Cops Tweet, SBUX Seduces, Pets Prattle, GOOG Cozies Up to Agencies

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- Cops in Scottsdale, Arizona use Twitter to keep the community abreast of what's happening in the city: closed roads, active crime scenes and the like.

- Google cozies up to agencies with evangelism missions and SWAG. Don't be fooled by all those friendly faces! John Battelle isn't.

- Ramadan's got brands in a tizzy. Coke released special packaging; Starbucks is showcasing Arabian blends and Ramadan-inspired pastries at its stores in the Middle East. Observers of Ramadan, which fast! until! sunset!, will undoubtedly be thrilled. (I love SBUX, but after a food-free day it's the last place I'd go. Who says "I'm starving! A tart and some coffee would do me good"?!)

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Yep, method's Still Against Dirty.

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Household brand method doesn't just make lick-worthy, scum-swabbing "salad bowls"; it also uses biodiesel fuel in its spankin' new delivery truck. (And it wants you to know. Really, really badly.)

I found out about the biodiesel delivery truck in a method email blast sent out to promote Smarty Dish, its new dishwasher detergent. This may just be personal, but I open almost all the emails method sends me.

A few minutes ago, I wondered why that was. I decided it's because I signed up for its "People Against Dirty" movement two years ago, and while the time in my life for feeling enthusiastic about lavender wood polish is over, I still feel excited when I see that slogan in a subject line, because some irrational part of me is convinced it may be a private message for the movement's eyes only.

method's like the in-crowd of habitat fumigation. You're just flattered to be involved, because deep inside you* know this brand isn't just about being clean and good; it's about radiating that inexplicable, effortless cool.

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by Angela Natividad    Aug-26-08    
Topic: Online, Outdoor, Packaging



Marketing Dollars Put to Good Use: Sexpresso

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Green coffee company Java Girls adds a kick to your fair trade feel-good cup o' joe. Think bikinis, lingerie, soapy carwashes, and girls that say "honey" (like at Hooters!). See photo gallery. It's like Halloween at Chico State, all year long.

"Sex sells," says founder Steven McDaniel in the promo video (on the homepage). "We can move in next door to any Starbucks and compete with them." Speaking of Starbucks, the coffee giant prefers to err on the side of modesty: it covered up its mermaid nips last May.

I'm more skeptical about the success of the skin-and-caffeine business model. Starbucks has a lot of high friends in conservative places (Barnes & Noble, suburban shopping malls, business centres). And anyway, would you hit a novelty T&A cafe for your sleepy cup of slop every day? Would you take your boss? Would you take Jesus?

by Angela Natividad    Aug-25-08    
Topic: Brands, Packaging



UK's Channel 4 Explores Sunnier Side of Islam

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Channel 4 enlisted London-based doctor Farrah Jarral and filmmaker Masood Khan to discover what it calls "the sunnier side of Islam." (Not to be confused for the Sunnier Side of Truth, which is slightly more musical.) The pair went out to meet 500 men named Osama over the course of 50 days. Each was asked the question, "What do you love?"

This Osama loves freedom and that Osama loves life, family, photography, friends, snow, skate, surf, music, art, "being me" and flashing gangsta-gangsta peace signs.

See more at the Osama Loves website. This one is probably my favorite. He ought to be bearing a sign that screams "Osama loves CUTE OVERLOAD!"

by Angela Natividad    Aug-20-08    
Topic: Campaigns, Cause, Guerilla, Packaging



After all that Fasting, Pop Open an Ice-Cold Ramadan Coke.

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Tailor a piece of Americana to your global village!

Coca-Cola's chosen ATTIK to help interpret its brand across a number of events: for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, for Coke's Christmas 2008 effort, and for Ramadan in Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Indonesia, Morocco, Tunisia, and other countries with a great many Muslims.

At left is the official Ramadan packaging, courtesy of ATTIK/Leeds. Tell me that doesn't make you feel more pious.

by Angela Natividad    Aug-18-08    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Packaging, Strange



World Peace Finally Gets Just Desserts

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To honor the legacy of John Lennon, Ben & Jerry's have launched Imagine Whirled Peace, an ice cream flavor loaded with toffee cookies and fudge peace signs.

