Will Barefaced (and Barebottomed) Sexism Win Ecko an Audience?

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Some chick sent us an email just dripping with faux indignation. It was all, "Have you seen this site? There hasn't been anything so demeaning to women in the history of the internet!" Don't be a tease, honey, just say it: DEAR ADRANTS, PLEASE WHORE ECKO MFG.

And boy is it worthy. The job ECKO MFG tries accomplishing, with almost cheesy earnestness, is stirring drama over Ecko's "SEXIST!!!" manufacturing practices: bikini-clad women stitching jeans together. It could be The Stepford Sweatshop -- if Connecticut were ruled by frat boys and not WASPs.

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by Angela Natividad    Sep- 9-08    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Online, Racy, Strange



Miley Cyrus Stripped, Michelob Reinvigorated, Copyranter Quits (Again)

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- Copyranter calls it quits. Again. Don't worry, he'll still be writing for Animal New York, and he's open to sponsorship.

- Speaking of sponsorship, HBO whips out some wad for web celebs like lonelygirl15. The network is rounding up YouTube headliners for a web series called Hooking Up. Witness the lameness.

- Degourget doesn't like Esquire's first-ever digital magazine cover, which was sponsored by the "ugly-assed Ford Flex." The price we pay for bells and whistles.

- Clear Channel Radio hosted an event called Stripped, where artists play "stripped-down" versions of songs in a jammy "unplugged" setting. Why is this news? Because Miley Cyrus performed Girls Just Wanna Have Fun, that's why. Everything involving Miley Cyrus is news, especially when the headline reads "MILEY CYRUS STRIPPED."

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Kit-Kat Cookies and Cream Invents Chunky Man's Jenga

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To facilitate the all-online launch of Kit Kat Cookies & Cream (on the record: yuck), Nestle got into bed with JWT/Sydney and RMG Connect to conceive Hans Fagerlund, whom they describe as "a cross between Jack Black and Will Ferrell."

That's some fucked-up cross-breeding.

Our little freak Hans is also a Chunga Champion, Chunga being the art of stacking Cookies and Cream Kit-Kats with his bare hands. Seriously. It's Jenga! With calories!

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by Angela Natividad    Sep- 8-08    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Online, Strange



He Wanted More Bling Than You Could Shake a Pheasant At. See How it Went Down.

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For a recently-launched TV campaign, Yell.com is seeding videos across YouTube that wrap up its TV ads.

In the spot we reviewed, a bratty kid called Marcus tells party planner Fresno he wants a ghetto-fabulous fete instead of a Roman-themed party. Fresno takes on the challenge. Here are the results, complete with party footage and interviews with Fresno's assistant and Marcus's parents -- the feeble, well-to-do folk that created the monster in the first place.

Nice idea, not super-engaging though. How do TV viewers know to go online to finish the story? It's not like the spot was a cliffhanger, and I don't think anybody feels personally invested in Marcus's fate. Or even Fresno's, for that matter.

by Angela Natividad    Sep- 8-08    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Online, Television



'Blacker-Than-Ever' KUROs May Manipulate DNA

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At first I thought the thing at left was a snail. But no, it was an amorous man with a French horn for a head. (Tagline: "Seeing and hearing like never before.")

This is part of a print campaign for Pioneer's KURO line of TVs and audio-video gear. Put together by TBWA\CHIAT\DAY\Los Angeles, each ad depicts a person in some state of metamorphosis, which represents the emotional heights your entertainment system should be helping you reach. Variants include butterfly girl, road carnage, trumpet man deux and trois. (But where is The Fly?)

Weird, but nice to look at. AdFreak observes the stuff Pioneer did last year was "even odder," and a lot less pretty.

by Angela Natividad    Sep- 8-08    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Magazine, Poster, Strange



Visa Uses Facebook to Seduce SMBs, Ultimately Pisses 'Em Off

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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!)"

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by Angela Natividad    Sep- 8-08    
Topic: Bad, Brands, Campaigns, Online, Social



Artist's Work 'Borrowed' For 1800 Tequila Ad

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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.

by Steve Hall    Sep- 8-08    
Topic: Brands, Opinion, Worst



Following Micro Status Updates Allows Brands to be "So Totally, Digitally Close" to Customers

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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.

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by Amanda Mooney    Sep- 7-08    
Topic: Brands, Research, Social



AmEx Uses Member Successes to Ignite Future Ones

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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.

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by Angela Natividad    Sep- 7-08    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Celebrity, Commercials, Television



Don't Just Be a Man; Be a Pretty Smart Shopper.

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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.

by Angela Natividad    Sep- 7-08    
Topic: Best, Brands, Campaigns, Commercials, Online, Strange, Television










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