Here's something we didn't know: Allstate was founded in 1931 and has weathered nine recessions.
Taking advantage of this illustrious history in "Back to Basics," baritone spokesman Dennis Haysbert tells dollar-skittish viewers that recession is a cure for frenzied overindulgence. Now is the time to have meals at home, that kind of thing. Later it all ties back into Allstate's "in good hands" tagline.
Work by Leo Burnett and production firm GARTNER.
From Kellogg: "Michael's most recent behavior is not consistent with the image of Kellogg. His contract expires at the end of February and we have made a decision not to extend his contract."
How fickle is sponsorship. You win all those golds and everybody loves you, then you smoke one joint* and those self-righteous cereal-peddlers won't even look you in the eye.
Hello Kitty is the ultimate licensing whore. Her oblong, be-ribboned visage has been plastered onto everything from toasters to credit cards to vibrators -- er, massagers -- to brassiere.
Now you can find the world's most ubiquitous cat in your Happy Meal. Through February 26th, McDonald's is stuffing them with one of eight Sanrio watches.
Cenergy/East Aurora recently put together "In the Game," a triage of spots for the Pitsburgh Penguins. Each depicts a Penguin fan testifying to the degree of his/her loyalty in random, occasionally inappropriate places.
Once in awhile the characters toss in a statement meant to make them relatable to tech users, like "I will sign off Facebook!" and "I will ask complete strangers to check their PDAs!"
Each breathily concludes, "...because no matter where I am, I'm in the game." Around this time you're supposed to be so into the Penguins that you wanna buy tickets, so a cinematic voiceover invites you to visit pittsburghpenguins.com.
We're not convinced sports fandom is really an impulse-buy kinda thing. And the fans are so ordinary that the incentive to follow them into Penguinsville is totally lost. Probably would've been a better campaign if the camera eye focused on the unique merits of the team and players; less so on three forgettable groupies.
Exciting news from the fashion annals of Jeremy Dante: Katie Holmes of the Scientology set is the new face of Miu-Miu, succeeding French actress Vanessa Paradis, and joining a list of other screen stars better known for what they do during off-hours, like Drew Barrymore and Lindsay Lohan.
We've never been very impressed with Holmes and had planned to lash her with our whippiest whip, but the rose-hued imagery gave us pause. It appears she's finally shedded that mealy Dawson's Creekishness -- indeed, even gracefully eclipsed her polarizing husband and choice of faith -- and become a reserved but seductive little lady. (The work also feels less forced than Madonna's stuff for Louis Vuitton.)
We're almost giddy with like of her.
Continuing Asics' campaign/pop culture tribute "Made of Japan" for Onitsuka, Amsterdam Worldwide developed "Zodiac Race," a by-land-and-sea battle between future members of the The Jade Emperor's Zodiac Calendar.
In the Chinese (!!) legend, Rat wins by riding the Ox. The turnout's no different in this vid, which is all manga'd out and about as fun as watching Wii Mario Kart (as opposed to playing it). Also, for some odd reason the dragon just flies around, doing inexplicable good deeds.
Last week we reviewed a St. Lukes ad for IKEA's PAX wardrobe, which wordlessly depicted women being jostled about in an ongoing quest for safe haven.
In response, zig sent us its take on PAX. "Garagetalk" airs in Canada and was adapted in Germany. The vibe's completely different, but it still ties PAX to women and our apparently insatiable need for ambient shoe space.
Easing a friend into her PAXed-out closet with a casual "Welcome to the Jane-zone" (wince!), one chick shows off her wardrobe space with the attitude men adopt over modded "bachelor" garages. In case you miss the cues, concluding text wryly reads, "Men have the garage. Women have the PAX wardrobe."
These ads for nu-kitchen were pitched to us as eye candy for ex-English majors. Each has a tagline served up on a white plate -- innocuous at first, then you read the copy and your head starts bobbing subconsciously with the iambic meter.
o You click, we cook, we deliver, you devour. (At left.)
o Knock knock. Who's there? Orange-chile tilapia with black forbidden rice.
o Gourmet delivery. Comfort food price.
o Click once. Eat happily ever after.
Each plate is furnished with a dish description in smaller text ("biscotti with dark chocolate dipping sauce," "espresso glazed pork with peruvian purple potatoes"). Outside the entree, there's a prominent promo: try three meals free.
The other day AdFreak drew our attention to an Oscar Mayer ad that showcases a tasty-looking flatbread pita under a smarmy but irresistible headline: "Blogworthy."
This marks two blogs that bit the bait. We acknowledge it's sad that a brand can put BLOG in an ad and have at least one love-starved blogger (ME, ME, ME!) clamoring to name-drop them, but hey, it means something when the creators of your childhood anthem finally nods its head in your direction.
Life is complete.
And it's neither hot nor yellow. To spread the word about sports channel/athletic lifestyle brand Extreme, London-based CURB conducted what it calls a "branding blitz" all over the city of Big Ben.
You may have heard it snowed in London on Tuesday. That same day, CURB decided to use this fresh white slate to Extreme's advantage. By late afternoon, 350 high-profile locations were slathered in more than 2000 Extreme logos.
We've seen this type of effort before, where a city is "branded" via street stencils or stickers. But we were still impressed with the speed of concept development, approval and deployment: a couple hours, more or less, to act on the rare snow day.