"A Magical Amount," by Arnold and Crispin Porter + Bogusky, starts out like a typical Truth ad: cigarette traps, a bullhorn and a bamboozled-looking group of people. Then a unicorn showed up, and there was singing, and...
Wow, just ... wow. Seriously. Wow.
You really have to watch it. The premise is tobacco companies don't want to kill you, but don't want to prevent addiction either, so there's a "magical amount" of nicotine in cigarettes. But tune out the arsenic talk and the animated oxygen mask, and you'd swear it was a superb cereal ad.
Match.com swears if in six months you don't live out a love story with someone from its site, you can have six more months of free service to make up for it.
Not all tell-worthy stories end happily though. Sometimes you get locked out or hosed -- which, now that we think about it, isn't nearly as bad a fate as this one.
If you're waiting in quiet agony for the Flashdance moment that will never come, project yourself into "Audition" by MTV. Composed of different dance auditions stitched together, the spot feels less "Maniac!" and more like the start of a dire final exam. That surprised us because other stuff by the same director are pretty funny in an "Are you there, God? It's me, puberty" sort of way.
"Audition" is for a new MTV reality show called America's Best Dance Crew. Might as well tune in because is there anything else to watch?
NO. (But ooh, we heard Lost was coming back.)
For Think MTV (MTV's conscience?), Arnold produced two takes on what the Holocaust would be like if it happened today.
See Subway and Family Room. Tagline: "The Holocaust happened to people like us."
The spots scared us and filled us with quiet somber feelings. We don't even feel like making Hitler/Xbox jokes anymore.
For its BudBowl.com campaign, Budweiser is letting Super Bowl audiences vote on each of its ads as they appear, via text message.
Register at the BudBowl site. Budweiser, which is totally happy to whore it up each Super Bowl, promises 10 fresh spots this year and a secret 11th for those involved in the voting.
Don't miss it. Highlights from last year involved crabs and a really fucked-up game of rock-paper-scissors.
Ooh. Just scored teasers. We are laughing already (the vodka helped; sorry Bud, beer don't cut it.) Witness Super Bowl ad magic below.
Television has always been the proverbial "lean back" medium with information flowing mostly in a one way direction from the TV to the viewer in a non-interactive manner. That's changed a bit over the years with the arrival of video on demand and other semi-interactive capabilities. However, it's never progressed to the interactivity of the web and it's still unclear whether or not it should aspire to that level of interactivity.
The current passivity of TV hasn't stopped people from attempting to add interactivity to the medium and it hasn't stopped Koen, a student at Working Tomorrow who created this demo of clickable TV whereby a simple click of a product in an ad of product placement brings up information and ordering screens. It's not really new but it's interesting to see how different people execute the same idea. Whether or not TV ever progresses (or should progress) to this stage remains unclear.
On New Years Day, Euro RSCG, NY launched the Open for Fun campaign on behalf of Ritz. They told us it was "multifaceted" and "integrated," two slabs of PR bait that grip our attention like the iron hand of Russia. Watch the spots: Crummy, The Opener and Videogame. They're weird and, according to our friends the press people, operate on the premise that "95 percent of Americans want more fun."
And we totally wish we were making that up.
To introduce Sony's ultra light VAIO TZ, Los Angeles-based agency Ignited has taken the light-as-paper metaphor to heart with new print, outdoor and TV work, part of the brand's ongoing "Like No Other" campaign. While we're not sure we'd be fond of our laptop suddenly fluttering off in the wind or getting snagged and carried off by a flock of doves, we do think the metaphor is beautifully crafted. Besides, we still have faint memories of high school physics and realize that, even at 2.5 pounds, the TZ isn't likely to stay aloft for too long.
President Nicolas Sarkozy is proposing a complete ban on public TV commercials in France. To make up for revenue lost, the country will tax the internet and mobile phones.
The IHT calls the move "virtually without precedent." The move is positioned as a means to protect old streams of income.
With that in mind, it's easy to look at the 'net and mobile as the bad guys. But to penalize growing industries for their effect on old technology?
Please be more backward.
Anywho, the Sarkozy government may draft a bill of the proposal, which has to move through both houses of Parliament. If it passes, expect big changes in France by January 1, '09 at the earliest. (Sarkozy is hoping to make it happen before Q4 of '08, but it doesn't look likely.)
Stuff's changing fast over there. Didn't the smoking ban just formalize?
GEICO supports wildlife conservation. Not convinced? Watch the gecko have a heart-to-heart with an otter and a jellyfish, courtesy of the Association of Zoos and Acquariums.
The gecko shtick never gets old. We're glad GEICO didn't lose sight of that in the face of its neurotic caveman's mushroom cloud popularity.
Catch the gecko in the flesh at the San Diego Zoo's Children's Zoo from January 5-February 17. You'll meet a few real geckos, and a big fake one too. (The GEICO mascot, that is.)