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Industry Leaders Address Pending Recession

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Just why is it the more senior the executive, the more buffoonish and meaningless their commentary becomes? Advertising Age asked ten industry leaders to comment of the impending recession and what it means to the ad business. Many, from TNS Senior VP Jon Swallen to KIA Motors CMO Ian Beavis to Bear Sterns Analyst Alexia Quadrani to Pizza Hut CMO Brian Niccol offer insight and concise detail on what they see happening in the market and what their companies are doing to keep moving ahead in a downturn.

DraftFCB Chairman-CEO Howard Draft confirms our hypothesis with this bland commentary, saying, "I remain cautiously confident. At this point, we're not seeing any major client cutbacks. Our budgets remain on track." Hey, we all want to be upbeat but would it have been so difficult for Howard to leave press release speak behind and actually offer the industry something meaningful?

by Steve Hall    Jan-14-08    
Topic: Bad, Trends and Culture



Porsche Cayenne GTS Launch the Last Work For Carmichael Lynch

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Finishing up its work for Porsche as the account shifts to Cramer-Krasselt, Carmichael Lynch, which landed Subaru without review in November, has released its last work for Porsche. To launch the Cayenne GTS in the states, Carmichael Lynch created a new TV spot and, along with Fabric Interactive, a new website which is currently counting down to the vehicles January 28 launch.

In the commercial, a Cayenne driver ascends the mountains overlooking LA and, in a nod to some sort of urban myth, revs its engine to which other Porsches respond. It's really that simple. The site doesn't have much on it for now other than the spot itself, a countdown clock and a little engine rev thingy. Hopefully, we'l see more January 28th.

by Steve Hall    Jan-14-08    
Topic: Agencies, Brands, Campaigns, Commercials, Online



Swiffer Needs Your Help For YouTube Contest

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Calling all bored creatives! Swiffer needs you! Swiffer has teamed with Warner music for a YouTube "Swiffer Break-up Music Video Contest" in which contestants create break up videos explaining how they broke up with their old cleaning product and switched to Swiffer. There's just one problem. There's only two entries so far. So, come one. Help out. Don't let let Swiffer suffer the embarrassment of hosting a YouTube contest in which no one participates. Besides, you could win $15,000.

by Steve Hall    Jan-14-08    
Topic: Good, Promotions, Video



Scooby Doo Sleuths Nab Cable Guy For DIRECTV

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OK, who doesn't love Scooby Doo? But this spot featuring the clan just doesn't seem to click. It's not really the agency's (Deutsch LA) fault. It's more the fault of the notion you can just suddenly implant a commercial message in the middle of a cartoon and everything will go swimmingly; no one will notice the blunt transition from show-focused action to commerce-focused action. Everyone notices.

In this commercial for DIRECTV, the sleuths have caught a cable guy who was trying to stop everyone from switching from cable because DIRECTV carries more high definition programming, We go from Shaggy's "Zoinks!" directly to Velma's droll commercial message quicker than you avert your eyes from that Donny Deutsch Speedo shot. While these transitions are never seamless, this one just seems a bit blunt. Hmm. Maybe that's why they're calling it the 4th wall campiagn.

by Steve Hall    Jan-14-08    
Topic: Celebrity, Commercials, Creative Commentary



Ford Slaps Brand Enthusiasts, Returns Love With Legal Punch

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While brands certainly don't want people using their products, logos and other related imagery to create products of their, own, the hammer that Ford legal dropped on the Black Mustang Club seems a bit heavy handed. Recently the club created a calendar which contained images of club members' cars photographed by the members themselves. Ford didn't take kindly to this and asked CafePress, the service the group had chosen to print the calendars, to kill the project claiming all the images in the calendar are the property of Ford...including the Black Mustang Club logo (this has been clarified in the update below. in actuality, it was CafePress which, based on past Ford trademark dealings, initially refused to print the calendar).

