Starbucks Tests WOM & Viral Campaign with Cheer Pass

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Starbucks kicks off the holidays Pay it Forward-style by disseminating cheer on chilly city streets. Baristas hand out movie tickets and other small gifts on the condition that the recipient has to do something nice for someone else.

The campaign includes a "cheer pass" that tracks how far the "chain of cheer" has gone. Participants are encouraged to visit It's Red Again to share holiday stories and create greetings. The site is hosted by an awkward-looking man who personifies Starbucks' quirky intellectual vibe. It's also ridden with clever recommendations about holiday coffee blends and seasonal cakes.

CEO Jim Donald says they're interested in the qualitative results of the campaign and admits there aren't any of the usual tracking methods attached to it. (It begs the question - how often does anybody really track anything?) We look forward to seeing how many chains get generated. - Contributed by Angela Natividad

by Angela Natividad    Nov-13-06    
Topic: Campaigns, Good, Online, Outdoor, Social, Viral



Grenade Needed to Force Viewership of Dan Rather

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Apparently because Dan Rather's reporting is so explosive or it's what's needed to get anyone to care what's he's doing these days, BooneOakley chose to go with a hand grenade motif in a newspaper campaign to promote the news man's Dan Rather Reports show on Mark Cuban's HDNet. The ads will appear in the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, LA Times, New York Times and the Philadelphia Inquirer. Why can't aging anchors just ride off into the sunset with their final glory intact rather than dwindle away to also ran status on a technology platform the intended demo has likely never heard of nor will ever use?

by Steve Hall    Nov-13-06    
Topic: Campaigns, Newspaper



Sexual Fantasies Fulfill Old Khaki Campaign

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Spanking and that old standby - milk poured over a woman's chest - are central elements in two ads for South African fashion brand Old Khaki. While we know we should say something pithy about this approach, for some reason we simply can't seem to come up with anything. Could we possibly be bored with this whole "sex sells" thing? Of course not. It's all about precarious positions promoting homegrown pleasure.

by Steve Hall    Nov-13-06    
Topic: Campaigns, Racy, Strange



Altoids Boggles But Hey, Ads Have to Entertain, Right?

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We don't even know if Leo Burnett still has Altoids as an account but if they do, there's some serious mental illness going on in the creative bowels of 35 West Wacker. With each successive Altoids campaign, things just get stranger and stranger. Perhaps that's the point but their recent Souro thing just boggles. Perhaps that's the point and perhaps we're just old school and like to...oh...have a fucking clue what we're being sold and why we'd want to buy it in the first place.

by Steve Hall    Nov-13-06    
Topic: Agencies, Campaigns, Online



'Smug Little Twit' Mac Guy Gets Heaved From Apple Campaign

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In reaction to an apparent country-wide disdain for Apple's Mac Guy in its current campaign, the company will not ask Mac Guy Justin Long back for the next iteration of the campaign. Calling the Mac Guy a "smug little twit," Slate ad critic Seth Stevenson think Apple is "parodying its own image while also cementing it." This is what passes for big news in our industry. Next

by Steve Hall    Nov- 9-06    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns



Bob Garfield Disses Defeatist Saturn Aura Ad

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It's pretty funny. A tame excerpt:

"Look! A crash-test bulkhead! Look! A rugged fashion model squinting with driving intensity! Look! The California sunrise glinting into the lens! No surprise, of course, that a General Motors product introduction would embrace every single cliche of the auto-ad genre. This, in addition to losing money and shutting down factories, is what GM does."

Ouch.

Saturn's Aura ad indeed reeks of something we've seen 10,000 times before, and the slogan feels like they've thrown up their hands and died: "Saturn. Like always. Like never before." Feels a lot like the work a high schooler would put together if asked, not to create a car ad, but to simulate an aggregate of car ads seen over a lifetime.

Sucks for you, Saturn. - Contributed by Angela Natividad

by Angela Natividad    Nov- 6-06    
Topic: Campaigns



Homeless People Could Live In A Car For A Week Too

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There's a law somewhere that says two makes a trend and with Chevy joining Nissan in the "our car is so awesome you could live in it" thing, we officially have a trend. As you know, some dude is living in a Nissan and making a "film" about it. Opinions as to how and when and ad somehow became a film aside, the series of "films" is supposed to endear us to the vehicle and the glory of its comfort.

Now, Chevy, with its Livin' Large in Aveo, is following eight college student teams across the country for a week with webcams and blog entries. Everyone gets to vote on which team lives the "largest." Wow. Cool. Yea, road trips are fun and we've had our share back in the day when every friggin' move you made wasn't commercialized.

more »

by Steve Hall    Oct-31-06    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Opinion



Hot Chic Points Out Addictiveness of Cigarettes

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Using the delightfully lustful imagery of the typical male fantasy, this American Legacy commercial aligns the allure of cigarettes to that of the hot neighbor next door. The spot is part of a new multi-city health program aimed at acknowledging the difficulties of quitting smoking and offering resources to make the job easier. The spot points to BecomeAnEx.org where those resources can be found.

by Steve Hall    Oct-30-06    
Topic: Campaigns, Commercials, Good



Ashlee Simpson Launches Skechers Line, Can't Speak

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Ashlee Simpson, who seems to be morphing into some kind of plastic representation of her older sister Jessica, has hooked up with Skechers to launch a new line of footwear. During the launch announcement a few days a go, she said, "Skechers is brand that is not afraid to going the beyond. I look forward to representing Skechers clothing line; I also hope to add a few more pairs to my wardrobe," causing some to wonder if English is her first language. Whatever. She looks way better with blond hair and whatever facial/nasal adjustments she's had than her former I-Must-Look-Different-Than-Jessica look she forced upon us earlier.

by Steve Hall    Oct-30-06    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Celebrity



CarMax the Best Buy of Used Car Dealers

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While we're not quite sure just how different CarMax is from other used car dealers with their claims of return policies and "buy without sell" but they sure are different in that they look much more like a Wal-Mart of a Best Buy than most cheesy, flag-flying used car lots. The company has just launched a two-part Boone/Oakley-created television campaign. The first part focuses on the brand with three very un-used car-like commercials set in Rome and the Old West. A second set of commercial focuses on the unique differences between CarMax and other used car dealers. We especially like the freaked out 16 year old who pitches a fit after realizing the nw car her fathr just bought her int eh wrong color. Cue "5 day return policy" voice over. For the most part, good stuff if not a bit off the wall. (Click more for links to spots.)

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by Steve Hall    Oct-25-06    
Topic: Campaigns, Commercials, Good, Strange, Television










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