Atlantic Asks the Tough Questions ... But Oh, Where Are the Answers?


Operating under the premise that "there are too many rote answers and not enough good questions," The Atlantic launched Think Again, for which rhetorical questions are posed in neon lights, foregrounding deserted industrial spaces.

Right now these ads are all over Internets. Videos, blog posts and photo variants are available on the site.

We like it -- it's a simple, but still eye-catching and occasionally even witty. Some we've seen:

o Should women settle?
o Why do presidents lie?
o Is the doughnut doomed?

Lately ad land is all about the rhetorical questions. (Maybe it's the economy.) See Google's T-Mobile G1 spot or those weire pieces.

Speaking of Ask, it recently ran a banner ad campaign that posed questions, then invited people to click for the answer. The act brought them to, where the answer appeared with a prominent heading and image.

That's one tactic that would've made The Atlantic's campaign better: if you could click on the banners and find news articles directly related to the question, maybe addressing it from multiple sides. As it is, the ads only bring you to the Think Again subsite.

by Angela Natividad    Dec-18-08    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Magazine, Online

Lots and Lots and Lots and Lots of Holiday Greetings.


- n-tara's greeting card (at left) solicited donations for Speedway Children's Charities.

- Ace Hardware's Ace Your Face lets you personalize kitschy holiday greetings.

- Holiday jihad fireworks.

- ATTIK's extra-extra customizable Times Square holiday marquee.

- Hungry Man's Amazing Jake sings ape-tastic Christmas Carol. From his ass. (NSFW, and also objectively ugly.)

- The requisite vintage holiday hello!, courtesy of your friends at Big Tobacco.

- Colle+McVoy build 3D mountain hideaway.

- CPX Interactive sends digital holiday card with snowball-throwing holiday game.

by Angela Natividad    Dec-18-08    
Topic: Agencies, Online

Alabama Gets a Workout from 'Biggest Loser' Roger Shultz


Scale Back Alabama is a yearly campaign to encourage state inhabitants to shake off some love handles. Those that register for the program, which is free, are encouraged to lose 10 pounds in 10 weeks -- which isn't improbable to do in a healthy way, provided you have resources and encouragement.

This year, Alabamans are getting a little help from Roger Shultz, a finalist from The Biggest Loser. To promote the effort, Luckie Underground -- the basement-confined baby brother of Luckie & Co. -- launched "Gettin' in Shape," a playful PSA with its own YouTube channel.

Witness while a very large dude dressed like the Heart of Dixie pumps iron and selects fruit with conviction, all under the peppy direction of Shultz.

See that victory dance at the top of the library steps? That could be you, my friend.

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by Angela Natividad    Dec-17-08    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Cause, Commercials, Good, Online, Television

DZ Nuts Turned David Zabriskie's Tights into Freedomware.


Cyclists have it hard down under. All those hours pushing pedals literally chafes balls, which is funny from a distance but sobering enough that the condition requires an anti-irritant, aptly called "chamois cream."

To contribute to the well-being of fellow bikers, pro cyclist David Zabriskie developed a cream called DZ Nuts -- pronounced "deez nuts," a colloquial expression defined as "The large, sweaty, hairy dangling spheres of man-hood containing future illegitimate seeds that swing violently in the wind when slapped."

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Walmart Delivers Christmas Glee


If only every house was this nice and every kid this cute. Wait, what? this is advertising. Of course every house is perfect and every kid a cutie. Especially if it's...a Walmart commercial? Hmm...maybe it's because everything at Walmart is so cheap everyone can actually afford to have a nice house.

The cute kids? Not sure Walmart has much control the cuteness of its customer's offspring. That power comes from, yes, an ad agency...where all kids are cute and perfect and where every slice of life tastes perfect.

Created by The Martin Agency, the spot, Christmas Morning, is airing this week. And for even more of the perfect life, check out the Stock Up on Joy, a microsite the agency created for Walmart and Coke.

Life. Is. Perfect.

by Steve Hall    Dec-17-08    
Topic: Brands, Commercials, Good, Online, Video

Heinz's Tomato Plants Need a Little Pep Talk


Based on the premise that plants grow faster and more lavishly when spoken to, Heinz launched Talk to the Plant.

Help make the world's best ketchup by typing encouraging words to a growing tomato sprout, then choosing an automated voice to relay your message.

It's an appealing idea, but beware: the voices are about as soothing as the singing bot tenors in Yahoo's latest emoticon campaign. If I were a wee green, I'd drop leaf and crawl back into the blissfully silent soil.

By Swedish agency Daddy. Via Catch Up Lady, who has lots of other fun factoids about the campaign.

by Angela Natividad    Dec-16-08    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Online

Irish Liqueur Drops Cream onto Parted Pink Lips


Despite appearances, "Listen to Your Lips" is an ad for Bailey's, not a trailer for My First Naked Kneel-Fest.

By JWT and Psyop, which wanted to create a "sensual but not overtly sexual" interpretation of the "Bailey's taste experience."

Maybe the "not overtly" part was lost in the editing room. Seeing drops of cream splash onto rows of shiny, slack DSLs don't exactly bring Moo Moos to mind. (Nice touch with the closing lick!)

Can somebody please page Alex Leo? She needs to update Section Five in her list of five sexist trends the ad world just can't shake.

Ad is SFW, even if your cheek-flushing suggests otherwise.

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by Angela Natividad    Dec-16-08    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Commercials, Online, Racy

For Every Air Hump You Vouch For, Someone Out There Gets Protection.


We've all fantasized about making a living out of sex, drugs and poorly-tuned instruments. So it's likely we've all played air guitar -- the process of using your fingers to make sweet love to an instrument that isn't really there.

Thus inspired, McCann/Paris launched Safe Air Sex, a campaign that takes the concept of air guitar and applies it to (SAFE!) sex. Confused? Watch Rabbit Man molest valuable O2 after shimmying an invisible condom onto his imaginary three-foot jimmy. (We love how, to segue into condom application, he goes, "Stop. In the name of love.")

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by Angela Natividad    Dec-16-08    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Online, Racy, Strange

'Carol of the Pickles' Stops Short ... for Murder.


In this tiny burg populated by upright-standing pickles, the townsfolk come out, don hats and carol for the viewing pleasure of omnivorous predators.

All's well until a giant hand reaches down and takes a big noisy bite out of a baby pickle -- right after his solo. The savage! Mangled bits of soured cucumber fall from the sky, a disturbing yellow stain splashes across the snow, bystanders vomit relish ... and the miracle of singing dill becomes a wretched crime scene.

By Firehouse/Dallas, which, as of this moment, are the only people we want to invite to our birthday party.

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by Angela Natividad    Dec-15-08    
Topic: Agencies, Good, Online, Strange, Video

Twitter Before Birth, FlightLipDub, Best/Worst of '08


- Geek rigs maternity device to tweet when his unborn baby kicks. Probably the earliest instance of Twitter use EVAR. (Thanks, Atif!)

- Collateral Damage's top 10 marketing blunders of '08. There's way more than 10 ("It was a very good year for very bad things"), and the top two are tied. Go figure.

- Deep Focus does -- the new online home for Flight of the Conchords.

- Free Will Power aims to safeguard "the future of pro-choice America." There's spoken word poetry! And a T-shirt contest!

- It's a site on the hunt for beautiful ads.

- Another advertising socnet.

- Best and worst of AdFreak. If you consider what Collateral Damage's worst marketing campaign was, you can probably guess AdFreak's best ad of '08. We'll give you a hint: celebrity mashup.

by Angela Natividad    Dec-15-08    
Topic: Cause, Online, Opinion, Strange, Trends and Culture

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