Scion 'Samples' Puts Individuality Back in Play


In '07, Scion seduced us with dark wit and gothic charm. Then, in '08, the company took an unexpected sharp turn down Lackluster Lane, barraging us with "limited edition" cars and other cheesy gimmicks.

(By way of explanation, a company rep said Scion's Little Deviants effort -- where "sheeple" are violently attacked by imps in custom cars -- upset a few crucial people.)

more »

by Angela Natividad    Jan- 8-09    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Commercials, Online, Television

Thumbnails Reduce Checkout Anxiety, Gatorade's Mysterious G Spots


- If you can make sense of this Digitas video "created to showcase the [Indian] office team" during the company's Global Team Meeting in June, you're smarter than we are.

- Writing on Elastic Path's Get Elastic blog, Linda Bustos suggests one of the best ways to reduce anxiety during online check out is to show thumbnails of selected items order summary pages.

- Omnicom has snapped up Arnold VP of Multicultural Programs and Community Outreach Tiffany Warren to head Omnicom Group's diversity efforts. Her title? CDO? Yes. Chief Diversity Officer. Seriously.

- Leo Burnett has agreed to pay the United States $15.5 million to settle a suit which claimed the agency mis-billed the U.S. Army when it handled the account from 2000 to 2005.

more »

by Steve Hall    Jan- 7-09    
Topic: Agencies, Online

New England Aquarium Invites You to See Turtles ... EVERYWHERE.


The New England Aquarium's "See Turtles" campaign is an appealing exception to the no-pun rule. (Also, we like an effort that doubles as justification to take hallucinogens.)

Variants include Droplet, Water Tower and Rooftop, which will appear in magazines and newspapers.

Online banner ads -- which are also cute, if a little Clip-Arty -- include Snowman, Cocoa and Car. (Forgive us if these links break; they're hosted by Mullen.) These are slightly different from their print counterparts: in them, ordinary things take the shape of turtles over time, taking advantage of the 'net's ability to seize roving eyes. Frankly, the print stuff is better.

Work by Mullen/Wenham, MA. There's also radio material, which we didn't get to hear.

Not to Be Rude, But This Cupcake Tastes Suspiciously Like a Wi-Fi Hotspot


After setting up its first-ever 4G wireless broadband network in Portland, Clearwire tapped Secret Weapon Marketing to promote its merits: better internet speeds, broader coverage.

The result was a series of irreverent prints -- and "Sprinkles," a TV ad that compares wireless coverage to cupcake sprinkles. (Rivals are represented by a stingy sprinkling; meanwhile, Clearwire's coverage deluges the bakery with diabetes-inducing hail.)

"Welcome to the future," the narrator says smugly.

more »

Buy Better Bulbs; WWF Will Do the Heavy Lifting


The industrial pollutants in the World Wildlife Federation's "Light Bulb" ad are only tired toys. But these miniatures -- small things we can easily control -- still convey the helplessness environmentalists feel when faced with oversized, eco-negligent businesses.

"Light Bulb" concludes with a male doll holding an energy-efficient light bulb. "You're doing your part," the ad assures us. "It's our job to help government & industry do theirs."

This message of gentle aggression is fast replaced by the image of a panda, an animal known to unfailingly melt hearts -- or in extreme conditions, cause brain explosions.

more »

by Angela Natividad    Jan- 7-09    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Cause, Commercials, Magazine, Online, Television

Make Love, or Don't.


Sunil Shibad, the brains behind this whole debacle, just linked us to his new year greeting card.

Illustrated by the image of a gun barrel loaded with a single, heart-shaped bullet, the card reads, "Make love not war. Make love get AIDS. Either way you die."

We're still uncertain what to make of it ... but we're pret-ty sure that logic could use some retooling.

by Angela Natividad    Jan- 7-09    
Topic: Online, Strange

Because Who's NOT Trying to Get into a Disco Queen's Pants?


For its Grease-tacular Disco Pant, American Apparel slays another guileless chick on its altar of unrepentantly exploitative ad banners. Meet Shermine, who loves! disco!

Like our compromised heroine at 2AM, the ad dramatically blacks out with the closing sell: LE DISCO PANT.

American Apparel: sure, it's seedy as all hell. But if you've followed it as long as we have, then you must admire its unwavering loyalty to a single brand persona: rain or shine, in sickness and in health, in grayscale or by low-budget lamplight.

Even Microsoft can't be that consistent.

by Angela Natividad    Jan- 7-09    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Online, Trends and Culture

Versus Wants to See Your Hooha


Sporting site Versus has launched a recent promotion entitled Show Me Your V. Yes, this is where that is going. Of the promotion Yahoo Sports blog Puck Daddy wrote, "Maybe our minds are so far in the gutter that we've got rats scurrying across them, but even Roger Moore's James Bond would believe this double entendre is a tad too telegraphed."

A thunderstorm of commentary followed.

more »

by Steve Hall    Jan- 6-09    
Topic: Campaigns, Online, Racy, Strange

Angry Whopper Bites Back.


Fast on the heels of its unscrupulous Whopper Virgin campaign (and the melodramatic responses it inspired), Crispin Porter + Bogusky introduce us to Burger King's Angry Whopper.

Infused with jalapenos and onions grown by disgruntled (read: sadistic and utterly unhinged) farmers, this hot-headed burger promises to "bite you back."

Red-faced yet? Go compose an angry-gram, courtesy of the King's darker side.

We like how the disclaimer reads, "Angry-Grams are intended to be humorous and should not be used with an intent to harass." Guess I should start rethinking my wry subject-line combinations of "mother" and "whore."

more »

by Angela Natividad    Jan- 6-09    
Topic: Campaigns, Online, Television

Breakfast Cereal Club, Sam L. J. Pushes Broadband, Cuts at Ogilvy


- Jack Morton Worldwide, Almighty, Weber Shandwick and Google join Citizen Schools to help kids succeed.

- Which Dog are You?

- "They only met once, but they stayed crunchy forever."

- Sam L. Jackson fronts for Virgin Media Broadband.

- "Fast casual" wha...? McD's training film.

- UK's Benylin is in the dog house for using ads to teach people how to call in sick.

more »

Featured FREE Resource: