Oscars Used As Platform for First iPhone Ad

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Departing from trendy but faceless consumer lifestyle ads (Mac vs. PC campaign aside), Apple airs a nostalgic montage of scenes featuring familiar actors saying "Hello?" to the tune of Inside Your Head by Eberg - a good choice considering Steve Jobs' magnetic personality, cultish popularity and fondness for black turtlenecks does smack of creeptastic mind-control juju. Really. We dream about him whispering "Apple" to us at night.

The soul-thawing ad is Apple's first for the miraculous iPhone. It probably won't be the last of efforts to build the shiny do-all device into the grand culture before its appearance this summer. The spot appeared during last night's Oscars and played several times.

Thanks to Mac Rumors for the handy-dandy info.

by Angela Natividad    Feb-26-07    
Topic: Commercials, Television



Poker Gets Serious. Loses Sex, Bootie, Streakers, Cows, Lingerie

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Here's a refreshingly new approach to online poker advertising. Rather than strangely dressed booth babes, sex-laced silliness, strippers with surprise endings, politically stylized bootie, potentially removed fingers, branded streakers (1, 2), lingerie-clad pillow fighters and painted cows, we have serious poker players actually playing serious poker. Who knew? Full Tilt Poker knows and, in a new campaign created by WongDoody, it leaves all the silliness behind.

Rather than treat poker as some sort of game for retards (can't wait to see who emails me on that slur), the campaign elevates the game to what it is: a game of strategy, intelligence, intensity and skill. The eight television spots in the campaign were directed by filmmaker Errol Morris who helmed The Thin Blue Line and Fog of War. A supporting print campaign accompanies the television effort.

by Steve Hall    Feb-26-07    
Topic: Campaigns, Commercials, Good, Magazine, Television



Nathan Reifke Adds Whimsy to Action Sports

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Stardust Studios enlists the magic stylistics of Nathan Reifke to add colour to their Signature Series IDs, inspired by limited edition signature skateboard decks starting in 2004. The first 15 have generated accolades from both artists and enthusiasts of unsanctioned - er, action sports.

The Fuel TV release of Number 16, which aired in December, is a collabo with design director Neil Tsai and animators Kevin Ferrara and Daisuke Yamazaki. The spot starts with a natural birth - the sprouting of a plant - and evolves into man-made machinery.

"This piece tries to portray the universe as a literal giant machine and the subsequent relationships of its parts," Reifke says. "My hope was to call to mind that we tend to be very anthropocentric without much regard for the other inhabitants of this planet. [...] My goal is that people get lost in [this piece] like a daydream, and that for just a second they will feel a sense of wonder. That sense of wonder is what makes us ask questions and, ultimately, what leads us to explore this amazing place."

How dreamy. We don't know much about art, but we do know pretty, and this is certainly that. Will it appeal to civilian skaters? We're not sure. It probably depends on if they're stoned or not.

by Angela Natividad    Feb-23-07    
Topic: Good, Online, Promotions, Television



Car Crash Caught in Reverse For Danish Road Safety Council

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AdPunch points us to a commercial for the Danish Road Safety Council from last year which replays backwards what seems to be a real accident. Everything from the flying glass, exploding airbag and facial expressions are caught as the women in the accident narrates the commercial wishing she'd driven a bit slower, could turn back time and apologizes to the apparent death of a young couple she caused. Powerful stuff.

There's an even more shocking version of the campaign here (on DailyMotion which is like the world's slowest video site, unfortunately) in which a man hits a boy on a bike and he ends up going through the windshield. The campaign was created by Locomotion in Denmark. We'd love to know how this campaign was shot and if, in fact, these are actual accidents shot backwards.

by Steve Hall    Feb-23-07    
Topic: Commercials, Good, Television



Orange Offers Rare Glimpse Behind Ad Scenes

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While there are probably quite a few ads that make us go, "How do they do that?" the question isn't answered often enough to be worth pursuing very far.

Adland, however, posed the question about an ad for Orange entitled Belonging. Oddly enough, it was answered. Sam Akesson of Fallon London confesses, "[Belonging] took A LOT of takes, and we spent about 2 months of rehearsing to get all the choreography and movement right. Basically it involves a lot of people running and jumping into holes..."

We were like WTF until Fallon elaborated with its own version of Making the Video. Way more interesting than anything P. Diddy does behind the scenes of his hitmakers, it probably could still have used a catfight or two. But how often do you get to see people jumping into holes? Not nearly enough.

