It isn't immediately clear whether the Maryland Comptroller has an ingenious sense of humor or just really low standards, but "Real Tax Payers of Genius" -- a video effort to get taxpayers to e-file -- definitely left us with a queasy "What hath YouTube wrought" sensation.
Word from a colleague: "I love how the screen says ifile ... and the voice says efile." But it was the papercut scene, and the digitally-enhanced voiceover, that stole our appetites.
We can't hate on something we so deeply pity. So hey, MD, here's some help. (And warm clammy thanks to Jack for molesting us with this audiovisual gem.)
Colorado's FirstBank hopes to nail younger customers by pushing its mobile banking product.
"Its simple goal is to demonstrate a commitment to the youth market, by going to them where they are," the pressie explained. But we suspect the choice of media buy -- just Colorado ski resorts -- had as much to do with TDA Advertising's one-hit wonder of a slogan as the demo did.
"Bank in your ski mask without getting arrested," the ads deadpan. Yeah, that's not gonna work in a shopping mall.
Joining the distinguished ranks of Dame Edna and Fergie, Hello Kitty is lending her likeness to MAC cosmetics.
"We are thrilled to partner with a brand that shares the vision of offering an innovative, authentic and transforming experience to our loyal fan base," said Janet Hsu, who said some similarly frothy thing when Sanrio announced its partnership with McDonald's earlier this month.
Visit the deliciously dollhousey Coraline website. Enter the house, then click on the picture frame if you want to stitch buttons onto your face. Plenty to choose from, and each set of buttons is coupled with curiously thought-out descriptions. (That's the appeal of Coraline's marketing strategy: in keeping with the handmade motif, everything feels tailored to you, even things that obviously aren't.)
Once done tweaking and zooming your button eyes, download and save; embeds are available for MySpace and Facebook.
We also came across this Coraline Nike Dunks Giveaway offer. Okay, that's some pretty deep product whoring, but oh! we want them, just to have them, just because everything Coraline reeks of tasty dark girlwitch magic.
Two days ago we mentioned Radiohead was donating one of its songs to a homeless shelter. Last night we got the footage.
The song is Videotape from In Rainbows, but the ad itself is called "House of Cards" -- the name of another In Rainbows track. Only the melody is used, adding an urgent tempo to a panning shot of a city, where a number of homes and skyscrapers are composed of cards that slowly begin to plummet.
Then again, LA Gear has never been the sharpest tool in the marketer shed.
When was the last time you saw a homeless person? Do you even remember? And if you do remember, you probably just walked right by, right? On behalf of the Weingart Homeless Center, LA-based agency David & Goliath set out to change that all too common behavior among the non-homeless.
The agency, along with photographer Ewan Burns, photographed 12 of the 70,000 homeless people in Los Angelos holding a cardboard sign on which each of them wrote, "Before you turn away, put yourself in my place."
The agency then made life-sized cardboard cut outs with the face removed and placed the cutouts near shopping centers in Beverly Hills and Santa Monica.
Admirable work. Check out the video overview of the project.
The Ad Store just sent us a plethora of new Zappos spots for spring/summer and fall/winter 2009.
"Step into Zappos" picks up where "Put a Little Zappos in Your Day!" left off. The latter featured a chipper delivery guy bringing sunshine and rainbows to a neighborhood; these spots riff off the glee infusion you get when you finally open that package.
Underpants-clad customers are pictured either standing in a Zappos box or walking into one. Putting on their best Vanna Whites for the camera, they either reveal their purchases or lift the box over themselves -- at which point they are suddenly transformed into fully-dressed Citizens of Society.
The new Kia Soul is so compelling you will want to look deeper. And to depict this in the most obvious way possible, Publicis/Toronto came up with "Peer Into a Soul."
Each spot tackles the concept with a different film genre, a gimmick meant to appeal to people who want something more from their car marketers.
The campaign DP is Robert Yeoman, who worked on The Royal Tenenbaums, Life Aquatic and The Squid and the Whale, so we naturally expected the pieces to ooze some sub-normal slice-of-lifishness -- like that feeling you get when a joke's been told but was so subtle you didn't laugh, and now all the hipsters know you Do Not Belong.
The humor here isn't quite that sublime (and for good reason -- they're car ads, after all), but the choice of music definitely oozes Yeoman.
The YMCA is the place to be. You'll get a burn, you'll make really awesome platonic friends, and sometimes clowns work out there. Maybe.
An art director at Preston Kelly sent us the above-linked (and below-embedded) spots for YMCA, which under the slogan "Real people. Real fitness" hopes to reel in new members that:
1. Don't look like porn stars and/or Arnold Schwarzenegger in his 20s
2. Don't make sex noises on the treadmill
3. Aren't complete fitness bunnies
The natural result of this checklist of Things That May Potentially Turn You Off are these spots, where two workout buddies partake of YMCA's fitness buffet while saying quirky "real people" things, like "It's like a bear trap. Except it's a people trap. And the people trap's made of bears!"
Here is the part where you relate, because that guy is simple, and yet hilarious -- like you! Don't be ashamed; we're relating too.