Commercial Ratings Upfront, Germs Needed, Siemens Gets Hip

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- A tipster attending OMMA Hollywood tells us R/GA Chairman and CEO Bob Greenberg told his VP of Visual Design Nick Law not to sit on a panel he was scheduled to participate in because, apparently, he's stealing too much limelight.

- Commercial ratings, versus program ratings, are fast becoming the gold standard and many, including Starcom CEO John Muszynski, will be using them in this year's upfront.

- If you're in search of an email address, Tattoo Projects has created Abalooba, and email address search engine.

- MTV's The Andy Milonakis Show which will premiere on a wide variety of digital platforms - including iTunes Store (www.iTunes.com), Amazon Unbox, AOL Video, MTV Mobile, MTV On Demand, MTV2.com, Wal-Mart Video Downloads and Xbox LIVE Marketplace for Xbox 360 - all prior to the show's on-air MTV2 debut on April 27th.

- Entries for international viral awards show, Germ, must be submitted by March 31.

- The New Yorker, Wesley Autrey, who saved a man from being hit by a subway train in January, is featured in a new colon cancer PSA campaign.

- T wallow in the oddity of Japanese culture, check out a few kinky commercials for Axe in Japan.

- Copyranter disses the Siemens' ongoing wannabee hipster campaign complete with headlines like "Bling Bling" and "Chill."



Lovemarks Leaves Fading Effect on Bleak Penney's Brand

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James Cash Penney. Isn't that an awesome founder name? It pulls 10 times the weight of humdrum John Rockefeller. There's miles of branding potential behind a name like that.

Unfortunately JC Penney's isn't known for taking advantage. As kids we considered Penney's a tier above Sears - if you're desperate or you wait too long you might find a good prom dress there, but you'll probably lie and say you got it on sale at Macy's.

To offset this sad effect, Saatchi and Saatchi CEO Kevin Roberts enlists the lame duck brand for a Lovemarks repositioning. Watch the initial couple of ads and read the Garfield review at Advertising Age.

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by Angela Natividad    Mar-19-07    
Topic: Agencies, Campaigns, Online, Television



One Armed Caveman Eats Candy Bar, Gets Munched

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If you're a caveman (no, not the Geico caveman because you, my friend, would somehow think this is yet another slight on your kind) and you're eating a "Half Chocolately, Half Candy, Half Crazy" Vertigo bar from Topps Confections, you might want to keep your arms close by. The campaign, which kicks off March 19, was created by Duval Guillaume New York and will air through May 28 on Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network, ABC Family among others. Here's a look at one of the four :15's.

by Steve Hall    Mar-17-07    
Topic: Campaigns, Commercials, Good, Strange, Television



'October Road' Tries Too Hard, Fails

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We tend to go for the melodramatic, the wannabee hipsteresque and anything with Laura Prepon but we're just not sure about ABC's new drama october road. The anachronistic selection of music in the form of Boston's Don't Look Back and REO Speedwagon's Take it on the Run, tries way too hard, and strangely so, to define the period of time between the main character's leaving town and his return a mere ten years later.

If, as the main character in this series did, wrote a book that so maligned his hometown friends, why would he return? Oh wait. This is TV. This is conflict and conflict is a key ingredient in drama. Too bad it comes off like a 13 year old whining to their parents because they won't allow the kid to spend yet another hour mindlessly IMing senseless missives.

Oh, and that last line of the episode, "the way I see it, this thing's in diapers," has to be the lamest attempt at creating a catch phrase since Lacey Chabert tried to make "fetch" work in Mean Girls.

by Steve Hall    Mar-16-07    
Topic: Television



Mo'Nique's Charm School Hits VH1, Ladyfies Hoodrats

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No one ever gets tired of fully-developed women in school uniforms or reality television. Why not mash them up?

That's the logic behind VH1's Charm School, a reality show hosted by Mo'Nique and featuring chicks with names like Pumkin, Smiley, Goldie, Bootz, Buckey and Buckwild. We don't know how well the show will pan out but we are big proponents of the charm school thing. Charm school worked for us! Before our intervention we were mobbin' down 65th and answering to the name of Snake-Eyez.

