Royal Caribbean Gives VIP Status to Gushy Reviewers; Gets Spanked by Blogosphere

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Okay. Let's nail this down once and for all: DO NOT start a lavish, perks-heavy club of people -- in this case, Royal Caribbeans' "Royal Champions" -- whose objective is to plug your company hither and yon without revealing affiliation.

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by Angela Natividad    Mar-19-09    
Topic: Brands, Online, Social, Worst



Vespa Does 'I Love You Man!' Cross-Promo Thing -- Poorly

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In an ongoing misguided effort to make itself more appealing to a demo somewhat broader than Euro-philes and homosexuals, Vespa's inked a cross-promo partnership with Paramount to promote I Love You, Man, a comedy about two dudes that "test and stretch the boundaries of friendship in adventure after adventure."

Apparently a lot of those adventures involve a "fun and fuel efficient" Vespa LXV 150, which I guess is somewhat better than the bunk motorbike that served Ernesto Guevara and Alberto Granado so well in The Motorcycle Diaries.

Those inclined can enter a MySpace contest to win the Vespa used in the film. To get involved, you'll have to submit an example of how far you've gone for a friend. Deadline's tomorrow (although we PROMISE you the pressie was sent a mere TWO HOURS AGO) -- and the link, myspace.com/iloveyouman, doesn't seem to be working. This was the closest we could get.

The poster at left is available as a free download on Vespa's website.

by Angela Natividad    Mar-19-09    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Online, Product Placement, Promotions



Razorfish/Moroch Turn Travel into Contagion.

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Visit ihavethebug.com to take a quiz and find out whether you've got the "travel bug." The exercise -- short, playful and mildly entertaining -- serves two purposes: to flatter you and drive you to the Travel Channel. (If so inclined, note requisite Facebook tie-in at bottom left. What, don't you want all your friends to know you've got "excellent gumption, chutzpah"?)

Internet stuff put together by Razorfish. The Travel Bug TV spot, orchestrated by Moroch, is done in a faux-serious Big Pharma tone. You've got sufferers, playfully agonized; you've got gratuitous shots of people running on beaches. The Travel Channel's the cure, but like all drugs, you're warned it may only aggravate the symptoms.

Ad's expectedly corny, even a little dated in its humour; but the site quiz ties the gimmick back to Travel Channel shows well enough. At the very least, it sparked discussion: last night me and a friend were all, "What exactly is a sexy beach?" Verdict's still out.

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by Angela Natividad    Mar-19-09    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Commercials, Online, Social, Television



Wow. We've Come a Long Way from the FanFic* Days.

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The other day we came across this banner ad for IMVU. The story should be easy enough to figure out: two hot avatars meet, and hey, one thing leads to another. "Live the lifestyle you've always dreamed of," the piece concludes, followed by IMVU's standard CTA: "Meet new people."

We were pretty incredulous about this "lifestyle you've always dreamed of" crap, but then we thought, hey, being sexy and promiscuous in a virtual world is probably infinitely safer than doing it in the Ritz bathroom. Anyway, since then we've seen a couple of other IMVU ads that better illustrate what IMVU means when it says dreamed of.

Fall in love like the first time, engage in girl-on-girl recreation -- or, hell, play Twilight without all the chaste overtones. That shit's creepy though.

It probably bears mentioning, however, that when it comes time for all the meat-rubbing, you still won't actually be your avatar. And you'll still be all alone.

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by Angela Natividad    Mar-18-09    
Topic: Online, Strange



Saucy Southern Heif Seeks Entry into Golden State

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The California Milk Advisory Board continues its Happy Cow casting call with an entry from April, a down-home Southern diva. She sings country, has an entourage of ganders and makes the Cali cows all catty. Click on the April videotape to watch her audition.

In the event that Simpering Belle just isn't your accent of choice, check out last month's entry from Soo (she's got Soeul!).

by Angela Natividad    Mar-17-09    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Online



'Guns, Blood, Drugs ... What Else Could You Ask For?'

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Got this email blast from Echelon Studios this morning and that header totally perplexed us. What else could we ask for? In my mind, Steve was all, "Hot bitches!" -- and I was like, "...microfiber cloth...?"

The blast is a promotion for two (appropriately) made-for-DVD titles: Death Rattle Crystal Ice ("meth, murder, mayhem"!) and Blood-Stained Romance ("sometimes love doesn't have a happy ending"). Priceless blurbage from the latter:


Soon lies turn to murder launching Holden into a spiraling bloodbath of violence and desperation as he tries to hide the infatuation that feeds his madness. Through it all, he tries to cling to a trembling grip on reality, as love and pain coalesce into a shocking "climax".

Melodramatic run-on sentence? Check. Use of the irresistible "coalesce"? Check. Quotes around "climax"? Check, baby, check.

by Angela Natividad    Mar-13-09    
Topic: Online, Packaging, Promotions, Strange



Need a New Desk to Bend Over? Have We Got the Gig for You.

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American Apparel peels its sleaze off for a second to make a public service announcement: "American Apparel is ... Jobs."

This crucial message is illustrated by a muscly bald dude who appears to be in the stock room. Which begs the question: where'd all AA's eye candy go? In a clime this dire, is all that tap-worthy ass just unwilling to lift its own load?

by Angela Natividad    Mar-13-09    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Online



Mars Hosts Online, Offline Easter Egg Hunt

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Thanksgiving. Christmas. Valentine's Day. *slap* Easter. Please, make it stop! It's like one holiday ends and another begins. So, yea, Easter's on the way and so are the Easter-themed campiagns like this one from Mars Canada for M&M. Created by Proximity Canada, BBDO Toronto and Firstborn, this one has been dubbed "Canada's most Speck-tacular Egg hunt."

With print, TV (see one of the spots here), POP and online, people are urged to collect M&M eggs hidden around the web (a virtual egg hunt!) and in stores with PIN codes to use as entrance to drawing to win a trip to New York, Las Vegas or Orlando.

There's a site, four minisites and banners on MSN.ca, Yahoo.ca, MySpace.ca and others all with PIN codes to hunt for. Have at it.

by Steve Hall    Mar-11-09    
Topic: Campaigns, Commercials, Games, Online, Point of Purchase, Television



Barbie's Birthday Ride, Defiled Desserts, Neo-Con's Golden Child

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- White paper in comic book form.

- Meg Whitman for CA gov.

- Two sides of Arnold -- the disgruntled and the loyalists -- come to blows.

- Neo-conservatism's golden child.

- Barbie's birthday Beetle.

- Ugh, dude. Only in Iowa.

- "If they did do it, you'd expect them to be flaunting it. Unless there's no one left in the fucking building to do it!"

by Angela Natividad    Mar-11-09    
Topic: Agencies, Online, Opinion, Political



...Is it the Foam Beard that Makes the Big Boys Strip and Shave?

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Continuing that creepy Japanese game show-inspired shaving fetish campaign thing for Nivea, DraftFCB and Rubber Republic assault us with Foam Beard Lady.

We are appropriately terrified.

The associated microsite guides shaving addicts to Stepping Stones Retreat, where a slightly Running with Scissors-y doctor will promise to cure you of glabermania while eye-raping you with Nivea shaving products. Compulsive shavers will no doubt be pleased.

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by Angela Natividad    Mar-11-09    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Online, Strange, Trends and Culture








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