Old Spice Transforms Losers Into Superstars

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In its continuing quest to transform the tragically unhip into something, well, not quite hip but into something people will at least consider using. Weiden + Kennedy is out with two more commercials illustrating the transformative powers of Old Spice Swagger (seriously? Swagger?). One features Brian Urlacher. The other, LL Cool J. The basic message? Even manly dudes like Urlacher and LL were losers until...they began using Old Spice products.

Funny thing. They probably were using their dad's Old Spice back in the day and that didn't seem to help. Perhaps, once again, it's advertising that's the transformative thing in people's lives.

by Steve Hall    Aug-28-08    
Topic: Campaigns, Celebrity, Commercials, Good



Misty-Eyed Campaign Hypes Big Ten Conference

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After viewing these commercials hyping The Big Ten Conference, one is led to believe the great American sport of football is running scared fearing of the "real" game of football everyone else in the world plays could jeopardize the sport. A drive by any field in any town in America reinforces that fear to some degree. It seems every kid in every town across the country is playing soccer. Well, maybe not in Texas but everywhere else, it seems.

Could soccer - called football everywhere else in the world - ever come close to unseating American football? Not likely but a drive by all those fields makes one wonder once in a while.

more »

by Steve Hall    Aug-28-08    
Topic: Campaigns, Commercials, Good



Because Nothing Washes Blood Away Like Freshly-Laundered Banknotes

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This is "Ca$h," a fun little ad for a gratuitously violent game called Mercenaries 2: World in Flames. I love how it illustrates the acquisition of profit by unethical means: the seedy backdrops, filthy oceans, and characters' faces all bear the delightfully crisp stamp of currency.

And the song! It's convivial and music-hallish, the kind of thing you learn the words to, then leap around and mouth while blowing holes through the furniture with your bad-ass mercenary fingertips. What a feast it'll be for the PTC when these role models invade their living rooms.

Put together in HD by Shilo for DraftFCB/San Francisco. Electronic Arts debuted the spot on August 18 Stateside; it'll start running September 5 in the United Kingdom. I can hardly wait to see what it looks like on TV.

by Angela Natividad    Aug-27-08    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Commercials, Television



Fidolls: Not Your Typical Bubble Wand Fare

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To supplement the use of big balloon dolls (dubbed "Fidolls") in its guerrilla campaign, Canadian wireless firm Fido deployed whimsical floating Fidoll-shaped bubbles into the air.

Charming -- even if, after the Bravia bubbles effort, it falls a little on the scant side of sudsy.

In addition to repping Fido to both the earth-bound and the airborne, the campaign -- which invites users to text 411 to 10987 -- invites users to free "Fido Sessions," which cover topics like art and design. Artists involved in the sessions have included The Dark, Nicholas Di Genova and Jamie Campbell.

Nice to see a wireless provider -- whose services are so integral to city-trawlers' daily lives -- engage users in a way that enlivens their own creativity.

by Angela Natividad    Aug-27-08    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Events, Guerilla



Popeyes Sells $72 Sandwich for $1.49

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Sometimes if you want something to sound much better than it actually is, you sort of highlight and exaggerate the effort that went into making it. As part of a campaign that aims to position Popeyes as Louisiana Kitchen where "great tasting food requires slow, careful preparation," some twisted logic is employed to make that point clear.

In a new commercial for the brand, "Chef Ed" approaches Popeyes customers to explain how much time went into making the chain's $1.49 loaded chicken wrap. Because the chicken in the wrap was marinated for 12 hours, Chef Ed says the $1.49 wrap should really cost $72 based on a $6 per hour labor costs. Where the logic gets fuzzy is the assumption it takes any effort at all for chicken to soak in sauce for 12 hours. Does Popeyes pay employees to stare at the chicken for 12 hours? Is that part of the marination process?

OK, OK so there are preparation and refrigeration costs but still. Is having a dude side up to your table randomly to tell you your lunch should have cost 48 times what you paid for it really the best way to sell a chicken sandwich?

by Steve Hall    Aug-27-08    
Topic: Bad, Campaigns, Commercials



Parents Skittish About Hiked-Up Raunchiness in '90210'

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Time's drawing near for the September 2 debut of 90210, the CW's remake of '90s pop classic Beverly Hills, 90210. Worried that the network will slut it up a la Gossip Girl, the Parents Television Council is admonishing advertisers not to sponsor the show unless a pre-screening is released.

