Just in time for Halloween, Doritos launches Hotel 626, a haunted virtual hotel that's only open between 6pm and 6am. (You'll literally have to make a reservation if you try to penetrate it before then.)
Users are encouraged to visit the site in the dark with headphones, a camera and a microphone, which can be used to complete challenges. The hotel is 13 rooms big, including a morgue and a dark room (like, for developing photos?).
Part of Doritos' sponsor-heavy online universe, Snack Strong Productions, the effort will be promoted on specially marked bags of Doritos. By Goodby, Silverstein & Partners.
Each year Evian releases a designer bottle to highlight its commitment to "chic sophistication." 2007's splurge of choice was by Christian Lacroix; now meet Jean Paul Gaultier's Pret-a-Porter 2009 edition. Get it tout seule or in big-ass boxes of 12 for just $118. It's a steal!
Can't afford it? No worries. To maximize the likelihood of cashflow from every frivolous spender alive, Evian's got a slew of other appetite-slicking vessels that will make dehydrated friends writhe with envy, even while smirking under their Botox.
They that brought you $10 facial spray (now sponsor-friendly!) and bottled water for children also debuted the regal Palace bottle, complete with its own metal pourer and coaster. (Comes in packs of 12. Coaster, pourer and self-esteem sold separately.)
- A handful of rich-ass celebrities use reverse psychology to cajole MySpace users into voting. What, does Jennifer Aniston not do it for you? Maybe Leonardo DiCaprio's poverty-ridden excuse for a blog will.
- The wife of David Warthen, founder of Ask.com, is facing tax evasion charges on money she made while working as a hooker to pay for law school.
- Three thought-provoking reasons not to blog anonymously if you're gonna blog at all.
by Angela Natividad
, Trends and Culture
Nobody ever tires of a transparent double entendre, right?
Bearing that wisdom in mind, Nando's released an ad where a blonde ditz flags down a waitress because her burger didn't come with chips. (That's British talk for "fries.")
"They're on your plate," the waitress points out.
"No they're not," the hungry hippo blasts back.
A guy called James Neate just created a crew, Brandstalkers, whose mission it is to "virally" promote brands it loves -- as opposed to advertising them in conventional ways. (Frankly, "viral" is getting pretty conventional, in use of name if not in outcome. Repeat after me: VIRAL IS AN OUTCOME.) In return, the group takes a small "grant" from the companies it represents.
Its debut effort was for Guzman y Gomez, a Mexican taqueria based in Sydney. It involves half-naked guys and a lot of Sharpies.
Gotta love brand gospel writ on flesh. You can probably gauge the success of the campaign by the number of Japanese tourists it attracted.
Isobar just built a new site for Renault's Kangoo Be Bop -- "a quirky car, filled with space and light." Once you've chosen your country (France or UK), hit "BeFun" and watch the film for some '60s-style frivolity.
Light and loose, bright but easy on the eyes. Very Target, but period-specific. It's like everything the Ford Fiesta wanted (but failed!) to achieve with the love factory.
CollectiblesToday.com is promoting these M&M-sponsored Ashton-Drake dolls as its top Christmas gift this year. Each six-inch "Heavenly Handful" (cringe) sports an M&M's onesie with a matching cap, complete with darling one-liners like "Never let 'em see you melt" and "Sweet on the inside." My favorite, though, has to be "There's a little nut."
Lest anyone try replacing a nearby child's Bratz doll too hastily, this ad takes pains to remind you the collection is to be "enjoyed by adult collectors" only. So keep your grubby paws off, kid; those non-blinking M&M's evangelists are staying behind the glass case, preferably in the living room.
From SelectNY and Anonymous Content comes this new commercial for Giorgio Armani's Diamonds for Men. The ad features Josh Hartnett doing what people like Josh Hartnett do in fragrance commercials; drive classic cars, dress classically, work the crowd at a retro Hollywood event, act like a star and, well, say nothing.
- Gay folk write odes to pet pups.
- Folksy new site for Kubler Absinthe. The "Creativity" tab suggests an upcoming CGM effort where people can "contribute to the myth of Absinthe." See videos for preparing mixed drinks. They're cool, and don't you love that background music? Also check out "fact and fiction" and the how-to-drink, which I thought was really neat. By Decon/NY.
- Palin inspires rampant web subculture. So many options! Brings back fond memories of Miss South Carolina.
- Really good resource on getting paid to blog.
- M. M. McDermott is not impressed by Millennials, but he'll cater to them on the Baltimore Sun's hipster spin-off. While reading a stylebook and wearing a nametag labeled "COCK."
by Angela Natividad
, Trends and Culture
Philips -- the guys that probably sold you your first affordable TV and DVD player -- have entered the sex toy market with Intimate Massagers.
"For couples to explore and enhance their most intimate relationship together," the website says, in that way where they want you to think "dirty experimental sex!" while pretending to actually be referring to something you and your husband might have considered after deep thought and four intensive marital counseling sessions.
The ad at left (via) features two people in the throes of said responsible counseling activity. They appear to be composed of waves and heat. A banner on the website uses parts of this wave/heat illustration to describe how the ergy, rock-shaped massager will fill you with "feel-good" chemicals and boost your immune system.
Variations come in "intimate," "warm intimate" and "intimate dual" -- two massagers sitting inside an oyster shell. Looks like Lelo finally has a rival!