AOL Promotes Literacy with Mystifying Virus Solution Imagery

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A good illustration clarifies language or, properly rendered, can even replace words altogether. There's so much to be learned from a picture.

That's why we're so confused by this banner ad for AOL's PC protection solution.

So we've got three interconnected beads sliding out of this deeply concentric woman's head: a sludge splatter, Nancy Drew (or is it Carmen Sandiego? The plot thickens) and a signal tower. We're thinking radiation. We're thinking conspiracy. We're thinking female Dick Tracey chases down menacing toxic blob whose sending ear-splitting signals are reverberating across the sleepy town of Conglomoville.

We're thinking AOL should really have run this by a couple more people without the text.

by Angela Natividad    Mar-14-07    




Nike Reviews, Miracles Whips, Viacom Sues, Nick Marches

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- MTV has added a user-generated category to its Movie Awards.

-Nike is opening an agency review with its U.S. business, currently handled by Wieden + Kennedy, getting first look.

- After many years with JWT, Kraft's Miracle Whip is heading over to DDB.

Mark Cuban must be laughing his ass off now as Viacom, following unproductive settlement talks, sues Google and YouTube for $1 billion in damages.

- If your into the whole March Madness thing, Coke has a nice Brack-O-Matic site that makes picking teams easy.

- Nickelodeon UK has launched Musical March, a site where kids can create their own musical videos and upload them to the site. The best videos will air on Nick JR Video.

by Steve Hall    Mar-13-07    
Topic: Agencies, Brands, Cable, Online, Video



SXSW: You Don't Need to be Here

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Ushering her audience out, Kathy Sierra questioned why interactive attendees would bother to show in person in the age of live blogging and streaming content. With an opening line of "you don't need to be here", admittedly a few poured out of the conference room doors. However, Sierra stated, that there are still elements that exist as the missing link between computer interaction and human expression. Responsiveness to software was compared to the likes of Asperger's syndrome, unintentionally rude and often narrowly focused.

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by Ariel Waldman    Mar-12-07    
Topic: Industry Events, Online, Trends and Culture



Graphic Artist Makes Grid-Based 80's Ad Mash-Up

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Curiouser and curiouser. Australia-based graphic artist Jason Nelson throws together an odd piece of work called Hermeticon, which uses bits of '80's toy and candy ads to create sound and video collages that spark to life when you type things out into a grid. He calls the results "ad-driven spells."

It reminds us a lot of all the ad generators already flying around except less coherent than usual. That's okay though, we dig it.

It might just be because our childhood connection to Rainbow Brite sparked back to life when she appeared for a moment - just a moment! - on the grid. We can't help but admire the emotional range of a good nostalgic mash-up. That's why we sit on in the dark watching "I Love the 80's" reruns at 2 AM.

by Angela Natividad    Mar-12-07    
Topic: Consumer Created, Games, Good, Online



Obsessed with Golf? Now There's Help

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To fully leverage its sponsorship for the PGA tourney in Orlando, MasterCard launches Priceless, an interactive site that positions itself as a telecenter support group for the one-iron-obsessed. Magical voice response technology even syncs what consumers hear on the phone to what they see on their screens.

Based on a set of quiz questions, golf lovers can log into the site and find out how golf-obsessed they are. A major incentive to answering these questions is that afterward you get the option of registering for text messages from LPGA golfer Laura Diaz or cheats from Spaulding Smalls.

We're going to take a shot in the dark and suggest if you actually explore the site for more than a couple of minutes you are probably pretty obsessed as things stand. Like golf itself, unless you actively decide to get involved in it the site ain't terribly interesting.

by Angela Natividad    Mar-12-07    
Topic: Campaigns, Online, Sponsorship



Scion Promotes Do-It-Yourself Plastic Surgery

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In conjunction with design/animation/production team Shilo, ATTIK creates a series of weird virals to promote the Scion xB. We think the Scion xB is ugly as hell, but apparently so does the marketing team and they're using its quirky boxiness as leverage.

We haven't got all the virals, but one called Round to Square involves a standard stick figure hacking away at its face until it achieves a satisfying square appearance that brought back traumatic memories of Mooninites. The video then leads us to Want 2 B Square, an odd interactive wasteland with vestiges of death (like the guillotine at left) all over the place. The site also houses games, which we actually kind of enjoy.

We like the look and feel of the campaign but we're still as likely to start hacking away at our own faces as we are to purchase a Scion.

by Angela Natividad    Mar-12-07    
Topic: Campaigns, Online



Subway Wants to Be the Anti-McDonald's

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In an attempt to stay relevant post-Jared, Subway unveils Fresh Buzz, which houses a bunch of marginal stars that could use a sex tape career boost, and something called the fit evolution.

A diagram suggests that after discovering french fries and cheeseburgers man got progressively fatter and fatter until discovering Subway Fresh Fit.

We're doubting the veracity of that claim because a recent rerun of South Park not-so-quietly divulges that Jared didn't just get skinny with sandwiches, he got skinny with aides. Fitness aides, that is. Does the fit evolution come with aides? No? Then sorry, Subway. Until the day you can give us the aides we need to get fit like Jared alongside your sandwiches, you're just another chain telling sweet lies.

by Angela Natividad    Mar-12-07    
Topic: Campaigns, Online



Nokia N95 Wants to be iPhone. Might Actually be Better

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Not to be outdone by the iPhone, Nokia has launched Great Pockets, a site that creates an entire line of fashion with special pockets just to carry the burgeoning supply of digital devices we all use on a daily basis. Of course, the fashion are horrible and after a bit, you are whisked to another site that sings the glory of the Nokia N95, an iPhone wannabe that's a phone, mp3 player, gps, camera and video cam all rolled into one. It's entirely unsexy compared to the iPhone but Nokia's always made things that work quite well...and with more than one service provider. If you choose the N95, you won't be as cool as your iPhone toting hipsters but you might have a bit more cash in your pocket and a little more flexibility.

by Steve Hall    Mar-12-07    
Topic: Good, Online, Video



The Goonies Return to Astoria...With Jeep As A Sponsor

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If you ever saw the movie, Goonies, and just couldn't get enough of it, now, courtesy of Jeep, BBDO Detroit and Fuel Industries, you can relive all that eighties adventure goodness in the form on an online game called Return to Astoria. There's even a trailer for the game. We're told Goonies are timeless. We wouldn't know. We can't even remember watching the movie.

by Steve Hall    Mar- 9-07    
Topic: Games, Good, Online



McDonald's Cures Oversleeping With Video Contest

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Aside from maybe the coffee, we can't really think of a reason why a visit to McDonald's is necessarily an activity that will help you wake up and face the day. Well, other then the fact you have to actually be awake to go to a McDonald's but let's not get bogged down in the details. One would assume a nice big, greasy, artery-clogging McDonald's breakfast would make you sleepy and want to crawl back into bed or, more likely, barf but McDonald's, with it's Moroch Partners-created Morning Impaired site thinks otherwise.

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by Steve Hall    Mar- 8-07    
Topic: Brands, Online, Video







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