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



'University of it's never too late to learn'

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...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.

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



Jimmy John's Just Wants to Make You Happy.

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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.

Ads by The Ad Store.

by Angela Natividad    Sep-11-08    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Commercials, Television



Caesar's Uses Self-Entitlement to Reel 'Em In

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Imagine it: endless champagne, a lively -- but intimate -- night life, creamy white sheets, Roman baths, and sweet nothings brimming from the mouths of chiseled strangers.

What's all this? Why, "The Life You Were Meant to Live," a less-than-subtle ploy by Leo Burnett/Chicago to get your pipe-dreaming ass into Caesars. Spots include:

o "I'll Have the Bubbliest Champagne" -- for the ladies!
o "Try it Before You Croak" -- for the couples! -- or maybe just singles that enjoy morning-after intimacy.
o "I'm the Funny Good Looking One" -- for graying men still pursuing validation!

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by Angela Natividad    Sep-10-08    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Commercials, Online, Television



Football Fans Get Their 15 Minutes on (and for!) Samsung HDTVs

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Samsung partnered with the NFL to bring football fandom to the big screen. See a couple of the TV ads, lengthened for the 'net, at That's How I See It. A spot I've seen often is the one where a dad gives his son a Vikings helmet, heirloom-style, to wear while watching TV.

In general I feel like we've seen too much of this kind of thing before. (See fans! Fans like you! Fetch wallet!) But if you feel closely affiliated with a certain football team, maybe getting recognized by a big brand always feels fresh. Kinda like how I feel every time a rapper shouts my area code into a mic.

by Angela Natividad    Sep-10-08    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Commercials, Online, Television










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