Read the elongated back-and-forth. In a nutshell, the PTC insinuated that the CW won't release a pre-screen because it doesn't want large, socially-responsible advertisers scrutinizing all that naughty, dirty, bad, baaaad content. The CW says it just doesn't want to spoil a highly-anticipated premiere. In the end, it'll probably win this girlfight.

Concerns about poisoning our pure American youth aside, the PTC's got a definite beef. For its last Gossip Girl print campaign, the CW used the headline "Mind-blowingly inappropriate!", a statement the PTC made to rebuke the show, to promote the new season.

Hilarious. Anyway, the PTC ain't going down without a yowl. It's contacted 136 major advertisers about the 90210 pre-screening issue. Cheers to the virtue of vigilance.

Image credit: the NY Post blog.

by Angela Natividad    Aug-26-08    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Cause, Television



Nokia: Yes! Follow the Strangers with the Soothing Shirts

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This Nokia campaign, where a Personal Navigator leads the lost to their final destinations, probably wasn't meant to encourage emo-stricken weirdos to trust friendly strangers. But from here on out, if I ever want to kidnap a giant chicken in dire straits, I'll probably pull on a "Personal Navigator" shirt and try taking it by the hand.

Also see bickering pirates locate misplaced X, a lost alien get alienated, two goths find love, and -- my favourite -- Pacman outrunning the ghosts, which also have a Personal Navigator.

The campaign was seeded across the 'net by Unruly Media. Its happy task is to endear the Nokia N78 -- featuring maps! -- to the navigationally-challenged. The music gave each piece a Chaplinesque feel, which made things seem that much sadder when it all went horribly wrong.

by Angela Natividad    Aug-26-08    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Good, Online, Trends and Culture, Video



Wall*E Used to Expose Kleenex's Snottier Side

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"Another box of Kleenex, one more forest gooooone!" That's part of Greenpeace's freaky new campaign song, inspired by the motion picture Wall*E. The group reimagined the doe-eyed, trash-smushing robot as the descendant of eco-antagonist Kleer*E, which -- in their words -- "gobbles up forests and spits out boxes of Kleenex."

Political cartoonist Mark Fiore produced the vid, available here. What was cute is now sinister, all part and parcel of Greenpeace's ongoing Kleercut campaign -- an effort to litter Kleenex's family-friendly brand persona with tree carcasses, wood splinters and warped, nightmarish jingles.

"Tell Kimberly-Clark to stop the Iron*E!" puns Greenpeace shamelessly. Once the goosebumps go down, though, I have to admit it's all very charming in a twisted sort of way.

by Angela Natividad    Aug-25-08    
Topic: Campaigns, Cause, Online, Spoofs, Strange, Video



Shut Up, Stick Out Your Chest and Drool!

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Photographer: Jessica, can you unsnap one more button for me?
Jessica: Like this?
P: Yea. Now put your left hand on the bale of hay...
J: What's a bale of hay?
P: Uh...it's that rectangular, straw-like thing...
J: Rectang...oh...like that square thing?
P: No, the rec...never mind. Yea, the square thing.
J: Like this?
P: Yea. Now lean left, sit up straight and stick your chest out.
J: You want to see my boobs?
P: Well, yes....uh...sorry...I mean no. I mean I...yea...no...just some cleavage.
J: Is this good?
P: Just a little bit more?
J: But the next button might pop open..wouldn't that be too much boob?
P: Girl, there's no such thing as too much boob...except this is an ad...not a Playboy shoot.
J: They're 34D, you know

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by Steve Hall    Aug-20-08    
Topic: Campaigns, Celebrity



Levi's Unbuttons Fresh Musicians, Fringe Celebs

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"Everyone has something to reveal. They just need to be unbuttoned," Levi's croons, crowning its "Unbuttoned" campaign for the classic 501 jeans with "spoonfuls of soul and swagger" (I just love that line). On personal subsites, three artists -- Estelle, Nikka Costa and Wale -- describe why they became musicians and pass on a free track for users to download.

Each MP3 has a different sound, but they all feel big and breezy. (Slightly off-topic, isn't it nice to see so many companies share downloadable ear candy? It's like trick-or-treating, except with iTunes instead of a pillowcase.)

Music isn't all Levi's is baring. Other celebs with something to share include the adorable Jamie Bestwick, who's giving away a free BMX video, and there's a Perez Hilton giveaway coming in September. (They gave us the link, but it's still doorknob-dead.) What Perez is giving away I'm sure I don't know, considering his two cents always come free.

by Angela Natividad    Aug-20-08    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Celebrity, Good, Online










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