HP Exploits Idle Hands with Idolhands Contest

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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



Flanked by '72 Dolphins, Reebok Politely Seeks Super Bowl Buzz

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This ad for Reebok aired after the game ended on Super Bowl Sunday. It's called "Giants, Welcome to Perfectville."

The premise: the 1972 Miami Dolphins -- the only undefeated team in NFL history -- have long been living in a sleepy but sunny town called Perfectville. One of the members receives a gift from the NY Giants playfully marked, "Enjoy it for one more year."

Other tame leaps at humor include players reliving games, but slowly forgetting what positions they played.



Yes, But Will There Be a Technicolor Dreamcoat?

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If you can't afford LSD, mark your calendars (February 15th) for the debut of The Sound of Color.

"Does red sound like gurgling, molten lava?" the website asks. "Does green sound like the familiar tune of wind whistling through the trees? Do black and white even make a sound? What is the sound of color?"

We played with the idea of going, "Oh my, what is this? What is this?" but the truth is we already know because we wrote it up for MarketingVOX. This is a Gap campaign for which artists will write songs and make videos about color in all its tie-dye glory.

The site will hock colorful swag and free music downloads. After a month, artists will regain the rights to their songs, and some of the meaner ones might decide they don't want you downloading their pigment-inspired masterpieces for free. As with manna, hoard as much as you can.

by Angela Natividad    Feb- 6-08    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Celebrity, Online



CareerBuilder Teaches the Timid to Reach Out and Touch Themselves

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We're officially crazy about CareerBuilder's "Start Building" campaign, which debuted on Super Bowl Sunday.

Wieden+Kennedy, with help from a52 and (Rock Paper Scissors), gives us "Help You, Help You" and "Self-Help Yourself."

We didn't really get what was going on in "Help You, Help You" until the end, which had the odd effect of keeping us glued to our seats until we could make sense of it. We'll preface it thus: watching a guy stroke his own face, before lovingly carrying himself out of his pathetic job, gave us that "foreign-finger-in-our-bellybutton!!!" feeling.

more »

by Angela Natividad    Feb- 6-08    
Topic: Best, Brands, Campaigns, Commercials, Television



Forget POTUS for a Sec. What's Your Favourite CAR?

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Here's a piece that uses Super Tuesday to promote Motor Trend magazine's 2008 Car of the Year campaign.

The heading reads, "America Cast Its Vote. Now It's Time for the Dutch." It alludes to yesterday's bids for the presidential incumbents, but actually refers to how North Americans made the Cadillac CTS its Car of the Year.

Witty and wily, in a vapid sort of way.

The ad, produced by Leo Burnett's Frankfurt-based Ignition Groupoe, debuts in Europe today. Check out the CTS at www.voteamerican.eu.

by Angela Natividad    Feb- 6-08    
Topic: Brands, Magazine, Political



Taking Cue from Apple, Nissan Murano Ads Highlight Usability

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While the Murano strikes us as exceptionally dull at first sight, here's a low-key ad that does a nice job of highlighting its merits. (Very Apple.)

The spot broke during the Super Bowl. Understandably, nobody paid it much mind; it's a bit mellow for such a high-tension time of year. But in normal daytime TV context -- between a Pampers ad and maybe a soothing Advil spot -- it would probably work quite nicely.

Hey, guess who made it? The ever-addled folks at TBWA\CHIAT\DAY.

by Angela Natividad    Feb- 6-08    
Topic: Brands, Commercials, Good, Super Bowl 2008, Television










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