AdFreak tells us Carmen Elektra, perhaps in a nod to her waning viability as...well...anything, has signed with Ritz Camera to be the retailer's spokesmodel for its family of stores. Though Elektra's youth and hipness are questionable, Ritz wants her to appeal to the young and the hip. In any case, it will certainly be a step up from the Ritz dude who always appears in the Sunday inserts. The campaign will promote the chain's picture development services and its new picture sizes.
The only true ketchup, Heinz, is, again, extending its talking label campaign. This time, in celebration of the company's 130th anniversary, by offering people the chance to create their own custom printed labels by visiting MyHeinz. At the site, people can choose from three bottle types, select or custom-create a message, pay for it and have it shipped to their home. We're guessing there'll be some pretty stiff editorial policing to keep the kooks from messing up the offering with dreck.
AdFreak points to three new commercials for Altoids Sours in which sexual deviancy is used to promote the mints. Somehow Leo Burnett, we assume, thinks this is an extension of the brand's "Curiously Strong" platform but we think it's just "curiously strange." Of course, that could be a good thing. After all, fruits who like their Fruit of the Loom underwear a bit too much, sadomasochists and transvestites should have equal time in ads just like every other minority group now does.
To kick off its "behind the scenes" follow up to it Bravia Balls ad, Sony has launched a weblog, mostly written by the film crew, that will chronicle the creation of the follow up spot. The spot will be shot in Scotland and involve fireworks and thousands of gallons of paint. Based on an image of a dull, grey building posted on the blog, it would seem Sony has plans to cover the building with color as it did the streets of San Francisco. Stay Tuned.
Now this is preciously priceless. Coors Brewing Chairman Pete Coors, tha man who always urges responsible drinking in Coors ad campiagns, was arrested yesterday for drunk driving. He was stopped for rolling through a stop sign and his blood alcohol level was found to be above the legal limit for the state. For his part, Coors was conciliatory saying in a statement, "I made a mistake by driving myself home after a friend's wedding celebration. I should have planned ahead for a ride. For years I've advocated the responsible use of our company's products. That's still my message, and our company's message, and it's the right message. I am sorry that I didn't follow it myself." Oops.
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.