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In an internal letter obtained by TechCrunch, SVP Bill Veghte tries to explain WTF Microsoft was getting at with its Seinfeld campaign, which kicked off with this really weird ad.
Excerpt from Veghte's letter:
Today, we are kicking off a highly visible advertising campaign. The first phase of this campaign is designed to engage consumers and spark a new conversation about Windows - a conversation that will evolve as the campaign progresses, but will always be marked by humor and humanity. The first in this series [...] aims to re-ignite consumer excitement about the broader value of Windows.
"Best of Skype Laughter Chain" is FOUR AND A HALF MINUTES of footage of other people laughing. After awhile you'll be like, "That is one seriously ugly noise."
The video is part of a broader effort where people upload videos of themselves laughing. Sorta like that Gmail thing from last year. The idea is that Skype provides the ultimate setting for mirth and hilarity with its video chat feature. That's cool, and I'm a Skype fan and all, but this "take a giggle, pass it on!" gimmick is lame. It's like a whole campaign composed of inside jokes you weren't let in on.
In the first ad released by Crispin Porter+Bogusky for Microsoft, Bill Gates and Jerry Seinfeld meet serendipitously at Shoe Circus, a Payless ShoeSource-type store. Seinfeld helps him pick out shoes. Made of pleather. Significant glances are exchanged, immigrants gawk, and churros are shared.
Thus ingratiated with one of the world's richest (and thriftiest?) men, Seinfeld poses the question we'd all ask, given the chance (and a serious case of munchies): "Are they ever gonna come up with something that'll make our computers moist and chewy like cake so we can eat 'em while we're working?"
Gates gives Seinfeld a subtle but sassy little ass-shake to denote "yes."
"What does it mean to be interesting? That's an interesting question." It's also one of the better lines from "Behind Interesting," a six-part web series by Dos Equis and Break, which is letting Dos Equis ride its leaderboards like a carnival pony.
"Behind Interesting" expands on Dos Equis' Most Interesting Man in the World campaign. Problem is, all that over-practiced pompousness is just too earnest to be ironic.
Writing on AdPulp and in his TalentZoo column, Dan Goldeier makes, correctly, the argument most campaigns are no longer given the time they need to build momentum and to enter the psyche of the consumer long enough to mean anything. He asks the question, "are ad campaigns given enough time to work these days?"
The answer is a resounding no and that, shortsightedly, been the case for a very long time. No one wants to, or is afraid to, invest the long periods of time it takes for a campaign to truly build. Everyone in marketing is too fickle and they are more concerned with advancing their own careers than advancing the success of the brands on which they work.
Jamba Juice makes its foray into the grocery aisle with a celebratory ad by Publicis/NY and production firm Stardust. In "Fruit Pixels," a bouquet of berries spring out of a Jamba smoothie bottle and shape-shift into a swinging schoolgirl, a swimmer, a volleyball player and the Jamba Juice logo before slipping back into the bottle, now neatly capped.
Tagline: "Live fruitfully." Hrrrm. The Ting Tings, which sing Fruit Machine in the background, could've given you guys somethin' better than that.
Off-topic, I love how personified energy can be used to promote both hip surgery and fruity beverages.
Sike friends into thinking you have a Porsche. Upload a shot of your driveway on the Porsche -- I Can subsite, choose from one of four platinum-coloured models, then PhotoShop your heart out with a limited set of image adjustment tools.
The result is an almost-perfect, semi-nifty shot of a Porsche in your driveway. (Unless, like me, you Googled up a dream driveway too.) Save as wallpaper or share with friends. Just don't invite them over.
Impressed? Yeah? ...No? Well, the effort earned Cramer Krasselt/Chicago some LA Times love.
To promote "Music for Life," whose theme this year was the dearth of drinkable water in some countries, the Red Cross and Studio Brussels let loose a thirsty black kid, who invaded TV studios and stole sips out of TV personalities' glasses.
It's hilarious. He just races onstage, gulps water down, and races off again without a word. Nobody can keep a straight face, and one chick just looks totally lost.
A video montage of the effort was put together and disseminated under the catchy name "Black boy wants water." As the Guerrilla Communications blog points out, it kept people awake -- and better still, got its point across.
The effort purportedly raised 3.3 million euros for drinkable water. It also won two golds, a silver and a titanium award at Cannes this year.
You may remember Robbie Wenger. He won the grand prize at Wrath of Cannes -- yeah, that was him licking the statue -- for Virtual Drinking Buddy, a subsite he created for The Knot.
The theme behind Virtual Drinking Buddy was "never be alone again," and toward that end it provided a classy old boozehound that drinks at your side and occasionally even insults you -- just like a real friend.
From September to October, Levi's "Live Unbuttoned" campaign invades newsstands and 7-Elevens in Hong Kong.
Agency TBWA\TEQUILA partnered with East Touch Magazine to outfit its next issue in miniature 501s. Mag-lurkers will literally have to unbutton the jeans just to finger a copy. Bonus points if you can fit in them!
There'll also be a guerrilla effort in Causeway Bay, where customers can experience the "Live Unbuttoned" campaign live and, uh, unbuttoned, which I think just means they'll be able to try jeans on in a tent. (I'm hoping there'll also be a lively music component. Chinese gen-yers love free music -- who doesn't? -- so it would make sense if Levi's also promoted its free music downloads there, too.)