Yesterday I read an article on JAMZ about Mad Men and how diversity advocates might threaten the show's authenticity. The author called Mad Men un-nostalgic and a "world where white men were kings." In what appears to be a reasonable justification to crystallize Mad Men as its own white male ecosystem, the author concludes:
Everyone is smoking, drinking, closeted, desperately unhappy. Choices and options are limited. That's the fabric that holds 'Mad Men' together. To suddenly throw in a little diversity would rip it to shreds.
I get the dude. It would be unrealistic to pepper those executive suits with black and brown faces for the sake of the PC police.
But it's also dangerous to use Mad Men as an excuse to shut diversity out -- something agencies are still too good at. That's gratuitous and unrealistically romantic. There's plenty of room to broaden Mad Men's scope without harming its precious and purported authenticity.
Here's a really long trailer for Sons of Anarchy, a gritty FX man-drama about motorcycle clubs and the families that send the burly soldiers yonder.
What you can expect: emotional outbursts, a Molotov cocktail or two, some girl-punches and a swastika. And you thought Mad Men was real!
The ad was built in-house, with a heightened sense of melodrama brought to you by PrimalScream Music, which composed The Dream We Left Behind especially for the show.
Lately I can't turn the TV on without running into an ad for the Pickens Plan, T. Boone Pickens' $58 million attempt to liberate the US from its sordid addiction to foreign oil.
Interesting things about Pickens and this campaign:
o Pickens is an oil magnate. (Can you hear the crows going "OMG! OMG!"?) Soon, he'll be a wind magnate too.
o The ads are totally finance-focused. Pickens hardly says the e-word ("environmental") at all.
- We got to check out the Facebook redesign yesterday. There's tabs and room for more ads (I'm seeing TWO now instead of just ONE!). Also, personal information is intuitively distributed so you don't have to read everything from one long column. A lot of people are annoyed because it's heavy with the social media vibe, but we'll be used to it in, like, two weeks.
- For Parrot, Feed Company started a video campaign featuring a nightmarish kid on a driving lesson. "We're done, we're done! FUCK IT!" Heh.
- Shark sighting. Or not. By Mullen for the sharks and rays exhibit at NE Aquarium.
- New spot by BBH/NY and Partizan/LA for LG Steam Washer. It's called "World of Steam" and takes place in a wrinkly fabric world. It's weird, but not as weird as this was, and I guess sort of passively pleasant.
- Another Parrot thing: Parrot Not Quail. (I'm not really down to make a parrot the state bird, but we did make the Terminator governor.)
If you carry a knife, you risked being stabbed by your own blade. Most likely wielded by Evil You from Mirror World.
The spot was put together by AMV BBDO for the Tower Hamlets Council, which is concerned about "rising!" knife crime and convinced people won't stop carrying blades unless they believe they're disproportionately likely to trip, fall and impale themselves.
Bet that pansy-ass excuse didn't stop Genghis Khan, though. (Yeah, I know that's not Genghis, but it's a pretty rad picture.)
From the look of these new Gossip Girl promotional posters, you'd think all they do on the show is have sex. Oddly (or not), that's not the case. The show is entertaining, witty and juicy. And who doesn't like to watch pretty people prance around the screen and whine about their difficult lives...even if they all come from multi-millionaire households? Besides, sex sells so the more we can show Blake Lively and Leighton Meester get it on with their boy toys, the better.
September 1, people.
Most sobering situations could use an inappropriate joke. Contributing to Stand Up to Cancer's "This is where the end of cancer begins" campaign, celebrities use donated airtime to make laughter, not bummer. See spots:
"Cancer patients and their chemo-induced baldness have stolen the sympathy that is rightfully mine." And that's why Larry David can't get laid.
Meanwhile, Henry Winkler plays cancer in the style of Epuron's infuriating Wind guy. "Did I bite you? ... I didn't mean to." Ahh. That Fonzie's still a riot after all these years.
More videos at the Stand Up to Cancer website, including one where the Daily Show says FU to cancer, and one where Katie Couric ... well, "Katie Couric" should be enough to make you laugh, actually.
To nurture the creative minds of future filmmakers, Virgin's "What Happens Next?" campaign poses three unfinished scenarios: "Kidnap," "Police" and "UFO." Each starts at a nowhere-ville diner called the Rattle 'n' Hum.
The snapshots are only a few seconds each and have a Tarantino sheen, so feel free to make use of your local leather-clad gimp. There's also a "designing" tool to help bring the pieces to their conclusions, which range from Devastatingly Minimal to Comic-Con.
Best entry wins TV time! Put together by Host/Sydney.
For the Looking Glass Foundation, which assists adolescents with eating disorders, DDB, Canada launched a PG-rated but poignant awareness campaign in British Columbia.
The "Pencil Marks" PSA features a girl charting her waist-slimming progress with pencil marks on a wall. The agency also distributed broken toothbrushes in baggies that read, "Attempting to purge, Jane B. broke a toothbrush off in her throat and choked."
See, if you're gonna be all pro-Mia, you need to get over your squeamies and use a finger.*
I've seen "Moving" for Dunkin' Donuts about 486 times -- and I find it more loathsome after each sitting.
But Dunkin' knows how to maximize a spot's branding power. If you watch any amount of weekly TV, you'll see it enough times to be mouthing the words in a month. And the music is so distinctive, so gratingly terrible, and so instantly recognizable that it will probably do its label more good than harm in the long run. Life can be cruel that way.
"Moving" is part of the Hill Holliday-developed "America runs on Dunkin'" campaign, which has been running -- successfully, even -- for the last two years. Message consistency contributes to its sheen, but rival Starbucks, which lost its grip on its own brand, also threw plenty of kindling in Dunkin's direction.