Buy Better Bulbs; WWF Will Do the Heavy Lifting

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The industrial pollutants in the World Wildlife Federation's "Light Bulb" ad are only tired toys. But these miniatures -- small things we can easily control -- still convey the helplessness environmentalists feel when faced with oversized, eco-negligent businesses.

"Light Bulb" concludes with a male doll holding an energy-efficient light bulb. "You're doing your part," the ad assures us. "It's our job to help government & industry do theirs."

This message of gentle aggression is fast replaced by the image of a panda, an animal known to unfailingly melt hearts -- or in extreme conditions, cause brain explosions.

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by Angela Natividad    Jan- 7-09    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Cause, Commercials, Magazine, Online, Television



Angry Whopper Bites Back.

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Fast on the heels of its unscrupulous Whopper Virgin campaign (and the melodramatic responses it inspired), Crispin Porter + Bogusky introduce us to Burger King's Angry Whopper.

Infused with jalapenos and onions grown by disgruntled (read: sadistic and utterly unhinged) farmers, this hot-headed burger promises to "bite you back."

Red-faced yet? Go compose an angry-gram, courtesy of the King's darker side.

We like how the disclaimer reads, "Angry-Grams are intended to be humorous and should not be used with an intent to harass." Guess I should start rethinking my wry subject-line combinations of "mother" and "whore."

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by Angela Natividad    Jan- 6-09    
Topic: Campaigns, Online, Television



Breakfast Cereal Club, Sam L. J. Pushes Broadband, Cuts at Ogilvy

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- Jack Morton Worldwide, Almighty, Weber Shandwick and Google join Citizen Schools to help kids succeed.

- Which Dog are You?

- "They only met once, but they stayed crunchy forever."

- Sam L. Jackson fronts for Virgin Media Broadband.

- "Fast casual" wha...? McD's training film.

- UK's Benylin is in the dog house for using ads to teach people how to call in sick.

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Dunkin': You Don't Have to Be Bright to Be a Go-Getter!

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You kin' do it!" Dunkin Donuts exclaims in the 2009 debut of its new ad campaign, where people like you! power through everyday life with the will and guilelessness of Special Olympics athletes.

Both efforts remind us "America runs on Dunkin'" -- much the way cars run on petrol and and tin men run on oil. It's a shorter way of saying you don't need to be super or have a super job; you just need the fuel necessary to push your colorless millstone up that steep, steep hill. Every. Single. Day. Forever.

By the way, "get an egg-white flatbread for only $1.99 when you buy a medium hot coffee."

Campy, approachable and Common-Man-relevant -- a nice step up from last year's work, which also showcased coffee-fueled Avg. Joes doing painfully ordinary things.

Work by Hill Holliday/Boston.

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



Virgin Atlantic: Still Red-Hot After All These Years

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To celebrate Virgin Atlantic's 25th anni, "Still Red Hot" brings us back to June 22nd, 1984, when London's Gatwick Airport changed forever.

On a day that would otherwise be forever defined by a miner's strike, Virgin Atlantic's premier crew of red-clad flight attendants broke the mundanity with their bitch-watch-me walks and winning smiles. A revolving ticker overhead ties fiction to fact: Virgin's first-ever flight route, VS001 to Newark, is ON TIME.

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NAB Reminds Us Not to Toss Squish-Toys at the Help

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It's always a little difficult to gauge the quality of advertising from other countries, but "Don't Disturb the Ones Working" -- an ad for the Norwegian Association of the Blind -- really threw us for one.

In it, a handful of perplexed service workers are interrupted mid-job by clueless passersby, which either pay them infantile compliments ("Aww, what a cutie!") or try getting them to do tricks. For example, one game-faced dad pulls out a round squidgy ball and tries making a bus driver play catch.

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by Angela Natividad    Jan- 4-09    
Topic: Cause, Commercials, Television



John Lennon Repurposed As Third World Laptop Salesman

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On Christmas day, One Laptop Per Child brought back the voice (if not the body) of Yoko Ono's beloved John Lennon.

OLPC's mission is to bring cheap, sturdy laptops to the world's poorest children. So paint your sympathetic face on as a freshly conviction-laden (if nasal) Lennon compares giving a child a laptop to the vision he shared through his music. At the end, the Walrus himself appears, piped in from the great beyond through a kid computer with Shrek ears.

Negroponte ought to learn from his profitable peers. Resuscitating a dead guy -- particularly one whose yearning for peace has been used to sell everything from diapers to ice cream -- never works in your favor, no matter how noble the intentions. In fact, it's about as disturbing as watching a demented technophile play puppeteer with a decomposing marionette.

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GCFD Introduces Spaghetti ... Pour Elle.

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With help from production firm Dictionary Films, Leo Burnett launched a TV spot for "Food Shouldn't Be a Luxury," an effort to encourage locals to donate supplies to the Greater Chicago Food Depository.

The ad's put together like a generic perfume ad, with occasional flashes of a boiling pot and some random pasta fondling. We seriously winced when the model sexily purred "Spaghetti" in her fake Kate Moss-for-Eternity voice, but it got the point across: Okay, okay! Food shouldn't be a luxury.

Make a donation or volunteer time at Every1Can.org. Unlike the prints (see first link), the spot doesn't invite users to text donations over. Not sure if that means the texting thing didn't pan out, or if Leo Burnett just doesn't think people keep phones nearby while watching TV.

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by Angela Natividad    Dec-23-08    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Cause, Commercials, Good, Television



Whopper Virgins Taste Test Ramps Up, Ravages the Developing World

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Crispin's global conquest project for Burger King, where it scours the world in pursuit of "Whopper Virgins," is in full swing. Idle TV-trawling exposed us to taste test teasers in both Thai and Transylvanian villages.

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by Angela Natividad    Dec-22-08    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Commercials, Television



Alltel's Wireless Guy Schmoozes with Santa

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This holiday season, Alltel reprises last year's concept -- vintage animation -- to push the superiority of its My Circle unlimited free calling plan. The ad features the carrier's Nick Nayloresque mascot Chad, yukking it up with Santa about how some people just don't get the meaning of Christmas.

And like last year, Alltel's effort falls in the shadow of Apple, which also pinned the old hero vs. villain dirge to an animated backdrop. Unlike the chill scruffy Mac, however, the guffawing greased-up Chad rings a lot less likable.

Production work by Bent Image Lab, agency Santo.

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