Carousel Brings Sharp Clarity to a Moment in Crime

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Philips Cinema brings us the mildly unsettling "Carousel," where a hospital shootout between the SWAT team and demented clowns is frozen and investigated by a slow-moving camera.

Money flutters through the night sky, the faces of cops are taut with tension; and you can actually see the caked makeup creases on the masks of the tormentors. It's strange and beautiful; we watched wordless from beginning to end.

The online oeuvre was directed by Adam Berg via Stink Digital for Philips' hi-def Cinema Proportion TV. More at Philips Cinema; also see deliciously engaging making-of (shown below).

According to Berg, the secret to a great film is narrative and light. Food for thought, whether you're directing an epic or breathing :30 of life into a brand under your care.

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by Angela Natividad    Apr-29-09    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Good, Specialty, Video



Kaiser Hits Creative Bargain Bin to Stretch 'Thrive' into '09

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Kaiser Permanente continues its insufferable five-year-old "Thrive" campaign with two new ads, Kabuki and Mural.

The latter targets Spanish speakers without trying too hard (Latin music + "Viva bien." Way to go). Meanwhile, Kabuki features a Kaiser employee performing "Kabuki" with an electric guitar and selective gravity. He is later joined by a bunch of grinning people that tear off their clothes to reveal medical gear.

Campbell-Ewald (with help from Miami-based sister agency Accentmarketing) came up with this and the tagline du jour: "You and your Kaiser Permanente team. Together, you rock."

Fucking kill us. The campaign cost $50 million, and we apologize to the inhabitants of California, Oregon, Washington, Southern Colorado, Hawaii and Georgia, which will have to see it all over their daytime TV.

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by Angela Natividad    Apr-28-09    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Commercials, Television



Pfizer Defends Merits of Dead Rat with (Over)Informative Making-Of

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A few months ago Pfizer released an ad meant to discourage people from buying prescription drugs from unregulated sources like the 'net.

In the moralistic, painfully allegorical tone cause spots sometimes adopt, it featured a man checking his mail, popping a pill and bemusedly pulling a dead rat out of his throat.

The ad naturally generated flak for the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), which regulates ads in the UK and has, based on X number of adamant letters, banned ads for a wide variety of reasons -- from claims to increase eyelash length to, well, heresy.

The ASA ultimately decided Pfizer's counterfeit medicine ad didn't breach code, which means it can still run in the UK. But in some warped knee-jerk effort to clear the public mind of any wrongdoing on its part, the pharma decided to produce a making-of.

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by Angela Natividad    Apr-28-09    
Topic: Brands, Cause, Video



Because Sending a Package Shouldn't Feel Like the Temple of Doom.

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There's something ballsy about the UPS Store comparing itself to complex acrobatics or death by amphitheater. So, props for being flagrant.

But while the cardboard animation is fun to watch -- enchanting, even -- we could've done without the Universal Studios soundtrack, the extra-extra voiceover and the trite ending ("Hey, we do more than shipping!").

Apart from all that, pretty work by agency Doner and production firm Psyop.

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by Angela Natividad    Apr-28-09    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Commercials, Television



Mastercard Trots Priceless 'Icons' Back onto the Stage

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"Icons," a McCann-Erickson/NY spot that aired during the '05 Super Bowl, is a fond standby of Mastercard's "Priceless" campaign.

Prep for serious warm-fuzzy syndrome: it's composed of brand mascots -- Count Chocula, the Vlasic stork, Jolly Green Giant, Pillsbury Doughboy -- having Soul Food-style dinner as Mr. Clean slaves merrily over the sink. Some of the icons weren't even animated for TV prior to this. (Thank Calabash for bringing them to life.)

Too much good stuff. There's even some illicit Facebooky pokeage between Doughboy and Morton Salt girl. Scandale!

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'Stayin' Alive' Reminds Us that Shoes Make the Man...

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...and what that has to do with razors, we're sure we have no idea.

Tiger Woods, Derek Jeter and Roger Federer lend modern swagger to Gillette's "Stayin' Alive" -- or try to, anyway.

The video's a wordless recounting of three down-ass blokes whose confidence -- or lack thereof -- shines through their shoes. We'll leave you to see which athlete busts out with the platforms in chrome.

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by Angela Natividad    Apr-17-09    
Topic: Brands, Celebrity, Good, Promotions, Sponsorship, Video



Post Concedes to Putting the 'No' in 'Innovation'

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Post Shredded Wheat, that most generic of cereals, did itself a favor and passed on that most generic of cereal commercials: a shot of mom, dad and the happy kids, pouring cascades of milk onto yielding gobs of grain.

Instead it went for another gimmick: Formidable Authority Figure, touting the dangers of progress.

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by Angela Natividad    Apr-17-09    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Commercials, Television



Green Eyed World, PhotoBucket's Delusions of Relevance, Adweek v AdAge

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- Sprite + YouTube + Facebook + pop star = Green Eyed World, an orgy of Entirely Too Much BS.

- How to nail an interview. (Complete with hidden camera footage!)

- "It's not the shape of the thing, I just like the perfect blend of tech-speak and contraception."

- Pharma popped in PPC prevarication shakedown.

- PhotoBucket tries breaking TwitPic territory. Good fucking luck.

- Adweek v AdAge.

- Mattel, please keep your silicone-stained hands off Dora the Explorer. Oh no, too late.

by Angela Natividad    Apr-17-09    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Celebrity, Online, Trends and Culture, Video



Candystand Makes Mah Jongg Game for Toyota Venza.

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Because that makes perfect sense, yeah? Tap those old marmies where they like it best: on their itchy little gambling fingers.

Better that they play under the warm glow of Internets and not in the garage -- which should really be housing a Toyota Venza, not a cheap green foldout poker table.

by Angela Natividad    Apr-16-09    
Topic: Brands, Games, Online, Promotions



Why Waterboard When You Can Be Fat, Naked and Jovial?

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A little Southern soda called Cheerwine breaks the bank wide open on interrogation tactics in the US of A.

We give you "Good Cop, Naked Cop." It went live on YouTube this week, and Feed Company -- the cats that brought you Never Hide and Live Unbuttoned -- is doin' the disseminating.

If the Cheerwine tickles yer fancy, visit the it's a soft drink website. (Glad they were nice and clear about that from get-go, because we were holding out hope there'd be cheery ol' liquor involved.) Site sorta reminds us of that Clearification thing Microsoft did back before Crispin sank its teeth into the account and ripped a hole in the brand equity continuum. You know, you've got a witty but neurotic guy ... just bantering. With himself.

Campaign by Hauser Group; web content by Awesome, Inc. Also keep your eyes peeled for a Cheerwine "Chilled Out Tour" and ambassador program, expected to unroll in select markets in late '09.

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by Angela Natividad    Apr-16-09    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Video










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