Marijuana users Offer to Pay Taxes. Stations Refuse to Air Ad

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There is a valid argument for not legalizing marijuana. There's also a valid argument for doing so and it's being made in a new commercial from California's Marijuana Policy Project Foundation featuring a marijuana user.

In the commercial, the woman says, "...the governor and legislators are ignoring millions of Californians who want to pay taxes. We're marijuana consumers. Instead of being treated like criminals for using a substance safer than alcohol, we want to pay our fair share."

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by Steve Hall    Jul- 8-09    
Topic: Cause, Commercials



Acronyms and 'Bust-Accentuating Top' Make For Bad Truth Ad

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Arnold is out with another mock interview ad for the Truth campaign. In this entry, a seemingly immovable woman is subjected to the interviewers over-excited explanation of yet another business acronym. This one's AMPED or Articulate Motivated Passionate Energetic, which, clearly this woman is not.

The interviewer is amusingly animated. The woman is a dead fish. Perhaps due to years of suffering under the weight of her...oh that would be so rudely sexist to say! How dare we? Oh but wait. AdFreak got all sexist by suggesting just because the woman is wearing a "bust-accentuating" top, the ad is a bit NSFW. Huh?

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by Steve Hall    Jul- 8-09    
Topic: Bad, Cause, Commercials, Creative Commentary, Opinion



Brands Go Green For Rain Forest

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Last week in London's Piccadilly Circus, St Trinian star Talulah Riley posed in front of new Princess Rainforest Project billboards which feature an animated frog. Riley virtually kissed the frog from afar optical allusion-style.

McDonald's and Coke are supporters of the effort. The Coke sign tuns green and shows the faces of Daniel Craig, Harrison Ford and Kermit the Frog.

Other campiagn elements include MySpace (???), Facebook and Twitter.

London's Cake Group created the campaign. See images here, here and here.

by Steve Hall    Jul- 7-09    
Topic: Cause, Celebrity, Outdoor



Nike Supports Local Community With 'Back Your Block'

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Getting all power of the human spirit on us, Nike is out with Back Your Block, a $650,000 grant program developed to support local communities and schools and to "unlock the potential of young people through programs that focus on sport."

Social marketing (formerly youth marketing..but, ya know, they jumped on the bus just like everyone else) agency Mr. Youth, created the campaign website, a promotional video, blog outreach and activated an army of 250 Task Force influencers to pimp the effort buzz marketing-style.

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by Steve Hall    Jul- 1-09    
Topic: Brands, Cause, Social, Video, Word of Mouth



De Clerck Admonishes Advertisers to 'Listen, Listen, Listen'

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One of the most interesting people I met at Cannes last week was Herve De Clerck, who runs Ad Forum and Act Responsible.

In this video he talks about how Ad Forum operates, and in great length about Act Responsible -- its humble roots out of the ashes of 9/11, and how it's pushing to do two interesting things:

o Encourage the advertising industry to contribute its talent to social and environmental causes

o Promote the work of those that do

"Every year we gather the work for social and environmental issues ... and every year, we put on an exhibition," he said. The exhibition was held with support from DraftFCB, on a sunny terrace alongside the Palais, where you could grab a coffee, check out the beach and stroll at leisure through a wide-open gallery of interactive and print-based cause work from around the world.

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by Angela Natividad    Jul- 1-09    
Topic: Cause, Events, Industry Events, Trends and Culture, Video



Seed Bombs, Tweetolution, Spike Lee Spake

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- Houses come a-hunting on Twitter. (More proof that in this market, it's do-or-die time.)

- Love can be complicated. (But once you pop...!)

- The revolution will be Tweeted. In Iran, anyway.

- 140-character twibutes to Michael Jackson. Srsly.

- Spike Lee, out loud and in Cannes.

- Seed bombs. That plant seeds!

- When writers go apeshit.



Cannes Lions: More Ambient Guilt Lubrication.

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Hey, Cannes Lions delegates! Have a big heaping slice of buzzkill, brought to you by Weisser Ring!

I get that these are for a good cause. Given the appropriate context, these particular pieces are damn stirring.

But given that this image ornaments the exterior of the Palais and these ads plaster the interior, you gotta wonder: which sadistic member of the ad festival planning committee picked out this year's damaged kids motif?

by Angela Natividad    Jun-25-09    
Topic: Campaigns, Cause, Events, Industry Events, Opinion, Poster



Say No to Plumping

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Calling attention the to the practice of plumping, injecting chicken meat with salt water to increase size, weight and cost, Foster Farms has launched Say No to Plumping, a website that features two chickens, Betsy and Martha, talking to each other about plumping as if it were a botox treatment.

Goodby Silverstein & Partners created the work. The site also includes plumping facts and figures, how to detect a plumper, links to health resources and an interactive "Plumpinator" calculator to help site people calculate how much money they waste on saltwater from plumped chicken each year.

Seriously. If we all just stepped back and took a look at the idiotically stupid, inane and unhealthy things we do as humans simply to make an extra buck or two, we'd actually laugh. Seriously. Injecting chickens with water to make them...what...taste more like water and less like chickens? Are we really that idiotic?

by Steve Hall    Jun-24-09    
Topic: Cause, Good, Online



Aaron Fotheringham Explains HowStuffWorks

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If you think you have challenges in life, meet Aaron Fotheringham, a wheelchair-bound 17-year-old who's created a sport called hard core sitting. Basically, it's extreme skateboarding in a wheelchair.

Recently, Discovery Communications hooked up with Fotheringham who appears in a commercial, launching this week, for the Discovery Channel's HowStuffWorks website. Aaron has Spina Bifida and is the first person to perform a backflip in a wheelchair.

This latest work follows an initial campaign for the site which featured a scuba diving cat.

by Steve Hall    Jun-24-09    
Topic: Cause, Commercials, Good



Cannes Lions: Going Gold for Georgia

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At 72 Croisette (the so-called Gutter Bar) last night, Shannon Stephaniuk introduced me to the members of Ogilvy Stockholm, which won a Gold Lion for its work for UNA Sweden.

Their objective was to raise funds to support the war victims of Georgia (the country, not the state); and to do this, they spoke with the locals and gathered small, specific and personal items that belonged to people affected by the war.

See Shoes, Sweater and Sheet; I found the sight of those scorched, warped items physically painful, and the stories still more moving.

It's my strong feeling that the work deserved a Grand Prix, but apparently you can't win one if the effort is nonprofit. Weird logics. In any case, I hung out awhile and talked to the guys about the work, what they did and how it made them feel in general.

Video interviews below. Given that it's the Gutter Bar at 2:00 AM and not, say, an Embassy lobby, try to bear with the background noise. Better yet, imagine you're there, stumbling around with your third vodka tonic, playing guess-the-accent with your group of chums-for-the-week.

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