The Tour de France Needs a Champion: YOU


Take Back the Tour -- not to be confused with Take Back the Night, though it wishes to be taken just as seriously -- is a movement that aims to "champion [Tour de France] riders who compete clean, while giving a platform ... to [their] passionate fan base."

More to the point, it reminds bike junkies that VERSUS (the sponsor!) is "the exclusive cable television home of the Tour de France."

"Show me another sport that's as tough, as demanding and as epic in its grandeur, grit and beauty than the Tour de France, but it's a competition that has seemingly lost its way over the past few years," said SVP Bill Bergofin of Marketing and Promotions for VERSUS. "[This] campaign ... will provoke a dialogue ... which will hopefully help to restore the Tour to its glory."

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by Angela Natividad    Jun-11-08    
Topic: Campaigns, Commercials, Events, Good, Online

Just Another Subservient Animal Who Needs a Favor


Apparently a thing called the Mac Monkey needs freeing. (He's "starved of creative stimulation." Guess he hasn't discovered his own poo yet. Also, why does he have people fingers?)

Intended to increase subscriptions to Creative Review Magazine, Free the Mac Monkey was conceived by London-based STEEL, which sought to distract us from calling foul ("SUBSERVIENT CHICKEN RIP-OFF!") with the tasteful inclusion of early Steve Jobs wall art. And they almost succeeded. Well ... no, not really.

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

Billboard Garden Gets Gold, Mama Gets Facebook, Ritz-Carlton Makes Movies


- For client McDonald's, Leo Burnett/Chicago grew a lettuce garden spelling "FRESH SALADS" on a Wrigleyville billboard. Watch the garden grow. The effort won a Gold at New York Festivals' Innovative Advertising Awards. See other winners.

- Ritz-Carlton and AmEx caught the film bug. These three promotional movies "subtly weave exceptional and unique guest experiences into their story lines, demonstrating how The Ritz-Carlton has been able to elevate service to an art form." There's nothing subtle about the movies. But if PR were an art form, that sentence would be the template.

- It's a disappearing car door! Think De Lorean but without the retro wing action.

- Michelina's Mama gets a Facebook. Digging her profile photo. One commenter asks, "What would Mama think of 2 girls 1 cup?" Horrors.

by Angela Natividad    Jun-10-08    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Industry Events, Online, Outdoor, Video

Probably the Best Viral Appeal Segway's Had in Forever


Make the Logo Bigger sent us this ouch-inducing video of some woman falling facefirst off a Segway. It's sort of amazing.

Oh, and here's some help for those confused about the "faceplant" reference.

by Angela Natividad    Jun-10-08    
Topic: Consumer Created, Online, Video

Ashanti Copies Dexter With News Story Murder Ploy


Showtime did it to promote Dexter. Now Universal Motown is doing it to promote Ashanti's new CD. Like the Dexter promotion, which allowed people to send customized messages that appeared to be news reports of the recipient's death by serial murder.

In the Ashanti promotion, a customized news report can be created and sent to a friend. In the report, it's noted recent murders are linked to Ashanti's new single, "The Way That I Love You," which is about how a woman gets revenge on a cheating boyfriend

Yawn. Oh, sorry. There's nothing to yawn about Ashanti. Sorry.

by Steve Hall    Jun-10-08    
Topic: Guerilla, Online, Social

Search Engines Sipped, Hitler Plays Hillary, Boston Gets Fish-Faced, Charney Pushes Package, Hello Kitty Gets Stuffed


- FunAdvice mashed up top search engine and soft drink brands, under the premise that search engines today inspire us the way colas once did. Hrm.

- Hitler plays the fated Hillary in this emotional Nazi interpretation of the Clinton/Obama nominee race. The best part is when he shouts "The DNC has thwarted my destiny!" while the women tremble in his midst. It wasn't as funny as Hitler Gets Banned though.

- Legal Sea Foods' "Fresh Fish" ads piss off the easily-rattled Bostonians. The MBTA decided to pull the ads after Green Line workers took offense to them. (Some ads said things like "This conductor has a face like a halibut." Touchy much?)

- Penis advertising gets you everywhere. Especially if you're Dov "The Colonel" Charney. Horrors.

- Build-a-Bear Workshop is partnering with Sanrio to let kids build Tropical Hello Kittys. "Tropical Hello Kitty's sun-kissed look is perfect for summer and we're certain that she'll be a big hit," says Dave Marchi of Sanrio. But will that sun-kissed pelt betray her age?

Why Use Your Brain when You Can Hassle a Rich Uncle?


"I didn't use my brain. I went straight to the financial aid office." That's the headline from the ad at left, which concludes with a tidy "thinking saves thousands at"

Wait a sec. Use your head, stick your hand out? I'm confused.

It turns out the ad is not referring to an exploitable loose-handed relative. My Rich Uncle is actually a national loan company. Visit the site and click on Engage Your Brain, which walks you through the process of applying for student aid.

That's useful and all, but come on. Sally's uncle gave her a trust fund; you're giving me a FAFSA sheet?

by Angela Natividad    Jun- 9-08    
Topic: Magazine, Online

Joy Division Sponsors Zune, Twitterati Defects for Plurk, Facebook Seeks Ad Feedback, John McCain Tells War Stories


- Maybe inspired by Apple's limited-edition U2 iPod, Microsoft is releasing a limited-edition Joy Division Zune.

- Expect downtime from Twitter when Steve Jobs takes the floor at WWDC.

- Speaking of Twitter, a lot of fed-up users are defecting to a fancy new site called Plurk. Plurk enables users to follow conversational threads, and encourages use with "karma" points and little gifts. Also, the colors are soothing.

- Facebook has launched an ad feedback feature.

- Filipinos aren't the only people featured in creepy dating ads.

- John McCain: put Obama in office if you want. But hey, if you do, EXPECT APOCALYPSE.

HappySlip Gets Brand Serious, Takes Stance Against MySpace


Video blogebrity HappySlip has deleted her MySpace profile, including over 34,000 friends, because AdSense repeatedly populated her page with ads soliciting Filipina women.

Women are among the Philippines' most profitable exports. If you plan to do heavy Filipino-oriented blogging, expect to see a few shady sites in surrounding AdSense boxes.

See more ads here. Sponsored messages for girl-peddling sites also appeared prominently during HappySlip's Philippine tourism promotion.

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by Angela Natividad    Jun- 8-08    
Topic: Brands, Online, Social

From Cradle to Grave, Independence Blue Cross Wants Your Business


CEO Joseph Frick of Independence Blue Cross, the biggest health insurance provider in Philadelphia, used his recent colon cancer diagnosis to fuel this ad campaign by Tierney Communications.

The height chart at left lends a practical, and sort of charming, picture of how needs change as the mortal coil unravels. (Nagging question: why is 5'9," "Mammogram Reminders," followed by 6'1," "Senior Fitness Programs"? I thought people shrink when they get old? Is Independence just that good?)

Tagline: "Just a few ways we're here for you every step of the way" -- a little clumsy, but it gets the idea across.

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