Starbucks Goes Bananas, Mennen Spiffs, Cusack Talks Dirty Politics, Microsoft Bans 'Gay'

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- Can your manly-man hair pass the caress test?

- If a chaste mermaid won't save Starbucks, maybe frozen bananas will. (Ugh, dude.)

- Some celebrities educate the public on the Burma situation; John Cusack tallies similarities between McCain and Bush. MoveOn, as usual, is helping raise money to get the ad on air.

- Apparently the Copyright Nazis are after more than just pirates these days. In the UK, you can be prosecuted for playing music too loud or playing it for callers on hold without a license. From now on, let's just keep all music secret and see how the record industry fares.

- Baseball and the Tour de France aren't the only sports to disillusion one-time fans; almost half of Advertising Age readers believe the NBA rigs its games. I fondly await the day Canadians lose faith in hockey. Oh wait, many - already - have.

- A Microsoft Xbox Live group banned a player because he used "gay" in his gamer tag, "RichardGaywood." Upon discovering that was the guy's name, they BANNED IT ANYWAY. Microsoft, you charmers, you.

by Angela Natividad    Jun-15-08    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Cause, Celebrity, Events, Online, Political



Learn to Distinguish Between Storks. One of Them Isn't Carrying Children

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Some storks bring you babies. But watch out for the one with the glasses; he's got nothing but pickles.

Publicis & Hal Riney/SF is helping to reposition reinvigorate pickle company Vlasic and its 34-year-old stork icon. The stork's personality was modeled off Groucho Marx and appears in current TV ads* as a quirky friend of the family. Vlasic's tagline was also changed to "That's the tastiest crunch I ever heard."

more »

by Angela Natividad    Jun-13-08    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Online, Radio, Strange, Television



Yahoo Castrates Microsoft Talks, Forms Search Relationship with Google

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Yahoo to Microsoft: no, you can't have the company, and no, you can't buy our search, either. This follows FOUR MONTHS of hardcore media drama between the two of them. Here's a word from stock market angryman Carl Icahn (who, btw, is trying to oust Y!'s board):

In my opinion it will be extremely difficult for Microsoft or any other companies to trust, work with and negotiate with a company that would go to these lengths [to scuffle a deal].

more »

by Angela Natividad    Jun-13-08    
Topic: Bad, Brands, Online



Bell Bails, a52 Honored, Obama Fights Smears, Tots Tattoo, and MTLB Beats Down Bad PRs

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- Global marketing guy Jeff Bell is leaving Microsoft. He's held his post since 2006.

- a52, which produced the visual effects for that Monster.com spot with the people on the rails, won some love at the Association of Independent Commercial Producer's 17th Annual Show. This is the 11th year its work was recognized by the AICP. To celebrate, it created a YouTube chronology of all the a52 spots that have been honored by the Show. Watch them.

- Obama for America has launched an online news site to fight the smears against his name.

- Make the Logo Bigger created guidelines for the ideal PR. If you don't meet 'em, you're not just getting trashed; you'll be marked as SPAM.

- Not ad-related, but hey: here is a rhinoplasty tutorial. After a few slides, even YOU could do it! Well, maybe she could.

- Speaking of tattooing tots, here are some tattoos for tots. Prepare them early on for their future as this guy. (That tribal-inspired tattoo actually contains the coordinates for $50K and keys to a Volvo.)

by Angela Natividad    Jun-12-08    
Topic: Agencies, Brands, Campaigns, Industry Events, Political



Crest Makes Even Playground Destruction Seem Pleasant

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Hmm. Nothing like a good tube of Crest to gloss over the travesty of modernization at the cost of childhood play. Yes, Crest can, in fact, make even the destruction of a playground in favor of a power plant seem, well, pleasant.

Here's another. This one makes even lice seem like a good thing.

by Steve Hall    Jun-12-08    
Topic: Brands, Commercials, Strange



Microsoft Angles for the Favor of Procrastinators

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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.

by Angela Natividad    Jun-12-08    
Topic: Bad, Brands, Campaigns, Online



Panasonic Gives Us Worldwide Olympic Wave

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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?

by Steve Hall    Jun-12-08    
Topic: Brands, Consumer Created, Online



Just Another Subservient Animal Who Needs a Favor

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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.

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



Billboard Garden Gets Gold, Mama Gets Facebook, Ritz-Carlton Makes Movies

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- 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.

by Angela Natividad    Jun-10-08    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Industry Events, Online, Outdoor, Video



That Car Lot's Alive ... with the Sound of Music!

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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.

by Angela Natividad    Jun-10-08    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Good, Outdoor










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