It's always a little difficult to gauge the quality of advertising from other countries, but "Don't Disturb the Ones Working" -- an ad for the Norwegian Association of the Blind -- really threw us for one.
In it, a handful of perplexed service workers are interrupted mid-job by clueless passersby, which either pay them infantile compliments ("Aww, what a cutie!") or try getting them to do tricks. For example, one game-faced dad pulls out a round squidgy ball and tries making a bus driver play catch.
On Christmas day, One Laptop Per Child brought back the voice (if not the body) of Yoko Ono's beloved John Lennon.
OLPC's mission is to bring cheap, sturdy laptops to the world's poorest children. So paint your sympathetic face on as a freshly conviction-laden (if nasal) Lennon compares giving a child a laptop to the vision he shared through his music. At the end, the Walrus himself appears, piped in from the great beyond through a kid computer with Shrek ears.
Negroponte ought to learn from his profitable peers. Resuscitating a dead guy -- particularly one whose yearning for peace has been used to sell everything from diapers to ice cream -- never works in your favor, no matter how noble the intentions. In fact, it's about as disturbing as watching a demented technophile play puppeteer with a decomposing marionette.
With help from production firm Dictionary Films, Leo Burnett launched a TV spot for "Food Shouldn't Be a Luxury," an effort to encourage locals to donate supplies to the Greater Chicago Food Depository.
The ad's put together like a generic perfume ad, with occasional flashes of a boiling pot and some random pasta fondling. We seriously winced when the model sexily purred "Spaghetti" in her fake Kate Moss-for-Eternity voice, but it got the point across: Okay, okay! Food shouldn't be a luxury.
Make a donation or volunteer time at Every1Can.org. Unlike the prints (see first link), the spot doesn't invite users to text donations over. Not sure if that means the texting thing didn't pan out, or if Leo Burnett just doesn't think people keep phones nearby while watching TV.
@dirkthecow introduced us to What Davo Loves, a responsible-driving initiative for Queensland Transport, Australia.
The site's put together like a generic profile page for a dude called Davo. At right is a montage of people he loves, and at left is a video of him fondling his new car, lamely named "Rex."
All frothy fun, right? That is, until the car careens out of the video frame and slams into his collage of friends, fracturing their faces like so much cheap glass.
In its ongoing mission to condition otherwise-normal citizens into forming violent knee-jerk reactions toward people that wear fur or (le gasp!) eat animals, PETA's created this holiday snowball game.
It's sorta like hitting groundhogs with a hammer, except you're pitching snow at "fur hags" like Madonna (10 points), Donna Karan (+25) and the Olsen Twins (+50!). But watch out for Grandma and Generic Blonde! Hitting either of them could cost you 50 points apiece.
Idle good times. Just wish my mouse moved faster. Oh, and while the game is characterized as a "snow fight," nobody else throws snow back at you, which I thought was funny, because, you know, zealous institutions always see antagonists where none exist.
Scale Back Alabama is a yearly campaign to encourage state inhabitants to shake off some love handles. Those that register for the program, which is free, are encouraged to lose 10 pounds in 10 weeks -- which isn't improbable to do in a healthy way, provided you have resources and encouragement.
This year, Alabamans are getting a little help from Roger Shultz, a finalist from The Biggest Loser. To promote the effort, Luckie Underground -- the basement-confined baby brother of Luckie & Co. -- launched "Gettin' in Shape," a playful PSA with its own YouTube channel.
Witness while a very large dude dressed like the Heart of Dixie pumps iron and selects fruit with conviction, all under the peppy direction of Shultz.
See that victory dance at the top of the library steps? That could be you, my friend.
- The Levi's Beast is now hanging out atop New York Taxi cabs. OK, so the beast is imaginary but the jeans are unbuttoned.
- If you could step into a human rights violation. this is what it might look like. The video celebrates the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
- Ad Age is doing its Annual Swag Watch again. Up today, lot's of candy.
- Alisa Leonard-Hansen thinks data Portability will have a big impact on design practices in the next five years.
- Oddcast loves Adrants! And they've sent us a nice dog-themed holiday card.
- Geek rigs maternity device to tweet when his unborn baby kicks. Probably the earliest instance of Twitter use EVAR. (Thanks, Atif!)
- Collateral Damage's top 10 marketing blunders of '08. There's way more than 10 ("It was a very good year for very bad things"), and the top two are tied. Go figure.
- Deep Focus does FlightLipDub.com -- the new online home for Flight of the Conchords.
- Free Will Power aims to safeguard "the future of pro-choice America." There's spoken word poetry! And a T-shirt contest!
- It's a site on the hunt for beautiful ads.
- Another advertising socnet.
- Best and worst of AdFreak. If you consider what Collateral Damage's worst marketing campaign was, you can probably guess AdFreak's best ad of '08. We'll give you a hint: celebrity mashup.
OK it's hard to crap on an ad that hypes a good cause - in this case, TOMS Shoes' effort to eradicate Podoconiosis in Ethiopia - but after seeing so, so many block type-style ads akin to Motrin, Starbucks and Ford, it's not easy to reign in the rant.
But, in the interest of the holiday season and all the good feelings that come with it, the rant will be reigned in on this one. So just enjoy.
To bring attention to European Anti-trafficking Day back in October, McCann-Erikson Belgium created a campaign that illustrates just how connected those in the human trafficking trade are to their jobs.
Each of the three ads shows a person "connected" to their profession. See the other two ads here and here.