Lately I can't turn the TV on without running into an ad for the Pickens Plan, T. Boone Pickens' $58 million attempt to liberate the US from its sordid addiction to foreign oil.
Interesting things about Pickens and this campaign:
o Pickens is an oil magnate. (Can you hear the crows going "OMG! OMG!"?) Soon, he'll be a wind magnate too.
o The ads are totally finance-focused. Pickens hardly says the e-word ("environmental") at all.
If you carry a knife, you risked being stabbed by your own blade. Most likely wielded by Evil You from Mirror World.
The spot was put together by AMV BBDO for the Tower Hamlets Council, which is concerned about "rising!" knife crime and convinced people won't stop carrying blades unless they believe they're disproportionately likely to trip, fall and impale themselves.
Bet that pansy-ass excuse didn't stop Genghis Khan, though. (Yeah, I know that's not Genghis, but it's a pretty rad picture.)
Most sobering situations could use an inappropriate joke. Contributing to Stand Up to Cancer's "This is where the end of cancer begins" campaign, celebrities use donated airtime to make laughter, not bummer. See spots:
"Cancer patients and their chemo-induced baldness have stolen the sympathy that is rightfully mine." And that's why Larry David can't get laid.
Meanwhile, Henry Winkler plays cancer in the style of Epuron's infuriating Wind guy. "Did I bite you? ... I didn't mean to." Ahh. That Fonzie's still a riot after all these years.
More videos at the Stand Up to Cancer website, including one where the Daily Show says FU to cancer, and one where Katie Couric ... well, "Katie Couric" should be enough to make you laugh, actually.
For the Looking Glass Foundation, which assists adolescents with eating disorders, DDB, Canada launched a PG-rated but poignant awareness campaign in British Columbia.
The "Pencil Marks" PSA features a girl charting her waist-slimming progress with pencil marks on a wall. The agency also distributed broken toothbrushes in baggies that read, "Attempting to purge, Jane B. broke a toothbrush off in her throat and choked."
See, if you're gonna be all pro-Mia, you need to get over your squeamies and use a finger.*
The DHSMV and the Florida Rider Training Program are looking for cool ways to get bikers to dress more visibly. So they launched Ride Proud Dress Loud.
The associated print ad campaign -- put together by Kidd Group -- features bikers in various shades of yikes! and oh my!. There's also some wince-worthy flaming-leather action. Great balls indeed.
More ads here.
Our source at Kidd says a lot of hardcore bikers are pissed about the campaign. Well hell, sour grapes, it could always be worse. Good stuff from Kidd though. I like a little colour on my burly man.
Treehugger sent us news that the ad at left, which depicts a Volkswagen Polo Blue Motion chained to a bike rack, violates EU law by failing to disclose fuel consumption and CO2 emissions data.
And it isn't just the one piece. All creative from VW's current campaign, which promotes its "environmentally friendly technology," is being challenged by the Association for Protection of the Environment and Nature of Germany (BUND) as illegal under the above stipulation.
Not to say the VWs aren't actually fuel efficient; apparently, though, you can get your wrist slapped for not making it clear enough. Weird world.
It's getting really painful to write about the Truth campaign. It's become so horrifically bad, it makes one want to digitize one's hand, shove it deep inside the internets until it finds the neck of the entity that created this horror show, squeeze really really hard and put the entity out of its misery. You know who you are Arnold and CPB people! Do you seriously believe this stuff is any good? Damn, it makes one wish you'd bring Derek Beckles back!
Fans of the irony-soaked music from the Sunny Side of Truth campaign can now mash them up, courtesy of a new Truth project called "ReMix."
Actual DJs and artists on the spin include Cobra Starship, Diplo, DJ Kaskade, Mix Master MIke and DJ Sega. Users can share tracks via mobile and download a complete album from the link above. So go do that, because you know you love yourself some free shit.
- To jazz up its Wimbledon sponsorship, HSBC commissioned two artists to make photographs out of growing grass. Brings a freakish new angle to "watching grass grow."
- Cleveland-based? Go be a patriot. A green patriot.
- Former CEO Carly Fiorina of Hewlett Packard is among the contenders for VP under McCain. George Parker is hella bummed.
European mobile carrier Orange has launched a phone charger powered by dance energy.
"The Orange Dance Charge is the result of months of research into alternate, sustainable energy sources to power mobile phones during summer music festivals," says the pressie with a straight face.
The unit was developed with help from GotWind, whose unfortunate name refers to renewable energy research, not the thing that happens when you pull Uncle's finger. The charger's system of weights and magnets provides an electrical current when a person flails about.
Orange Dance Charge was tested at the Glastonbury Festival last month. A promotional Dance Charging Man helped newbs charge phones in exchange for a dance.
Yeah, I've fallen for that one before. Just one dance, baby ... and I'll give you a charge, all right.