Military Service Glamourized with De-Glamourizing Ads

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"There are many thankless jobs out there. This - isn't - one of them," barks this new ad, "Thankless Jobs," for the US Coast Guard.

Put together by Cossette, NY, the campaign aspires to draw recruits by forgoing stylized images in favor of reality. REALITY? That's funny, because the PR guy brought the spot to our attention with the following introductory pitch:

"Is it a trailer for the next Jerry Bruckheimer blockbuster? A breaking news report on a dramatic rescue? Close. It's the US Coast Guard at work."

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by Angela Natividad    Mar-12-08    
Topic: Commercials, Promotions, Strange, Television



CHOCOLATE THE RAINBOW! And Fight Pinata Abuse

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This new spot for chocolate Skittles is KICK-ASS. The pinata co-worker idea? Genius. We only loved it more when we realized the guy was made of crepe-paper, not leprosy.

The agency responsible (see all credits): TBWA\ and production company MJZ, our new favourite friends. Because anybody who can come up with a slogan like "CHOCOLATE THE RAINBOW! Taste the rainbow" is a keeper ... and probably a regular contributor to 4chan.

by Angela Natividad    Mar-11-08    
Topic: Brands, Commercials, Good, Television



Clinton's '3 AM' Poster Girl is an Obama Supporter. Oops.

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Over a week ago, Hillary Clinton launched this ad. "It's three AM and your children are safe and asleep. But there's a phone in the White House and it's ringing," it starts. Who do you want picking up the phone and protecting your kids -- somebody with experience, or somebody without?

To populate the spot with compelling pictures, Hillary's team used stock imagery. And it turns out that the ad's most prominent child is all grown up ... and an Obama supporter.

From HuffPo (via The New Argument): "While I love Hillary, I would much rather hear Barack Obama's voice at the other end of the phone at 3am."

That's gotta hurt.

by Angela Natividad    Mar-10-08    
Topic: Campaigns, Commercials, Political, Television



ANONYMOUS Introduces Walkman Slider to the Daisy Cutter

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This is kind of quirky. To promote AT&T's Walkman Slider, BBDO/NY and production company ANONYMOUS tried building an association between fireworks and the phone's blinky lights and slidiness.

Didn't LA Gear try saving its ass with some similar effort? We're always a little wary about products whose many merits begin and end with a light show.

by Angela Natividad    Mar-10-08    
Topic: Brands, Commercials, Mobile/Wireless, Television



Lifesavers Brings Sweet Back in Style

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This spot's nearly a year old, but it isn't in the Almighty Database so we're covering it anyway.

Lifesavers guides us down the sometimes precarious road of good intentions with this ad for "It's Good to Be Sweet." The bright colors, friendly deeds and sweet cover of "What's So Funny (About Peace, Love and Understanding)" gave us an unexpected feel-good feeling.

We LOLed at least twice. And that North Korea scene? Priceless.

by Angela Natividad    Mar- 9-08    
Topic: Brands, Commercials, Good, Television



Vantage Point Teaser's a Tease, All Right

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Check out this :50 teaser for Vantage Point by th1ng. Vantage Point is a stock action film (premise: presidential assassination, ooooh) with a respectable cast (Dennis Quaid, Matthew Fox, Forest Whitaker).

The teaser was positioned as an "amber-drenched" perspective piece, which is a gorgeous way of saying you'll get nothing but a crisp, clear shot of the movie title. It will, however, leave you with a distinct "That's IT?!!" feeling.

What's the phrase -- no emotional reaction is a bad emotional reaction? No wait, that's not right...

by Angela Natividad    Mar- 7-08    
Topic: Campaigns, Commercials, Television



The Ruin of a Fine Casino? YOU Decide.

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Ogilvy once said that advertisers who believe in the selling power of jingles have never had to sell anything.

And having just watched this Kirshenbaum Bond + Partners-directed spot for the Mohegan Sun casino, where the wannabe cast of Grease 3 molests the tune to Superfreak, we don't just believe it -- we live and breathe it. The lead CD was Izzy DeBellis, the chap responsible for the new Wendy's ads.

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by Angela Natividad    Mar- 6-08    
Topic: Bad, Brands, Commercials, Television



Chinese Wool Ad Feels Something Like Water Torture

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This ad for Heng Yuan Xiang, a wool company, pisses China off. We thought it was just the mob overreacting again, but -- having watched about half of it -- we're suddenly jam-packed with repressed rage. A great way to destroy someone's soul would be to pin their eyelids open and force them to sit through this for a little over six minutes.

The spot starts about :09 into the video, so don't be fooled by all that happy baby stuff at the beginning. Here's a positive: after one sitting, you'll feel uncomfortably familiar with all the animals in the Chinese zodiac. AND you'll have three new syllables burned forever into your brain.

by Angela Natividad    Mar- 6-08    
Topic: Brands, Commercials, Television, Worst



Firebrand CEO Laments Company's Demise, Misunderstands Commercials

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Fighting to the end, Firebrand CEO Roman Vinoly shared his frustration over doubters of the ads-as-content concept with AdWeek, pondering, "Isn't it proven every Super Bowl and on lots of Web sites where people go? Isn't it proven by being one of the largest categories uploaded to YouTube? Is it that difficult to conceive that great creative created by great artists with all the money in the world could be compelling to consumers even though it's trying to sell a product?"

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by Steve Hall    Mar- 5-08    
Topic: Online, Opinion, Television, Tools



Scrimpers, Working Class Heroes Valorized in Fifth Third Ad Campaign

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Here's an ad about a middle-aged paperboy working to get braces for his daughter. And here's one about a white collar cog who drives his college beater so he and his pregnant wife can save for their baby.

These spots are part of an ad campaign for Fifth Third Bank called "The Things We Do for Dreams," produced by Anonymous Content for agency OLSON.

We like it. Swimming upstream against a dismal economy, it's nice to see a bank put an optimistic spin on the everyday struggle -- illuminating the decisions we've had to make, and watch our parents make -- rather than distracting us with gimmicky comic relief.

It lends the sense that Fifth Third understands what it's like to do things that aren't fun out of a sense of hope. That's nice. And strangely rare.

by Angela Natividad    Mar- 5-08    
Topic: Campaigns, Commercials, Good, Television








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