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Aaron Fotheringham Explains HowStuffWorks

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If you think you have challenges in life, meet Aaron Fotheringham, a wheelchair-bound 17-year-old who's created a sport called hard core sitting. Basically, it's extreme skateboarding in a wheelchair.

Recently, Discovery Communications hooked up with Fotheringham who appears in a commercial, launching this week, for the Discovery Channel's HowStuffWorks website. Aaron has Spina Bifida and is the first person to perform a backflip in a wheelchair.

This latest work follows an initial campaign for the site which featured a scuba diving cat.

by Steve Hall    Jun-24-09    
Topic: Cause, Commercials, Good



Vote For Your Favorite Killed Idea. Win A Copy of the Book

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The votes are rolling in for the Killed Ideas People's Choice Award. Following the selection of the top fifty Killed Ideas that appear in Killed Ideas Volume I, the fifty were put to the vote. While the voting won't be final until the end of the month, several Killed Ideas have risen to the top of the list.

Oddly, work done as a studio mark for a movie is looking good as is a wine label design for BFrank wine. Also looking good is a website design for a church and a pro-reading campaign. At the end of the month, the final tally will be released.

Now for the fun. I have six Killed Ideas books to give away. If you can answer the following question correctly, you'll be entered in a drawing to win one of the books. What color bikini is the girl sleeping on the couch at Cannes wearing? The answer is here on Adrants, You just have to find it. Send your answer to killedideas@adrants.com.

by Steve Hall    Jun-24-09    
Topic: Promotions, Publishing



Creative Director Searches For Meaning of Life on a Branded Planet

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Former Y&R CD James Othmer will publish a new book in September entitled ADLAND: Searching for the Meaning of Life on a Branded Planet. Othmer describes the book as "a semi-memoir about the past present and future of advertising."

Since it's Cannes week, Othmer agreed to share a Cannes-related passage from the book. It's the first line from his chapter about Cannes 2008:

"The future of advertising is hunched over in the center of Boulevard de la Croisette outside a tiny yet unthinkably crowded cafe on the French Riviera at 4:18 AM, hands on tanned yet wobbly knees, uncertain whether she will succumb to the excesses her industry has bestowed upon her and puke, call it a night and stumble back to her overpriced, mega-agency-sponsored hotel room, or gather her wits, her stomach and her constitution and rally to take her skills to another, more exciting place where the party is just getting started."

Yup, things haven't changed much at all. The future of advertising is clear: awards, company-funded trips to exotic locales and lots and lots of alcohol.

by Steve Hall    Jun-24-09    
Topic: Publishing



Cannes Lions: Going Gold for Georgia

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At 72 Croisette (the so-called Gutter Bar) last night, Shannon Stephaniuk introduced me to the members of Ogilvy Stockholm, which won a Gold Lion for its work for UNA Sweden.

Their objective was to raise funds to support the war victims of Georgia (the country, not the state); and to do this, they spoke with the locals and gathered small, specific and personal items that belonged to people affected by the war.

See Shoes, Sweater and Sheet; I found the sight of those scorched, warped items physically painful, and the stories still more moving.

It's my strong feeling that the work deserved a Grand Prix, but apparently you can't win one if the effort is nonprofit. Weird logics. In any case, I hung out awhile and talked to the guys about the work, what they did and how it made them feel in general.

Video interviews below. Given that it's the Gutter Bar at 2:00 AM and not, say, an Embassy lobby, try to bear with the background noise. Better yet, imagine you're there, stumbling around with your third vodka tonic, playing guess-the-accent with your group of chums-for-the-week.

more »



TweetPsych Profiles Twitter Users for Marketers

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For marketers fascinated with Twitter and its seemingly endless possibilities, for good or bad, as a marketing channel/platform/whatever, a new service called TweetPsych might be worth a look. Created by Dan Zarrella, TweetPsych uses Linguistic Inquiry and Word Count and Regressive Imagery Dictionary to build a psychological profile of a person based on the content of their Tweets.

more »

by Steve Hall    Jun-24-09    
Topic: Social, Tools



George Lois Did Not Solely Create VW 'Think Small' Campaign

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On a recent episode of This American Life, Sarah Koenig, tells the story of her father, famed copywriter Julian Koenig, who wrote "Timex takes a licking and keeps on ticking" and copy for the VW Think Small ads. It seems his partner, famed ad man George Lois has been taking exclusive credit for work the two did together while at DDB.

