Downy Doesn't Just Soften Clothes; It Helps Pick Them Out, Too

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Because I've always wanted to share my bra size, waist-to-hip ratio, and breadth-of-ass with a fabric softener company that cares just that much, I sat around taking the "Discover Your Shape" quiz on DownyDesignTags.com. This is part of a partnership between myShape and P&G's Downy.

At the end of the test, long-suffering women get a Downy Design Tag, a personal style guide that reveals what our best colors are and which clothes most flatter our bodies. (What is this, a joke?!) Advice is proffered by a celebrity stylist called Jorge, who also dispenses cockle-warming welcome letters and coupons to Ann Taylor LOFT.

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by Angela Natividad    Sep-25-08    
Topic: Bad, Brands, Campaigns, Online



New Ads Say Corn Syrup's OK in Moderation

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There's something crude and flippant about these new ads by the Corn Refiner's Association, which have begun advertising to undo all the bad PR surrounding high fructose corn syrup.

In one spot, a mother casually accuses another of not caring what her kids eat; in another, an uptight boyfriend insinuates his girlfriend doesn't love him because she's offered him an artificially sweetened Popsicle.

Both the girlfriend and the accused mom get the last word in the end. Turns out the corn syrup Nazis don't know why it's bad, and are apparently only following an invisible crowd of lemmings informed by, who knows, the nasty nasty liberal media.

Each spot ends with "You're in for a sweet surprise!" and guides users to SweetSurprise.com, which sports a gigantic, disarmingly fresh ear of (as-yet-unrefined?) corn.

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by Angela Natividad    Sep-19-08    
Topic: Bad, Brands, Campaigns, Commercials, Online, Strange, Television



Menstrual Cramps Got You Down? Print Out Some Iron-On Cupcakes!

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In its ongoing quest to appeal to the Prozac nation ("Have a happy period!"), P&G pad-peddler Always redid its site.

Think pastel shades, abusive Corsiva-style typefaces and a general "Happy" theme. PMS-sufferers are invited to spread the happy! with downloadable insanity, zen garden therapy, or -- better yet! -- by printing out iron-on clip art.

"Make your period a happier time by grabbing a comfy tee and pair of panties, picking your favorite transfer designs and heating up the iron!" the site prattles, its copywriter clearly a model of loathing -- or on a whole lot of Zoloft.

by Angela Natividad    Sep-18-08    
Topic: Bad, Brands, Online, Strange



Richard Simmons the New 'Go to Guy' For Commercials

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OMFG. Poor Richard Simmons. The dude has been reduced to nothing more than a one line joke for advertisers to toy with as they please. He was run over in a Bridgestone Super Bowl commercial and now he's accosting women in a grocery store screaming at them for even thinking about enjoying delicious goodies such as key lime pie, Boston cream pie and strawberry shortcake.

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by Steve Hall    Sep-18-08    
Topic: Bad, Celebrity, Commercials



Crispin Exchanges MSFT/Seinfeld Ads for Potentially Worse Idea

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Well, everyone got what they wanted. Those zany Bill Gates/Jerry Seinfeld ads (see 1 and 2) are out of the picture and now we'll never see what they were building up to. That upsets me. Then again, I didn't whip out the $10 million for Seinfeld.

In their stead, Crispin's hired a dead-ringer for John Hodgman, the stodgy but lovable "humorist" who personifies PC in Apple's "Mac vs. PC" ads. (See Hodgman pose as free pizza in the most recent spot. He's so cute!)

According to Engadget, the new effort is a direct rebuttal to the "Mac vs. PC" ads, which have become part of popular culture. One even starts out with the John Hodgman lookalike saying, "Hello, I'm a PC, and I've been made into a stereotype."

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Verizon Loves Idiots

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Once again, Verizon positions dads as blithering, socially-inept idiots. Oh, but they did something new this time. They included moms. Kudos! Equal opportunity idiocy from a company that can get away with it because, despite their idioct, they do have the best coverage and who wants to be left off the grid when you need your eighties music fix?

Thanks McCann Erikson.

by Steve Hall    Sep-12-08    
Topic: Bad, Commercials



Wendy's Goes Viral. Just Kidding.

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Wendy's joins the amateur video club with "Crazy Lettuce." By now you know the score: two guys are involved. One can never hold the camera straight. At the very last second some zany shit happens.

In this case, a bushy head of lettuce consumes a wee little Wendy's burger. Link to meatatariansunite, a nightmare of poor wallpaper that does nothing but hurt eyes and demand emails.

If this is the one trick to succeeding in so-called "viral marketing," the medium ought to die fast and painfully. Unfortunately for Wendy's, the eyes-deceive-thee! gimmick that served Levi's, Ray Ban and Nike so well is all used up. People finally get the joke: these amazing feats in online video? They never happened. Know what else? They're ADS.

"Crazy Lettuce" has drawn less than 1100 views on YouTube, a mediocre rating (2 stars) and mixed response (of which there are 12).

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by Angela Natividad    Sep-11-08    
Topic: Bad, Brands, Campaigns, Online, Video



Nike Says Here I Am, Just Do Me

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Over at Gawker, Nike is taking a beating for a new slogan it's testing in a new campaign targeting women in Europe. The tagline, "Here I am" is humorously pointed out to have, well, and interesting relationship with the parent tagline,"Just Do It." The relationship? The actionable "do it" portion of the parent tagline is seen to be a bit, well, awkwardly demeaning when placed next to the more submissive "Here I Am."

So is Nike telling the bulk of its audience to just do it with submissive women in Europe who will just lay down and say "here I am?"

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by Steve Hall    Sep-11-08    
Topic: Bad, Brands, Creative Commentary, Opinion



Visa Uses Facebook to Seduce SMBs, Ultimately Pisses 'Em Off

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In June, Visa worked with AKQA to offer $100 in Facebook ad credits to the first 20,000 small business owners that downloaded its Visa app.

The app now boasts 42,543 monthly active users, but comments on the Visa Business Network page consist almost entirely of people that never received a coupon. Others are confused about whether the credits are just supposed to appear in their Facebook Ads cache.

"I smell a scam," Johnny Premier says; Frank Horbelt shouts, "There's potential here ... (But you guys are squandering it!)"

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by Angela Natividad    Sep- 8-08    
Topic: Bad, Brands, Campaigns, Online, Social



Self-Conscious Web Series Fails to Spark Interest for 'Most Interesting Man'

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"What does it mean to be interesting? That's an interesting question." It's also one of the better lines from "Behind Interesting," a six-part web series by Dos Equis and Break, which is letting Dos Equis ride its leaderboards like a carnival pony.

"Behind Interesting" expands on Dos Equis' Most Interesting Man in the World campaign. Problem is, all that over-practiced pompousness is just too earnest to be ironic.

by Angela Natividad    Sep- 4-08    
Topic: Bad, Brands, Campaigns, Online








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