Energy Savings Gets the RPG Treatment

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The Ad Council and the US Department of Energy are using a new ad effort to build a new "energy ethic" for tweens. The campaign's called "What's your excuse?" and was created by Goodby, Silverstein & Partners.

LoseYourExcuse.gov is stocked with tips for saving energy, desktop background downloads and the like. I really love the game, though. Been playing it all afternoon.

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by Angela Natividad    Sep-16-08    
Topic: Cause, Games, Good, Online



Horny? Can't Cook? 'Cooking to Get Lucky' Is Here to Help

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"A lot of girls out there love healthy food. If you want to get into bed with one, check out our debut episode!"

That's the premise for the mDialog-produced show Cooking to Get Lucky. Its purpose is to turn men into gourmet cooking machines that create meals guaranteed to get the girl. OK, so there isn't necessarily a guarantee but that's the hook upon which the show hangs.

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by Steve Hall    Sep-16-08    
Topic: Good, Online, Video



Ask.com Targets Ritual Cannibals that Can't Walk in Heels

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An hour or so ago I read a grisly article about some Russian kids that killed and ate their goth friends. After scrolling down to the end of the piece and feeling appropriately perturbed, I came across the Ask.com video ad at left.

"How can you learn to walk in high heels?" it burbles cheerfully. "Get the answer." I played the video out of morbid curiosity and watched a pair of legs walk, with sass, up until the grand finale -- when the owner of those legs topples over with a scream, followed by cries of dismay.

It remains unclear whether she was eaten after her plummet from grace.

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by Angela Natividad    Sep-16-08    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Good, Online, Strange



Bud Light's 'Swear Jar' Scores 'Outstanding Commercial' Emmy

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Anheuser-Busch won its first-ever Emmy for "Swear Jar," a spot where employees at an office add change to a jar every time somebody swears.

Not so unusual, except the secretary's revealed that the money might be used to buy packs of Bud Light for the office, so even the top execs see motherbleep!in' bleep!suckers around every fuckin'! corner.

Produced by DDB/Chicago via Hungry Man. The PR folk say it's been watched 12 million times online and has never appeared on TV.

Once again Bud Light scores with what in waking life we'd call a vocal tic. See a spot it ran earlier this year, when the word of the week was "dude."

by Angela Natividad    Sep-15-08    
Topic: Brands, Commercials, Online, Video, Viral



Chris Blake Uses Digital Angst to Promote Weepy Ballad

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Art, movies, TV, books and music have probably depicted the break-up from every possible angle. So if you're an indie artist trying to ride a power ballad to fame, what's a homie to do?

Tap the zeitgeist. Pun intended. For his song Someone Else, Chris Blake claims to have Googled "biggest regrets" and cobbled the results into a music video, which he then posted on YouTube.

Regrets range from provocative ("My reluctance to hold my daughter") to banal ("Spending too much time on Facebook"). I dig the contrast between the words and backgrounds.

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by Angela Natividad    Sep-15-08    
Topic: Online, Promotions, Trends and Culture, Video, Viral



Target Uses 'Web 2.0 Aesthetic' to Peg College Kids

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I recently saw this cute rich media ad for Target's "Happy Together" campaign, targeted to college kids.

Its composed of harmonious extremes that appear one after the other, like flash cards: planner + dreamer, night owl + morning bird, extrovert +introvert. The accompanying illustrations remind me of the work of Liling Yu, who created Twitter's FailWhale.

Yu's art totally personifies the Web 2.0 aesthetic: bug-eyed animal friends, soothing pastels, and non-confrontational sans-serif typefaces, all culminating in brands that seem to want to play with us. That Target knows to tap into all this is part of what keeps it young, fresh and lively.

by Angela Natividad    Sep-14-08    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Good, Online



Bill and Jerry: Too Quirky for Quirky Suburbia?

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In installment 2 of Microsoft's avant-garde repositioning extravaganza, Bill Gates and Jerry Seinfeld try the simple life.

Imagine it: two rich dudes, bunking in with a family straight out of Little Miss Sunshine. It's almost like when Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie lived on a farm, except more weird than entertaining.

But maybe I'm just reacting to the malicious geriatric.

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by Angela Natividad    Sep-12-08    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Celebrity, Online, Strange, Video



Sifting Through the Debris of PhotoShelter's Collection

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"Ok, so this picture is a metaphor of-sorts," began Rachel Hulin in her last post for PhotoShelter. "You see, those are beautiful balloons. And we had a wonderful New Year's. But eventually the balloons floated to the floor. And then the cats ate them.

"And it's with this bit of knowledge that I sadly depart as stewardess of Shoot! the Blog."

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by Angela Natividad    Sep-12-08    
Topic: Online, Social, Specialty, Trends and Culture



Wendy's Goes Viral. Just Kidding.

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Wendy's joins the amateur video club with "Crazy Lettuce." By now you know the score: two guys are involved. One can never hold the camera straight. At the very last second some zany shit happens.

In this case, a bushy head of lettuce consumes a wee little Wendy's burger. Link to meatatariansunite, a nightmare of poor wallpaper that does nothing but hurt eyes and demand emails.

If this is the one trick to succeeding in so-called "viral marketing," the medium ought to die fast and painfully. Unfortunately for Wendy's, the eyes-deceive-thee! gimmick that served Levi's, Ray Ban and Nike so well is all used up. People finally get the joke: these amazing feats in online video? They never happened. Know what else? They're ADS.

"Crazy Lettuce" has drawn less than 1100 views on YouTube, a mediocre rating (2 stars) and mixed response (of which there are 12).

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by Angela Natividad    Sep-11-08    
Topic: Bad, Brands, Campaigns, Online, Video



'University of it's never too late to learn'

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...that whole "grammar" thing, though, you'll probably need to learn elsewhere.

The ad at left is part of a University of Phoenix campaign where consecutive ads finish the thought started by "University of...", probably with other gimpy platitudes:

University of seizing the day.

University of never giving up.

University of I CAN.

Ooh, just found a variant. University of my hopes. Didn't see that one coming.

by Angela Natividad    Sep-11-08    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Online










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