- 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"?!)
To supplement the use of big balloon dolls (dubbed "Fidolls") in its guerrilla campaign, Canadian wireless firm Fido deployed whimsical floating Fidoll-shaped bubbles into the air.
Charming -- even if, after the Bravia bubbles effort, it falls a little on the scant side of sudsy.
In addition to repping Fido to both the earth-bound and the airborne, the campaign -- which invites users to text 411 to 10987 -- invites users to free "Fido Sessions," which cover topics like art and design. Artists involved in the sessions have included The Dark, Nicholas Di Genova and Jamie Campbell.
Nice to see a wireless provider -- whose services are so integral to city-trawlers' daily lives -- engage users in a way that enlivens their own creativity.
- "Fuck it! We'll do it live! Fucking thing sucks!" You tell 'em, Bill, you wild animal you.
- The hood ornament is an endangered species. Is this what people want? We can save pandas but not the Spirit of Ecstasy?!
- New Shepard Fairey exhibition in SF: "Duality of Humanity." Inspired by Joker, the peace-sign-sporting Vietnam soldier in Full Metal Jacket, the show mashes up conflicting symbols of violence and peace. The project also has a strong Red-propaganda-meets-mass-media feel. Tasty.
- It's Bible stories! And Legos! Suddenly Sunday's looking like a party.
- With a nudge from those rascals at Deep Focus, AMC decides the Mad Men Twitter characters -- which it was so quick to boot -- are okay after all.
- Pepsi apparently did a better job of associating itself with the Olympics than Coke did. And it probably spent a helluva lot less money.
I just got word that Ice Cream Man, which I guess hocks freezer pops to indie bands and starlets, is looking for events to sponsor. In addition to being liberally photographed with all the right people, the company's mission is to travel the world giving ice cream away for free.
Wish they were around when I was a kid, because seriously, those suburban ice cream truck guys were stingy. They wouldn't take pennies, for a start. If you're gonna make a living driving 2MPH and playing a repetitive tune in order to bait children into racing over to your goddamn truck, don't act like you're selling ribeyes in SoHo.
Red-blooded brand Ford partnered with Microsoft to produce SYNC, a 28-city nationwide tour that kicked off at the 2008 Super Bowl. The power pair tapped Xperience Communications -- which either ran out of Xtra Es or pulled its name out of a retro hat -- to help fuel tech enthusiasm.
The tour sought to educate attendees about Microsoft technology in Ford vehicles: hands-free calling, audible text messages, voice-activated music, instant voice recognition (one would hope), automatic phonebook transfer, and multilingual capabilities, among other exciting distractions.
To harvest new users, Canadian wireless firm Fido deployed white male and female figures -- refugees of rebel bathroom signs? -- across Toronto. They've appeared as chalk art, or hanging from trees, and recently as big-ass balloon dolls, quietly coaxing viewers to text 411 to 10987.
The effort's been toted as the first Canadian use of "flogos" -- flying logos.
Rubberneckers that text 411 to 10987 get invitations to upcoming "Fido Sessions." Some, like the Art Sessions, seem infinitely cooler than the guerrilla campaign itself. See artist The Dark put up some wheatpaste art from an Art sesh. (Why Fido wants to teach art, I don't know, but if it keeps those crazy kids with knives off the streets...)
Organized by Bos, Toronto, which previously did a really neat thing for Fido where billboards threw snowballs at each other.
- 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.
The Olympics has a way of bringing the sap out in advertisers.
Visa's "Go World" campaign, no exception, trots Olympian trivia out to American viewers while convincing us these anecdotes aren't just important; they're a source of pride, a means to connect with the world by way of titanic achievement against insurmountable physical odds.
All this to win the synchronized high-dive? Yeah. See spots...
- A Wired journalist attributes the success of Weight Watchers to its RPG format. (You know, like EverQuest or Final Fantasy.)
- The pretty little girl who sang "Ode to the Motherland" for the Olympics opening ceremony was a pretty little mime. Reps said they wanted a flawless girl with a flawless voice; but one had the looks and another had the pipes so they mashed them up. "We must put our country's interests first." Riiiight.
- Seven in 10 companies on the FTSE 100 have unclaimed handles on Twitter. Companies are advised to lock that down before a hater (or an impersonator) does. (Via @benkunz.)
- It may not really be cannibal sushi, but the psychological effect can be just as fucked-up. (Via @TJCNYC.)
- Got more than a handful up top? Pull your shirt off and join the Wonderbra mosaic.
To supplement its "Impossible is Nothing" spots for the Beijing Olympics, Adidas busts out with a slightly retro set of prints titled "Gold is Not a Given."
Each piece features an Olympic athlete, training in Beijing six months before the game "in sub-zero temperatures." There's also some Nike-esque pontificating on the meaning of "gold." An example from the ad at left (featuring Haile Gebrselassie):
Gold is more than a colour. It's a dream to keep chasing. It's a dream to keep you going. It's a dream that sometimes gets put on hold. Gold is never a given.
o Tyson Gay -- Gold can be lost in a flash. (1, 2)
o Allyson Felix -- Gold is not into predictions. (1, 2)
o Veronica Campbell-Brown -- Gold makes you wait. (1, 2)
o Jeremy Wariner -- Gold is the language of fastest. (1, 2)
o Yelena Isinbayeva -- Gold doesn't play favourites. (1, 2)
Totally different style from the Chinese ads, but in keeping with the grit-and-glory feel. Put together by Amsterdam (180\TBWA).