One thing I love about Benetton: it never knows when to leave well enough alone. "Victims," the current issue of its company magazine Colors, uses the tragedy of the SouthWest China earthquake to try mending the China/Tibetan conflict.
The issue includes 30 shots of quake victims integrated with 30 prayers written for them by Tibetan monks. An accompanying Benetton ad displays a Tibetan monk and a Chinese soldier bowing toward each other, possibly in greeting, apology or shared grief. Readers can send their own prayers over for inclusion in a campaign exhibition.
Provocative as always, but I generally have trouble hating on Benetton (except when they fired Toscani). The "Victims" ad campaign is running in Italian newspapers and in French daily Le Monde.
The Olympics has a way of bringing the sap out in advertisers.
Visa's "Go World" campaign, no exception, trots Olympian trivia out to American viewers while convincing us these anecdotes aren't just important; they're a source of pride, a means to connect with the world by way of titanic achievement against insurmountable physical odds.
All this to win the synchronized high-dive? Yeah. See spots...
In "Peanuts thrown at Shaun White," Shaun's stay-at-home buddies print out copies of his face and tape them to their own, then spend the afternoon calling each other Shaun and tossing peanuts into each other's mouths -- a creepy sight for the real Shaun White, whose first reaction is, "Is that what I look like?"
This is part of Feed Company's ongoing back-to-school online campaign for HP, carrying on from "Shaun White and Friends Fight to Help Shower Hottie."
The lesson in this one: It's Good to Get Out Once in Awhile.
Breasts break through advertising's fourth wall in this Wonderbra bus shelter ad by Publicis/Frankfurt. Just another way too much "support" makes you a hazard to yourself and others. (Thanks @benkunz for sharing.)
When last we reviewed Mountain Dew's Green Label Art project, its trussed-up bottles were gleaning inspiration from mean tattoos and revisiting their hillbilly roots with artist Peat Wollaeger.
The bottle art in Green Label Art Volume 2 is slicker and more computer-graphicksy. There's also a batch of new proteges on call, including Mike Sutfin, who's done artwork for Dungeons & Dragons and skate brands like DC; and Mark Smith, CD at Jordan (yes, THE Jordan) Brand.
Smith's bottle design, Happy Heads, almost matches my Macbook Gelaskin (now with matching iPhone skins!). Beverage + tech coordination = total identification with the idle style aristocracy. Modding every item in your Muji bag may not send you to heaven, but it will distinguish you from the other cafe/cubicle cogs that also use Macs, own iPhones and drink cold beverages. And getting a foot in front of them is about as close to heaven as you can get if you're alive, agnostic, overpaid and insecure.
View galleries and artist videos, or create your own bottle art at the website (tutorial here).
To supplement its "Impossible is Nothing" spots for the Beijing Olympics, Adidas busts out with a slightly retro set of prints titled "Gold is Not a Given."
Each piece features an Olympic athlete, training in Beijing six months before the game "in sub-zero temperatures." There's also some Nike-esque pontificating on the meaning of "gold." An example from the ad at left (featuring Haile Gebrselassie):
Gold is more than a colour. It's a dream to keep chasing. It's a dream to keep you going. It's a dream that sometimes gets put on hold. Gold is never a given.
o Tyson Gay -- Gold can be lost in a flash. (1, 2)
o Allyson Felix -- Gold is not into predictions. (1, 2)
o Veronica Campbell-Brown -- Gold makes you wait. (1, 2)
o Jeremy Wariner -- Gold is the language of fastest. (1, 2)
o Yelena Isinbayeva -- Gold doesn't play favourites. (1, 2)
Totally different style from the Chinese ads, but in keeping with the grit-and-glory feel. Put together by Amsterdam (180\TBWA).
Some people are only your friends because they eventually hope to sleep with you. Others, because you're a doormat with a lot of money. And still others remain your chums because you grow Skittles on your feet. True story.
And you know how you can tell? Because after validating you, they will bend over and get their gnaw on. GROW THE RAINBOW! Taste the rainbow.
The above spot picks up from "Touch" and chocolate pinata man (CHOCOLATE THE RAINBOW! Taste the rainbow).
We're not sure what's going on chez Skittles but it's definitely not sanctionably sane. Also, we kinda want to live there. (Via AdFreak, via the Denver Egotist.)
'Tis the season for back-to-school, and Target hits the notes without once going flat. In its latest spot, two roomies meet for the first time, shake hands, then dance their asses off to Calabria by Enur. Sometimes they're battling; other times they're totally in tandem. Meanwhile, they manage to magically decorate their oversized room.
Sassy stuff though. Tagline: "Be happy together, design together, save together. At Target." But it could also have been "West Side Story, meet Conspicuous Consumption. Now wiggle away your differences."
Think the happy together signals the birth of a new cover song? The Turtles had kind of a Target vibe going on, and it'd make a nice transition from Hello Goodbuy.
Dr. J puts a little throwback spice into Dr. Pepper with "Drink it Slow" by Deutsch/LA, part of Dr. Pepper's just-launched campaign, "Trust Me, I'm a Doctor."
In the spot, former basketball player Julius Erving -- your homie Dr. J -- encourages users to drink Dr. Pepper slowly, to better savor its 23 flavours. "Hey, I get it, 'cause half my life's been in slow motion," J adds. Cut to a sound bite of his dunking triumphs as he lobs an ice cube, slow-mo-style, into a faraway glass. I like the little kick he does.
Kelsey Grammer will to appear in a future spot as Dr. Frasier Crane. I'm hoping they also use Doogie, but it's doubtful since Old Spice already stole that thunder.
A younger Dr. J also appeared in a Converse spot this year.
For its back-to-school campaign "New School of Thought," Adidas Originals went all hipster and whatnot. The company partnered with trueAnthem to create a widget that gives away free music by Ultraviolet Sound and 30 percent discounts on Adidas Originals gear. The widget also includes short Adidas audio ads mixed by the band.
The street-sassy shoe brand joins Converse, Gap, Cartier and even Vanity Fair in disseminating free MP3s to the masses.
Why this might be smart marketing: if iTunes listeners switch Coverflow on, listening to your track will expose them to your marketing message, along with the album art. And if the campaign music's been uploaded onto last.fm, then last.fm users expose their friends to your brand when they listen to your track. So go stimulate those white earbuds, you go-getters, you.