Heinz's Tomato Plants Need a Little Pep Talk

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Based on the premise that plants grow faster and more lavishly when spoken to, Heinz launched Talk to the Plant.

Help make the world's best ketchup by typing encouraging words to a growing tomato sprout, then choosing an automated voice to relay your message.

It's an appealing idea, but beware: the voices are about as soothing as the singing bot tenors in Yahoo's latest emoticon campaign. If I were a wee green, I'd drop leaf and crawl back into the blissfully silent soil.

By Swedish agency Daddy. Via Catch Up Lady, who has lots of other fun factoids about the campaign.

by Angela Natividad    Dec-16-08    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Online



Shaun White and Target Join Forces for Snowboarding Game

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"First time playin'? First time...?" and "Oh, avalanches, yeah!" are the only two lines Shaun White has in this objectively weak ad for Target's Limited Edition Shaun White Snowboarding game.

If Ozzy Osbourne is ad land's favourite over-the-hill bad boy, Shaun White is its slacker of choice. Prior to this spot, the snowboarding pro starred in a couple of pointless HP ads that, like classic teen movies, are intended solely to make middle-aged men miss college.

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by Angela Natividad    Dec-16-08    
Topic: Brands, Celebrity, Commercials, Promotions, Television



BK Smells, 1984 Turns 25, Ad Age Makes Us Wait

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- Burger King has bottled the Whopper and is selling it as a fragrance. Seriously.

- Writing in Advertising Age, Marissa Miley has advice for college graduates considering a career in advertising. Out advice? Don't.

- Oh God. Really? Bob Garfield is out with his 11th annual Bobby Awards which recognize the best acting in commercials. Now if only the Ad Age site worked today, we'd link to it.

- And while we're on Ad Age, NBC plans to "reintroduce" shows such as Heroes and Medium. In other words, let's see if that mass media reach thing still works.

- Adscam reminds us today is the 25th anniversary of Apple's 1984 Super Bowl ad. It's today, and not next year because 25 years ago today, the ad ran once at 1AM on Twin Falls Idaho station KMVT so it could qualify for the awards shows in 1984.

by Steve Hall    Dec-16-08    
Topic: Brands, Strange



Irish Liqueur Drops Cream onto Parted Pink Lips

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Despite appearances, "Listen to Your Lips" is an ad for Bailey's, not a trailer for My First Naked Kneel-Fest.

By JWT and Psyop, which wanted to create a "sensual but not overtly sexual" interpretation of the "Bailey's taste experience."

Maybe the "not overtly" part was lost in the editing room. Seeing drops of cream splash onto rows of shiny, slack DSLs don't exactly bring Moo Moos to mind. (Nice touch with the closing lick!)

Can somebody please page Alex Leo? She needs to update Section Five in her list of five sexist trends the ad world just can't shake.

Ad is SFW, even if your cheek-flushing suggests otherwise.

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by Angela Natividad    Dec-16-08    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Commercials, Online, Racy



For Every Air Hump You Vouch For, Someone Out There Gets Protection.

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We've all fantasized about making a living out of sex, drugs and poorly-tuned instruments. So it's likely we've all played air guitar -- the process of using your fingers to make sweet love to an instrument that isn't really there.

Thus inspired, McCann/Paris launched Safe Air Sex, a campaign that takes the concept of air guitar and applies it to (SAFE!) sex. Confused? Watch Rabbit Man molest valuable O2 after shimmying an invisible condom onto his imaginary three-foot jimmy. (We love how, to segue into condom application, he goes, "Stop. In the name of love.")

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by Angela Natividad    Dec-16-08    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Online, Racy, Strange



VW's 'Surrealism' Touts Absurdly Low Gas Consumption!

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Volkswagen looks to the Surrealists to promote its Polo BlueMotion's "absurdly low consumption." A Magritte-inspired print is at left; here's another in the style of Dali.

Fuel plays a big part in both pieces, and I like how neither ad outrightly says it's inspired by this or that artist. People that know will get a nice cuddly feeling in their tummies (or maybe rant and rave about the flagrant commercialism of art). And people that don't can still ravish the visuals with their eyes.

Work by DDB/Berlin.

by Angela Natividad    Dec-16-08    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Magazine, Poster



Burger King Fails With BK Boxers

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Of Burger King Boxers' inclusion on TippingSprung's Best Innovations & Worst Line Extensions survey, Laura Ries toled BrandWeek, "While people love the Whopper, they don't want to parade around in underwear that says, 'This is where my big, fat ass came from.'"

According to the survey, 45.5 percent thought the Burger King underwear line extension was the single most inappropriate line extension. Also topping the list were Kellog's hip-hop street wear and Kanye West's travel site.

Seriously. What was burger King thinking?

by Steve Hall    Dec-15-08    
Topic: Brands



Maria Sharapova's Dog Springboards into Owner-Eclipsing Fame

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Last year Canon ran a series of ads where tennis pro Maria Sharapova follows her dog Dolce around, snapping an endless string of doting pics the way pet owners like to do.

This year, we see the fruits her labors reaped: this new spot depicts PowerShot-toting fans racing over to the tennis star -- and taking pictures of Dolce instead of her.

Maria's not happy about that. But on the cheery up, Dolce's apparently lost the ability to think out loud in a Spanish accent.

For every cloud, a silver lining.

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by Angela Natividad    Dec-15-08    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Celebrity, Commercials, Television



Chevrolet Aveo Gets Its Sion On

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Getting its Scion on, Leo Burnett Dubai has created a new commercial to kick up Chevrolet Aveo 5's cool factor to 18 to 30-year-olds and to remove the vehicle's stigma as a fleet car.

Produced entirely in the UAE - uncommon with most production outsourced to Eastern Europe or South America - the spot certainly does make the car seem attractive to one particular target audience: the canine. How that translates to the desired 18 to 30-year-old will remain to be seem.

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by Steve Hall    Dec-15-08    
Topic: Brands, Commercials, Good



Crown Royal Coronates a King Under the Street Lights

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In "Set," Crown Royal tells the tale of an old jazz cat who passes opportunity to a young, wise-eyed trumpet player on the street. It's our favourite kind of trope: one about rebirth, and how the American dream can pass from one hand to the next.

And while Crown Royal is only seen briefly in the spot -- moving across the frame on a waiter's tray -- it ends with an elegant kick-back to the label: "For every king, an heir. For every king, a crown. Crown Royal."

I quite liked it, but a hoodied kid peering over my shoulder walked by and went, "Ugh, is that a liquor ad? What do they gotta use jazz for? That makes no sense at all."

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by Angela Natividad    Dec-15-08    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Commercials, Good, Television










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