VIFF Turns Camera Eye to Film Festival Audience

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"I was immediately attracted to the idea of turning the movie screen into a kind of mirror to the audience," says Chris Hutsul of Soft Citizen, referring to the spots he directed for the Vancouver International Film Festival (VIFF).

They're smart, funny and unexpectedly existential -- but also familiar, because you see yourself in each of these snapshots: your rage at late-coming friends, your perplexity toward abstract cinema, or the way some foreign films turn you into an overthinking, turtleneck-sporting douchebag. With a ponytail.

o The Overanalyzer
o The Foreign Film
o The Seat-Saver
o The Front Row
o The First Question
o The Die Hard

They end neatly -- gratefully, even -- with the words "We're glad you're here." (So glad, in fact, that they -- meaning VIFF -- have also given you a game to play. It's an amusing one-time distraction, enough of an experience to leave you feeling good, post-chortle.)

Agency: TBWA/Vancouver. Soft Citizen produced, Secret Location assisted with interactive production.



Sony Style Challenges Disney's Monopoly on Wonder

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Sony Style is working with Extreme Group/Toronto on a rebranding effort called "Experience the Wonder." Print ads will be used to distill the magic people feel when walking into a Sony Style store.

"A typical consumer standing outside a Sony Style location has the same look on their face as a kid in a candy store," said associate CD Anthony Taaffe, explaining the ad at left.

It's weird, but for some reason the image of a dazzled kid in oversized clothing always makes me think of Disney.* It's like those guys have a monopoly on childlike awe -- not to say Sony hasn't occasionally swept me off my feet.

Anywho, the work will appear at Sony Style stores and launch events in Montreal, Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver.

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by Angela Natividad    Sep-25-08    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Events, Poster



Red Tettemer Pits Light and Dark Meat Against Each Other

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For Hatfield Quality Meats, Red Tettemer built a foosball table where sausage links take the place of soccer players.

The set-up brings a grill to mind, but unfortunately all the sausages are plastic. The game will be used at events and sponsorships.

Neat way to build engagement. Wondering whether it might compel stoned co-eds to try building their own foosball tables out of cocktail links and bamboo skewers. Will trawl YouTube regularly, just in case.

by Angela Natividad    Sep-25-08    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Events, Guerilla, Packaging, Promotions



Mortal Coil Be Damned, There's a Popcorn Bowl at Stake!

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On October 2 in Times Square, Netflix kicks off a five-day movie-watching marathon. The objective: to make the Guinness World Record for most consecutive hours spent watching movies.

Provided you don't die of sleep deprivation, drowning or electrocution,* winners get "undeniable notoriety associated with holding the title of world champion," plus $10K, a lifetime Netflix subscription, and a Popcorn Bowl trophy -- the first of its kind!

But jobless film buffs be warned: the current record-holder, Ashish Sharma of Mathura, India, will also compete. The time to beat is 120 hours and 23 minutes.

To promote the marathon, DECON produced three spots for TV and three for online. The online ones are pretty much the same as the TV ones, except more to-the-point (see?).

Each ends with a huge Netflix logo, followed by the ominous words, "The training has begun." Titillated? Is your calling calling? Enter on Facebook.

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Direct Mail Musing, Infiltrating McCain, Toothpaste Autopsies, Ironic Artstuffs

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- GI Direct hopes to inspire direct mail marketers with Creative Formats, a visul muse that makes direct mail seem rad as scrapbooking. Search by feature, format, market sector or size of run.

- MoveOn.org goes behind enemy lines in hopes of, I don't know, making McCain implode. Meet Billy Mires, bus driver of the "Straight Talk Express." He'll pass on charming yet ironic factoids like how John McCain invented the BlackBerry.

- The anatomy of toothpaste. What you see at left is Colgate Total Mint Stripe. Was it Andy Warhol who said art is whatever you can get away with?

