Powerset Purchased, McCain Sells Service, Facebook Shills Advice, Starbucks Shutters Stores

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- Microsoft bought Powerset, which is single-handedly trying to bring "natural search" back into vogue. (Frankly, it shoulda died with Jeeves.)

- Oronjo makes funny with McCain. Meh.

- Guess free wi-fi isn't so popular after all -- or maybe it was just too little too late. Starbucks is cutting 12,000 jobs and closing 600 stores. "At this point, management has decided that 2008 is a wash and to throw in everything but the kitchen sink to get ready for growth in 2009 and beyond," said one analyst. 2008 IS A WASH? We're only HALFWAY THROUGH.

- On Fuzzwich, I found a one-eyed hot-dog shaped man. He grew hair right before my eyes. He had very small pants.

- Riffing off the success of its last macro veggie-message, McDonald's launched a wholesome Happy Meal ad depicting kids working the fields to a cheerful whistle. Then the camera pans out to reveal gardens in the shape of chickens and cows. By Leo Burnett.

- Facebook Ads launched a newsletter. Remember, folks: use keywords, stand out, optimize. Uh, thanks.

by Angela Natividad    Jul- 2-08    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Commercials, Online, Television



NASA Astronauts Talk TV at Zero Gravity

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If you've ever wondered what astronauts discuss while floating around doing jack, 72andSunny has the answer: like any other dude at a dive, they're probably talking about TV.

Here are three spots, each of which is for a different Discovery Channel TV show. Guess which promotes what. Answers on AdGabber.

o "I'm gonna go with lunar golf."

o "Y'ever blow up a zeppelin?"

o "Okay, I think we'd call it Money. With an exclamation point. As in 'we're making tons of money,' and 'we're so money at crabfishing'."

One thing I don't get is why the astronauts have Earth for a face. Maybe it's a logo thing. Anyway, it's unsettling.

by Angela Natividad    Jul- 2-08    
Topic: Campaigns, Commercials, Good, Television



Th1ng Saves London, Flash Searched, Millennials Charge, FailWhale Merched

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- Th1ng was chosen to whore "London's outstanding cultural and business successes" and "its film industry and talent" for the London 2012 Olympic Games. Sounds like hard times in the Mother Country.

- With the launch of Facecard, edo teaches Millennials how to confuse money with plastic. I wish I'd had a self-interested big brother who cared enough to teach me how to charge. Oh wait, I did: Wells Fargo.

more »

by Angela Natividad    Jul- 1-08    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Online, Outdoor, Packaging



Coldwell and Banker Revisit Home Affordability

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After reviewing the campaign launch earlier this year, we haven't heard much from the chatty portraits of Coldwell and Banker.

But it looks like the dead founders have been busy. 10 videos aired since February?!

See Deja Vu, which launched a little over a week ago. It playfully ties the real estate slump to Coldwell Banker's century-long past. Kind of a Cartoon Network feel.

That spot is reinforced by Prediction, which I don't quite get, but which is also kinda Cartoon Networky. Anyway, nice stick-to-itiveness by McKinney/Durham on what I originally thought was a one-hit wonder.

by Angela Natividad    Jul- 1-08    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Commercials, Online, Television



Jet Blue Sports Leather to Regain Respect

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Royale leaps to the aid of JWT, whose "Happy Jetting" campaign for Jet Blue has been poorly received -- and not - just - by - us.

"Jetting" is set to ELO's Mr. Blue Sky and has a poppy feel-good Target vibe -- except, you know, more blue. It's also jam-packed with effortful Jet Blue-isms like "Jetting is decked out in leather," "Jetting means business," "Jetting isn't flying," and "Jetting thinks you deserve a snack."

Aww, Jet Blue gave us a coooookie.

more »

by Angela Natividad    Jun-30-08    
Topic: Agencies, Bad, Brands, Campaigns, Commercials, Opinion, Television



Recycle Right: Start with All Those Hoarded Dreams

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In this charming new spot for its "Save Today, Save Tomorrow" campaign (an unwieldy URL if you ask me), EDF Energy enlisted Miklha Singh, Anne Packer and Sammy Lee to reflect on their Olympic glories, using "recycled" footage of them in their prime.

The ad concludes with a shot of the adorable Lee and the tagline, "This commercial was made from recycled dreams." Better recycled than left broken, I guess.

The spot was created by FEEL Films for Euro RSCG/London. It marks Phase II of EDF's "It's not easy being green" campaign -- another effort that appears to have been shaped in the blistering flames of nostalgia.

I liked it a great deal, even with the epilepsy-inducing London 2012 Olympics logo at the end.

by Angela Natividad    Jun-30-08    
Topic: Campaigns, Cause, Commercials, Good, Sponsorship, Television



Jim Beam Becomes Patron to Those With Stuff Inside

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In a significant move, distiller Jim Beam will re-focus future advertising from hyping heritage, quality and integrity and, instead, "highlight individuals and organizations that share its own values and have 'The Stuff Inside'", which is not at all a nod to, ya know, the stuff inside a Jim Beam bottle.

more »

by Steve Hall    Jun-29-08    
Topic: Campaigns, Cause, Good



Karl Lagerfeld Donned the Yellow Vest. Why Not You?

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When they need to promote a drab or tiresome message, French creatives always know what buttons to push: the really, really shallow ones.

At left, Chanel's Karl Lagerfeld encourages pedestrians and motorists to wear yellow safety vests with the following message (big merci to desedo for translating): "It's yellow, it's ugly, it doesn't go with anything, but it could save your life."

Thank you, Lord Lagerfeld. I will never complain about my bicycle helmet or plump orange swimming vest ever, ever again.

The effort is part of a French government safety campaign. As of July 1, the vest and reflective triangle will be mandatory for drivers and cyclists.

Wince. No wonder they enlisted The Karl. It sounds unforgivably tasteless. Oh, the sacrifices you make in the name of life.

by Angela Natividad    Jun-27-08    
Topic: Campaigns, Cause, Celebrity, Magazine, Poster



A-B Ditches Energy Bevs, Sleepers Solicited, IDA Seeks Airwave Rejects

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- It Didn't Air is another awards show that aspires to tickle the creative babies that were too ugly or flawed to make it into waking life. Strictly for radio ads -- and only $75 to enter!!

- Anheuser-Busch is going to stop selling energy drinks. Which is probably wise, because tipsy + hyper = high likelihood of Death by Freak Accident. Typically on a train track.

- Mega-Bang turns bald, bearded, nearsighted men into repetitive sex gods. Also, check out his bathrobe insignia. It's a phallus. With an orbit.

- Mattress Firm is looking for the most sleepless person in America. The winner gets a new mattress and a free consultation from a shrink -- er, sleep expert. To enter, write an essay or submit a video, though I think the latter's preferred because that's what all the cool kids do.

by Angela Natividad    Jun-27-08    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Events, Online, Promotions, Spoofs



Duracell Salutes the Everyday Obvious

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New Media Strategies just debriefed us on Museum of the Obvious, a campaign that showcases obvious inventions.

I dig the virtual museum, but the online videos are way too long. This might be because New Media Strategies believes that "on the internet, speed kills." (Really?)

Nice use of the Duracell theme music, though. See:

o Sliced Bread
o Pre-Charged Rechargeable Batteries (the actual Duracell product!)
o Oven Mitt
o Football Helmet

by Angela Natividad    Jun-27-08    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Online, Video










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