Candystand's Fire and Ice is Total '80s Throwback

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The bitchy thing about Candystand, which has long exhausted its welcome in the Adrants annals, is their advergames are actually really good.

Take this new one called Fire and Ice. With unique characters and quirky music, the game still manages to bring us back to the Super NES days, jumping over turtles and malicious red owls while trying to sate an endless lust for floating coins. We can't trash something we just blew half an hour playing.

Our only problem with it is it lacks that classic Mario speed-running feature. Do you hear us, advergame gods? We want a speed-running feature.

by Angela Natividad    Aug- 2-07    
Topic: Brands, Games, Good, Online



Dell Reviews, Disney Buys Club Penguin, Deutsch Huffs, Sex Still Sells

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- Dell's $760 million account is up for grabs and everyone wants it.

- Disney just gave the three Canadian dads who launched Club Penguin $350 million with another $350 million on the way in 2009.

- Catch Speedo King Donny Deutsch and uber political commentator Arianna Huffington at the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas September 30 - October 2 when they speak at the Electronic Retailing Association convention.

- BL Ochman tells us how one brand, Kryptonite Lock, has improved its handling of social media outbursts dramatically since 2004 when it was awarded Business 2.0's Dumbest Business Moment of the Year Award.

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by Steve Hall    Aug- 2-07    
Topic: Brands, Industry Events, Social, Weblogs



Facebook Rates, Alan Pottash Dies, Butts Covered, Heads Circumsized

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- If you care, Facebook's heretofore "non-existent" ad rates have been leaked.

- Pepsi's Alan Pottash, the man behind many successful campiagns such as Pepsi Generation, Pepsi Challenge and all those celbu-commercials, died July 27 in LA at the age of 79.

- Toto's Times Square bare asses have been covered - quite creatively - following complaints from Reverend Neil Rhodes of the Times Square Church.

- This is what happens when an ad agency with just ten people and three accounts has too much time on their hands.

by Steve Hall    Jul-31-07    
Topic: Agencies, Brands, Online, Outdoor, Policy, Strange, Video



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










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