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Dear Rance Crain: It's Time to Fire Bob Garfield

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Last week, we were sent a funny ad from AMV BBDO in which Mr. T guns down a speedwalker because it's just too goofy for Mr. T's style and, seemingly, for Snickers. Bob Garfield just reviewed it, gave it zero stars and called the thing...huh...homophobic? What a minute. What the fuck? Homophobic?? I'll be the first one to crap on an ad that is overtly homophobic but, seriously, WTF?? This is the furthest thing from homophobic. Homophobia NEVER crossed my mind when I reviewed this.

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by Steve Hall    Jul-21-08    
Topic: Commercials, Opinion, Worst



Dressed Like Cancer, Henry Winkler Dashes House of Cards

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Most sobering situations could use an inappropriate joke. Contributing to Stand Up to Cancer's "This is where the end of cancer begins" campaign, celebrities use donated airtime to make laughter, not bummer. See spots:

"Cancer patients and their chemo-induced baldness have stolen the sympathy that is rightfully mine." And that's why Larry David can't get laid.

Meanwhile, Henry Winkler plays cancer in the style of Epuron's infuriating Wind guy. "Did I bite you? ... I didn't mean to." Ahh. That Fonzie's still a riot after all these years.

More videos at the Stand Up to Cancer website, including one where the Daily Show says FU to cancer, and one where Katie Couric ... well, "Katie Couric" should be enough to make you laugh, actually.

by Angela Natividad    Jul-21-08    
Topic: Campaigns, Cause, Commercials, Good, Television



Virgin Wants to Put You on TV!

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To nurture the creative minds of future filmmakers, Virgin's "What Happens Next?" campaign poses three unfinished scenarios: "Kidnap," "Police" and "UFO." Each starts at a nowhere-ville diner called the Rattle 'n' Hum.

The snapshots are only a few seconds each and have a Tarantino sheen, so feel free to make use of your local leather-clad gimp. There's also a "designing" tool to help bring the pieces to their conclusions, which range from Devastatingly Minimal to Comic-Con.

Best entry wins TV time! Put together by Host/Sydney.

by Angela Natividad    Jul-21-08    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Consumer Created, Online, Television



Angela of Adrants to Interrogate ADs and Art Buyers for Shoot! the Day

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Tomorrow I'll be moderating a panel for Shoot! the Day, a stock photography conference put together by PhotoShelter. (See a recent study related to the topic.)

My panel is at 12:15pm. It will include:

  • Belinda Lopez, Senior Art Buyer, Strawberry Frog
  • Wanda Lau, Senior Art Director, Greater Than One
  • Jen Santiago, Managing Art Buyer, G2 Direct & Digital
  • Molly Aaker, Art Buyer, Unit7

My two biggest fears:

1) making a Twitter joke

2) boring my audience, which will consist of professional photographers. I'm clearly not one of them and I won't do justice to their angstiest stock photo/ad agency concerns, so I'll be leaving plenty of room for Audience Questions!.

Read about other Shoot! the Day panels at the PhotoShelter blog. And if you'd like to come watch me make awkward jokes and commit forehead-slapping faux-pas, here's how to volunteer for a free pass.

by Angela Natividad    Jul-19-08    
Topic: Events, Industry Events



Apple Removes Mad Men's Cigarrette

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In what can only be described as supremely idiotic, the cigarette in the hand of the man who appears in the famed Mad Men promotional image was digitally removed when it was placed on iTunes to promote the sale of Mad Men Season 1. WTF? Does Apple think everyone who downloads this show will then run out to the store and buy a pack of smokes so they can smoke while watching the show? Are people actually this stupid? WTF?

by Steve Hall    Jul-18-08    
Topic: Promotions, Worst



SWAT Summit Gets Social

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Yesterday at San Francisco's Westin St. Francis, Room Full of People held the SWAT Summit, a one day conference which covered the topic of social networking. Topics such as metrics, best practices, user engagement and social advertising were covered.

After Room Full of People CEO Christian Perry gave an engaging overview of Obama's brilliant use of social media as compared to McCain's abysmal use, IDC Research Analysts Caroline Dangson gave an overview of people's outlook on social media and their willingness to allow advertisers mine personal information and online social behavior in order to provide more targeted advertising. Perhaps it was the way IDC asked the question but unsurprisingly, a very low percentage of people said they'd be OK with that.

MediaSmith
CEO David Smith presented for the first time his Eight Levels of User Engagement, a detailed look at the buzzword du jour "engagement." It was one of those presentation that was so elaborate and so complete that no summary would do it justice. Besides, I can't remember the half of it but don't fret. He's taking it on the road for six months and there will be a book (or a paper).

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by Steve Hall    Jul-18-08    
Topic: Industry Events, Social



Sorry, Quiksilver, We Already Have One Self-Esteem Fund

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Quiksilver's inviting Real Women! from All Walks of Life! on a Creative Journey! to promote its new line of women's clothing. The subsite includes a hyper-bohemian product preview and postcard gallery, where you can download warm fuzzy (and pink!) messages like "Sometimes finding your destination means trying on all the options." Gotta love a clothing pun.

The campaign is targeted to fresh-outta-college women in a state of quarter-life crisis. "Our purpose was to inspire not only the apparel Quiksilver was going to design for this journey, but create a brand idea that celebrates the experience of defining yourself in the world as an intelligent, creative, independent woman," rambled John Boiler of agency 72andSunny.

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by Angela Natividad    Jul-18-08    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Trends and Culture



'Hey Look, It's Like My Thumb is My Cock.'

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What, do genital jokes just make better advergames?

The above inanity is a promotion for Pineapple Express, a movie by the same winners that brought you Superbad. Put together by agency Soap Creative.

by Angela Natividad    Jul-18-08    
Topic: Campaigns, Games, Online, Promotions



Oh Noooo, the Atomium's Collapsing

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Tant pis. Anyway, haven't we seen this gimmick (twice) before?

The video is part of a wannabe-viral seeding campaign called "Le Grand Souffle." Belgian residents, if you have insight on who's behind the campaign, we probably won't care. But we'll cover it anyway.

by Angela Natividad    Jul-18-08    
Topic: Campaigns, Online, Video



Not Every Suicide Note Looks Like a Suicide Note. (Some Look Like Kate Moss)

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For the Looking Glass Foundation, which assists adolescents with eating disorders, DDB, Canada launched a PG-rated but poignant awareness campaign in British Columbia.

The "Pencil Marks" PSA features a girl charting her waist-slimming progress with pencil marks on a wall. The agency also distributed broken toothbrushes in baggies that read, "Attempting to purge, Jane B. broke a toothbrush off in her throat and choked."

See, if you're gonna be all pro-Mia, you need to get over your squeamies and use a finger.*

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by Angela Natividad    Jul-18-08    
Topic: Campaigns, Cause, Commercials, Guerilla, Online, Television



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