Newsflash! Commercial Explodes During Live Broadcast

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Like full on spam, this email screamed, "Catastrophe hits live during the broadcast of a Direct Insurance commercial." After quickly checking Twitter (what? that's where all the news is these days, people) to make sure there was no actual catastrophe, it became apparent this was yet another ploy for publicity.

The release continued, "During a live broadcast of the Israeli 'American Idol' show, a Direct Insurance commercial for catastrophe coverage burnt up before the eyes of avid viewers. After burning, a simple slide appeared: We apologize for the technical difficulties but catastrophes can happen to anyone".

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by Steve Hall    Aug-17-08    
Topic: Campaigns, Commercials, Strange



World Peace Finally Gets Just Desserts

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To honor the legacy of John Lennon, Ben & Jerry's have launched Imagine Whirled Peace, an ice cream flavor loaded with toffee cookies and fudge peace signs.

Upload shots of yourself in a peace mosaic at the Imagine subsite. (You know, like the song. Note Lennon specs on twitchy cow.) The ice cream company also partnered with The Lennon Estate and Peace One Day to host a bed-in, nodding to Lennon and Yoko Ono's lavishly-covered bed-in for peace -- a golden opportunity to lie around all day, preach peace, and play King and Queen Meet Lowly Serfs with scandalized reporters and photographers.

More here about how Ben & Jerry's poaches the Baby Boomers by canonizing idols with frozen treats. Frankly though, I've always been the Phish Food kind.

by Angela Natividad    Aug-15-08    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Celebrity, Online, Packaging, Strange



Evian Shrinks, True Blood Examined, Multimap Lets the Pigeons In

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- It's targeted you with limited-edition designer bottles and luxury facial sprays. Now Evian wants your kids. Introducing Evian Les Petits!

- Greenwich aspires to seize the spotlight as soon as it's off Beijing.

- Microsoft UK's Multimap uses pigeons to promote its "bird's eye view" feature. Created by digital agency LBi, it marks the first time Multimap has used cartoons to advertise.

- Check out the Word Clock typographic screensaver, which one Bos AD thinks is the "coolest screensaver EVER." It's pretty cool. Kind of like UNIQLOCK without the girls, or the music, or the colors.

- If you're following HBO's online campaign for True Blood, you should catch this 3-minute Ad Age video about virals. True Blood premieres September 7. Dude, sometimes it sucks to not have cable.

by Angela Natividad    Aug-15-08    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Online, Packaging, Promotions, Strange



Nissan Flirts with the Mold, but Fails to Break It

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This new spot for Nissan (:30 and :60) immediately piqued interest: one car circulates a vinyl album. Interesting retro tones punctuate the background. The camera pans out, revealing many vehicles circulating many vinyls. It's an image that brings Warhol to mind.

What's going on? What'll happen next? Will Nissan pull a Dell?

Nah. One jalapeno-red maverick races off its track (cut to big Nissan logo!), encouraging others to do the same. (A vaguely familiar idea. Got a quote for me, Mazda?) They briefly fall in line, a tactic car advertisers seem to love, then park with a screech in haphazard fashion.

The 350Z, arguably Nissan's sexiest model, pulls abruptly into the foreground. The tagline follows: "Escape the pattern. Nissan."

Bleh.

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by Angela Natividad    Aug-15-08    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Commercials, Magazine, Poster, Television



Wrangler Endorses Murder, Misogyny, Overconceptualized Bad Advertising

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A commenter on Radar summed up the apparent strategy behind a new FFL Paris-created ad campaign for Wrangler, writing, "So let's connect the dots here - Wranglers are worn by cowboys. Cowboys like to shoot things. People who shoot things go hunting. People hunt animals. People are animals. Therefore, we shall all wear Wranglers and go headhunting."

With the tagline "We Are Animals," the campaign's images, shot by the oh so uber-hip photographer Ryan McGinley, depict women in the wild in various states of undress hunted, well, like animals. There's a video too.

Somehow, this high concept is supposed to sell jeans. Mostly, it's just pissing people off. In reality, it's just bad advertising that's trying to pass itself off as high art.

See all the "high art" here.

by Steve Hall    Aug-15-08    
Topic: Campaigns, Worst



Bionic Lobster Takes On Disability, Alienation, Maniacal Chef

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"After finding a Leatherman on the ocean floor, our hero transformed himself from clawless freak into BIONIC LOBSTER: the handiest lobster alive."

Awesome premise -- one-clawed lobster gets new lease on life -- by STICK and MOVE/Philly for client Leatherman. (If Finding Nemo taught us anything, it's that everyone loves a story about broken fish prevailing over life's hard knocks.) Happily, they went all the way with it: See spot where Bionic Lobster fends for his life, MacGuyver-style, in a seafood restaurant. And there are comic books! Three parts so far, and if you bother to download the PDFs, well-made and funny too.

Looking forward to seeing more stuff by STICK and MOVE.

by Angela Natividad    Aug-15-08    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Commercials, Good, Online, Television



Southern Comfort: What to Have when You're Just Trashed

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Southern Comfort (with Lime!): for when you're beyond sensory cognizance. The music sucks, your conduct questionable, everyone's funny, and Ugly at left is starting to look like a Good Investment.

The spot's called "Suspended Moments" and is part of a big hard year-end push. Also, in efforts to get down with the music scene, Southern Comfort goes by SoCo now. (It worked for J-Lo, Diddy and BevMo, right?)

Beginning next month, "SoCo Music Experience" webisodes will air on Heavy, My Damn Channel, Pitchfork.tv, Complex.com and DeathandTaxesMagazine.com. I'm not sure what a "Music Experience" is, but if I had to guess, I'd say they're like trashy music videos with slipperier floors. And heavy on the indie bands for good measure.

by Angela Natividad    Aug-14-08    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Commercials, Online, Television



New Colorado Lotto Spot.

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See the new Colorado Lottery spot by Cactus. It promised instant fun but didn't deliver, although the spot probably would've been mildly amusing if it weren't buttressed by a threat to hit us with talent fees if we host the goddamn ad and don't take it down by October 6.

Fucking wet blankets.

by Angela Natividad    Aug-14-08    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Commercials, Online, Television, Worst



Mushrooms Marketed, Frumputantes Invade, Olympics Opening Ceremony Trashed One! More! Time!

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- At left: a French mushroom ad! OMG cute. Caption: "Paris mushrooms: it's when they're in your mouth that they're the happiest." Go make them happy. Our resident expat PT Ford isn't so amused.

- Nothing starts the day off better than a kung fu drink ad.

- Dario at Invoke sent us this shot of the Newfoundland-based Hits 99.1 FM van.

- Worthless but interesting tag cloud tool. This one lets you pick fonts and colors. Pop in a URL, see what your homepage mentions most. (Adrants loves itself some Leigh.)

- Public School Intelligentsia learns us a new word: frumputante. Think cash-money bag ladies in Juicy Couture sweats. Streaky hair a plus. Ugh.

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In China, the Miniskirt is the New Beetle

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Is sex (or the hint of) allowed to sell in China? If you are Volkswagen and Dynamic Marketing Group is your agency then, it seems, yes. Or if it isn't sex, maybe it's the realization that things have changed in Chinese culture and the country wants the rest of the world to know it.

Out with the old and in with the new as it were. Up with the hemlines and out with subservience. China wants to join the rest of the world and wallow in rampant commercialization. Welcome to the party, China.

by Steve Hall    Aug-14-08    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Trends and Culture










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