Marc Jacobs to Make Suburban Dads Squirm


For some, imagery of schoolgirls (or any female for that matter) in pleated, plaid miniskirts presents an irresistible urge to let fantasy fun rampant and to, well, just be really, really bad. While that imagery may not be what Marc Jacobs, who signed Russian duo t.A.T.u. (Lena Katina and Yulia Volkova) to front his fall fashion campaign, intends to foist on the public, one does wonder just how he will present the fun-loving couple in upcoming campaigns.

The pair have been out of the limelight for a while but that won't really matter. Marc Jacobs will doll them up (or down) and present them in a deliciously delectable manner easily obsessed over by all. Lesbians. Rocks stars. What's not to love?

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by Steve Hall    Aug-28-08    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Celebrity, Trends and Culture

Because Nothing Washes Blood Away Like Freshly-Laundered Banknotes


This is "Ca$h," a fun little ad for a gratuitously violent game called Mercenaries 2: World in Flames. I love how it illustrates the acquisition of profit by unethical means: the seedy backdrops, filthy oceans, and characters' faces all bear the delightfully crisp stamp of currency.

And the song! It's convivial and music-hallish, the kind of thing you learn the words to, then leap around and mouth while blowing holes through the furniture with your bad-ass mercenary fingertips. What a feast it'll be for the PTC when these role models invade their living rooms.

Put together in HD by Shilo for DraftFCB/San Francisco. Electronic Arts debuted the spot on August 18 Stateside; it'll start running September 5 in the United Kingdom. I can hardly wait to see what it looks like on TV.

by Angela Natividad    Aug-27-08    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Commercials, Television

Fidolls: Not Your Typical Bubble Wand Fare


To supplement the use of big balloon dolls (dubbed "Fidolls") in its guerrilla campaign, Canadian wireless firm Fido deployed whimsical floating Fidoll-shaped bubbles into the air.

Charming -- even if, after the Bravia bubbles effort, it falls a little on the scant side of sudsy.

In addition to repping Fido to both the earth-bound and the airborne, the campaign -- which invites users to text 411 to 10987 -- invites users to free "Fido Sessions," which cover topics like art and design. Artists involved in the sessions have included The Dark, Nicholas Di Genova and Jamie Campbell.

Nice to see a wireless provider -- whose services are so integral to city-trawlers' daily lives -- engage users in a way that enlivens their own creativity.

by Angela Natividad    Aug-27-08    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Events, Guerilla

Bill O'Reilly Mashed Up, Hood Ornaments Hunted, Mad Men Twitterati Reinstated


- "Fuck it! We'll do it live! Fucking thing sucks!" You tell 'em, Bill, you wild animal you.

- The hood ornament is an endangered species. Is this what people want? We can save pandas but not the Spirit of Ecstasy?!

- New Shepard Fairey exhibition in SF: "Duality of Humanity." Inspired by Joker, the peace-sign-sporting Vietnam soldier in Full Metal Jacket, the show mashes up conflicting symbols of violence and peace. The project also has a strong Red-propaganda-meets-mass-media feel. Tasty.

- It's Bible stories! And Legos! Suddenly Sunday's looking like a party.

- With a nudge from those rascals at Deep Focus, AMC decides the Mad Men Twitter characters -- which it was so quick to boot -- are okay after all.

- Pepsi apparently did a better job of associating itself with the Olympics than Coke did. And it probably spent a helluva lot less money.

Levi's Peels Away Life's Excess, Returns to Simplicity


Some won't like this commercial because, once again, Levi's, with help from Cutwater, is attempting to position its brand as something much more than it is. Oh wait. No. It's not. It's actually acknowledging the fact it's a simple jeans brand. The fancy things in life aren't as important as your favorite pair of jeans and all that comes with them.

The spot, shot backwards, follows a model as she leaves a photoshoot and returns to her normal life, complete with her perfect, properly facial-haired, exotic-ish-looking boyfriend. It will debut during the season premiers of Gossip Girl September 1.

It's well done and, OMG, we like it.

by Steve Hall    Aug-27-08    
Topic: Best, Brands, Commercials

Parents Skittish About Hiked-Up Raunchiness in '90210'


Time's drawing near for the September 2 debut of 90210, the CW's remake of '90s pop classic Beverly Hills, 90210. Worried that the network will slut it up a la Gossip Girl, the Parents Television Council is admonishing advertisers not to sponsor the show unless a pre-screening is released.

