Aflac today announced plans for a nationwide casting call to find a new voice for the Aflac Duck. The company plans to hold auditions in six cities across the US during the first week of April.
Live auditions will be held in New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Las Vegas, Austin and Atlanta. The online casting call is open today and will remain open until April 1, 2011 at midnight Pacific time.
Since 2000, the Aflac Duck has appeared in 52 television ads and numerous radio ads and is said to have increased brand recognition from slightly more than 10 percent to 93 percent. The Aflac Duck is also a symbol of the company's philanthropic cause which has raised more than $62 million for the treatment and research of childhood cancer.
Chevy has its Angels and Ford has...well...Ford has Doug. Doug is a puppet. And a puppet with an attitude and an attraction to blond reporters and, well, any female of any kind. He's also a wise ass who carefully walks the line between making the brand message interesting and turning the entire thing into a comedy routine. He's witty and stupid all at the same time. And it kind of works. And in any event, it's far more interesting that a typical :30 or :60. Far, far more interesting.
Doug's best lines include, "may I smell your fingers?" and "are you all business or it is just that suit?"
Directed by Paul Feig and written by a host of comedy writers, the collection of videos touts the Ford Focus and its many features. The unveiling of Doug as the new spokesperson for Ford was preceded by several unbranded videos in which the puppet stops a convenience store robbery, saves a choking victim and performs CPR.
We like this advertainment. We actually watched all of it. Of course, that's out job but that's besides the point. We actually liked it and found it entertaining. Which is a very, very good thing.
What with the proliferation of Facebook and the three million other forms of online communication, it's amazing a site like Classmates.com is still in business. Ask yourself; when was the last time you actually visited Classmates.com let alone had a use for it? It seems Classmates.com has asked itself that very question and has decided to travel down the tried and true road to brand salvation: renaming itself.
Yes, Classmates.com will now be known as Memory Lane. Quaint. The brand has launched a new campaign that centers on the premise everyone loves nostalgia. A new :30 will air nationally on network and cable and will be supported by print and online. Hmm, we wonder if they'll have a Facebook page. Oh wait.
- Burger King and Crispin Porter + Bogusky have ended their seven year relationship.
- The Chicago Sun Times has let go ad critic Lewis Lazare.
- A sex doll commits suicide in an ad all to promote a dating site.
- Super hottie Tehmeena Afzal is out with another video. This one's for a local car dealer and she's wearing less clothing than she ever has before.
With big names like Katy Perry and David Beckham along with athletes Lionel Messi and Derrick Rose, Adidas is out with a new, two minute long video, part of the brand's All Adidas ad campaign. According to Adidas Global Brands Executive Board member Erich Stamminger, the campaign's concept, "brings together the diversity of the brand under one strong roof. From the court to the catwalk, the stadium to the street, we are giving an authentic statement with credibility that only Adidas has."
From the two minute video which features a new track from Justice called Civilization, :30's and :60's will be cut to air on television and in cinemas.
In a SXSW panel entitled Branded Entertainment: Do Brands Hurt Good Storytelling Proximity SVP Matt Di Paola said there is a fine line between selling and story telling. Each can't cross too far over the line of the other. Branded story telling must align with the brand's business, not a creative brief. The partnership is much bigger than a simple creative project.
Making a distinction, Di Paola said Product placement is not story telling. Product placement is a media buy. Story telling is a deep partnership between brand and content.
Disrupt Group Co-Founder Shira Lazar Says ad agencies are the new studios. For content creators, Lazar said the relationship must go beyond just business. Successful creative relationships require more than the simple exchange of money.
In a SXSW panel which took on a refreshing discussion-based approach entitled Bend Over? Surprise! Agencies Are Screwing You, one of the attendees made the point brands should be wary of paying an agency to use a free tool to speak the brand's voice calling it a slippery slope and a waste of money.
Agencies are paying good money for the so called social media guru who, if just a little bit of background research were done, could easily be found to have no experience at all. Be wary of the sharks was the advice given.
With a series on online videos and radio commercials, Chicken of the Sea is giving life to its iconic mermaid. In the videos, we see the mermaid sitting on a rock conversing with different characters and sharing the reasons why Chicken of the Sea is so great.
One video features a boy who, as children often do, continuously asks "whay" after every answer the mermaid gives until she distracts him with, well, yet another entity that isn't as real as some would have us believe.
As is true with movies, art and any other form of creativity, a classic can never really be re-invented. Oh it's not that they aren't continuously re-invented . It's just that when they are, the results is usually much less than stellar and a sad knock off of the original.
We wouldn't entirely say Wieden + Kennedy's continued work for Old Spice was heading down that path but, really, has any of the agency's work for the brand been as inventive and as inspiring as the original? We think not. But we aren't necessarily complaining either. Why?
New work from Gotham, Jason Bateman's production studio DumbDumb and Ben Silverman's studio Electus for Denny's brings us Always Open, an online celebrity talk show of sorts. Hosted by comedy actor David Koechner, the series debuted today and has Bateman and Koechner exchanging some witty banter at a local Denny's.
Future episodes will feature Will Arnett, Sarah Silverman, Amy Poehler, Will Forte and - oh yes - Kristen Bell. The content of each three minute video will center around questions asked by Koechner of the various celebrities with the resulting videos distributed on College Humor, Denny's website, Bateman's DumbDumb, YouTube, Facebook and other platforms.