An hour or so ago I read a grisly article about some Russian kids that killed and ate their goth friends. After scrolling down to the end of the piece and feeling appropriately perturbed, I came across the Ask.com video ad at left.
"How can you learn to walk in high heels?" it burbles cheerfully. "Get the answer." I played the video out of morbid curiosity and watched a pair of legs walk, with sass, up until the grand finale -- when the owner of those legs topples over with a scream, followed by cries of dismay.
It remains unclear whether she was eaten after her plummet from grace.
For the California Academy of Sciences, Heat/SF launched a series of outdoor executions that highlight the institution's eco-friendly design and emphasis on sustainability.
To tie in to the "green" roof over the Academy's new facility -- which actually sustains some wild animals and vegetation -- outdoor ads include a "living" bus shelter and billboard, upon which grass or other greens have been planted. See them in San Francisco. TV and digital work will also supplement the campaign.
McDonald's and Ford have also done the living billboard thing. Tell me, minions: is this America or is this Hobbiton?
Last week Arnold Worldwide launched several new PSAs for City Year, an organization of 17 to 24 year olds with diverse background who mentor, tutor, clean up neighborhoods and generally do good things.The spots are full of "we are change"-iness but that's to be expected from an organization that's out to, well, change things.
The spots were shot by Redtree Productions documentary filmmaker Josh Seftel who's received his fair share of independent film awards. All the spots can be seen at the City Year website here.
- BMW's holding a media review worth $155 million.
- Remember Memento? Imagine if it were an ad for Sony Ericsson.
- The Institute for America's Future hopes to derail the political bullshit train with an ad campaign about "major challenges facing the country." That's cool and all, but is this nearly as exciting as this? Don't answer, that's rhetorical.
- "Mom, what are those?" "Tadpoles, honey." "Oh. What do they have to do with being 'knocked up'?" Good luck with that.
- If PETA's ads were always this cute, I might have wanted a pig for a pet, not for breakfast. I like the point it made though. And look! They didn't even have to embarrass anybody.
- Here's a Wrigley Juicy Fruit ad in the style of that DoubleMint candy raver-looking thing. In this one, Julianne Hough invests the Juicy Fruit jingle with country music flair. It was so peppy and sweet, watching it gave me a cavity.
- In the unlikely event you need a laptop to match your Mandarin dress, Hewlett-Packard's got just the thing.
I recently saw this cute rich media ad for Target's "Happy Together" campaign, targeted to college kids.
Its composed of harmonious extremes that appear one after the other, like flash cards: planner + dreamer, night owl + morning bird, extrovert +introvert. The accompanying illustrations remind me of the work of Liling Yu, who created Twitter's FailWhale.
Yu's art totally personifies the Web 2.0 aesthetic: bug-eyed animal friends, soothing pastels, and non-confrontational sans-serif typefaces, all culminating in brands that seem to want to play with us. That Target knows to tap into all this is part of what keeps it young, fresh and lively.
In the latest TV spots for its McCafe label, McDonalds surrenders the art house crowd to Starbucks -- and liberates the crusty, football-loving Joes that never quite fit in.
This ad starts with two guys in a typical cafe scene, reading books and sipping coffee out of wide cups. One haughtily asks, "Did you hear McDonald's has cappuccinos now?"
In installment 2 of Microsoft's avant-garde repositioning extravaganza, Bill Gates and Jerry Seinfeld try the simple life.
Imagine it: two rich dudes, bunking in with a family straight out of Little Miss Sunshine. It's almost like when Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie lived on a farm, except more weird than entertaining.
But maybe I'm just reacting to the malicious geriatric.
Wendy's joins the amateur video club with "Crazy Lettuce." By now you know the score: two guys are involved. One can never hold the camera straight. At the very last second some zany shit happens.
In this case, a bushy head of lettuce consumes a wee little Wendy's burger. Link to meatatariansunite, a nightmare of poor wallpaper that does nothing but hurt eyes and demand emails.
If this is the one trick to succeeding in so-called "viral marketing," the medium ought to die fast and painfully. Unfortunately for Wendy's, the eyes-deceive-thee! gimmick that served Levi's, Ray Ban and Nike so well is all used up. People finally get the joke: these amazing feats in online video? They never happened. Know what else? They're ADS.
"Crazy Lettuce" has drawn less than 1100 views on YouTube, a mediocre rating (2 stars) and mixed response (of which there are 12).
...that whole "grammar" thing, though, you'll probably need to learn elsewhere.
The ad at left is part of a University of Phoenix campaign where consecutive ads finish the thought started by "University of...", probably with other gimpy platitudes:
University of seizing the day.
University of never giving up.
University of I CAN.
Ooh, just found a variant. University of my hopes. Didn't see that one coming.
In its latest TV campaign, Jimmy John's, America's Sandwich Delivery Experts, relieves tense situations with foot-longs and smiling delivery men. (Actually not a bad idea.)
The company is mostly midwest-based, and its ads are friendly and earnest -- deeply mid-western? -- even if not wildly original. The Bomb spot did make me laugh, but the effort overall only felt so-so.
While sandwich delivery may not really resolve hostage situations or smooth out an explosive case of nerves, I guess it could calm screaming schoolchildren. For half an hour.
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