Smirnoff's Multifaceted Purity Message Makes Powerful Statements

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With not so subtle environmental and political commentary, this new JWT London-created commercial for Smirnoff - sent to us by Adrants reader Scamp - just blows away any recent liquor ad - or any ad, for that matter - we've seen in a long time. With amazing special effects and bone-chilling Soviet-style music, the sea rebels against man's carelessness and penchant for war mongering by eradicating itself of human byproduct to illustrate Smirnoff's "extraordinary purification" and deliver its "Clearly Smirnoff" tagline.

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by Steve Hall    Jul-31-07    
Topic: Agencies, Best, Brands, Commercials



Gorbachev Lets Loose (or Not) for Louis

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When politics and pop culture meet, it's always a little fun to watch the synergy. Adverlab points us to this spot for Louis Vuitton, which slid from the Lolita-esque Scarlett Johanssen series to a celebrity survey that includes Mikhail Gorbachev, the Soviet Union's first (and last) president.

The New York Times observes that Gorbachev "appears the last comfortable [...] holding on to a door handle, as if the bag contained polonium 210."

Upon examining Gorbachev's expression, and then the bag, we've concluded there's definitely not a bowling ball in it. (Although it may well be perestroika.)



Apparently, Pepsi Can Make You a Clown

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Here's an ad that's generating a bunch of icky reactions. Rekindling It phobias and sparking court jester jokes, apparently Pepsi will add a little (too much) color to lives that would otherwise fade into grayscale.

How in hell did this get past the pitch room? Maybe somebody thought lips in brand-colored trappings would be a natural nod to the distinctive Pepsi logo. And because we know somebody's going to step forward and go, "Hey, guys, obviously it worked because people are talking about it," we're going to roll our eyes in advance and STFU.

by Angela Natividad    Jul-31-07    
Topic: Brands, Outdoor, Strange



Microsoft Zune Distracts from Crappy Product with Emo Ad

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This ad for the Microsoft Zune (you must be like, Why are they making new commercials for that?), which AdFreak has dubbed the indie Peter Pan tribute, is a pretty but otherwise fairly pointless experience.

Moonlit ET-style silhouettes aside, the ad would probably suit better for Polaroid, considering there's actually an insta-cam featured between the lovebirds. But considering how hard Polaroid's rolling these days, the spot may ring too sappy for the hard-partying camera execs.

by Angela Natividad    Jul-30-07    
Topic: Brands, Commercials



HP Gets Personal with the Cult of Graphic Design

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Perhaps sick of playing with other people's hands, HP rips a page out of Apple's playbook and tries taking the back door into widespread popularity: by appealing to graphic designers.

Toyrama, created by Arc Worldwide Singapore, is jammed with all the tiresome but stock aspects of an animated world, including theatrical, urban and comical elements, with a Willy Wonka twist: the best animated director to join the Toyrama contest gets to visit Dreamworks.

Don't forget to return your Everlasting Gobstopper on the way out.

by Angela Natividad    Jul-30-07    
Topic: Brands, Online, Promotions



iPod+iTunes Eat More than Fill, Regurgitate Pop Culture

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VLAN! drew our attention to this 3D billboard for the iPod (and iTunes), which is perched somewhere above the streets of New York. We can see a few album covers in our own collection, including Sinatra and Jack Johnson, which definitely gives the ad a double-take quality.

Is it just us, or does it look like the wee white device is vomming media? Guess that's apt.

by Angela Natividad    Jul-30-07    
Topic: Brands, Good, Outdoor, Strange



Umpqua's 'Lemonaire' Gives Pint-Sized Take to Burgeoning Business

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We liked this would-be viral for Umpqua Bank by Creature, which showcases the travails of the budding entrepreneur from the eyes of a seven-year-old "lemonaire" who hasn't yet learned there are myriad ways in which life can maim and destroy the dreams you hold dear.

Of potential lemonade stand competitors, the little hero ambitiously opines, "I'm gonna crush them and turn them into parking lots."

We're touched.

We also like the tack Umpqua took in not putting together some gritty astroturf viral. They effectively converted an obscure brand we've seen on a couple of drab buildings into a sunshiny, fun place to teach one's kiddies about the value of money ... and interest rates.

It's worth mentioning that Jim Haven served as creative director on this spot. We'd hate on him some more but we're still pleasantly sedated by all the yellow on the Lemonaire site.

by Angela Natividad    Jul-27-07    
Topic: Brands, Good, Online, Video



Ask Tries Hard to Go Low-Budget

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Fallon, London just put together these new spots for Ask.com. They've got that VHS vibe going on and are weird, but oddly watchable. (We liked Algorithm best, probably because of the dancing.)

With the failure of Jeeves and the new face of Ask, characterized by that cryptic billboard campaign, it took us awhile to warm up to the brand's quirky new personality. The ninja effort probably helped.

What we like about the new Ask is that they manage the random humor well but don't go all left-field - all efforts serve the purpose of delivering the same, consistent message in different ways.

Smart. Why is that so hard to do?

by Angela Natividad    Jul-26-07    
Topic: Brands, Online, Strange



Perry Ellis Goes Back to Beach, Confuzzles Our Fashion Sense

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Fashion advertising, more so than any other form, is in the eye of the beholder. Just ask D&G. While we don't fawn over fashion mags as much as, say, Anna Wintour fawns over next season's collections but we're quite sure Perry Ellis, whose Fall 2007 press release gushes, "the legendary American fashion brand known for pushing the envelope in its seasonal advertising campaigns, is taking yet another unexpected turn..." is doing no such thing with this new print campaign.

We could be wrong. And since we don't claim to get it right all the time like Bob Garfield does, that's always a possibility but we don't think so in this case. That comic book thing from the last campaign? We never got it. Way too hipsteresque for our jaded sense of the world.

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by Steve Hall    Jul-26-07    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns



But Alltel, Wireless Guys Aren't Geeky; They Wear Pomade, Like You

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Brentter was recently sent the latest iteration of the Alltel Wireless ad series, which improves upon the earlier set by adding more geektacularity to the personalities of its wireless competitors.

We agree that the new series is better (the "we could learn to be archers" reference in this acknowledges films-gone-geeky like Lord of the Rings and Napoleon Dynamite), and the campaign's definitely drawn the roving eyes of friends seeking to change wireless plans.

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by Angela Natividad    Jul-25-07    
Topic: Brands, Commercials, Mobile/Wireless










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