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Hello Ladies. I'm on a Bike. Except I Forgot to Say So

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Sequels. Most of the time they're never as good as the original. Yes, there are exceptions but those exceptions are the exception to the rule. We're not clear whether or not this new Old Spice commercial with Isaiah Mustafa is an exception but we do wish he ended the commercial with a sly, "I'm on a bike." Without that catchphrase, it's kind of like an Arnold Schwarzenegger movie in which he doesn't intone, "I'll be back."

Yes, Old Spice is back with Isaiah Mustapha but something's missing. As is usually the case with sequels. Yes, it's a one shot (?) wonder. Yes, it's snarky. But it's just missing that "two tickets to that thing you like" joie de vivre. We can't quite put or finger on it. We still like it. But, alas, it's a sequel.

more »

by Steve Hall    Jun-30-10    
Topic: Commercials



Specsavers Offers 'Goal Line Technology' to World Cup Refs

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Now this is just funny. Specsavers has taken advantage of the controversial disallowed goal during the England Germany World Cup match Sunday. It will run in The Sun, The Daily Star, The Daily Express and The Daily Mail today.

by Steve Hall    Jun-29-10    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Newspaper



Burger King Gets Juicy With Xenia Tchoumitcheva

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Hmm. Since when did Burger King ads go high fashion? Well, whenever one has the chance to put a hottie like Swiss-Russian model Xenia Tchoumitcheva in a campaign, anytime sounds about right to us.

by Steve Hall    Jun-29-10    
Topic: Campaigns



Conversations on Quitting the Cancer Stick

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This is a post about smoking, which I wrote to precede my sunshiny Lions wrapup. It is randomly scattered with pictures of the events and people referred to, in part for context, but also so you don't have to scroll through all the "fun" shots without perspective.

In advertising, we pick up a lot of habits - "creative" habits, mostly - that we occasionally are and aren't proud of, depending on our mood and who's looking. The Cannes Lions becomes a magnifier of all those habits: there, trapped in paradise for a week, people don't just drink until 5 in the morning; they often smoke as if all the weight of the world depends on it.

"Last night I knew it was time to go home because I started chainsmoking," complained Shannon Stephaniuk of Glossy. "I hate smoking more than anything else in the world!"

I suppose I believe her. I've never seen Shannon pick up a cigarette, not once, and I smoke a great deal, which usually outs the casual smokers in party atmospheres.

Anyway, this Cannes phenomenon leads to a lot of semi-casual conversation about why we all started smoking in the first place, which naturally drifts over to quitting and efforts to get there.

This is why I started smoking (in earnest, not counting the flirtation I had in college when my best friend gave me a pack of Vanilla Dreams for my 18th birthday): to eke a promotion out of a boss who only discussed "the future" with his subordinates during smoke breaks. I was 19, maybe 20.

"You know what Gabriel Garcia Marquez did to quit?" began Draftfcb ECD Mark Fiddes, rather grandly, at a beachside luncheon for production firm Mad Cow. "Gabriel Garcia Marquez buried his last packet of cigarettes. Big mound. It was something he could walk by and look at every day."

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"That's how he quit?" I asked incredulously. Garcia Marquez was a heavy smoker - six packs a day at worst, I think.

"That's how," Mark said smugly.

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Verizon Can't Hear You Anymore But They Plan to Rule the Air

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This is one of those questionable moves that brands make or, rather, CMOs make when they get bored and think the brand needs a little kick in the ass or, rather, the CMO needs to mark his territory, when, in reality, everything is just fine. Yes, Verizon is dropping "Can you hear me now?" in favor of "Rule the Air."

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by Steve Hall    Jun-29-10    
Topic: Brands



Condoms Jump, London Educates, Canada Battles

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- London-based Bare Bones is heading to New York and will host an exhibition Tuesday, June 29th from 6 - 9PM at envoy enterprises (131 Chrystie St) which will feature London/Euro-exports and NYC locals. Following will be an after party downstairs at Home Sweet Home from 9-11PM. Live performances by the mighty Jugger-Nut & The Giggle Fits.

- SKYN's got a a little game you can play. Somehow this sells condoms.

- A London ad campaign aims to introduce the true face of Islam and reverse negative attitudes toward Muslims.

- Here's Cristiano Ronaldo's ego hub.

- Montreal vs. Toronto vs. Vancouver. You decide.

- Leave it to the Japanese.

by Steve Hall    Jun-28-10    
Topic: Games, Industry Events



Students Push the Envelope at Visual Arts School

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To urge students to...ahem...go the extra mile, The School of Visual Arts had New York-based agency KNARF design customized door installations consisting of giant envelope visuals and a handle which read "push." So, you know, the students would always be...ahem...pushing the envelope.

by Steve Hall    Jun-28-10    
Topic: Guerilla, Specialty



Bored Banana Brand to Crowdsource Blue Sticker

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How many ways can you market a banana? They're yellow! They come naturally packaged! They have potassium! They're great on cereal! And in ice cream sundaes! They have a blue sticker on them! Um, what? Yea. You know the blue sticker that's on every Chiquita banana? Well, it's not going to be blue any more. No sir. It's going out for a consumer-generated makeover.

The brand has launched a contest whereby people can submit sticker designs. Eighteen winners will be chosen and their stickers will grace millions of bananas across the nation.

Chiquita Corporate Marketing Group Leader Judy ChenLeader said, "We created the Chiquita Banana Sticker Design Contest to encourage consumers to interact with the Chiquita brand and make the brand their own. It's a fun way for consumers to engage with the brand through self-expression."

It's not the only way to interact with a banana, Judy, but it'd be rude of us to tarnish this bit of fun with a predictably lame quip.

by Steve Hall    Jun-28-10    
Topic: Consumer Created



Dove Seeks 'Flawless Skin' For Real Women Print Campaign

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In what could be interpreted as a not too insignificant oxymoron, Dove, in a Craigslist ad, is seeking women with "flawless skin, no tattoos or scars" for an upcoming photoshoot July 18 in New York. According to the ad, the shoot is for a print campaign which will break in 2011.

The ad was placed by Dove Urban Casting, an entity that appears to be a division of Telecino, a Spanish media company

The ad also appears on CastingCall Search.

Dove Brand Police won't be happy with this but any ad that's written almost entirely in CAPS with every sentence ending with an exclamation point can't be taken too seriously anyway.

Click more to read the full ad.

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by Steve Hall    Jun-28-10    
Topic: Brands, Online, Opinion



Cannes Lions: Richard Gorodecky on Tansu, Clones and Life as a Hologram

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Last week, before all the Cannes fun and games were over, I scored an interview with ECD Richard Gorodecky of Amsterdam Worldwide (@amsterdamww).

You remember AW as the agency that did the Tansu shoe for Onitsuka Tigers, which won Design Gold at Cannes Lions in the Corporate/Brand Identity category.

Some background: this giant shoe is composed of multiple cupboards and openings in the Japanese Tansu style. Users that are able to unlock the compartments get to keep what's inside. The agency also made a digital version with revelations that include product information and free stuff.

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A little context on this interview: he, Kerrie Finch and I took seats on the terrace of the Majestic. We made small-talk and every once in awhile they'd randomly mention suckling pig.

"I don't get this reference," I said after about the eighth time.

"Let me explain," Kerrie said. "You know that question, 'Is TV the new hearth'? We were saying earlier that it can't be the new hearth because you can't roast a suckling pig on it."

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