 11 of their stores as Kwik-E-Marts.

The liaison hasn't been officially inked but it's part of a joint promotional effort for The Simpsons Movie. The tricked-out stores will include beloved Simpsons products like Buzz Cola, KrustyO's Cereal and Squishees.

This would be way funnier if Kwik-E-Mart rip-offs didn't already exist. As things stand, a chain of stores toting the name exist in Minnesota. Strangely, there is also one in downtown Pittsburgh. And while you probably can't get KrustyO's at these locales you can probably get Spooners, which can't be much better and boast an equally psychotic-looking mascot.

by Angela Natividad    Apr- 2-07    
Topic: Campaigns, Good



Northwestern Mutual Eliminates Worries. 'Bob Garfield' Comments

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An Adrants reader sums up this Northwestern Mutual site perfectly, writing, "It won't make me buy their financial products but it's fun." Visit Wreck Your Worries, type in a worry and choose from four tools you can then use to destroy your worries. It was very theraputic but we'd agree with the reader. After we finished hammering away all our daily worries, we just left. Yup, we didn't buy any life insurance. Not a bit.

Looking over our shoulder as we wrote, our blowup Bob Garfield doll, standing stoically but mildly deflated from all the darts we've tossed while in the corner of our office, was heard saying, "Oh shut up Adrants! You guys are idiots! I know what you're all about! You'll do anything to piss people off with your lame-ass commentary!" OK. Sorry, Bob. We promise we'll read your Chaos Theory piece now. [Ed. To be clear, the real Bob Garfield didn't say this. He gets mad when you put words in his mouth so we thought we'd be clear on that point. OK? Good.]

by Steve Hall    Apr- 2-07    
Topic: Games, Online



Marketers: Meet the New Consumer

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Freelance Creative Gabe Chouinard is a consumer. Not just any consumer but a new consumer and he wants marketers to know this. As part of our random and completely irregular guest columnist series, Gabe authored a piece entitled "I Am the New Consumer" in which he summarizes many of the points we have made here over the years. Things are different. People are in control. Marketers and not. Things must change. Marketers must listen.

While change doesn't happen overnight nor should it, the tidal wave is approaching and every one of us ought to accept it and be prepared for that shift. In his article, Gabe mentions the pointlessly idiotic Flashturbation (our words) most marketers engage in when creating their facade on the web. Wouldn't it make more sense if the focus of a brand's external image actually included a free flowing, ever-changing conversation made up of people's comments and opinions of the brand and the company's reaction/response to those comments? That would certainly fair far batter than arriving at a site that's just a pretty picture and mindless marketing blather. Yes companies have blogs which help serve a conversational purpose but currently, they are off on their own and, for the most part, not an integral part of the company's face. That should change.

more »

by Steve Hall    Apr- 2-07    
Topic: Opinion, Trends and Culture



3D Orbit Ball Rolls Circles Around Our Spare Time

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We have a love/hate relationship with Candystand, whom we've reviewed so often we ought to be on their payroll.

We think they know it.

To fully leverage our weakness for time-wasting single-person games and sell us candy at the same time, they've come out with yet another such offering called Orbit Spherez. (Guess what candy they're pushing.) It merits a NSFW rating. Be careful.

Our only big beef: what's up with the laggage? We are not fans of laggage.

by Angela Natividad    Apr- 1-07    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Games, Good



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