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.
It's not immediately clear what's going on in this spot for Microsoft's Zune, featuring Common and Afrika Bambaataa. In it, a girl puts Common's Universal Mind Control on the spin. She gives props for it, then Common and Afrika Bambaataa leap out of a cloud of images and start sparring over it.
At first the whole thing rang like a poorer rendition of HP's "Hands" campaign, which does a good job of connecting the essence of a celebrity to the machine he's using.
- Yesterday's news: Pepsi shafts BBDO for TBWA. BBDO held the account for nearly 50 years.
- After a year and a half of fumbling at the throne of Yahoo, CEO Jerry Yang exits stage left.
- Wieden + Kennedy scores the Nokia Nseries account, worth about $150 million. Lowe London held it before.
- VeeV, an acai-based spirit with delusions of grandeur, brings you The End of Vodka, complete with vodka bots. The site's goal is to show users how much superficiality vodka's introduced into our lives over the course of the past decade. Yeah. If by superficiality you mean lasting friendships and insta-forgiveness.
- "Is this Miley's fault? Ugh, she wouldn't know a legendary jazz man even if he walked up to her and shot cocaine into her neck."
- Sprint's web 2.0 clusterfuck.
- Big Takeaways from the Motrin crisis. (How is it Motrin gets shut down but this goes on undeterred?)
To promote the fusion of Comcast DVR with TiVo, Biscuit Filmworks USA and Goodby, Silverstein & Partners give us "Separated at Birth."
It's a love story about a pair of TVs that part at the assembly line and serve two people in two different ways. In the end, the owners -- which start out as kids -- grow up and get together. Just like their favourite TV services.
Almost too cute to stand. The split ad format keeps eyes bouncing back and forth, and a simple narrative prevents captive audiences from snapping out of it. We'll even be willing to ignore the fact that TiVo hasn't been around long enough to have served any twenty-something from her budding days as a grade school control freak.
- Transport for London spoofs Clue for cyclist awareness.
- Obama does fireside chat thing via YouTube.
- The churches are sorry. (But a billboard with italic print may not be enough for some.)
- Guerrilla naughty.
- Will businesses have to pay per tweet?
- Rallying for Starbucks. (TBH, I'm running out of faith.)
- The Matrix Runs on Windows. George Parker says CP+B should listen up.
- Snazzy new Vespa site. Includes big green section on Vespanomics. Um, yay...?
It merits saying that there are plenty of countries where people don't get as nuts as we do when ads zero in on race. But I still felt an "arrrg" rise to my throat when I saw these pieces for ChromaWhite TRX Skin Brightener, Dermalogica India.
The text at left reads "America's future looks bright, thanks to a black." Above the caption is the bust of a suspiciously white-washed Obama.
Thanks for the unsolicited commentary on our election, but what the fuck, guys? How does news of the States blackwashing the White House promote your skin whitening product?
Variant: "There are times when black can go to white." Okay, I'm not even touching that one.
Put together by the politically earnest cats at IBD Brands, India.
UPDATE: After this article had been live for a few hours, the guy who sent us this work apologized for any cultural misunderstanding and claimed the creative was just spec. And having sent us the material in the first place, he even tried insisting his agency didn't do it. (The creative credits appeared right below the work in the original email.) In separate IMs, he went on to say he doesn't work for the agency at all, and a mystery person from IBD sent it to him.
Dear IBD Brands Dude: We're typically really nice about this kind of thing, but you've done this more than once. If this was an honest mistake, here's a tip: don't get cocky and send us material your client hasn't approved.
If you simply can't take flak for doing a sub-par job, get the hell out of this business.
While logic for continuing the campaign may be suspect, I guess it speaks to its undying faith that for the third year in a row, OfficeMax is rolling out Elf Yourself (complete with bigger OfficeMax logo!).
Around this time last year, Elf Yourself had spawned over 11 million self-elfers. This year there's new stuff to look forward to.