Usually we think it's really cool when an ad appropriates some every day object to deliver its message, but in the case of coffee and steaming manholes, the collaboration is less than savory.
The text on this one-year-old Folger's ad reads, "Hey, City That Never Sleeps. Wake up. Folgers."
Dude, can you imagine walking over that manhole and going, "WTF is that damp dirty mist that's just accosted me? Oh wow, it is a giant cup of Folger's coffee." The very thought drives us straight into the arms of Starbucks.
Well, no, not even. Maybe Jamba Juice. The thought of coffee a la manhole just puts us off the whole idea.
[Ed: Pardon this story. Our co-Editor just woke up from a year long nap and forgot to restart her RSS reader. She was roundly chastised in our daily coffee klatch this morning and she promises not to nap so long ever again.]
Created by Wexley School for Girls to promote its Live Search Maps, Microsoft has launched the Pushpin Project, a program that recognizes favorite bars, restaurants, and local businesses by affixing an 8 foot by four foot inflatable push pin to the location. We're guessing it's all to make the online search service a bit more real world useful. Of course, any push pinned location is then added to a Live Search Map where Seattle residents can keep tabs on what's supposedly cool.
For some, a dream has been realized: a slew of Seven Elevens have evolved into Kwik-E Marts for a month to promote The Simpsons Movie. The evolution has improved business for one Burbank, CA store by about 300 to 400 percent, according to AdCritic.
The metamorphosis includes changes to the exterior, interior and employee uniforms. The stores are also littered with myriad opportunities to snap a shot of yourself with a character from The Simpsons.
After years of less-than-tactful trashing on the show, we think it's a nod in the right direction for Seven Eleven to embrace its alter ego with such abandon.
In an effort to convert coffee-drinking loyalists, Coffees of Hawaii recently left some free coffee samples pinned to car windshields in front of a few Starbucks. The samples promoted the frequency and variety in their coffee delivery service.
Apparently the Hawaiian tradition of getting visitors leid is a kindly euphemism for what they prefer to do with local competition. Here's to hoping the coffee is just as hard - er, strong.
In Bucharest, Romania, Chivas Regal has turned the city's fountains green and red in an ambient stunt one observer noted could very likely be mistaken for a Sony Bravia event as there was no obvious branding to clarify Chivas was behind the stunt. Still, an eye catching move.
Like hidden dirty images in family-friendly Disney posters, easter eggs have always been a favorite of designers the world over to express, perhaps a twisted sense of humor or, simply, to just have fun. Now, apparently, Hide This Thing wants to create a community around the practice and even create a common visual easter egg language of sorts. Like a digital flash mob, Hide This Thing hopes to create mass appearances of various objects inside TV commercials, print ads, websites and anything else a creative lays his hands on.
We do wonder though if "making official" easter eggs doesn't detract from exactly what they are supposed to be: crazy one-offs that express something the individual was feeling at the moment of creation. You decide.
While women might hate getting cat calls from construction workers, men, on the other hand, love any attention they can get and stench-maker Axe is taking advantage of this in a new Bom Chika Wah Wah promotion that has females dressed as construction workers cat calling men as they walk by. Ask A Copywriter was one of the unfortunate (fortunate?) to experience this ritualistic name calling and snapped a shot of the lovely cat callers who were dressed in denim shorts and stylized construction vest tops.
Perhaps to avoid confusion with much larger shop, Portland-based Via, or simply to reflect the agency's model of bringing in outside talent, smaller, lesser-known VIA (Visual Intelligence Agency) from Connecticut is re-branding itself Plaid. In doing so, the agency is launching Brand Aid 2007, a three week summer road tour during which agency personal will hop in a van, travel across the country to visit clients, prospective clients and share the social media love with all while web 2.0ing the whole thing with videos posted on YouTube and other content published on social media style sites such as Twitter. Twitter Tripping. That's a new one.
Rather than going it alone and funding it on it's own - though the agency promise it will take the trip regardless of funding, Plaid is looking for sponsors who, they promise, will reap the benefits of publicity that is sure, they claim, to shower this tour. While we're not so sure about that, we can't fault an agency for going about promotion a bit differently with at least the intent towards using emerging media to do so.
Defamer notes Dreamworks has had to scale back its marketing budget following the millions it's spent on building wraps and customized Lamborghini-bots to the point where the only thing it can afford are a few stickers placed on a random vehicle seen in a Burbank Staples parking lot.
Just how do you promote an environmentally-focused music festival in Budapest on a shoestring budget? You create gardens overnight and plant 800 flowers in unused and run down public areas, of course. That's exactly what Budapest agency RayGun did for the Hegyalja music festival and Hungary's participation in the celebration of World Day of Environment Protection. The agency trecked to four Hungarian cities; Budapest, Miskolc, Debrecen and Nyireghaza to create the gardens and plant the flowers mostly near bridges and overpasses.
The effort, at not much more than the cost of the flowers, garnered major news coverage on television news programming and within major national newspapers. While it's difficult to argue against the planting of flowers, the Budapest Council did threaten legal action against the agency but Creative Director Alex Poulson tells us the agency is now working with the governing body to discuss further means of beautifying the city.
View additional images of the plantings here.