The economy shake-up means hard times for everybody, but print news weeklies are probably among the heaviest-laden. Few people are willing to wait a day to see news in print; fewer still have the patience for a week, not when they can load Google News and have at it instantaneously.
In a desperate bid at self-preservation, the LA Weekly has launched "LONG LIVE PRINT." Weeklyites invaded the Detour Festival in Downtown LA to wave signs, distribute bookmarks (cringe) and ink the message onto other people's shirts with a printing press (nifty!).
Other media ran on newsstands and in the LA Weekly itself. See the creative in all its grungy glory:
Cool work by Ignited LA
. Painfully valiant though, given that we've never thought much about the LA Weekly
, and now we associate it with the struggle of by-weeklies to remain relevant in an increasingly by-the-Tweet
kind of world.
You know, like a candy cane, except with peeled-off bits of other people's faces.
To promote Give Me More Stripes, some kind of VIP dining rewards card, TGI Friday's launched the farcically kitschy Give Me More Stripes face striping widget.
Those reined into the Give Me More Stripes club get a coupon for a free appetizer, a one-time "front of the line" pass -- which could come in handy if you're ever insanely feening for jalapeno poppers -- and the ability to earn "stripes" for every dollar spent.
...Are those anything like big-top points?
- The American Cancer Society is hosting a Great American Smokeout today. How liberating. Excuse me while I light up.
- New Anheuser-Busch InBev logo fails to be a turn-on.
- Google is shuttering virtual world Lively, which it launched in July. Guffaw.
- Honeyshed's hurtin' for suitors.
- Clean your free t-shirt with our product. That's confidence.
- Hello Kitty Beaujolais Nouveau -- the bastard child of all things commercial, cavity-inducing and just generally wrong (or right?) with the universe.
- Oh snap, my email just went retro.
Provided with little more than an audio file of the Lexus IS F on the go, production company Crush was asked to visualize what the sound would look like. This is the result of that.
Pretty, and effective in its lack of language. I especially like the smoke circles. Last few scenes cut briefly to the car, the logo, the slogan: "The pursuit of perfection." Clean.
And infinitely more coherent than "F is everything you thought we weren't."
Staples is running a campaign called Gift it for Free, where 10,000 people could "win" any purchase they make at the store between November 16 and December 24.
To promote an already-feeble promotional effort, the marketing team invented a fictional character called Coach Tom, who from what I can tell just wanders around dispensing advice on winning to people that aren't interested, like Tai Chi practitioners and the Kings. At some point in his didactic prattling, he'll toss in a ramble about Gift it for Free, which doesn't visibly spark any interest in his existence.
Feels forced and campy. Also, the videos are too long. But whatev, see requisite YouTube, Facebook and Twitter pages. (Remember how everyone used to build a MySpace page too, and now nobody bothers? Sign of the changing times.)
From now through December, expect to see Lara Croft decimating your favourite gamer sites, starting with this one. (Pull the ring in the leaderboard to get her going.)
Once all that pesky content's out of the way, indulge in a big-ass HD ad for Tomb Raider: Underworld, plus free downloadable demo. By Eyeblaster, IGN and SF-based agency JVST.
Playful immersive ad experiences like this are very cool. We saw something similar last September for Wario Land: Shake It! on YouTube. As the video progressed, Wario's kicks, bumps and big fat jiggles utterly "destroyed" the profile page.
It's funny about this subsite. For a few seconds I seriously thought it was for a phone called the Pomegranate NS08 -- which I had already begun to covet more than anything else I've ever wanted, ever.
Then I realized it's unlikely that a phone -- even one with email, internet, GPS, music and a camera -- will actually shave your face, brew coffee or double as a harmonica. (Though it's easy to picture scenarios where all those value-adds would be useful.) So, taking my cues from the site motif, I concluded this must be a campaign promoting the universal merits of the pomegranate fruit.
I hit "Release Date" and got a message that kind of seemed to corroborate my theory:
Someday you'll be able to get everything you want in one device. Today you can get everything you want in one place.
Followed by the product reveal, which did
blow my mind because it struck me as so utterly improbable:
HP's enlisted improv actors from the Upright Citizens Brigade and the People's Improv Theater to spice up its YouTube learning center, gleefully dubbed MasterPC Theatre.
The point of the campaign is to teach you about the different capabilities of HP products in a refreshing and irreverent way, which it succeeds in doing whenever it's not bringing comedy traffic school to mind.
Expect to see the spots in rich media banners if "the economy picks up," said Don Russell from Source. Produced by Streamline Content, edited by Fluid.
Or it's spec for Tom Tykwer's Perfume Deux: Redhead's Revenge. Dude on the chocolate bit looks kinda like Grenouille -- but really he's Le Petit Ecolier, a wee schoolboy who's served as the face of this snack since 1850.
For Lu Biscuits, which is currently having a chic little identity crisis. Okay, not really, but I seriously LOL'ed when the website started blasting ambient music. Because come on, all this for a biscuit. A saucy biscuit, sure. Even with a turn-on of a tea to pair them with, biscuits are still like less sexy cookies (NSFW).
And that's pretty much all the PR people have going for it. The idea behind "Recess is on" is for Morgan Hotel Group to look like a bad-ass place to party amidst the crippling buzzkill of a recession.
See minimalist rebel prints:
o Don't Jump. Dance.
o Fuck the recession. Powerful in brevity.
o Fuck the recession -- reprise. This ad also includes a letter written by Morgan Hotel Group to a personified Recession, flippantly declaring its intention to raise hell and whatnot. "Fuck off" is written at bottom in surprisingly girly script. (I think a sharp, all-caps and slightly Nicholson-esque "FUCK OFFFFFFFFFfff" would have done the job better.)
The website, linked above, also includes an epilepsy-inducing :60 video that'll be projected upon some unfortunate building. Or not. Word has it the creative will be changed and repeated use of "fuck" will be scrubbed.
"Whatever happened to defiance?" the rep from Pronto Stockholm asked us. Well, fuck if we know.