Staples is running a campaign called Gift it for Free, where 10,000 people could "win" any purchase they make at the store between November 16 and December 24.
To promote an already-feeble promotional effort, the marketing team invented a fictional character called Coach Tom, who from what I can tell just wanders around dispensing advice on winning to people that aren't interested, like Tai Chi practitioners and the Kings. At some point in his didactic prattling, he'll toss in a ramble about Gift it for Free, which doesn't visibly spark any interest in his existence.
Feels forced and campy. Also, the videos are too long. But whatev, see requisite YouTube, Facebook and Twitter pages. (Remember how everyone used to build a MySpace page too, and now nobody bothers? Sign of the changing times.)
From now through December, expect to see Lara Croft decimating your favourite gamer sites, starting with this one. (Pull the ring in the leaderboard to get her going.)
Once all that pesky content's out of the way, indulge in a big-ass HD ad for Tomb Raider: Underworld, plus free downloadable demo. By Eyeblaster, IGN and SF-based agency JVST.
Playful immersive ad experiences like this are very cool. We saw something similar last September for Wario Land: Shake It! on YouTube. As the video progressed, Wario's kicks, bumps and big fat jiggles utterly "destroyed" the profile page.
So what does an "aging" Disney star do when she gets too old for Mickey? She gets nude, takes pictures, puts them on her laptop, loses the laptop at JFK, reports it stolen and then attempts to twist the whole thing into a career-shifting media frenzy. But unlike her younger Disney brethren, Miley Cyrus and Vanessa Hudgens who accidentally (or so it is assumed) found themselves in compromising positions, 25-year-old Cheetah Girl Adrienne Bailon's "compromising position" was entirely planned by her publicist Jonathon Jaxon.
Yes, the girl might as well be a grandmother in Disney's eyes. After a successful run with three Cheetah Girls movies and musical tours, the Cheetah Girls movie franchise has come to a close and Bailon will seemingly be put out to pasture to fend for herself in the "grownup world."
And so it goes. The blunt transition from Disney to adulthood, never an easy one, plays out again. It will happen (is happening) with Miley Cyrus, the entire crew of High School Musical fame, Camp Rock's Demi Lovato and Wizards of Waverly Place star Selena Gomez.
We've seen plenty of evidence in the ad world of P. Diddy's self-deluded worldview: Ciroc Vodka, Burger King, Unforgivable.
Even so, I still choked a little upon catching sight of this two-page spread for I Am King, the direct and to-the-point moniker for his newest fragrance. Copy and packaging are flanked by The Man himself, tux-clad and perpetually defiant.
Diggin' how the spread lacks a sampler. Guess you're supposed to take it on faith that if Diddy shits it, it reeks of rosepetal.
It's funny about this subsite. For a few seconds I seriously thought it was for a phone called the Pomegranate NS08 -- which I had already begun to covet more than anything else I've ever wanted, ever.
Then I realized it's unlikely that a phone -- even one with email, internet, GPS, music and a camera -- will actually shave your face, brew coffee or double as a harmonica. (Though it's easy to picture scenarios where all those value-adds would be useful.) So, taking my cues from the site motif, I concluded this must be a campaign promoting the universal merits of the pomegranate fruit.
I hit "Release Date" and got a message that kind of seemed to corroborate my theory:
Someday you'll be able to get everything you want in one device. Today you can get everything you want in one place.
Followed by the product reveal, which did
blow my mind because it struck me as so utterly improbable:
HP's enlisted improv actors from the Upright Citizens Brigade and the People's Improv Theater to spice up its YouTube learning center, gleefully dubbed MasterPC Theatre.
The point of the campaign is to teach you about the different capabilities of HP products in a refreshing and irreverent way, which it succeeds in doing whenever it's not bringing comedy traffic school to mind.
Expect to see the spots in rich media banners if "the economy picks up," said Don Russell from Source. Produced by Streamline Content, edited by Fluid.
Or it's spec for Tom Tykwer's Perfume Deux: Redhead's Revenge. Dude on the chocolate bit looks kinda like Grenouille -- but really he's Le Petit Ecolier, a wee schoolboy who's served as the face of this snack since 1850.
For Lu Biscuits, which is currently having a chic little identity crisis. Okay, not really, but I seriously LOL'ed when the website started blasting ambient music. Because come on, all this for a biscuit. A saucy biscuit, sure. Even with a turn-on of a tea to pair them with, biscuits are still like less sexy cookies (NSFW).
And that's pretty much all the PR people have going for it. The idea behind "Recess is on" is for Morgan Hotel Group to look like a bad-ass place to party amidst the crippling buzzkill of a recession.
See minimalist rebel prints:
o Don't Jump. Dance.
o Fuck the recession. Powerful in brevity.
o Fuck the recession -- reprise. This ad also includes a letter written by Morgan Hotel Group to a personified Recession, flippantly declaring its intention to raise hell and whatnot. "Fuck off" is written at bottom in surprisingly girly script. (I think a sharp, all-caps and slightly Nicholson-esque "FUCK OFFFFFFFFFfff" would have done the job better.)
The website, linked above, also includes an epilepsy-inducing :60 video that'll be projected upon some unfortunate building. Or not. Word has it the creative will be changed and repeated use of "fuck" will be scrubbed.
"Whatever happened to defiance?" the rep from Pronto Stockholm asked us. Well, fuck if we know.
It's not immediately clear what's going on in this spot for Microsoft's Zune, featuring Common and Afrika Bambaataa. In it, a girl puts Common's Universal Mind Control on the spin. She gives props for it, then Common and Afrika Bambaataa leap out of a cloud of images and start sparring over it.
At first the whole thing rang like a poorer rendition of HP's "Hands" campaign, which does a good job of connecting the essence of a celebrity to the machine he's using.
- Yesterday's news: Pepsi shafts BBDO for TBWA. BBDO held the account for nearly 50 years.
- After a year and a half of fumbling at the throne of Yahoo, CEO Jerry Yang exits stage left.
- Wieden + Kennedy scores the Nokia Nseries account, worth about $150 million. Lowe London held it before.
- VeeV, an acai-based spirit with delusions of grandeur, brings you The End of Vodka, complete with vodka bots. The site's goal is to show users how much superficiality vodka's introduced into our lives over the course of the past decade. Yeah. If by superficiality you mean lasting friendships and insta-forgiveness.
- "Is this Miley's fault? Ugh, she wouldn't know a legendary jazz man even if he walked up to her and shot cocaine into her neck."
- Sprint's web 2.0 clusterfuck.
- Big Takeaways from the Motrin crisis. (How is it Motrin gets shut down but this goes on undeterred?)