Starbucks Goes Bananas, Mennen Spiffs, Cusack Talks Dirty Politics, Microsoft Bans 'Gay'

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- Can your manly-man hair pass the caress test?

- If a chaste mermaid won't save Starbucks, maybe frozen bananas will. (Ugh, dude.)

- Some celebrities educate the public on the Burma situation; John Cusack tallies similarities between McCain and Bush. MoveOn, as usual, is helping raise money to get the ad on air.

- Apparently the Copyright Nazis are after more than just pirates these days. In the UK, you can be prosecuted for playing music too loud or playing it for callers on hold without a license. From now on, let's just keep all music secret and see how the record industry fares.

- Baseball and the Tour de France aren't the only sports to disillusion one-time fans; almost half of Advertising Age readers believe the NBA rigs its games. I fondly await the day Canadians lose faith in hockey. Oh wait, many - already - have.

- A Microsoft Xbox Live group banned a player because he used "gay" in his gamer tag, "RichardGaywood." Upon discovering that was the guy's name, they BANNED IT ANYWAY. Microsoft, you charmers, you.

by Angela Natividad    Jun-15-08    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Cause, Celebrity, Events, Online, Political



Those Cell Phone Popcorn Videos? Marketer-Created Of Course

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Those videos with cell phones popping corn have been floating around since May 28 and have garnered much discussion surrounding their validity. While cell phones can fry your head and reportedly cause cancer, they don't pop corn. They can, however, take on a starring role in a series of videos for Bluetooth headset maker Cardo Systems.

On the YouTube page where Cardo posted its reveal, the marketer writes, "More than 4 million people have watched our little videos since May 28, 2008. We are very happy to have made this contribution to an important international public debate."

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by Steve Hall    Jun-14-08    
Topic: Campaigns, Opinion, Social, Video, Viral, Word of Mouth



Learn to Distinguish Between Storks. One of Them Isn't Carrying Children

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Some storks bring you babies. But watch out for the one with the glasses; he's got nothing but pickles.

Publicis & Hal Riney/SF is helping to reposition reinvigorate pickle company Vlasic and its 34-year-old stork icon. The stork's personality was modeled off Groucho Marx and appears in current TV ads* as a quirky friend of the family. Vlasic's tagline was also changed to "That's the tastiest crunch I ever heard."

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by Angela Natividad    Jun-13-08    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Online, Radio, Strange, Television



Dude, Children Are Serious Athletes!

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Playing against the somewhat limiting squeaky clean image the International Children's Games has, Grey SF came up with a campiagn that makes kids look at bit more...hmm...Dennis Rodman. Cuz, well, who wants to see a perfect Limited Too kid with Hannah Montana sneakers when you can see kids with tattoos, soccer ball heads and ears pierced with golf clubs?

Grey Creative Director said, "Once people heard about the idea, help came from all over. World-renowned photographer Jill Greenberg joined the team. Then the free media poured in with billboards, wildpostings, bus shelters, and posters. But best of all, the kids ate it up. So much so, we offered free haircuts and henna tattoos to any kid who wanted one, turning hundreds of kids into walking billboards."

Nothing wrong with a bit of kid-powered viral marketing. See the other two ads here and here.

by Steve Hall    Jun-13-08    
Topic: Campaigns, Cause, Good



Bell Bails, a52 Honored, Obama Fights Smears, Tots Tattoo, and MTLB Beats Down Bad PRs

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- Global marketing guy Jeff Bell is leaving Microsoft. He's held his post since 2006.

- a52, which produced the visual effects for that Monster.com spot with the people on the rails, won some love at the Association of Independent Commercial Producer's 17th Annual Show. This is the 11th year its work was recognized by the AICP. To celebrate, it created a YouTube chronology of all the a52 spots that have been honored by the Show. Watch them.

- Obama for America has launched an online news site to fight the smears against his name.

- Make the Logo Bigger created guidelines for the ideal PR. If you don't meet 'em, you're not just getting trashed; you'll be marked as SPAM.

