Midea AC: Pretty and All, but a Bit Too Bright for Comfort


Household appliance firm Midea tapped Transistor Studios and Ogilvy/Shanghai to promote its compact air conditioning (AC) product line.

"Dream" depicts a sleek, energy-efficient AC that self-repairs, senses changes in the environment and apparently morphs like the space ship in Flight of the Navigator.

That's exciting and all, but the skeletal arms and single eye had us picturing HAL, poring over us as we sleep, breathing frosty air onto the hair on our necks before spiriting us into cruel oblivion.

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by Angela Natividad    Mar- 2-09    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Commercials, Television

Tums: Not Animal-Tested, But Probably Animal-Friendly...?


Tums manifests its antacid magic in "Angry Bear," where the aforementioned animal steals food, overeats and goes back in for one more score: the Tums.

There's something about the sight of a bear, far-off and out of decapitation range, that totally numbs us to its potential malevolence. It's like, "Aww, look at the bear eating all the pizza. Look at the bear breaking the watermelon. Look at the bear getting the Tums for its tummy."

You kind of want to curl up around it and fall asleep while it's lying against one of those gutted cars, nursing a food hangover.

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by Angela Natividad    Mar- 2-09    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Commercials, Television

Skittles Rips the Modernista Model!


To better represent the interest of its users, whose lives "[revolve] around social and user generated media," Skittles tore a sheet out of Modernista's playbook and relinquished control of its website.

Visits to Skittles.com drive users to the Wikipedia article about the company, with navs featured in a pop-up that explains what users are looking at (Modernista has one of these too):

"Don't sweat it, this is still Skittles.com. It just has a new twist. User this as your guide to find anything and everything Skittles that's online. Have fun."

Interesting. When Modernista surrendered itself to the Zeitgeist, we thought the move was brave and forward-moving, not least because it nods to pure transparency. (We saw that earlier this month, when Modernista's "n3wz" section, which points to either Google News or Google Blog Search, was deluged with articles about layoffs at the agency.)

It also opens the label up to just general meanness. Modernista hardly had its new "site" up 24 hours before Wikipedia yanked its page. Modernista.com now points to the Facebook Fan page.

Aaaanywho, the Skittles "site" model will work about the same way. The nav bar will drive you to places all over the "interwebs," including YouTube and flickr. We like that "CHATTER" points to a search for "skittles" on Summize, meaning you can read everything Twitter users are tweeting about Skittles in real-time.


UPDATE, 9:45 AM EST on 2/28/09: Skittles.com now points directly to Summize results for "skittles." Looks like Wikipedia is an equal-opportunity antagonist -- although Wiki articles are still used in the "PRODUCTS" section.

by Angela Natividad    Feb-27-09    
Topic: Brands, Online, Trends and Culture

Nike Conveys Jumpropers to the Happiness Factory


Except there's no Coke, and lots of Domos.

"Jump Rope" -- chock full of delicious images and noises -- was put together for client Nike by AKQA. Creativity Online pegged its position "the escapism of exercise." Well-said.

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by Angela Natividad    Feb-27-09    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Commercials, Good, Television

Chinese Commando, Kellogg Krumbling, Tropicana Talkback


- Somebody just sent us a link to KillaBanker.com, a little CafePress store where you can buy knee-jerk reactions to economic despair.

- Hanzi Smatter, a site "dedicated to the misuse of Chinese characters in Western culture," is hilarious. See awkward interpretation of tattoo on a model featured in AussieBum's Commando ad.

- Kellogg's brand rep suffers following Phelps fallout.

- What ho, a Dairy Queen blog.

- More jibjab over Arnell/Tropicana.

by Angela Natividad    Feb-27-09    
Topic: Agencies, Brands, Campaigns, Online, Opinion

You Mean People Actually Get Laid This Way?


Witness with a growing sense of unease as a couple on its first date quotes lines from Romeo & Juliet.

$5 says they met on eHarmony.

"How Romeo Pulls Juliet," which vibes like a middling tribute to Baz Luhrmann's '96 oeuvre, was put together by Madeinmilan Wine. The company wanted to "tell a story about having fun with wine, indulging in intense pleasure" while incidentally promoting a suite of wines named after iconic characters, like Romeo. (There's also a bottle marked Brutus. Hrm.)

For requisite engagement purposes, check out the "wine pairing" section, where you (apparently...?) pair wine to other things, like "travel" or "chill out." (We have NO idea.)

Click on "sex" for an exciting shot of a mad couple crawling around on all fours. We're not sure why it's there, but it struck us as one of the few things worth mentioning at all.

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by Angela Natividad    Feb-27-09    
Topic: Bad, Brands, Campaigns, Online, Video

Hardee's Crowdsources Little Thickburger Campaign


Remember those Little Thickburger commercials from last year? Riffing off that, Hardee's launched an ad generator app so fans could create their own Thickburger comparisons.

The company expected maybe one or two to shine, but it turns out about 16 spots turned out to be broadcast-quality. (Though when you think about it, it's a pretty tough formula to screw up: [Big thing. Little thing.] Extra points for wordplay.) See them here.

"And we didn't even offer them a million dollars. Or anything for that matter," Hardee's added, puffing its chest out for extra effect.

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Fictional DIRECTV Rival Seeks to Euthanize -- Er, Youthenize -- America


DIRECTV reminds us all of its relevance (...?) with help from fictional rival Cable Corp Inc. In this latest installment of boardroom bumbling, Cable Corp decides to battle DIRECTV with a new tagline: "Get Youthenized!"

Enter creepy puns. By Deutsch/LA.

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by Angela Natividad    Feb-26-09    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Commercials, Television

Trusted Voice Used to Herd Generation Next into Higher Ed


CollegeClickTV.com hopes to encourage more kids to get a college education -- and possibly get into football? -- by broadcasting soothing pro-college messages, spoken by President Obama, on network TV.

Hear everyone's favourite political personality wax poetic about the merits of an education -- and football -- while a static image reads, "And now a message about... COLLEGE ...the best investment that you can make." CollegeClickTV's URL appears at the end of each clip.

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by Angela Natividad    Feb-26-09    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Commercials, Television

OMG! An Agency Won Some Business!


Fallon informs us they've been placed on Nestle Beverage's agency roster and will begin work for the client immediately.

Nestle Beverages VP Alfonso Gonzalez said, "From our earliest meetings Fallon brought insight and understanding to the new world of beverage marketing. Fallon seems to have a grasp on today's consumer who expects more from a brand than a simple transaction. We expect Fallon to create value beyond brand communications."

You go, Fallon.

by Steve Hall    Feb-25-09    
Topic: Agencies, Brands

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