AllState, best known for its mild-mannered commercials and provocative slogan, "Are you in good hands?" conducts an out-of-character but well-orchestrated PR stunt with the help of Leo Burnett.
In the subsequent ad a man on a mission steals a vehicle and drives it surreally off the top of a Marina City parking garage in Chicago. And just when you're like "OMGWTFBBQ," that soothing meme of a tone takes over: "AllState. Are you in good hands?"
Nervous laughter all around.
This print ad, where a Grand Am teeters precariously over the edge of that same parking structure, follows up on the idea.
AllState, typically favouring the soberest of marketing stances, surprised us with this one. It's a little like God making a joke at our expense. We're sure they got some good buzz out of the deal and maybe even an account or two since people accidentally drive off narrow parking structures all the time.
We'd never be able to turn down anything involving Nick Cannon, and 5W clearly hopes you feel the same way because they've just crowned the young Wild'n Out star with dinner host status for Sundance Escape '07. Other celebs you'd die before missing, we're sure, include poker prodigy Doyle Brunson, who'll also be signing autographs for a book he wrote.
5W PR CEO Ronn Torossian gushes, "We are thrilled to have a presence this year, and to have our clients Evian, Anheuser-Busch and Doyle Brunson, joining." Yeah, presence for these sorts of things is always a plus. The fun goes down in Park City, UT from January 18th- 22nd.
If for some incomprehensible reason you can't make it in the flesh, mouth Nick Cannon's raps in your living room while watching the whole thing live on Stickam. We wouldn't miss it even if we had terminal cancer, so be there or risk making the mistake of your life.
To promote her new book Wife in the Fast Lane, Karen Quinn is running a contest for fast-lane provocations. Anybody living a zippy life can turn in a video, essay or one-liner. Winners get to be characters in her next novel, which means you'll have something to send to people next Christmas that doubles as both gift and holiday card.
Come on. How many people get immortalized in pop fiction?
Guerilla and marketing efforts for the campaign were stealthily conducted by BL Ochman of What's Next Online. She's also to blame for the Up Your Budget treasure hunt of '05 and that funny little American Greetings campaign which niched itself by highlighting quirky twists in our favourite nuclear unit.
Agency Brown of Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada throws together a little Spinal Tap tribute to demonstrate why it's just cooler to be "one louder" than the other cats out there. These are the same guys who did that "we're always on" lightswitch thing that we made fun of last year.
We'll cut them some slack this time because we like that weird skeleton shirt that Nigel Tufnel has on. It's funny the things that endear a campaign to you. We still, however, think Brown can be corny as all hell with this somewhat feeble "toot our own horns" shtick.
DRGM Las Vegas celebrates its agency femmes by creating a pin-up calendar of said women - except they're all being parodied by the agency men.
DRGM creative director Bernice Bamburak explains, "[T]hese guys make us look sexier than we are -- did you see the legs on Miss July?" She also notes that clients, who know both the men and women in the agency, love the idea. Last year the women parodied the agency men.
We need to create a compendium of all the ways this pin-up concept has been abused in the name of things like cheese, theatre, coffins and even fat as pets. What happened to the days when things were simple and we just took pictures of girls with pom-poms and team-coordinated bikinis?
For Smirnoff's Break the Ice campaign, Denmark-based Leo Burnett releases an online-only video of some douchey wallflower doing hackey sack-type tricks with a bottle of Smirnoff. We like the ending and don't want to spoil it for you. Let's just say there's a reason hackey sacks are soft and squishy.
For their snazzy new Halo videoconferencing tool, DreamWorks and HP commission Goodby, Silverstein and Partners (who, by the way, just won US Agency of the Year courtesy of Adweek) to help make magic.
To illustrate the medium's visual benefits and the idea that people can work together without actually being together, the agency called on The Ebeling Group to create a series of vignettes meant to be played on HDTV split-screens at events and such.
The spots, directed and conceptualized by Tennant, are esoteric but pretty, which is what they were shooting for so we suppose they succeed. They also get that complex "work together without being together" idea out nicely. We haven't added the Halo videoconferencing system to our nighttime prayers, though.
One of the spots can be seen on The Ebeling Group's website. They're fun both to watch and listen to, and we can only imagine what it must be like trying to watch the ads in entirety when they're playing 20 feet above you on either side of your face. They must blow the mind. At the very least we figure people will stop, stare and do that awkward back-and-forth foot pivot for a second or two. That weird reaction on its own is almost worth putting ads up high and splitting them apart.
For client Vitae, the largest homeless shelter in the EU, McCann Portugal runs a rather unsettling holiday campaign in which people find a hollow-eyed homeless man in their trash bins with the appeal, "Help. So that no one have to come here for food."
Coming from a country in which passing change to the homeless is discouraged, we're hard-pressed to work out the call-to-action here. Do you give them a potted plant? Drive them to Vitae? Bake them a pie?
The robber in this Crime Stoppers ad holds up a bank while barking out full name and contact info to the teller facing the gun. After spitting out his number he quickly adds, "...and if you can't reach me there, try--"
We laughed for a moment, then realized this is no laughing matter. Jokes aside, today's customer-oriented world demands a different kind of criminal. You have to make sure the people you're robbing are happy. Post-filesharing, stealing's gotten seriously legit. Apparently even pirates have to report hard-earned plunder to the IRS.
And all this time we thought stealing was a cop-out. That just added a whole new complication to tax season.
Agency credit for "Bank Robber" goes to DDB Canada. Perhaps one day the thoughtful antagonist can graduate to business cards like any other corporate raider.
One day we got thirsty so Shawn over at Shedwa offered us a sip from his water bottle, the contents of which had a distinctively sharp odour. We would have drunk it anyway but when we saw the label read ADEQUITE, we knew better.
Actually that's a lie. And the Adequite water in this print ad is probably similarly unfounded considering how pissy Lohan got over that "Be adequite" thing getting out and making her look all stupid. And as the little red celebu-hoodrat is so fond of sporting her AA pins, maybe she's not even an alcoholic.
We're on your side, Lindsay. It's actually we who are the alcoholics. And we're drunk with love of you.