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It's always interesting to see marketers take an old, familiar canvas and do something different with it. And that's probably the only reason why this paired ad for Dasani and Sports Illustrated is worth mentioning. It's certainly not as nerve-wracking as this, as exhausting as this or as eye catching as this. But it makes an effort, and it's sort of clever. Kind of. Maybe. Actually the length of the straw makes the whole thing feel a bit silly.
Candystand concocts yet another diversion called Eclipse Polarity, an odd cross between a space and a jungle game where you shoot at mechanical bug-looking things before they shoot you first. Careful, they can shoot in diagonals too.
We've died several times in our generous attempt to test it for you and we have to say ping pong remains our favourite out of all the games Candystand has sent us in its effort to sway us from our divine ad-trashing mission. So if you want to try Eclipse Polarity, godspeed. If not, we'll see you at the ping pong table.
Never cross a Linux lover. Especially if you're Microsoft touting a new operating system called Vista. Linux lovers eschew Microsoft and many other companies claiming there way of computing life is far better than the rest of the world's which uses Microsoft...oh and Apple too. It seems some Linux lovers don't appreciate Microsoft's recent plastering of the world with its Vista marketing launch and took a blade to one of the campaign's posters cutting the word "Linux" into the board. Vandalism? Consumer Generated Marketing? Geeks on a rampage? You decide.
Apparently, commercials now cause suicide. You've heard us rail against those cause groups for every conceivable issue and ailment before and we're going to do it again. The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention has asked GM to yank its Deutsch LA-created Robot commercial in which a dejected robot is fired and commits suicide...in a fucking dream! For fuck's sake. When will this idiocy end? When will people realize we're talking about advertising here and not brain surgery? When will people get their head out of their asses and laugh when a piece of humor is placed in front of them? It's a robot...in a commercial. Hello?
In a twist on the usual interpretation of "friends with benefits," currently getting play on Boston Legal and because Pontiac says it's on the forefront of social networking (their words, not ours), the company is launching a Leo Burnett Detroit-created Friends With Benefits MySpace site which promises to offer awards to friends of those who buy Pontiac G5s. Pontiac tells us the promotion works as follows:
- MySpace users buy a Pontiac G5.
- They register their purchase on the "Friends With Benefits" profile page.
- They start getting cash benefits through their "Friends With Benefits" debit card, all the way up to $1,000.
Umm, buying an entire car just to join a promotion? Oh sure, we can understand the post-purchase, down-the-line benefits but, whoa, that's some price of entry. Getting a free. Oh but hey, if your gonna buy a G5 anyway and get up to $1,000, what's to complain about? Oh but wait. You have to bribe your friends to get a G5 too in order to earn the dough.
In a reversal of one of the most idiotic brand decisions in decades, two un-named Ford execs said the Taurus name will return and be affixed to the two year old, poorly named Five Hundred. In 1992, 410,000 vehicles were sold. The Taurus brand resurrected Ford and outsold all other cars old in America for five years straight. The name as retired last October after 21 years. New Ford Chief Executive Alan Malally has been high on the name since he joined Ford last year. Most assuredly, the ad campaign supporting this launch will be large and far-reaching. Whether or not the renamed Five Hundred will be remotely as popular as the original Taurus is an entirely different discussion.
Some spilled milk is worth crying over. This weird little ad from Hood Simply Smart starts out normal enough and ends in tears.
Hood is typically known for squeaky-clean happy-family ads so we're guessing some sadist in the ad department finally got his way. We're happy about it. The spot is quirky, plus we like seeing people cry.
Apparently, the backlash over the Snickers Super Bowl commercial in which two men end up kissing after eating a Snickers bar from opposite ends was too much for the company to take and, as a result, the candy maker has taken down the commercial's accompanying website, afterthekiss.com. Typing in the URL simply redirects to the Snickers site.
While we liked this spot purely for its shock value, there's a faintly high probability this will have a very real negative affect on sales. Can you imagine the looks one will now receive from the checkout clerk when they buy a Snickers bar? That's just way too much snickering for most people to take and there's plenty of other perfectly good candy choices with far less embarrassment attached to them.
Looks like Northwestern Mutual realized that marketing is about engaging customers, not just setting impersonal messages out to sail and hoping that small nudge into the big ocean will yield die-hard customers.
Per their own words, the brand "no longer desires to remain reserved and
unassuming." This year they'll be bold and assertive in their communications efforts.
Wreck Your Worries, a calming space where you can characterize your concerns and choose a weapon to destroy them (we picked the golf club), heralds the intro for the new Northwestern. The campaign reminds us that we do take our problems to the office space, and now instead of stewing over them in passive aggressive silence we can blow holes through them with a mase on an insurance website.
A little silly, but we like it.
We're going to venture a guess and say Pepsi is fast losing the identity contest between itself and Coke, which reminded everyone in its series of Super Bowl spots of its place in feel-good Americana. That's the only explanation we have for this invitation to design Pepsi's next billboard, a campaign that falls in line with their new series of customized can designs. Very Jones Soda.
Well, here's to hoping Pepsi finds what it's looking for (a salute to the spirit of youth and discovery, according to their site intro). If nothing else, the Super Bowl showed us consumers can outdo marketers on their own territory. And we have yet to see a really good consumer-generated print ad.