ALS Weaves Debilitating Maze Through Unwitting Hosts

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A few years ago we met a farmer who lost his wife to Lou Gehrig's disease. The process was short but painful: it hit her all of a sudden, and took her in a matter of months.

He ended up publishing their story under the title When the Music Stopped. When we asked why he chose it, he explained that Lou Gehrig's -- or Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) -- functions by depriving you first of the muscles you use most. It spreads rapidly to the rest of your body, and finally ends in death. His wife was a piano player; in her case, things began falling apart when she could no longer play.

Imagine it: the slow dismantling of your life, beginning with the loss of your smallest, dearest pleasures. It's a terrible thing to hear, and a worse thing to experience first- or second-hand.

That's the crux of "Head and Shoulders," a powerful ad released by the ALS Society of Canada. Put together by Lowe Roche to the playful, active tune of "head and shoulders, knees and toes," it makes you privy to a father and his family as their universe spirals into painful stillness ... along with him.

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by Angela Natividad    Feb-17-09    
Topic: Best, Campaigns, Cause, Commercials, Television



Tweets Go Black to Protest NZ's 'Guilt Upon Accusation' Law

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Avatars on Twitter are going ominously black to protest a new law, Section 92A, that's been passed in New Zealand.

After the 28th, users can get their lifelines internet disconnected "based on accusations of copyright infringement without a trial and without any evidence held up to court scrutiny." Because of the unveiled creepiness of that language, the law's been dubbed "Guilty Upon Accusation."

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by Angela Natividad    Feb-17-09    
Topic: Campaigns, Cause, Online, Social, Worst



Facebook's Scary Content Stance, Gatorade's Mid-Brand Crisis, 'This is Why You're Fat'

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- Facebook revises TOS, Twittersphere goes apeshit.

- Wisdom from the front lines. Via.

- Gatorade's new packaging and naming conventions betray desperate need to fit in with the minimalist lifestyle 2.0 crowd. Here's an idea! from reader Elinora: "Make a drink that doesn't taste like vomit!" Come on, Ellie, it's not Gatorade's fault; those are the electrolytes.

- Hardees/Carl's Jr. slips into the Daytona via YouTube.

- "Do we need a new internet?"

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by Angela Natividad    Feb-16-09    
Topic: Best, Cause, Good, Online, Packaging, Social



Real Tax Payers of Genius Don't Squander on Ad Divas.

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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.)

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by Angela Natividad    Feb-13-09    
Topic: Campaigns, Cause, Online, Strange



The Internet Makes Bullying Really Easy

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Sort of like that "be careful what you upload" commercial during which a girl finds a less than chaste picture of herself on the school bulletin board and pulls it down repeatedly only to find it put back up again, this German anti-cyber mobbing commercial illustrates the ill effect of online bullying.

Alas, internet or no internet, kids will be kids and kids will be cruel. It's not right but it's just the way it is.

by Steve Hall    Feb-12-09    
Topic: Cause



The Homestead is a House of Cards, Say Radiohead and Shelter

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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.

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by Angela Natividad    Feb-12-09    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Cause, Celebrity, Commercials, Good, Television



David & Goliath Calls Attention to Homeless With Thought-Provoking POP

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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.

by Steve Hall    Feb-11-09    
Topic: Campaigns, Cause, Good, Outdoor, Point of Purchase



Hope in the Slammer, Witch Buddies, Ad Poetry

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- "Twitter for sports." And then our eyes rolled back in our heads, and then we died.

- BFFs with the Wicked Witch of the West. She seems fun. DDR, your house or mine?

- The question we all must ask. Sometime.

- Shepard Fairey, the guy who did that Obama/Hope poster we all love to wheatpaste on walls that don't belong to us, gets arrested before his first solo art show. Duuuude. Sux.

- Scroll down to the part that reads "cb with a Flair."

- Intern sweatshop haiku.



Men Don't Always Want Their Equipment to be Bigger

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There isn't much that skeeves a guy out more than alluding to testicular injury and that's the nut this PSA from the Government of Ontario cracks. Calling attention to the apparent return of Mumps, the PSA highlights the isolation required when Mumps is detected and some of the weighty symptoms that con come with the disease.

by Steve Hall    Feb- 9-09    
Topic: Cause, Commercials, Strange



Quirky Take on Child Abuse May Leave You Feeling Queasy

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Here's a set of prints that go with this child abuse/wedding reception ad by Whybin\TBWA Sydney for Australia's ASCA (Adults Surviving Child Abuse). Each approaches the topic with blithe, discomfiting irony.

You know, it's the kind of thing you'd find funny if it weren't so ... not-at-all.

See greeting card: "You're a special dad (slap, kick, pow!)"
See birthday cake: "Celebrating 20 years since you said I should have been aborted" -- arrow down if you can't see all of it at once.

Collective wince.

by Angela Natividad    Feb- 9-09    
Topic: Campaigns, Cause, Magazine, Poster










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