Throw Your White in the Air Like LeBron!

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For his signature sneaker the Zoom LeBron VI, "Chalk" lovingly exploits LeBron James' habit of throwing talcum powder into the air before each game. Watch as others follow suit -- with contagiously patriotic reverence -- to the slightly narcotic Candyman by Cornershop.

The spot aired on Thanksgiving day and features cameos by Greg Oden, LaMarcus Aldridge, Brandon Roy, Daniel Gibson, Anderson Varejao, J.J. Hicks and Lil' Wayne. By Cohn & Wolfe in tandem with Wieden & Kennedy/Portland.

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Just Imagine if 'The Network' Could Clone You.

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It's common during the holidays to wish you could be many places at once: everywhere you're obligated to be, and everywhere you actually want to be. So instead of promoting the girth of its network, Vodafone claims it'll let you make the most of now.

In this ad, a guy on an iPhone traipses casually around town, doing everything he wants to, and ends up at the door of a booty call. (Well, I guess it could also be his sister.) Anyway, as he walks, he's joined by clones that have done still more.

Expect the song, Because I Do by Katie Sutherland, to stick with you awhile.

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by Angela Natividad    Dec- 1-08    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Commercials, Television



No, Even Lexus Can't Top the Big-Wheel Memory

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Every holiday season Lexus busts out with a campaign featuring some pearl-coloured vehicle with a bow on top. Far from perfect -- whose pursuit Lexus claims to champion -- it's mediocre and irritating. Like weathered nativity scenes.

Last night we thought we saw something different. The comfortingly low-fi "Big Wheel" bears the consistency of old home videos or a classic holiday movie. In it, a kid with a new plastic trike faces us and cries, "Stop! What are you doing? You can't top the big-wheel memory!"

We ruminate on our own '80s-era big wheels as he reprises us on its merits: the freedom! The wind in your hair!

Then there's an awkward cut. The kid is a man, and now he's facing a Lexus -- with a bow. And we're like, "Fuck, this could have been so much better."

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by Angela Natividad    Nov-25-08    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Commercials, Television



GM/Ford Talk Social Media, B-52's Chime, Cunning Turns Ten

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- Two key players shaping Detroit's social media strategy, Ford's Scott Monty and GM's Christopher Barger, appeared on The BeanCast, this week to talk about their social media efforts for the auto industry, the proposed bailout and that private jet fiasco.

- The B-52s have lent their sound to NBC network's ongoing CHIME IN campaign recording its own version of NBC's chimes, which will air in promo form during the network's primetime lineup.

- Marketing agency Cunning is ten years old. Help them blow out the candles on their virtual birthday cake.

- On Tuesday, December 16 at the ADC Gallery on 106 West 29th Street, The Art Directors Club will host its holiday party where the Art Directors Annula 87 and the ADC Young Guns 6 Annual will be made available for purchase.

by Steve Hall    Nov-25-08    
Topic: Agencies, Industry Events, Podcast, Social, Television



Levi's Brings Us Back to the First Time

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Levi's is Ad Land's Lolita: perennially young, sexually voracious.

"First Time," a spot for the "Live Unbuttoned" campaign, holds that reputation up nicely. In it, two beautiful adolescents stand face to face in the open air, unbuttoning their jeans.

"You've never done this before, right?" she asks.

"No," he murmurs.

"It's my thirty-fourth time." O_O

They volley around a few more cliches: I'm scared. Don't you trust me? Then, after the long unbutton -- what's Levi's got against zippers? -- nuddified boy and girl take hands and leap off a high dock: as good a metaphor for losing your innocence as any.

Pretty work by the would-be John Hugheses at BBH/London. Good media placement, too: I saw it last night during Heroes, which is positively bursting with hormonal tension.

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by Angela Natividad    Nov-25-08    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Commercials, Television



A Crowd-Pleaser that's Fun to Sing. Nice Thinking, TAG!

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I don't think I could properly describe "Lips" even if I wanted to. It's an ad for Xbox game Lips, which is pretty much karaoke for the Guitar Hero generation. (The microphone's motion sensitive, and you can select songs from your own collection.)

