Target Uses 'Web 2.0 Aesthetic' to Peg College Kids


I recently saw this cute rich media ad for Target's "Happy Together" campaign, targeted to college kids.

Its composed of harmonious extremes that appear one after the other, like flash cards: planner + dreamer, night owl + morning bird, extrovert +introvert. The accompanying illustrations remind me of the work of Liling Yu, who created Twitter's FailWhale.

Yu's art totally personifies the Web 2.0 aesthetic: bug-eyed animal friends, soothing pastels, and non-confrontational sans-serif typefaces, all culminating in brands that seem to want to play with us. That Target knows to tap into all this is part of what keeps it young, fresh and lively.

by Angela Natividad    Sep-14-08    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Good, Online

High Culture Got You Down? McCafe to the Rescue


In the latest TV spots for its McCafe label, McDonalds surrenders the art house crowd to Starbucks -- and liberates the crusty, football-loving Joes that never quite fit in.

This ad starts with two guys in a typical cafe scene, reading books and sipping coffee out of wide cups. One haughtily asks, "Did you hear McDonald's has cappuccinos now?"

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by Angela Natividad    Sep-14-08    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Commercials, Good, Television

Bill and Jerry: Too Quirky for Quirky Suburbia?


In installment 2 of Microsoft's avant-garde repositioning extravaganza, Bill Gates and Jerry Seinfeld try the simple life.

Imagine it: two rich dudes, bunking in with a family straight out of Little Miss Sunshine. It's almost like when Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie lived on a farm, except more weird than entertaining.

But maybe I'm just reacting to the malicious geriatric.

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by Angela Natividad    Sep-12-08    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Celebrity, Online, Strange, Video

Wendy's Goes Viral. Just Kidding.


Wendy's joins the amateur video club with "Crazy Lettuce." By now you know the score: two guys are involved. One can never hold the camera straight. At the very last second some zany shit happens.

In this case, a bushy head of lettuce consumes a wee little Wendy's burger. Link to meatatariansunite, a nightmare of poor wallpaper that does nothing but hurt eyes and demand emails.

If this is the one trick to succeeding in so-called "viral marketing," the medium ought to die fast and painfully. Unfortunately for Wendy's, the eyes-deceive-thee! gimmick that served Levi's, Ray Ban and Nike so well is all used up. People finally get the joke: these amazing feats in online video? They never happened. Know what else? They're ADS.

"Crazy Lettuce" has drawn less than 1100 views on YouTube, a mediocre rating (2 stars) and mixed response (of which there are 12).

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by Angela Natividad    Sep-11-08    
Topic: Bad, Brands, Campaigns, Online, Video

Nike Says Here I Am, Just Do Me


Over at Gawker, Nike is taking a beating for a new slogan it's testing in a new campaign targeting women in Europe. The tagline, "Here I am" is humorously pointed out to have, well, and interesting relationship with the parent tagline,"Just Do It." The relationship? The actionable "do it" portion of the parent tagline is seen to be a bit, well, awkwardly demeaning when placed next to the more submissive "Here I Am."

So is Nike telling the bulk of its audience to just do it with submissive women in Europe who will just lay down and say "here I am?"

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by Steve Hall    Sep-11-08    
Topic: Bad, Brands, Creative Commentary, Opinion

Oklahoma Thunder Logo Trashed


As you likely know, we love to trash bad work here. We think it's our strong suit. We also have a short attention span and, thankfully to many, don't often go into lengthy detail in our trashings. But, we can appreciate and point to others who don't seem to have short attention spans and who take a keen interest in ripping apart every conceivable element of a piece of work.

Recently, new NBA franchise and former Seattle Supersonics the Oklahoma City Thunder unveiled a new logo and Denver Egotist commenter Bubba did us proud slamming every element of the work. Another commenter writes, "a team that steals basketball away from a deserving city because of an owner who wants to take his ball and go to his hometown (and much smaller city at that) deserves a shitty logo."

Need we say more?

by Steve Hall    Sep-11-08    
Topic: Brands, Creative Commentary

'University of it's never too late to learn'


...that whole "grammar" thing, though, you'll probably need to learn elsewhere.

The ad at left is part of a University of Phoenix campaign where consecutive ads finish the thought started by "University of...", probably with other gimpy platitudes:

University of seizing the day.

University of never giving up.

University of I CAN.

Ooh, just found a variant. University of my hopes. Didn't see that one coming.

by Angela Natividad    Sep-11-08    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Online

Jimmy John's Just Wants to Make You Happy.


In its latest TV campaign, Jimmy John's, America's Sandwich Delivery Experts, relieves tense situations with foot-longs and smiling delivery men. (Actually not a bad idea.)

The company is mostly midwest-based, and its ads are friendly and earnest -- deeply mid-western? -- even if not wildly original. The Bomb spot did make me laugh, but the effort overall only felt so-so.

While sandwich delivery may not really resolve hostage situations or smooth out an explosive case of nerves, I guess it could calm screaming schoolchildren. For half an hour.

Ads by The Ad Store.

by Angela Natividad    Sep-11-08    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Commercials, Television

Hatred of Adobe Expressed on 'Dear Adobe'


Seems there's a lot of hatred out there for Adobe which, as we all know, has a pretty firm grasp on advertising's creative community. In fact, there's so much hatred, a site dedicated to that hatred, Dear Adobe, collect gripes about the company and its products. The number one gripe? "Why does the Acrobat Reader take two minutes to launch, and require updates twice a month, just to display PDF pages?"

The answer to that question? Who cares. Just use Foxit Reader (for Windows but available in Preview for Mac) and your Adobe Reader woes will be gone. That aside, there are hundreds of gripes on the site ranging from complaints about Photoshop, Adobe's installer and feature bloat.

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by Steve Hall    Sep-10-08    
Topic: Brands, Social, Tools

Caesar's Uses Self-Entitlement to Reel 'Em In


Imagine it: endless champagne, a lively -- but intimate -- night life, creamy white sheets, Roman baths, and sweet nothings brimming from the mouths of chiseled strangers.

What's all this? Why, "The Life You Were Meant to Live," a less-than-subtle ploy by Leo Burnett/Chicago to get your pipe-dreaming ass into Caesars. Spots include:

o "I'll Have the Bubbliest Champagne" -- for the ladies!
o "Try it Before You Croak" -- for the couples! -- or maybe just singles that enjoy morning-after intimacy.
o "I'm the Funny Good Looking One" -- for graying men still pursuing validation!

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by Angela Natividad    Sep-10-08    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Commercials, Online, Television

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