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To hype its Dollar Days $1 drinks, McDonald's Canada placed 4,000 Canadian dollar coins arranged like the golden arch inside a giant block of ice and asked passersby to chip away at the structure to retrieve the coins. It took just five hours for all the coins to be retrieved. Some would jump to the conclusion this was a tremendously successful stunt. We'd call it a success if McDonald's knew just how many of those 4,000 coins made their way into the chain's coffers.
To induce trial, brands have, forever, been giving away their products hoping they are actually good enough for people to come back and buy. Over at Activate, it seems, that free ride is over. In its place is a ride that requires a person to do some actual work before being given a product to try.
In LA, Activate drinks has set up what it calls a human-powered vending machine. Angelenos can hop on, peddle for 30 seconds (way too short if you ask us but we're sure Activate doesn't want to cause any fat, lazy Americans a heart attack) and get a free drink.
Not a bad approach if you ask us. Americans have been fat and lazy for far too long and could use a reminder that it takes actual work to get things in life.
Attempting to offer what every man is this world wants - to truly understand what goes on inside a woman's head - Thinkmodo and Clockwork Apple came up with an interesting concept to allow guys to achieve (albeit virtually) just that. They made a box with four iPads affixed to it, placed it atop a woman's head and had her walk through New York City's Bryant Park.
Predictably, people can't figure out what the hell is going on. Finally, one guy approaches the girl as she;s sitting and reading and begins to swipe the screen which reveals Cosmopolitan's Cosmo For Guys, an online magazine designed to...help guys get inside the mind of women.
Ingenious stunt if you ask us.
This morning Greenpeace launched a guerrilla campaign attacking Volkswagen's environmental record. The campaign consisted of banners which were placed on London billboards paid for by other advertisers including Budweiser and Schweppes.
Of the campaign and the Force ad it imitates, Grenpeace's Emma Gibson said, "Volkswagen has spent millions on its new advert, using children and Star Wars iconography to persuade the public that it's a responsible company. It was a stunningly successful advert, so VW can hardly complain if we now turn its own tactics back on the company to shine a light on its poor environmental record."
The billboards feature an image of Darth Vader with the VW logo as the mouth. Copy reads, "Volkswagen. The Dark Side." Activists also dressed as Stormtroopers walked the streets in protest.
The campaign includes an online video which further pokes fun at the brand's Star Wars imagery and its alleged poor environmental performance.
T-Mobile makes another cultural coup with its ongoing and highly social "Life is for sharing" campaign. On May 11 in Barcelona, the firm set up a huge live Angry Birds installment inviting people to play.
A few curious stragglers were drawn to a booth, where they found a smartphone with Angry Birds loaded. They'd casually draw the slingshot back (the birth of an addiction) -- and find to their surprise that the result was replicated in real life. It goes without saying that a crowd formed fast.
I know. You're thinking, "Why haven't all the perpetrators of this kicked-to-death gimmick been banned to an island yet...?" The easy answer is, brands still pay for them.
We give you Dodge's Rock N' Roll Marathon Flashmob. The brand was a title sponsor for the event this year.
For 2011, Partners + Napier joined forces with the Boy Scouts of America for a new initiative called "Toss Your Boss." Partners + Napier employees were challenged to raise $1,000 in donations. If they did so, Chief Creative Officer Jeff Gabel would rappel 309 feet down the First Federal Building in Downtown Rochester.
Well, the agency achieved that goal and raised over $1,000 in donations for the Seneca Waterways Council Urban Scouting Program, which serves more than 20,000 kids in the Rochester area. Thus, Jeff and six other agency employees strapped on their helmets and took the plunge a couple Fridays ago.
- With the recent expansion of anti-smoking laws in New York City, Reynolds is out with a new print campaign touting the smokeless Camel Snus.
- Prague agency Loosers tricked an entire country with a fake campaign just to call attention to the prevalence of website hijacking.
- Oakland A's make the argument peripheral vision is key to playing great baseball
- Mercedes Benz...powered by Tweets.
- T-Mobile seeks social media shop.
- Fish sing for depressing. Strange. Very strange.
- Two R/GA creatives, Fabian Berglund and Ida Gronblom. have just joined Wieden + Kennedy.
- A single click can help change the world. Some nice work that's part of the YouTube Cannes Young Lions Ad Contest. It comes from Schacar Aylon in Israel.
- Lymbix hopes to call attention to email misunderstandings and miscommunication with ToneCheck, a site that tests the tone of your email before you send it.
- If you were wondering why there were skeletons on the walk/don't walk sign in New York, here's an explanation for you.
By now, we've seen all manner of urinal advertising but this one serves a beneficial purpose. While not actually measuring alcohol content, the Pissalyzer from Publicis Milan delivered a "take a cab" message to men who pissed in the urinal long enough for it to be assumed they'd consumed a pint of beer. While we're sure this is helpful, we have to wonder if a dude whose just down a few shots is going to piss long enough to get the message.
Anyway, it's a worthy effort and who doesn't like to read stuff while taking a piss. It's better than wondering if the guy in the next stall is checking out your junk.