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Wake Up Ad Agencies! Cyrus Mehri is on The Loose Again

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On Thursday, January 8 at 11 AM, the NAACP and the civil rights law firm of Mehri & Skalet will announce the Madison Avenue Project, an initiative created to address the advertising industry's alleged "long history of widespread racial discrimination."

As the first step in the project, they will release a new study (first announced here prior to its completion) conducted by the research firm Bendick and Egan Economic Consultants that is said to confirm initially released results that "prove racial discrimination" within executive ranks in the ad industry pertaining to pay and advancement.

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by Steve Hall    Jan- 5-09    
Topic: Agencies, Policy, Research



Is That Sand On My Page Takeover?

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While advertising-fueled website page takeovers are nothing new, they don't usually integrate quite so intricately as this one does for the Ford F-150 on the new ESPN site. Check the takeover out here.

by Steve Hall    Jan- 5-09    
Topic: Good, Online



Bright Ones: Julia Roy Lives the Digital Lifestyle

I met Julia Roy on Twitter over a year a go. I somehow saw a tweet or two from her and decided she was interesting enough to follow. But that wasn't all that caught my attention. Her Twitter image at the time - in which she is wearing the glasses that, in some respects, have come to define her - was strikingly similar to my own. As a joke, I made a "separated at birth" image of the both of us and posted it to TwitPic for all to see. It was no big thing but Julia noticed and thought it was kind of funny.

Once that initial novelty wore off, I became interested in Julia's work at Undercurrent, an ad agency with its hand completely immersed in the world of social media. The agency's website is the furthest thing you'd expect from ad ad agency. On their site, a sort of Drudge Report-style collection of relevant news items and thoughts from the twittersphere and blogosphere, it's all about social conversation and little to nothing about ego-stroking portfolio's of work, the common denominator of most agency websites.

Undercurrent had its hand deep inside the Mad Men/AMC/Twitter fan fiction movement that saw upwards of 20 Mad Men characters come to life on Twitter. Initially, AMC went legal and did a cease and desist. But all that did was raise the ire of the show's fans, mostly those who work in the ad industry and created the characters on Twitter out of the love for the show.

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by Steve Hall    Jan- 5-09    
Topic: Bright Ones



Organ Donors, Faux Sci-Fi Ads, Israel Tweets, NYT Sells Out to Cash In

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- The New York Times is pushing front page display ads. It's hard times, yo; deal with it.

- Shoot creative briefs and account execs. As in, whoosh-whoosh, bang-bang.

- TBWA dubbed AdWeek's top agency of '08.

- Top 25 fictional sci-fi movie ads. Slurp.

- BREAKING NEWS - Steve Jobs is sick.

- Facebook peaks on Christmas Eve. Merry Christmas, Mark Zuckerberg!

- Israel tweets.

- Planning for your demise? Give your organs to the girl, not the tin jar.

by Angela Natividad    Jan- 5-09    
Topic: Agencies, Brands, Campaigns, Cause, Celebrity, Online



Proof that Advertising is At Least as Informative as Fox News.

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One Chicago-based furniture store is happy to admit it sells more seats than Governor Blagojevich -- and at a better rate, to boot.

High-la-rious. But oh, does it beat Virgin Mobile's technicolor spin on Spitzer?

by Angela Natividad    Jan- 5-09    
Topic: Good, Newspaper, Political, Promotions



Will It Blend? Who Cares.

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OK so Tom Dickson has been hyping his Blendtc blender in online videos for some time now. They are, as expected, just as cheesy as old school Ronco and K-tel commercials. To prove blending strength, Tom tosses all sorts of things into the blender; avocados, an iPhone, a rake, sneakers, a Rubik's cube, Mario Kart and plastic sports cars.

It's all pretty stupid. But it's all pretty smart too. Well, if you can equate YouTube views with sales, that is.

For two years, Tom's been tossing all manner of matter into his blender. If one follows the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" school of thought, it's a fair fair bet his videos are paying off.

View all of the inanity here.

by Steve Hall    Jan- 5-09    
Topic: Campaigns, Strange, Video



If You Make Less Than $100K, You're A Monstrous Loser

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A new Fallon Minneapolis-created ad for job site The Ladders does a great job distinguishing itself from the rest of the pack. At the same time, it roundly trashes and renders inadequate anyone who makes less that $100,000 per year as if money was the only thing that mattered.

Oh wait. It *is* the only thing that matters. Sorry.

Anyway, enjoy this commercial in which miniature monsters (get it?) can't get the job done ... until an over sized, overpaid, overzealous, overbearing one shows up leaving nightmarish destuction in his path. Sort of like an over sized, overpaid, overzealous, overbearing boss.

by Steve Hall    Jan- 5-09    
Topic: Commercials



The Hottest Ads of 2008, Revisited

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Once again, it's time to look back and review 2008, Adrants-style: with the hottest, sexiest and raciest ads of 2008. If you've fallen behind the times, check out our 2007 round-up. Otherwise, sit back and enjoy.

Sometimes an ad comes right out and says what everyone's thinking, a method that can be nearly as refreshing as, oh ... an alcoholic energy drink. At least that's the case with this billboard in Denmark for Cult Shaker. Mincing no words, it asked passersby to fornicate with the naked girl featured at left. Are we off to a good start yet?

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Combining the well-documented fact that eyes tend to wander down paths made by pulchritudinous cleavage, and the notion a fast camera is paramount to lending permanence to the moment, Olympus presents us with an ad that perfectly captures this deft eyeball dance.

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And what would a cattle call of the year's hottest ads be without the famed Why every guy should buy their girlfriend a Wii Fit video starring Lauren, the gorgeous girlfriend of Tinsley Advertising Director-Marketing Giovanny Gutierrez, who made the video as a spec viral?

With 7,634,988 views, the hypothesis is proved once again: amateurishly shot + hot chick + controversy = viral hit.

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by Steve Hall    Jan- 5-09    
Topic: Opinion, Racy



Penis Cake Advocates for Fantasy Trophy Firm

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A wee Brooklyn-based shop called Fantasy Trophies ("Hand-made trophies worth bragging about") has launched a YouTube campaign, "Bragging Rites," that consists of nine videos which get progressively more retarded.

The videos follow Brian, a brash, furry office cog, who antagonizes his fantasy football opponents. It's profoundly working-man-tastic; probably only funny for the people involved, and maybe for people that have done crazy shit in the name of fantasy football. If you fall into neither camp, well, tough luck.

See Penis Cake and/or Megan's Strap-On Fantasy. (Megan ultimately gets revenge in the form of a really feeble "email this asshole!" video. Girl, you'll shimmy into a strap-on, but broadcasting dude's email on YouTube was your best take on vengeance? You put bad-ass bitches to shame.)

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by Angela Natividad    Jan- 5-09    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Online, Strange, Video



NAB Reminds Us Not to Toss Squish-Toys at the Help

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It's always a little difficult to gauge the quality of advertising from other countries, but "Don't Disturb the Ones Working" -- an ad for the Norwegian Association of the Blind -- really threw us for one.

In it, a handful of perplexed service workers are interrupted mid-job by clueless passersby, which either pay them infantile compliments ("Aww, what a cutie!") or try getting them to do tricks. For example, one game-faced dad pulls out a round squidgy ball and tries making a bus driver play catch.

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by Angela Natividad    Jan- 4-09    
Topic: Cause, Commercials, Television



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