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It seemed like such a good idea in theory.
For client Borders, design studio Firstborn created the Gift Squad, a site that aims to make gift-choosing easier but feels more like a horrifying attack by the characters adults find soothing for children but that actually populated our nightmares.
We dug the idea of an elf-chat. That could work. But Gift Squad asks a bunch of confusing and seeming unrelated questions generated by nothing that appears to be human. And along the way you're bounced across five other vapidly-happy "experts" (the nutcracker, the teddy bear, etc) on this quest that's starting to feel like the search for the holy grail - and all you want is for some human being playing elf to say "I know what to get your mom! She'll love a box of truffles from Borders! Would you like to order now?" or something similarly simple.
Do we ask so much?
How could we possibly forget? We grew up skiing and still do. We subscribed religiously to Ski and Skiing and Powder when it made its entry. We even owned Lange boots but we only have vague memories of the Lange Girls which graced the pages of Lange ski boot ads for years. Perhaps, the parents tore out the Lange ads before we were able to read the magazines. Perhaps we have a horrible memory. Perhaps we were so infatuated with Jonna Lee we didn't have time for anyone else. Anyway, the Lange Girls are back. Or they never left and we never noticed. Now, though, Lange is using female sports figures rather than models such as U.S. Ski Team member Julia Mancuso who's gracing the current campaign.
American Greetings, with help from B.L. Ochman, is running a blog ad campaign on 80 blogs to promote last minute holiday card and family letter ideas. Each of the ads, which can be seen on Cute Overload, Woman Diary, GetOutdoors and others, points to American Greeting example site such as this and this. The campaign is said to be doing extremely well. In fact, we know it is, we just can't tell you exactly how well.
Kevin at PR Blog keeps us updated on that mistletoe demonstration he saw recently. Shortly after our original post DIAGEO expressed concern via e-mail because they worried about kids' exposure to the alcohol-related event.
Impressive follow-up - we remain as gratified with the campaign as we were when we heard about the heckling children.
We're also pleased about finally getting to see the swampy mistletoe man with our own eyes, which was all we cared about anyway. He doesn't much look like he's wearing his favourite suit but everyone else seems to be having fun.
It's sad we even need an ad campaign to tell people how to take care of their babies but that's the mission of a current New York City transit campaign for the city's Administration for Children's Services and Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (mental hygiene? that's a new one). Unfortunately, there are idiots in this world that do need to be told some very obvious things about caring for a baby. Trouble is, this campaign seems to confuse more than educate - well, at least to those mentally hygiene-challenged types.
Ironi Sans sent us this video clip of two of the campaign's subway cards placed next to each other. The first reads, "Don't Leave Him Alone." The second reads, "It's Safest For Him to Sleep Alone." That sort of "education" is sure to make a mentally hygiene-challenged person's logic loop explode which is quite the opposite, we're sure, of the campaign's intent.
Oh we just can't pass on featuring one of our favorite, over-the-top Bond girls Zena Onatop aka Famke Jansen who is appearing in a "Be An Angel For Animals" PETA ad. Famke and PETA want us to be nice to dogs this holiday season. The ad, shot by Andrew Southam, was unveiled at an event yesterday in LA at Runyon Canyon Park. So don't crate your dog when you go to the inlaws for Christmas this year. Call Famke and I'm sure she'd be happy to come over and watch your dog.
Smirnoff Ice's Save the Mistletoe is an amusingly long-way-around attempt to say Smirnoff brings people together (just like mistletoe - so stop ravaging innocent bushes).
While we remain unmoved by the plight of the sprig, the execution wins us over. By some curious witch magic the campaign features celebrity supporters that we thought were long dead or had found joy in covert day jobs. Natalie from The Facts of Life, Lisa Turtle from Saved by the Bell, Tiffany who crooned "I Think We're Alone Now" and even the Soup Nazi band together to protect the kissing plant from further appropriation by brute force.
That's not all. Kevin at PR Blog divulges having seen a swamp-like creature that was actually supposed to be mistletoe, getting heckled by children at a nearby ice rink for love of the campaign. We wonder which sponsoring celebrity burn-out he happened to be. We put our money on The Incredible Hulk.
Here's an eye-catching campaign. Agency Republik creates Illuminator, a series of time-released puzzles and clues whose answers lie in the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University.
The campaign will run twice in six months through newspapers, on the Illuminator site, on signs in the museum, and in a flip book at the museum store. Each clue corresponds to one piece of art; for example, this Missing poster speaks to Memories by Sheng Qi. And the image at left points to this guy.
The person who nails all 20 gets ... a free shirt. Okay, that kind of sucks. But the game is intriguing and possibly, yes, illuminating. If there's anything we learned about America post Da Vinci Code it's that you can only get people's asses into a museum if they have a ball of yarn to untangle - and possibly a cryptic murder case involving an albino, but you can't ask for everything.
A Madrid airport recently featured a wrapped Mini waiting for its loving master in baggage claim like any other snowboard or piece of luggage.
This was for "It comes with me," a campaign thrown together by Dommo which wanted to demonstrate obsessive love of the zippy little car by suggesting somebody brings it everywhere, even onto the plane.
We can only imagine how much imagined bullshit an airport would have to go through to accommodate a douche who insists on bringing his car everywhere. We can only imagine the "what the fuck?" thoughts going through the minds of the guys whose bosses asked them to plastic wrap a vehicle. So by suggestion the placement is kind of funny. Only kind of though. Like, almost just microscopically funny.
This stunt aims to promote the product Go-Ped by showing drivers they ought to opt for more enviro-friendly vehicles. Yes, with a beartrap that says KILL THE BEAST in the middle.
We thought for a minute about ranting over campaigns that hawk their wares by making people feel shitty, inadequate or irresponsible, and then we realized that plenty of advertising does that, and we can't very well trash all advertising. Oh well. More Go-Ped stunts here. - Contributed by Angela Natividad