British PSA Razes Perception About Mental Disorders

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"Schizophrenic Man Terrifies Kids at Party" is a YouTube piece released by English mental health charities Mind and Rethink under their "Time to Change" campaign. We like how it plays on our expectation of crass amateur video fare to illustrate two important messages:

o That people with mental disorders can function in society
o That retaining the stereotype of the off-the-hinge crazy person is counterproductive for everyone involved

It also reminded us that as kids, we were always screamy-scared about stuff we couldn't see, however facile or harmless said "stuff" actually was. And then, lightbulb moment, it was like hey, tripping out about schizophrenia is kind of like that.

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by Angela Natividad    Aug-25-09    
Topic: Campaigns, Cause, Good, Online, Trends and Culture, Video



Times Tough? Reward Your Stalwart Family -- with Upholstery!

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"It's funny how new furniture has a way of restoring people. Add something special to your home and experience it firsthand."

Awww. Tent cities have hardly folded up and we're already being hawked side tables. The piece at left comes from "Is it Home Yet?", a campaign/sweepstakes meant to bring gunshy spenders back into furniture showrooms.

The World Market Center Last Vegas, a showroom and exhibition space for the furniture industry, is pushing the effort, with help from collaborators like the National Home Furnishings Association and the Western Home Furnishing Association. In addition to a nationwide multimedia push, it will receive still more attention from widespread celebration of "National Home Furnishings Month" -- September, a traditional (but cozy!) period of change.

Note the ornaments of an industry calibrated for battle: a couch that, according to its materials tag, meets or exceeds "comfort and happiness standards"; and a slogan that appears on a rustic welcome mat. You can also expect to be heavily exposed to soft-touch shots of smiling unbroken families, cushy stuffed couches and other timeless accoutrements of the resilient nuclear unit.

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by Angela Natividad    Aug-24-09    
Topic: Bad, Campaigns, Online, Outdoor, Promotions, Trends and Culture



Don't Be Fooled by the Desperation; Jack is Not a Nice Guy.

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Australia's ANZ Small Business tapped M&C Saatchi to develop an ad both funny and sympathetic to its target demo: small business owners.

That doesn't sound like tons of fun, so we didn't expect it to be, especially when we saw the length of the clip: 1:40? And in sepia? Why not force our eyes open with steel rods, too?

The spot itself starts out innocuously enough: a suited man is walking down the street, somebody calls his name: "Jack!" He starts to run. As the spot progresses, the variety of people -- butchers, mechanics, a Chinese restaurant owner -- that catch sight of him and give chase increases, adding to the dramatic tension and making way for a few semi-amusing stunt scenes. You lazily wonder what the punchline is.

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by Angela Natividad    Aug-21-09    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Good, Online, Video



Leaking Mad Men, Flipping for PR, Exorcist Mean Girls

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- Prior to the premier, Mad Men season 3 leaks on iTunes just long enough for a bunch of madcap bloggers to publish stuff like this.

- Social media cool-kid Jeremiah Owyang leaves Forrester, calls his time there "a grand adventure!"

- Defending the PR merits of the Flip camera. (Via.)

- Back to '69 with the Gap, on all your social media platforms (even iPhone!), courtesy of AKQA.

- ...and after Juno, Diablo Cody gives us an exorcist man-eating queen bee. With requisite dorky hot friend.

- Grey: wedding football and the Phantom. (Via.)

by Angela Natividad    Aug-21-09    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Online, Strange



Even in Death, Obama Girl Remains Selflessly Political

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In what could, for some, be considered poetic justice, Barely Political contributes to the untimely-yet-prolonged death of its charmingest Frankenstein Monster: Obama Girl.

Amidst a campy new jingle and some ass-wiggling with a faux Republican, a reluctant Obama Girl -- recently informed that she's cheated vindictive Death -- is thrown into a wall of knives. The resulting perversion of a quaint Victorian pastime gives her the chance to perform something most actors salivate for: a death scene.

The chill demeanour she maintains, even as life leaks unconvincingly out of her sternum, is a tribute to our casually jaded generation. She even gets a dandy little healthcare message in.

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Levi's Panders to Frat Heads with American Mockumentaries

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Taking a break from its role as ad land's mouthpiece for the American adolescent's collective wet dream, Levi's partnered with Break to bring forth "Stories of a New America."

This is supposed to be the more relatable version of its frontiersy-sounding "Go forth" campaign. Hit a point on a rust-coloured US map to watch, oddly enough, mockumentaries of American pastimes.

There's currently only one pinpoint, a video for the "Manhattan Beach Six Man Volleyball Tournament." Composed of co-ed teams playing volleyball in costume, the California (?) based pseudo-event is supported by inspired quotes like "this is the one setting where people can get away with wearing as least as possible."

And of course you have guys dressed like Smurfs. Just think of the whole thing as a less interesting version of ING's Bay to Breakers, populated with characters from The Hills.

by Angela Natividad    Aug-19-09    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Online, Video, Worst



Online Game Campaign Promotes...Bras?

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This is hilarious. American Copywriter has put together, in chronological order, a series of online ads for the free online video game, Evony. The early ads can certainly be seen as relating to the medieval nature of the game. But as the ads progress, one wonders wheter or not Evony has turned into a dating site or a retailer like Victoria's Secret or Frederick's of Hollywood pimping cleavage-enhancing bras.

Odd. Just odd.

by Steve Hall    Aug-17-09    
Topic: Creative Commentary, Online, Racy, Strange



Ever Wonder Which Ads Are Converting? Wonder No More

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Because sometimes serious news can be useful, we're happy to inform you search ad network Looksmart, is out with SmartRotation, a cost-per-action (CPA) tool that automatically serves the best-performing ad creative in an ad group based on conversion data from a tracking pixel. The new tool, part of LookSmart's ad rotation, allows advertisers to optimize campaigns by conversion events like sales, sign-ups, downloads, and registrations to drive higher performance.

"It doesn't matter how many clicks you have if it doesn't convert", said Michael Schoen, Vice President and General Manager of Advertising Platforms at LookSmart. "While other platforms only offer even ad rotation or optimization by click-through rate (CTR), LookSmart's SmartRotation analyzes conversion rates and serves the best-converting ad creative, giving advertisers a better rate of return on their search investment."

See? Now don't you think that will make your job a lot easier when your boss asks you which ads are converting the best?

by Steve Hall    Aug- 3-09    
Topic: Online, Tools



Tap, Take, Twitter. It's the New New Thing

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If you like websites where random statements float by and change when you click on them, you might like this promotional site for a new camera which will be released August 13. On the site, called Tap and Take, you can ply around with the statements as they move about the screen. You can also add your own statements to he site which can then appear as Tweets of Facebook status updates.

Way to get the word out, social media geniuses.

by Steve Hall    Aug- 3-09    
Topic: Online, Social



Remember the Svedka Fembots? Now You Can Become One

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We're written a lot about Svedka Vodka and their fembot-based ad campaigns. For the most part, they've been good (to be sure, you'll have to check the archives). We've even begun drinking the stuff. Why? It's half the price of Grey Goose and just as good. At least we think so.

Anyway, the folks over at uber-awesome Barbarian Group, working with Oddcast, have put together the Svedka Bot Builder which, after uploading your face (from your computer, your webcam of from Facebook) and choosing what you want your bot body to look like (and even give it a drink to hold), lets you to turn it into an IM icon, a widget, make an e-card or send if to Facebook.

by Steve Hall    Jul-29-09    
Topic: Brands, Games, Online










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