Here we go again. Apparently, it's OK to blow up stuff in TV commercials (see Verizon's Michael Bay commercial) but OMFG, show a fleeting glimpse of a natural human body part and the country freaks to high alert, places a blindfold over the collective eyeballs of every kid in the country (nudity is bad!!) and launches the cause group machine.
Yes. This is America. Nudity is bad. Nudity is something to be shunned. Natural beauty? Screw that. Put a potato sack on! Cover that God-given beauty. Sex is bad. Sex dirty. Sex is nasty. Sex should never be thought about. Sex should be shunned.
- McCain puts Obama on the same "soar high, fall hard" platform as Britney Spears and Paris Hilton. Probably because they're the only celebrities he knows. I like how the ad cuts to happy floaty music and a soft McCain profile. What a guy.
- See Microsoft-paid blogger give transparency a go for the i'm talkathon. Yeah. You heard me. Transparency.
- Enfatico's having trouble with that whole "being creative" thing.
- method products: so much more than hand syrups and toilet bowl cleaners. Think of them as a summer salad that doesn't know how to capitalize proper nouns.
- TiVo says relevant ads don't get skipped.
- Wendy's cutesy "good good" ad is objectively disgusting.
- A George Parker spy reports Draft/FCB's Lori Lum, whom he refers to as Uber-Witch, was fired from the New York office this week.
- Campbell Ewald account Farmers Insurance has launched a review for its $50 million account. The agency will defend the account which it has had for 12 years.
MTV and Nokia are partnering for a documentary about the 2008 Cannes Young Lion Film Competition. 26 teams from all over the world will be followed; the four that get top views on YouTube will be featured in the documentary.
Get a glimpse of Team USA. Then do yourself a favour and close the window at 1:00 or so, because 6:20 is a loooooong time unless you're friends with these guys, or their moms.
What ruined it for me was that feeble Spartans leotard action at the beginning. "Hey, guys, come on. I didn't agree to wear this, even though I'm wearing it. You cheated. I win. Grumble grumble."
In a sort of funny, sort of lame, sort of introspective, sort of awkward, sort of cheesy, sort of insightful, sort of self-indulgent, this promotional video from Chicago Creative Partnership attempts to instill the notion the agency really, really does take the work it does for brands personally.
Hmm. Not sure crapping on oneself is the best motivational strategy but, hey, everyone responds differently to a kick in the ass.
Hey, hey, hey! Maybe being an intern at an ad agency isn't such a bad thing. That is if you're an intern at Naked Communications and the agency's client is Contiki Tours. On his first day, intern Gavin Chimes was ambushed with agency sending him on a surprise trip to Europe; first stop, Amsterdam.
The agency will be documenting his entire Contiki Tour, a company that offers travel tours for 18-35 year olds, so as to share the experience from the vantage point of an unsuspecting traveler. Any other agencies want to offer up a better intern program?
Yesterday I read an article on JAMZ about Mad Men and how diversity advocates might threaten the show's authenticity. The author called Mad Men un-nostalgic and a "world where white men were kings." In what appears to be a reasonable justification to crystallize Mad Men as its own white male ecosystem, the author concludes:
Everyone is smoking, drinking, closeted, desperately unhappy. Choices and options are limited. That's the fabric that holds 'Mad Men' together. To suddenly throw in a little diversity would rip it to shreds.
I get the dude. It would be unrealistic to pepper those executive suits with black and brown faces for the sake of the PC police.
But it's also dangerous to use Mad Men as an excuse to shut diversity out -- something agencies are still too good at. That's gratuitous and unrealistically romantic. There's plenty of room to broaden Mad Men's scope without harming its precious and purported authenticity.
Saatchi & Saatchi's The Breakfast Club campaign for JCPenney has been crapped by everyone on since it launched. Today, it's Rebecca Cullers' turn. On AdFreak, Rebecca does the math, writing, "I was 3 years old when The Breakfast Club came out in 1985. I didn't know the film existed until I was in college, where it was included in a class on culturally significant movies for Gen X. Now, there's more or less a decade separating me from today's incoming high-school students. Does anyone really think they will get the reference?"
She is absolutely correct in her analysis of the problem and for anyone at Saatchi or JCPenney not to have realized this is further confirmation far too many advertisers and their agencies, despite believing the contrary, are completely out of touch with reality.
On Sunday I moderated an ad agency panel for Shoot! the Day, a day-long photographer conference put together by PhotoShelter.
A few things I picked up amidst coleslaw mountains and sassy stock:
- ADs and art buyers depend pretty heavily on stock photography, but feel like they've seen everything the industry has to offer -- including its paltry selection of models. "It's become a running joke," said Molly Aaker of Unit7. "'There's that same girl, except with her hair up!'"
- Diversity is an issue, but it can't be solved just by changing the color of people's faces. Belinda Lopez of StrawberryFrog wants to see more "documentary-style" imagery -- people in natural poses, expressing real emotions, and doing things a person in that situation and/or of that ethnicity is likely to do.
- Everybody seems crazy about PhotoShelter -- which is probably why they attended the first annual Shoot! the Day in the first place.
Plaid sent over an envelope loaded with swag (which Heehaw Marketing took a picture of so we wouldn't have to) to remind us the Plaid Nation 2008 West Coast Tour is CURRENTLY IN PROGRESS.
The Plaid van's current location: Vancouver. It'll be creeping its way south toward Los Angeles as the weeks progress.
Now that you know, hit the website -- less of a site, really, than a social media orgy -- and try getting the Plaid crew to pay your ailing agency (or your best friend's engagement-impaired company) a visit. Also check out the Van Cam tab where you can play van voyeur from the driver's seat, or the passenger's seat, or roadside, if that's the way you roll.