Alltel's Wireless Guy Schmoozes with Santa

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This holiday season, Alltel reprises last year's concept -- vintage animation -- to push the superiority of its My Circle unlimited free calling plan. The ad features the carrier's Nick Nayloresque mascot Chad, yukking it up with Santa about how some people just don't get the meaning of Christmas.

And like last year, Alltel's effort falls in the shadow of Apple, which also pinned the old hero vs. villain dirge to an animated backdrop. Unlike the chill scruffy Mac, however, the guffawing greased-up Chad rings a lot less likable.

Production work by Bent Image Lab, agency Santo.

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Lincoln Gets Touchy with Regis and Kelly

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In yet another TD Bank ad featuring Regis and Kelly, Abraham Lincoln shares his (angsty, angsty!) feelings about being the face of the mostly-worthless penny.

Kelly -- who lacks the social delicacies to perceive this might be a dangerous topic -- seizes this opportunity to tell the audience that TD Bank loves pennies so much, "they'll count them and convert them to dollars for free."

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by Angela Natividad    Dec-22-08    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Celebrity, Commercials, Strange, Television



Healthy Choice Makes Awful Choice With 'Asian Inspired' Dinners

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Uh Oh. Once again, a less than clued in marketer has rankled sensibilities by using tired stereotypes to promote product. A new site from ConAgra has been created for the brand's Asian Inspired Health Choice. It's lame. Truly lame. But we're going to give the floor to our reader who had this to say about that:

"Where do I begin? The ad people who came up with the 'lonely fortune writer' idea should be fired. The brand manager that approved the concept and execution should be fired. Anyone who approved this work should re-evaluate their values.

Not only is the work insulting to Chinese/Asians and Chinese/Asian Americans (what with the awful accent, broken English, and idiot like antics), but it also completely degrades the brand and product.

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by Steve Hall    Dec-19-08    
Topic: Brands, Online, Strange, Worst



PG Tips Monkey Dons Queenly Drag, Gives Christmas Speech

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...while trashed! "Mmm, tasty pies." That naughty knitted-sock simian.

The work -- which precedes a full-length ad that debuts on Christmas day -- riffs off the speeches Queen Elizabeth occasionally gives via YouTube, but we swear the script flubs were inspired by these orgamsumumic outtakes for this Lavalife ad. ("Orgamsums? Orgasmums.") By AKQA and Cake.

When last we saw the PG Tips monkey, he invited us back to his place "for a cuppa."

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by Angela Natividad    Dec-18-08    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Good, Online, Trends and Culture, Video



Atlantic Asks the Tough Questions ... But Oh, Where Are the Answers?

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Operating under the premise that "there are too many rote answers and not enough good questions," The Atlantic launched Think Again, for which rhetorical questions are posed in neon lights, foregrounding deserted industrial spaces.

Right now these ads are all over Internets. Videos, blog posts and photo variants are available on the site.

We like it -- it's a simple, but still eye-catching and occasionally even witty. Some we've seen:

o Should women settle?
o Why do presidents lie?
o Is the doughnut doomed?

Lately ad land is all about the rhetorical questions. (Maybe it's the economy.) See Google's T-Mobile G1 spot or those weire Ask.com pieces.

Speaking of Ask, it recently ran a banner ad campaign that posed questions, then invited people to click for the answer. The act brought them to Ask.com, where the answer appeared with a prominent heading and image.

That's one tactic that would've made The Atlantic's campaign better: if you could click on the banners and find news articles directly related to the question, maybe addressing it from multiple sides. As it is, the ads only bring you to the Think Again subsite.

by Angela Natividad    Dec-18-08    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Magazine, Online



Target Picks the Perfect Presents.

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Reminding us yet again that it's the best thing to ever happen to December, Target launched a swingy, charmed-life kinda ad for its Holiday Gift Finder.

In it, a postmodern Santa in a snowed-in aluminum tower locates the perfect gifts for Wifey, Child, Token Ethnic Friend and Skeptical Mother-in-Law, right from his laptop. Each present is beautifully wrapped and received with an acceptable degree of gratitude.

"That's Christmas wrapped!" quips an endorphin-soaked voiceover.

Because why ask over-obvious leading questions like "What do you want?" when you can pop psychographic data into a form, then peruse a list of age-appropriate products? Wow. Gifting is now as easy as advertising on Facebook.

We'd totally use the service, too, if FirstBank hadn't already handled our gift issues.

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by Angela Natividad    Dec-18-08    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Commercials, Promotions, Television



Alabama Gets a Workout from 'Biggest Loser' Roger Shultz

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Scale Back Alabama is a yearly campaign to encourage state inhabitants to shake off some love handles. Those that register for the program, which is free, are encouraged to lose 10 pounds in 10 weeks -- which isn't improbable to do in a healthy way, provided you have resources and encouragement.

This year, Alabamans are getting a little help from Roger Shultz, a finalist from The Biggest Loser. To promote the effort, Luckie Underground -- the basement-confined baby brother of Luckie & Co. -- launched "Gettin' in Shape," a playful PSA with its own YouTube channel.

Witness while a very large dude dressed like the Heart of Dixie pumps iron and selects fruit with conviction, all under the peppy direction of Shultz.

See that victory dance at the top of the library steps? That could be you, my friend.

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by Angela Natividad    Dec-17-08    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Cause, Commercials, Good, Online, Television



DZ Nuts Turned David Zabriskie's Tights into Freedomware.

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Cyclists have it hard down under. All those hours pushing pedals literally chafes balls, which is funny from a distance but sobering enough that the condition requires an anti-irritant, aptly called "chamois cream."

To contribute to the well-being of fellow bikers, pro cyclist David Zabriskie developed a cream called DZ Nuts -- pronounced "deez nuts," a colloquial expression defined as "The large, sweaty, hairy dangling spheres of man-hood containing future illegitimate seeds that swing violently in the wind when slapped."

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Walmart Delivers Christmas Glee

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If only every house was this nice and every kid this cute. Wait, what? this is advertising. Of course every house is perfect and every kid a cutie. Especially if it's...a Walmart commercial? Hmm...maybe it's because everything at Walmart is so cheap everyone can actually afford to have a nice house.

The cute kids? Not sure Walmart has much control the cuteness of its customer's offspring. That power comes from, yes, an ad agency...where all kids are cute and perfect and where every slice of life tastes perfect.

Created by The Martin Agency, the spot, Christmas Morning, is airing this week. And for even more of the perfect life, check out the Stock Up on Joy, a microsite the agency created for Walmart and Coke.

Life. Is. Perfect.

by Steve Hall    Dec-17-08    
Topic: Brands, Commercials, Good, Online, Video



Sony Style Invades City with Edible Electronic Surprises

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We're not really sure why, unless it's a pun on "Sweet," the spot's last word.

However you feel about sticky streams of chocolate dripping from the sky, the track in the ad is gratuitously cute and almost excuse enough to watch it a few times.

Directed by Tronic for Sony; music by Nylon.

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by Angela Natividad    Dec-17-08    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Commercials, Strange, Television










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