ABSOLUT World Replaces Currency with Kindness

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Imagine buying movie tickets with kisses instead of cash, or repaying your local streetside violinist with embraces and not cold change.

ABSOLUT Vodka builds upon its "In an ABSOLUT World" campaign with "Kindness as Currency," a soul-warming snapshot of a parallel universe where human contact is the end, not merely the means.

The charming piece is a jarring departure from past "ABSOLUT World" efforts that depicted Times Square slathered in costly art, or everyone alive winning the lotto.

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by Angela Natividad    Apr-29-09    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Good, Guerilla, Video



Apple Claims It Can Make You Mama's Favourite.

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Fresh out the Flagrant Email pile comes this subject line from Almighty Apple: "Last chance to give iPod for Mother's Day." We were like, okay, let's see how they work this angle, and popped the email open to meet eyes with the following header:

"Give Mom a reason to play favorites."

Need a blunter innuendo? Cast your gaze leftwards to see an iPod lovingly engraved, "No wonder you always liked me best."

Mac confidence at its most engorged state. Props to the shameless email marketers at Apple, whose capacity to self-promote -- for any holiday, or none at all -- knows no inhibitions. Might be time to swoop up another Shuffle; as things stand, we're lucky if Mom tells us we look nice in the morning.

by Angela Natividad    Apr-29-09    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Online



Carousel Brings Sharp Clarity to a Moment in Crime

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Philips Cinema brings us the mildly unsettling "Carousel," where a hospital shootout between the SWAT team and demented clowns is frozen and investigated by a slow-moving camera.

Money flutters through the night sky, the faces of cops are taut with tension; and you can actually see the caked makeup creases on the masks of the tormentors. It's strange and beautiful; we watched wordless from beginning to end.

The online oeuvre was directed by Adam Berg via Stink Digital for Philips' hi-def Cinema Proportion TV. More at Philips Cinema; also see deliciously engaging making-of (shown below).

According to Berg, the secret to a great film is narrative and light. Food for thought, whether you're directing an epic or breathing :30 of life into a brand under your care.

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by Angela Natividad    Apr-29-09    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Good, Specialty, Video



Kaiser Hits Creative Bargain Bin to Stretch 'Thrive' into '09

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Kaiser Permanente continues its insufferable five-year-old "Thrive" campaign with two new ads, Kabuki and Mural.

The latter targets Spanish speakers without trying too hard (Latin music + "Viva bien." Way to go). Meanwhile, Kabuki features a Kaiser employee performing "Kabuki" with an electric guitar and selective gravity. He is later joined by a bunch of grinning people that tear off their clothes to reveal medical gear.

Campbell-Ewald (with help from Miami-based sister agency Accentmarketing) came up with this and the tagline du jour: "You and your Kaiser Permanente team. Together, you rock."

Fucking kill us. The campaign cost $50 million, and we apologize to the inhabitants of California, Oregon, Washington, Southern Colorado, Hawaii and Georgia, which will have to see it all over their daytime TV.

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by Angela Natividad    Apr-28-09    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Commercials, Television



Subway Does Singing Auditions Thing for $5 Footlongs.

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Subway's whoring for musical auditions to promote its $5 footlongs over the interwebs. And while the topic matter makes every entry cheesy by default, that's not to say all them are bad.

Vote for favourites or unlock "bonus exclusive bloopers."* There's a line fresh out of the buzzword generator. =P

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by Angela Natividad    Apr-28-09    
Topic: Campaigns, Online, Video



Because Sending a Package Shouldn't Feel Like the Temple of Doom.

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There's something ballsy about the UPS Store comparing itself to complex acrobatics or death by amphitheater. So, props for being flagrant.

But while the cardboard animation is fun to watch -- enchanting, even -- we could've done without the Universal Studios soundtrack, the extra-extra voiceover and the trite ending ("Hey, we do more than shipping!").

Apart from all that, pretty work by agency Doner and production firm Psyop.

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by Angela Natividad    Apr-28-09    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Commercials, Television



I'm a Little Short, Can You Spot Me a Hug?

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In an Absolute world, we wouldn't need money. At least in London with this latest promotion where Absolute exchanged hugs for real stuff. (Clip post-jump, Twitter here.) Not sure it would fly here, maybe though:

"Hello? Yes, this is he. Yes, I know. Two months late. No, yeah, we were going to send a check out soon as we can. Yeah, I understand. Looks bad on our credit history, yep. Collections? Whoa, hang on for a sec... sorry, had to check with my wife. You guys take hugs? You do? OH, but not over the phone. Gotcha. Yeah, makes sense. So then, guess smiles are out. HEY. What about jokes. You take jokes? You do? Awesome. Okay, two bill collectors walk into a bar."

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by Bill Green    Apr-22-09    




Woman Gives Birth To Drug-free Teen Without Drugs.

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8 lbs. hurts from what I've been told. Full-size teen though? Yikes. Wondering what she's on because hardly a scream is heard in this drugfree.org spot after the jump from Martin Williams. Oh, and if slimy teens aren't your thing, try the print. It's much cleaner and safer! Sokay, apparently either there's an outbreak of SWSM (single white soccer moms) or only white suburban moms can keep a child off drugs. That shit takes two parents, planners. It takes two.

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by Bill Green    Apr-22-09    




Contextual madness.

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"Hey I know, let's run the Lance ad here." Ouch. Sorry Lance, guess it's really gonna be hard to escape the rumors, especially with placements like this. (Click image for contextual fun.) Remember, send in your contextual finds. Screen grab before you click.
by Bill Green    Apr-20-09    




Mastercard Trots Priceless 'Icons' Back onto the Stage

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"Icons," a McCann-Erickson/NY spot that aired during the '05 Super Bowl, is a fond standby of Mastercard's "Priceless" campaign.

Prep for serious warm-fuzzy syndrome: it's composed of brand mascots -- Count Chocula, the Vlasic stork, Jolly Green Giant, Pillsbury Doughboy -- having Soul Food-style dinner as Mr. Clean slaves merrily over the sink. Some of the icons weren't even animated for TV prior to this. (Thank Calabash for bringing them to life.)

Too much good stuff. There's even some illicit Facebooky pokeage between Doughboy and Morton Salt girl. Scandale!

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