Starbucks to Kick Dunkin's Ass With 1,600 Stores and National TV Campaign

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As if there weren't already enough Starbucks on every corner of every city and town in the nation, the chain plans to open 1,600 more in the next year. Partially in support of that and partially to stave off a minor (one percent) decline in transactions per store, Strabucks, in a conference call yesterday announced it would launch a new (it's first) national TV campaign (three spots now, two later in November) as well as an online initiative where visitors can share holiday cheer. Wieden + Kennedy is behind the campaign.

Hmm. Does America really run on Dunkin' or is Starbucks out to change that once and for all?

by Steve Hall    Nov-16-07    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Online, Television



Tree-Hugging Pedal Pushers: Innovate or Die!

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Pedaling to save the world -- or at least fuel advertising -- has endless appeal because we'll probably never run out of human energy or youthful tenacity.

The idea of driving people to oblivion for not doing the right thing (Vote or die!, Funny or die!, Assimilate with Android or die!) is also insanely appealing.

So Google and Specialized give us Innovate or Die(!), a rewards-driven invitation for young engineers to invent eco-friendly, zero-emission machines that operate on human pedal power.

If you're crazy enough to do it, or need to kill time until FlugTag, make a film about it and post it on YouTube by December 15.

Prize for the most innovative submission includes $5K and a Specialized Globe bike. Five runners-up will also get Specialized Globe bikes. We don't actually know what those are.

by Angela Natividad    Nov-15-07    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Cause, Online



Orangina, Did You Really Just Go There?

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Wow. We knew Orangina had pulp, but we didn't know they meant pulp like Pulp Fiction means pulp. (Or maybe we should be thinking Flashdance.)

Actually, there are a few other movie references worth noting in this commercial, which will change the way you look at forest animals. Seriously. Inter-bestial relationships were beyond our realm of Orangina-oriented thinking, plus we've never seen a flamingo pole dance before.

Says CD Todd Mueller of Psyop, "I guess it goes without saying that when you get the opportunity to spray Orangina all over the chest of a sexy bunny girl, you go for it." In terms of sheer logic, that's not really helpful, but it puts the spot in context.

(Dude, our dad gives us this stuff when we go home for the holidays!)

Catch more info on the creators, and Steve's take on the spot, here.

by Angela Natividad    Nov-15-07    
Topic: Brands, Commercials, Racy, Strange



Google Debuts Contextual Email Security. Hrm.

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Postini just released a few updates that include contextual email security. If your email, or an attachment to it, has a social security or credit card number in it, the message will be automatically gobbledy-gooked as it wizzes through the tubes.

If this all doesn't go to shit, Google will probably debut Postini-esque security offerings for wikis, blogs and instant messages, says Google rep Adam Swidler to Internet News.

We know Google's really married to this "contextual" thing but we just wanted to point out "contextual" can give rise to both appropriate and inappropriate algorithmic activities. Observe the dumb-fuckery resulting from bad (or maybe just inopportune?) contextual advertising: 1, 2, 3, 4 (and we could go on).

by Angela Natividad    Nov-14-07    
Topic: Brands, Online, Opinion



Disgruntled Stuffed Animals Butt Heads, then Hug, for Zune

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New ad for Zune Arts: Masks, which follows the "don't fight; sharing is caring!" trail that this one started. Imagine the Care Bears and Disney jumping Tim Burton on William Wallace Avenue. Add a dash of Bravia bunny. Now we're in business.

The work was directed by Jonathan Garin and Naomi Nishimura of PandaPanther, NYC; produced by 72andSunny. The track is “Young Men Dead” by The Black Angels.

This was the last time we liked a Zune ad.

The new Zune Arts website also launched today with help from 72andSunny. According to the PR people, it's "bigger, faster, stronger." Yeah, we've heard that one before.

This one does look faster, though. But what does it mean to be "bigger" and "stronger"?

by Angela Natividad    Nov-14-07    
Topic: Brands, Commercials



Commercial Closet to Honor Absolut, AmEx for Gay Efforts

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Absolut Vodka and American Express are receiving AdRespect honors for appealing to the gay community in their ad efforts for about 40 years, combined.

Commercial Closet, which is bestowing the honors, is debuting the "AdRespect scores," which is a new industry standard for judging LGBT corporate marketing efforts. Scores go from 0-100 in terms of how well, and how often, a firm advertises to the gay community.

Honors go out at 8PM on November 15th at the TheTimesCenter in NYC. The New York Times will be hosting the event.

Check out spots by Absolut and American Express in the Commercial Closet archives. The print effort at left isn't an official Absolut ad, but it's also in the archives as a representation of the brand's longstanding friendliness toward the community.

by Angela Natividad    Nov-13-07    
Topic: Brands, Events, Social



Drew Barrymore Joins Parade of CoverGirls

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It would seem at the rate CoverGirl plows through celebrities for its ad campaigns there'd be none left to fill the company's ravenous appetite for new faces. Not that Drew Barrymore is a new face but she's the latest to step into the CoverGirl campaign and, thankfully, one that doesn't seem as fake as the parade of supermodels CoverGirl and other fashion brands have used in the past.

In the spot, which is very simple but visually very beautiful, Drew dances around for the photographer in what was supposed to be a teaser trailer to show the client. The client liked it so much they went with it. Created by Erricson Fina, produced by HSI and edited by Version2, the post is airing now.

by Steve Hall    Nov-13-07    
Topic: Brands, Celebrity, Commercials, Good



Imported Oranges Not Good to Eat But Good For Ear Muffs, Knee Pads

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Now here's a campaign that knows how to have fun. There's not many products you can slam while at the same time touting them as superior but that's what Florida's Natural is doing with its Orange Diaries. On a blog and in videos farmers Dave and Gus find all sorts of uses for imported (read, bad) oranges from using them as knee pads, ear muffs, pencil holders and a yo-yo. Simple. Amusing. Different.

by Steve Hall    Nov-13-07    
Topic: Brands, Good, Video, Weblogs



In the Year 2033, Svedka Vodka Will Make You a Monster!

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We continue to feel confused about Svedka Vodka's interpretations of the future. But confusion from arm's length is way better than getting dragged headlong into Svedka's Fem-bot world, which is exactly they're trying to do with Find Your Future You, a bewildering new marketing effort.

Grow Interactive, the interactive agency that put the site together, said we can upload our pictures and find out what we'll look like in the future. Our future selves can also send us witty text messages lending insight on what all's going down beyond the realms of trackable time.

Messages include the following example: "Hey It's Gender Bender You, mostly we date republican senators and televangelists now."

WTF, Svedka?

Anyway, we were having a little trouble finding pictures that matched the criteria for the site so we have no examples to show you. But the agency guy did send us this future-shot of a person called Chrystal.

by Angela Natividad    Nov-13-07    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Online, Strange



Another Attempt to Set Microsoft Straight, Courtesy of Ideas on Ideas

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Eric over at Ideas on Ideas wrote a detailed post about how Microsoft could reposition itself to appear less stodgy and scary for the consumers of tomorrow -- er, today. (Or yesterday?)

A few key points include positioning around power, cutting the crap and embracing the consumer, which are everyday proverbs we should all know by heart at this point.

The piece also includes some notes for Steve Ballmer.

Here's our advice: stop scaring us, Ballmer! This is the kind of crap that lost Howard Dean his bid for president.

Also, maybe Microsoft could learn a little about loosening up by examining its fan spoofs.

by Angela Natividad    Nov-12-07    
Topic: Brands, Opinion










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