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.
Team One gave us a "YouTube sneak preview" (wait, what?) of its All-New! 2010 Lexus RX ads.
The theme of each is "driver inspired" -- think magical cranes pulling obstacles out of traffic, or an assembly line in your house. All this is to say the Lexus is a perfectly calibrated luxury instrument whose specs revolve around you.
Visually interesting and slightly surreal, as per usual. We really liked "Intersection."
A few years ago we met a farmer who lost his wife to Lou Gehrig's disease. The process was short but painful: it hit her all of a sudden, and took her in a matter of months.
He ended up publishing their story under the title When the Music Stopped. When we asked why he chose it, he explained that Lou Gehrig's -- or Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) -- functions by depriving you first of the muscles you use most. It spreads rapidly to the rest of your body, and finally ends in death. His wife was a piano player; in her case, things began falling apart when she could no longer play.
Imagine it: the slow dismantling of your life, beginning with the loss of your smallest, dearest pleasures. It's a terrible thing to hear, and a worse thing to experience first- or second-hand.
That's the crux of "Head and Shoulders," a powerful ad released by the ALS Society of Canada. Put together by Lowe Roche to the playful, active tune of "head and shoulders, knees and toes," it makes you privy to a father and his family as their universe spirals into painful stillness ... along with him.
As the economy struggles out of the hinterlands of recession and Just General Suckiness, Volkwagen takes advantage of the French's irresistible inclination to remind the world it knew better all along.
Witness while a group of compulsive junk bond junkies try ridding themselves of their nasty addiction. Think AA, except with tailored suits instead of flannel.
Our favourite is "Exorcist," possibly because purging unregulated capitalism is the closest we'll ever come to watching a businessman give birth: "SUBPRIME! Dol-LARRRRR..."
Boy do we have a spot for you. Nescafe's "More Beans, More Taste" features "over one tonne of beans," shooting into the air a la the Bellagio Fountains, to the tune of "Che interminabile audirivieni" from comic opera Don Pasquale.
The weird thing is, for something with all that going on, it just kinda falls flat. Maybe it's because watching dancing water isn't that fun in the first place, and is really only marginally so in person. Or maybe it's because it's Nescafe.