Read the elongated back-and-forth. In a nutshell, the PTC insinuated that the CW won't release a pre-screen because it doesn't want large, socially-responsible advertisers scrutinizing all that naughty, dirty, bad, baaaad content. The CW says it just doesn't want to spoil a highly-anticipated premiere. In the end, it'll probably win this girlfight.

Concerns about poisoning our pure American youth aside, the PTC's got a definite beef. For its last Gossip Girl print campaign, the CW used the headline "Mind-blowingly inappropriate!", a statement the PTC made to rebuke the show, to promote the new season.

Hilarious. Anyway, the PTC ain't going down without a yowl. It's contacted 136 major advertisers about the 90210 pre-screening issue. Cheers to the virtue of vigilance.

Image credit: the NY Post blog.

by Angela Natividad    Aug-26-08    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Cause, Television

Crop Circles Promote Whole Wheat Pizza


To advertise its 100 percent whole-wheat pizzas, Papa John's flattened about six acres' worth. The delectable crop circle at left was created in a wheat field in Commerce City, so in- and outbound Denver International passengers can get a nice big eyeful of pie in the sky.

For those that may find this particularly inspirational, a company called Circlemakers specializes in producing crop circles for brand names. Clients have included Microsoft, Nike, Greenpeace (nothin' like a single serving of in-flight guilt), Hello Kitty, BP, and The History Channel. Oh yeah, and there's also Ad-Air, a gigantorama billboard maker that's infinitely less creative than a crop circle, but it could probably cover up a bad wheat-shaving nick with ease.

Many thanks to Keith at HR Bartender for the Papa John's tip.

by Angela Natividad    Aug-26-08    
Topic: Brands, Guerilla, Inflight, Outdoor

Nokia: Yes! Follow the Strangers with the Soothing Shirts


This Nokia campaign, where a Personal Navigator leads the lost to their final destinations, probably wasn't meant to encourage emo-stricken weirdos to trust friendly strangers. But from here on out, if I ever want to kidnap a giant chicken in dire straits, I'll probably pull on a "Personal Navigator" shirt and try taking it by the hand.

Also see bickering pirates locate misplaced X, a lost alien get alienated, two goths find love, and -- my favourite -- Pacman outrunning the ghosts, which also have a Personal Navigator.

The campaign was seeded across the 'net by Unruly Media. Its happy task is to endear the Nokia N78 -- featuring maps! -- to the navigationally-challenged. The music gave each piece a Chaplinesque feel, which made things seem that much sadder when it all went horribly wrong.

by Angela Natividad    Aug-26-08    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Good, Online, Trends and Culture, Video

Marketing Dollars Put to Good Use: Sexpresso


Green coffee company Java Girls adds a kick to your fair trade feel-good cup o' joe. Think bikinis, lingerie, soapy carwashes, and girls that say "honey" (like at Hooters!). See photo gallery. It's like Halloween at Chico State, all year long.

"Sex sells," says founder Steven McDaniel in the promo video (on the homepage). "We can move in next door to any Starbucks and compete with them." Speaking of Starbucks, the coffee giant prefers to err on the side of modesty: it covered up its mermaid nips last May.

I'm more skeptical about the success of the skin-and-caffeine business model. Starbucks has a lot of high friends in conservative places (Barnes & Noble, suburban shopping malls, business centres). And anyway, would you hit a novelty T&A cafe for your sleepy cup of slop every day? Would you take your boss? Would you take Jesus?

by Angela Natividad    Aug-25-08    
Topic: Brands, Packaging

It's Official: Ad Budgets Will be Reduced


It's about time.This sort-of-but-not-really recession has had everyone talking for, well, years, it seems. Today, we have some meat on the subject. And it isn't tasty. The Association of National Advertisers has released a study citing 53 percent of surveyed marketing executives expect their ad budgets to be reduced withing the next six months and 87 percent are already identifying cutbacks.

Areas cited for cuts are media (69 percent), travel (63 percent), production (63 percent) and new work (61 percent). Of those already planning cutbacks, 50 percent expect a ten percent reduction, 27 percent expect an 11-20 percent reduction and ten percent expect cuts or more than 30 percent.

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by Steve Hall    Aug-22-08    
Topic: Agencies, Brands, Research, Trends and Culture

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