Nathan Reifke Adds Whimsy to Action Sports

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Stardust Studios enlists the magic stylistics of Nathan Reifke to add colour to their Signature Series IDs, inspired by limited edition signature skateboard decks starting in 2004. The first 15 have generated accolades from both artists and enthusiasts of unsanctioned - er, action sports.

The Fuel TV release of Number 16, which aired in December, is a collabo with design director Neil Tsai and animators Kevin Ferrara and Daisuke Yamazaki. The spot starts with a natural birth - the sprouting of a plant - and evolves into man-made machinery.

"This piece tries to portray the universe as a literal giant machine and the subsequent relationships of its parts," Reifke says. "My hope was to call to mind that we tend to be very anthropocentric without much regard for the other inhabitants of this planet. [...] My goal is that people get lost in [this piece] like a daydream, and that for just a second they will feel a sense of wonder. That sense of wonder is what makes us ask questions and, ultimately, what leads us to explore this amazing place."

How dreamy. We don't know much about art, but we do know pretty, and this is certainly that. Will it appeal to civilian skaters? We're not sure. It probably depends on if they're stoned or not.

by Angela Natividad    Feb-23-07    
Topic: Good, Online, Promotions, Television



Gladys Calls Ellen, MySpace Data Profiled, Grey's Spins Off

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- Adland wonders if Gladys Hardy, an 88 year old woman with a MySpace site and who's called into Ellen several times in just some sort of marketing promotion. It sure smells of it.

- Fox Interactive Media Buys Ad Targeting Firm to Leverage MySpace Profile Data. Let's mine that data, guys.

- ABC is creating a spin off of Grey's Anatomy with the Addison Shepard character and Taye Diggs. This just does not sound right.

- MediaBuyerPlanner reports, "Shares of the two largest, publicly traded billboard owners, Lamar Advertising and Clear Channel Outdoor, have skyrocketed in the past 12 months, growing 36 percent and 43 percent respectively."

by Steve Hall    Feb-23-07    
Topic: Guerilla, Online, Social



Budding Fashion Interns (or Bitchy Bloggers) Come Ready-Made at Stardoll

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Online community Stardoll unrolls a virtual red carpet for the Academy Awards. For the teeny bopper demo (or girls at heart like Mariah), Stardoll is a candy-sweet space for creating Oscars-themed scenes with - wait for it - virtual paparazzi and Joan Rivers avatars. It ain't the Oscars without invasive camera angles and loud blondes straddling perpetual midlife crises so we smile upon the stab at authenticity.

"We hope to usher in a new generation of kids who want to try their hand at fashion in a way that is fun, creative and a bit friendlier than an internship at Vogue," says CEO Mattias Miksche. After seeing The Devil Wears Prada, we find this noble indeed.

In addition to playing with Oscar nominee avatars and making adamant suggestions about who should win (most favor Kate over Penelope!), girls make their own avatars and craft campaigns to become the next Stardoll cover girl, an honour doled out by the community.

Stardoll stikes us as an awesome resource. While we'd like to suggest it as such, the imagined execution (admen trolling the Pretty in Pink section) is not cute. Resist the urge to channel dormant XX chromosomes. We're sure you know a little girl you can foist this job upon.

by Angela Natividad    Feb-23-07    
Topic: Games, Good, Online, Trends and Culture



Orange Offers Rare Glimpse Behind Ad Scenes

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While there are probably quite a few ads that make us go, "How do they do that?" the question isn't answered often enough to be worth pursuing very far.

Adland, however, posed the question about an ad for Orange entitled Belonging. Oddly enough, it was answered. Sam Akesson of Fallon London confesses, "[Belonging] took A LOT of takes, and we spent about 2 months of rehearsing to get all the choreography and movement right. Basically it involves a lot of people running and jumping into holes..."

We were like WTF until Fallon elaborated with its own version of Making the Video. Way more interesting than anything P. Diddy does behind the scenes of his hitmakers, it probably could still have used a catfight or two. But how often do you get to see people jumping into holes? Not nearly enough.

Ask at Ad-Rag confides, "Belonging doesn't use any CGI. Instead they rely on running away, jumping into holes and the camera's blind spot. I think it's neat." We do too.

In fact, we think behind-the-scenes efforts like this are a great way of building intimacy between brands, audiences and even - yes - agencies. If it worked for Nick Lachey and Jessica Simpson, it can work for us too. Creative endeavours make fertile ground for screaming, crying and potential taboo trysts, yeah?

by Angela Natividad    Feb-23-07    
Topic: Agencies, Best, Commercials, Online, Television



Wrigley's and Wii Get Cozy on Candystand

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It was only a matter of time before Wrigley's Candystand, whose candy-tagged games get progressively better, would start testing waters in real gamer territory.