Seemingly the consummate gentleman, Koenig never took issue with this until his daughter, producer of This American Life, began to probe deeper asking him about the origin of the ads and his work with Lois. It's yet another story of greed, ego and pompousness run amock in the advertising business. Give it a listen.

Commenting after forty years about his partner, Koenig said of Lois, "his talent is only exceeded by his omnivorous ego."

by Steve Hall    Jun-24-09    
Topic: Brands



Audrina Patridge Likes More Than Just A Piece of Meat

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Back in June, we noted The Hills babe Audrina Patridge would soon make her debut in a Carl's Jr. commercial. That day has arrived. In the commercial, we get to hear how Audrina has to give up "like everything" to look as hot as she does in a bikini. But the one thing she won't give up is the Carl's Jr. Teriyaki Burger with which she's "totally obsessed" and cuz, ya know, she has to be "a little bad."

While Barbara Lippert says she "appreciate(s) that it's a somewhat more natural setup than having Paris Hilton hose down a luxury car while sucking and licking the burger on all fours," we still think the Paris Hilton spot was the best Carl's Jr. commercial ever. Bikini + soapy water + famous socialite in her prime = gold.

more »

by Steve Hall    Jun-24-09    
Topic: Brands, Commercials, Creative Commentary, Opinion, Racy



Cannes Lions: Real Winnars in Radio, Media and Outdoor

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Last night was the ceremony for Radio, Media and Outdoor -- not very exciting stuff, but you get a chance to review highly localized work you wouldn't otherwise be exposed to. Always good to remember what ad life is like outside internets.

Here are the Grand Prix winners for each category. Hopefully by now I don't need to tell you where to go to see the full list of oversized bookend recipients.

For RADIO: Net#Work BBDO/Johannesburg wins Grands Prix for "Dancer," "Dog" and "Ferret" -- three radio pieces for Virgin Atlantic Airlines, South Africa. Wanna hear? Listeny-listen.

For MEDIA: JWT Japan/Tokyo scores for "Kit Kat Mail 2009" on behalf of Nestle's Kit-Kat.

For OUTDOOR: TBWA\Hunt\Lascaris Johannesburg wins Grands Prix for "Fight the Regime," "Cheaper than Money," "Trillion Dollar Billboard," "Z$250,000,000" and "Wallpaper" -- on behalf of The Zimbabwean. The campaign's objective was, in great part, to demonstrate the ridiculous rate of inflation affecting Zimbabwean currency as a result of the current regime.

We covered one execution in which trillions of Zimbabwe dollars were used to wallpaper a billboard. Trillion dollar bills were also used as flyers. See the rest of the work; if you're curious about the roots of Z's current political situation, read some colourful background.

by Angela Natividad    Jun-24-09    
Topic: Agencies, Brands, Direct, Events, Industry Events, Outdoor, Radio



Boobs Kushed, Microsoft Scratches, BK Gets BJ

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- Boobs too big? Trouble sleeping while their spilling all over the place? Kush has the answer to that weighty issue.

- Want to watch the world's worst commercial? Here it is.

- ScratchIT. Go ahead. Scratch it. Really. Microsoft wants you to scratch it. S go on. Give it a scratch.

- Creative production company Stardust Studios is out with a new website. Founder/CD Jake Banks said, "Compared with our previous version, this site focuses more on movement and functionality, and aims to give visitors a unique visual experience that will heighten the creativity in each spot we present."

- Black Eyes Peas promote their new album...only at Target. Sell out? Just the way of things?

- BK's Super Seven Incher gets a blow job.

by Steve Hall    Jun-23-09    
Topic: Agencies, Commercials, Strange, Worst



Box Tops Celebrates $300 Million With Cute Video

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We hate Box Tops. We hate the mess they make when family members collect thousands of them to raise money for various educational causes. OK, so we really don't hate Box Tops but we do hate the process one must go through just to see their benefit. It's like coupons and Sunday circulars. Why create and print all that crap when you could just give the discount/donation anyway? Oh, we know. It's becasue you really don't want to give things away so you make it really hard for people to take advantage of what you're sort of offering.

Despite this opinion, enough people have clipped enough Box Tops to raise $300 million for schools. So that's not a bad thing. They've even made a little video to celebrate.

We still hate the mess they make though.

by Steve Hall    Jun-23-09    
Topic: Cause, Video



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