Three new ads by Clearasil give us chills, mainly because we think the old school brand is taking a huge positioning risk. But the effort is welcome - we were sick of all those Neutrogena-type spots where Jennifer Love Hewitt tries winning her career back in a towel. (Oh wait, she's since moved up to underwear.)
In this spot, a pubescent boy makes a clear (and wince-worthy) pass at his friend's mom. Here, a girl comes onto a guy while her mom shows him baby pictures. And here, a guy stands up in the middle of an auditorium and tells a speaker it's okay to picture him naked.
While it might be callous to say Christian Slater has nothing better to do than appear in...oh...we're just going to say it: the once great Christian Slater has nothing better to do than appear in a save Ellis Island campaign - along with other celebrities - called We Are Ellis Island. The campaign goal is to build support for saving the island and its crumbling architecture.
Callousness aside, the campaign is a nice effort at calling attention to a place through which millions of soon-to-be Americans passed and the legacy it left for the decedents of those who did pass through. Sponsored by Arrow and featuring Katharine McPhee, Joe Montana, Kristin Cavallari, Christian Slater, Richard Belzer, Elliot Gould, cast members of The Sopranos and others, two commercials, a print campaign and individual videos bring Ellis Island stories to life.
It's a visceral pleasure to watch a good Nike ad. Few companies can consistently pair graceful victory alongside the carnality of sport (remember the gypsy ad?).
Anywho, Wieden+Kennedy, Portland put together this piece called The Line for Nike and Dick's Sporting Goods. We wouldn't call it the best spot we've seen, but it's got a nightmarish werewolf-under-the-moon aspect, which, while not deeply moving, meets expectations if nothing else.
W+K: what did we say about an ad not being a film?
Remember when Fern Gully came out and you were like, "Holy shit, trees ooze blood!" Well, now you can redeem every instance in which you carved your initials into one.
In a manner most harmonious, PPL Electric encourages customers to go paperless in this pretty piece by production company MassMarket, in tangent with agency McCaffery Gottlieb Lane.
The crunchy noise of trees coming back to life is deliciously satisfying, like going slightly out of your way to step on a leaf. And the ad's whimsical animation style brings a fairy tale quality to an otherwise mundane message.
As the last pair of Beatles and the Saatchi guys will tell you, music and advertising make a passionate, but occasionally fatal, mix.
Bassist Brian Ritchie of the Violent Femmes is suing vocalist Gordon Gano for lack of attribution on some songs and inaccurate earnings distribution.
The lawsuit also alleges Gano "[trashed] the band's reputation" by licensing the use of "Blister in the Sun" in a Wendy's ad.
Ooh, pulling out the big guns. The ad doesn't strike us as super-controversial, but fans feel differently. One blogged, "My ears perked up. Then my jaw dropped. Then my heart sank."
Awww. There, there. Maybe it's the ad's white-collar aspect. Hey, an '80s folk-punk band can't stay young forever, and at some point even fans must exchange the bong for the mousepad. We'd cry in sympathy but, oh, we don't know how.
Thanks Brian for the tip.
What's awesome about puppets is that they never age. We think that's probably why Sesame Street continues to survive.
There's also the underlying mythology. Why was Oscar the Grouch so grouchy? How did the cookies become crumbles in Cookie Monster's toothless, wide-open mouth? Why did Bert and Ernie live together?
Answer these questions and more with any jaded adult who, having never worked it all out in childhood, was forced to use deductive logic to fill in the blanks. (Oscar does drugs; Bert and Ernie are quite obviously gay; and while the cookies-to-crumbles mystery remains thus, Cookie Monster now diets for today's impressionable youth).
But we digress. Season 38 of the show will open with a segment called "The Word on the Street," put together by agency mono (gotta love those agencies that do the mod "we don't need capital letters" thing - go literacy!).
In each segment a zealous orange puppet named Murray wanders the streets looking for news on "the word."
Watch the segment on "disappear," or see Murray get all "frustrated."
It's been a few months since we first landed the chance to try out Joost, and by now we're in a fairly decent position to review the offering that either puts television to bed, or marries television to its longtime nemesis, the computer.
Cool things about Joost:
* The occasional brand-spankin'-new music video
* The occasional good show
* Throwback television (remember Ren and Stimpy? Hell yes)
Now onto the meaty stuff.
You may want to watch out for the deceptively simple-seeming John from Cincinnati - even if it's just to see the main title sequence, whose creative director, Angus Wall, was also behind Big Love, Rome and Carnivale.
A collaboration between Rock Paper Scissors and A52, the opening is unique in that it gives nothing away (not even main characters!), leaving us stewing in feelings of surfer's nostalgia and little more.
Check it out here. It starts out slow and, for some reason, occasionally brings Flipper to mind - then it kind of grows on you. All in all it ain't a bad way to burn a minute.
Update: We just got word from Jetpacks, DarnellWorks and reader James that the show got canned yesterday. Suxors. But apparently it was good, so if you want to rally for another season, hurry and try saving it.
Who says a full-frontal hipster cowlick can't be romantic? Verizon's "It's the network" guy would beg to differ.
The far-flung French love affair is classic ad fodder for the desperate, downtrodden or simply unimaginative. So every time we see this ad for Verizon by jumP and Hungry Man, we wince. And maybe that's why it works. We're at the age when the classic romance has lost its day in favor of cynicism, spoof and televised mobile phone wars.
But Network Guy assures us it doesn't have to be good-bye - not if you still believe in fairy tales - and not as long as you have the latest Blackberry (which - ah, merci - we do).
This is one of those Kleenex moments.
While the '90s can't yet be packaged vintage, the '80s are fair game. This spot for the Dell XPS m1330 by Smoke & Mirrors and Mother brings us back to the stark black-and-whites, the bad music and the inaccessible pre-fembot women that so characterized that most disastrous of times for fashion.
Witness while a bunch of immaculately-dressed '80s gamines put together an oversized engine that then slides into the frame of a Dell XPS.
If Dell insists on pursuing every throwback avenue it can (note multi-color madness here), this effort is at least a decent one.