'You Got Him in the Jugular!'

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@tim_nolan introduced us to The Fist of Oblivion, a bizarre web series directed by Roman Coppola for Scion Broadband.

Scion Broadband, a lifestyle content network targeted to young, thrifty and image-conscious drivers, launched in 2006. We didn't realize it was still kicking.

And while it's hard to go wrong with muppets, kung-fu and mobsters, we're glad there's a place where Scion's ad folk can potentially still express its creativity.

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by Angela Natividad    Jan- 9-09    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Online, Video



McCain's Country First Fails to Ignite Evangelical Spark

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John McCain hopes to reshape the Republican party -- and reignite his supporter base -- using the same social media tools that betrayed their obsolescence.

But Country First, launched with help from the same web consultants that helped him lose his campaign for POTUS, is no contest to Change.gov, the Obama administration's way of keeping people involved with government at a granular level. It currently does little more than solicit donations with cheap euphemisms ("Become a charter member!") while pushing a smarmy, superficial "McCain loves America!" video -- which can neither be embedded nor shared.

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by Angela Natividad    Jan- 9-09    
Topic: Bad, Campaigns, Online, Political



Nastia Liukin Strikes Pose for Max Azria

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Five-time Olympic medalist Nastia Liukin invades fashion rags for BCBG Max Azria. The limber gymnast brings physical abandon and sugar-plum-fairy guilelessness to a medium dominated by sullen, overposed divas.

Just another treasure from the haute coffers of Jeremy Dante.

Visa first captured Liukin's porcelain ballerina quality in this ad for its "Go World" campaign, which aired during the Summer Olympics. Shortly after the Games, honey was deluged by spokesmodel opps. Clamoring suitors included Cover Girl, Vanilla Star and Wheaties.

by Angela Natividad    Jan- 9-09    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Celebrity, Magazine



Canada's Family Literacy Day Gets Big Media Push

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ABC Canada and Honda have teamed to promote Family Literacy Day on January 27, 2009, an annual event which encourages families to read and learn together. Toronto-based zig created the marketing materials for the event this year, including children's activity books for libraries and schools, event planning guides for Honda dealerships, radio spots, posters, billboards, print ads and ambient advertising.

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by Steve Hall    Jan- 9-09    
Topic: Campaigns, Cause, Good



Welch's Defends the Honor of its Juice

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"Purple is the new black," proclaims a PR guy in an emailed preamble about his love of grape juice, which has been "much maligned as a sugary kids' drink that can't be natural (what could possibly be that purple, right?)."

In that manic light, Welch's, whose purple is 100% au naturelle, enlisted "food scientist" Alton Brown of the Food Network's Good Eats program.

Behold as he vindicates Welch's time-tested, suspiciously picturesque juice production practices. ("At Welch's, squeezing CON-cord grapes into natch'rel juice releases TONS of anti-awx-idants called ... po-lee-fee-nols.") He even takes time out of his day to teach us the Latin name for the Concord grape. (Veetis Labrewsca, baby.)

Boy does that ad work up a thirst. As well as a curious craving for Eucharist bread. "Uh-maaaay-zing little fruit." Thanks for your endorsement, Alton Brown!

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by Angela Natividad    Jan- 8-09    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Celebrity, Commercials, Television



Scion 'Samples' Puts Individuality Back in Play

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In '07, Scion seduced us with dark wit and gothic charm. Then, in '08, the company took an unexpected sharp turn down Lackluster Lane, barraging us with "limited edition" cars and other cheesy gimmicks.

(By way of explanation, a company rep said Scion's Little Deviants effort -- where "sheeple" are violently attacked by imps in custom cars -- upset a few crucial people.)

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by Angela Natividad    Jan- 8-09    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Commercials, Online, Television



Geico's Kash Still Watching

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The Martin agency has added two new spots to the Geico Kash campaign. That's the campaign in which the creepy looking stack of money with eyeballs appears seemingly to indicate the money one could have saved had one been a Geico customer.

The interesting thing about these spots is that they are so random. In one, a roofer tells another roofer he's being scoped out, one assumes, by a girl. As it turns out, it's just that creepy stack of Geico money. In another, a man stops to ask a guy working on a fence for directions. After a longish pause in which the guy in the car considers how the hell he's going to get where he's going, he notices the Geico stack of money. Fence guy looks and says, "Poor fella. He must have following your for miles. Looks tired."

Cue mid-eighties dance tune Somebody's Watching Me.

by Steve Hall    Jan- 8-09    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Good, Strange



New England Aquarium Invites You to See Turtles ... EVERYWHERE.

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The New England Aquarium's "See Turtles" campaign is an appealing exception to the no-pun rule. (Also, we like an effort that doubles as justification to take hallucinogens.)

Variants include Droplet, Water Tower and Rooftop, which will appear in magazines and newspapers.

Online banner ads -- which are also cute, if a little Clip-Arty -- include Snowman, Cocoa and Car. (Forgive us if these links break; they're hosted by Mullen.) These are slightly different from their print counterparts: in them, ordinary things take the shape of turtles over time, taking advantage of the 'net's ability to seize roving eyes. Frankly, the print stuff is better.

Work by Mullen/Wenham, MA. There's also radio material, which we didn't get to hear.



Not to Be Rude, But This Cupcake Tastes Suspiciously Like a Wi-Fi Hotspot

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After setting up its first-ever 4G wireless broadband network in Portland, Clearwire tapped Secret Weapon Marketing to promote its merits: better internet speeds, broader coverage.

The result was a series of irreverent prints -- and "Sprinkles," a TV ad that compares wireless coverage to cupcake sprinkles. (Rivals are represented by a stingy sprinkling; meanwhile, Clearwire's coverage deluges the bakery with diabetes-inducing hail.)

"Welcome to the future," the narrator says smugly.

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Buy Better Bulbs; WWF Will Do the Heavy Lifting

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The industrial pollutants in the World Wildlife Federation's "Light Bulb" ad are only tired toys. But these miniatures -- small things we can easily control -- still convey the helplessness environmentalists feel when faced with oversized, eco-negligent businesses.

"Light Bulb" concludes with a male doll holding an energy-efficient light bulb. "You're doing your part," the ad assures us. "It's our job to help government & industry do theirs."

This message of gentle aggression is fast replaced by the image of a panda, an animal known to unfailingly melt hearts -- or in extreme conditions, cause brain explosions.

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by Angela Natividad    Jan- 7-09    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Cause, Commercials, Magazine, Online, Television








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