Agency TAG enlisted Tom Kuntz to conceive a strolling pair of lips, singing Take on Me and going about his business. Then he walks into a house party and traipses creepily up the sleeve of a guy who, right on cue, belts out the chorus to A-HA's greatest hit.

I don't know if it's the lips' cheer that got to me, or the natural seratonin-explosion resulting from Take on Me, but this is an insanely infectious spot. We loves it.

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by Angela Natividad    Nov-24-08    
Topic: Best, Brands, Campaigns, Commercials, Games, Television



Goblet of Stella > Legacy, Glory, Pride.

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Two brothers duke it out in a tandem bike competition pour papa in Stella Artois' "The Race." Hijinks ensue when they drive over a nail and their chances of winning are dramatically decreased.

Instead of trucking on, the boys furtively decide to lift their spirits at a nearby pub. As they wrap their lovin' fingers around two glasses of Stella, they look up at the pub wall and find papa -- right where they need him to be.

"Perfection has its price," Stella smugly reminds us.

A treat to watch, and in keeping the brand's high-brow sense of humour. By Lowe/London and Lowe Roche/Toronto. MPC/London conducted post-production. Props to Brentter for bringing it to our attention.

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by Angela Natividad    Nov-24-08    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Commercials, Good, Television



McDonald's Appeals to the Shawshank Redemptionist in You

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The holidays -- shopping, senile relatives, stuffing with raisins and endless variations on the nativity -- aren't for everyone. This Leo Burnett ad for McDonald's depicts just such a guy.

The scene: charades by the Christmas tree with extended family. After an over-obvious movie mime (chest-pounding, monkey noises) that wins him "Brokeback Mountain...?", he acts out the first two words of The Great Escape, then leaps into a secret tunnel that looks like it's been dug with gravy spoons. Off to McD's he goes.

The UK-based ad promotes McDonald's "festive menu," which launches Wednesday. A spokesperson told the Guardian it's "strictly a turkey-free zone" to give customers "a haven to escape from some of the stressful Christmas activities, like shopping."

Guess that makes sense. Nothing soothes the consumption-distressed soul like chicken ... McNuggets.

by Angela Natividad    Nov-24-08    
Topic: Brands, Commercials, Promotions, Strange, Television



Because the Hard Knocks Are Sort of Like Psoriasis.

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For United Way, Publicis/Toronto gives us "Youth" and "Homelessness." Each introduces you to someone in dire straits: a homeless guy in his alley, staring despondently at passers-by; and a nervy new gangbanger.

Both look markedly stressed. Then each grabs hold of some part of themselves -- the homeless guy his torn jacket, the street kid his head -- and suddenly their skin peels off.*

Within the homeless man lies a clean-cut Joe with a uniform on. He steps easily out of his poverty-ridden skin -- kinda like the crazy sorceress whose ugliness "melted away" at the beginning of Disney's Beauty and the Beast -- and joins the sea of active, busy people on the streets.

Same deal with the kid. He grabs his head, peels off his hoodie-ensconced bad-ass self, and reemerges in -- lo! -- a baby blue soccer uniform.

"What you're really giving is a way out," each spot concludes, referring slyly to the donation you are now morally obligated to make.

I like the idea of being able to shake off your past and join the sunshiny stat-quo. But if the spots are appealing, it's because they oversimplify a taxing inner journey that can take years -- and plenty of sorrows -- to complete. Well, that's advertising for you.

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by Angela Natividad    Nov-21-08    
Topic: Cause, Commercials, Good, Television



Feeling Lucky? Watch While Lotto Balls Decimate Your Fishbowl.

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Or your aquarium, as the case may be. And while those winning numbers fall out of the sky, why not stick the dinette set under them? Fickle Fortune will buy you a new one. Someday.

By Colle+McVoy for the Minnesota State Lottery. The latter hosts a Daily Drawing show every night, which C+M helped reformat: instead of floating ping pong balls with lotto numbers, "viewers now get plummeting cast iron balls."

Who signed off on that idea?

Anyway, the spots linked above are two of 50 (probably equally disjointed) ads shot for the accompanying campaign. So if you're Minne-soootan, expect to see plenty of variants through '09. (Sorry.)

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by Angela Natividad    Nov-21-08    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Commercials, Strange, Television










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