Invasive Eyeballs Put Pressure on Chinese Volleyball Team


If you've been following Adidas' "Impossible is Nothing" campaign for the Beijing Olympics, you're probably familiar with the format by now. Here's the final ad, featuring Feng Kun of the Chinese Volleyball Association and some disembodied eyes that are supposed to represent a Watchful Nation.

The pressure's on. I had that feeling at a spelling bee once. Unlike the CVA, I did not win my gold.

Previous spots: Together, Zheng Zhi and Hu Jia.

by Angela Natividad    Jun- 9-08    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Commercials, Events, Sponsorship, Television

I Could Be Wrong, But I'm Pretty Sure This Would Piss I.M. Pei Off


Apple is set to open its first France-based retail store right underneath the Louvre Pyramid. The store will be two stories high and will sit alongside brands like Sephora, Esprit and Virgin.

The Fortune blog -- linked above -- noted the Louvre Pyramid, which was built by I.M. Pei, would complement Apple's glass-encased Manhattan Fifth Ave. store nicely.

The image at left comes courtesy of Why Travel to France. It isn't likely Apple will totally appropriate the Pyramid -- but hell, Steve Jobs is a really persuasive guy. All he has to do is hold a conference in front of the museum and go, "This is going to be ... insanely great." (For effect, maybe he can whip a lighter, faster Pyramid out of an envelope.)

Who'll argue? Sarkozy? The Wall Street Journal? God? No.

by Angela Natividad    Jun- 9-08    
Topic: Brands, Outdoor, Packaging

Search Engines Sipped, Hitler Plays Hillary, Boston Gets Fish-Faced, Charney Pushes Package, Hello Kitty Gets Stuffed


- FunAdvice mashed up top search engine and soft drink brands, under the premise that search engines today inspire us the way colas once did. Hrm.

- Hitler plays the fated Hillary in this emotional Nazi interpretation of the Clinton/Obama nominee race. The best part is when he shouts "The DNC has thwarted my destiny!" while the women tremble in his midst. It wasn't as funny as Hitler Gets Banned though.

- Legal Sea Foods' "Fresh Fish" ads piss off the easily-rattled Bostonians. The MBTA decided to pull the ads after Green Line workers took offense to them. (Some ads said things like "This conductor has a face like a halibut." Touchy much?)

- Penis advertising gets you everywhere. Especially if you're Dov "The Colonel" Charney. Horrors.

- Build-a-Bear Workshop is partnering with Sanrio to let kids build Tropical Hello Kittys. "Tropical Hello Kitty's sun-kissed look is perfect for summer and we're certain that she'll be a big hit," says Dave Marchi of Sanrio. But will that sun-kissed pelt betray her age?

ZobZee to Kill FriendFeed, Put Twitter Out of Misery


Apparently in the works for over six months, ZobZee promises to be the the killer social app which will put Twitter out of its misery and lend some order to the insanity that is FriendFeed. ZobZee's premise? Why type when you can just think your social inanities and have them automatically shared with the world?

more »

by Steve Hall    Jun- 9-08    
Topic: Social, Spoofs

Enjoy what you've read? Subscribe to Adrants Daily and receive the daily contents of this site each day along with free whitepapers.

She's Got Junk Mail and You Don't Want It


So a mail delivery temptress shows up and your doorstep and says, "I've got some mail here. Where do you want me to put it?" Do you grab the mail, throw in on the ground then grab the girl and throw her on your bed?" Perhaps you do if mail isn't a bad thing but in this case it's junk mail and it isn't something you want to catch.

This being an ad for junk mail reduction service, ProQuo, you don't have to worry about catching anything from the mail hottie and you can proceed with the throwing her on the bed part of your day worry free.

There's more videos like this here.

by Steve Hall    Jun- 9-08    
Topic: Video

Former Firebrand Execs Launch Ad Agency


What do you do when your company fails, investors pull out and your industry derides your business model? You wake up, say "fuck it," leverage all the bad press you got and start all over again. Former Firebrand CMO and other former Firebrand employees have banded together to launch FireMedia Partners, a company which will "provide brands with integrated solutions for marketing across today's emerging media." In other words, an ad agency. Like we need another one of those.