It's understandable that a brand would and should do everything it can to protect itself from any kind of potential negative effect but to attack a group of people who, clearly, love the product in question simply for showing their love of that product is, well, idiotic and more harmful to the brand had they done nothing at all.

more »

by Steve Hall    Jan-14-08    
Topic: Brands, Consumer Created, Specialty, Worst



Sony VAIO TZ Takes Flight in New Hispanic, Latin America Campaign

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To introduce Sony's ultra light VAIO TZ, Los Angeles-based agency Ignited has taken the light-as-paper metaphor to heart with new print, outdoor and TV work, part of the brand's ongoing "Like No Other" campaign. While we're not sure we'd be fond of our laptop suddenly fluttering off in the wind or getting snagged and carried off by a flock of doves, we do think the metaphor is beautifully crafted. Besides, we still have faint memories of high school physics and realize that, even at 2.5 pounds, the TZ isn't likely to stay aloft for too long.

more »

by Steve Hall    Jan-14-08    
Topic: Campaigns, Commercials, Good, Magazine, Outdoor, Television



Woman Who Doesn't Need to Lose Weight Bangs Head to Lose Weight

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People are always trying to lose weight. There are millions of books written to help people lose weight. We have health clubs on every corner. And we have an endless supply or advertising urging us to do the wackiest of things to lose that weight.

Created by BSUR Agency and directed by First on Mars director Hugo Keijzer, we have yet another ad (for Get in Shape magazine) which mocks all those wacky methods by using a wacky method of its own. There's only one problem with this ad. The woman in the ad is perfectly fit and doesn't need to lose any weight at all. Though she does strip down to her underwear and that's never a bad thing in advertising.

by Steve Hall    Jan-11-08    
Topic: Commercials, Good, Strange



PETA Advances Vegetarian Viewpoint With 'Road to the Greenhouse'

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Rather than the road to the White House, PETA gives us its Road to the Greenhouse which gives us candidates such as Selery Clinton, Fruity Giuliana, Broccoli Obama, Dijon McCain, John Breadwards, Mike Huckelberry, Spread Thompson and more. Predictably, the questions to the candidates deal mostly with diet and the advocation of a vegitarian lifestyle. Still, it's funny.

by Steve Hall    Jan-11-08    
Topic: Cause, Good, Strange, Video



Gawker Eschews Ad Networks For 'Non-Ad' Gawker Artists Ads

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Gawker Media, publisher of the famed Gawker, Defamer, Lifehacker and other blogs, has, over the years, experimented in various ways with generating advertising revenue. One of the tactics they put in place a while back was to forgo the use of ad networks to fill its unsold, remnant space and, instead, offer it to artists with its Gawker Artists programs.

Gawker Artists is a collection of Gawker-published artists who benefit from the wide reach of Gawker Media blogs, gaining awareness they'd otherwise have to pay for. You see, Gawker Media doesn't charge for the ad space or for the artist's appearance on in Gawker Artists website.

more »

by Steve Hall    Jan-11-08    
Topic: Cause, Tools, Weblogs



Hammerhead Advertising Gets Hammered in Promotional Videos

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The phone goof thing can go either way. Unfortunately, in real life, phone calls like this actually do happen so it's not surprising Hoboken New Jersey agency Hammerhead Advertising (nope, we've never heard of them either) used the goof scenario for its new video campaign. In each of the three videos, Hammerhead new business guy Mark Rowe is pummeled by idiotic new business prospects who make fun of his last name, the last four digits of the agency's phone number (1313), the agecy's name (it's "macho"), ask him to undergo a strip search, repeat the phone number ad naseum and accuse him of selling laxative chocolate.

Having, ourselves, suffered a stint in new business for an ad agency, we can personally identify with Mark's frustration as he deals with these VP's of Idiocy on the phone. Our favorite video is Chocolate Man in which Mark is verbally sparred with by a gay sounding man as only a gay sounding man can.

more »

by Steve Hall    Jan-11-08    




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