Remember Boost Mobile, the Nextel spin-off that spent the last three years molesting street culture under the tagline "Where You At?"
Hip-hop's run out of milkable teats so Boost's taken shelter in the ironic, determinedly awkward humor of suburbia. And Skittles commercials.
"Coroner" and "Bicycle" explain how Boost Mobile rawks, not because the value proposition is good (would you rather have "no hidden fees" or play iPhone Ocarina?), but because some things out there are worse. The problem is, you're left with little more than nausea over the still-lingering memories of unkempt armpit hair and breakfast burritos a la Poe. You will have absolutely no memory of Boost's merits.
Which I guess is how it should be.
180LA's responsible for the ads, which fall under a campaign called UNwrong'D. AdFreak's right. That apostrophe -- the whole concept, really -- is like cyanide.
We knew a guy who got drafted into the Ukrainian military. As the day of his departure drew closer, he turned into a person we hardly knew and who sort of freaked us out. Finally he confessed he was dodging the draft and leaving for London.
"But why?" we said.
"Ukrainian military makes people disappear," he hissed, looking all wild-eyed.
Having just seen this ad for the Ukrainian Army, we have serious doubts about that and resent that he lied to us. Ukraine's first line of defense turns ordinary folk into dangerously charismatic mofos, capable of seducing women of varying hairstyles away from men with BMWs. Said women will shower you with alabaster jugs of vodka and chase your tanks while making marriage contract innuendos. (Now you know why Tony Stewart picks the Russian chicks.)
You will also get a really vivid hat.
To promote its pension plan, AMF uses tact and a tongue-in-cheek tang to explore the actual merits of the good old days.
We were hooked from the first scene, where a kid with a dated haircut is stuck in the car with his chainsmoking parents. But the scenarios just kept getting better. Think life before Lisa! Think dinner pre-pizza.
The voiceover wraps with a niggling question: "Were the good old days really that good ... or do things get better and better all the time?" (We're really glad Forsman & Bodenfors resisted the temptation to license the Beatles.)
On-screen text: "Funds for the future. AMF Pension."
Here's "Samples xD," the latest spot from Scion's fresh-out "Samples" effort. The latter launched in January and features car customizations mashed-up to the din of mixed beats.
From ATTIK CD Simon Needham: "These newest ads energetically combine actual owners' xBs, xDs and tCs with stock models in ways that convey the distinct personalities of Scion's vehicles and their owners - while also showing how their individuality ties them together."
Metaphor for life if we ever heard one. Sound design -- a mere window-shopper to Aphex Twin's Window Licker -- by Face the Music.
In this cockle-warming story about a hyperventilating geek who now wears onesies and gets his pick of trophies (both metal and collagen-enhanced), Tony Stewart reinforces the power of Swagger.* The Old Spice product previously de-geeked Brian Urlacher and LL Cool J.
Actually, LL Cool J's still pretty square. Sometimes getting all muscly to stop being square will only make you squarer.
But we digress. What were we talking about? Oh yeah, the Swagger campaign. It's starting to feel a little less highlariously kitsch-tacular and more like Axe/Lynx. Which sucks because once upon a time, both brands were uniquely neat, and now they're almost exactly alike, except Old Spice is too red and Axe/Lynx is too potent.
Work by Wieden + Kennedy/Portland -- which succeeded, as always, in stimulating provocative discussion on YouTube.
There's something about watching people represent their countries in some sporting cause that makes you thirst to be represented yourself. That's the card ESPN plays in "My Team," a global marketing effort for the '09 World Baseball Classic ("March 5th to the 23rd!").
Famous faces in the ad, representing in their own tongues and everything, include Jorge Cantu, Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez and Ichiro Suzuki. We felt the compulsion to wave a flag, or at least one of those giant signs shaped like an index finger, and we don't even like baseball.
Produced by ESPN and agency DCode. The spot falls under the catchy slogan "National pastime. International stars," which went live on February 14. English/Spanish print, online, radio and outdoor executions will roll out after February 23.
Now we all know television ratings are complete bullshit but that has never stopped media outlets from hyping them one day and complaining about them the next. So it is without surprise the bitchiness continues to escalate as evidenced by this FOX News trade ad which touts its seven year lead with adults 25-54 while, at the same time, calling CNN and MSNBC pathetic, lame and half-baked.
The full copy in the ad reads, "* This would be where CNN & MSNBC use an asterisk in their ads to point out some half-baked on-time statistic to prove that somebody stumbled across their channels giving them a temporary spike in the ratings, which they would tout as unprecedented, earth-shattering and monumental. It's actually pathetic since we all know if they massage their statistics long enough, they can come up with something to make their lame point. But deep in their little hearts, even they know that FOX News is number one in cable and has beem for years."
Seriously. This from an actual television station. Did the entire television industry just turn into a bunch of five year olds fighting in a sandbox?
"Skaters," an ad for the Seat Ibiza, features a beautiful cover of Forever Young that made us tuck a chin in our collective hand and sigh, because we were thinking about Freaks and Geeks and childhood in general. Vintage footage of kids on skateboards only fueled the cozy flames of nostalgia.
Then there was this awkward cut to a car. Everything changed: the feel of the ad, the imagery, the sounds. And then our souls, which were floating up somewhere above our heads, collapsed onto concrete.
We get what agency Atletico International, and production company Agosto, wanted to do: tie the Ibiza into youth and freedom, personify that spirit in a vehicle that in some ways is decidedly less whimsical. (Not much wind in your hair, no risk of elbow-scrapes.)
But it could have been done better.
Superfad partnered with The Martin Agency to jazz NASCAR up for the Sprint Cup.
The result of this collabo was "Dogfight," an adrenaline-infused cat/mouse game between two NASCAR drivers. It was cool, it felt intense while still being tame, which is the line NASCAR's always walked.
On the print side is a triage of pieces that look like they were drawn on the binder covers of rice rocket fans. One's at left; see another and another.
The best investors are people that can see the big picture based on the little rivulets of action that trickle into it: hoarding licenses to all sans-serif typefaces, for example, right before Web 2.0 made Helvetica a star.
(*shifts feet in awkward pursuit of a better illustration. Decides to move on instead*)
To demonstrate is ability to see the grand tapestry by virtue of its many intersecting threads, T. Rowe Price tapped JWT/New York to oversee a pair of ads in which small events bleed into bigger ones. Meanwhile, a soothing voiceover compels audiences with its amazing ability to synopsize The Economist.
Production work by Psyop. Ads below.