To show how the penny is shortchanged in the value hierarchy, Office Max launched a campaign called "Power to the Penny." Toting a hidden camera, comedian Matt McCarthy pisses people off all over New York City by trying to buy stuff, like steak dinners, with nothing but bags full of copper coinage.
My favourite scene from the above video:
Chef (who pops outta nowhere): "How about if you come in here and you order the steak, and I take the steak, and I put it in the blender, and I give you the steak in a milkshake. Is that a steak?"
Matt McCarthy: "Why don't you go back in the kitchen, because you're not helping the situation."
I wish I had a penny for every time daddy said that to mommy.
More videos at PennyPranks. Each one ends with a clip-happy visual orgy of everything you can buy at Office Max for a penny. Crayons! Yardsticks! Glue! It's diorama time.
- The Social Path drew our attention to this perplexing Oasis ad where a girl gets knocked up by a cactus -- not for its own sake, but to justify half-assed Myspace campaigns.
- 50 Cent is upset with Taco Bell. Yeah well, we are too.
- Support your Presidential contender of choice with a handy-dandy kippah. Goes with everything.
- This is kind of neat. By the way, save water.
- Just what you need: a Samsung Instinct miniseries.
- Kanye West helps improve self-esteem. With vodka. But you probably already know that trick, don't you?
- Philippe Starck and BBC Two are doing an Apprentice-style series called School of Design. "Vous etes fired." Heh.
Revlon is churning through Hollywood stars and after the likes of Halle Berry, Jessica Alba, Elle McPherson, Susan Sarandon, Julianne Moore, Eva Mendes, Jaime King, the brand has signed a deal with Oscar winner Jennifer Connelly to appear in an upcoming ad campaign.
Famous both for brief nude scenes and her stellar acting abilities, Connelly is, in the words of Revlon President and CEO David Kennedy, "a modern, dynamic and intelligent woman. She is an accomplished wife, mother and actress and her successes complement the spirit of the Revlon brand."
"There's great confusion among consumers about what constitutes a certified used vehicle," preaches director Mark Mathews of GM's Used-Vehicle Activities, eyes wild with foreboding.*
"Manufacturer certified vehicles offer new-vehicle-like benefits and financing options where others do not; private sellers being the most risky option."
If you're not sufficiently flooded with self-doubt, go get ambushed. Fear monger of choice: Mullen.
Saatchi & Saatchi's The Breakfast Club campaign for JCPenney has been crapped by everyone on since it launched. Today, it's Rebecca Cullers' turn. On AdFreak, Rebecca does the math, writing, "I was 3 years old when The Breakfast Club came out in 1985. I didn't know the film existed until I was in college, where it was included in a class on culturally significant movies for Gen X. Now, there's more or less a decade separating me from today's incoming high-school students. Does anyone really think they will get the reference?"
She is absolutely correct in her analysis of the problem and for anyone at Saatchi or JCPenney not to have realized this is further confirmation far too many advertisers and their agencies, despite believing the contrary, are completely out of touch with reality.
Here's a really long trailer for Sons of Anarchy, a gritty FX man-drama about motorcycle clubs and the families that send the burly soldiers yonder.
What you can expect: emotional outbursts, a Molotov cocktail or two, some girl-punches and a swastika. And you thought Mad Men was real!
The ad was built in-house, with a heightened sense of melodrama brought to you by PrimalScream Music, which composed The Dream We Left Behind especially for the show.
Test Your Instincts is a free (brought to you by Samsung Instinct!) quiz that gauges a person's wildlife savvy: what do you do when a jellyfish stings, when a shark comes angling for your surfboard, or when you're stuck in quicksand (which happens to me all the time)?
The scenarios are wordy, but you'll at least learn something* and there's no registration process. I fared pretty terribly. Oddly, the answers I did know were mostly culled from Captain Planet.
Check out Faceless People, for which a bunch of, well, faceless people appear in high-profile places all over England.
By wading through a sea of faceless folk on FacelessPeople.com, you can read up on the specs for the new Lotus Evora. Tagline: "True character in a faceless world."
Diggin' the creepy guerrilla effort (imagine getting on the bus and sitting next to somebody WITHOUT A FACE!), but I also think it's pretty bitchy to claim to have a premium on character. (Why spend $80K for character when a jagged scar does it for free?) Thanks to Adrants reader Tom Quinn for sending this over.
Looks like CP+B's finally doing something with the $300 million in ad money Microsoft gave it. Oops, this isn't a CP+B campaign.
The divine task: reposition Vista.
"Vista is now actually better than its reputation. That's a marketing issue," observed Tim Anderson of the ailing OS -- which, to be fair, was getting panned even before it went live. (Warts and all.)
One of the new ads, at left, reads, "At one point, everyone thought the Earth was flat. Get the facts about Windows Vista." Clicking on that brings you to this page, which in part reads:
When Windows Vista debuted in January 2007, we declared it the best operating system we had ever made. "Windows Vista is beautiful," The New York Times raved. It's humbling that millions of you agree.
But we know a few of you were disappointed by your early encounter. Printers didn't work. Games felt sluggish. You told us--loudly at times--that the latest Windows wasn't always living up to your high expectations for a Microsoft product.
Well, we've been taking notes and addressing issues.
That's charming. Touching, even. But do they mean it? And what happens now?
Lately I can't turn the TV on without running into an ad for the Pickens Plan, T. Boone Pickens' $58 million attempt to liberate the US from its sordid addiction to foreign oil.
Interesting things about Pickens and this campaign:
o Pickens is an oil magnate. (Can you hear the crows going "OMG! OMG!"?) Soon, he'll be a wind magnate too.
o The ads are totally finance-focused. Pickens hardly says the e-word ("environmental") at all.
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