The Booth at the End is a 62 episode web series that tests the moral fiber and fortitude of its characters. Xander Berkley stars is the main character and sits at the booth at the end of a diner. People come to him with things they want: a parent with a sick child, a woman who wants to be prettier, a nun who wants to hear God again.
For a price, Berkley can make these desires come true. In exchange for what they want, these individuals must sacrifice their morals and perform tasks they otherwise wouldn't. They may be asked to set off a bomb, rob a bank or kill a child. They then must return to the man and describe every step in detail. As the characters' tasks begin to overlap, complications ensue. But the man never forces anyone to do anything.
Promoting the series is an online game called Can You Kill which requires the player to shoot a person and then explain why they shot the person when they did. Once the mission is complete, the reason can be tweeted or shared on facebook.
Stink Digital is out with new work from Wrangler and the brand's Bluebell and Wrangler spring/summer 2011 collections. The company created two "interactive experiences."
The first is a puzzle which features film moving both forwards and backwards, separated by a user controlled splitscreen. Shot in Palm Springs' Ace Hotel, it features model Tony Ward in the role of a man haunted by visions of his own ghost as he moves through the hotel. The effect is bolstered by a non-linear soundtrack which develops as the journey progresses, and a hazy ghosting effect, done interactively, which appears whenever the user opens up the split screen.
The second effort, for Wrangler's "Worn Across America", is more straightforward with a collection of film set pieces the user can 'scrub' back and forth to distress the appearance of the films themselves....just like Wrangler jeans are distressed. The work is accompanied by a southern rock soundtrack from Hear No Evil.
New work from Gotham, Jason Bateman's production studio DumbDumb and Ben Silverman's studio Electus for Denny's brings us Always Open, an online celebrity talk show of sorts. Hosted by comedy actor David Koechner, the series debuted today and has Bateman and Koechner exchanging some witty banter at a local Denny's.
Future episodes will feature Will Arnett, Sarah Silverman, Amy Poehler, Will Forte and - oh yes - Kristen Bell. The content of each three minute video will center around questions asked by Koechner of the various celebrities with the resulting videos distributed on College Humor, Denny's website, Bateman's DumbDumb, YouTube, Facebook and other platforms.
Today, Skype announce the launch of an advertising program - it's first ever - which will place ads on the Home tab of Skype for Windows. Groupon, Nokia, Universal and Visa and some of the initial advertisers.
The Home page ad unit will measure 650 X 170 and will expand to 650 X 340. It will also include the ability to embed audio and video. Each ad will contain a Click to Call button and sharing functionality with Facebook and Twitter.
One of CarMax's Super Bowl commercials last night led to a site entitled A Brief History of Bad Customer Service. Beginning with the Romans dropping the thread count of their togas from 500 to 400 to the invention of Bait and Switch to the pioneering of hold music, the site highlights some of the more negative aspects of the customer experience.
Of course the scroll ends with CarMax's revolutionized customer service in 1993. Whatever that is. And for the geeks, CarMax really wants you to know the site was done in css/html5/jquery and not Flash.
The Barbarian Group, in partnership with Super Size Me creator Morgan Sprulock and creativity tools company Aviary, has created NoAd: New York, an internet-based effort to remove all advertising from New York's Times Square.
Spurlock was inspired by Sao Paulo's ban on all outdoor advertising since 2007. He then contacted The Barbarian Group to develop NoAd: New York.
Using the tool, all of the ads in Times Square can be edited out. Of course, this has no effect on the real world ads that plaster Times Square and show no signs of disappearing anytime soon. After all, as much as Spurlock tried to convince us fast food is bad for us, have we really seen an reduction at all in the proliferation of McDonald's or Burger King?
- The Bees Awards, celebrating successes in international social media, is looking for sponsors for its upcoming awards event.
For Johnson& Johnson's Pepcid AC, Barbarian Group, along with JWT New York, has launched Max My Dream, a site which transforms a visitor's dreams into an animated experience that can be shared. To do so, the agency built a custom language processor capable of recognizing more than 16 thousand keywords and how they relate to one another.
Much like the agency's famed Subvervient Chicken it created for Burger King, a visitor simply responds to the phrase, "I dreamed that...," and waits for the dream to be transformed into an animation. Some interpretations are better than others.
After waiting several eons for the site to load, we are treated to a lengthy choose your own adventure video featuring Dita Von Teese. It's for Perrier and somehow, though we have no idea, it's supposed to get us to buy the brand's water. We could have driven to the store, purchased a few hundred cases and driven back before this long, drawn out distraction reached some sort of conclusion.
Yea, we get that the brand is going for entertainment as advertising but when absolutely nothing happens, it shouldn't be called advertising. But...maybe Europeans love this sort of thing. Which is a good thing because that's the focus of the campaign.
This work is an extension of earlier Ogilvy-created work for the brand which we featured here.
An ad on Craig's List seeks additional models for a commercial that's being shot for a Chicago area lingerie brand. The ad promises no nudity or provocative photography will be taken. Say what? This is a lingerie shoot isn't it? How do you shoot a lingerie commercial without being at least a tint bit provocative?
The only thing we can come up with is that Sears is coming out with a line of lingerie for women who don't want to feel sexy while wearing it. Maybe targeted towards the over 75 set?
And on top of all of this, the gig is unpaid. But no worries, ladies. The ad promises the "material will be seen by ad execs and is a great way to be seen." The question is, seen by ad execs for what purpose? We're not going to ponder the answer to that question because it can only go south from here.
180LA is out with new work for Sony's new Bloggie Touch. Launching this week, the campaign is going after 18-25 year olds. The campaign will include a contest and Facebook application, with webcam upload and video editor built in, that lets consumers create their own "You had to be there" video.
Running until January 10, participants will have a chance to win Sony Bloggie Touch cameras with the Grand Prize Winner getting a VIP package for two to SXSW Music in March 2011.