- Not ad-related, but hey: here is a rhinoplasty tutorial. After a few slides, even YOU could do it! Well, maybe she could.

- Speaking of tattooing tots, here are some tattoos for tots. Prepare them early on for their future as this guy. (That tribal-inspired tattoo actually contains the coordinates for $50K and keys to a Volvo.)

by Angela Natividad    Jun-12-08    
Topic: Agencies, Brands, Campaigns, Industry Events, Political



Master Casters Bring Extreme Element to Fishing

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Here's something I've never seen before. For client Take Me Fishing, Colle + McVoy launched the Mastercasters, a site where you can watch some intense-looking guys do stuff like hit clay pigeons with their lures. Oh, and here's one where a dude shoots pyramids of empty cans by casting at them.

If master casting is the recreational activity for you (and how could it not be?), absorb some anglers' legacy and explore the available fishing and boating resources. Oh, I think I saw a Fishopedia somewhere.

by Angela Natividad    Jun-12-08    
Topic: Campaigns, Online, Promotions, Strange



Microsoft Angles for the Favor of Procrastinators

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To promote its MSN toolbar -- "Jet fuel for procrastinators!" -- Microsoft launched Start Procrastinating. You can either upload videos of yourself, flicking rubber bands around while putting off your creative brief, or watch three really stupid videos of a couple of dudes surf balling, folding shirts and sharpshooting.

Actually, the surf balling video's all right.

Start Procrastinating's no Clearification, which was appealing but a promotional flop for Microsoft. And avid procrastinators download StumbleUpon, not MSN. Sorry, champs.

Speaking of StumbleUpon, look what it found me! Free range workers. Yum.

by Angela Natividad    Jun-12-08    
Topic: Bad, Brands, Campaigns, Online



The Tour de France Needs a Champion: YOU

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Take Back the Tour -- not to be confused with Take Back the Night, though it wishes to be taken just as seriously -- is a movement that aims to "champion [Tour de France] riders who compete clean, while giving a platform ... to [their] passionate fan base."

More to the point, it reminds bike junkies that VERSUS (the sponsor!) is "the exclusive cable television home of the Tour de France."

"Show me another sport that's as tough, as demanding and as epic in its grandeur, grit and beauty than the Tour de France, but it's a competition that has seemingly lost its way over the past few years," said SVP Bill Bergofin of Marketing and Promotions for VERSUS. "[This] campaign ... will provoke a dialogue ... which will hopefully help to restore the Tour to its glory."

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by Angela Natividad    Jun-11-08    
Topic: Campaigns, Commercials, Events, Good, Online



Just Another Subservient Animal Who Needs a Favor

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Apparently a thing called the Mac Monkey needs freeing. (He's "starved of creative stimulation." Guess he hasn't discovered his own poo yet. Also, why does he have people fingers?)

Intended to increase subscriptions to Creative Review Magazine, Free the Mac Monkey was conceived by London-based STEEL, which sought to distract us from calling foul ("SUBSERVIENT CHICKEN RIP-OFF!") with the tasteful inclusion of early Steve Jobs wall art. And they almost succeeded. Well ... no, not really.

by Angela Natividad    Jun-11-08    
Topic: Bad, Brands, Campaigns, Online



'Delicate Flowers' Don Helmets, Make Naughty in Women's Football

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For Pittsburgh Passion, an indy women's football league, Garrison Hughes asks us to "celebrate the delicate flower that is woman ... as well as the beauty of one delicate flower drilling the other delicate flower into the ground." Touchdown, BITCH!

Also see variant: "A woman's hands can heal, teach, inspire and comfort. It can also deliver a wicked head-slap when the ref's not looking."

How very "I am woman, hear me roar! -- or at least pull a flag once in awhile." (Kidding. I'm sure women's football is ultra-rowdy.)

Would've been awesome if the talent were actual Pittsburgh Passion players and not just Corbis fodder. Maybe they felt put-off by the soft-focus lens technique.

by Angela Natividad    Jun-10-08    
Topic: Campaigns, Magazine, Poster








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