Ask at Ad-Rag confides, "Belonging doesn't use any CGI. Instead they rely on running away, jumping into holes and the camera's blind spot. I think it's neat." We do too.

In fact, we think behind-the-scenes efforts like this are a great way of building intimacy between brands, audiences and even - yes - agencies. If it worked for Nick Lachey and Jessica Simpson, it can work for us too. Creative endeavours make fertile ground for screaming, crying and potential taboo trysts, yeah?

by Angela Natividad    Feb-23-07    
Topic: Agencies, Best, Commercials, Online, Television



Wrigley's and Wii Get Cozy on Candystand

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It was only a matter of time before Wrigley's Candystand, whose candy-tagged games get progressively better, would start testing waters in real gamer territory.

Candystand and Wii just joined forces in a bizarre cross-branding where Wii web games are peddled on Candystand and Candystand is totally accessible through the Wii browser.

The relationship isn't exactly low-key - within 24 hours of launching on Wii's Internet Channel, Wii.Candystand.com drew 6000 visitors and a ton of positive reviews. That is, according to Scott Tannen, Wrigley's director of global digital marketing.

This is the first branded site to link to the Wii browser, which will definitely get competitors sniffing at the door to be next in line. Candystand's content offerings are also formatted for television instead of computer monitors.

Kudos to Wrigley for creating a series of branded offerings that seem able to stand alone in gaming world. It hasn't been an easy trek, considering Candystand was first introduced in '97 - building this kind of recognition takes time. Just ask Target.

We still harbor doubts that our Socom buddies would be deeply impressed to hear we destroy the competition on Altoids Sheep, though.

by Angela Natividad    Feb-22-07    
Topic: Brands, Games, Good, Online, Sponsorship, Television



Hardaway Actually Is Irresistible to Gays, to His Chagrin

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Tim Hardaway chases his recent anti-gay remarks with an apology that's feeble at best. Meanwhile gay comedian and activist George Takei makes a judicious retort, assuring the paranoid Tim he's not only liked by gays; he's liked by gays.

An apt response. There's even a bit of rubbing, and who can do without maniacal laughter?

by Angela Natividad    Feb-22-07    
Topic: Celebrity, Good, Television



Amp Drinker Combats Own Mind on Insomniac Odyssey

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Post Red Bull, peddling liquid energy is the thing to do, regardless of whether the drinks actually work. (Consider the oxymoronic nature of energy beers.) So how to make your carbonated Kool-Aid sell? With a Gremlins throwback, of course.

Digital Domain creates a quirky spot for Amp, an energy drink from Pepsi. A guy up late gets attacked by Lilliputian paper monstrosities composed of his reject pile. Eventually he mans up and fights back. Then he has some Amp and starts writing the payoff piece.

We don't get why the trashed oeuvres turn into gremlins and attack, but we guess it has to do with the adventurous unpredictable lifestyle Amp drinkers lead. Either that or Amp is a hallucinogen, which would arguably sell better than yet another taurine-and-ginseng potion. Pepsi, are you listening? People don't want more energy. They want 'shrooms.

by Angela Natividad    Feb-21-07    
Topic: Campaigns, Commercials, Television



Grolsch Brings Dancing Beer Bottles to the Table

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Irv Blitz-directed spot Swing, by agency Momentum for Grolsch, involves the most synchronized dancing beer bottles we've ever seen. And that's saying a lot considering when our own beer bottles dance, they are never nearly this snappy.

We haven't tried Anheuser-Busch's Grolsch lager, but suddenly we're curious, in part because we think it will make us better dancers. And we know this for a fact because listening to jazz, or at least something jazz-like, makes you smarter. It's been proven by science.

by Angela Natividad    Feb-19-07    
Topic: Commercials, Good, Online, Television, Video



Vilara Gets Mean to Hawk Exclusivity, Leaves More Questions than Answers

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Like the queen bee on the quad, some people just get off on making other people look lame in comparison. We're guessing that's how this spot for Vilara is supposed to encourage people to go there. Apparently Vilara is super-awesome because chavs (a slang term for working-class uneducated folk, according to handy Wikipedia) don't know where it is. And the website notes places only get It status when they're virtually unheard-of.

So why advertise for it? Who are they talking to exactly? Won't this in fact make chavs aware? Does that mean they stop being chavs? And what TV-watching demo will actually be relieved that the topless kissing chicks featured in the ad won't be at this dream spot?

by Angela Natividad    Feb-15-07    
Topic: Bad, Commercials, Television










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