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Leave it to the politically correct, sexually squeamish mind of an American to become so offended by those red-lipped, mouth-shaped urinals in a Netherlands McDonald's, the person's complaints caused the owner to remove them. Yes, we Americans are, for the most part, an oversensitive bunch so caught up in our fervent desire not to do anything that might remotely cause bad vibes for a person or a particular group of people, we read negativity into almost everything. The designer of the toilets, Meike van Schijndel, said the toilets were designed to be cartoonish and not represent a woman's mouth. Of course, way back in 2004 when they first appeared at New York's JFK airport, we didn't know how to react either.
Advergirl, fast becoming my new favorite ad blog (if she keeps writing things like this), has offered up, in reaction to reading a Church of the Customer post about Coke's apparent knee jerk foray into consumer generated media, a hilarious but ever so realistic meeting scenario between Big Agency and Big Client on New Media. Give it a read and it will sound like every meeting you've ever been.
Just when we thought there were no new ideas, Leo Burnett, with the help of an engineer, designed a billboard in Chicago for McDonald's which acts as a sun dial to create a shadow of the McDonald's arches over a different breakfast food for each hour of the morning. Of course, someone will now leave a comment saying this has been done somewhere else before unfairly labeling Leo Burnett a copy cat.
Slingbox, a device that allows you to watch anything from your home-based cable box or DVR while anywhere in the world through an Internet connection, has a new competitor. Sony is launching Location Free which pretty much does exactly what Slingbox does. Unfortunately, Sony's website for this product doesn't do a very good job explaining the product whereas Slingbox does. Sony's site is heavy on Flash and light on clear product description. Slingbox provides a simple site with a simple to understand (albeit a bit informercial-ish) product tour video that clearly explains exactly what the product does.
Now we know why Coke reacted in such a blase fashion when all those Diet Coke/Mentos videos made the rounds. They didn't want to hype something that might take away publicity from them doing the exact same thing Mentos did: create a contest/site where people can submit videos and win prizes. Now we can envision what it must have been like for Coke spokeswoman Susan McDermott, in reaction to freaked out Coke execs running into her office screaming, "Kill this Mentos thing! Squash it! Eradicate it! We're about to commoditize a grass roots effort and take all the spontaneity out of it! And those fuckers over at Mentos are gonna beat us!" All the poor woman could do was toss off the geyser videos like they were inconsequential when, in reality, they were the very same thing Coke had planned in the first place. Let Mentos steal Coke's thunder? No way. But too bad. They already did.
Anyway, Coke is encouraging people to submit videos that align with the company's new tagline, "The essence of you." The videos will be rated by visitors and then judged by a collection of professional filmmakers. AQKA created the new site.
Extending its foothold in the area of sweepstakes, Publishers Clearing House, that company with those people who show up at everyone's door except your own, has acquired Blingo, a search site that randomly hands out awards to people who visit the site. Blingo was launched in 2004 and has handed out 22,000 prizes since that date.
Anytime a bunch of advertising art directors latch onto the wackiness of Terry Gilliam, the outcome is bound to be a creative explosion of exponential proportion and that's just what we get in this Wieden + Kennedy-created spot, Happiness Factory, which kicks off the brand's new Coke Side of Life campaign. It truly is an over indulgence of happiness and it all happens inside a lowly Coke machine between the time the coin is dropped in and the bottle pops out. Whether you think soda rots your teeth or not, you've got to hand it to WK and Coke for creating this make believe world of happiness that, given enough imagination, could be quite real if one wanted it to be. After all, wouldn't it be nice if a place like that really existed?
- In China, Intel employees get branded every morning with during their ritual exercises and this song.
- One Adrants readers thinks a recent Ad Week headline "Mazda N.A. Imports Marketing Exec" describing the movement of one of its employees from Japan to America is offensive. We think it's quite catchy ourselves.
- Here's a few outtakes of those kids in the Adidas World Cup 2006 Impossible Dream ads.
- If the U.S. Senate approves a constitutional amendment to prohibit flag-burning, Commercial Alert is urging U.S. Senators to define commercializing the flag as a form of desecration of the flag.
- WebAdvantage.net has released a study which queried marketers on their use of online video. Thirty percent are experienced in the medium but 63 percent of those 30 are concerned with keeping people involved with the ad.
If the premise of Ford's new Bold Moves documentary, which promises to rip the bullshit out of the company, holds true, the company may actually live up to the promise of its new "Bold Moves" ad campaign. The online documentary series promises an unfettered look inside the company and how it plans to return to profitability by 2008. The first episode of the series recounts Ford's glory days but very quickly admits its tenuous position in the face of superior foreign automotive companies which continue to take more and more market share. With the documentary, Ford promises to tell the honest story of how it will engineer its own comeback.
Each morning after my three mile excuse for a workout, I head over to the local Dunkin Donuts to pick up an iced latte. Hey, I know it doesn't sound very manly but it just seems to taste a lot better than regular coffee. Anyway, each day I look at my Dunkin Donuts cup, branded with the new tagline "America Runs on Dunkin," and think, finally, an agency and a company that hit on a message which actually means something. Recently, there's been loser taglines like "Bold Moves" and "Leap Ahead" so it's refreshing to see Hill Holiday, Dunkin Donuts' agency, come up with a winner in "America Runs on Dunkin."
I love the tagline because it speaks directly to the "fuel" that many Americans depend on to get going in the morning. Just like re-fueling a car, that morning stop at the local Dunkin Donuts fills the tank with energy to keep one running all day long. While a 2003 research study found taglines not very effective, "America Runs on Dunkin" just feels right as well as actually says something, an admirable accomplishment in comparison to most meaningless taglines littering the current advertising landscape.