We were screwing around on some foreign news site when we saw the banner at left and thought, "Hey, Smokey Bear! Can't believe that guy is still around."
Out of curiosity, we hit www.smokeybear.com and found a creepy video that involves a child singing some song about forest fires, coupled with imagery of a spark igniting stenciled animals and a forest.
Smokey's Vault is a feature that brings Smokey into 2007 with a bunch of hip little spigot-thingies. There we discovered that Smokey was an actual baby bear that in 1950 rolled charred (and orphaned) out of the forest after a (clearly unprevented) forest fire.
And that's way more about fire-shy Bear than we ever thought we'd know. Those spigots, or at least that Bambi-esque banner ad, are clearly very effective.
In its ongoing attempts to demonstrate it does have a sense of humor, Microsoft put together Easy Easier for potential Forefront users in Canada.
The premise is actually kind of cute, as you learn how to defend your operating system against the likes of ninjas, secret agents and legions of the undead. But as usual with Microsoft there's laggage like mad and just an overall "Please love me!" feeling.
Let's be realistic. Artsy qualities aside, one of the biggest selling-points for European films in the US market are the sex scenes. The hot, steamy, sometimes seamy or wholly improbable sex scenes.
With that in mind, YouTube user EUTube released a montage called Film Lovers Will Love This!, in which a bunch of steamy moments from EU films (well, mainly Amelie) are knitted together to join in one harmonious slogan: "Let's come together."
Supporters call it a celebration of European cinema but British Conservative MEP Chris Heaton-Harris called it a "cobbling-together" of "44 seconds of soft porn" that wastes taxpayers' money and does nothing to solve the European film industry's "image problem."
We figure it's a little lopsided to glean quotes from a British publication when it's the Italians, Spaniards and French doing all the grunt work. After all, where do you find those racy PSAs we love so much? Not at the home of Big Ben.
It's not just brands hawking friends on MySpace anymore; it's products too. For a free milkshake promotion to cool the summer months, Southern brand Krystal put together the Krystal Lovers Lounge, a MySpace page for those who know nothing gets the heart racing (or slowing?) like whipped milk on ice.
While it won't do jack for your waistline, the MilkQuake page does include eco-friendly tips like admonishings to "Switch off your computer and any lights not in use."
Hard lemonade beverage-maker VEX has a new ad that mashes Hostel up with horny fruit and a blender.
Developed by GJP Advertising, the ad commits a sin typical of spirits that think highly of themselves: it's way too long. Note Smirnoff and Tanqueray.
On another tangent, don't you kind of want to get drunk and hack at fruit now?
For L'Odeur, an edible perfume, Lululemon put together this ad that can't seem to decide whether it's Calvin Klein or SNL.
We weren't the only ones who cringed. The PR people didn't seem keen on it either. And we can see why. It's a little ... well, gross.
To be fair, the ending was kind of funny.
In one of the better makeovers of the horrific-looking MySpace, Juxt has created a Cherry Coke MySpace Page Design contest that places the winning design on the MySpace homepage. As part of the contest, there's all sorts of Flashtastic goodies for people to embed within their own sites, screensavers, wallpapers and all the rest of the usual stuff.
Unfortunately, as with most Flash creation, the browser Back button is rendered useless causing one to continuously back off the promotional page by mistake. Would it really be so hard for Flash to enable or for designers to make possible the use of the browser back button within a Flash page? Or to prevent the entire Flashurbation from also rendering useless the right click menu? Flash can make beautiful things but it also has a nasty tendency to fuck with established web navigation methods.
Wired conducted coverage of a Web game called Fatworld, which aims - with the couch potato's favorite active medium - to lend insight on the "politics of nutrition."
Fatworld, which comes out this fall, was put together by Ian Bogost, a Georgia Tech professor who likes designing snarky little games that illuminate harsh realities. In Fatworld, gamers that make less-than-fantastic health choices can watch their characters bloom with food allergies, heart disease, diabetes and, predictably, death.
Other Bogost games sound equally awe-inspiring. In one called Disaffected!, which came out last year, players pose as Kinko's employees struggling to meet print orders while lazy colleagues make paper-filing errors.
Per a Bogost user review: "I could actually feel myself getting angry and depressed and my sense of self-worth going right through the floor."
Wow. Sounds suspiciously like life. We'll stick with collecting Sheeple blood, thanks.
What's going on with this banner ad for EMC? The guy leading that team of dogs looks less like a picturesque Jack London hero and more like, well, a jewel thief.
Probably not the best foot to put forward if you're a document protection firm.
This effort is meant to illustrate how the XBox 360 connects to Windows Media Center. When selected, it plays a little video featuring a domestic scenario between the chunky but fancy-free gamer and his out-of-touch girlfriend. Imaginatively, follow-up creative and the website say, "XBox connects to Windows Media Center."
You know that South Park episode where Cartman impersonates Jennifer Lopez with his hand, and then she takes over? This image reminds us of that. We can already imagine the slew of would-be witty gamers blaming wasted days on malicious thumbs.
We'd do the same thing to justify our Candystand abuse and Sheeple harassment (yeah, we're still stuck on that), but unfortunately it's pretty clear that, far from hard-partying alter-egos with fangs, our fingers are all pedants.