To promote its MSN toolbar -- "Jet fuel for procrastinators!" -- Microsoft launched Start Procrastinating. You can either upload videos of yourself, flicking rubber bands around while putting off your creative brief, or watch three really stupid videos of a couple of dudes surf balling, folding shirts and sharpshooting.
Actually, the surf balling video's all right.
Start Procrastinating's no Clearification, which was appealing but a promotional flop for Microsoft. And avid procrastinators download StumbleUpon, not MSN. Sorry, champs.
Speaking of StumbleUpon, look what it found me! Free range workers. Yum.
Oh look. You can do the virtual wave courtesy of Panasonic as if you were going to be at the Beijing Olympics this summer. Called the World Wide Wave, the site (accessed by clicking World Wide Wave on the lower left hand corner of the Panasonic site) lets people upload their image and become part of a virtual crowd wave.
It's consumer-generated media, you know, according to Hisato Tsugita from Panasonic's corporate communications department. Yea. CGM. It's sweeping the globe like an Al Gore-sensationalized ozone layer hole. Who knew?
Apparently a thing called the Mac Monkey needs freeing. (He's "starved of creative stimulation." Guess he hasn't discovered his own poo yet. Also, why does he have people fingers?)
Intended to increase subscriptions to Creative Review Magazine, Free the Mac Monkey was conceived by London-based STEEL, which sought to distract us from calling foul ("SUBSERVIENT CHICKEN RIP-OFF!") with the tasteful inclusion of early Steve Jobs wall art. And they almost succeeded. Well ... no, not really.
- For client McDonald's, Leo Burnett/Chicago grew a lettuce garden spelling "FRESH SALADS" on a Wrigleyville billboard. Watch the garden grow. The effort won a Gold at New York Festivals' Innovative Advertising Awards. See other winners.
- Ritz-Carlton and AmEx caught the film bug. These three promotional movies "subtly weave exceptional and unique guest experiences into their story lines, demonstrating how The Ritz-Carlton has been able to elevate service to an art form." There's nothing subtle about the movies. But if PR were an art form, that sentence would be the template.
- It's a disappearing car door! Think De Lorean but without the retro wing action.
- Michelina's Mama gets a Facebook. Digging her profile photo. One commenter asks, "What would Mama think of 2 girls 1 cup?" Horrors.
What ho: an outdoor campaign that (arguably) improves the landscape. The Calcutta School of Music encourages onlookers to "Learn to Appreciate" Mozart, Haydn or Bach on ads attached to posts, which are attached to telephone wires, which were strung up with notes, like sheets of music.
Would have been nice to see some random dude try playing them.
If you've been following Adidas' "Impossible is Nothing" campaign for the Beijing Olympics, you're probably familiar with the format by now. Here's the final ad, featuring Feng Kun of the Chinese Volleyball Association and some disembodied eyes that are supposed to represent a Watchful Nation.
The pressure's on. I had that feeling at a spelling bee once. Unlike the CVA, I did not win my gold.
Previous spots: Together, Zheng Zhi and Hu Jia.
Apple is set to open its first France-based retail store right underneath the Louvre Pyramid. The store will be two stories high and will sit alongside brands like Sephora, Esprit and Virgin.
The Fortune blog -- linked above -- noted the Louvre Pyramid, which was built by I.M. Pei, would complement Apple's glass-encased Manhattan Fifth Ave. store nicely.
The image at left comes courtesy of Why Travel to France. It isn't likely Apple will totally appropriate the Pyramid -- but hell, Steve Jobs is a really persuasive guy. All he has to do is hold a conference in front of the museum and go, "This is going to be ... insanely great." (For effect, maybe he can whip a lighter, faster Pyramid out of an envelope.)
Who'll argue? Sarkozy? The Wall Street Journal? God? No.
- FunAdvice mashed up top search engine and soft drink brands, under the premise that search engines today inspire us the way colas once did. Hrm.
- Hitler plays the fated Hillary in this emotional Nazi interpretation of the Clinton/Obama nominee race. The best part is when he shouts "The DNC has thwarted my destiny!" while the women tremble in his midst. It wasn't as funny as Hitler Gets Banned though.
- Legal Sea Foods' "Fresh Fish" ads piss off the easily-rattled Bostonians. The MBTA decided to pull the ads after Green Line workers took offense to them. (Some ads said things like "This conductor has a face like a halibut." Touchy much?)
- Penis advertising gets you everywhere. Especially if you're Dov "The Colonel" Charney. Horrors.
- Build-a-Bear Workshop is partnering with Sanrio to let kids build Tropical Hello Kittys. "Tropical Hello Kitty's sun-kissed look is perfect for summer and we're certain that she'll be a big hit," says Dave Marchi of Sanrio. But will that sun-kissed pelt betray her age?
CNBC sports business reporter Darren Rovell, citing UPS' recent end to its winning streak with Big Brown in the Belmont horse race which was part of a larger event sponsorship, proposes the ad FedEx should run in response. With help from CNBC in-house designer Florence, created an ad with the headline "Big Brown...if you're not first, your last." Witty.
To promote Tom of Finland, a new manly-man scent from Etat Libre d'Orange, Ogilvy/Paris attached naughty images to protruding public fixtures.
Tom of Finland was a gay comic and erotica artist dedicated to preserving his craft. The Ogilvy street images follow his aesthetic.
About the scent: Antoine Lie, who created the fragrance, says the perfume manifests "a guy coming out of a shower. He's clean, but not fragranced. And he puts on leather pants."
Um, okay then. Onto the ads (with captions thoughtfully imagineered by me):
o Hard-ons on the promenade
o Dent-resistant elephant tusk
o Length isn't everything
o Warholian meter maids. Got a quarter for the big boys?
o Leaning tower of indefatigable self-esteem
o "...I guess I'm just lucky, Tad. As far as I can tell, I'm the only man capable of hugging my best friend."
The campaign started running in San Francisco at the beginning of June. They also appeared in Paris' Marais, a big gay hot-spot, last weekend.
Thanks to in:fluencia for the tip-off, and to Adrants reader Chris for the video of the Parisian wheatpasters (linked above).