JCPenney Apologizes to Pretty Girls Who Don't Do Homework

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Sadly, we have arrived at a place in our culture where there is no longer a place for a pun or a joke. The latest demonstration of this cultural shift is the uproar which arose as a result of a t-shirt JCPenney is selling which reads, "I'm too pretty to do homework so my brother has to do it." Oh sure, buried in that statement is the not too subtle jab that pretty girls are stupid or, conversely, they are so hot they can get away with whatever they choose. But, seriously. what girl hasn't uttered that in jest at one point or another?

The trouble is when a brand says it, the entire world is watching. And while the statement may, on it's own and said one to one, be rather innocuous, when it has the heft of a brand like JCPenney behind it, it's bound to draw fire from the naysayers.

Currently, the brand is putting out fires on Twitter and Facebook. For once, we'd love to see a brand simply stand up and say, "Can't anyone take a joke any more?" Alas, given the current reactionary state of current culture, that would be akin to brand suicide. So sucking it up and apologizing is really the only way to go.

by Steve Hall    Aug-31-11    
Topic: Brands, Opinion, Social



Willie Nelson Lends Pipes to Chipotle Pigs

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We guess one must feel at least a little bit nostalgic for a time when things were simpler, purer and not so...processed when viewing this new work from Chipotle which rails against industrial farming's treatment of pigs. The work is accompanied by a Willie Nelson cover of Coldplay's The Scientist.

In the two minute video which will be shown in 5,700 movie theaters, the story of a pig farmer is told. After having second thoughts over his farming practices, he returns to his roots and unboxes, as it were, his pigs and, one assumes, kills them in a more humane manner.

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by Steve Hall    Aug-31-11    
Topic: Brands, Cause, Celebrity, Commercials



Jennifer Lopez, Marc Anthony Bring Hilarity to Kohl's Campaign

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Now this is funny! It's always a crap shoot when a brand selects a celebrity to represent it in an ad campaign. Mostly because it's never believable the celebrity would actually purchase the product or service they're representing. Not that that's any different with Kohl's and Jennifer Lopez but they way these new McCann Erickson-created Kohl's commercials link Lopez and the brand, it's mostly irrelevant.

The campaign, promoting new clothing lines from Lopez and Marc Anthony was conceived prior to the couple's split. In one commercial, Lopez is blocked by a security guard from entering Kohl's headquarters because he doesn't know who she is. Thankfully Lopez doesn't throw the predictable celebrity hissy fit, rather subtly tries to remind the guard of her fame. It doesn't work. But the low key humor does.

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by Steve Hall    Aug-31-11    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Celebrity, Commercials, Creative Commentary



Hip Hop Hamsters Jump the Shark

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It's really no surprise this latest Kia Soul Hamster ad from David & Goliath is getting a bad rap. After all, sequels rarely live up to the original. The first two outings in this campaign where original and amusing. Looking back at the first spot in this campaign, you can sense the originality in the concept.

Upon viewing the second spot, you can sense the progression of the campaign and the central characters from early onset hipsters to full blown hip hop stars of the hood. Sadly, the third outing has reduced the hip hop hamsters to caricatures of themselves. They've become the comic relief in a video game.

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by Steve Hall    Aug-30-11    
Topic: Agencies, Brands, Campaigns, Commercials, Creative Commentary



Sears Still Gasping For Air With Help From The Kardashians

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Is it just us or is the match up between Sears and the Kardashians a total non-sequitur? Number one, you have an extremely conservative, run-of-the-mill department store that's the last thing on anyone's mind when the word "fashion" enters the conversation. Number two, you have the Kardashian sisters who, in some circles, are the furthest thing from run-of-the-mill.

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by Steve Hall    Aug-30-11    
Topic: Brands, Celebrity, Commercials, Opinion, Trends and Culture



Google Acquires Motorola, Winnebago Man on Hulu

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- Google has acquired Motorola Mobility for $12,5 billion in cash giving added boost the to the Android platform.

- On Monday morning Buddy Media announced $54 million in Series D funding from a group of leading late-stage investors.

- Alienware is out with a kooky episodic thing. The first installment is called "Once A Gamer Now A Lamer."

- Orbit gum is out with an odd little gem that, among other things, includes bobbing for panties.

- Doug E Fresh pimps his gig at Affiliate Ball.

- Remember Winnebago man? No? Google it. Hilarious shit. His documentary is streaming on Hulu for free the next two weeks.

- Wow! Rick Webb is leaving Barbarian Group. "Inconceivable!" as some Princess Bride loved to say. But best to you my man!

by Steve Hall    Aug-15-11    
Topic: Brands, Industry Events, Video



Tide Does Not Hate Tomboys

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When I was a kid, tomboys were just tomboys. They weren't lesbians in training wheels as some kooks would, today, have us believe if we were to give any credence to the "uproar" over Tide's Hoodies & Cargo Shorts commercial.

AdFreak calls attention to the kerfuffle that has terms such as homophobic, lesbian, stereotypes and gender norms being tossed about. It's all really very simple, people. We'll break it down in easy-to-comprehend terms. Ready? It's a fucking detergent commercial! Move on with your lives, people!

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by Steve Hall    Aug-12-11    
Topic: Brands, Commercials, Opinion



Aussies Attack Town, Eradicate Boring Furnishings

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Hmm. A bit like that Carlton Draught Big Ad, IKEA is out with new work from The Monkeys (formerly Three Drunk Monkeys) called Have A Go. In the ad, thousands of Australians line up Braveheart-style with their favorite IKEA piece and, upon command, charge down a hill towards a town to "fight boring" and add a bit of IKEA-styled fun to suburban life.

Sadly, more than a view YouTube commenters can't see the humor in this and are blaming IKEA for somehow supporting violence.

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by Steve Hall    Aug-12-11    
Topic: Brands, Commercials



Gratuitous Booty Ruins Graceful Finish

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We had our hopes up. Our fingers crossed. Our mind optimistic. And that happy mental state lasted all the way to :52 in this new Adidas Iconics commercial. We were like wow! An ad with Snoop Dogg, skaters, rap, hot cars, superstars...and no gratuitous booty! No booty! We thought, this breaks new ground! This is creative nirvanna! This deserves its own Cannes Lion "Assless Rap" category!

Sadly, like a first timer trying to make it to the finish line without...ahem...prematurely finishing, this ad shot it's wad with less than eight seconds to go. Bam! Pow! Booty! All up in our face! And here we thought we could finally write the headline, "Adidas Alienates Ass. Leaves Snoop Dogg Drooling."

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by Steve Hall    Aug- 9-11    
Topic: Brands, Commercials, Creative Commentary, Racy



Kenneth Cole Stirs Debate on Abortion, Guns, Gay Rights and War

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In its continuing effort to rid the world of every last prejudice, stereotype, human rights issue, environmental problem and other ailment facing the human race, Kenneth Cole is out with Where Do You Stand, an effort that aims to open debate on gay rights, woman's right to choose, gun control and war.

The effort is supported with an online site hooked up with which invite visitors to chime in on these topics. Offline advertising supports as well.

We're going to make one comment on one of the campaign's pieces of creative. And, in doing so, we're going to tip our hand and let you know we are decidedly pro-choice on the issue of abortion. One of the ads reads, "Should it be a woman's right to choose if she's the one carrying it all?"

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by Steve Hall    Aug- 8-11    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Cause










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