This is kind of cute. To promote the DVD release of Eragon, Fuel Industries put together Volksdragon, a fun little site where you can customize your very own dragon. It's a little like modding a Scion but less ugly and possibly more maintenance (what fuels dragons, anyway? Us?).
Minor upkeep concerns aside, the idea of travelling by dragon is extremely appealing. Show us something cooler than harnessing a dragon, and we'll show you a liar.
Off-topic, Fuel Industries seems very fond of car themes.
Because there's nothing like the ugly awkward suffering that composes puberty, and maybe because "puberty" happens to be a loaded and funny word to say, MTV makes its first leap into the mobile universe with a set of 11 characters who, in their collective uncoolness, make up Puberty.
Created by Clay Weiner and Hornet with the help of WDDG out of NYC. Suggesting the characters may be an allegory for the everyday, Clay notes, "Puberty, as painful as it was, proves in hindsight to be a pretty apt metaphor for life. But the cruel truth is that you never get over it. No matter how old you get you still get pooped on (Doo-doo), you always wish you were more mature than you are (Pubes), you always think you have a big butt (Booty), and they'll always laugh at you for sticking out of a crowd (Boner). As bad as Puberty is, adulthood is worse."
We're just making that discovery ourselves. But hey, at least now we don't have to worry about getting stuffed into lockers, and it's been a long time since we last wet the bed. Check out the cast of Puberty here and see the promos.
We've since relegated Hostess to the banks of childhood memory along with Pixie Stix, Kool-Aid and other non-food food, but we actually did swoon when we saw this promotion for their new 100 Calorie Packs.
Plug in your Calorie Pack preferences and the 100 Calorie Crooner will sing a song that sits somewhere between the Beauty School Dropout scene in Grease and Sinatra's last live rendition of Strangers in the Night.
The denigration in standards from Sinatra to Grease to the 100 Calorie Crooner didn't escape us, but the gaping void left by lack of class is nothing that can't be filled with three mini-cakes (at 100 calories total! Come on).
Commendably persistent in its quest to spark the libido of speed-freak co-eds (previous attempts one and two), Mazda throws the weight of some slightly-below-indy Canadian bands behind a new virtual driving game.
Created by Fuel Industries, the courses were shot on college campuses and university students can choose between three.
We played the game and it seemed promising until we realized the speed couldn't be adjusted (from what we could tell, anyway) and we didn't even have to mess with the right or left functions. Just keep pushing the forward button and the car turns for you. If only real-life cars were that smart. Oh wait, Lexus might be.
Learn something from Candystand, the branded-game pros, or even Nokia, who really struck gold with almost the same idea. In fact, it was made by the same people.
Ew, a sloppy seconds campaign. Not cute.
American Legacy expands on their Become an Ex campaign with three spots on re-learning behaviour typically associated with smoking, like drinking coffee, driving and starting your day. The campaign is by GSD&M out of Austin, TX, a city where smoking is permitted in designated indoor spaces.
The ads feature bewildered middle-aged characters bumbling over said activities as they try renegotiating space without the soothing puff-puff. It's a little like watching Britney Spears stagger around like a bald Cyclops after her latest failed stint at rehab.
The odd hats at ATTIK hustle us back to Want 2 B Square, a macabre interactive world meant to promote the equally macabre (design-wise, anyway) 2008 Scion xB.
Like any interactive world there's a lot going on, a lot of which we've already covered (1, 2). But we did see something new we really like - this video entitled Boy Meets Girl. Directed by Sean Donnelly of Anonymous Content, two square-headed kids play "I'll show you mine if you show me yours" and instead of baring warped genitalia (as expected) they flip open one another's heads and explore the contents.
In the same twisted way that one could look at Secretary and call it "a gently bent love story," one could say Boy Meets Girl blithely expresses the innocence and exchange in that first boy/girl encounter. Gently bent, of course. We dig the campaign more and more.
Enough to nail a Scion? If they keep wooing us like this, we'll get there.
Ugh. We're not sure what Carsguide was thinking when they agreed to launch this campaign by Cummins and Partners out of Melbourne.
Animated by Firehorse Films, the guys who did bro'Town (NZ's response to Family Guy), this film, called Day Rider, is a kitsch-ridden, awkward spoof on the '80's series Knight Rider. Naturally the car becomes the protagonist's worst enemy.
Because for some odd reason watching an '80's hoopty go bad will inspire you to possess one of your own, Carsguide ties the campaign in with an opportunity to win an '84 TransAm.
We're trying to think of more mean things to say but we're too sleepy and bored, so we'll just move on now.
When you've got serious marketing dollars to throw behind wooing someone, it's a fine line between making them feel like stars and just, well, stalking the dickens out of them.
Philly-based 160over90 assists Wilkes University toward one or the other of these ends. Using mall kiosks, MySpace ads, billboards and whatever other media happened to be standing in a would-be Wilkesian's way, the university gave accepted students a king-sized shout-out.
The campaign makes Mini's "Hey Joe Shmoe" RFID-based billboard idea look piddly - it actually goes into details about the students' activities and ties them into the ad pitch.
James Cash Penney. Isn't that an awesome founder name? It pulls 10 times the weight of humdrum John Rockefeller. There's miles of branding potential behind a name like that.
Unfortunately JC Penney's isn't known for taking advantage. As kids we considered Penney's a tier above Sears - if you're desperate or you wait too long you might find a good prom dress there, but you'll probably lie and say you got it on sale at Macy's.
To offset this sad effect, Saatchi and Saatchi CEO Kevin Roberts enlists the lame duck brand for a Lovemarks repositioning. Watch the initial couple of ads and read the Garfield review at Advertising Age.
It's not enough to reach purchasing audiences anymore; we also need to keep one eye open for bloggers and online opinion-makers who increasingly make or break the success of a campaign. Still, few marketers will admit it's the bloggers they're targeting, much less shoot directly for them.
An Adrants reader points us to this fresh DuPont campaign called DuPont stories. Created by the interactive media futurists at Denuo, the videos are set up like a science class to illustrate the relevance of DuPont in everyday life. They're narrated by former Rocketboomer Amanda Congdon - looking hotter than ever - garbed in a lab coat who, oddly enough, isn't removing it, tossing her hair or making come-hither Freudian slips as the tale progresses. (After all, it is Amanda Congdon.)
We don't know if that's good or bad but we like that the series doesn't try leveraging the camp or slapstick humour characteristic of the standard viral. We feel like we learned something (watch Glass Houses, it's awesome). We feel enriched but somehow still not bored. By gad, could it be that viral trollers aren't monkeys after all?