We suspect Levi's puts its design cash toward licensing fees for the awesome songs they use in ads that keep us trying, year after year, to find a cool pair of Levi's jeans, even if history tells us this will never happen. Lame denim fits aside, the ads are sensory pop art.
We love -- love -- the Dangerous Liaisons ad for their 2007 line. At first we thought it was the usual booty-call striptease bit, because we've seen that gimmick a thousand times, but as the spot wore on we realized something more interesting happening.
In the Bartle Bogle Hegarty masterpiece, a couple undresses to reveal layers of decades suggested in clothing, demeanour, style and even background noise. It moves fluidly from the rough-and-tumble 19th century workjean years to 2007's waifish verge-of-tears emo period. All to the haunting and playful tune of "Strange Love" by Little Annie Bandez.
Time for another futile trip to the flagship store.
Make the Logo Bigger points us to Dump Cupid, an Herbal Essences promotion that departs from middle-aged moaning women in favour of a younger set, just in time for Valentine's Day.
The website features a depressing pole-dancing Cupid and, perhaps still more depressing, a series of supposedly user-generated hook-up stories that, despite carefully administered typos, ring false. We have trouble believing a woman who nearly drowned was saved by a lifeguard she later married. That's way too Nicholas Sparks. Users can also send Dump Cupid e-cards to each other with a running "We don't need him!" girl power theme. Uh ... yeah. Can we bring back the moaning women?
Update: as of 2/16, over 1.1 million people have seen the campaign thus far. And we're not surprised - across the Youtube and MySpace channels we've seen Cupid's red face peering gamely out all over the place. Is this a testament to the efficacy of viral marketing, female distaste for Cupid or a sick sense of epicaricacy? We don't know, maybe all 3 make the grade. Whether they convert into brand loyalty over the long-term is a fable for another day.
Isn't it beautiful what hands can do? That's the question VW asks at the end of this Phaeton ad by Grabarz & Partner Werbeagentur out of Hamburg. With a playful instrumental and impressive handplay, Volkswagen draws attention to the potential of hands to do more than grope, play games and spread the flu. This is meant to showcase the notion that the Phaeton is as elaborately handmade, though we're hard-pressed to imagine a set of European craftsmen sitting around adding final details to a VW.
We agree with Motionographer that it's probably not the most effective ad. It's a long, patient watch and these are not prized audience characteristics. But we like the thought, talent and attention to detail that went into putting it together. If ads are the art that will speak in years to come for society today, we'd rather it be Volkswagen's elegant handplay than, well, this.
Virgin is known for its ostentatious marketing efforts but they blew us away with Fresh Footwork, a Virgin Money campaign. Leveraging the slogan "Things get more exciting when you say yes," a ballerina traipses across a stage and is paused by an invitation to continue if you push a button marked Yes. With each confirmed Yes her footwork gets darker, sexier and more complex.
We don't want to blow the ending but anything that devolves in loose hair and pyrotechnics has our vote. Great use of interactive media. And the subtle sex appeal gave it a perfect balance of taste and edginess. We like Virgin's fresh footwork.
Created by Glue London, this was the topping-off to Virgin's 2006 Yes campaign in the UK.
For client General Electric, BBDO New York creates Samurai, fable about a Japanese fluff-ball on whose shoulders is set an Algieresque task to save the world from an evil emperor. With animation by Three Legged Legs, Samurai is part of GE's Imagination Theatre effort which marries the brand giant's proclaimed passion for innovation and imagination. It also serves as an illustrative and musical platform for their most current technological offerings.
The concept brings Toyota's misguided and busy world of Flash to mind, except without the misguided and busy world of Flash. GE also does Suzuki one better by taking the branded film idea and blessing it with their own personality instead of copying somebody else's and throwing in Fast-and-the-Furious-style cast members.
We like it. But who can hate on anime? It's the only sanctioned form of animation that gets to be both adorable and violent without pissing the PC police off. Plus it has ninjas, and we've already established that anything involving ninjas is automatically cool.
Senior citizen Sue Teller draws the attention of not-so-golden eyes with this little clip about mash-ups. It's got Mountain Dew's twisted tongue-in-cheek style all over it but the Dew's staying mum about its involvement with the aging, crunk-loving album ripper.
Kevin at PR Blog thinks it's Super Bowl related which makes sense to us as businesses traditionally go out on a limb to get noticed on the coveted meathead spots. Interestingly, the demographic that few besides convalescent homes pay attention to may contain the golden key.
Oxygen took this a step further some years ago and actually gave Sue Johansen, who's got to be pushing 85 from what we can tell, a sex show complete with a trunk full of pleasure tools. That definitely got the attention of creeped-out but fascinated high school girls for a hot minute. Is Dew tearing a page out of the femme-friendly network for the young and 'net-savvy? We'll find out.
We're not sure if these are real and have a strong suspicion they're not, but the idea that they could be makes us happy. And even if they aren't, the strength virals have in consumer-generated media makes them just as legit WOM-wise for the respective companies involved. Just look at the arguments they generate.
To wrap up the whole car-wars thing, the super-short synopsis: BMW gets snarky with Audi. Audi bitches them out. Subaru jumps in. Bentley pwns all. In fact we think we've just been sold on it. Why couldn't the Pepsi/Coke wars have ended like this?
Once upon a time we noted ad people would rather shoot movies than make boring ads. To illustrate this desperation we get tons of contrived holiday videos. But considering adland's love of video production in general, you'd think more artists would be thinking, "By gad. I'll get Ogilvy to position my bikini-clad models!"
Well, U2 did. Nix the bikini model part. For "Window in the Sky" they tapped Modernista, the only agency we know that self-promotes to an audience that perhaps prefers to remain unawares about agencies lurking behind brands. The resulting video is gorgeosity and includes multiple musical influences, icons and audiences.
Catch Up Lady fills us in on the mysterious force behind Men in Cramps: Procter & Gamble, differentiating themselves from other brands who try (hard) to get down with the viral crowd and ultimately fail.
"We simply didn't have enough women who knew about our menstrual product [ThermaCare], and had to find a new way to connect with them," says Tom O'Brien, associate marketing director for personal health care at P&G, Cincinnati. R&D reveals women lamenting "there was one group of consumers they would like to see understand more deeply what it meant to have menstrual pain -- men."
Well, they nailed it with "cyclical nonuterine dysmenorrhea." Big Pharma's been successful at inventing chronic ailments for so long it's only natural they'd hit a home run doing it as a spoof. Catch one of the ThermaCare ads with poster boy Dr. Fardel here. - Contributed by Angela Natividad
Shock value is the new Second Life. Oh wait, we used up our lame Second Life references already. Anyway, we had Volkswagen crashing their cars to prove their safety. We had cars crash to urge people not to drink and drive. And then there's bloody hell breaking lose inside a car to prove to people wearing a seatbelt is far better than killing your friends with your head. Watch it and wear your seatbelt. It delivers a strong message but you won't see it on TV here in the States. We're way to squeamish about being that honest. We like our sugar coated lives and all the pretense that goes along with that fairy tale life.