This year at the Olympics, performance-enhancing athletic gear were all the rage. Four years from now, will it be highly-advanced hips and knees?
"Smith & Nephew introduces the next generation of joint replacements: highly-advanced hips and knees engineered to meet the needs of your high-performance life."
The ad, designed to make active human beings look like fluid ribbons of energy, was produced by Psyop for Ogilvy/NY. I like how it breathes life into an industry normally associated with near-immobile geriatrics ("I've fallen and I can't get up!"). But It also brought Touch of Gray to mind. Sexy grays, bionic hip surgery: looks like advertising's in midlife-crisis mode.
Sadly, there have been a few too many examples of brands co-opting the work of others for their own financial gain. Here's another. In December 2006, Scott Ableman and his co-workers decided to play a practical joke on another co-worker who drove a Jaguar and was one of those people who would park his car in a very remote spot so as to avoid scratches and dings. Ableman and friends plastered the co-worker's car with Post-It notes, took pictures of the resulting colorful design and posted them on Flickr. The whole thing turned into somewhat of a viral sensation.
You may remember Robbie Wenger. He won the grand prize at Wrath of Cannes -- yeah, that was him licking the statue -- for Virtual Drinking Buddy, a subsite he created for The Knot.
The theme behind Virtual Drinking Buddy was "never be alone again," and toward that end it provided a classy old boozehound that drinks at your side and occasionally even insults you -- just like a real friend.
From September to October, Levi's "Live Unbuttoned" campaign invades newsstands and 7-Elevens in Hong Kong.
Agency TBWA\TEQUILA partnered with East Touch Magazine to outfit its next issue in miniature 501s. Mag-lurkers will literally have to unbutton the jeans just to finger a copy. Bonus points if you can fit in them!
There'll also be a guerrilla effort in Causeway Bay, where customers can experience the "Live Unbuttoned" campaign live and, uh, unbuttoned, which I think just means they'll be able to try jeans on in a tent. (I'm hoping there'll also be a lively music component. Chinese gen-yers love free music -- who doesn't? -- so it would make sense if Levi's also promoted its free music downloads there, too.)
"Why in hell do people still try to make candy in potentially phallic-looking shapes? You'd think they would have learned by now....."
It's definitely a mystery worth pondering. Adrants reader Candace sent over this rawkin' shot of Hannah Montana's Concert Candy. The packaging features our Lolita du jour holding a mic up to her mouth while a giant gummy guitar comes at her from the left.
"Guitar and microphone shapes!" the package boasts, but that guitar doesn't look all that guitar-like, and I don't think the gummy mics will help either.
- Cops in Scottsdale, Arizona use Twitter to keep the community abreast of what's happening in the city: closed roads, active crime scenes and the like.
- Google cozies up to agencies with evangelism missions and SWAG. Don't be fooled by all those friendly faces! John Battelle isn't.
- Ramadan's got brands in a tizzy. Coke released special packaging; Starbucks is showcasing Arabian blends and Ramadan-inspired pastries at its stores in the Middle East. Observers of Ramadan, which fast! until! sunset!, will undoubtedly be thrilled. (I love SBUX, but after a food-free day it's the last place I'd go. Who says "I'm starving! A tart and some coffee would do me good"?!)
Sapient, who, it seems, hasn't been in the news since the digital boom of 1999, is out with a sponsored study of chief marketing officers which resulted in the creation of a "top ten list for agencies of the future." At the risk of boring you with the details of a study that offers no new insight, here's the list:
1. Greater knowledge of the digital space. (Seriously? That's a stunner!)
2. More use of "pull interactions." (Oh yes they did. They created a new buzzword for social media)
3. Leverage virtual communities. (Apparently, none of the surveyed CMO lived through the Second Life debacle)
4. Agency executives using the technology they are recommending. (It would certainly be nice but, in most cases, it's never gonna happen. By definition, most senior management is disconnected from reality.)
Some people have been known to buy the cheese endorsed by happy cows. Considering cheese is, like, the fruit of their loins, I guess that makes sense. But can cows also be trusted to select your next car?
Fiat thinks so. In the Dutch spot above, a cow moos off a VW Golf and a Ford Focus, but desperately bellows "Bravooo!" (listen closely!) when one happens to idle by. Tagline: "Uitgesproken," which means something like "distinct" or "pronounced."
Adverblog says the spot hasn't yet hit TVs; it's currently only circulating the 'net. I think it's goofy, and not in a good way. But once it hits TVs, maybe it'll prove a success by merit of its lean-in factor. (You know, when listeners lean in and go, "Wait, what?")
Just when you thought the jingle was dead, Wrigley's broadcasts this catchy rewrite of Chris Brown's Forever for DoubleMint. Doesn't it make you wanna dust off the pink wig and bust out with some liquid?
But that's window trimmings; DoubleMint's also improved its value add. In addition to chew factor, it apparently also:
- doubles as a hacky sack!
- leaves a comet trail!
- comes in slimmer, sexier packaging!
And here we were thinking the brand was a one-trick pony.
For those of us that seriously thought John McCain would go the predictable route for Veep, the Maverick whips out a trump card: Sarah Palin! Gotta say, McCain/Palin '08 isn't the ickiest choice of bumper sticker.
The Alaskan governor -- age 44, anti-abortion and alarmingly photogenic -- is expected to split women voters that would've otherwise put their weight behind Hillary (and failing that, her choice of POTUS). According to The Weekly Standard, honey's got an approval rating in the 90s and is allegedly "the most popular public official in any state."
Sounds like a dish the media won't be able to resist, even at the expense of the latest Obama mashup.