Aaron Fotheringham Explains HowStuffWorks

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If you think you have challenges in life, meet Aaron Fotheringham, a wheelchair-bound 17-year-old who's created a sport called hard core sitting. Basically, it's extreme skateboarding in a wheelchair.

Recently, Discovery Communications hooked up with Fotheringham who appears in a commercial, launching this week, for the Discovery Channel's HowStuffWorks website. Aaron has Spina Bifida and is the first person to perform a backflip in a wheelchair.

This latest work follows an initial campaign for the site which featured a scuba diving cat.

by Steve Hall    Jun-24-09    
Topic: Cause, Commercials, Good



Cannes Lions: Going Gold for Georgia

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At 72 Croisette (the so-called Gutter Bar) last night, Shannon Stephaniuk introduced me to the members of Ogilvy Stockholm, which won a Gold Lion for its work for UNA Sweden.

Their objective was to raise funds to support the war victims of Georgia (the country, not the state); and to do this, they spoke with the locals and gathered small, specific and personal items that belonged to people affected by the war.

See Shoes, Sweater and Sheet; I found the sight of those scorched, warped items physically painful, and the stories still more moving.

It's my strong feeling that the work deserved a Grand Prix, but apparently you can't win one if the effort is nonprofit. Weird logics. In any case, I hung out awhile and talked to the guys about the work, what they did and how it made them feel in general.

Video interviews below. Given that it's the Gutter Bar at 2:00 AM and not, say, an Embassy lobby, try to bear with the background noise. Better yet, imagine you're there, stumbling around with your third vodka tonic, playing guess-the-accent with your group of chums-for-the-week.

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You...Are So Much Better Than You Really Are

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We could use a little Scientology right now. After all, according to the church's new commercial, "you are not your name, you're not your job, you're not the clothes you wear or the neighborhood you live in. You're not your fears, your failures or your past."

And there's more. "You are hope. You are imagination. You are the power to change, to create and to grow. You are a spirit that will never die. And no matter how beaten down, you will rise again."

Wouldn't it be nice to cast off the irrelevant, supposedly unimportant, aspects of your life - all that heavy baggage that drags you down - and just start over anew with hope, imagination and "the power to change." The only problem? You can't simply cast those things off because they are part of you and they do define you. They are your history. They are your personality. They are you.

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by Steve Hall    Jun-23-09    
Topic: Cause, Commercials, Good



Mad Men Characters Conduct Online Survey

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As part of his research project "about the future model of advertising" for thesis work at the Berlin School of Creative Leadership, AlmapBBDO Creative Director Sergio Mugnaini created a Mad Men-themed online research survey that's very cool. The survey takes scenes from Mad Men and dubs the survey questions right into the scene. Way more interesting than page after page of plain text. Ingenious, actually.

by Steve Hall    Jun-22-09    
Topic: Good, Online, Research, Video



Yes, Stella Even PILLAGES Prettily.

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The cool thing about Stella Artois is that it maintains a semblance of flair without ever forgetting it's still just a beer.

"Pirate Paper Boat" takes place somewhere French Riviera-like. A woman fails in her attempts to flag down a waiter for a Stella Artois Legere; an entirely-too-suave dude, separated from her by the breadth of a fountain, witnesses her distress and sends her his Stella in a paper boat.

It'd be a charming little piece if the ad stopped there. But it doesn't. They call it "Pirate Paper Boat" for a reason!*

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by Angela Natividad    Jun-18-09    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Good, Video



Ultimo-Clad Breasts No Match For Flesh Quaking Roller Coaster

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Some bra marketers, such as Wonderbra, love to tout the fact they help a woman look bigger than she really is. Others, such as Ultimo, are more practical and love to tout their product's ability to control what they've already got. Even in the most extreme circumstances like, oh, on several roller coasters at Allton Towers Resort.

Host Holly thanks us for joining her and a bevy of lingerie-clad ladies who illustrate how Ultimo is all about allowing women to enjoy "thrills without spills."

Ladies, do not attempt while wearing a Wonderbra. You will get hurt.

by Steve Hall    Jun-17-09    
Topic: Commercials, Good, Racy, Video



Lancia, Noble Peace Laureates Summit Drums Up Love for Suu Kyi

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Vehicle mark Lancia partnered with the World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates to demonstrate support Aung San Suu Kyi. The latter won the Nobel Peace Prize in '91 and has been imprisoned in her home country, Burma -- er, the Union of Myanmar -- for the last 18 years.

Suu Kyi is currently on trial; in the meantime, this video is seeking broader dissemination throughout Europe and the rest of the English speaking world. It's moving work that depicts past Nobel Peace laureates stepping out of cars and onto the red carpet. The last car opens to an empty back seat -- Lancia's way of pouring out the liquor, so to speak, for the absent Suu Kyi.

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by Angela Natividad    Jun-17-09    
Topic: Brands, Cause, Events, Good



Trash Guys Are Like Any Other Guys, Just With More Toys.

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86itjunk.com is a Canadian service that checks out your junk, gives you a quote and hauls it away on the spot.

The service sounds both parts filthy and boring, but instead of confirming our collective yech by going down the cheap-homemade-ad route, the company actually invested in a pretty good -- wait, no, highlarious -- campaign.

Charmingly taglined "Taking crap. It's what we do," three spots feature two increasingly lovable junk guys, which stay sane amidst the trash by doing guy things: engaging in potentially fatal bets, sparring with blunt instruments, and just generally destroying each other's dignities.

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by Angela Natividad    Jun-15-09    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Commercials, Good, Television



Chiat Goes to High School, Unveils True Agency Life

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In some sort of Mean Girls meets Teen Witch Meets Twenty-Something Ad Hotties, we have Chiat High. Yes, it's exactly what it sounds like; a bunch of primadonnas, a jock, a wimp, a collection of geeks and a love story with a happy ending. Yea, it's the high school cafeteria known as Chiat.

And you know what? This is the best representation of ad agency life we've seen in a long time. The primadonna's (account managers) prance with self-importance, the jocks (creatives) think they're better than everyone else, the tools (media) actually have heart but are afraid to express it and the nerds (traffic) get run over...over and over again.

Oh yes, some think this is yet another step down for a once great ad agency but we think someone's finally got agency life right.

And at Chiat, the lowly media planner scores with the hot AE. And there's absolutely nothing wrong with that at all.

by Steve Hall    Jun-14-09    
Topic: Agencies, Bad, Good, Opinion, Video



If Corona's Not Tripped-Out Over Financial Ruin, Why On Earth Should You Be?

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Corona demonstrates how to make good use of the newspapers that've spent the last six months foretelling our economic doom, bleeding woe like a car crash we have to relive every. single. fucking. day.

And as for that BlackBerry that you no longer need because of ad spend-related job cuts? Here's what you can do with that.

Life's too short to throw our well-being out with the bathwater. Good chill material by Cramer-Krasselt, which also handled the media buy. Also impressively in keeping with Corona's longtime creative positioning: those lounge chairs, that sea, nicely-chilled bottle just within your reach.

Ahhh. We want beach.

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by Angela Natividad    Jun-12-09    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Commercials, Good, Television








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