NYC's Tourism Department Could Use a Little Magic

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NYC & Company, which serves as New York's marketing and tourism organization, has launched a component at NYC Visit to help tourists feel more local. For the most part the site is a gigantic press release and if it possesses the rhyme and reason its raving PR people claimed, we're not seeing it.

Anyway, the new tourism effort for the Big Apple kicks off with a series of print ads and a TV spot, all of which are posted at the tourism site.

The print ads are explosions of ... just ... stuff and they all make stark statements: This is Entertainment, This is Fashion, This is Food, This is Shopping, and This is Just Another Day.

For the most part you get a Saks Ad Meets Highlights for Kids feeling.

We're not crazy about it. But hey, maybe the ads are amazing when they're three feet long and accosting you from the side of a building.

by Angela Natividad    Oct-10-07    
Topic: Bad, Outdoor, Poster, Promotions



Sony Defends Honor of Bravia Bunnies ... Yeah.

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After our stokage, then disappointment, over the latest Bravia ad -- snippets of which look suspiciously like this Kozyndan panoramic (sent to Passion about two years ago) -- Sony gave us the following statement.

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by Angela Natividad    Oct- 8-07    
Topic: Agencies, Bad, Campaigns, Opinion



Saturn Uses MySpace Ads to Trash -- and Bait? -- MySpace Users

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We haven't heard a peep from Saturn since the Aura's mad diss by Bob Garfield. But the company hopes to reinvent itself with the Astra (try not to confuse the names), targeted directly at MySpacers.

To celebrate its call to "Rethink," users are invited to take a test drive. Try to work out what's going on with the laggy PowerPoint-esque site while trying to ignore the corny copy: "Go. Stop. Look. Turn. Repeat. Is this really how we fall in love with a car?"

It may not be the formula for falling in love with a car, but it sounds suspiciously like the directions on a shampoo bottle, except with too many confusing demands.

by Angela Natividad    Oct- 8-07    
Topic: Bad, Brands, Online



Sony Bravia Play-Doh Ad Proves (Possibly Too) Inspired

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You know you're stunningly geeky when you suffer edge-of-seat anticipation for the next installment of a Sony ad. (Will it be like Paint? Will it be like Ball?)

Shedwa finally ends our wait - and the final result isn't much like its predecessors at all. Created by Fallon with the work of 40 Passion-based animators, this is arguably the smoothest, most well-orchestrated use of stop-motion animation -- and, well, Play-Doh -- we've seen yet.

The ad also has an emotional pull that can probably be attributed to use of The Rolling Stones' "She's a Rainbow." Ad editors call this laziness - pop hits always bring easy emotion to a piece.

Which is the perfect segue into a still bigger buzzkill: Looks like the ad was a rip off a panoramic originally created by, but not credited to, husband/wife team Kozyndan.

Come on, Fallon/Passion. Credit your muses. How can we love it now?

by Angela Natividad    Oct- 5-07    
Topic: Bad, Brands, Commercials



Sorry, What's Mio Selling Again?

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We've been subject to some foul premises in our lives, but few things have generated an adverse physical reaction the way this ad for Mio has.

Produced by Duval Guillaume in Brussels, the tagline reads, "There's always a way out." Ponder on that as you like if you ever accidentally swallow a live bug.

It's probably worth mentioning that we just consumed an inordinate amount of peanut butter. This really has nothing to do with the ad, but after watching the spot, our stomachs are not happy.

by Angela Natividad    Oct- 3-07    
Topic: Bad, Commercials



Indulging Creative Strain Yields Expectedly Unfun Reading Material

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In September, Corbis ran a contest called I Am Buried, which encouraged ad creatives to bitch about how hard life is in the most enviable job any college burnout ever dreamed of. Winners got shopping sprees, personal assistants and other stuff you fantasize about when you're depressed and not buying razors.

We held off on covering this because we thought it would be more interesting to wait after the campaign, so as to air out the dirty laundry of the winners. It turns out -- surprise of all surprises -- the winning stories were not really all that compelling.

One refers to something called "WORKIARRHEA" and somebody else made a chart of her dirty dishes, coupled with a somewhat depressing description of how her work piles up with no end in sight.

This must by far have been the suckiest contest ever, providing us with data only slightly more interesting than a discussion about corns, and somebody's attempt to be witty by referencing hufu during Advertising Week.

by Angela Natividad    Oct- 1-07    
Topic: Agencies, Bad, Online, Promotions



YPulse: Condescension Does Not a Responsible Marketer Make

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Renee Hobbs freaks us the fuck out.

Who is Renee Hobbs?

The director of My Pop Studio. And she's currently expounding on media education for girls at the YPulse conference.

My Pop Studio is a pretty interesting site. Founded on the notion that society promotes developing self through sales, it "pushes back" by imbuing girls with critical thinking skills for battling media messages.

A series of free online games teaches kids about how media works by letting them manufacture culture: you can observe how your feelings about a product (like lip gloss) change depending on the backgroud music, create a pop star, and practice multi-tasking.

This could be a great resource for kids. In fact, it probably already is - the site boasts partners like Alloy, and Hobbs champions her team as masters of viral and WOM marketing.

In the meantime, our experience of the product is colored entirely by Hobbs' own personality, who's an overwhelming real-life version of Nurse Ratchett.

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by Angela Natividad    Sep-28-07    
Topic: Bad, Cause, Industry Events, Online



New Agency Departs From Norm, Renames Unique Selling Proposition

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When choosing a name for an ad agency, since everyone is moving away from the Huey Duey & Louie law firm-style model, one should choose a name that connotes something interesting, something exciting, something that elicits staying power. Perhaps Art Bradshaw and Emily Rex who just dubbed their new agency Departure think the notion of leaving is better than staying. Now, one could joke about this new name as Adrants reader Chuck did when he wondered why they didn't call themselves Leaving or Closing or Back Later or Track 9 or Running Late or Exit (wait, that one's sort of taken) or Last One Out Turn Out the Lights. But that would be mean.

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by Steve Hall    Sep-27-07    
Topic: Agencies, Bad



Firebrand Thinks People Will Actively Seek Commercials

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We really wonder if people do their homework before launching what they believe will become something akin to the next YouTube. The idea of commercials as content has been done many times before and has failed each time. However, the recently launched Firebrand doesn't seem to care and believes its offering of the "coolest" commercials served up MTV VJ-style will connect "consumers directly with their favorite brands in an integrated environment." How many billions of time have we heard that before?

We tried really hard not to laugh when Firebrand CEO Roman Vinoly said, "We program TV spots like a DJ spins music in a club. There is a rhythm and flow to it." In an attempt to spin Firebrand as something other than a massive database of commercials, Vinoly adds, "On Firebrand, you'll see more car chases, explosions, gags, drama, heroes, Oscar-winning actors, directors and producers in an hour than in a month of HBO." Right, dude. They're still fucking commercials. Not The Sopranos.

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by Steve Hall    Sep-26-07    
Topic: Bad, Cable, Commercials, Mobile/Wireless, Online, Opinion, Television



Hugo Fragrances Hauls Out Mutual of Omaha Mating Ritual Dance

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We're having a really, really tough time deciding whether this new video promoting the Hugo Fragrances XY for Men and XX for Women is insightfully witty or over-the-top horrific. Using the male stalks female in the wild analogy, the video lets us observe the mating rituals of a man and a woman in a museum. The video leads to a website which features Jonathan Rhys Meyers and Bette Franke sparring in a boxing ring. All to promote dueling fragrances.

by Steve Hall    Sep-21-07    
Topic: Bad, Campaigns, Celebrity, Good, Video








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