In June, Visa worked with AKQA to offer $100 in Facebook ad credits to the first 20,000 small business owners that downloaded its Visa app.
The app now boasts 42,543 monthly active users, but comments on the Visa Business Network page consist almost entirely of people that never received a coupon. Others are confused about whether the credits are just supposed to appear in their Facebook Ads cache.
"I smell a scam," Johnny Premier says; Frank Horbelt shouts, "There's potential here ... (But you guys are squandering it!)"
In yet another "homage" if you will, a brand has "borrowed" the imagery of an artist for commercial gain. In this case, it's 1800 Tequila giving nod to the work of artist Charles Burns. Eric Reynolds has the image here. Once he saw the ad, he contacted Burns who said the ad was a complete surprise to him though, perhaps in a nod to his own work, he added "makes me wanna drink some tequila."
If you're going to have your work "stolen" the least it should do is work in the form for which it's been "stolen" for. According the artist, himself, the work seems to have accomplished that task. Burns' work can be seen here.
UPDATE: Dead As We Know It, creator of the work, defends:
Actually this campaign was created by my agency, Dead As We Know It, using many pieces of art from artists around the world. This was just one of a large number. If you go to www.1800tequila.com you can see all of them. Eventually there will be 1800 pieces. Jorge Alderete, of Mexico City, has a great portfolio encompassing a wide range of work, possibly influenced by Charles Burns as well as all the cartoon and graphic work that Charles Burns was influenced by. By no means did we originally try to get Charles Burns or someone to cop his style. We saw a cool CD cover that Jorge did and acquired another piece in the series. Check him out, http://www.pocko.com/pockopeople/artist/jorge-alderete/
Seems to be a month of people accusing people of thievery, really sad statement on the state of things. And, just as my agency wasn't ripped-off by Amalgamated for the Virtual Drinking Buddy, we did not rip-off Mr. Burns or one ad in this extensive campaign. So, let's shut-up and get back to the noble profession that we are known for.
In this week's Times Magazine, Clive Thompson (or @pomeranian99 on Twitter) described in his "I'm So Totally, Digitally Close to You" article how "incessant online contact" encouraged by tools like Facebook's Newsfeed and microblogging platforms like Twitter, has created "ambient awareness." Whether we tweet in 140 or less, post on each other's wall or upload photos, videos or Utterz, we're creating and curating a public record of who we are, what we like, dislike, what sparks our interests and what we care about.
This article left my head buzzing with the implications of this new "ambient awareness" and in particular, what it means for brands.
American Express has this program called Members Project, which funds worthy ventures with $2.5 million. (Members vote to decide who gets the money.) Read all about it.
To promote the program, AmEx used footage from previous ads to produce a montage of famous cardholders like John Cleese, Martin Scorsese, Robert DeNiro, Ellen Degeneres and Jim Henson.
Their achievements are presented as the fruit of childlike desires. Scorsese's "project," for example, was to "tell unforgettable stories"; Degeneres wanted to "encourage people to dance to their own tune." The premise is, these people changed the world with their passion. Got a dream? Maybe you can change it too.
Dual body wash and moisturizer isn't really a new idea. (Companies like Dove beat that horse dead years ago.) Bringing bang to an old combo, Wieden + Kennedy enlist a centaur for Old Spice Double Impact. He's half man ... and half provider.
More importantly, he's actually got YouTube users talking about Old Spice. Will they buy the stuff? Hard to say. But hey, if a centaur doesn't turn this trick, Doogie Howser, M.D. definitely will.
Think only experienced TV spokespeople wield influence? Yeah, Geico agrees. So to supplement the tale of an apparently ordinary customer, it ensured success with an old-school icon: Mrs. Butterworth. (You know, the maternal maple syrup bottle.)
I love how she tosses in that random "hot pancakes" reference. Good stuff by The Martin Agency.
Commercials for IBM's "Go Green" campaign are all over my daytime TV. In the ones I've seen, corporate suits debate the merits of implementing energy-efficient policies. Once they opt to "go green" (usually for financial reasons), a cartoon forest -- complete with cheerful chirping wildlife and a high-pitched chorus -- blossoms around them. The message is that companies going green, whatever the reason, can change the environment for the better.
Style-wise, the effort mirrors a current Truth campaign where reality is also shattered by musical kitsch and doe-eyed cartoons. (Both are liable to make jaded cubicle cogs long for a vatful of hot smoking Dip.)
- Amalgamated clears air over "Virtual Drinking Buddy" rip. In addition to starting a dialogue with Robbie Wenger, Amalgamated founder Charles Rosen told Adrants, "in no way are we above stealing ideas around here - but it wasn't the case this time. we really didn't know about robbie's virtual drinking buddy until he emailed us about it after our mike's spot ran." That's serious grace under pressure, and we were completely charmed.
- Smart way to promote sober driving.
- Tribal DDB scores Wrigley account, must now work out how to adhere gum to 'net users. Shouldn't be too hard. Just chew a little and avoid this kinda crap.
In an internal letter obtained by TechCrunch, SVP Bill Veghte tries to explain WTF Microsoft was getting at with its Seinfeld campaign, which kicked off with this really weird ad.
Excerpt from Veghte's letter:
Today, we are kicking off a highly visible advertising campaign. The first phase of this campaign is designed to engage consumers and spark a new conversation about Windows - a conversation that will evolve as the campaign progresses, but will always be marked by humor and humanity. The first in this series [...] aims to re-ignite consumer excitement about the broader value of Windows.
"Best of Skype Laughter Chain" is FOUR AND A HALF MINUTES of footage of other people laughing. After awhile you'll be like, "That is one seriously ugly noise."
The video is part of a broader effort where people upload videos of themselves laughing. Sorta like that Gmail thing from last year. The idea is that Skype provides the ultimate setting for mirth and hilarity with its video chat feature. That's cool, and I'm a Skype fan and all, but this "take a giggle, pass it on!" gimmick is lame. It's like a whole campaign composed of inside jokes you weren't let in on.