Mazda Courts YouTube Car-Lovers with YouTube-Esque Demo

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Maybe because it has so much trouble getting people into actual cars, Mazda is inviting users to test-drive its virtual cars on Southern California roads: Angeles Crest, Arroyo Pkwy, the Pacific Coast Highway and Decker Canyon.

There's an explanation for the odd action angles (for example, the one where you get a birds-eye view of the front wheel). Mazda observed that on YouTube, car enthusiasts strap cameras to the sides of their cars to show you how gears shift and such.

Okay, then. Now excuse us while we head back to Problem Playground.

by Angela Natividad    Feb- 7-08    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Online



Silk-Clad Singers Bring Us Cerealbox of Love

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It's not Justin Timberlake's Dick in a Box, but Dawn's Early Knights have our more immediate interests at heart: honey-sweet lovin', coated in chocolate romance.

Visit I Made You Breakfast in Bed, a Valentine's Day effort by Honey Bunches of Oats with Real Chocolate Clusters. (Score a $2-off coupon on the site, and visit The Pantry to find out how to make artificial roses seem less ... artificial.)

Props out to Eddie, who gave us exceptionally fresh morning creepage when he personalized the song for us. With rose petals.

by Angela Natividad    Feb- 7-08    
Topic: Brands, Good, Online, Promotions



At Honda UK, Problems Are Just Bigger Playgrounds

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Check out this fun new Honda ad by Wieden + Kennedy. Also see LOL-worthy website Problem Playground. It will bring out your inner Alice.

The effort is for Honda UK. We like the collective "HURRAAAAAAY!" in the site intro and its straightforward nav: "Click on things to go there. Click 'Home' to come back here." Site includes puzzles, 360-degree vehicle features, download options for the commercial, and a making-of-the-ad video.

Whoever said assembly line work was dehumanizing clearly wasn't employed in the Hybrid department. Suddenly we're starving for a big fat zero-emissions jigsaw.

by Angela Natividad    Feb- 7-08    
Topic: Brands, Commercials, Good, Online, Television



Incarcerated Chickens Get Tortured by KFC's Colonel

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Portraying KFC's Colonel as a sadistic prison warden, this new Kentucky Fried Cruelty campaign, in three videos, explores the supposed life of a chicken while under the control of KFC. There's kicking, beating, drugs, electrocution - all the necessary elements one might imagine in a Hostel or Saw movie.

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by Steve Hall    Feb- 7-08    
Topic: Cause, Online, Video



Sleepy Alesha Dixon Video Fails to Stimulate Focus

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Champion Alesha Dixon of Strictly Come Dancing stars in this valium-esque Ford Focus ad, which debuted February 1st on Ford.co.uk. Cake masterminded it, tapping Alesha for her number-one status among the Brits, and included nifty knick-knacks like instruments made of real car parts.

The latter sounded neat, but we didn't much notice. All told, the video lacks life and seems too smoked-out and tame to even be decadent. Nice icepick shoes, though. And okay, the personalized plate? Cheesy.

Maybe this is just another one of those clashing Brit vs. American sensibility things.

Psst, Ford and Alesha. Watch Beyonce and Armani do it.

Update: Oops. Look like we pushed an angry button. Brit fans are really sick of comparisons between Alesha and B (see YouTube comments).

by Angela Natividad    Feb- 7-08    
Topic: Brands, Celebrity, Online, Sponsorship, Television



Have a Heart; Save a Manatee for Mom

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...because she'll want you to -- way more than she wants that gold necklace, or dinner with you at her favourite restaurant, or a DVD copy of Flashdance.

There's something about this Mother's Day campaign for the Save the Manatee Club that appeals to us. And we're trying really, really hard not to believe it has anything to do with Conan's manatee fetish effort.

by Angela Natividad    Feb- 6-08    
Topic: Cause, Online, Promotions



Yes, But Will There Be a Technicolor Dreamcoat?

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If you can't afford LSD, mark your calendars (February 15th) for the debut of The Sound of Color.

"Does red sound like gurgling, molten lava?" the website asks. "Does green sound like the familiar tune of wind whistling through the trees? Do black and white even make a sound? What is the sound of color?"

We played with the idea of going, "Oh my, what is this? What is this?" but the truth is we already know because we wrote it up for MarketingVOX. This is a Gap campaign for which artists will write songs and make videos about color in all its tie-dye glory.

The site will hock colorful swag and free music downloads. After a month, artists will regain the rights to their songs, and some of the meaner ones might decide they don't want you downloading their pigment-inspired masterpieces for free. As with manna, hoard as much as you can.

by Angela Natividad    Feb- 6-08    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Celebrity, Online



Cilantro Encourages Intimacy with Multi-Flavoured Hispanic Market

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When it comes to targeting the elusive Hispanic consumer, Cilantro Animation has this to say: "Be prepared to offer more than just Hola!"

(Though we'd like to point out that strategy worked wonders for Dora the Explorer.)

But Cilantro -- which creates Hispanic cartoons like the one at left -- makes an interesting point. When we hit ad:tech Miami we were overwhelmed with a sense that the Hispanic market remains unimpressed with the way big media has (or hasn't) tried to reach out.

And indeed, a salsa-colored Hola! just doesn't cut it when you consider the range of ethnicities blanketed under what we breezily dub Hispanic: Mexican, Cuban, Peruvian, Venezuelan, Colombian, Ecuadorian, and others -- all with their own cultural customs, jokes and sensitivities.

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by Angela Natividad    Feb- 6-08    
Topic: Agencies, Campaigns, Online, Opinion, Packaging



Google's Social Graph API Explained

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Social media junkie Alisa Leonard has a video of Google's Brad Fitzpatrick, guru behind LiveJournal, Memecast and OpenID, describing the company's Social Graph API which makes it easy to determine social connections on the web. It's quite fascinating. If you like to know where your friends are and what they're doing online, this API can help accomplish that.

by Steve Hall    Feb- 6-08    
Topic: Online, Social



AdFemme's Lindsay Mure-O'Neill to Spice Up Datran

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So Steve says, "But Lindsay, we never do hires/fires/career changes." Then Lindsay teases, "You want first dibs on letting the world know?" OK. We cave. Adrants to have a world exclusive on the where abouts of the [adjective redacted due to its possibly being misconstrued to focus upon beauty versus professional accomplishment] Queen AdFemme? We're all in.

Lindsay Mure-O'Neill founded AdFemme, a "community of women in advertising who network with each other online and at events to gain new contacts, clients, resources, employees and other femtastic connections." She's built the organization from little more than a single newsletter into an empire of content, resources and events for women working in many different industries and s now known as The Femme Network.

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by Steve Hall    Feb- 6-08    
Topic: Online










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