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.
We were ready to pan this new campaign by Old Spice but after exploring it we realized there was no way that we could. Experience Old Spice reaches for a younger demographic, but instead of trying to make itself young and cool like other brands, Old Spice positions itself as the brand of choice for men of culture and experience.
And who better to tell you what manliness is than Bruce Campbell, the kitsch king who demolishes zombies with chainsaws and boomsticks?
The campaign includes a 50-question test gauging whether you're man or boy. And instead of asking beer-oriented questions while a chick undresses, these are actually pretty tough. Can most 20-something guys tell the difference between a Monet and a Van Gogh? We're sure they'll be able to after this.
Also check out the section where worldly men their pass life experience on. Learn critical skills like how to shake hands like a Siberian and how to read aircraft gauges. And get advice from Bruce Campbell himself.
We love this campaign. We just love it. And we hope they expand on the effort, because it's the perfect way to reinvigorate an aging brand.
So, Pizza Hut's removed most everything we found unliveable about their Pizza Hut delivery guy effort on MySpace. This time around they're shooting for something innocuous and mild, changing their protagonist from a ridiculously self-absorbed tool to a fairly average gamer and HD lover.
The updated MySpace also includes Youtube videos that pretty much demonstrate how irresistible the guy is when he's got a box of pizza in his hands. Judging from the jump in friends (it's nearly doubled), the revamped MySpace is apparently slightly more palatable than the previous effort, but unless Pizza Hut plans on using the guy outside of MySpace in long-term ad campaigns or other guerilla efforts, we don't see it working much in their favour.
We've seen teases of this Budweiser Super Bowl ad in which an army of crabs steals a cooler full of Bud, makes off with it and then bows at its feet in worship. Although we're not sure highlighting the worship of your product by such lowly creatures as crabs is necessarily a positive. It's OK though because the commercial has hotties in bikinis in it to distract us from that notion. See the ad here.
OK, this is just gross. There's a reason why hot women (and men) are allowed to take their shirts off and strut their stuff for the general public's appreciation. That's the reason why that 2003 Miller Catfight Super Bowl spot received so much notoriety. While Miller did create a male hottie version of the pool/mud wrestling spot, the two guys in that ad stopped short of having an actual fight and got all "sensitive man" on us to which, we wrote, "Oh please...can't they just beat the shit out of each other like the girls did in the mud wrestling spot?"