Zappos Invites You to Step In...to One of its Boxes.

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The Ad Store just sent us a plethora of new Zappos spots for spring/summer and fall/winter 2009.

"Step into Zappos" picks up where "Put a Little Zappos in Your Day!" left off. The latter featured a chipper delivery guy bringing sunshine and rainbows to a neighborhood; these spots riff off the glee infusion you get when you finally open that package.

Underpants-clad customers are pictured either standing in a Zappos box or walking into one. Putting on their best Vanna Whites for the camera, they either reveal their purchases or lift the box over themselves -- at which point they are suddenly transformed into fully-dressed Citizens of Society.

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by Angela Natividad    Feb-11-09    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Commercials, Online, Television



Kia Soul Makes Strangers Stare

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The new Kia Soul is so compelling you will want to look deeper. And to depict this in the most obvious way possible, Publicis/Toronto came up with "Peer Into a Soul."

Each spot tackles the concept with a different film genre, a gimmick meant to appeal to people who want something more from their car marketers.

The campaign DP is Robert Yeoman, who worked on The Royal Tenenbaums, Life Aquatic and The Squid and the Whale, so we naturally expected the pieces to ooze some sub-normal slice-of-lifishness -- like that feeling you get when a joke's been told but was so subtle you didn't laugh, and now all the hipsters know you Do Not Belong.

The humor here isn't quite that sublime (and for good reason -- they're car ads, after all), but the choice of music definitely oozes Yeoman.

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by Angela Natividad    Feb-11-09    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Commercials, Television



YMCA Repackages Real People for the People

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The YMCA is the place to be. You'll get a burn, you'll make really awesome platonic friends, and sometimes clowns work out there. Maybe.

An art director at Preston Kelly sent us the above-linked (and below-embedded) spots for YMCA, which under the slogan "Real people. Real fitness" hopes to reel in new members that:

1. Don't look like porn stars and/or Arnold Schwarzenegger in his 20s
2. Don't make sex noises on the treadmill
3. Aren't complete fitness bunnies

The natural result of this checklist of Things That May Potentially Turn You Off are these spots, where two workout buddies partake of YMCA's fitness buffet while saying quirky "real people" things, like "It's like a bear trap. Except it's a people trap. And the people trap's made of bears!"

Here is the part where you relate, because that guy is simple, and yet hilarious -- like you! Don't be ashamed; we're relating too.

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by Angela Natividad    Feb-11-09    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Commercials, Good, Television



Alrin Makes that Next Inhale a Little Too Strong

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Heh. To promote the "extra strong" qualities of Alrin nasal spray, Young & Rubicam/Tel Aviv nailed it with "Umbrella" and "Newspaper" -- two spots that demonstrate what happens when your nasal passages get too liberated too quickly.

The human vacuum concept also makes a lot more sense here than it did that one time Justin Timberlake got sucked across town by a Pepsi drinker.

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by Angela Natividad    Feb-10-09    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Commercials, Television



Hope in the Slammer, Witch Buddies, Ad Poetry

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- "Twitter for sports." And then our eyes rolled back in our heads, and then we died.

- BFFs with the Wicked Witch of the West. She seems fun. DDR, your house or mine?

- The question we all must ask. Sometime.

- Shepard Fairey, the guy who did that Obama/Hope poster we all love to wheatpaste on walls that don't belong to us, gets arrested before his first solo art show. Duuuude. Sux.

- Scroll down to the part that reads "cb with a Flair."

- Intern sweatshop haiku.



HR Block Does Oddvertising Thing.

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Because really, three cyclopses and a wheelbarrow of cash should be all it takes to convince you H&R Block is the tax refund brand of choice.

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by Angela Natividad    Feb- 9-09    
Topic: Brands, Commercials, Promotions, Strange, Television



Allstate's Past Makes Prime Ad Opp

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Here's something we didn't know: Allstate was founded in 1931 and has weathered nine recessions.

Taking advantage of this illustrious history in "Back to Basics," baritone spokesman Dennis Haysbert tells dollar-skittish viewers that recession is a cure for frenzied overindulgence. Now is the time to have meals at home, that kind of thing. Later it all ties back into Allstate's "in good hands" tagline.

Work by Leo Burnett and production firm GARTNER.

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by Angela Natividad    Feb- 9-09    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Commercials, Television



Because Penguins Fans Are Just Loyal Like That.

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Cenergy/East Aurora recently put together "In the Game," a triage of spots for the Pitsburgh Penguins. Each depicts a Penguin fan testifying to the degree of his/her loyalty in random, occasionally inappropriate places.

Once in awhile the characters toss in a statement meant to make them relatable to tech users, like "I will sign off Facebook!" and "I will ask complete strangers to check their PDAs!"

Each breathily concludes, "...because no matter where I am, I'm in the game." Around this time you're supposed to be so into the Penguins that you wanna buy tickets, so a cinematic voiceover invites you to visit pittsburghpenguins.com.

We're not convinced sports fandom is really an impulse-buy kinda thing. And the fans are so ordinary that the incentive to follow them into Penguinsville is totally lost. Probably would've been a better campaign if the camera eye focused on the unique merits of the team and players; less so on three forgettable groupies.

Ads below.

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by Angela Natividad    Feb- 6-09    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Commercials, Television



'Look at that Detailing. That is a Sweet Ride, Right There.'

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Last week we reviewed a St. Lukes ad for IKEA's PAX wardrobe, which wordlessly depicted women being jostled about in an ongoing quest for safe haven.

In response, zig sent us its take on PAX. "Garagetalk" airs in Canada and was adapted in Germany. The vibe's completely different, but it still ties PAX to women and our apparently insatiable need for ambient shoe space.

Easing a friend into her PAXed-out closet with a casual "Welcome to the Jane-zone" (wince!), one chick shows off her wardrobe space with the attitude men adopt over modded "bachelor" garages. In case you miss the cues, concluding text wryly reads, "Men have the garage. Women have the PAX wardrobe."

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by Angela Natividad    Feb- 5-09    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Commercials, Packaging, Television



Western Union Delivers World Peace With Floating Yellow Blobs

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Don't you love those commercials that paint the world as a place in perfect harmony? Where everyone is happy? Where children play together happily? Where everyone is optimistic?

While it always seems to be asking too much, that didn't stop Publicis Hong Kong from creating this feel-good Western Union commercial in which floating blobs of yellow form the word "yes" reaffirming that, yes, life does move forward and people are saying yes to a brighter future.

Oh, and Western Union is there to help that happiness happen.

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Stanton Optical


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