UGC Can Reinforce Existing Brand Messages? Yes, Says Dove


According to Collective Intellect, which tracked brand lift for advertisers before and after the Academy Awards, Dove outdid 10 other major advertisers, elevating its position 500 percent with pre-show buzz.

Consistency, and refining an old model, were probably key. Dove rehashed last year's campaign strategy: appealing to audience members to produce and rate ads for its Cream Oil product. The winner was a woman named Celeste Wouden, whose spot lacks the slapstick, paging-Cartoon-Network! feel we've come to expect from UGC efforts. In fact, it looks like a stock Dove commercial (and for WAY less money).

Watch the ad at Runners-up can be seen in the gallery.

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Young Guns Calls, Facebook Beds, Typeface Yourself, Halle Berry Smells


- The Art Director's Club is holding its 6th annual Young Guns Awards. Call for entries opens April 3 and the judges consist of previous Young Guns winners.

- The Facebook application My Perfect Bedroom, created by TAMBA, lets you sex up your virtual bedroom...for you graduates of Disney's Webkinz.

- Have a little fun with the Extensis Typematching game where you can determine which typeface you are and match yourself to other typefaced (damn, there's a creative social network in that name somewhere!) people.

- Today, everyone's talking about Christvertising. We mentioned it back in December. Come on people!

- Now this billboard promoting New Zealand's premiere of American Psycho with an image of George Bush is just funny.

- HP? Goodby, Silverstein & Partners? McGarryBowen? A new CMO? Now that's a recipe for some gossip.

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by Steve Hall    Mar-14-08    
Topic: Celebrity, Games, Social

Naked Woman Dances Amongst Sea of Balloons


Now let's see. If we were a Hollywood visual content company that created stuff for music, fashion and advertising, what would be do to call attention to ourselves and win awards? Well, we'd film a naked woman frolicking in a room full of balloons, of course. Apparently this tactic is a good one because it won Best Web Film at the first annual Swerve Festival which celebrates "West Coast creative culture."

Called Tons of Balloons, the video does nothing but swallow the beauty of a half naked woman dancing around while white balloons gracefully move about in reaction to her movements. And, yes, it's very likely NSFW.

by Steve Hall    Mar-14-08    
Topic: Good, Industry Events, Video

Killer Vines Bring Varicose Nightmares to Waking Life


Yarg. To promote The Ruins -- a movie that, from what we can tell, is all about evil parasitic vines -- Ralph & Co. is encouraging internet users to disseminate this genuinely icky video. It literally hurts to watch and reminds us of this one time we had an ingrown hair that kept growing under our skin until finally... well, forget it.

Killer vines. Okay. Guess that's scarier than improbable monsters. But is it scarier than toothy vaginas and randy chlamydia?!! Well, maybe.

by Angela Natividad    Mar-14-08    
Topic: Good, Online, Promotions, Strange, Video

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Filth, Squalor and Vice Generate Pot Noodle Domino Effect


Pot Noodle's latest spot (released just in time for St. Patrick's Day!) isn't super-appetizing, but it kept us watching. It's a spoof on Guinness' Tipping Point, where a domino effect travels from a luxe office to the seedy interior of a village overflowing with costumed extras from every movie set ever.

Alternatively, Pot Noodle's Tipping Pot starts out with farts, bars and cigarette cartons before traveling through somebody's working-class home and ending ... well, you can guess.

We're not eating that. But we did make a dry coughing sound that approached a laugh, so ... cheers. See AKQA's previous Pot Noodle viral effort.

by Angela Natividad    Mar-14-08    
Topic: Campaigns, Online, Strange, Video

Pontiac G8 Gets Eighties Spy Hunter Treatment


Well here's a new (OK, new-ish) way to introduce a new car. So here's an ad for the new Pontiac G8 GT modeled after the early 80's driving game Spy Hunter. It's certainly different but it might cause viewers to wonder why there's suddenly a video game on their television screens.

Thankfully, it's better than yet another windy mountain road commercial. Well, sort of. Rather than windy mountain roads, this commercial gives us windy video game roads with wheel spikes and bombs and cars that wipe out for no apparent reason. The kids will love it. Even if they have no idea what Spy Hunter is/was.

by Steve Hall    Mar-14-08    
Topic: Commercials, Good

SXSW Interactive Summed Up Sketch Note-Style


If you missed SXSW Interactive in Austin earlier this week (don't miss it next year), you can capture some of the magic Cliff Notes-style with Mike Rohde's Sketchnotes. While sitting in sessions and in between sessions, Mike created 34 artistic sketches he made in his Moleskin while at the conference. You can see all the sketches on Mike's blog here or on Flickr.

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by Steve Hall    Mar-14-08    
Topic: Industry Events, Social

CementWorks Yields Quadruplets! Ouch.


To celebrate the birth of four distinct company arms (with four unique specializations), The CementWorks launched a baby shower campaign for quadruplets. Watch the intro on their website -- very cute. (Possibly painful.)

Dividing itself into four realms followed the logic of "growing big by growing small." Read more about The CementBloc, The IronWorks, The StoneWorks and The CementBond.

An agency with industrial chic. Ayn Rand would be so proud.

by Angela Natividad    Mar-14-08    
Topic: Agencies, Good, Online

Digg Founder to Keynote at ad:tech San Francisco


Having just returned from SXSW in Austin where the bleeding edge digerati share their wisdom regarding all things interactive, it's pleasing to know we'll be able to experience it again at ad:tech San Francisco where Digg Founder Kevin Rose, who was at SXSW, will be the closing keynote speaker Thursday, April 17 at 4:45PM. We captured him, along with Reddit and StumbleUpon founders, at an SXSW party. Now we'll be able to see him speak.

Other keynotes during ad:tech San Francisco, which is held April 15-7 at the Moscone Center, include NBC Universal Chief Digital Officer George Kliavkoff who will talk about how NBC is taking NBC's programming digital through the company's just launched Hulu (which rocks, by the way) and other outlets.

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by Steve Hall    Mar-14-08    
Topic: Industry Events

Bad Breath Burns Skin off Skulls, Says Scope


Test your breath on an innocent bystander, courtesy of Scope and the fine people at Dentsu and Crush (Toronto). What have you got to lose? It won't be the last thing that attacks your ego today.

by Angela Natividad    Mar-14-08    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Online

Loaded Pizza Pops Burst When Provoked


To show consumers their wannabe Hot Pockets are loaded with pizza stuff, Pizza Pops enlisted Cossette, Toronto, which got some boys that remind us of Smosh to star in these spots, Woodchipper and Campers. In each, the boys get a Pizza Pop to explode -- with results that would make Wes Craven beam. (Guess this whole dumbing-down-for-YouTube thing isn't over yet.)

The spots drive traffic to, which was hijacked by Citizens Against Pizza Pops, which is actually located at It has testimonials from people with pizza guts on their faces.

And that's about it, really.

by Angela Natividad    Mar-14-08    
Topic: Campaigns, Online, Video

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