Nastia Liukin Strikes Pose for Max Azria

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Five-time Olympic medalist Nastia Liukin invades fashion rags for BCBG Max Azria. The limber gymnast brings physical abandon and sugar-plum-fairy guilelessness to a medium dominated by sullen, overposed divas.

Just another treasure from the haute coffers of Jeremy Dante.

Visa first captured Liukin's porcelain ballerina quality in this ad for its "Go World" campaign, which aired during the Summer Olympics. Shortly after the Games, honey was deluged by spokesmodel opps. Clamoring suitors included Cover Girl, Vanilla Star and Wheaties.

by Angela Natividad    Jan- 9-09    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Celebrity, Magazine



Licensed Music Does More Harm Than Good For Brands

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In a yet to be published (we are told) letter to Advertising Age in response to its publication of the Top Ten Ad Songs of the Year, The Apollo Project's Paul Horn makes the convincing argument the songs are nothing more than a representative playlist one might find on a Brooklyn-based hipster music blog.

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by Steve Hall    Jan- 8-09    
Topic: Agencies, Brands, Opinion



Welch's Defends the Honor of its Juice

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"Purple is the new black," proclaims a PR guy in an emailed preamble about his love of grape juice, which has been "much maligned as a sugary kids' drink that can't be natural (what could possibly be that purple, right?)."

In that manic light, Welch's, whose purple is 100% au naturelle, enlisted "food scientist" Alton Brown of the Food Network's Good Eats program.

Behold as he vindicates Welch's time-tested, suspiciously picturesque juice production practices. ("At Welch's, squeezing CON-cord grapes into natch'rel juice releases TONS of anti-awx-idants called ... po-lee-fee-nols.") He even takes time out of his day to teach us the Latin name for the Concord grape. (Veetis Labrewsca, baby.)

Boy does that ad work up a thirst. As well as a curious craving for Eucharist bread. "Uh-maaaay-zing little fruit." Thanks for your endorsement, Alton Brown!

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by Angela Natividad    Jan- 8-09    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Celebrity, Commercials, Television



Scion 'Samples' Puts Individuality Back in Play

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In '07, Scion seduced us with dark wit and gothic charm. Then, in '08, the company took an unexpected sharp turn down Lackluster Lane, barraging us with "limited edition" cars and other cheesy gimmicks.

(By way of explanation, a company rep said Scion's Little Deviants effort -- where "sheeple" are violently attacked by imps in custom cars -- upset a few crucial people.)

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by Angela Natividad    Jan- 8-09    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Commercials, Online, Television



Geico's Kash Still Watching

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The Martin agency has added two new spots to the Geico Kash campaign. That's the campaign in which the creepy looking stack of money with eyeballs appears seemingly to indicate the money one could have saved had one been a Geico customer.

The interesting thing about these spots is that they are so random. In one, a roofer tells another roofer he's being scoped out, one assumes, by a girl. As it turns out, it's just that creepy stack of Geico money. In another, a man stops to ask a guy working on a fence for directions. After a longish pause in which the guy in the car considers how the hell he's going to get where he's going, he notices the Geico stack of money. Fence guy looks and says, "Poor fella. He must have following your for miles. Looks tired."

Cue mid-eighties dance tune Somebody's Watching Me.

by Steve Hall    Jan- 8-09    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Good, Strange



New England Aquarium Invites You to See Turtles ... EVERYWHERE.

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The New England Aquarium's "See Turtles" campaign is an appealing exception to the no-pun rule. (Also, we like an effort that doubles as justification to take hallucinogens.)

Variants include Droplet, Water Tower and Rooftop, which will appear in magazines and newspapers.

Online banner ads -- which are also cute, if a little Clip-Arty -- include Snowman, Cocoa and Car. (Forgive us if these links break; they're hosted by Mullen.) These are slightly different from their print counterparts: in them, ordinary things take the shape of turtles over time, taking advantage of the 'net's ability to seize roving eyes. Frankly, the print stuff is better.

Work by Mullen/Wenham, MA. There's also radio material, which we didn't get to hear.



Not to Be Rude, But This Cupcake Tastes Suspiciously Like a Wi-Fi Hotspot

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After setting up its first-ever 4G wireless broadband network in Portland, Clearwire tapped Secret Weapon Marketing to promote its merits: better internet speeds, broader coverage.

The result was a series of irreverent prints -- and "Sprinkles," a TV ad that compares wireless coverage to cupcake sprinkles. (Rivals are represented by a stingy sprinkling; meanwhile, Clearwire's coverage deluges the bakery with diabetes-inducing hail.)

"Welcome to the future," the narrator says smugly.

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Buy Better Bulbs; WWF Will Do the Heavy Lifting

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The industrial pollutants in the World Wildlife Federation's "Light Bulb" ad are only tired toys. But these miniatures -- small things we can easily control -- still convey the helplessness environmentalists feel when faced with oversized, eco-negligent businesses.

"Light Bulb" concludes with a male doll holding an energy-efficient light bulb. "You're doing your part," the ad assures us. "It's our job to help government & industry do theirs."

This message of gentle aggression is fast replaced by the image of a panda, an animal known to unfailingly melt hearts -- or in extreme conditions, cause brain explosions.

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by Angela Natividad    Jan- 7-09    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Cause, Commercials, Magazine, Online, Television



Mommy Cow Bloggers to Unite Against Ray-Ban

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Dear Chuck McBride,

Assuming you had a hand in its creation, we just watched your Cow Gives Birth to a Guy commercial in which, yes, a cow gives birth to a guy...wearing Ray-Bans and we're, well, disgusted. No wait, freaked out. No wait, astonished. No wait, horrified. No wait, laughing out loud. No wait, what? We have no idea.

Fake sunglass tossing videos are one thing. This thing falls into an entirley different category. OMFG, we're calling the SPCA. Or is it PETA? Or is it NICFA? NDFA? ADA? DFA?

Surely someone's gonna have a problem with a 6'2" guy getting extricated from a mommy cow! Oh wait, that's it. The manure storm is about to hit! Mommy Cow Bloggers are gonna be all over your ass about this one!

by Steve Hall    Jan- 7-09    
Topic: Agencies, Brands, Good, Strange, Video



Because Who's NOT Trying to Get into a Disco Queen's Pants?

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For its Grease-tacular Disco Pant, American Apparel slays another guileless chick on its altar of unrepentantly exploitative ad banners. Meet Shermine, who loves! disco!

Like our compromised heroine at 2AM, the ad dramatically blacks out with the closing sell: LE DISCO PANT.

American Apparel: sure, it's seedy as all hell. But if you've followed it as long as we have, then you must admire its unwavering loyalty to a single brand persona: rain or shine, in sickness and in health, in grayscale or by low-budget lamplight.

Even Microsoft can't be that consistent.

by Angela Natividad    Jan- 7-09    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Online, Trends and Culture










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