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This past Saturday night, YouTube held its YouTube Live event sponsored by Virgin, Flip, Lionsgate and Guitar Hero. The event, broadcast live from Fort Mason Center in San Francisco, included performances from Tay Zonday, will.i.am, Katy Perry, Joe Satriani, Bo Burnham, Michael, Buckley, Lisa Nova, Beardyman and many more. It was a geek fest to end all geek fests. But where was LonelyGirl16? Gary Brolsma? Syncsta (Barbie Girl, What is Love, Numa Numa, Ballroom Blitz Celebrate)? Tron? And all those other YouTube geeks?
Memorable moments from 41 ads, nicely choreographed to the tune of One Spring Away. Yeah, the gorilla's in there, plus bits from Sony's Bravia spots and Gap's Khaki Swing.
Steve is jealous because, in less sober times, we've bounced this same idea back and forth: "Hey, what if we mashed up a bunch of ads to, like ... a song...?"
But it takes a fine hand to elevate advertising -- coolly thrashed by jaded pundits -- to the soft-focused realm of scrapbook-worthy human experience. The Band From does it better than we could have.
For United Way, Publicis/Toronto gives us "Youth" and "Homelessness." Each introduces you to someone in dire straits: a homeless guy in his alley, staring despondently at passers-by; and a nervy new gangbanger.
Both look markedly stressed. Then each grabs hold of some part of themselves -- the homeless guy his torn jacket, the street kid his head -- and suddenly their skin peels off.*
Within the homeless man lies a clean-cut Joe with a uniform on. He steps easily out of his poverty-ridden skin -- kinda like the crazy sorceress whose ugliness "melted away" at the beginning of Disney's Beauty and the Beast -- and joins the sea of active, busy people on the streets.
Same deal with the kid. He grabs his head, peels off his hoodie-ensconced bad-ass self, and reemerges in -- lo! -- a baby blue soccer uniform.
"What you're really giving is a way out," each spot concludes, referring slyly to the donation you are now morally obligated to make.
I like the idea of being able to shake off your past and join the sunshiny stat-quo. But if the spots are appealing, it's because they oversimplify a taxing inner journey that can take years -- and plenty of sorrows -- to complete. Well, that's advertising for you.
This looks like fun. And before you self-harm on account of your incapacity to contrive something this cool with nothing but gamer love and idle time, take comfort: it was apparently pretty well-funded.
Paul Isakson -- better known as @Don_Draper -- says the faux fan effort is actually a promo for Guitar Hero World Tour. Created by Droga5 under the madflux facade, it's already had nearly 520,000 views in its first 24 hours live on YouTube.
I'm sure Feed Company is dying of envy.
Thanks @RobertGorell for passing us the link and agency info.
UPDATE: Steve Coulson persuaded us to call Feed Company and find out if they're the genies behind "Bike Hero." The person we talked to was all evasive and weird about it, so we called one of Feed's contractors and got bonafide confirmation: YES, Feed Company seeded the vid for Droga5.
No surprise, I guess; who besides Feed disseminates astroturf amateur vids that people actually watch?
Wow. Spoofs are getting better. Earlier today, we shared a hilarious rif on the Motrin babywearing commercial which highlighted the latest fad: really big boob jobs, the back pain they can cause and how Motrin can help.
Now, we have a great spoof of that incredibly annoying Saved by Zero Toyota commercial that's had everyone ranting for weeks. It's done ingeniously with scenes from the movie The Ring.
The Toyota folks must be loving all this hatred. Nothing like an annoying, shitty commercial that keeps going and going and going and...oh wait...that's kind of annoying too. And there's been plenty of spoofs on that one.
Pay close attention. The object behind the Grill the Goodness advergame is to put items on the grill, then use various tools (spatula, tongs, fork) to achieve two objectives: cook the food properly, and swat sticky fingers that try to steal the food before it's done.
Do those things with grace and poise, and maybe you won't be relegated to salad shaker when the reckoning happens.
Sassy stuff by Red Tettemer. Also one of the better advergames floating around right now, with the possible exception of Suicide Kittens. Hit the Grill the Goodness homepage for videos, tailgate tips and the Get Grilled Hall of Fame/Shame.
From now through December, expect to see Lara Croft decimating your favourite gamer sites, starting with this one. (Pull the ring in the leaderboard to get her going.)
Once all that pesky content's out of the way, indulge in a big-ass HD ad for Tomb Raider: Underworld, plus free downloadable demo. By Eyeblaster, IGN and SF-based agency JVST.
Playful immersive ad experiences like this are very cool. We saw something similar last September for Wario Land: Shake It! on YouTube. As the video progressed, Wario's kicks, bumps and big fat jiggles utterly "destroyed" the profile page.
It seems America isn't the only place with an obesity problem. It was thought Asian women don't have breasts. Now they do. It was once thought America was the only place where guts hung over the belt line. Now that's not the case. Whether it's America foisting its eating habits on the rest of the world or whether its other countries accomplishing obesity all on their own, Australia has joined the club and is out with an anti-obesity effort from the country's Department of Health.
To promote the fusion of Comcast DVR with TiVo, Biscuit Filmworks USA and Goodby, Silverstein & Partners give us "Separated at Birth."
It's a love story about a pair of TVs that part at the assembly line and serve two people in two different ways. In the end, the owners -- which start out as kids -- grow up and get together. Just like their favourite TV services.
Almost too cute to stand. The split ad format keeps eyes bouncing back and forth, and a simple narrative prevents captive audiences from snapping out of it. We'll even be willing to ignore the fact that TiVo hasn't been around long enough to have served any twenty-something from her budding days as a grade school control freak.
That Coke Christmas commercial which was teased last week is out in full form. And, like the teaser, it captures all the magic and mystery of Christmas. Like we said before, not much else to say. Well, just that there's a nice cover of Elvis' Can't Help Falling In Love With You in the commercial. Watch and enjoy.