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



Because Who's NOT Trying to Get into a Disco Queen's Pants?

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For its Grease-tacular Disco Pant, American Apparel slays another guileless chick on its altar of unrepentantly exploitative ad banners. Meet Shermine, who loves! disco!

Like our compromised heroine at 2AM, the ad dramatically blacks out with the closing sell: LE DISCO PANT.

American Apparel: sure, it's seedy as all hell. But if you've followed it as long as we have, then you must admire its unwavering loyalty to a single brand persona: rain or shine, in sickness and in health, in grayscale or by low-budget lamplight.

Even Microsoft can't be that consistent.

by Angela Natividad    Jan- 7-09    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Online, Trends and Culture



Madonna Spreads Wide for Marc Jacobs and LV

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Jeremy Dante -- a human repository of unbearably fashionable things -- sent us more imagery from the ongoing Madonna for Marc Jacobs/Louis Vuitton campaign.

These shots are decidedly more burlesque and pushy than the last ones, which pushed the aesthetic envelope but still maintained a semblance of cool grace and timeless decadence, yada-yada.

Hear me out. Madonna rocks hard and all, but she's past the point where we're willing to see her deep-throat lollies or -- heaven forbid! -- give us a youthfully woozy crotch shot in her Diamond Dog undyroos.

Diggin' this naughty spread of her draped over the chairs, though. It's so Virgin meets the New Wave.

by Angela Natividad    Jan- 7-09    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Celebrity, Magazine, Poster



Versus Wants to See Your Hooha

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Sporting site Versus has launched a recent promotion entitled Show Me Your V. Yes, this is where that is going. Of the promotion Yahoo Sports blog Puck Daddy wrote, "Maybe our minds are so far in the gutter that we've got rats scurrying across them, but even Roger Moore's James Bond would believe this double entendre is a tad too telegraphed."

A thunderstorm of commentary followed.

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by Steve Hall    Jan- 6-09    
Topic: Campaigns, Online, Racy, Strange










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