Our dirty-minded friend Freud once said a cigar is just a cigar. But there's something deliciously perverse about the outdoor ads for Camel's new menthol Wides, which are "big fat delicious."
For some, it may be all too tempting to set a new Wide between their lips and...
Blow some smoke?
Light that fire?
There's no way this can end nicely.
We were stalking the streets of NYC one night when we saw this compromised poster that said "Windorphins are like a ticker tape parade for your soul." A ticker tape parade is too exciting to turn down so we dashed drunkenly home and plugged windorphins.com into our browser.
After 10 or 11 tries we arrived at the site and discovered that Windorphins are a "natural byproduct of eBay" and are the hormonal result of a victory. The site features studies, celebrity comparisons ("Who's got more Windorphins?"), an opportunity to make your own "Windorphs" (like Weemees, except in your bloodstream!) -- and of course a place to conduct searches on eBay.
The campaign wasn't super-imaginative but we're fairly sure it's more successful than a lot of online efforts out there, mainly because eBay advertises outdoor. Which brings up a good point: just because you're running an online campaign doesn't mean you should only advertise over the internet.
New Balance, which hopes for a brand revival with help from its parent company Payless (we don't see it happening), tapped Almighty, Boston to help them push their brand-spankin'-new NB Zip shoe technology.
We're not really sure what the NB Zips do and aren't really digging the idea of foraging through the requisite (and probably pointless) web destination, which has sprung up, all Flashed-up and interactive-like, to explain the mystery.
The ad, in which a potentially addled boy brings roadkill back to life by shocking it into consciousness with his shoes, has us hoping New Balance will come out with a Taser footwear variant of this promising technology.
Chances are, though, that "NB Zips" are really just a revival of those horrifying LA Gears that did so badly when we were kids.
H&M, the low-cost clothing brand for those who still want to feel high-end, isn't picky when it comes to selecting a figure to sport its duds.
Toronto has become the apparently unhappy host to a set of buses entirely H&M'ed-out, featuring transparently peppy messages like "Everyone on board is going to our new store!"
(We seriously doubt that, H&M. Seriously.)
Say hello to Diet Coke Plus, an - in our opinion, misguided - attempt to keep snacky drinks relevant in the American health craze. In less than a year, we'll bet you $5 this vitamin- and mineral-enhanced beverage is off the shelves and lost in the shuffle of other badly-planned notions, like Vanilla Coke.
Here's a crazy idea: salad at some point in the day, and lots of water - not that flavored stuff hopped-up on still more vitamins.
Did we mention we hate the cyan-crazed '90s vibe of the Coke Plus packaging? Way to be dated, guys.
We were buggering around on some other ad sites when we came across this set of banners for Zipcar flashing at us.
Under the impression that Zipcar was offering us 350 hours for sex, we were scandalized and a little perplexed.
And then we realized it was giving us two facts. Apparently, according to some average out there in the ether, people spend 350 hours having sex and 420 hours looking for parking.
Armed with this new understanding, we were even more excited: using a Zipcar can nail us that displaced 420 hours (for sex)! Then we thought, wait. Driving a Zipcar won't win us more down-and-dirty time; it'll just ensure that we don't have to pay for that time (parking is included in the Zipcar deal).
Half-heartedly we thought, well, that's almost as good as sex. But no, it isn't.
We can't even count the number of times we've been dragged to some canine haven by an overzealous pet, so this new ad by Petco, brought to us by good old Brentter, definitely struck a sappy chord.
We were jarred back into reality by the voice and branding message at the end, though. It just didn't jive well. The guy sounded like a hard-boiled narrator for an energy drink - you know, like this, except ever so slightly less intense.
That bold-ass font didn't help matters either.
Advertising Age drew some attention to an effort by Levi's to strengthen its clout in the gay community by producing an ad twice - once for the straight community, and once for the gay one. The gay one ran exclusively on MTV's Logo network (which, unless it branches out, sounds like it's probably getting less play than the hetero version).
As always with Levi's the production is clean but the concept is wrongfully credited for being the first to do the gay/straight coin toss with human beings.
Orbitz, noted by Ad Age for having done this with marionettes, also produced a set of thematically gay and straight ads with human beings.
Visitors to the "top of the Rock!" (er, the Rockefeller building) in NYC may have noticed a really interesting spaceship-type thing on their way back down.
This strange little room, dubbed the Target Breezeway, can apparently sense the number of people wandering mystified in its midst and associates each person with a color that then generates distracting, if not dazzling, reactions along the walls.
Most of us walked around like zombies trying to place our palms on the occasional Target symbol that appeared. Every few minutes, and with enough warm bodies, the Breezeway lights up in a display that would put Times Square at New Year's to shame.
We've always maintained that the best way to ensnare a small population would be to draw them into a secluded space with shiny objects. The Target Breezeway is an ingenious way of demonstrating that possibility.
We were definitely sucked in.
To get the most out of its most current Mancave ad campaign, Alltel launches ... wait for it, wait for it ...
By manufacturing a sense of animosity allegedly felt by those "other" wireless guys against Alltel, the burgeoning mobile company hopes to lend the sense that it's, if not bigger, then at least more chill than its hopelessly pre-pubescent, nunchuk-toting contemporaries.
Requisite MySpace at WirelessThugz.com. You get the picture.
It's really cool that all these online brand communities are launching to back up these funny little ad campaigns, but how does traffic actually get to any of them? How are they actually leveraged? After the death of bud.tv, we remain nonplussed.