In the pantheon of unintended hilarious road signage comes this image from Adrants reader Andy Malis who passed by a Maryland Friendly's on his way to work and simply had to turn around and capture the image for us. Family friendly Friendly's is now providing its patrons free sexual satisfaction as long as they buy five new sandwiches. We think this sign will be coming down soon.
Uh, oh. Marketers. Advertisers. Do not use this. Repeat. Do not use this. This being a technology that allows you to use lasers to put temporary graffiti on buildings from hundreds of feet away using a laser wand. If you do use it, you know what's going to happen. The entire world is going to look like Times Square because every building will be turned into a "temporary" billboard. Come on. Admit it. You know you can't resists this. Check out a video of it here.
CoolzOr features a very interesting guerrilla outdoor effort by Oklahoma Truck Supply which placed a mock up of an 18-wheeler vertically in the middle of a field which, or course, makes it stand out like a bald Britney. Yes, it's stunt marketing but, to us, it works. If you have a field and a spare 18-wheeler (or a mock up of such), why not turn it into a promotion. And yea, yea, yea, before you jump all over us telling us this sort of thing's been done before, we offer this thought. If we only wrote about new stuff, guess what? There wouldn't be anything to write about because, as you well know, it's all been done before. Thankfully, some re-hashed ideas are better than others which, again, thankfully, gives us something to write about.
Why? Why? Why? Why do brands launch these massive campaigns, spend all this money and make ads that don't say a thing about what the company does? Are there people in agencies that still think "branding" without meaningful substance works? Apparently, not after one of those day-long, mind-numbing vision, mission, essence, position self-serving mind fucks. After that, they're all sipping the Kool Aid without realizing the consumer wasn't in that meeting all day and has no idea what the hell the resulting brand messaging is trying to convey.
Sure, this Mobius award winning Bart Domination campaign for Kaiser Permanente will certainly force the company's name into the conscious and subconscious mind of everyone within eye sight but will they walk away having any idea what the company does? Oh wait. Yea. There's this thing called the Internet. Oh wait. There's no URL in the ad. Oh wait. There's this thing called Google. It helps you find stuff. Oh wait, Kaiser's name is impossible to spell. Even if one does find their way to the site, it doesn't even tell you what the company does. Not until you click in several levels or visit the far more helpful Wikipedia listing. And yes, we have heard of Kaiser Permanente before and many people in California, where the campaign is running, have as well but that's not the case with most other marketer's that go this route.
So why? Why? Why make your potential customer work when you only have a split second of their time? Why paint pretty pictures that are devoid of commercial messaging. This isn't art. It's advertising. Wallow in the beautiful non-descriptiveness of this campaign here (PDF).
Oh, and the explanation for why those tree trunks and their copy look fake: "Apparently the photos taken of the installation were not very good and someone thought they could be improved by photoshopping the copy that was on the pillars onto the already poor quality photos."
Nothing motivates like a good scare - just ask Karl Rove or mom and dad. Somebody must have tipped off the Red Cross, because based on the billboards they're posting in Buffalo, NY for campaign Prepare WNY, they're running amock with the tactic, toting arbitrary future dates (like Nov 9, 2009) as sites of terrorism.
Fortunately the zealous .org is no Oracle of Delphi. Catch Up Lady says once you get past the hype the site's pretty mundane, doling out advice on how to make survival kits and wrap gauze and such.
Everybody knows all you need to prepare for nuclear war is a pack of bacon band-aids. They don't just soothe wounds; they make you feel awesome, provide comic relief, and, once you get desperate enough, are attractive enough to eat.
As a sidenote, it's funny to us how the Red Cross of all organizations can do something so flagrantly tasteless while Cartoon Network gets penalized for a bunch of Lite Brite Mooninites. Really, what the fuck, man?
Balendu draws our attention to this promotion for Beyonce Knowles' upcoming tour in Australia, which is drawing controversy from the usual slew of anti-smoking groups and mean PC people. One such group actually contacted the Federal Dept of Health to say the ad acts as a tobacco promotion, thus breaching the Tobacco Advertising Prohibition Act.
We're surprised by the lifelong groomed artist's decision to use the old-fashioned cigarette holder, particularly because of strong negative sentiment about tobacco's effects (as if nobody knew before). Nonetheless, the act makes a statement and we're impressed by B's gumption. The untouchable Audrey would appreciate the political hat-tip, even if her immortal pose with the long cigarette is decidedly more chic.
Project Open Hand is running a Bay Area print campaign called Nourish One Another to encourage donations for nutritional services and AIDS assistance.
We took note because we often see this strange print ad displaying an ecstatic upward-looking man with wings and a huge halo. It took us a few days of nonchalant notice to realize the wings were made of - what are those, bananas? - and the halo was made of wheat. Then we thought, hey, that's clever and quaint in a pastoral sort of way. And it's also got this understated weirdness going on. We always have to credit an ad whose details we learn over time, and not always intentionally.
We suppose since a New Orleans entity created and placed this board on their own in Chicago claiming its famed status as the "windier city," it makes it all OK. Apparently the old adage holds true. Poking fun at your own misery is cool. Poking fun at other's ain't. All of those cultural/political/behavioral rules aside, this is a succinctly strong and powerful advertising message. See a bigger version of the image here.
Entry update: Balendu at Adpunch brings our attention to a series of Mustang billboards that actually blur the scenery behind them. The idea is to lend drivers the impression that Mustang drivers see the world in hyperspeed.
Created by Miami Beach Ad School students Ian Hart and Annie Williams, the work takes a traditional medium largely ignored by its audience and turns it into a frame through which any passerby can see the world from the perspective of a very sleek vehicle. The board is made of GE Lexan EXL semi-transparent resin and blurs the scene behind it regardless of the weather.
In much the same way they've set out to revolutionize TV, HBO turned a portion of their New York lobby into an uber gift shop of cinematic proportions. With the help of Gensler and Imaginary Forces the aim is not merely for the consumer to buy shit but to immerse the consumer in a magical mystical sitcom universe. Check out the storefront, and a sliver of the Sopranos, Sex and the City and Rome sections.
That stuff's all nice but we'd really like to see a special space for Oz. Come on, HBO. We can have Italian mobsters and neurotic 40-somethings any day. Where's our prison universe?