Some celebrities do their thing, have their day and then quietly disappear. Not Burt Reynolds. After his Deliverance and Smokey and the Bandit days, there were his Boogie Nights days. Over 150 movie and TV appearances since he began his career. Now, perhaps tired of acting for ego-maniacal, self-centered, Hollywood directors, Burt turned to ego-maniacal, self-centered, New York advertising agencies popping up in FedX ads, DirecTV ads, Miller Lite ads, Kodak ads, T-Mobile ads and now M&M's BecomeAnMM campaign spotted by Copyranter in the March issue of InStyle. Surely Depends is next.
Adhurl brings our attention to Ruby, The Body Shop's attempt to cash in on the real beauty hype. In addition to the pear-shaped doll, the website purveys tips on self-esteem and being an all-around better person instead of just a skinnier one. Because we all know where that path leads.
We dig the idea of perpetuating an equal-opportunity beauty myth. We just don't think chubbier dolls are the answer. When we were kids, this isn't stuff we thought about.
We played with dolls because dolls were awesome. We didn't care if they were Amazonian like the short-lived Maxi or small as Polly Pocket. We didn't even care that most were blonde; once we hit a certain age we cut all the hair off anyway. And forget Barbie for a minute - is anybody checking up on the psychological repurcussions of Glo Worms or Teletubbies?
Why visit the Maldives? For the lack of air conditioning, professional torture methods and occasional loaf of stale bread, of course. Offer for journalists only.
In its ongoing mission to drive home the importance of press freedom, Reporters without Borders runs this sad set of PSAs that invite watchdogs, travel agency-style, to exotic locales for a taste of the hard knocks. We particularly like Cuba.
The no-freedom-without-press-freedom line has probably been repeated from the birth of unregulated reporting (read: gossip) but takes on a new meaning these days. While the country pores over Britney's latest attempt at relevance and Googles news coverage on Anna Nicole postmortem, we haven't any idea what zany hijinks Bush is cooking up on the regular.
Is this a symptom or a forfeiture of genuine press freedom? Before answering that question, maybe we should work out what exactly it is the press does. There's enough news coverage now to spark any interest, so is it just a matter of mainstream priority what appears on legit news sources?
Does the public indeed determine media coverage, or is the media managed by bourgie-ass interest groups and corporations? What does it actually mean to have press freedom, anyway?
Post Red Bull, peddling liquid energy is the thing to do, regardless of whether the drinks actually work. (Consider the oxymoronic nature of energy beers.) So how to make your carbonated Kool-Aid sell? With a Gremlins throwback, of course.
Digital Domain creates a quirky spot for Amp, an energy drink from Pepsi. A guy up late gets attacked by Lilliputian paper monstrosities composed of his reject pile. Eventually he mans up and fights back. Then he has some Amp and starts writing the payoff piece.
We don't get why the trashed oeuvres turn into gremlins and attack, but we guess it has to do with the adventurous unpredictable lifestyle Amp drinkers lead. Either that or Amp is a hallucinogen, which would arguably sell better than yet another taurine-and-ginseng potion. Pepsi, are you listening? People don't want more energy. They want 'shrooms.
MySpace, True.com's banner whoring stomping-ground, is running an ad that's made us double-take at least six times thus far.
Are they saying men are like dogs? That men should seek out dogs instead of women? That either one of the sexes should go canine and not carnal?
They also appear to be addressing us in pup language. Sit. Stay. Date. Bark? Jump? How high? It didn't occur to us how condescending True can be, not merely in language but in branding, until just now. Is this what we've come to? Docile men, interchangeable sex kittens and one-word commands?
Well, maybe. Despite the lackluster appearance of its website, True destroys competition in the dating world right now. So tonight we've decided to hit a bar and ask members of the opposite sex to wag tails and play dead and see if it gets us laid. There's a whole fetish industry that revolves around collars and commands, so we're feeling optimistic. Thanks, True.
What, exactly, is going on in this Dolce & Gabbana ad and does it really matter? Don't fashion labels get a pass when it comes to raciness and imagery that connotes culturally questionable activities? According to National Organization for Women President Kim Gandy who told BrandWeek, "It's a provocative ad but it is provoking things that really are not what we want to have provoked. We don't need any more violence," the answer is no. Her organization plans to protest the ad and has added to a section of its website that highlights ads it feels are offensive.
