Zhi to Reclaim Chinese Dignity on Olympic Soccer Field


Chinese footballer Zheng Zhi brings some Asian Algier to Adidas' Beijing Olympics campaign.

The hand-drawn spot builds on "Together" with Zhi's narrative about how the 2008 Beijing Olympics will redeem his people from loss. Disembodied wings carry the Chinese into the clouds. The Chinese, and some feathers, fall out of the sky when Zhi describes the 1999 game.

Despite the tripped-out depressing imagery, the story ends on an up note. Because impossible is nothing, right?

Deep. Or at least really abstract. In which case ... deep.

by Angela Natividad    Feb-11-08    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Celebrity, Commercials, Events, Television

Blackberry Dabbles in Comedy to Snare Fresh Demo


So, 101 bellybuttons walk into a bar.

This is just one of the cliffhangers you won't revisit after checking out teasers for this Blackberry-sponsored improv troupe.

Add crappy video quality and comedians telling jokes on the phone (isn't that a social faux-pas? If it isn't, it SHOULD BE), and you've got yourself an unbeatable stench.

Ads for the effort were featured on the front page of the Times. Richard at Gawker pointed it out to us. Thanks for engaging us in the angst, Richard.

by Angela Natividad    Feb-11-08    
Topic: Bad, Brands, Events, Mobile/Wireless, Online

Rumors Favor Fallon For Microsoft Win


Since last December Fallon Minneapolis and Crispin Porter + Bogusky have been battling for the $2-300 million Microsoft consumer products account. The Daily Ad Biz reports rumors are flying Microsoft has chosen Fallon. There's been no confirmation either way but wouldn't it be fun if waning poster boy CP+B took a hit? OK, that's mean. We'd never wish that on anyone. Well, maybe we would but not here. May the best shop (or the one that plays the game the best) win.

by Steve Hall    Feb-11-08    
Topic: Agencies, Brands

Will Ferrell's Jackie Moon Shills Bud Light And Old Spice


Adland makes note of Will Ferrell's appearance in not just that Super Bowl commercial for Bud Light but also a series of commercials for Old Spice in which he plays the same character, Jackie Moon, the character he will play in his upcoming movie Semi-Pro bowing February 29.

There are eight videos which you can view on the Old Spice website promote both Old Spice and Ferrell's Semi-Pro movie. So we've got the King of Beers, the King of consumer packaged goods (Proctor & Gamble which owns Old Spice) and New Line Cinema all hooking up with Will Ferrell to deliver a deliciously hilarious tie in for a beer, a cologne and a movie.

by Steve Hall    Feb-11-08    
Topic: Brands, Celebrity, Good, Promotions

CareerBuilder Gruntledness Index Highlights Hotpots of Happy


To cash in on the quiet misery that ornaments cubicle life, CareerBuilder gives us the National Gruntledness Index, which highlights the happiest places to work. Results can be divvied by industry. But if the NGI is any indicator of reality, Oklahoma City is the best place in the nation no matter what you're doing.

Contribute to the index by getting a read on your Personal Gruntedness. The test is longer than it should be, condescending in tone (hey, like your boss!) and set to music like "Brutal Flute" and "Celtic Hip-Hop." All told, it's not dissimilar to water torture or an elective butt-wax.

The average of your money, career and lifestyle comprise your final score. This was ours.

CareerBuilder, why do you want to hurt us when all we did was love you?

by Angela Natividad    Feb- 8-08    
Topic: Brands, Games, Good, Online, Promotions

HP Exploits Idle Hands with Idolhands Contest


HP is looking for the world's most talented hands.

Entrants to the Idolhands contest could win $10,000 or one of four TouchSmart PCs. Contest ends February 28.

Having sat through five or six of these, we don't imagine the expectations are super-ambitious. If you're Vera Wang or Jay-Z, that is.

Other brands have have relegated talent to fancy fingertips include Guinness, Elle MacPherson (in panties, no less!), and Phaeton.

Oh, and Campusfood, if soliciting handouts counts.

by Angela Natividad    Feb- 8-08    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Consumer Created, Online

Mazda Courts YouTube Car-Lovers with YouTube-Esque Demo


Maybe because it has so much trouble getting people into actual cars, Mazda is inviting users to test-drive its virtual cars on Southern California roads: Angeles Crest, Arroyo Pkwy, the Pacific Coast Highway and Decker Canyon.

There's an explanation for the odd action angles (for example, the one where you get a birds-eye view of the front wheel). Mazda observed that on YouTube, car enthusiasts strap cameras to the sides of their cars to show you how gears shift and such.

Okay, then. Now excuse us while we head back to Problem Playground.

by Angela Natividad    Feb- 7-08    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Online

Silk-Clad Singers Bring Us Cerealbox of Love


It's not Justin Timberlake's Dick in a Box, but Dawn's Early Knights have our more immediate interests at heart: honey-sweet lovin', coated in chocolate romance.

Visit I Made You Breakfast in Bed, a Valentine's Day effort by Honey Bunches of Oats with Real Chocolate Clusters. (Score a $2-off coupon on the site, and visit The Pantry to find out how to make artificial roses seem less ... artificial.)

Props out to Eddie, who gave us exceptionally fresh morning creepage when he personalized the song for us. With rose petals.

by Angela Natividad    Feb- 7-08    
Topic: Brands, Good, Online, Promotions

At Honda UK, Problems Are Just Bigger Playgrounds


Check out this fun new Honda ad by Wieden + Kennedy. Also see LOL-worthy website Problem Playground. It will bring out your inner Alice.

The effort is for Honda UK. We like the collective "HURRAAAAAAY!" in the site intro and its straightforward nav: "Click on things to go there. Click 'Home' to come back here." Site includes puzzles, 360-degree vehicle features, download options for the commercial, and a making-of-the-ad video.

Whoever said assembly line work was dehumanizing clearly wasn't employed in the Hybrid department. Suddenly we're starving for a big fat zero-emissions jigsaw.

by Angela Natividad    Feb- 7-08    
Topic: Brands, Commercials, Good, Online, Television

Sleepy Alesha Dixon Video Fails to Stimulate Focus


Champion Alesha Dixon of Strictly Come Dancing stars in this valium-esque Ford Focus ad, which debuted February 1st on Ford.co.uk. Cake masterminded it, tapping Alesha for her number-one status among the Brits, and included nifty knick-knacks like instruments made of real car parts.

The latter sounded neat, but we didn't much notice. All told, the video lacks life and seems too smoked-out and tame to even be decadent. Nice icepick shoes, though. And okay, the personalized plate? Cheesy.

Maybe this is just another one of those clashing Brit vs. American sensibility things.

Psst, Ford and Alesha. Watch Beyonce and Armani do it.

Update: Oops. Look like we pushed an angry button. Brit fans are really sick of comparisons between Alesha and B (see YouTube comments).

by Angela Natividad    Feb- 7-08    
Topic: Brands, Celebrity, Online, Sponsorship, Television

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