Candystand and Wii just joined forces in a bizarre cross-branding where Wii web games are peddled on Candystand and Candystand is totally accessible through the Wii browser.

The relationship isn't exactly low-key - within 24 hours of launching on Wii's Internet Channel, Wii.Candystand.com drew 6000 visitors and a ton of positive reviews. That is, according to Scott Tannen, Wrigley's director of global digital marketing.

This is the first branded site to link to the Wii browser, which will definitely get competitors sniffing at the door to be next in line. Candystand's content offerings are also formatted for television instead of computer monitors.

Kudos to Wrigley for creating a series of branded offerings that seem able to stand alone in gaming world. It hasn't been an easy trek, considering Candystand was first introduced in '97 - building this kind of recognition takes time. Just ask Target.

We still harbor doubts that our Socom buddies would be deeply impressed to hear we destroy the competition on Altoids Sheep, though.

by Angela Natividad    Feb-22-07    
Topic: Brands, Games, Good, Online, Sponsorship, Television



BlackBerry Personifies Personal Assistant with Weird Mascot

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We thought the Microsoft Butterfly was kind of nifty. The guy in the BlackBerry suit? Not so much. Giant plush costumes are so deceptive in their frozen state of cheer and rarely work outside Chuck E Cheese and college football fields, where they can be ridiculed at leisure by their own peers.

The requisite BlackBerry Mascot MySpace, as if we care.

by Angela Natividad    Feb-22-07    
Topic: Bad, Brands, Online, Promotions, Strange



Social Meme Mash-Up Makes Art on Big Ball

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A cross between a collaborative rubber band ball and a chain letter, this piece of "potential art" has been bouncing through the webosphere, inviting collective creative design for an ever-growing montage.

Drawball zooms into a spot about 1/4096th its size, which is where users can leave their mark. The result isn't just a mishmash of arbitrary graffiti; it includes americana logos like Coca-Cola, new pop culture icons like Digg and representations of various subcultures.

Like Wikipedia.org, the Drawball project proves surprising to some: people left virtually unregulated will work together to build something meaningful, even if the meaning can only be seen in the aggregate.

To witness the evolution of Drawball from beginning to end, check out Drawball Playback, where a year's work of collaborative art unfolds. It's a little like watching the progression of mankind in hyperspeed, as various image colonizations and social eclipses take place over the life of the project.

We wonder if human colonizations are this provocative from a distance. Maybe that's why God never intervenes.

by Angela Natividad    Feb-22-07    
Topic: Best, Consumer Created, Online, Trends and Culture



Rubenesque Ruby Hawks Soothing Self Esteem Message

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Adhurl brings our attention to Ruby, The Body Shop's attempt to cash in on the real beauty hype. In addition to the pear-shaped doll, the website purveys tips on self-esteem and being an all-around better person instead of just a skinnier one. Because we all know where that path leads.

We dig the idea of perpetuating an equal-opportunity beauty myth. We just don't think chubbier dolls are the answer. When we were kids, this isn't stuff we thought about.

We played with dolls because dolls were awesome. We didn't care if they were Amazonian like the short-lived Maxi or small as Polly Pocket. We didn't even care that most were blonde; once we hit a certain age we cut all the hair off anyway. And forget Barbie for a minute - is anybody checking up on the psychological repurcussions of Glo Worms or Teletubbies?

by Angela Natividad    Feb-21-07    
Topic: Campaigns, Online, Packaging, Social



Burden of Inch Angst Now Shared by Both Sexes

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We grow ever nearer to the elusive notion of gender equality. Don't believe us? Now men aren't the only ones breaking a sweat over the measuring tape.

Start your conditioning on the merits of the designer vagina right here. And to think! Just a few years ago the makers of Gattaca thought perfection paranoia would end in pursuit of good health, pretty eyes and sharp minds. The devil is always in the details.

by Angela Natividad    Feb-21-07    
Topic: Online, Racy, Strange, Trends and Culture



True.com Reveals True Feelings for Demographic

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MySpace, True.com's banner whoring stomping-ground, is running an ad that's made us double-take at least six times thus far.

Are they saying men are like dogs? That men should seek out dogs instead of women? That either one of the sexes should go canine and not carnal?

They also appear to be addressing us in pup language. Sit. Stay. Date. Bark? Jump? How high? It didn't occur to us how condescending True can be, not merely in language but in branding, until just now. Is this what we've come to? Docile men, interchangeable sex kittens and one-word commands?

Well, maybe. Despite the lackluster appearance of its website, True destroys competition in the dating world right now. So tonight we've decided to hit a bar and ask members of the opposite sex to wag tails and play dead and see if it gets us laid. There's a whole fetish industry that revolves around collars and commands, so we're feeling optimistic. Thanks, True.

by Angela Natividad    Feb-21-07    
Topic: Bad, Campaigns, Online










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