Upload shots of yourself in a peace mosaic at the Imagine subsite. (You know, like the song. Note Lennon specs on twitchy cow.) The ice cream company also partnered with The Lennon Estate and Peace One Day to host a bed-in, nodding to Lennon and Yoko Ono's lavishly-covered bed-in for peace -- a golden opportunity to lie around all day, preach peace, and play King and Queen Meet Lowly Serfs with scandalized reporters and photographers.

More here about how Ben & Jerry's poaches the Baby Boomers by canonizing idols with frozen treats. Frankly though, I've always been the Phish Food kind.

by Angela Natividad    Aug-15-08    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Celebrity, Online, Packaging, Strange



Evian Shrinks, True Blood Examined, Multimap Lets the Pigeons In

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- It's targeted you with limited-edition designer bottles and luxury facial sprays. Now Evian wants your kids. Introducing Evian Les Petits!

- Greenwich aspires to seize the spotlight as soon as it's off Beijing.

- Microsoft UK's Multimap uses pigeons to promote its "bird's eye view" feature. Created by digital agency LBi, it marks the first time Multimap has used cartoons to advertise.

- Check out the Word Clock typographic screensaver, which one Bos AD thinks is the "coolest screensaver EVER." It's pretty cool. Kind of like UNIQLOCK without the girls, or the music, or the colors.

- If you're following HBO's online campaign for True Blood, you should catch this 3-minute Ad Age video about virals. True Blood premieres September 7. Dude, sometimes it sucks to not have cable.

by Angela Natividad    Aug-15-08    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Online, Packaging, Promotions, Strange



Because Even Religious Paraphernalia is Fair Game

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Some guy who makes Presidential kippahs is experimenting with a John Edwards "cheater" kippah. But he's not sure if he really wants to sell them because he read The Secret and doesn't want to send negative energy into the universe.

Go help him make up his mind.

by Angela Natividad    Aug-14-08    
Topic: Online, Packaging, Political, Strange



Bottle Art Won't Make You Cooler. But If You're Already on a Modding-Spree, It Can't Hurt.

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When last we reviewed Mountain Dew's Green Label Art project, its trussed-up bottles were gleaning inspiration from mean tattoos and revisiting their hillbilly roots with artist Peat Wollaeger.

The bottle art in Green Label Art Volume 2 is slicker and more computer-graphicksy. There's also a batch of new proteges on call, including Mike Sutfin, who's done artwork for Dungeons & Dragons and skate brands like DC; and Mark Smith, CD at Jordan (yes, THE Jordan) Brand.

Smith's bottle design, Happy Heads, almost matches my Macbook Gelaskin (now with matching iPhone skins!). Beverage + tech coordination = total identification with the idle style aristocracy. Modding every item in your Muji bag may not send you to heaven, but it will distinguish you from the other cafe/cubicle cogs that also use Macs, own iPhones and drink cold beverages. And getting a foot in front of them is about as close to heaven as you can get if you're alive, agnostic, overpaid and insecure.

View galleries and artist videos, or create your own bottle art at the website (tutorial here).



Cactus Prick Gets Girl Knocked Up, 50 Cent Sues Taco Bell, Kanye West Champions Healthy Self-Image

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- The Social Path drew our attention to this perplexing Oasis ad where a girl gets knocked up by a cactus -- not for its own sake, but to justify half-assed Myspace campaigns.

- 50 Cent is upset with Taco Bell. Yeah well, we are too.

- Support your Presidential contender of choice with a handy-dandy kippah. Goes with everything.

- This is kind of neat. By the way, save water.

- Just what you need: a Samsung Instinct miniseries.

- Kanye West helps improve self-esteem. With vodka. But you probably already know that trick, don't you?

- Philippe Starck and BBC Two are doing an Apprentice-style series called School of Design. "Vous etes fired." Heh.








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