Glad those days are over. But apparently the journey's worth watching. Tune in; at the very least you get to see a bunch of chicks talk about how they take pictures and hug people all day, and what could be funner than that?

by Angela Natividad    Mar-15-07    
Topic: Television



SXSW: Tune in Isn't A Turn On

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While television content may be king, the overall user experience is moving in to claim checkmate. How we interact and interpret television currently is on a static plane of directional geography: surfing channels up, down, left, and right. Helping break the tangible and virtual norms at the recent SXSW conference, David Merkoski (Frog Design) narrated the audience through an up and coming product yet to hit the markets.

Appropriately titled Mondrian, the product set to go public next year, is a TV navigation and recommendation Zoomable User Interface (ZUI) that attempts to rethink TV user interaction. A few major differences with Mondrian is that a user no longer needs to be stuck within nested menus while navigating and it has an active anticipation engine that takes in the content, time, and environment you watch in to build a profile and recommendations. It goes without saying that Mondrian becomes an easy target for Big Brother contextual advertisers. While there have already been proposals for all-advertising channels within the ZUI grids, Merkoski remained unclear on any efforts to save the product from advertising overload.

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by Ariel Waldman    Mar-15-07    
Topic: Industry Events, Television



Texas Rangers Fans Don't Smell Scented Candles

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As a guy with a girlfriend or a wife, you know you've found yourself in situations where, if you were to view them as a third party, you'd cringe and wonder what the hell happened to your manishness. That's the plight in which the guy in this Texas Rangers commercial finds himself. Thankfully, the campaign's tagline, "You could use some baseball," has the cure.

The campaign, created by Austin-based Door Number 3, consists of three television commercials and an outdoor effort (PDF).

by Steve Hall    Mar- 8-07    
Topic: Campaigns, Commercials, Good, Outdoor, Television



Condoms Pwn AIDS in Sexless Competition

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We're not sure what to say about these ads for MTV entitled Condom v. AIDS, where AIDS and a condom go head-to-head in competitive matches that completely take sex out of the picture. We kind of like the left-of-center feel, considering it's tough to get an AIDS message out there without sliding down familiar pathways: trendy, sexy or deeply moral approaches.

Created by Y&R New York, the campaign is for MTV's HIV awareness movement (okay, that was obvious). Let's hope it does slightly better than the lackluster (red) campaign, as Gap's spoofs grew way more popular than its statement.

It would be hard to spoof a competitive guacamole contest between a walking condom and an AIDS virus, though. What would you do in retaliation - put sex back in the picture? Please. That's just beating the dead horse deader.

by Angela Natividad    Mar- 6-07    
Topic: Good, Strange, Television



Pussycats Doll, 'Premiere' Shutters, Tab Shapes

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- If for no other reason that to experience a little guilty pleasure, tune into the CW tonight at 9PM EST when the network debuts its American Idol wannbe Pussycat Dolls Present: The Search For The Next Doll.. Singing. Dancing. Girls dressed like hookers. What's not to like?

- After the April issue, Hachette Filipacchi is shutting down its movie magazine Premiere. The brand will live in online.

- The One Club will host its One Show Festival May 8-11 in New York City.

- The Art Directors Club has released its Awards Annual 85, documenting winners of the ADC's annual competition for the best in visual communications worldwide. Check it out here.

- This 70's Tab ad is so sexistly hilarious, we just have to share it with you.

by Steve Hall    Mar- 6-07    
Topic: Magazine, Television



Lays Joins HomeTeam in Homemaking Fantasy

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In a liaison that appears strange at first glance, Lay's potato chips joins nationally syndicated series HomeTeam in fueling the fantasies of starry-eyed virgin homeowners. Lays.com will feature moments of joy from past and upcoming episodes. The show is hosted by former Apprentice star Troy McClain.

A good if unlikely liaison. We're pretty sure that the consumption of chips on a couch of one's own is a fantasy every American has when constructing that imaginary white picket fence.

by Angela Natividad    Mar- 6-07    
Topic: Brands, Online, Television







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