Levanthal explains (without forgetting to tout Firebrand apparent "success"), saying, "The knowledge we gained from our Firebrand experience was invaluable, beginning with the streaming video website, the downloadable playlists, the nightly TV show and, of course, the launch marketing campaign. The integrated effort, which combined traditional media with search marketing and social media networking, garnered over 2 million television viewers per week, generated over 250,000 unique visitors, and saw over 100,000 playlist downloads -- all in just 90 days."

more »

by Steve Hall    Jun- 9-08    
Topic: Agencies

CNBC-Created FedEx Spoof Ad Craps on UPS' Big Brown Belmont Loss


CNBC sports business reporter Darren Rovell, citing UPS' recent end to its winning streak with Big Brown in the Belmont horse race which was part of a larger event sponsorship, proposes the ad FedEx should run in response. With help from CNBC in-house designer Florence, created an ad with the headline "Big Brown...if you're not first, your last." Witty.

by Steve Hall    Jun- 9-08    
Topic: Brands, Events, Sponsorship, Spoofs

Is that a Bike Rack, or Are You Just Happy to See Me?


To promote Tom of Finland, a new manly-man scent from Etat Libre d'Orange, Ogilvy/Paris attached naughty images to protruding public fixtures.

Tom of Finland was a gay comic and erotica artist dedicated to preserving his craft. The Ogilvy street images follow his aesthetic.

About the scent: Antoine Lie, who created the fragrance, says the perfume manifests "a guy coming out of a shower. He's clean, but not fragranced. And he puts on leather pants."

Um, okay then. Onto the ads (with captions thoughtfully imagineered by me):

o Hard-ons on the promenade
o Dent-resistant elephant tusk
o Length isn't everything
o Warholian meter maids. Got a quarter for the big boys?
o Leaning tower of indefatigable self-esteem
o "...I guess I'm just lucky, Tad. As far as I can tell, I'm the only man capable of hugging my best friend."

The campaign started running in San Francisco at the beginning of June. They also appeared in Paris' Marais, a big gay hot-spot, last weekend.

Thanks to in:fluencia for the tip-off, and to Adrants reader Chris for the video of the Parisian wheatpasters (linked above).

by Angela Natividad    Jun- 9-08    
Topic: Brands, Guerilla, Poster, Promotions, Racy

Rock Fight, HKM Merge to Form Hello & Co.


Hello & Co., the lovechild of two merged production companies, tapped Crush, Toronto to promote its debut.

The result was this animated film, where a bunch of Lemming-like squiggly-folk plop signs marked "Rock Fight" and "HKM" onto the base of a radio tower. Then the signs melt together to form Hello & Co.

Which is pretty much what happened in real life.

See Hello & Co.'s list of directors. (What's going on with the technicolor dream-fonts?)

by Angela Natividad    Jun- 9-08    
Topic: Promotions, Video

Amsterdam A Damn Good City With Damn Good Beer


Oh look. Amsterdam is cool. It's full of perfectly hipsterific people who dress colorfully, ride bikes, play stupid games on lamp poles, ride bikes, dance in the streets, ride bikes, hang out at delis, have big street celebrations, ride bike and, oh, ride bikes.

Oh wait. And they like to drink Amstel Light too because, well, Amsterdam is a Damn Good City for Damn Good Times with Damn Good Beer.

Or, at least, The Richards Group says so.

by Steve Hall    Jun- 9-08    
Topic: Commercials

Yawn, Guy Proposes On Billboard. Oh Wait, No. It's A Diamond Ad


In yet another example no new ideas exist in the world of advertising, yet another innocent personal human gesture has been usurped and turned into a a marketing ploy. You've seen the marriage proposal billboard before. It's even been written about here on Adrants but, as several of our readers have pointed out our search feature sucks ass, no previous articles could be found.

So why write about another one? Because this time, it's not innocent. Oh wait, maybe the other ones weren't either. We'll never know since we can't find what's been previously written and our memory is for shit, or as a friend recently said "Wait...what? I remember the body shots...but after that...everything gets a little...fuzzy."

more »

by Steve Hall    Jun- 9-08    
Topic: Outdoor

Why Use Your Brain when You Can Hassle a Rich Uncle?


"I didn't use my brain. I went straight to the financial aid office." That's the headline from the ad at left, which concludes with a tidy "thinking saves thousands at"

Wait a sec. Use your head, stick your hand out? I'm confused.

