Doomed New Beverage Goes Out to UN General Assembly

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RelaxZen, a beverage that promises to both relax and focus you, decided to put itself to the test by sending cases of product to the 192 leaders meeting at the United Nations General Assembly.

RelaxZen is outfitted much like other doomed drinks that came and went in the early 2000s. It has zero calories and sugar, is non-drowsy and provides "100% focused relaxation."

Check out their Open Letter to the UN, which is doing a molassessy circuit of YouTube as we speak. It sports a cheap potshot of Ahmadinejad, which is supposed to be a funny illustration of how some people need to mellow out, but it just came across as feeble and sad.

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by Angela Natividad    Sep-24-09    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Guerilla, Political, Video



Sexty Teens Get Reputation Reminder from Teen Pregnancy Prevention Group

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Teen Pregnancy Prevention, the parents you didn't know you had, is slathering bus shelters and other minors-enhanced public places with an ad featuring a cell phone wrapped in a condom.

Text on the decidedly antiquated handheld reads, "Please practice safe text." Heh. See what they did there? Clever.

The objective is to discourage teens from sexting -- sending nude pictures to each other via mobile -- which can actually result in a child pornography charge.

There's something spicy for the resume. But the ad, which does admonish teens to think about their reputations, actually has deeper motivations: keeping teens from getting pregnant.

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by Angela Natividad    Sep-24-09    
Topic: Campaigns, Cause, Outdoor



Little Debbie: Bringing Creme-Filled Goodness to a Suburb Near You!

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Few people are willing to turn a cupcake down; the very word makes us hungry. Knowing we could all use something extra to smile about, Little Debbie's taking one million brand-spankin'-new cupcakes to the streets.

The Little Debbie Share-A-Thon is fortified by an armada of shiny brown Smart cars, laced with the cupcakes' curly ribbon. Chase one down for a free sugar rush. (Or just wait for one to stop.)

Giveaway kicks off on October 18th, National Chocolate Cupcake Day. There's also a sweepstakes where you can actually win one of the shiny new cupcakey Smart Cars. (Watch out for chasers, though. You're gonna get chasers.)

Social media links and the feel-good, slightly quirky TV spots appear below the drop. They speak to the youthful, pursuit-of-happiness quality simmering just under the surface of tired overworked growed-ups. For a second, we actually missed trans fats. HIGH FIVE, Luckie & Co.!

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by Angela Natividad    Sep-24-09    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Good, Promotions



Yawn. American Apparel Pushes Boundaries Again. Oh Wait, Was That A Boob?

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So yea. Britain's Advertising Standards Authority has received several complaints about a new American Apparel ad in Vice Magazine which features a young girl wearing shorts and a hoodie which, in one shot, almost exposes her nipple. The ASA upheld the complaint dubbing the ad "offensive and irresponsible" as the girl in the ad appeared to be under the age of 16.

According to American Apparel, the girl in the ad is 23 and the ad was meant to depict her relaxed in a "home" environment. But the ANA says the ad is inappropriate and must not appear again in its current form.

Inappropriate? How so? Hasn't everyone heard all girls sit around the house self shooting themselves? Have these complainers never visited a Facebook page? Or Webshots? Or Photobucket? Never seen a mirror shot? This is hardly racy compared to what's out there. Oops, this is an ad. Not some 14 year old boys afternoon "motivation."

OK so yea. Cover a bit more of the boobs and everyone will be fine with this.

by Steve Hall    Sep-24-09    
Topic: Brands, Policy, Racy



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More F'ing Advertising Week

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Whoa. It's Thursday and we're just getting to Tuesday. Wait, what? You mean you don't realize it's Advertising Week? Of course you do and that also means you know it's a crazy week in the city of New York. There's only about 4,364 things to do everyday and it's hard to keep up. But, we do our best.

So on Tuesday MIXX held the second of its two day conference. The day was filled with informative session but all anyone cared about was seeing Ashton Kutcher who appeared at the end of the day to talk about his company, Katalyst Media, "a studio for social media creating original digital media, television and film properties." As Kutcher took the stage, hands were filled with digital devices capturing the moment as if it were a Jonas Brother concert - expect with less screaming and no jumping up and down.

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At the end of the day, the IAB MIXX Awards were held. Saturday Night Live veteran Jim Breuer provided the humor and Best in Show was won by Tourism Queensland and CumminsNitro Brisbane for "The Best Job in the World," More on that here.

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by Steve Hall    Sep-24-09    
Topic: Industry Events



Mad Men Gives Sixties A Branded Makeover

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The following is a guest editorial by Tom Parrette is Director of Verbal Branding at Addis Creson on AMC's Mad Men as it relates to the reality of the sixties.

I'll admit it upfront, so diehard fans of AMC's Mad Men are forewarned: I'm one of the few people who's not completely infatuated with the show. But as someone who does branding for a living, I'm intrigued by how it reconstructs the ethos of an era using brands and pop cultural references.

It seems like Mad Men is based on a simple conceit: an ad agency, which delivers manufactured views of the world to a mass market, is presented to us through the same lens. The show is itself an advertisement for the early 60s, where looks and labels surpass world events in terms of significance. The show's producer David Chase, quoted in The New York Times the month Mad Men debuted, described it this way: "Here was... a story about advertising in the 1960s, and was looking at recent American history through that prism."

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by Steve Hall    Sep-24-09    
Topic: Opinion









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