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These ads are causing a bit of a stink. Variants -- with titles generously supplied by me -- include The Bullet or the Noose? and Puddles of Inferno!.
Are they really that bad?
According to Meredith Corp., 56% of women worry more about weight than disease, so you know there's enough hate surrounding muffin-tops to happily fuel many millions of sordid calorie suicides.
And come on. Who didn't enjoy the Garbage Pail Kids? Or Sin City? Or, hell, the Road Runner cartoons?
That was pure sadism. And what did you do? Shovel in another mouthful of Froot-Loops, that's what.
Titus -- whose luxury mountain bikes can range between $3370 and $7495 -- hopes to appeal to young, budget-taut users with a campaign tagged "It's worth a second job."
Each print piece manages to be slightly humiliating without leaving the kiddie park. A delicate balance. See variants:
o Phone sex operators
o Nude model
Food for thought: with $7495, you could buy three Macbook Pros, 32 iPod touches or 94 white earbuds. (Lisa Simpson would die of envy!)
Or, hell, you could get one of these.
Not that we care where you spend your hard-earned shekels; we're just putting it in perspective.
By TDA ADVERTISING & DESIGN/Boulder.
Under its classic slogan "There is always a clever mind behind it," German paper The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung is running a campaign depicting various "clever minds." At left is UN Chief Inspector Mohamed ElBaradei in a state of exceptional transparency.
Hmm. What he needs is a red nose. Then we'd really have a party.
See variants for Billy Wilder, Helmut Kohl and Vitali Klitschko. All smart stuff, comparable to some of the better work we've seen for The Economist and BusinessWeek.
Photos by Nick Veasey. Curiouser still? See making-of and interview with ElBaradei.
Here's a confusing metaphor. B-list star Kristen Johnston poses as Lady Godiva -- who rode a horse naked through Coventry to win a break on her husband's taxes -- in order to raise awareness about the hazards of horse-drawn carriages.
"Don't get taken for a ride," the ad reads. "Horse-drawn carriages are cruel."
I guess. Good fodder for the portfolio though -- a Maraschino cherry topping fine oeuvres like Austin Powers: the Spy Who Shagged Me and Strangers with Candy.
- Laptops can change your world. Well, not yours but the world of those who need theirs changed.
- Congratulations to AdWeek on its 30th Anniversary. The magazine is celebrating with a special issue that"looks at today's big-picture thinking combined with an examination of the key developments, game-changing campaigns, and big ideas from the past three decades."
- Looks like its all over for Jerry Yang as yahoo CEO. Not everyone is CEO material. And there's nothing wrong with that.
- GM paints a doomsday scenario and begs for government bailout.
We've seen plenty of evidence in the ad world of P. Diddy's self-deluded worldview: Ciroc Vodka, Burger King, Unforgivable.
Even so, I still choked a little upon catching sight of this two-page spread for I Am King, the direct and to-the-point moniker for his newest fragrance. Copy and packaging are flanked by The Man himself, tux-clad and perpetually defiant.
Diggin' how the spread lacks a sampler. Guess you're supposed to take it on faith that if Diddy shits it, it reeks of rosepetal.
Or it's spec for Tom Tykwer's Perfume Deux: Redhead's Revenge. Dude on the chocolate bit looks kinda like Grenouille -- but really he's Le Petit Ecolier, a wee schoolboy who's served as the face of this snack since 1850.
For Lu Biscuits, which is currently having a chic little identity crisis. Okay, not really, but I seriously LOL'ed when the website started blasting ambient music. Because come on, all this for a biscuit. A saucy biscuit, sure. Even with a turn-on of a tea to pair them with, biscuits are still like less sexy cookies (NSFW).
Remember The Wolf, the cool operative summoned in Pulp Fiction to clean up the remains of a guy who had his brains blown out in a moving car?
UK-based cleanup firm Clearway riffs off that unseemly scenario with the ad at left -- "No job too big, no job too awful" -- depicting bloody furniture and a distinctly man-shaped stain. Among other things.
The ad was banned for obvious (read: "excessively graphic, offensive and distressing") reasons. Obtusely defensive, Clearway insists the piece is "an accurate portrayal of the work they undertook on a daily basis."
Which I guess is one way of saying Guy Ritchie and Quentin Tarantino -- or their gun-and-butcher's-knife-swinging muses -- get open tab when they're in town.
It merits saying that there are plenty of countries where people don't get as nuts as we do when ads zero in on race. But I still felt an "arrrg" rise to my throat when I saw these pieces for ChromaWhite TRX Skin Brightener, Dermalogica India.
The text at left reads "America's future looks bright, thanks to a black." Above the caption is the bust of a suspiciously white-washed Obama.
Thanks for the unsolicited commentary on our election, but what the fuck, guys? How does news of the States blackwashing the White House promote your skin whitening product?
Variant: "There are times when black can go to white." Okay, I'm not even touching that one.
Put together by the politically earnest cats at IBD Brands, India.
UPDATE: After this article had been live for a few hours, the guy who sent us this work apologized for any cultural misunderstanding and claimed the creative was just spec. And having sent us the material in the first place, he even tried insisting his agency didn't do it. (The creative credits appeared right below the work in the original email.) In separate IMs, he went on to say he doesn't work for the agency at all, and a mystery person from IBD sent it to him.
Dear IBD Brands Dude: We're typically really nice about this kind of thing, but you've done this more than once. If this was an honest mistake, here's a tip: don't get cocky and send us material your client hasn't approved.
If you simply can't take flak for doing a sub-par job, get the hell out of this business.
For Park Shore BMW, agency concerto conjured up a sneaky way to get people staring at rows and rows of BMW logos for a long, long ... long ... time. See variants 2 and 3.
"One of these is not like the others," the copy reads. "Find it and we'll not only offer you an incredibly low interest rate, we'll pay your 10% down payment on any 2008 model you want. You have until October 31st. So Go!"
The campaign ran briefly in Vancouver last month, after which Park Shore BMW was asked to pull the ads because they "contravene branding standards."
Wait. There are standards? Guess that sets Vancouver ahead of the pack. $10 and a warm cookie to whoever can score us Van City's Hallowed Book on Logo Etiquette.