Packaging Girlhood lists the best and worst 2006 marketing campaigns aimed at girls and their sometimes less-than-savvy guardians.
Worst includes the Dora the Princess campaign for turning an educational show into a stock purveyor of pretty-in-pink stereotypes. The Bratz Party Plane with juice bar also made the cut.
We always thought Bratz' eclipse over Barbie apt. Barbie was inspired by a German doll named Lilli, actually meant for adult males. That our 21st-century improvement over the Nordic sex kitten was a multi-ethnic series of skanks with DSL lips just kills us.
The list for Best include the Dove Campaign for Real Beauty whose crowning glory was the oft-spoofed Evolution ad of '06, and the transformation of Super Mario's Princess Peach into an entity capable of making her own rescues.
So cheers to real girls who say no lip gloss and aren't afraid to stomp in puddles.
You'd think a vehicle mark notoriously known for lacking originality would make at least a slight effort to step their game up if they've got major marketing dollars to throw behind an idea. Any mediocre idea can be prettied-up with cash. Even cutting another project up, tossing it in the air and making it slightly unrecognizable would be fair game, and it would only take five or six more minutes. But maybe that asks too much of Suzuki.
Make the Logo Bigger unpacks a delectable rant on Suzuki Films, a Suzuki marketing effort aimed at inspiring audiences to move from television to the 'net to find out what happens next in a sultry French Connection-style multi-platform drama called "The Briefcase," which suspiciously echoes BMW Films' "The Hire."
"Maybe it's fitting they copied [BMW] since Suzuki is an imitation of a real car," Bill snarls.
Slapping down over-expectant fiancées, college-bound sons and horse-loving daughters, Titus Cycles claims there are far more important things in life than over-priced engagement rings, stuffy colleges and thoroughbred horses. Namely, over-priced bikes for those who think a perfectly good Schwinn is only good enough for a mailbox. Check out the witty print campaign by TDA here, here and here.
Blurry red squiggles are infected with wit in an episode of Budweiser's weird new Crowntown TV effort. We don't totally get it and even entertain the thought that it might be blinding us slowly, but we can't seem to stop watching. It doesn't help to wonder what passers-by must think as we snicker irrepressibly in front of a monitor of what looks like wiggly Rorschach testing units.
points our noses toward something a-brewing in Germany. We're not really sure what this thing is as the teaser
seeks not to explain but to bewilder and confuse, but with our powerful deductive logic skills we conclude it's some shape-shifting magic widget that will equip Ultimate Driving Machines with Bluetooth, MP3 players, GPS and possibly the ability to sprout wings, fly and slay enemies with lasers from 100 meters or more.
The promo is appropriately called Anticipation On Approach and the slick German masterminds hope to keep us guessing until mid-January. Although we think we'll give our brains a rest and stop thinking about it right now. We're fairly sure that in a year or two whatever fascinating doodad they plan to bless us with will be stock in every new vehicle that slides off the conveyor belt.
Asking for consumer opinions and airing them as ads is super trendy, and Monster hops on the clue train with Monster Works for Me, a campaign running on just about all iterations of traditional media to ask us why we do what we do.
Created by Brand|Content out of Boston, it "recognizes the multiple reasons why people work and the passion that drives them," says agency CEO Doug Gladstone. "In short, no matter what you do, or what you'd like to do, Monster has the tools and resources that can help you find the right match, so you can be successful at whatever you pursue."
While we can't claim it pulls much creative weight it certainly moves the long-dormant Monster in the right direction as people are more interested in what they have to say than what companies have to say anyway. And it definitely helps to play mirror. So cheers to Monster.
AdTunes, the site that tracks music used in advertising has highlighted what it believes to be the Top Ad Music of 2006. From the odd combination of that haunting Gary Jules rendition of Tears for Fear's Mad World featured in the movie Donnie Darko with a Gears of War commercial to that elevator music-ish tune by Royksopp called Remind Me featured in the Caveman Geico Airport commercial, the list brings together some of the best musical choices of the year.
Known for its guerilla marketing magic, the hard-hitting Truth recently got a clue about blogs and started their own on Xanga.com. This is in contrast to the many sites who prefer to blog exclusively on their own servers or homepages, a good move in our opinion because of Xanga's sizeable built-in audience.
The campaign's been around a couple of months and is advertised heavily on Xanga's front page, visible to a serious chunk of the Truth demo as Xanga sits in the top 15 most-visited websites for the American teen demographic (per their own research). Entries range from scandalous calls to action to news on concurrent campaigns like their back hair effort.
We dig the idea but the blog could do with a better writer as the content's a bit dry and hardly does dignity to Truth's razor-edge persona.
Volvo's Free Will campaign is a collage of consumer opinion about its C30 hatchback. While this concept isn't new, airing negative views as adstuff (er, kind of) is.
The campaign also includes video shorts that viewers can rate upon seeing. One features an audience throwing tomatoes and heckling as a burlesque woman unveils the C30 on a theatre stage.
The campaign's gone strong in the UK for a year. Ford global ad director Tim Ellis says the effort aims to get the up-and-coming 25-35 demo to do some thinking about the C30 and develop a relationship with Volvo based more on honesty than is typical in brand relationships. "In research, we learned that people feel as if we are really talking directly to them, so they consume [campaign offerings] and engage [them] differently than other typical advertisements," he explained.
Cheers to Volvo for their bravery. We look forward to seeing how it turns out even if we don't find the C30 that cute. (See? Works on marketers too.)
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?