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by Angela Natividad    Sep-16-08    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Events, Online, Strange, Trends and Culture



Wakamaru Robot to Shill Layered Tees at UNIQLO SoHo

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You remember UNIQLO, the Japanese retailer whose quirky UNIQLOCK campaign won raves -- and shelf candy -- at One Show, the Clios and Cannes.

As of this week, UNIQLO's SoHo location will be home to a marketing gimmick that utterly outpaces UNIQLOCK in terms of ambition: Mitsubishi's Wakamaru robot. Originally built as a household helper, Wakamaru can look people in the eye and engage in basic communication. (Kinda reminds me of R2D2, except less willful and more coherent. See it meet and greet.)

In addition to wracking up the oohs and aahs, Tokyo Mango says Wakamaru will also help UNIQLO SoHo shoppers locate products around the store. No word on if Mitsubishi hopes to win business -- or at least interest -- through the collabo.

by Angela Natividad    Sep-11-08    
Topic: Events, Guerilla, Product Placement, Sponsorship



Because Being Uninsured is Almost (?) Like Being Naked

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To draw eyes to the 6.7 million uninsured residents living in California, Blue Shield erected 40 naked statues at a Los Angeles-based event for universal healthcare coverage. Each statue is frozen in a vulnerable position, which reflects the state of people living without healthcare coverage.

I like the effort. It brings a bit of provocation to a public landscape without making it seem cluttered with advertising. See more photos.

by Angela Natividad    Sep-10-08    
Topic: Cause, Events, Good, Guerilla



Miley Cyrus Stripped, Michelob Reinvigorated, Copyranter Quits (Again)

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- Copyranter calls it quits. Again. Don't worry, he'll still be writing for Animal New York, and he's open to sponsorship.

- Speaking of sponsorship, HBO whips out some wad for web celebs like lonelygirl15. The network is rounding up YouTube headliners for a web series called Hooking Up. Witness the lameness.

- Degourget doesn't like Esquire's first-ever digital magazine cover, which was sponsored by the "ugly-assed Ford Flex." The price we pay for bells and whistles.

- Clear Channel Radio hosted an event called Stripped, where artists play "stripped-down" versions of songs in a jammy "unplugged" setting. Why is this news? Because Miley Cyrus performed Girls Just Wanna Have Fun, that's why. Everything involving Miley Cyrus is news, especially when the headline reads "MILEY CYRUS STRIPPED."

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For Mere Pocket Change, 'East Touch Magazine' Lets You Into Its Pants

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From September to October, Levi's "Live Unbuttoned" campaign invades newsstands and 7-Elevens in Hong Kong.

Agency TBWA\TEQUILA partnered with East Touch Magazine to outfit its next issue in miniature 501s. Mag-lurkers will literally have to unbutton the jeans just to finger a copy. Bonus points if you can fit in them!

There'll also be a guerrilla effort in Causeway Bay, where customers can experience the "Live Unbuttoned" campaign live and, uh, unbuttoned, which I think just means they'll be able to try jeans on in a tent. (I'm hoping there'll also be a lively music component. Chinese gen-yers love free music -- who doesn't? -- so it would make sense if Levi's also promoted its free music downloads there, too.)

by Angela Natividad    Sep- 2-08    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Events, Good, Guerilla, Magazine, Newspaper



Cops Tweet, SBUX Seduces, Pets Prattle, GOOG Cozies Up to Agencies

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- Cops in Scottsdale, Arizona use Twitter to keep the community abreast of what's happening in the city: closed roads, active crime scenes and the like.

- Google cozies up to agencies with evangelism missions and SWAG. Don't be fooled by all those friendly faces! John Battelle isn't.

- Ramadan's got brands in a tizzy. Coke released special packaging; Starbucks is showcasing Arabian blends and Ramadan-inspired pastries at its stores in the Middle East. Observers of Ramadan, which fast! until! sunset!, will undoubtedly be thrilled. (I love SBUX, but after a food-free day it's the last place I'd go. Who says "I'm starving! A tart and some coffee would do me good"?!)

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