Starbucks Fights Corporate Swelling with More Corporate Crap

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Early today Advertising Age ripped into Starbucks for its Pike Place coupons and throwback cups (in stores for six weeks, a barista told us). All part of an ongoing attempt to rekindle stale sparks with a costly ($100 million) promotional campaign, which is looking more Grocery Chain -- and less Indie Cafe -- by the minute.

Once upon a time, I loved Starbucks more than my hypothetical Firstborn-to-Be. It'll take a lot more than a buttery homebrew and gaudy vouchers to rein in the trouble of a brand that's just become too commercial.

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by Angela Natividad    Apr-21-08    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Opinion, Promotions, Worst



It May Not Hurt Kerouac, but Danielle Steel Might Feel the Burn

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While the IS F tears up the open road, the young lovers are on a path to tear their relationship apart. In the chapters that follow, eight additional authors have their way with Terence and Julia.

This is the kick-off for "In the Belly of the Beast," a collaborative story for Lexus Magazine (with logistical help from Story Worldwide). Participating authors include Jane Smiley, Pam Houston, Brian Antony and other scrivs unduly flattered by the Lexus pressie, titled "FORGET KEROUAC -- GO ON THE ROAD WITH LEXUS ORIGINAL FICTION."

The IS F: a great shag, and literary too? Mercy, I feel a Lifetime tie-in.

See last year's effort, "Black Sapphire Pearl."

by Angela Natividad    Apr-21-08    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Online, Publishing



If Laughter is a Symphony ... Why Do I Have Chills?

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This website, where you can make a symphony out of other people's laughter, is disturbing. I swept my mouse over a few faces by chance and am suffering from serious eek!-factor, probably because The Exorcist has warped my perspective of all things sweet and cuddly.

If you can get past the whole symphony-of-mirth thing, check out the cookbook for recipes like the Laughing Turkey Wrap. It might come in useful if you ever want to spark an intervention.

Created by Lowe Roche, Toronto for Laughing Cow, the site generates traffic from a print campaign with peel-away messages trussed up like pieces of cheese. See how pretty, even beside a pee stick?

by Angela Natividad    Apr-21-08    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Magazine, Online, Strange



Photos from ad:tech's SF '08 Exhibit Hall

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This year I got to visit the exhibit hall at ad:tech. Come share my experience, starting with this winning number from the AKQA /Search booth.

I am hipster. Witness the sulk-age against bleak existential black, and my awful white chairs.

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by Angela Natividad    Apr-21-08    
Topic: Brands, Events, Industry Events, Promotions



You Wish, Microsoft.

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We love internal propaganda. The thing is, Microserf or otherwise, nobody feels this way about Vista. NOBODY. And if they did, they damn well wouldn't rock out like it's 1999.

I'm in the ad:tech press room watching this video (thanks, MTLB), and the guy next to me -- a writer for VentureBeat -- just burst out laughing. "I just finished watching that right now," he said. "Oh man. I need to go lie down."

Every time the room gets a little quiet, he starts laughing uncontrollably all over again.

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by Angela Natividad    Apr-19-08    
Topic: Brands, Strange, Video, Worst



Ford Cars Used To Be Bad But Are Now Worth Buying. Honest.

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[Ed. We commented on Ford's new Drive One tagline earlier in March. Now Advertising Age comments. Now, we comment again.] Just when you think that re-designed cars that actually look good and drive well - step forward Ford Focus and Chevy Malibu - might position the American carmakers to start winning back the market share and brand battle that they have been so abjectly losing to their Japanese rivals, AdAge reports on Ford's new campaign, called "Drive One".

Have you driven a Ford lately, anyone?

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by Daily Ad Biz    Apr-19-08    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Opinion



Is It Wrong to Want to Live in a World Manufactured by Sony?

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Having teased us for weeks with videos and imagery, Sony has finally launched "Foam City," a spot for a line of camcorders and cameras, not the Bravia TVs like we originally thought.

Beautiful work. The music gives it a dreamlike quality, and people are depicted playing in the white menagerie while immortalizing the occasion with cameras.

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by Angela Natividad    Apr-14-08    
Topic: Best, Brands, Campaigns, Online, Video



Nike: Jump Over a Moving Car. Kobe Bryant: How High?

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Jun Group is distributing a Nike-sponsored YouTube video where Kobe shoves some shoes in the camera's face and then jumps over an Aston Martin coming at him from 50 MPH.

"DON'T -- TRY -- THIS -- AT HOME!" he shouts, but come on. How often have you done some dumb shit on a boring afternoon just to see if you could?

That Kobe. If he's not cheating on his fine-ass wife, he's doing silly shit for shoe dollars. Way to set an example, role model guy.

We're filing this under "Bad," but what we really mean is "Stupid."

by Angela Natividad    Apr-14-08    
Topic: Bad, Brands, Online, Sponsorship, Video



Like a Buzz Saw, Newcastle Takes the Edge Off

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vitro robertson recently launched this bus shelter campaign for Newcastle. In each poster, a glass of Newcastle beer is set alongside something prickly, like a blowfish or a cactus. The part nearest to the beer is jarringly barb-free.

"Smooth like no other," the ads read.

Weird. But you know what would be neat? If the ads were tactile, maybe in a magazine or something. They could be like scratch-and-sniffs, except for your fingers.

by Angela Natividad    Apr-11-08    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Outdoor, Poster



Those WWJD Bracelets? Way Past Their Prime. It's iPope Time

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If you've ever wondered what's on the Pope's iPod or how best to share your love of Christ with swag, now you can find out.

There is a blog dedicated entirely to the Pope. And it is called -- wait for it! -- Benedictions. And it's slathered with Roman Catholic must-haves and lots and lots of ads for Pope-related books and speaking engagements.

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by Angela Natividad    Apr-11-08    
Topic: Brands, Celebrity, Online, Promotions, Strange










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