Yes, there is an actual medical ailment called "mouse rage syndrome," The term was coined by the Social Issues Research Centre in the United Kingdom which recently conducted a study of 2,500 web users who were found to exhibit negative cardiac function, profuse sweating, altered immune and nervous system function and, yes, "mouse rage" defined as furious clicking and bashing of the mouse.
Guess what causes the syndrome? Fat Flash sites, poorly designed sites, bad navigation, pop ups, banner ads, unnecessary graphics and just about everything else our industry foists upon the helpless public who only want quick access to the relevant information they need and have no need for "site loading..." bullshit or sites that look great in a presentation but perform like a turtle crossing the road when launched. Wake up and smell the consumer, people. We want them to be our frinds. Not our enemies. Make nice.
For Snakes on a Plane we witnessed what a forum can do when they really like you. For Tom Green we might see what a forum can do when you're teetering over the edge of sanity.
Post Freddy Got Fingered (among other tribulations) it would be an understatement to say Tom is upset with his fans. Since the cancellation of his short-lived MTV show he has little hope that his months-old internet efforts will do much better.
We don't need to tell you PETA prefers animals to people. South Park established that and everything South Park says is true. But why they need to defecate on the holidays by creating trite little would-be virals about reindeer trampling Santa, we'll never know.
Dissatisfied with a fantasy about the gift-giving saint underfoot, they took it further still by turning the song into a masturbation fest about how awesome PETA is for, among other things, its clever use of busty naked women to rail against animal exploitation. (See our equal opportunity coverage here.)
If you happen to dislike PETA, join us in grabbing your forehead with disdain. And if you happen to dig the hell out of what they're doing, be happy. Look at all the publicity they get from us.
Sparked by a handwritten note marked "How do you ask a Ninja for a free hug?", Twist Image disseminates its take on the holiday card, which is less holiday card and more video collage of happy 2006 moments. Some inclusions: the "free hugs" guy, the live-action Simpsons intro, Animator v. Animation and the viral OKGo treadmill video.
Lee Hopkins claims this is the best Christmas card he's ever seen. While we think those are strong words, we're inclined to agree, and not merely because they remembered to include Ask a Ninja (which automatically grants all-star status). We wish the cats at Twist an equally happy holidays.
In its continuing attempts to be savvy, Yahoo! Search Marketing jumps on the holiday e-card merry-go-round and sends all affiliates a Simulated Niceness of Winter (SNOW) card. The one they shot out struck us as a mere mockery of the quiet pain and suffering they imposed as they sat around re-tooling to "innovate" a la AdWords.
We'd like to trash them more along this vein but the SNOW card creation function is actually pretty nifty. The gadgets, slightly psychotic-looking characters and voice recording function recall a time when Yahoo! was cool and truly ahead of its days, a time when we enjoyed playing with them. So here's to hoping they do better this '07.
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 email@example.com and we'll feature them here. Or, just leave the link in comments.
absurdity of the Christmas sweater