'The Fundamentals of Our Economy Are Strong.'

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John McCain makes another one of those verbal oopsies (see a previous noteworthy soundbite) and Team Obama wastes no time whipping an ad around it. Bonus points for mentioning the Lehman Brothers collapse. Way to be timely!

Feels like dirty press to me. Our economy's shit, but it's not a lost cause, and I think that's what McCain wanted to highlight. You cannot save a lost cause.

Still, a fellow blogger points out, "running the economy from a defensive mindset like that is different than having a vibrant economy." McCain's a defense guy for sure -- and defense usually implies lack of leverage. You're trying to protect what's left, not win new ground.

Even so, are we all in agreement that a vibrant economy can be manufactured with Extra-Strength Hope Serum?

by Angela Natividad    Sep-16-08    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Commercials, Online, Political



Direct Mail Musing, Infiltrating McCain, Toothpaste Autopsies, Ironic Artstuffs

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- GI Direct hopes to inspire direct mail marketers with Creative Formats, a visul muse that makes direct mail seem rad as scrapbooking. Search by feature, format, market sector or size of run.

- MoveOn.org goes behind enemy lines in hopes of, I don't know, making McCain implode. Meet Billy Mires, bus driver of the "Straight Talk Express." He'll pass on charming yet ironic factoids like how John McCain invented the BlackBerry.

- The anatomy of toothpaste. What you see at left is Colgate Total Mint Stripe. Was it Andy Warhol who said art is whatever you can get away with?

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by Angela Natividad    Sep-16-08    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Events, Online, Strange, Trends and Culture



Ask.com Targets Ritual Cannibals that Can't Walk in Heels

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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.

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by Angela Natividad    Sep-16-08    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Good, Online, Strange



Billboards Grow Green for Academy of Sciences

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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?

by Angela Natividad    Sep-16-08    
Topic: Campaigns, Good, Outdoor, Promotions



Arnold Helps City Year Say 'Change the World'

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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.

by Steve Hall    Sep-15-08    
Topic: Campaigns, Cause, Commercials, Good



Julianne Hough for Juicy Fruit, BMW on Review, Pigs in Drag, HP Meets Far East

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- 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.



Target Uses 'Web 2.0 Aesthetic' to Peg College Kids

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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.

by Angela Natividad    Sep-14-08    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Good, Online



High Culture Got You Down? McCafe to the Rescue

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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?"

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by Angela Natividad    Sep-14-08    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Commercials, Good, Television



Bill and Jerry: Too Quirky for Quirky Suburbia?

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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.

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by Angela Natividad    Sep-12-08    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Celebrity, Online, Strange, Video



Wendy's Goes Viral. Just Kidding.

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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).

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by Angela Natividad    Sep-11-08    
Topic: Bad, Brands, Campaigns, Online, Video










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