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



Pocket Change Speed Dating Gives Major Boost to Natural Selection

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For men seeking rich older women, and older women hungry for pretty meat popsicles, check out Pocket Change.

This week Pocket Change is running a NYC-based event called Sugar Mama Speed Date, which puts a lowest-common-denominator twist on that speed dating thing. The application for men is totally appearance-based, and all entrants must be younger than 35.

Some of the hot hunks of man-toy are in advertising -- and guess what else! We get to show you their pictures and names. Get a leer at the sugar-mama-hunting ad-flesh up for grabs: Joseph Pergola, Jay Kelty, Colin Bennett (at left), David Zarkin, Jonathan Hillman, and Brad Melshenker (don't be fooled by the context).

We actually didn't think these people were serious until we got photos of the harem. If someone would like to bring Adrants home some bacon a la Bennett, don't let your modesty stop you.

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by Angela Natividad    Feb- 6-08    
Topic: Events, Online, Strange



MySpace Skins Feebly Bring Super Bowl Ads to 'Net

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Recent findings from Reprise Media critique this year's Super Bowl advertisers for failing to buy online search terms related to their ads. They also neglected to leverage online social networks, where most worked so hard to build a presence.

Oddly enough, some advertisers did incorporate social networking into their Super Bowl ad campaigns. That is, if slapping a skin onto MySpace the week after the game counts.

Check out the try-hard efforts of Sunsilk at left (for this commercial) and Vitamin Water with Shaq.

Don't get us wrong; ravaging a social networking homepage is probably the 'net equivalent to billboard advertising. Users definitely get an eyeful. But it's not terribly interactive, the contact lasts two seconds, and there are more creative ways to exploit SB ad buzz online.

Update: the cats at Deep Focus just told us there's an interactive MySpace page for Shaq and Vitamin Water. So if you want some nifty matching widgets, or just want to watch Shaq horserace, take a look.

by Angela Natividad    Feb- 6-08    
Topic: Campaigns, Online, Super Bowl 2008



TBWA\CHIAT\DAY Guys (Maybe) Go AWOL; Launch AWOL Agency

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Our enigmatic West Coast resource, who's really good at drumming up touchy rumours about the goings-on at TBWA\CHIAT\DAY, just sent us this Oakley spot by AWOL.

The spot depicts Shaun White's offseason life a lot less sexily than HP did. It's almost funny -- if you're thirsty for schadenfreude.

MORE IMPORTANTLY, the source quickly points out, agency AWOL is composed of Doug Mukai, Scott Wilson and Chris Dutton.

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



Obama to the Black-Eyed Peas: No You Can't

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In response to this musical tribute to Obama's "Yes we can" speech, News Groper has posted "No you can't, Black Eyed Peas," an Obama response in parody.

Snippet: "Stop stealing my words and talking over me please. You're ruining my pacing and carefully-planned oratory inflection. I'm glad you are inspired and want to help my campaign, but can't you play your own insipid songs with simple refrains that you beat to death? 'Let's Get Retarded' comes to mind."

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by Angela Natividad    Feb- 5-08    
Topic: Online, Political, Spoofs








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