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Newsflash! Commercial Explodes During Live Broadcast

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Like full on spam, this email screamed, "Catastrophe hits live during the broadcast of a Direct Insurance commercial." After quickly checking Twitter (what? that's where all the news is these days, people) to make sure there was no actual catastrophe, it became apparent this was yet another ploy for publicity.

The release continued, "During a live broadcast of the Israeli 'American Idol' show, a Direct Insurance commercial for catastrophe coverage burnt up before the eyes of avid viewers. After burning, a simple slide appeared: We apologize for the technical difficulties but catastrophes can happen to anyone".

more »

by Steve Hall    Aug-17-08    
Topic: Campaigns, Commercials, Strange



Designer Self-Promotes With Song

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OK so Matt Maxwell isn't the world's greatest singer but his five songs about Flash, design and web technology are a decidedly different self-promotional tact. Singing about one of the biggest of pet peeves around here, Maxwell croons:

And-it's-been-a long preloader
And there's reason to believe
Before-its-finished I will certainly be dead
I can't believe a web designer could be so heartless
Making something that's so bloated for the web

Yea, it's a little rough around the edges but the sentiment is there.

by Steve Hall    Aug-17-08    
Topic: Promotions, Strange



Husky Media: Puny Video Ads are for Puny Marketers!

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Video ad firm Husky Media has decided to ride against the tide, offering advertisers big-ass ads instead of feeble pre-rolls and teeny ticker tape text. View the demo video, which makes the proposition look sane: videos flanked on either side by gigantor ad messages. It's about as offensive as Coverflow.

"At Husky Media, we believe bigger is better and will never succumb to the shrink ray," boasts Co-CEO David Carson of Husky. "We've been seeing it everywhere this summer, from the size of a cup of yogurt to dog food to cheese wheels to 'staycations' to 14 oz. pints of beer. Isn't a pint supposed to be 16 oz.? This is one summer trend we will not let idly pass. Last I heard WE LIVE IN AMERICA."

That's officially the Best PR Quote Ever. Bonus points if he starts appearing in public with a cowboy hat.

by Angela Natividad    Aug-15-08    
Topic: Good, Online, Video



World Peace Finally Gets Just Desserts

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To honor the legacy of John Lennon, Ben & Jerry's have launched Imagine Whirled Peace, an ice cream flavor loaded with toffee cookies and fudge peace signs.

Upload shots of yourself in a peace mosaic at the Imagine subsite. (You know, like the song. Note Lennon specs on twitchy cow.) The ice cream company also partnered with The Lennon Estate and Peace One Day to host a bed-in, nodding to Lennon and Yoko Ono's lavishly-covered bed-in for peace -- a golden opportunity to lie around all day, preach peace, and play King and Queen Meet Lowly Serfs with scandalized reporters and photographers.

More here about how Ben & Jerry's poaches the Baby Boomers by canonizing idols with frozen treats. Frankly though, I've always been the Phish Food kind.

by Angela Natividad    Aug-15-08    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Celebrity, Online, Packaging, Strange



In Response to That Casey Jones Dell Probation Thing

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It's clear, Enfatico is the industry's current whipping boy, whether or not anything for which we are whipping the boy is true or not. This industry can't live without a continual dose of ego-boosting schadenfreude and the security it offers allowing us to say, "At least we aren't as screwed up as those fuckers over at Enfatico!" As long as someone else is screwing up, it's all good.

AgencySpy is having a field day on this one lambasting Dell VP Casey Jones and claiming he's on probation for "lackluster performance" in his creation of the Enfatico machine. Unsurprisingly, there's bound to be some strife when a giant brand attempts to consolidate its work from 800 agencies to one. It's to be expected.

more »

by Steve Hall    Aug-15-08    
Topic: Agencies, Brands, Opinion



Evian Shrinks, True Blood Examined, Multimap Lets the Pigeons In

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- It's targeted you with limited-edition designer bottles and luxury facial sprays. Now Evian wants your kids. Introducing Evian Les Petits!

- Greenwich aspires to seize the spotlight as soon as it's off Beijing.

- Microsoft UK's Multimap uses pigeons to promote its "bird's eye view" feature. Created by digital agency LBi, it marks the first time Multimap has used cartoons to advertise.

- Check out the Word Clock typographic screensaver, which one Bos AD thinks is the "coolest screensaver EVER." It's pretty cool. Kind of like UNIQLOCK without the girls, or the music, or the colors.

- If you're following HBO's online campaign for True Blood, you should catch this 3-minute Ad Age video about virals. True Blood premieres September 7. Dude, sometimes it sucks to not have cable.

by Angela Natividad    Aug-15-08    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Online, Packaging, Promotions, Strange



Nissan Flirts with the Mold, but Fails to Break It

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This new spot for Nissan (:30 and :60) immediately piqued interest: one car circulates a vinyl album. Interesting retro tones punctuate the background. The camera pans out, revealing many vehicles circulating many vinyls. It's an image that brings Warhol to mind.

What's going on? What'll happen next? Will Nissan pull a Dell?

Nah. One jalapeno-red maverick races off its track (cut to big Nissan logo!), encouraging others to do the same. (A vaguely familiar idea. Got a quote for me, Mazda?) They briefly fall in line, a tactic car advertisers seem to love, then park with a screech in haphazard fashion.

The 350Z, arguably Nissan's sexiest model, pulls abruptly into the foreground. The tagline follows: "Escape the pattern. Nissan."

Bleh.

more »

by Angela Natividad    Aug-15-08    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Commercials, Magazine, Poster, Television



Let's Go Canada!

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It's Friday and the Olympics are in full swing. That must mean it's time for a good old-fashioned send-to-friend time waster. Courtesy of Maclaren McCann Canada, we've got one from Chevrolet. Let's go Canada!

by Steve Hall    Aug-15-08    
Topic: Games



Wrangler Endorses Murder, Misogyny, Overconceptualized Bad Advertising

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A commenter on Radar summed up the apparent strategy behind a new FFL Paris-created ad campaign for Wrangler, writing, "So let's connect the dots here - Wranglers are worn by cowboys. Cowboys like to shoot things. People who shoot things go hunting. People hunt animals. People are animals. Therefore, we shall all wear Wranglers and go headhunting."

With the tagline "We Are Animals," the campaign's images, shot by the oh so uber-hip photographer Ryan McGinley, depict women in the wild in various states of undress hunted, well, like animals. There's a video too.

Somehow, this high concept is supposed to sell jeans. Mostly, it's just pissing people off. In reality, it's just bad advertising that's trying to pass itself off as high art.

See all the "high art" here.

by Steve Hall    Aug-15-08    
Topic: Campaigns, Worst



Bionic Lobster Takes On Disability, Alienation, Maniacal Chef

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"After finding a Leatherman on the ocean floor, our hero transformed himself from clawless freak into BIONIC LOBSTER: the handiest lobster alive."

Awesome premise -- one-clawed lobster gets new lease on life -- by STICK and MOVE/Philly for client Leatherman. (If Finding Nemo taught us anything, it's that everyone loves a story about broken fish prevailing over life's hard knocks.) Happily, they went all the way with it: See spot where Bionic Lobster fends for his life, MacGuyver-style, in a seafood restaurant. And there are comic books! Three parts so far, and if you bother to download the PDFs, well-made and funny too.

Looking forward to seeing more stuff by STICK and MOVE.

by Angela Natividad    Aug-15-08    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Commercials, Good, Online, Television



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