Nike Supports Local Community With 'Back Your Block'

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Getting all power of the human spirit on us, Nike is out with Back Your Block, a $650,000 grant program developed to support local communities and schools and to "unlock the potential of young people through programs that focus on sport."

Social marketing (formerly youth marketing..but, ya know, they jumped on the bus just like everyone else) agency Mr. Youth, created the campaign website, a promotional video, blog outreach and activated an army of 250 Task Force influencers to pimp the effort buzz marketing-style.

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by Steve Hall    Jul- 1-09    
Topic: Brands, Cause, Social, Video, Word of Mouth



Westwood Polishes Collars Up Pretty for Corporate Cogdom

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Here's a pair of ads for Westwood College, one of those vocational schools where you can get a degree in three years and start your career!

These are more engaging than potshots of nurses taking blood pressure while degree options scroll by. They're a little more casual, and the focus is on the various mundane personalities (and costumes) you take on as you move from dead-end job to CAREER!

And when we say CAREER!, we mean a desk somewhere, which, Westwood fails to mention, is often infinitely less stellar than singing happy birthday songs at TGI Friday's.

Work by Cactus/Denver.

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by Angela Natividad    Jun-30-09    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Commercials, Television



Honda Puts Internet to Sleep With Impossible Dream Documentary

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Honda is out with a seriously yawn-inducing addition to its Dream the Impossible Dream documentary series called Dreams vs. Nightmares. In the video, regular people and famous people (Clive Barker and Deepak Chopra) talk about how their dreams and nightmares affect their lives and their work.

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by Steve Hall    Jun-30-09    
Topic: Bad, Brands, Video



Agency Diversifies With Stake in Narragansett Beer

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OK so we trashed Gyro Worldwide for changing their name to Quaker City Mercentile but the agency is definitely onto something. We all know the ad industry is in a serious state of crash and burn. Spending is down. Layoffs are up. Agencies are dying.

What do smart investment advisers always tell you? Diversify. Yes, diversify. Don't put all your eggs in one basket and that's just what QCM is doing. It's got a series of books. It's produced films. It has a brand of rum, Sailor Jerry. And now the agency has taken a major stake in New England's Narragansett Brewery. Yup. The agency is making beer now.

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by Steve Hall    Jun-30-09    
Topic: Agencies, Brands



Diddy Lied to Us. Taco Bell Sets Record Straight.

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Chris Applebaum is probably best known for the videos he's done for extra-extra artists like Britney Spears and Rihanna. In "It's All about the Roosevelts," he slums it up for Taco Bell, but doesn't stray too far from his trashy pop roots.

The statement "It's All about the Roosevelts" riffs off Diddy's "It's All About the Benjamins," a track from a year we're too embarrassed to look back on and that plays on Benjamin Franklin's appearance on the $100 bill. NOTE: The music is all original.*

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by Angela Natividad    Jun-30-09    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Online, Video



Toyota's Prius Drives Over to Meebo

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Despite issues with its headlights, the Prius is rolling along just fine when it comes to online promotion. Among the many places the vehicle can be seen online, it's taken over the home page of instant messaging aggregation service Meebo.

With a background image, a foreground placement of the vehicle, a logo and zero ability to click through to anything, the effort looks like 100 percent branding.

by Steve Hall    Jun-30-09    
Topic: Brands, Online



Seed Bombs, Tweetolution, Spike Lee Spake

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- Houses come a-hunting on Twitter. (More proof that in this market, it's do-or-die time.)

- Love can be complicated. (But once you pop...!)

- The revolution will be Tweeted. In Iran, anyway.

- 140-character twibutes to Michael Jackson. Srsly.

- Spike Lee, out loud and in Cannes.

- Seed bombs. That plant seeds!

- When writers go apeshit.



Seriously, Sears. You're Never Getting Your Fetch Back

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In yet another effort to hipify itself with a generation that's never heard of The Sears Catalog let alone even noticed the store in a mall as they scamper by it on their way to Justice, American Eagle or Claire's, retail giant Sears has hired Disney cutie Selena Gomez for its back to school effort.

Wait, wait, WAIT!!!! Back to school? Stop! Stop! Stop!! Can we please start Summer first? Seriously. This is like summer blockbuster movies making their debut in April. Or Christmas promotions beginning the day after Halloween. There are rules here, people. Rules that must be followed. You can't just mess with seasons like this. You can't mess with our heads. Seriously. Why don't we just start celebrating New Year's 2010 today!

Anyway, Selena (Miley? Miley? Where did you go, Miley?), along with Demi Lovato, is Disney's new it girl so if the retail giant's trying to connect with teens and tweeners, they did choose the right spokesperson for its Arrive Lounge effort.

On the site, visitors can vote for the best styles in a series of air band competition videos. Design Kitchen created the work.

by Steve Hall    Jun-29-09    
Topic: Brands, Celebrity, Online, Opinion



State Street Offers Dogs Dating Tips

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Soccer ball? Nope. Stuffed animal? Nope. Baseball glove? Nope. Squeaky toy? Nope. Slipper? Nope? SPDR Bone from State Street? Yup.

Yes, this is how we explain the benefits of precision investing with SPDR EFTs,

And becasue this is advertising, the whole thing's an homage to the French film Breathless.

The Gate Worldwide created the work.

by Steve Hall    Jun-29-09    
Topic: Brands, Commercials, Good



Cannes Lions: Real Winnars in Film, Interactive and Titanium; Perspective on Our Horizons

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Saturday night: the show to end all shows, the one people actually queue in line for. (Though markedly less so than in previous years, as tweeted by Influencia.) And while recession-spawned conservatism was accounted for, the jury hailed from all corners of the globe and generated cheers -- like rock stars.

Saw some awesome work over the next two hours, but it remains a shock who ultimately won what.

There was a lot of talk about how Cannes Lions '09 differed from previous years. I'd say there was a greater focus on how efforts addressed users directly, although creativity remains a big part of that. And given who won the Grands Prix for Titanium and Integrated, it may be the first year agencies must take into account that the user has become a legitimate advertiser himself.

This is no death-of-the-agency foretelling; it's simply a call to listen more closely and respond more intuitively to the crowd. We have spent so many years trying to contrive artificial emotional connections between products and people; it is only natural that, now that they're able, consumers demand to know why those connections should exist in the first place.

What does your company stand for? Does it listen and respond to me? Crucially, is it as willing to incorporate me into its message as I am to incorporate it into my life?

Grand Prix recipients, and a wee bit o' work, listed below.

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by Angela Natividad    Jun-29-09    
Topic: Agencies, Brands, Campaigns, Events, Industry Events, Opinion










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