Social Media Fail: Homesense Facebook Fans Referred to 800 Number

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When Canadian home apparel retailer HomeSense decided to sell posters depicting images of old Gold Dust ads in which two black children are seen cleaning, a fan posted pictures of them on the Homesense Facebook page. Along with the image, the fan wrote, "I realize that recreating old advertising and media is an art form but this goes far beyond that, in my opinion."

Quite humorously...and idiotically, HomeSense responded with the comment, "Please contact Customer Service at 1-800-646-9466 for more information."

Quite predictably, commenters lambasted the brand for its complete mis-understanding of social media communication. Commenter Elizabeth Laurin Kells wrote, "If you are going to use this site to represent your company you need to do something about issues and not just pass out a standard customer service number."

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by Steve Hall    Feb-21-11    
Topic: Bad, Brands, Social



Coke Takes Happiness Machine on the Road

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First Coke's Happiness Machine was just virtual and existed only within the creativity of the brand's television commercials. Then, it took on physical form as a vending machine that would dispense everything from a simple soda to a ten foot long sub sandwich.

Now, the Coke Happiness Machine has become fully mobile in the form of a truck that dispenses everything from the ubiquitous Coke bottle to soccer balls to t-shirts all the way up to a full sized surf board to residents of Rio De Janeiro.

We like the continued effort which comes courtesy of Definition6.

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by Steve Hall    Feb-21-11    
Topic: Brands, Guerilla, Outdoor



Super Cute Jennie Replaces Old Navy's Super Modelquins

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The SuperModelquins have been retired. We now have Jennie. Yes, Old Navy, with help from Crispin Porter + Bogusky has given us that perfect marketing tactic: the composite customer. Jennie is defined as "a 25 to 35 year old woman looking for on-trend fashion at great prices for herself and her family." And the campaign will "connect with her through her love of music and fashion."

The campaign consists of music and videos produced by music house Honor Roll and directed by Joseph Kahn who is known for producing videos such as Eminem and Rihanna's "Love the Way You Lie," and Britney Spears "Toxic."

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by Steve Hall    Feb-17-11    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Racy



Mexican Stereotypes Eschewed With...Mexican Stereotypes

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In an effort to distance itself from Mexican food marketing stereotypes, Sterling-Rice Group has created a digital and television campaign for Ruiz Foods that pokes fun at the very stereotypical Mexican telenovela. Called, El Monterey, the effort includes a full on cast in multiple episodes that center on stereotypical telenovela plotlines such as forbidden love affairs, backstabbing, babies being switched at birth and mysterious illnesses.

Wait, what? Isn't that just playing into stereotypes as opposed to shifting away from them?

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by Steve Hall    Feb-17-11    
Topic: Brands, Video



Lane Bryant to Celebrate Plus Size Models With Las Vegas Fashion Show

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If your commercial is deemed too hot to TV, what's a reputable fashion brand to do? Head to Las Vegas and host your own catwalk, of course. And that's just what Lane Bryant is doing. Early last year, the brand ran a commercial with a plus sized model whose boobs were apparently deemed too big for TV by Fox and ABC.

The ad featured 5'4" 22-year-old Ashley Graham who is a 38D...apparently far too enormous for the networks to handle. They need to get out more. 38D is really not that big if you just look around a bit. But we digress.

On February 20 at Planet Hollywood, Lane Bryant will stage its first fashion show in almost a decade. And, yes, Graham will be there along with other lane Bryant models Lizzie Miller and Sydni Sales.

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by Steve Hall    Feb-17-11    
Topic: Brands, Events, Racy



Sophia Vergara's 34DD's Banned From Diet Pepsi Skinny Can Ad

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Sophia Vergara, star of Modern Family and inhabitant of a 34DD-28-39 curvaceous body, can be seen in a new ad for Diet Pepsi's new Skinny Can, some sort of twisted ode to the fact the can of chemicals will make you skinny just because the can is skinny.

In the ad Vergara's less that skinny upper body parts have been minimized by photographic angle and a freakish shoulder placement. Because, after all, women with big boobs aren't skinny. They/re top heavy. And top heavy is bad when it comes to our current culture's definition of rail thin beauty.

Some argue the ad contributes to harmful stereotypes about women's body image. We say it's simply the twisted notion that somehow big breasts equal slut and that no woman with big breasts could possibly be taken seriously simply because of the shape of her upper body. To that, we say utter nonsense.

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by Steve Hall    Feb-16-11    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Celebrity, Opinion



Khloe Kardashian Fails Again in T-Mobile Disaster

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Dear Khloe Kardashian,

We're sure you're a wonderful person and all but can you please stop making commercials? They are horrific. And they are destroying what little career you may have. It was bad enough you did that train wreck with Lamar for Unbreakable but this new work you've done or T-Mobile may even be worse.

Yea, yea. We know you can do anything you want because, well, you're a Kardashian. But, please. Save yourself from future embarrassment. It's easy. Just say no. It's not like you need the money or anything. And do you really want to follow in Kim's footsteps?

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by Steve Hall    Feb-10-11    
Topic: Brands, Celebrity, Video



In the Fashion World All Women Wear High Heels to the Pool

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We admit we love women in high heels. We love women in high heels and swimwear. And we love women in high heels and swimwear who luxuriate by the pool as if they were at photoshoot.

However, as much as we love this scenario, we're going to go out on a limb and posit most women don't do this. Unless...oh wait...they're a model at a fashion shoot for Nine West.

by Steve Hall    Feb-10-11    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Racy



Toyota Enlists James Lipton to Help Determine Plural of Prius

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In their continuous search for the plural of Prius, Toyota has turned to James Lipton who, in a new video, interviews William Shakespeare, an octopus, a rapper, and others to get a handle on the proper word for the plural of Prius. Shakespeare think the correct word in Prium but his suggestion falls to the bottom of the list. Here are the current standings:

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by Steve Hall    Feb- 9-11    
Topic: Brands, Celebrity, Video



Clients: Can't Deal With Them, Can't Survive Without Them

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We are informed this xtranormal video of an agency pitching a client is based on actual events. Having been in the business for quite some time, we are not surprised at all by the rampant idiocy, self-importance and downright sleazy behavior displayed.

If you haven't experienced a situation like this yet in your career, wait a while. We, sadly, guarantee you will.

Footnote: We've witnessed equally absurd behavior from the agency side as well.

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by Steve Hall    Feb- 9-11    
Topic: Agencies, Brands










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