- Can your manly-man hair pass the caress test?
- If a chaste mermaid won't save Starbucks, maybe frozen bananas will. (Ugh, dude.)
- Some celebrities educate the public on the Burma situation; John Cusack tallies similarities between McCain and Bush. MoveOn, as usual, is helping raise money to get the ad on air.
- Apparently the Copyright Nazis are after more than just pirates these days. In the UK, you can be prosecuted for playing music too loud or playing it for callers on hold without a license. From now on, let's just keep all music secret and see how the record industry fares.
- Baseball and the Tour de France aren't the only sports to disillusion one-time fans; almost half of Advertising Age readers believe the NBA rigs its games. I fondly await the day Canadians lose faith in hockey. Oh wait, many - already - have.
- A Microsoft Xbox Live group banned a player because he used "gay" in his gamer tag, "RichardGaywood." Upon discovering that was the guy's name, they BANNED IT ANYWAY. Microsoft, you charmers, you.
Last week, Visa announced Lindsay Lohan would become the new face of this year's Visa Swap fashion show, a UK event which encourages people to swap unwanted clothing. Along with clothing charity Traid, Visa Swap is the place for the fashion conscious to check out the duds of their fellow fashion conscious brethren and buy them with points earned for donating their own clothes. All clothing items left over are donated to Traid.
[Witty Lindsay Lohan comment about how her clothes are no good because they are likely alcohol or puke-stained from her social antics goes here but...well....it's just not presenting itself right now.]
Last night at Lucca's in Boston's North End, Lufthansa's Air One, with help from Edelman, gathered together a collection of Boston-based bloggers to introduce the airline's new, non-stop flights from Milan to Boston and Chicago. With awesome Italian goodness, wine and food was served while Air One Head of Network and Marketing Giorgio De Roni talked a bit about the airline and the new routes.
The group was also treated a short lesson in speaking Italian and Italian culture so s to prevent one from appearing an idiot while traveling to Italy.
Take Back the Tour -- not to be confused with Take Back the Night, though it wishes to be taken just as seriously -- is a movement that aims to "champion [Tour de France] riders who compete clean, while giving a platform ... to [their] passionate fan base."
More to the point, it reminds bike junkies that VERSUS (the sponsor!) is "the exclusive cable television home of the Tour de France."
"Show me another sport that's as tough, as demanding and as epic in its grandeur, grit and beauty than the Tour de France, but it's a competition that has seemingly lost its way over the past few years," said SVP Bill Bergofin of Marketing and Promotions for VERSUS. "[This] campaign ... will provoke a dialogue ... which will hopefully help to restore the Tour to its glory."
What? Wait? Flash mobs? That's so...four years ago. Oh but wait. We're talking about advertising here. Not exactly the industry that latches onto trendlets in a timely manner. But since the press release also dubs the stunt "performance art," I guess it's OK.
To promote Taco Bell's Fruitista Freeze, Philadelphia's LevLane hired actors costumed in iced-over beachwear with their skin tinted blue who would freeze in position for hours while a support team outside Citizens Bank Park last week during an MLB Phillies home game handed out coupons for the frozen tropical beverage. Also, a flash mob in street clothes would do the same for a few minutes.
Because the stunt was, apparently, so successful and because, it seems, LevLane is so nice, the next day they did another stunt for free. Last Thursday during lunch, all agency employees wore orange t-shirts and walked to Philadelphia's City Hall. On cue, the majority froze in place while a few others handed out more Frutista Freeze coupons. Ten minutes later the mob thawed, walked to nearby Love Park and refroze.
So there you have it. The flash mob lives on. Or is it performance art? Hmm.
Derek Sewell of Blink, Toronto and Josefina Nadurata of Reginald Pike have started their own Toronto-based production studio, Holiday Films. The studio has eight directors already, and its objective is to "provide original creative solutions" for clients, says Nadurata.
Check out the Holiday Film Reel. The couple at left comes from a grandiose Cadillac ad whose music reminds me of the alien diva from The 5th Element. (It's probably the quickened tempo that strikes the memory.)
Spring's here. Some people make babies. Others start production companies.
If you've been following Adidas' "Impossible is Nothing" campaign for the Beijing Olympics, you're probably familiar with the format by now. Here's the final ad, featuring Feng Kun of the Chinese Volleyball Association and some disembodied eyes that are supposed to represent a Watchful Nation.
The pressure's on. I had that feeling at a spelling bee once. Unlike the CVA, I did not win my gold.
Previous spots: Together, Zheng Zhi and Hu Jia.
CNBC sports business reporter Darren Rovell, citing UPS' recent end to its winning streak with Big Brown in the Belmont horse race which was part of a larger event sponsorship, proposes the ad FedEx should run in response. With help from CNBC in-house designer Florence, created an ad with the headline "Big Brown...if you're not first, your last." Witty.
Today is Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference. If you don't own a Mac (I don't), don't own an iPhone (I don't) and don't live in San Francisco (I don't), clearly you are a loser of gargantuan proportions (I must be).
Is it a good thing or a bad thing when a brand has so much influence that it makes a person feel unworthy (I do) if they aren't a "club member?"
I've owned a Mac in its previous heydays (No, this is not the first time Apple has been insanely cool), but there was always one annoying thing that prevented me from coming back: some stupid employer edict, a must-have piece of software that wouldn't work on a Mac, an idiotic networking issue, the prevalence of cheap (though decidedly uncool) PCs, or the fact Club Mac simply didn't have the same sway Apple stores now do.
Who says your trade show booth has to be perfectly complete by the time the first conference attendee walks in? Not online billing service Freshbooks which hired Boston artist Jazz Martin to paint a mural on the booth during the HOW Design show in Boston. It's a bit long, but here's a time-lapsed video of the booth's creation over the course of the conference.