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.
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.)
Riffing on some vague notion that Australia isn't sophisticated enough to conceive of "exotic" naturally-grown foods or handbags worth more than cars, the NRMA's "Unworry" ad invites simple Aussies to "uncomplicate, unstress and" -- naturally -- "unworry."
"We we once dubbed the Clever country, now I'm afraid we're the Un-clever country," whines the guy that sent this to us. "Our poor schooling has finally shown it's head in the workforce and is being broadcast without a comment."
...Was that supposed to be a joke?
Provided with little more than an audio file of the Lexus IS F on the go, production company Crush was asked to visualize what the sound would look like. This is the result of that.
Pretty, and effective in its lack of language. I especially like the smoke circles. Last few scenes cut briefly to the car, the logo, the slogan: "The pursuit of perfection." Clean.
And infinitely more coherent than "F is everything you thought we weren't."
It's not immediately clear what's going on in this spot for Microsoft's Zune, featuring Common and Afrika Bambaataa. In it, a girl puts Common's Universal Mind Control on the spin. She gives props for it, then Common and Afrika Bambaataa leap out of a cloud of images and start sparring over it.
At first the whole thing rang like a poorer rendition of HP's "Hands" campaign, which does a good job of connecting the essence of a celebrity to the machine he's using.
To promote the fusion of Comcast DVR with TiVo, Biscuit Filmworks USA and Goodby, Silverstein & Partners give us "Separated at Birth."
It's a love story about a pair of TVs that part at the assembly line and serve two people in two different ways. In the end, the owners -- which start out as kids -- grow up and get together. Just like their favourite TV services.
Almost too cute to stand. The split ad format keeps eyes bouncing back and forth, and a simple narrative prevents captive audiences from snapping out of it. We'll even be willing to ignore the fact that TiVo hasn't been around long enough to have served any twenty-something from her budding days as a grade school control freak.
That's the question my friend Elinora asks herself every time she sees this suspiciously meditative ad for Dove Go Fresh Body Mist, "in the same cool scents as Go Fresh deodorants." Variants include women in flowing dresses or underpants, writhing in harmony as little Dove logos waft around their armpits, tummies and legs.
Then one day, waiting impatiently for Life: Black Friday to return on Hulu, it hit her like a ton of bird-shaped bricks: "IT'S COOCH SPRAY!" she shrieked.
I don't know if she primed me for it or what, but the ad does have that timeless Massengill flair. "Mom, do you ever feel, you know ... not so fresh?"
Tagline on the Dove spot vibes almost like a tip-off: "Go beyond fresh."
Seizing upon a double-entendre so vapid and that we honestly thought we'd never see it happen, Sydney-based Brandshop paired Kotex to beavers.
Watch as an Australian woman totes her furry friend around, getting its hair done and nails painted. For their painstaking efforts, both Big and Little B are awarded with good-natured nods of approval from hot guys at the beach.
The spot ends in a restaurant, where Honey passes her beaver a giftwrapped container of Kotex U. "You've only got one ... so, for the ultimate care down there, make it U," a voiceover spouts inanely.
GoDaddy must be livid. Props to Adrants reader Theresa for passing this along.