A guy called James Neate just created a crew, Brandstalkers, whose mission it is to "virally" promote brands it loves -- as opposed to advertising them in conventional ways. (Frankly, "viral" is getting pretty conventional, in use of name if not in outcome. Repeat after me: VIRAL IS AN OUTCOME.) In return, the group takes a small "grant" from the companies it represents.
Its debut effort was for Guzman y Gomez, a Mexican taqueria based in Sydney. It involves half-naked guys and a lot of Sharpies.
Gotta love brand gospel writ on flesh. You can probably gauge the success of the campaign by the number of Japanese tourists it attracted.
- Gay folk write odes to pet pups.
- Folksy new site for Kubler Absinthe. The "Creativity" tab suggests an upcoming CGM effort where people can "contribute to the myth of Absinthe." See videos for preparing mixed drinks. They're cool, and don't you love that background music? Also check out "fact and fiction" and the how-to-drink, which I thought was really neat. By Decon/NY.
- Palin inspires rampant web subculture. So many options! Brings back fond memories of Miss South Carolina.
- Really good resource on getting paid to blog.
- M. M. McDermott is not impressed by Millennials, but he'll cater to them on the Baltimore Sun's hipster spin-off. While reading a stylebook and wearing a nametag labeled "COCK."
by Angela Natividad
, Trends and Culture
I oscillate between being impressed and appalled by the juxtaposition of human tango and car (?) tango in this promo for Ford Fiesta.
"Tango at the Tower" isn't just a random spot; it's footage from a Tower of London event featuring Jodie Kidd and Ian Waite (Strictly Come Dancing), the key dancers in the video, as well as a handful of other celebs: Andrew Castle, Suzanne Shaw, Liz McClarnon, Mark Ramprakash.
"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 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.
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.
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.
- 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?
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.
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.