DC Navy Shooting 'Sponsored' by Progressive's 'Gun-Toting' Flo

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It's been a while since we've witnessed a contextual advertising screw up. While we're sure they still happen all the time and people have, for the most part, just become immune to them, it's still intriguing to see them pop up from time to time.

Adrants reader Micah Donahue sent us this mobile screenshot of a Progressive ad banner above a CNN story about today's shooting inside a D.C naval facility. In the banner, Progressive's Flo can be seen aiming a gun at the viewer. Of course it's not an actual gun but the placement of the ad above a story about a shooting is, at best, disconcerting.

To be fair, it's not even clear whether or not this is a contextually served ad. It's appearance could be completely random. Even so, an ad that has an image which appears to look at though someone is aiming a gun at you is probably not the best creative execution (no pun intended) to have in your rotation.

by Steve Hall    Sep-16-13    
Topic: Bad, Brands



Prancercise Lady Fronts Wonderful Pistachios Campaign

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Oh the internet. It gives us so many wonderful things. So many things we'd would never have experience before like, well, like the Prancercise® Lady. If you haven't heard of her, her name is Joanna Rohrback and she does this exercise thing which aims to "create the most satisfying, holistic and successful fitness program one could hope to experience." And it has nothing to do with riding a horse.

Anyway, Rohrback, along with Dennis Rodman, an elephant, King Kong and, yes, Norman Bates, can be seen in the upcoming Wonderful Pistachios Get Crackin' campaign which debuts today.

The campaign, which began in 2007, has featured such cultural oddities as Honey Badger, Snooki, Snoop Lion, Keyboard Cat, The Village People and, yes, the Secret Service.

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by Steve Hall    Sep-16-13    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Celebrity, Strange



Red Bull's Titanic Joke Not Well Received

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It's an age old question. How soon is too soon to poke fun at a disaster? As history would inform, the answer is usually never. There are just too many emotions tied up in certain unfortunate events to make light of them. Even an event that happened 101 years ago is seemingly off limits.

When Red Bull made light of the Titanic sinking by suggesting the Titanic would not have sunk had it been carrying Red Bull, viewers were outraged and lodged complaints with the UK's Advertising Standards Authority.

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by Steve Hall    Sep-16-13    
Topic: Brands, Policy



Grey New York Wins Best Commercial Emmy For Canon 'Inspired'

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Last night at the 65th Annual Creative Arts Emmys, Grey New York and MJZ director Nicolai Fuglsig won the 2013 Emmy Award for Outstanding Commercial for their Canon "Inspired" commercial. That's the one with the tire on fire rolling down the hill.

The two other ads in the running this year were BBH's Google Chrome "Jess Time" and CP+B's Grey Poupon "The Chase."

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by Steve Hall    Sep-16-13    
Topic: Agencies, Brands, Commercials, Industry Events



This Thai Ad Will Bring Tears to Your Eyes, Warmth to Your Heart

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It's not as if we haven't seen an ad that brings tears to the eyes before but this one is so basic, so human and, in all likelihood, a representation of something that happens more often then we know. While the media love to celebrate the tragedy of life, in hidden corners of the world -- and right here at home under our noses -- acts of kindness happen every day. This work from Thai communications brand TrueMove H captures that that very basic human spirit.

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by Steve Hall    Sep-16-13    
Topic: Best, Brands, Video



4 Tips For Dealing With Difficult Clients

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In my years as an agency media director and account director, I worked with many different personality types - including one long-term client who, for many years, wouldn't respect me or my work. One day he angered me so much I screamed at him for five minutes straight, telling him I knew exactly what the hell I was doing and he should shut up and listen to what I have to say.

While I certainly don't recommend letting your anger get the best of you or screaming at your clients, in this particular case my years of attempting to placate, coddle and generally bend over for this particular client never worked. It wasn't until I stood up to him with the same forceful authority he always commanded that he respected me. And from that point on, our relationship was wonderful.

Read the rest on the Central Desktop blog.

by Steve Hall    Sep-13-13    
Topic: Agencies, Brands, Opinion



Agency Spoofs iPhone 5c With iCrocs Video

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Here's a bit of distraction for your rainy (at least where we are) Thursday afternoon. Vienna-based agency PKP BBDO decided to have a little bit of fun at the expense of Apple's just-announced iPhone 5c which comes in five colors. Perhaps attempting to align the new iPhone with the much-maligned Crocs brand, the agency took a lunch break to shoot this shoe-tastic spoof.

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by Steve Hall    Sep-12-13    
Topic: Agencies, Brands, Spoofs



Honda Aims to Save Drive-Ins With Vine Auction

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Well this is certainly sad. In less than three months, many of the 368 remaining drive-ins across the U.S. will go dark forever if they can't afford to convert to digital projection, estimated at $75,000+ per screen. Honda aims to change that. In support of Project Drive-In, Honda's effort to save as many drive-ins as possible, the automaker is hosting a one-day live Twitter Vine auction today with film critic Leonard Maltin as auctioneer. Proceeds will go directly to Project Drive-In: Save the Drive-In Fund.

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by Steve Hall    Sep-12-13    
Topic: Brands, Social



Hamster Steers Dump Truck in Death-Defying Volvo Stunt

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On the Heels of its Steve Wynn-style stunt, The Hook, in which Volvo Truck President Claes Nilsson stood atop a truck held high in the air by a crane, the brand is out with another stunt in which a hamster steers a big Volvo dump truck out of quarry in Spain to illustrate the simplicity of the truck's power steering system.

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by Steve Hall    Sep-12-13    
Topic: Brands, Guerilla



Chipotle Hits Home Run Again With Darkly Dystopian Processed Food Statement

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Darkly dystopian yet magically hopeful, this CAA Marketing/Moonbot Studious-created three minute animated film, "The Scarecrow," flips things on its head and tells the story of an out-of-work, disintermediated scarecrow who goes to work for a bunch of crows running a processed foods factory called Crow Foods.

In this bleak, barren new world, our scarecrow gets a peek inside the Crow factory at chickens pumped with hormones and cows kept in boxes. The experience, for both the scarecrow and the viewer, is depressing and hits all too close to home. It's no secret much of what we eat can barely be called food any longer but Chipotle, which two years ago delighted us with it award-winning "Back to the Start," aims to change all that.

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by Steve Hall    Sep-12-13    
Topic: Brands, Cause, Video







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