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.
Motorola has wrapped itself in the (RED) campaign and is promoting its Moto RAZR V3M phoe with a very odd site called Improve Your Karma on which a dude named Sven Goodsson gts all excited about karma. He'll even analyze your karma using youur MySpace profile as a yardstick. You might want to remove all those porn star...uh...friend profile from your site before you take the test. Tough, apparently, our lame profile registers as "awesome." Have fun.
- AdFreak wraps up the year with its list of the Ten Most Wanted stories of the year, the stories they most enjoyed covering in 2006. From Folger's Happy Mornings to IKEA's dog penis to TBWA's toilet bandit to Bank America's bastardization of U2, it's all there for your enjoyment.
- TBWA\Chiat\Day and Firstborn have created a virtual road trip site for JBL that lets visitors get inside the world of a groupie.
- Shannon from Glossy received a very inventive Advent calendar Christmas card from ACLC. Each of the days on the calendar for the month of December are stages in the development of a campaign. Nice.
- Oh look. An online press kit for Paramount Home Video's The Last Kiss.
- Sean John (Diddy, P. Diddy, whatever) has launched a campaign in Canada to raise awareness of the many counterfeiters who rip off his brand.
- Mobile content company Airborne Entertainment is cuddling with Marc Ecko in a deal that will bring the Ecko brand to ringtones, ringbacktones, message alerts, screensavers and wallpapers to cell phones the world over.
- While the Federal Trade Commission agreed with Commercial Alert that some word of mouth marketing that does not disclose the brand can be deceptive, the Commission declined (pdf) to heed Commercial Alert's request (pdf) the Commission launch a formal investigation into the practice.
It's always interesting to watch people do strange shit with their bodies but this video is especially interesting because it brings a nouveau twist to the time-honored art of vinyl ripping, a method that's slowly vanishing with digital deejays and MP3 blending.
Is there a creative future in video ripping for the egocasting generation? Maybe. Credit goes to Advertising for Peanuts for bringing it to our attention. - Contributed by Angela Natividad
Lots of liaisons happen around holiday time. The Rumpus Room, Young Guns and some other noob-oriented groups get together for Make a Big Noise, a competition to promote fair trade worldwide. Anyone under 30 can enter.
Here is the requisite MySpace. We like Rumpus Room, we like Young Guns and we like their concept but the MySpace sucks. We're sure they know that though. Considering fair trade and all that good stuff are causes now embraced by the tech-savvy, super-trendy, organic smoothie-sipping post-Google crowd, we look forward to seeing what kind of entries slip out of the woodwork. - Contributed by Angela Natividad
Deft Creative Ltd.'s, awkwardly sloganed "Dexterous of hand and inventive of mind," demonstrates neither dexterity (though they try) nor inventiveness (no effort here) with this dull leaping-Rudolph ski game. The object is to beat the furthest leap and we're ensured by the agency guy that "All scores on the score board ARE beatable." Glad he made the effort to bang that in because otherwise we were going to lose sleep over it.
The game is tricky in that it involves holding down your left mouse button and releasing when you feel Rudolph has built enough momentum. Then you let loose and do it all over again. It's a cross between the high school pole jump and a Friday night spent half-heartedly masturbating. - Contributed by Angela Natividad
Thanks to the enigmatic Comandante Hermey of the Santa Liberation Front we got to check out this neat stop-animation message about global warming. We enjoy stop animation in general because it reminds us of the shitty cartoons we watched as children but this one has a uniquely poignant message: if you won't do your part against global warming for earth's sake, or even for Al Gore, do it for Santa and the children.
That "do it for the children" stance never gets tired. It's the non-profit version of the more common "if you loved me, you'd..." And hell, we'll bet at least 35 people a day are suckered in by that one. - Contributed by Angela Natividad
Apparently, the Japanese have a substantial interest in several Australian beer brands and that's tightened the underwear of the conservation group Sea Shepard Society and Australia's Bluetongue Brewery who want the public to know which Australian beers are "whale safe." Apparently, the Japanese kill a lot of whales under the pretext of research. In a video found on YouTube and on the Whales Safe Beer website, a fat Japanese business man, in response to ordering the "full whale experience" at a restaurant, is served just that but we're sure it's not at all what he was expecting.
Listed on the Whales Safe Beer site are the beers Bluetoungue and the Sea Shepard Society say are not whale safe. These include Castlemaine, Emu, Hahn, James Squire, Southwark, Swan, Tooheys, West End and XXXX.
There's nothing sweeter than a holiday pairing between a monolithic moniker and the scruffy new brand whose platform lies in user appropriation of copyrighted material.
Yet somehow Coke and Youtube make it work for their "wishcast" vGreetings, a touching dual effort to spread goodwill among mankind.
Send video greetings with Coke-oriented staples of Americana like the polar bears. And if that's just not your hype, maybe a greeting from Youtube personality Geriatric1927 is. Big ups to nalts for pointing this in our direction. - Contributed by Angela Natividad