Starbucks Goes (red).


Late to a party long populated with the likes of AmEx, Apple, Converse, Motorola, Microsoft, Dell, The Gap, and Giorgio Armani, Starbucks finally joins the Product (red) brigade, spearheaded by U2's Bono to fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.

Buy a Starbucks exclusive beverage, save lives in Africa! If the watch-worthiness of the ad isn't equal to the cause, it's at least a tribute to the crippling mediocrity that halos brands grown lazy and slow. Way to go, BBDO!

If I'm shocked, it's only because this didn't happen sooner. Really. This has to be a record for the amount of time a top-heavy "lifestyle" company's spent resisting the rejuvenating call of Bono.

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by Angela Natividad    Dec- 1-08    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Cause, Commercials, Promotions, Television

Crispin Trots Globe in Pursuit of Whopper Virgins


See teaser visuals for the Whopper Virgin campaign by Crispin Porter + Bogusky for Burger King. Turn the volume down unless you dig the cacophonous din of high-pitched wind instruments.

According to AdFreak, Crispin -- our fearless leader! -- will scour the world in search of people that have never tried a Whopper, then publish a documentary about this deep spiritual journey alongside director Stacy Peralta.

The site boasts footage of unravaged remote villages as well as cultural wisdom, of which this is just one example: "If you want a real opinion about a burger, ask someone who doesn't even have a word for burger."

Ahhh. Today their stomachs, tomorrow their labour force. It's enough to make Hernan Cortes beam with childlike delight.

TD Bank Uses Regis and Kelly Puppets to Attract Young People.


And it's like ... it's like ... a less funny Terrence and Phillip.

By Tierney Communications/Philly, which hopes to draw 18- to mid-twenty-year-olds choosing a bank for the first time. Two other spots, "Lincoln" and "Operator" -- use your imagination! -- are currently in production. Keep an eye out for those bad-boys at TD Bank Theater.

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by Angela Natividad    Dec- 1-08    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Celebrity, Commercials, Online, Television

What's that Underfoot? ...No, Not a Bell.


"We're opening more lanes than ever ... to make Christmas shopping easier!"

Given what happened at its Long Island location, I think it's sorta weird that WalMart's still airing this ad. I saw it at least eight times this weekend -- and each time, without fail, it brought to mind the Black Friday Death Trample.

In it, lights from open aisles flicker to the tune of Carol of the Bells, which always struck me as a semi-creepy song anyway. (Don't make me explain why.) But now it also rings with the heavy panting of crazed, slightly overweight bargain hunters, indelible red splatters ... and the cracking of bones.

The spot first aired during the 2007 holiday season. Co-workers claim a woman was trampled then too, but that's cool because she was "a repeat stampede faker, from what I read," one dutifully disclosed.

WalMart, what good are extra checkouts without an orderly entering and exiting process? Stampedes don't organize themselves.

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by Angela Natividad    Dec- 1-08    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Commercials, Promotions, Strange, Television

Frankfurter Allgemeine Pokes Holes Through ElBaradei


Under its classic slogan "There is always a clever mind behind it," German paper The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung is running a campaign depicting various "clever minds." At left is UN Chief Inspector Mohamed ElBaradei in a state of exceptional transparency.

Hmm. What he needs is a red nose. Then we'd really have a party.

See variants for Billy Wilder, Helmut Kohl and Vitali Klitschko. All smart stuff, comparable to some of the better work we've seen for The Economist and BusinessWeek.

Photos by Nick Veasey. Curiouser still? See making-of and interview with ElBaradei.

by Angela Natividad    Dec- 1-08    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Good, Magazine, Newspaper, Political

Throw Your White in the Air Like LeBron!


For his signature sneaker the Zoom LeBron VI, "Chalk" lovingly exploits LeBron James' habit of throwing talcum powder into the air before each game. Watch as others follow suit -- with contagiously patriotic reverence -- to the slightly narcotic Candyman by Cornershop.

The spot aired on Thanksgiving day and features cameos by Greg Oden, LaMarcus Aldridge, Brandon Roy, Daniel Gibson, Anderson Varejao, J.J. Hicks and Lil' Wayne. By Cohn & Wolfe in tandem with Wieden & Kennedy/Portland.

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Just Imagine if 'The Network' Could Clone You.


It's common during the holidays to wish you could be many places at once: everywhere you're obligated to be, and everywhere you actually want to be. So instead of promoting the girth of its network, Vodafone claims it'll let you make the most of now.

In this ad, a guy on an iPhone traipses casually around town, doing everything he wants to, and ends up at the door of a booty call. (Well, I guess it could also be his sister.) Anyway, as he walks, he's joined by clones that have done still more.

Expect the song, Because I Do by Katie Sutherland, to stick with you awhile.

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by Angela Natividad    Dec- 1-08    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Commercials, Television

For the Unloveables on Your List.


I have this cousin, Dave, who spends every Thanksgiving prancing around and telling everyone to get him gift cards from a strict selection of stores, otherwise "I'LL RETURN YOUR PRESENT AND CALL YOU CHEAP!" after Christmas.

Seriously. We're in our mid-twenties and he still does this.

One year, to curb expenses following a rabbit-like baby boom, the family held a Secret Santa and I was unfortunate enough to draw his name. After ferreting me out with admirable speed, he spent the next three weeks SMS-bombing me with potentially awesome gift options.

When the holidays roll around, there are few things I want to do less than shop for Dave.

The Ungiftables by Cafepress is a site for exactly these people. Who's the bane of your list? Critical Mother-in-Law? Emo Nephew? Flip-Flop Wearing Liberal Activist Uni Brat?

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by Angela Natividad    Nov-26-08    
Topic: Brands, Online, Promotions

For that Reluctant Kiss, Cake it On with Sephora!


To better equip users for that awkward mistletoe moment, makeup purveyor Sephora launched MistletoeMakeover. Upload your face and watch with glee while the internets hoochie you up.

At left is the perennially-demure Alex Bogusky in Santa's Little Temptress mode. (Steve Hall is arguably prettier though. Also, he winks, which gave me the most delicious chills.) Other potentially traumatic beautification options include O Tannen-Babe, Smokey Sugar Plum and Merry Berry.

If for some odd reason one of these looks puts you in impulse-buy-mode, hit "Get This Look" and snap up promo code KISSorWINK. Turn it in at for free lashes or a lipstick sample with a purchase.

Be quick! Like your youth, mistletoe wilts.

By EVB/San Francisco in conjunction with TAAZ.

by Angela Natividad    Nov-26-08    
Topic: Brands, Online, Promotions

McDonald's Brings Holiday Cheer With Coffee-Ring Snowflakes


As the holiday season draws near, marketers are rolling out holiday offerings and McDonald's is no exception. With its McCafe Make Your Own Coffee-Ring Snowflake site, visitors can get all festive and create their own floating masterpiece. All in the name of promoting McDonald's various holiday lattes and cappuccinos.

Get started early this season and make a flake.

by Steve Hall    Nov-25-08    
Topic: Brands, Online

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