Once upon a time we noted ad people would rather shoot movies than make boring ads. To illustrate this desperation we get tons of contrived holiday videos. But considering adland's love of video production in general, you'd think more artists would be thinking, "By gad. I'll get Ogilvy to position my bikini-clad models!"
Well, U2 did. Nix the bikini model part. For "Window in the Sky" they tapped Modernista, the only agency we know that self-promotes to an audience that perhaps prefers to remain unawares about agencies lurking behind brands. The resulting video is gorgeosity and includes multiple musical influences, icons and audiences.
"Dude, have you heard about this wild new ad technology that matches the content of an article to the subject matter of your ad? Oh, it's so cool. You just choose a few keywords that describe the ad and computers serve it up when an article mentions those keywords. It's like brainless. So easy to set up."
Um, yea, dude. We've heard of it. It's great if you want to make your client look like an unfeeling idiot who thinks it's OK to offer killer supermarket values in articles about Amish killings or turpentine next to an article about a girl who used the stuff to abort a pregnancy or Target selling Anna Nicole Smith's dead son.
Now, it seems, it's OK for Toyota to urge you to run right out and buy a car while reading about a teacher hit by a car. You can't make this shit up but we wish someone would make it stop.
So somebody emails us and goes, "Holiday time is more than just stupid f'in holiday cards, isn't it?" and we sigh with relief and go, hell yeah it is. And then we realize this is actually a plug for what they think holiday time is all about.
The cause is KCA Rebels, a liaison between Keep a Child Alive and Blender and the usual college hipsters who all want to be in bands and get famous. The winning band gets a record contract and a feature in Blender, but mainly this is to "promote awareness" (we love that phrase) about ... hm. Something related to keeping children alive. We're almost sure of it.
And because we were asked to, we'll link to this FLiP article too. Upon closer inspection it occurred to us the article has little or nothing to do with KCA Rebels and more to do with giving for the holidays with a web 2.0 tie-in to Facebook. And since this is completely fucking all over the place anyway, guess what? We're listening to Madonna's "Lucky Star" right now. And to give this an appropriate philanthropic tie-in, we're thinking of donating something to the kids at St. Jude. And for the requisite hipster 2.0 tie-in, lookie lookie - we're blogging about it.
We really like these ads for Korbel Royal and Korbel Blue Hawaiian, which made Steve want to dive into his computer screen, pop the cork and down a bottle while I experienced a bizarre craving for champagne with essence of coconut.
Korbel tagged agency Carmichael Lynch and Gasket Studios, who with their animation wanted to turn the ads into an experience of "visual taste." Gasket founder Greg Shultz adds, "Fluidity, fun, Americana and nostalgia are mixed with a very current aesthetic - the very essence of the Korbel champagne cocktails." He appears to have some trouble committing to just a couple of good adjectives there. In any case the wine cooler - oops, champagne cocktail - ads leap off Time Square this month but expect to see them elsewhere.
We think we've found one of the more amusing agency holiday cards with Sullivan Higdon & Sink's We Love Holiday Sweaters. But come on guys. Leave the political correctness at home. It is a Christmas sweater after all and not a "holiday" sweater. You don't want to encourage the horror of people wearing these fashion faux pauxs every holiday do you? Once a year is enough! Anyway. On the site, not only do you get to wallow in the absurdity of the Christmas sweater, you get to create your own! Yes, advertising people. Leave that boring client work behind for a moment and test your true, unapproval process-hindered creativity in the knitting section of the site. Let's see who can create the best (or is it worst?) sweater. Email your creation to firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll feature them here. Or, just leave the link in comments.
absurdity of the Christmas sweater
Pop quiz. What do you get when you combine an advertising agency Christmas card with the Second Life fad? An agency Christmas card video set in Second Life, of course. Leo Burnett Detroit, one of the early agency entries into the virtual world has forgone the typical, boring, so yesterday, "real world" holiday card and, instead, given us an avatar-filled, winter-themed, Second Life hip hop jam. Hmm. Different. Nicely produced (by Millions of Us). Though it doesn't look like the Second Life we know. No lag. No half-built sims. No clunky interface. Just a lot of happy, dancing agency avatars. What's not to like?
Here's another example of what MySpace has done to - er, for - society. Chunky Pam leaks her holiday wares and reps for a chunkier, more grimacy kind of female.
Please believe we grimaced back. And all this pink does a chafe-job on our eyes. But the song is amusing and with crunk and hyphy on the scene, rap just begs for parody.
UPDATE> Here's the video.
Remember the creative department douchebag? This is him, cooler.
Iron Creative throws together the ultimate douchey holiday card personality, a sequel to last year's snowman story. Yeah, it's another holiday card. Yeah, we're as sick of them as you are. And yeah, we're going to keep throwing them up here since creatives seem to love making them.
In Iron Creative's defense, it is amusing to think of a snowman as the next big VC. Or covered in the limbs of writhing hot cartoon women. He's ice cold, baby. Ice cold.
Ross Simons Jewelers has launched another version of its long-running marriage proposal faux paux (did we spell that right?) promotion. Back in the day, videos of marriage proposals gone wrong (or right) were physically shipped to the brand and only a few people (the judges) got to see hundreds of versions of that awkward moment in life known as the marriage proposal. Now we have YouTube for public humiliation the world over. In a promotion called Proposal Gone Wrong, Ross Simons is offering $10,000 to the person who submits the best marriage proposal screw up.
Oddly enough, the promotion is entirely self-serving (not that all marketing isn't) in that the $10,000 doesn't come in the form of cash but in store credit. It might have been nice if that $10,000 was around before the engagement ring was actually purchased. Now, the $10,000 has to be spent on other body bling whether you want it or not. Oh wait, people love jewelery. Who are we kidding?
With the help of Lowe New York, XM Radio puts together a holiday card generator that's snazzier than your average. Shucking the white snow and holiday colours that one both expects and dismisses in holiday card campaigns, cards remain a sparing white-on-black with yellow flourishes. The nav is also stark and sparing.
We thought it was a neat concept - a few equal-opportunity greetings, a streamlined appearance, clever music, twitchy animals. We doff our caps to XM and Lowe for turning a stock campaign into something engaging without embarrassing themselves or indulging in overkill. That's surprisingly hard to do.