"We're opening more lanes than ever ... to make Christmas shopping easier!"
Given what happened at its Long Island location, I think it's sorta weird that WalMart's still airing this ad. I saw it at least eight times this weekend -- and each time, without fail, it brought to mind the Black Friday Death Trample.
In it, lights from open aisles flicker to the tune of Carol of the Bells, which always struck me as a semi-creepy song anyway. (Don't make me explain why.) But now it also rings with the heavy panting of crazed, slightly overweight bargain hunters, indelible red splatters ... and the cracking of bones.
The spot first aired during the 2007 holiday season. Co-workers claim a woman was trampled then too, but that's cool because she was "a repeat stampede faker, from what I read," one dutifully disclosed.
WalMart, what good are extra checkouts without an orderly entering and exiting process? Stampedes don't organize themselves.
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.
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.
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."
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.