You can do what on Second Life?! That was, and remains, our reaction when we discovered you can role play rape in the back alleys of the commerce-friendly virtual wonderland.
Apparently even Second Lifers can't do the rounds alone after dark. - Contributed by Angela Natividad
Carat Fusion is injecting a bit of common sense into the out-of-control agency Christmas card trend and rather than trying to create something that's funny or cool or witty that just comes off as dumb, the agency has created something that refelcts what Christmas is all about: giving. The agency's Carat Fusion Holiday Cookie Maker lets visitors decorate gingerbread cookies. For each cookie decorated, the agency will donate $1 (up to a limit of $5,000) to Save the Children. Now that's a Christmas card.
Whether she's trying to drive readers to her blog or develop business for herself doesn't really matter. What does matter is Lotus Child's (yes. apparently, that is her real name) effort to stop marketers from beginning their Christmas promotions too early. Claiming promotions beginning in November and October are just too over the top, Child has created a petition called Take Back the Holidays. So if you think we're getting overzealous with our Christmas advertising plans, head over to the petition and check it out.
Sanex, the Sara Lee body care brand (wait, don't they make frozen cakes?) is working with PR agency immediate future to release a European commercial Sony Bravia-style. The agency has set up a site that will follow the creation of the ad which involves "over 100 bodies imitating skin cells." We've been promised updates as the campaign develops and we'll share them with you, good or bad because, as you know, criticizing something can be as much fun as praising it.
UPDATE: Oops. Someone forgot to tells someone something. The ad's already out. So much for the sneak peeks. It aired in Denmark in November. We'll still share any goodies regarding the production of the ad if they are of any interest.
Whoa. Stop the presses! Are you ready? Are you read ready for this? Now....oh, we're so excited about this...you, yes you, with help from TimeLife and Brightcove, can get...hold your breath...Get Smart: The Complete Collection. Yes! It's true! People have been clamoring for this for 40 years! Fourty years, my friends. Can you think of a more important DVD release to use when announcing a partnership a partnership between a big publisher and an online video/TV company? No, we didn't think so. Damn, these guys are good at generating buzz! Wow, that took a lot of energy to write. We have to go take a nap now and then order up our copy of Get Smart: The Complete Collection.
The Department of Defense takes a shot at drinking with That Guy, another one of those characteristically we-speak-your-language government campaigns that, in a wildly uncool manner, attempts to demonstrate how uncool it is to be a drinker.
The site feels a bit dated and we agree with Bill at Make the Logo Bigger: there's not much of an attempt to reach out to swig-happy women, and you know we've seen a few. It's also a little stupid to put a "Fun Stuff" section on a site that hopes to lay it on thick about the mals of the bottle. - Contributed by Angela Natividad
Scamp directs us to yet another holiday video. It takes place in what looks like a dorm and involves two guys in Santa hats dancing around in their underwear. Since five-year-olds do this all the time we failed to see what was so special about it.
The video was created by some "directors/graphic designers" called Type2error operating out of the UK and, we suspect, out of this same dorm room. Well, we look forward to watching their talents develop, which should happen shortly after their voices change and they discover tube socks and vegetable oil. - Contributed by Angela Natividad
Rexley and Roy of Dog Judo are back in a holiday promo as pointless and confusing as ever. Watch them duke it out over philosophy and headlocks while wearing gis, swigging beer and eating chicken. And don't forget to pick up some Christmas cards, which are just so awkward you can relish in the feeling of alienation that emanates from family and friends. - Contributed by Angela Natividad
Toyota pairs up with Swedish agency SWE to create On Toyota's Mind, a site that's supposed to creatively communicate to Swedes what Toyota's philosophy and values are without directly selling vehicles.
The site's certainly unique and has interesting music involving what occasionally sounds like a goat, but despite assertions that "we're not trying to sell any car directly on the site!" (PR guy, verbatim) every graphic leads to a cleverly-rendered media-kit style pitch about different facets of Toyota and new vehicle features. And unless what they're referring to is the tone in which this Flash-ridden kit was written, we're not finding much philosophy either.
We much preferred the Aygo campaign. At least then they were more direct about their intention: actually getting a car inside your living room. - Contributed by Angela Natividad
United Church of Canada's WonderCafe, "home of open-minded discussion and exploration of spiritual topics, moral issues and life's big questions," has, with help from Smith Roberts and UNTITLED, launched a viral-intended video called E-Z Squirrel. In the video, a squirrel is asked simple yes or no questions until he's asked, "which one of the gospels do you think resonates most in relation to the modern world in which we live?" The squirrel answers "yes" leaving the questioner a bit stumped - which is the entire point of the video. When you have want to explore life's big questions a bit deeper, don't ask a squirrel. Go to WonderCafe instead. It's clear. It's simple. It's funny. It works.