We liked Finding Nemo. Cute animation and grisly clownfish family massacre aside, every character had a flaw to overcome and a dark side to deal with. That's what turns frothy animated fun into something meaningful, slightly scary and mildly subversive.
To tell what we're sure is a painful and amusing story about their ups and downs, Little Big Brands brings together major talent like animator Alexandru Sacui and musical guru Woody Pak. The result is three full minutes of sweet little cliches - big fish in little pond, fish out of water, other fish in the sea. Where's the challenge, the struggle and the shame? Three minutes is a long time - a very long time - to watch fish without so much as a glimmer of sharkfin over the horizon.
For album "Year Zero," Nine Inch Nails sets fans on a scavenger hunt with a series of webpages predicting the future. One example is Another Version of the Truth, a picture of a seemingly gentler America. When you click and drag your mouse, the pastoral picture reveals a desolate wasteland.
The first of the sites was discovered by fans who put together a set of highlighted words on a tour shirt. After that a spiral of other sites were found with roughly the same end-of-the-world, fascist/religious theme.
The effort was orchestrated by 42 Entertainment, the mad geniuses responsible for the Halo 2 campaign that sparked a dramatic nationwide search for a princess trapped in cyberspace.
Swedish group Garbergs uses the "Cribs" angle to push the multi-faceted new line of models by Mitsubishi. At Not Everybody's Car we explore the garage of LA inhabitant Action Jackson who of course is ostentatiously hip-hop and has a showroom-caliber set-up of cars that flash and buzz when you mouse over them.
Hiding an interactive test-drive opportunity in the "Cribs" and hip-hop motifs is a clever way to generate brand buzz. Oh, except that it's not. Nobody buys this stuff anymore. "Cribs" is played-out and everybody tries to use the hip-hop angle. When we're bored, we don't sit around cyber test-driving cars with our bosom buddy Action Jackson. We play on Digg so we can talk shit about big companies that try to trick us, share WoW tips and swap really important news generally related to Apple.
In his long-winded mod-turtleneck way, Youtube philosopher Sergei explains why anti-smoking scare tactics like this fuel stigma but don't actually help serious smokers, who just feel alienated and become more defensive about their right to smoke.
Sergei makes some good points even if he's probably preaching to the choir. We also like that he smokes throughout, and puts points in subtitles. That's panache. In fact we're pretty sure that most people who like to puff while listening to themselves talk in a small cafe would elect for subtitles or at least bullets to illustrate their wisdom if they could. (We would anyway.)
Unfortunately, even savvy marketers are hard-pressed to work out how to foster a non-smoking culture in a way that encourages non-smokers to pursue a better quality of life but doesn't insult their intelligence.
It was only a matter of time before a game as fun as Crazy Taxi would reincarnate in ad promo form. That's what Nokia has done for its interactive film/game The Passenger, which is pretty engaging. The music ain't bad either.
You're a driver on the night streets of Paris when a sultry woman hops in and urgently asks to be transported to three addresses. At aid is the Nokia Multimedia Car Kit CK-20W, a nifty GPS-stocked device, but follow directions or your passenger will throw insults at you. Don't you love doing life-saving favours for people who get all bitchy?
The game was put together by the interesting mindfolk at Hyper Happen, Fuel Industries and Karbon Arc, and features footage of Paris shot just last November. Thanks Netanel for the tip. We don't want to sound too excited but this would make a pretty decent (if really, really short) standalone video game. Then again, we're not actually gamers, we're biased ad people, so we imagine actual joystick jockeys are rolling their eyes in disgust right now.
Alumni from Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) started production company The Dandy Dwarves and were tapped by their alma mater to create an interactive viral marketing campaign.
The fruits of their labour? SCAD Shorts. The object: guess the title of the bizarre spot playing on the screen. The trick: titles must always have the SCAD acronym.
This is harder than it sounds but results in some weird videos.
Repeat visitors get a running chance of winning - what else? - an iPod.
Who knew there were companies created specifically to assist you if you find yourself in a position of irreconcilable differences with your business partner and the shotgun clause gets invoked? Well, thanks to Dentsu Canada, we know know of at least one: Argosy's Shotgun Fund. Since our friend over at Dentsu did such an eloquent job describing the work to us, we're going to let him do for you here.
Dentsu's Glen Hunt tells us, "OK. So you're a creative partner in a business, say, an Ad Agency. You've got a partner, say, a suit. He thinks it might be a good idea to churn out crap for your biggest paying client and resign all the other businesses that landed you a Clio, 2 lions and a couple of pencils last year. What to do? Invoke the Shotgun Clause in your partnership agreement, buy that smarmy prick out and send him back to his Mom and Dad where he developed small man syndrome in the first place.
Back in our heady days of diapers, drool and a band known as Jefferson Airplane, Windows Vista was but an inactive brain cell in a small boy named Bill Gates. Today, Windows Vista is all the rage and Jefferson Airplane is now known (has been for a long time) as Jefferson Starship. We have to wonder if back in the good old days of Jefferson Airplane, anyone in the band could have conceived of being an integral component of one of the biggest marketing campaigns of all time. With all those drugs, we highly doubt it but today, what's not to like about a classic (the time, not the style) rock band headlining a concert tour to promote software. A lot but that's beside the point.
The agency with our favorite name, Wexley School for Girls, developed a free lunch concert series featuring Jefferson Airplane, a cosmonaut street team, wild postings, a teaser video and a website filled with galactic goodies all to promote Windows Vista and its partnership with T-Mobile. It's kind of fun. Check it out.
Christina Ricci is hot. Christina Ricci is short denim cut offs is really hot. Christina Ricci in short denim cut offs, a tiny belly shirt and cowgirl boots is flaming hot. Christina Ricci in short denim cut offs, tiny belly shirt, cowgirl boots and chained like some kind of sex-slave by Samuel L. Jackson...now that's more than a guy can take! Can't you see, we're trying to get some work done around here? How can we with all this distraction?
Anyway, she's in a movie, coming out next month, called Black Snake Moan with Samuel L. Jackson. As part of the movie's promotion, there's a send-to-a-friend feature that lets you place your head on either Ricci's or Jackson' head for some silliness. We don't know why anyone would want to put their head over Christina's (although she does have an odd one), but, hey, this is online marketing and we do it because we can.
Whether this goes anywhere or not is anyone's guess but no one thought the online ad banner would become what it is today either. A new online magazine, Dormant Forces, has launched and will be supported by what it calls an AdFrame designed to elicit "curiosity clicks." The Adframe consists of small, subtle squares with nothing but the advertisers name or tagline. Clicking the square takes the visitor to the advertiser's site. The publisher plans to do a similar thing in the printed version of the magazine. Anyone care to predict the future of this venture?