In the latest TV spots for its McCafe label, McDonalds surrenders the art house crowd to Starbucks -- and liberates the crusty, football-loving Joes that never quite fit in.
This ad starts with two guys in a typical cafe scene, reading books and sipping coffee out of wide cups. One haughtily asks, "Did you hear McDonald's has cappuccinos now?"
In its latest TV campaign, Jimmy John's, America's Sandwich Delivery Experts, relieves tense situations with foot-longs and smiling delivery men. (Actually not a bad idea.)
The company is mostly midwest-based, and its ads are friendly and earnest -- deeply mid-western? -- even if not wildly original. The Bomb spot did make me laugh, but the effort overall only felt so-so.
While sandwich delivery may not really resolve hostage situations or smooth out an explosive case of nerves, I guess it could calm screaming schoolchildren. For half an hour.
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Imagine it: endless champagne, a lively -- but intimate -- night life, creamy white sheets, Roman baths, and sweet nothings brimming from the mouths of chiseled strangers.
What's all this? Why, "The Life You Were Meant to Live," a less-than-subtle ploy by Leo Burnett/Chicago to get your pipe-dreaming ass into Caesars. Spots include:
o "I'll Have the Bubbliest Champagne" -- for the ladies!
o "Try it Before You Croak" -- for the couples! -- or maybe just singles that enjoy morning-after intimacy.
o "I'm the Funny Good Looking One" -- for graying men still pursuing validation!
Samsung partnered with the NFL to bring football fandom to the big screen. See a couple of the TV ads, lengthened for the 'net, at That's How I See It. A spot I've seen often is the one where a dad gives his son a Vikings helmet, heirloom-style, to wear while watching TV.
In general I feel like we've seen too much of this kind of thing before. (See fans! Fans like you! Fetch wallet!) But if you feel closely affiliated with a certain football team, maybe getting recognized by a big brand always feels fresh. Kinda like how I feel every time a rapper shouts my area code into a mic.
Arthur is among the few kid shows I still feel okay watching. It's wholesome, square and enriched with feel-good lessons.
Anywho, CVS and Hefty licensed Arthur's name and likeness to promote products, like the charming paper plate at left, to kids (and possibly nostalgic quarter-lifers). One plate by itself is friendly enough, but check out this disembodied constellation of Arthur characters, all ready to bear slices of cake on their noses. It's unsettling.
You know how Stamps.com lets you turn photos into stamps? I bet one day Hefty'll do that with paper dishware. Why eat off a fictional acquaintance when you could be scooping peanut butter out of Kid Sister's right earlobe?
For a recently-launched TV campaign, Yell.com is seeding videos across YouTube that wrap up its TV ads.
In the spot we reviewed, a bratty kid called Marcus tells party planner Fresno he wants a ghetto-fabulous fete instead of a Roman-themed party. Fresno takes on the challenge. Here are the results, complete with party footage and interviews with Fresno's assistant and Marcus's parents -- the feeble, well-to-do folk that created the monster in the first place.
Nice idea, not super-engaging though. How do TV viewers know to go online to finish the story? It's not like the spot was a cliffhanger, and I don't think anybody feels personally invested in Marcus's fate. Or even Fresno's, for that matter.
American Express has this program called Members Project, which funds worthy ventures with $2.5 million. (Members vote to decide who gets the money.) Read all about it.
To promote the program, AmEx used footage from previous ads to produce a montage of famous cardholders like John Cleese, Martin Scorsese, Robert DeNiro, Ellen Degeneres and Jim Henson.
Their achievements are presented as the fruit of childlike desires. Scorsese's "project," for example, was to "tell unforgettable stories"; Degeneres wanted to "encourage people to dance to their own tune." The premise is, these people changed the world with their passion. Got a dream? Maybe you can change it too.
Dual body wash and moisturizer isn't really a new idea. (Companies like Dove beat that horse dead years ago.) Bringing bang to an old combo, Wieden + Kennedy enlist a centaur for Old Spice Double Impact. He's half man ... and half provider.
More importantly, he's actually got YouTube users talking about Old Spice. Will they buy the stuff? Hard to say. But hey, if a centaur doesn't turn this trick, Doogie Howser, M.D. definitely will.
Commercials for IBM's "Go Green" campaign are all over my daytime TV. In the ones I've seen, corporate suits debate the merits of implementing energy-efficient policies. Once they opt to "go green" (usually for financial reasons), a cartoon forest -- complete with cheerful chirping wildlife and a high-pitched chorus -- blossoms around them. The message is that companies going green, whatever the reason, can change the environment for the better.
Style-wise, the effort mirrors a current Truth campaign where reality is also shattered by musical kitsch and doe-eyed cartoons. (Both are liable to make jaded cubicle cogs long for a vatful of hot smoking Dip.)
This is HSBC's "Lumberjack" by JWT/London/NYC and production company Gorgeous. At first watch it's like Swiss Family Robinson meets Lord of the Flies, except everybody's grown up and cops ruin all the fun.