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Who knew people still read TV Guide? Apparently enough still do to make it worthwhile for ABC to buy out all the ad space in the August 25 issue in advance of the upcoming fall television season. The network will buy 21 pages in the issue and insert a DVD for New York and Los Angeles subscribers and newsstand sales.
This new spot for Nissan (:30 and :60) immediately piqued interest: one car circulates a vinyl album. Interesting retro tones punctuate the background. The camera pans out, revealing many vehicles circulating many vinyls. It's an image that brings Warhol to mind.
What's going on? What'll happen next? Will Nissan pull a Dell?
Nah. One jalapeno-red maverick races off its track (cut to big Nissan logo!), encouraging others to do the same. (A vaguely familiar idea. Got a quote for me, Mazda?) They briefly fall in line, a tactic car advertisers seem to love, then park with a screech in haphazard fashion.
The 350Z, arguably Nissan's sexiest model, pulls abruptly into the foreground. The tagline follows: "Escape the pattern. Nissan."
Apparently asterisks are bad.* In a campaign called "Don't be an Asterisk," the US Olympic Committee and the Ad Council associate them with steroids and inauthenticity.**
Witness as a high school jock repulses once-loving classmates when an asterisk starts forming on his forehead. (Apt, I guess, since steroids are supposed to make you break out like whoa.)
But here I was, all this time, thinking the teen angst market was reserved exclusively for the zit zappers. Speaking of which, J&J -- parent company of Neutrogena! -- funded this effort, which was put together by TBWA/Chiat/Day/NY.
- 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.
One thing I love about Benetton: it never knows when to leave well enough alone. "Victims," the current issue of its company magazine Colors, uses the tragedy of the SouthWest China earthquake to try mending the China/Tibetan conflict.
The issue includes 30 shots of quake victims integrated with 30 prayers written for them by Tibetan monks. An accompanying Benetton ad displays a Tibetan monk and a Chinese soldier bowing toward each other, possibly in greeting, apology or shared grief. Readers can send their own prayers over for inclusion in a campaign exhibition.
Provocative as always, but I generally have trouble hating on Benetton (except when they fired Toscani). The "Victims" ad campaign is running in Italian newspapers and in French daily Le Monde.
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).
So last week, panties were in a twist over what appeared to be the lightening of Beyonce's skin for an appearance in a L'Oreal ad in Elle magazine. Of course, L'Oreal denies it. However, a look at several past images of Beyonce would run counter to that denial.
The net? Who cares. She's beautiful no matter what color she is.
Under the tagline "Never let their toys die," Energizer UK depicts kids in various states of, uh, toyless engagement. The campaign won top accolades in Press Advertising at the Cannes International Ad Festival.
See the work (helpfully labeled by ME!):
o Pretty Pretty Puppy
o Not Quite Rain
Put together by DDB/South Africa to support Energizer's "longest-lasting battery" position. Awesome stuff. What'd you guys do, spend a week at the primary school?
You gotta love skinny models. They wear clothes well, improve sales, make other women feel bad. The best part? They don't eat. Think of the savings!
A survey of 194 female college students, aged 18-24, found women feel uglier after seeing thin models. They are also more likely to buy products held in a gamine's claw than from ads with "regular-size models." (Here's a secret: none of us enjoy being characterized as "regular." It's like being called "homely" -- a big fat fucking slap in the face.)
Seeing thin models also made women less likely to accept a snack pack of Oreo cookies offered as a thank-you for their participation in the study. Well, no shit.
You know what a woman does want to do after seeing all those runway waifs? (Second to shopping, that is.) Drink. A lot. And that's why we're so keen on Gawker's coverage of the same survey. It's right next to a banner ad for Sobieski vodka. That's targeting to win!
Riffing on the increasingly fake aspects of culture from implants to injections to extensions, Toronto agency Zig created a print campaign for New York Fries which draws a dichotomy between fakeness and the all natural goodness of New York Fries.
Witty campaign but what's really sad is the fact an actual ad campaign is needed to sell something that is supposed to be fried potatoes and nothing else. Food - and everything else in this world - has become so processed, hardly anything is real anymore.
For example, breasts. Big breasts are great. Every woman seems to want them and every man seems to want to ogle and fondle them. Fine. Nothing wrong with obsessing over big breasts (well, OK, maybe it is a bit degrading to reduce a woman to a body part) but fake big breasts are exactly that. Fake. Not real. They don't look real. They don't feel real. They aren't attractive to look at. They aren't real. And fake isn't fun.
Neither are fake French Fries. Two other fake-focused ads are here and here.