To encourage Greenville, South Carolina-based users to explore the Bon Secours St. Francis Health System, Brains on Fire and Grow Interactive created Happy in Greenville, a deliciously simple information site.
"City secrets" enables users to click on an animated rendition of the city and read more about its sights -- farmer's market, Greenville Zoo, things like that. Hold your mouse down on the hot-air balloon to watch it shoot up and up.
To get down to business, read about St. Francis or find a doctor. Wherever your mouse may meander, the animation and overall experience are diligent and immersive, never too wordy -- like flipping through a really useful Richard Scarry book.
Good choice of background music, too: adds to the feel-good effect but you totally forget it's there.
In what I guess can be called a witty effort to explain the Collins reinsurance ad at left, a rep at Yamamoto Moss Mackenzie wrote us an email that began, "If you were going to do an ad for reinsurance brokerage, of course you'd think facial tattoos."
We were all, "Wait ... what?!"
Then we read the first line in the ad copy: "Everyone feels covered when we place reinsurance." And it was like, "Ohhhh."
Tagline follows: "Collins: predictability for a random world."
November in Canada sucks. There's neither sun nor snow, no Thanksgiving, no Obamamania to call their own.
So what's the best way to stick it to a month that's gunning for your unhappiness? The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, where you can watch, like, horses and ... stuff.
zig, the Toronto-based agency entrusted with "[making] an agricultural and equestrian show sexy to city slickers," came up with the ultimate anti-November manifesto, which, after all the doom and gloom, positions the Royal Fair as the ultimate pastime in a month when no fun can be found. Anywhere.
Tearing the chapter in irony out of theTruth.com's tattered playbook, Crowell Advertising brings us Fight the Ugly, home base to a lame-duck action figure named Smokerman.
Um, diggin' the 'stache.
See ads in which the action figure, stopping often to catch his breath, tries saving trains or disarming plastic bombs. The spots -- prepared for the Utah Department of Health -- will air during morning cartoons, where hopefully they stop kids from smoking as opposed to, oh, making the puff-puff seem fun.
"I'm a PC ... and I love the slimming effect of a purple striped shirt."
That's the profound kick-off to "Real PC," one of the :30 TV spots being cobbled together with clips from Microsoft's Upload Your Own 'I'm a PC' Ad! campaign. I saw one last night and winced; what is it about this effort that rings so painfully desperate? See more here.
These user-generated variants manage to be just as quirky and random as the originals, with a little amateur-vid spice tossed in. One guy at ad:tech's Millennial panel said he finds these ads more "democratic" than Apple's snarky but irresistible "Mac vs. PC" spots. He's not wrong; they definitely reek of The People's OS. For whatever that's worth.
Let's just hope Crispin didn't produce them on a Mac this time.
Ad gigs, that is. But hey, if Richard Simmons is still gettin' 'em, there's hope for any and all, not least the Black Sabbath veteran who pre-dated emo with his slick ebony angst.
Under the banner "make yourself heard," Samsung demonstrates how the QWERTY keyboard on its Propel handset makes everyday communication easier for Ozzy, who -- face it -- has always suffered from some degree of misunderstanding.
This mirthy delight is brought to you by Leo Burnett and production company MJZ.
- Be a GAMER. Made of steel. Video game school will show you how.
- The US Army is using webcasts by overseas soldiers to bait new recruits. The series is called -- wait for it! -- "Straight from Iraq." Soldiers are ready to take your questions.
- Keep up with Advergirl's social manifesto on how companies are using social media. It's illustrated!
- To remind us all how with-it and un-stodgy it is, Microsoft (I guess?) sends rats skydiving. Sick 'em, PETA.
by Angela Natividad
For season 2 of Mad Men, Torke dressed a passel of perpetual extras up in period costumes, complete with classic cars from the '50s and '60s. Thus coiffed, they wheeled around Lisbon distributing the "Mad Men News."
Not sold. The effort felt more Grease than Mad Ave., minus an Olivia Newton-John knockoff rockin 'the hotpants. If I were on the receiving end of one of those newsletters, I'd be shocked not to find a yearbook in my hand.
The UK's Gay Times recruited agencies and students to tackle an ambitious project: promoting the gay lifestyle to straight men.
James and Joe, two young creatives from Leeds, competed with Kings Arms Creative, Leo Burnett and iris, among other contenders, to accomplish the task in the manner most sassy. At left is what they came up with: a single dude making a distinctly vaggie shape with his mouth. (The grizzle helps.) Caption: "Anything she can do..."
Nice work. We're about 50% sold. Now let's see a chick make a shaft.
Last Wednesday after ad:tech, Eyeblaster recognized six agencies for the best digital ad campaigns of 2008.