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This Zappos spot, where a smiling courier hand-delivers a little bit of happy to customers in a small neighborhood, is infectiously charming.
I like how it brings the brand offline and makes it feel down-home and local: it's your friendly online shoe conglomerate! This approach would ring disingenuous for most internet giants, but Zappos has a coupla things going for it:
1) Getting a package in the mail gives people warm tinglies.
2) Its service really is just that good. The first time I placed an order with Zappos, the shoes didn't fit, and they sent a replacement pair even before I returned the old ones. "Just drop them in the mailbox whenever you can," the rep said (I could hear him smiling!), and boy did that feel nice. Cartwheel-nice, even.
Read more about Zappos' ad efforts riiiiiiiight here.
Imagine if the Coke Happiness Factory got hijacked by dancing Reds that prefer fruity vodka to sugar water. You're probably picturing "Airship," the latest spot for Stoli Blakberi, put together by Publicis/London and production company Stink/Psyop. Music by Prokofiev.
Part of what keeps me drinking Stoli is unwavering affection for its advertising. On TV or in print, it's always got the same feel: over-the-top, cartoony, propagandistic. Disney's "It's a Small World After All" meets the hoarse ballads and frosty grit of Moscow.
Stoli is a proud, heavy-handed romantic, and taking a swig is like surrendering to history: the beautifying dizziness, concrete on your lips, bile in your throat. It's a suffering, and a brand, baptized in nostalgia.
For client Little Debbie, Marcos Ambrose joins forces with a talking koala. They're so cute together, it's oddly gratifying to see them draw housewives' attention at the supermarket or co-pilot a race while koala eats Zebra Cakes.
"I thought you only ate eucalyptus leaves?" Ambrose demands, slightly miffed, right before he peels out onto the track.
Collective awwwwwwwww. Don't you just want to rub their tummies and feed them a Devil Square?
The spots went live in tandem with racing season. So far Ambrose isn't doing too terribly, no thanks to his choice of snack food, but a talking marsupial riding shotgun (think of the crumbs!) probably keeps things interesting.
See more of their routine on Little Debbie's Miles of Smiles website, put together by Luckie & Co., which also did the creative.
I got up early this morning to play with the website for Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist, a Wackness-meets-Go-type movie featuring Michael Cera and Kat Dennings.
It feels totally inspired by the chaos of Manhattan. You're hit with a trailer, after which you can enter the site, riddled with cardboard cut-outs, frenetic noise (honking horns, sirens) and, under "Music," an Infinite Playlist that's not so infinite. (Two songs so far. Will there be more? Somebody needs to contract this guy.)
- Diggin' these Beijing Olympics-based efforts for Mini Cooper and Samsung. Well, the Samsung one might have confused me if I saw it in person, but the Mini rickshaw thing is pretty dope.
- Should Starbucks engage in latte art? American coffee snobs, a subculture Starbucks helped create, would probably argue yes -- if it's at all serious about maintaining luxury cachet. (Which I increasingly doubt it is.)
- More Michael Phelps ads by Visa. PS -- Phelps scored a perfect eight gold medals in the Olympics this summer. It's so exciting, I'm starting to get spam about it.
- So I guess Verizon is not that into disco.
- Rainbow tribe daddy Brad Pitt is launching a body wash in partnership with Kiehl's. The product will cost $16.50 market, he'll appear in no ads, and 100 percent of profits will go to JPF Eco Systems, a green charity he and Kiehl's started together. How sweeeeet.
Video ad firm Husky Media has decided to ride against the tide, offering advertisers big-ass ads instead of feeble pre-rolls and teeny ticker tape text. View the demo video, which makes the proposition look sane: videos flanked on either side by gigantor ad messages. It's about as offensive as Coverflow.
"At Husky Media, we believe bigger is better and will never succumb to the shrink ray," boasts Co-CEO David Carson of Husky. "We've been seeing it everywhere this summer, from the size of a cup of yogurt to dog food to cheese wheels to 'staycations' to 14 oz. pints of beer. Isn't a pint supposed to be 16 oz.? This is one summer trend we will not let idly pass. Last I heard WE LIVE IN AMERICA."
That's officially the Best PR Quote Ever. Bonus points if he starts appearing in public with a cowboy hat.
"After finding a Leatherman on the ocean floor, our hero transformed himself from clawless freak into BIONIC LOBSTER: the handiest lobster alive."
Awesome premise -- one-clawed lobster gets new lease on life -- by STICK and MOVE/Philly for client Leatherman. (If Finding Nemo taught us anything, it's that everyone loves a story about broken fish prevailing over life's hard knocks.) Happily, they went all the way with it: See spot where Bionic Lobster fends for his life, MacGuyver-style, in a seafood restaurant. And there are comic books! Three parts so far, and if you bother to download the PDFs, well-made and funny too.
Looking forward to seeing more stuff by STICK and MOVE.
On Visa's behalf, Morgan Freeman congratulates US Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps "on having won more gold medals than anybody EVAR." The ad started airing hours after Phelps exceeded his own expectations of winning eight gold medals -- seizing his 10th on Tuesday. (He is now up to 11.)
Don't tell me they didn't have this bad-boy lying in wait, because I seriously doubt Freeman looked up from his gardening or whatever to go, "Oh! Phelps delivered the goods, I think I'll put together another sepia montage and say 'Good job' all over the world."
A recent Nielsen Online buzz tracking study found Phelps is the most-discussed Olympian athlete online. And on TV last night, I found out Phelps' wingspan is 6'7" -- THREE INCHES WIDER than he is tall. Also, his feet bend 15 degrees more than the average swimmer, making them more flippery or something.
UPDATE: Everyone seems to think I hate this ad. I don't. I think it was crafty of Visa to have it on the pipeline, I think it was a lovely way to fist-bump Phelps, and I think the campaign as a whole is a positive step away from the mediocre "Life Takes Visa" stuff we've been seeing. There. Please feel free to untwist your underpants.
- At left: a French mushroom ad! OMG cute. Caption: "Paris mushrooms: it's when they're in your mouth that they're the happiest." Go make them happy. Our resident expat PT Ford isn't so amused.
- Nothing starts the day off better than a kung fu drink ad.
- Dario at Invoke sent us this shot of the Newfoundland-based Hits 99.1 FM van.
- Worthless but interesting tag cloud tool. This one lets you pick fonts and colors. Pop in a URL, see what your homepage mentions most. (Adrants loves itself some Leigh.)
- Public School Intelligentsia learns us a new word: frumputante. Think cash-money bag ladies in Juicy Couture sweats. Streaky hair a plus. Ugh.
Check out "Theatre" for Holland Casino. It clearly identifies its audience, demonstrates why casinos are more entertaining than a "high culture" jaunt ("It's more fun when you take part") and even made us laugh. I srsly almost choked on my couscous when dude was all, "IS IT A BOOK...?!"
Nice change from gaudy and cheesy. Good stuff by agency TBWA and production company Czar/NL.