Joining our long list of contextual advertising oddities is this reader-submitted Expedia.com ad residing next to a CNN story about 35,000 American troops receiving deployment notification for late 2007. If the Air Force and the Navy can't get them there, Expedia is, it seems, happy to help.
We were trawling SF during ad:tech when we saw the ad at left, except smaller and on some kind of relief kiosk. We wondered whose it was and suspected Ask after seeing another billboard that said, "The algorithm killed Jeeves."
Bitter much? The butler was awkward. If the algo didn't kill him, Ms. Dewey would have anyway.
Anyway, Make the Logo Bigger asked the question we didn't and found all the alleged background information for this Ask.com campaign by Crispin.
The hope is people will be inspired to hunt around for the campaign online, thereby tickling the very algorithm that so escapes them. Well, one out of three ain't bad.
We really dig this classic spoof from the Harry Enfield Show about the proper execution of "advertisement breaks."
It's never too late to learn from the slickest society-shapers out there, of which the spot includes three: liquor, tobacco and child advertising in general. Put together, they're even more compelling.
And look - no colour or jingles! Beat that, Old Navy.
To push TLC, its on-the-go flight update function, Orbitz gets behind YouTube in these ads which, if nothing else, show the perfect good-bye depends as much on the timeliness of your beloved's leaving as on your demonstration of suicide-inducing sadness.
Funny funny. We like how the gay one is labeled LGBT. It really led us to believe the spot would be racier than it was.
There's just something about the phrase "master of disguise" that dissolves us into giggles.
Grey Worldwide and Asabailey Viral Advertising put together an explorer-style "branded entertainment feature" (not viral) to showcase Tanqueray's adventurous new Rangpur gin. Created for the Globe Probe and set in mystery-ridden India, the show has an Austin Powerness to it that's inexpicably appealing.
Take a seat for The Hidden Lime Groves of Rangpur. It's actually almost worth it until the Tanqueray comes out of the snake basket and you realize that you just lost 10 minutes of your life to a gin ad.
Alongside that chic McBride run for its Never Hide campaign, Ray Ban is also pushing this funny little YouTube effort that both laughs at and laughs with the hipsters.
Really. It's a pair of dudes wandering around catching Wayfarers with their faces.
But that aside, it does a good job of taking the occasional stodginess associated with Ray Ban and demonstrating how the post-post-modern uncool-cool kids have invested it with new life.
We love expansive thinking and chain-of-event style dramas such as NBC's Heroes so it is without surprise we think this newish campaign, Save the Monkeys, for Swedish carbohydrate supplement Gainomax is one of the wittiest we've seen in a long time. Borrowing Heroes' famed premise, "save the cheerleader, save the world," Gainomax, in a hilarious logic-taken-to-the-extreme video called Bananageddon, asks us to "save the monkys, save the world" by drinking Gainomax after exercise instead of eating a banana.
In the Bananageddon, a world without bananas becomes a world without moneys which, in turn, leads to a world full of lice and world leaders who can do nothing expect perpetuate the extinction of all human life...all because we eat bananas. Yes, it sounds very twisted so just watch the video and it will all make perfect sense. Well, sort of.
Volvo thinks it's the only vehicle sound enough to transport buried treasure from the Caribbean to your home. We would've guessed armored car, private jet or pirate ship, but you know, whatever.
Indulge the automaker by digging around for the gold doubloons and car key they hid for a campaign collabo with Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End.
If you're too jaded to do that, indulge us by playing Bill's game instead.
That's what we did. Why hunting down a stylistic inconsistency won out over doubloons, though, is anybody's guess.
Solving puzzles posited by cryptic voices just seemed like too much of a commitment. There are other things that demand our time.
Candystand takes advantage of us. We know this. Whenever they send us a new game, we crack our knuckles and prepare to trash them.
Unfortunately we can't, because the games have gotten really freakin' good. No, scratch that. The Candystand folk are just mighty talented at isolating classic standbys (ping pong? Come on) and appropriating them for their own maniacal purposes. Consider Bloxie, a new concoction that's had us stuck on stupid for at least a half hour.
If we could track how many hours we've lost on the Candystand website, we'd probably find we're putting in the same amount of time as a Wrigley's intern.
With a dependable combination of vivid colour, fast cuts, screenplay dialogue and campy melodrama, the video at Get Engaged Quickly accomplishes what we thought it wouldn't: it had us watching until the end.
Get Engaged Quickly is a promotional effort for 10 Ton, an agency that posits the rules of audience engagement have changed, and they hold the golden key: entertaining, rather than intrusive, video.
It's not like we didn't already know people want to be entertained and not pitched. But now that there's somebody to pay to think on behalf of the major players, perhaps we'll start seeing some good stuff.
We don't buy the notion that the best virals are by nature non-corporate. The best virals are by nature authentic. If you can be authentic, you're going to move people. Consider the (exhaustive) success of Dove Evolution.
Guess it helps to have Oprah accolades too.