One could argue the ad certainly paints a questionable picture and perpetuates an activity that certainly does not need perpetuating. Others might argue the ad, and many other fashion ads, is so over-the-top cartoonish in its desire to be "edgy," that it's a harmless toss off passed over as one glosses through the fake world of fashion magazines. What do you think?
Everyone knows the Duck. Everyone's seen the Duck. Everyone's heard the Duck. Ben Affleck shared The Tonight Show couch with the Duck. The Duck has 85 percent brand awareness. But, what the hell does the duck stand for? That's the very question New Aflac CMO Jeff Herbert is dealing with right now. He claims the Duck has gained the company awareness for awareness' sake but hasn't done a good job supporting Aflac's brand messaging. He plans to lessen the Duck's role in future marketing and, surprise, actually explain what Aflac does. Gee, now there's a novel concept. Tell people what you actually do.
Herbert has reorganized Aflac's marketing department and plans to alter the company's media mix. relying less on television.
UPDATE: Aflac to media: Damn you, you trigger-happy journalists! A recent press release pumped out rom Aflac today states, "Contrary to recent media reports, Aflac has no intention of abandoning its use of the Aflac Duck." Herbert said, "Like all of America, we love the Aflac Duck. It is as central to our marketing efforts today as it will continue to be going forward." Um, Jeff, we never said the Aflac duck was disappearing. Ad Age said its wings would be clipped and we said it would take a backseat. OK, so maybe that was misleading and we (well, at least us here at Adrants) apologize if we misconstrued things.
However, we do think your brand needs to be identified with something more than a duck. You've achieved great awareness. We still don't know what you do. Maybe we're dumb but your advertising and that of many other's could stand to be a bit more descriptive and a bit less cute. After all, you do want people to hand their money over to you? They can't do that if they don't know what you can do for them.
The Colorado department of Public Health & Environment has a new ad campaign out created by Denver's Cactus Marketing Communications and produced by Reginald Pike. While the campaign leaves the duty of informing people they shouldn't smoke in the first place to others, this campaign suggest the only way to prevent children from inhaling second hand smoke is to "step outside." All three scenarios which include the use of a fan, blowing smoke out of a car window and using aerosol spray are common, however stupid, methods smokers use to make them think their doing the right thing. Maybe this campaign will kick some of those idiots in the ass. And for fuck's sake, can you all stop throwing your cigarette butts out your car window? That's what the fucking ashtray is for, idiot! No one wants your smelly butt bouncing off their windshield.
Fashion Label Airwalk has signed pro surfer Anastasia Ashley, whose been surfing since age five, to represent the company's Airwalk Footwear in Fall 2007 and Spring 2008 advertising campaigns. Anastasia will be joining longboard champion Josh Mohr, vert skater Andy Macdonald, street skater Rodney Jones and snowboarder Jimmy Dowd on the 2007 Airwalk team.
A Los Angeles native, Anastasia has been competing in surf contests since she was six. She's won 200 local, regional and national titles. The 20-year-old pro surfer has already taken two National Scholastic Surfing Association National titles, and other professional titles including winning the Professional Surfing Tour of America, being named the Hawaiian Triple Crown Rookie of the year, and being runner up in 2006 at the ECSC W.Q.S event.
Ashley is currently competing full time on the ASP World Qualifying Serie), and is currently ranked 13th in the world rankings. And as is required by any hot, female athlete, she's done the usual Teen People, Cosmo Girl and FHM appearances.
Gawker takes a look at a recent Banana Republic ad that features what, apparently, are architects all styled up with Banana Republic fashions. Gawker wonders, as we do too, if architects really dress like this. To discover the truth, Gawker spoke to an architect, "Frankie," who works at "a large firm downtown with an eccentric, megalomaniac starchitect at the helm." A taste:
Gawker: So what is it like being surrounded by nubile 23 year olds in khaki coordinates at all times?
Frankie: I am not really sure, to be honest with you. I think I may be involved in some different types of architecture than these people.