Halo is Not Only A Game, It's A Vacuum Cleaner

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When we received this press release about the Halo Vaccuum, we at fist thought it was some twisted new multi-tasking version of the game. Alas, it's just a regular vacuum but a very special one. One that kills germs with ultraviolet light. Created by BooneOakley, the campaign initially had the headline, "It doesn't just suck. It Kills." But, apparently, that was a bit too harsh and the ads ended up carrying a tamer headline like, "Is it a vacuum cleaner that kills germs? Or a germ-killer that vacuums." We think they should have gone with their initial thinking.

The campaign consists of print, TV and a Times Square billboard. We have no idea what Consumer Reports will think when they get their hands on this thing but to us it at least looks pretty cool. And we'd love knowing all those nasty critters living in the bowels of our carpet were meeting their maker rather than disgusting us.

by Steve Hall    Oct-30-07    
Topic: Campaigns, Good, Magazine, Outdoor, Television



NBC Bitch-Slaps 'Heroes' Viewers With In-Program Ad

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So last night, we're three quarters through yet another now shitty episode of the once-brilliant Heroes and what do we see a few minutes after a commercial break? No, not one of those banners that promotes some new show that will likely suck or some news tease that will make it impossible for us not to "stay tuned for more" at 11. No, we see a big black banner fill the bottom fourth of the screen touting the new Denzel Washington, Russel Crowe movie American Gangster. WTF?

So this is what it's come to, people. The nets aren't going to take any more of our ad skipping shit and they're now going to bombard us not only with annoying in-program promotions but with ,annoying, unskippable in-program ad banners. Apparently taking a cue from YouTube's video advertising efforts, NBC is going to get is ad revenue no matter what it takes.

While we can't fault a media company for protecting its revenue stream, it's beginning to reach the point of insanity. Watching a show recorded on a DVR is now going to be just as annoying as watching one live with commercials. Maybe worse. With old-school commercials, at least you could miss the ads by getting up to take a piss or grabbing something out of the fridge. No longer. And this isn't the last (and likely it's not the first) we'll see of these DVR-fighting tactics. Protecting that revenue stream is a very powerful motivator.

Sorry, we didn't get an actual screenshot of the banner.

by Steve Hall    Oct-30-07    
Topic: Television, Trends and Culture, Worst



'Hulu' May Be the Last Sound Joost Ever Hears

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With virtually no load or lag time whatsoever, today we blew two hours of our workday watching Sideways online.

We didn't need to pay for, illegally download, or sacrifice precious computer space for it.

And while the occasional :15 or :30 ad cuts through our experience, we're willing to deal. The content is worth the trouble.

This is all part and parcel of Hulu beta, a valiant joint effort between News Corp. and NBC Universal.

more »

by Angela Natividad    Oct-29-07    
Topic: Best, Online, Opinion, Television



Some Ads Just Don't Age Well. We Blame the Music

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We realize how old this DHL ad is, but we're going to review it anyway because it saddens us that over the past few years we have paid DHL's efforts no mind whatsoever, and now it does next to nothing ad-wise. (Unless you count this, but we sure don't.)

Point of fact: If every DHL delivery actually did come with a passel of ass-shaking Miami Dolphins cheerleaders, the First World may actually use the service. It could be like a sassy singing telegram.

Second point: Disclosure is important. But sometimes, it can be sad. (See comments section.)

One more: Any ad that tries making serious use of an MC Hammer track is just begging to be associated with 1990. And not too much happened there. (Unless you count Manuel Noriega's surrender and the first McD's to open in Moscow, but we sure don't.)

by Angela Natividad    Oct-28-07    
Topic: Commercials, Sponsorship, Television



Punching Bag-Shaped Kids Help Illustrate Bully Behavior

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Incredibly, this ad for Highmark by Mullen serves to remind us of two childhood nightmares: the one where we're alone, friendless and talked-about; and the one about the sinister carnival where clowns eat you. (It's the punching bag thing that does it.)

The spot talks about the impact bullying can have on a child's life. The bottom line is to keep communication open with kids so they have somewhere to run when they're hurting.

That new monster "cyber bullying" is also highlighted. Good to know the child safety gurus are keeping up. It only took them 10 years and the advent of Web 2.0 to realize that rumors fly via text message, too.

by Angela Natividad    Oct-24-07    
Topic: Cause, Commercials, Good, Television



Make a Wish Helps Wee Ones Realize Big Dreams

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This spot is called Beetle Boy and it's for the Make a Wish foundation. We like it because there are no harping celebrities and no witty ( red ) shirts. There's just a cute kid with an awesome yellow superhero costume, and a bunch of regular people who seem to care enough about him to help realize his dream.

Put together by the Kaplan Thaler Group, NYC.

by Angela Natividad    Oct-20-07    
Topic: Cause, Commercials, Good, Television



Aussie Speed Demons Get Egos Checked with Derisive Pinky Wiggles

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This ad is part of an Australian road safety campaign that's become a big winner amongst citizens Down Under.

Instead of sharing cautionary tales about traumatic crashes, the message here is simple:

Men who speed have small dicks.

And to bring boisterous tire-burners down to size, the ad introduces a useful new gesture: nonplussed women and put-off buddies wiggling pinkies to illustrate speeders' "insecurities."

It's perfect.

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by Angela Natividad    Oct-17-07    
Topic: Cause, Commercials, Good, Television



Timberland Recycles Commercial to Promote Eco-Friendly Boots

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Arnold has repurposed its wall of rain spot which ran last year in Europe last year into an Americanized, full-on, politically correct, environmentally friendly campaign about Timberland's use of organic materials in its boots and how it's jumping on the carbon offset bandwagon. Carbon dioxide emissions associated with the campaign will be offset by Timberland's purchase of wind power from Western Massachusetts' Jiminy Peak Mountain Resort wind project. We're told the move will be equivalent to not driving 109,000 miles or planting approximately 44 acres of trees.

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by Steve Hall    Oct-15-07    
Topic: Campaigns, Commercials, Good, Online, Outdoor, Radio, Television



Visa Ad Brims with Toys, Still Lacks Luster

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In this ad by TBWA\Chiat\Day, LA for FAO Schwarz -- er, the Visa check card, we mean, a bunch of people wander around in a toy store while juggling toys.

The ad just doesn't hit the spot.

We never really got used to the "Life takes Visa" thing. It's like a second-rate "Priceless" -- which is ironic, because Mastercard's like a second-rate Visa.

by Angela Natividad    Oct-11-07    
Topic: Brands, Commercials, Online, Television



Fila Spot May Convince Non-Athletic Parents to Keep Jr. in Booties

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We were actually surprised here. This spot poses as a home video taken by a proud father of his baby's first steps. If you've ever witnessed a child walk for the first time, you know what a triumphant feat it is - and that it doesn't last long.

That's the first thing that sticks out.

The kid seems to be walking for an impressively long time with the dad following closely behind, cooing in paternal awe. Then they get to the front door, and POW! -- the kid's off like a shot! Pops couldn't keep up if he wanted to. The ensuing mayhem made us LOL.

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by Angela Natividad    Oct-10-07    
Topic: Brands, Commercials, Good, Online, Television








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