It turns out the ad is not referring to an exploitable loose-handed relative. My Rich Uncle is actually a national loan company. Visit the site and click on Engage Your Brain, which walks you through the process of applying for student aid.

That's useful and all, but come on. Sally's uncle gave her a trust fund; you're giving me a FAFSA sheet?

by Angela Natividad    Jun- 9-08    
Topic: Magazine, Online

Drink at Home, Real Ad Peeps Celebrated, ZobZee Saves Twitter


- Don't drink in public. Drink at home. This Brazilian beverage delivery company will save you from those unseemly, embarrassing late night moments. Of course, drinking at home, alone, without friends isn't exactly all that better now is it?

- So while Mad Men gives us a quaint, fictionalized look at advertising in the 1960's, the One Club exhibition "The Real Men and Women of Madison Avenue and Their Impact on American Culture," at the New York Public Library's Science, Industry and Business Library beginning June 24 celebrates, well, the real men and women of advertising.

- David&Goliath redesigns. Uses Pink! (Hey, they wanted to make that point in the press release)

- Ha, ha, ha!

by Steve Hall    Jun- 9-08    
Topic: Campaigns, Industry Events

Joy Division Sponsors Zune, Twitterati Defects for Plurk, Facebook Seeks Ad Feedback, John McCain Tells War Stories


- Maybe inspired by Apple's limited-edition U2 iPod, Microsoft is releasing a limited-edition Joy Division Zune.

- Expect downtime from Twitter when Steve Jobs takes the floor at WWDC.

- Speaking of Twitter, a lot of fed-up users are defecting to a fancy new site called Plurk. Plurk enables users to follow conversational threads, and encourages use with "karma" points and little gifts. Also, the colors are soothing.

- Facebook has launched an ad feedback feature.

- Filipinos aren't the only people featured in creepy dating ads.

- John McCain: put Obama in office if you want. But hey, if you do, EXPECT APOCALYPSE.

Apple! Mac! iPhone! Steve Jobs! WWDC! Why Do I Feel Like A Loser?


Today is Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference. If you don't own a Mac (I don't), don't own an iPhone (I don't) and don't live in San Francisco (I don't), clearly you are a loser of gargantuan proportions (I must be).

Is it a good thing or a bad thing when a brand has so much influence that it makes a person feel unworthy (I do) if they aren't a "club member?"

I've owned a Mac in its previous heydays (No, this is not the first time Apple has been insanely cool), but there was always one annoying thing that prevented me from coming back: some stupid employer edict, a must-have piece of software that wouldn't work on a Mac, an idiotic networking issue, the prevalence of cheap (though decidedly uncool) PCs, or the fact Club Mac simply didn't have the same sway Apple stores now do.

more »

by Steve Hall    Jun- 9-08    
Topic: Brands, Events, Opinion

Tabasco Brings Sizzle, and Possibly Some Confusion, to Antwerp Bus Service


Antwerp residents: if you're wondering why firetrucks are suddenly ubiquitous, slow-moving and sponsored by Tabasco, it's because those aren't firetrucks.

It's just your local buses, dressed like the life-saving vehicles they never grew up to become.

The bus-as-firetruck campaign was put together by Duval Guillaume, which explained -- slowly, so we could understand -- that "Tabasco is so hot that you need a fire truck to cool down your mouth after you've eaten some."

I wonder if that ladder gets hop-ons.

by Angela Natividad    Jun- 9-08    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Guerilla, Outdoor, Poster

Rhea Scott Talks Music Videos, Little Minx, Exquisite Corpse and Fresh Underpants


I recently got to sit down with Rhea Scott, Ridley Scott's daughter-in-law. (A breathy PR guy related that trivia to me about four times, which is why I mention it in the VERY. FIRST. SENTENCE.)

Rhea once headed the music video department at Propaganda. 10 years ago she started Little Minx, a production company focused on turning ad directors into filmmakers. From what I gathered in the film reels, directors are encouraged to treat each ad like a miniature manifesto. (It probably also helps to be a surrealist art fan.)

Little Minx is able to provide the necessary creative resources -- read: king-sized budget, the ideal artist's sponsorship -- through parent company RSA.

Rhea says the company was named for her second daughter, "the ultimate little minx" and the child actress in "Come Wander with Me," part of a promotional project called Exquisite Corpse.

more »

Featured FREE Resource: