Kuwaiti Art Director and Ad Blogger Tata Botata (or whatever his real name is) pointed us to this Kuwaiti IKEA ad on the back of a local dining guide that shows Filipinos, apparently the predominant wait staff in the country, portrayed Swedish maids. While Botata tells us its very common to see Filipino wait staff in Kuwait, he took issue with IKEA dressing them up in stereotypical Swedish garb and headlining the ad with, "Enjoy the Swedish hospitality at IKEA store."
We don't pretend to understand all the cultural ramifications of this but we prefer our Swedish maids blond, buxom and holding beer St. Pauli Girl-style. Then again, that's got its own nasty, sexist, stereotypical baggage.
We always wondered if there actually was any bread in Wonder Bread since you can compress a slice into a ball the size of a marble but no matter, the company is launching a $10 Million campaign to introduce Wonder "made with" Whole Grain White. That "made with" phrases casues one to...uh...wonder whether just how real this new bread will be. Well, we'll give it the compression test and let you know. In the meantime, all you TV and print sales reps enjoy your slice of that $10 million. We bet it's a lot more substantial than a slice of Wonder.
As you may recall, early last year a couple reported finding a finger in a cup of Wendy's chili and then went all ballistic on Wendy's with legal threats and insurance claims only to be called out for planting the finger themselves after paying $100 to a construction worker who lost it in an industrial accident. Well, payback's a bitch and the couple has been slammed with years of jail time. Anna Ayala, 39, was sentenced to nine years and her husband Jaime Placencia, 43, will serve 12 years, four months. While a finger may have been lost, it was the couple's moral compass that was lost according to Superior Court Judge Edward Davila who said, "Greed and avarice overtook this couple."
MPH thinks Toyota's plans to run a "hybrid" English/Spanish commercial for its Camry Hybrid during the Super Bowl is less than smart writing, "They better have one heck of a commercial because the concept sounds like a dud. Just sell cars, don't try to preach. Especially during the Super Bowl." Well, as we all know, the binoculars will be on hand to scrutinize every marketers' offering during the game so we'll all know soon enough if Toyota's hybrid/hybrid wittiness bombs or soars.
Back in May 2005, we reported on an incident in which clothing company Crown Farmer claimed Urban Outfitter had stolen its designs and sold them without proper license. It appears the retailer is, again, up to no good, this time, with Johnny Cupcakes which claims the retailer has produced designs very similar to Johnny Cupcakes' which Urban Outfitters had previously seen but declined to license. It appears Urban Outfitters has borrowed heavily from a Johnny Cupcake bomb-dropping design. One time is, perhaps, a coincidence. Two times and it's time for Urban Outfitters to come clean.
UPDATE: Someone's started a blog called Urban Counterfitters taking Urban Outfitters and other retailers to task for their "borrowing" of other's designs.
This at&t billboard from their new campaign has been floating around Flickr for some time now. It, of course, alludes to the SBC acquisition of at&t (guess their doing the lower case thing now) and how that somehow delivers blogging. We suppose it just means they own more of the world's bandwidth so they have the right to say they deliver whatever they want.
Humorously, as is usually the case with large corporation sticking their feet into niche spaces, a Flickr user points out at&t, apparently, has no idea what a blog is according to a screen shot of a search on their website. One would assume these not so trivial oversights would be handled prior to the launch of a multi-million dollar campaign. Oh sorry. We forgot that thing they say about assuming things.
Random Culture points to Disaffected, an anti-advergame of sorts in that, rather than lauding a brand, it pokes fun at a brand. It was created by Persuasive Games to show distaste for the apparent lack of competence displayed by FedEx Kinko's workers. As described on Persuasive's site, "Disaffected! gives the player the chance to step into the demotivated position of real FedEx Kinkos employees. Feel the indifference of these purple-shirted malcontents first-hand, and consider the possible reasons behind their malaise - is it mere incompetence? Managerial affliction? Unseen but serious labor issues?"
While there are plenty of brand hate sites out there, Persuasive Games created the game to demonstrate that all advergames don't have to be all about brand love. We haven't played the game nor do we know if this is a first but we do like the idea. Gotta love dissent.
We aren't normally a fan of iconic brands drastically changing their image, logo, tagline and overall marketing but we've taken a quick look at the new Absolut campaign from TBWA/Chiat/Day New York and we like it. We really like it. Gone is the bottle, mostly, and gone is the print heavy focus. TV has been added to the mix showing iconic imagery such as an image of Steve McQueen with the tagline, "The Absolute Man," an image of the Statue of Liberty with the tagline, "The Absolute Welcome" and an image of the moon rover with the tagline, 'The Absolute Road Trip." Clearly, the over crowded, hipsteresque vodka landscape has required a different tact for Absolut to set itself apart. This just might work.
Woe was Donny this past Summer with account losses from Monster, Old Navy, and Revlon not to mention that Speedo picture but things are looking up for his agency Deutsch which, today, was awarded with the return of its former $60 million client IKEA. Most recently, IKEA was with Secret Weapon and has returned to Deutsch without a review. Welcome back, Donny.
In a perfect alignment, Budweiser has signed on as exclusive promotional sponsor of Sports Illustrated's Swimsuit issue and will also team with SI supermodel Molly Sims who will appear in the brewer's point of sale material. Budweiser will host pre-issue promotional parties in 50 cities on February 13. Budweiser will also place a six-page fold out in the issue featuring FOX Sports Best Damn Sports Show Period hottie Leann Tweeden.