Late to a party long populated with the likes of AmEx, Apple, Converse, Motorola, Microsoft, Dell, The Gap, and Giorgio Armani, Starbucks finally joins the Product (red) brigade, spearheaded by U2's Bono to fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.
Buy a Starbucks exclusive beverage, save lives in Africa! If the watch-worthiness of the ad isn't equal to the cause, it's at least a tribute to the crippling mediocrity that halos brands grown lazy and slow. Way to go, BBDO!
If I'm shocked, it's only because this didn't happen sooner. Really. This has to be a record for the amount of time a top-heavy "lifestyle" company's spent resisting the rejuvenating call of Bono.
Here's a pretty idea. To drive donations to the Greater Chicago Food Depository, Leo Burnett/Chicago and Starcom remind shoppers that "food shouldn't be a luxury."
To illustrate the point, ordinary items -- soup, broccoli, PB&J sandwiches -- are positioned as luxury goods, languishing in the manicured hands of luxe porcelain models.
The bottom portion of each piece invites viewers to donate what they can to the Depository. "Text MEALS to 90999 to give $5," it adds -- simple enough to do on impulse.
If you're in the Chi, expect to see these on CTA buses and rail cars from now to December 31st.
Here's a confusing metaphor. B-list star Kristen Johnston poses as Lady Godiva -- who rode a horse naked through Coventry to win a break on her husband's taxes -- in order to raise awareness about the hazards of horse-drawn carriages.
"Don't get taken for a ride," the ad reads. "Horse-drawn carriages are cruel."
I guess. Good fodder for the portfolio though -- a Maraschino cherry topping fine oeuvres like Austin Powers: the Spy Who Shagged Me and Strangers with Candy.
One of my favourite things to do during down-time is take personality quizzes that aggrandize me in some show-offable way. What movie are you? Which Sex and the City Character are You Most Like? Rate Your Dating Style!
And given how many MySpace bulletins composed of Q & A's with self-excusing titles like "soooo b0red!" or "stolen from sheila" I get in a day, it's clear I'm not alone in this inclination.
Which is why this quiz on TakeTakeTake.ca was so exciting: "What's Toronto's Take on You?" It was like, oh snap, I never realized my city would have an opinion about where I belong in its gleaming array of subcultures and whatnot.
For United Way, Publicis/Toronto gives us "Youth" and "Homelessness." Each introduces you to someone in dire straits: a homeless guy in his alley, staring despondently at passers-by; and a nervy new gangbanger.
Both look markedly stressed. Then each grabs hold of some part of themselves -- the homeless guy his torn jacket, the street kid his head -- and suddenly their skin peels off.*
Within the homeless man lies a clean-cut Joe with a uniform on. He steps easily out of his poverty-ridden skin -- kinda like the crazy sorceress whose ugliness "melted away" at the beginning of Disney's Beauty and the Beast -- and joins the sea of active, busy people on the streets.
Same deal with the kid. He grabs his head, peels off his hoodie-ensconced bad-ass self, and reemerges in -- lo! -- a baby blue soccer uniform.
"What you're really giving is a way out," each spot concludes, referring slyly to the donation you are now morally obligated to make.
I like the idea of being able to shake off your past and join the sunshiny stat-quo. But if the spots are appealing, it's because they oversimplify a taxing inner journey that can take years -- and plenty of sorrows -- to complete. Well, that's advertising for you.
The economy shake-up means hard times for everybody, but print news weeklies are probably among the heaviest-laden. Few people are willing to wait a day to see news in print; fewer still have the patience for a week, not when they can load Google News and have at it instantaneously.
In a desperate bid at self-preservation, the LA Weekly has launched "LONG LIVE PRINT." Weeklyites invaded the Detour Festival in Downtown LA to wave signs, distribute bookmarks (cringe) and ink the message onto other people's shirts with a printing press (nifty!).
Other media ran on newsstands and in the LA Weekly itself. See the creative in all its grungy glory:
Cool work by Ignited LA
. Painfully valiant though, given that we've never thought much about the LA Weekly
, and now we associate it with the struggle of by-weeklies to remain relevant in an increasingly by-the-Tweet
kind of world.
Christine Dolce, internet superstar, model (FHM, Playboy), actress, radio personality, designer, make-up artist, is, again, fronting a PETA2 Fur is Dead" campaign.
In a making of video, Christine boobs says she wanted to team up with PETA because boobs she's against animal cruelty and thinks boobs it's bullshit anyone would wear real fur and boobs kill animals for it when there's plenty boobs of genuine looking fake fur boobs products on the market. She boobs says it's not right boobs and it's uncalled for boobs which is why she has boobs decided to work with boobs PETA again.
She explains boobs her interest in PETA was sparked by boobs a video Nine Inch Nails' Trent Reznor boobs did for the organization which boobs focused on the abuse of animals boobs in the fur trade. She calls boobs anyone who wears real boobs fur lazy and ignorant for boobs not understand the cruelty behind boobs the manufacture of fur clothing.
The Curse of the Bluefin Tuna Industry. Cringe. See variants in The Economist (really?) and last week's European Voice. The people named on each poster are villainous Fisheries Ministers that failed to better regulate Mediterranean bluefin tuna. God help us.
Moved by a conviction stronger than yourself? Send angsty pro-tuna letters to Fisheries Ministers for Italy, France and Spain.
Tearing the chapter in irony out of theTruth.com's tattered playbook, Crowell Advertising brings us Fight the Ugly, home base to a lame-duck action figure named Smokerman.
Um, diggin' the 'stache.
See ads in which the action figure, stopping often to catch his breath, tries saving trains or disarming plastic bombs. The spots -- prepared for the Utah Department of Health -- will air during morning cartoons, where hopefully they stop kids from smoking as opposed to, oh, making the puff-puff seem fun.
- Be a GAMER. Made of steel. Video game school will show you how.
- The US Army is using webcasts by overseas soldiers to bait new recruits. The series is called -- wait for it! -- "Straight from Iraq." Soldiers are ready to take your questions.
- Keep up with Advergirl's social manifesto on how companies are using social media. It's illustrated!
- To remind us all how with-it and un-stodgy it is, Microsoft (I guess?) sends rats skydiving. Sick 'em, PETA.
by Angela Natividad