If there seems to be a theme at SXSW this year regarding brands "going big," that theme has played out in the panel sessions as well. Yes, SXSW has a Film component to it at as but until a few years ago, Film and Interactive remained separate. Each year, the two merge closer together. Those of us in advertising, of course, are not surprised. We've been obsessed with celebrity endorsement since anyone can remember.
In a panel called Banking on Big Brands/Celebs for the Web, actor Kevin Pollak, former NBA basket ball player and actor Rick Fox, AOL's Amber Lawson and Innovative Artists' David Tochterman discussed the merits of brands hooking up with celebrities to promote products. With funny asides and a few F bombs dropped in, Pollak brought much needed levity to the panel which was filled with the usual rhetoric regarding celebrity endorsement, product placement and whether or not branded content is an ad or not.
What celebrity endorsement boils down to is simple. And complicated all at the same time. Basically, if all parties involved "feel" the pairing will work, it's a go. There's no science to it at all apart from the fact a celebrity may have an affinity for a particular product which can then be leveraged in an endorsement. And that's really all the hour long panel boiled down to.
We had the pleasure of meeting Fox later in the day when he and his girlfriend, Eliza Dushku attended at Mr. Youth sponsored event at 219 West. He is one tall dude and Eliza is as cute is real life as she is on screen. Sadly, we were not allowed to take pictures during the event.
London-based creative agency (Beta) - yes, the parentheses are part of their name - is set to launch a series of TV ads for online bingo site Jackpotjoy.com, in support of Comic Relief's Red Nose Day.
English actress Barbara Windsor appears as the 'Queen of Bingo' to encourage people to play specially created Red Nose Day games. This is the first year Jackpotjoy.com is an official supporting partner of Comic Relief, with all profits raised donated to Comic Relief.
Breaking March on ITV, a series of commercials will feature Windsor at home surprising a host of celebrity callers including her Carry On co-star Leslie Phillips and old Eastenders enemy Larry Lamb. New celebrities will be revealed in different ads leading up to Red Nose Day on March 18.
All we can say is that this is some very weird and wacky work.
Good God! Between her bulging boobs and her sing-song, come-hither voice, who would ever realize Kim Kardashian was actually trying to sell us something? We can't get past the imagery of her sitting right on...uh...in front of us just talking. About anything. Anything at all.
OK. Back to business. Yes, in this particular case, Kim Kardashina is, indeed, selling us something. She's selling us that strange looking and sicky-sweet tasting liquor called Midori. Hate the stuff. But if Kim's selling, we're...wait...what were we talking about? Oh right. Kim Kardashian's boobs.
No wait. Sorry. We got confused there for a minute. Kim Kardashian wants us to drink Midori. She thinks it's a fashion accessory. And it tastes good. And it's not too strong. And now that she's 30, she's decided to drink. And, for Midori, that's a very good thing.
Random trivia: Kim thinks her best physical feature is her eyes. And she can't even say that without laughing.
Hahahaha! Dirty Dancing Babies! Classic. Yea, that and a kick to the nuts, a rainbow, lip syncing, puppies and, yes...a sex tape!
Yes. The viral video has come full circle and gone mainstream. In a new video from SmartWater, Jennifer Aniston tells us all about SmartWater...and how to make a viral because, well that's how we have to sell things these days. We can't just do the obvious thing like, oh, just tell people about the product and why it might be good for them.
Nope. We need entertainment. babies. Stupid pet tricks. Ans sex tapes!
- Gossip Girl's (and more recently and more worthy, The Town's) Blake Lively is fronting a new Chanel campaign.
- Agency Art Director Lance Vining, along with some friends, has launched First-Stop.org, a site that will feature the work of illustrators, painters and photographers as well as urge the same group to send fewer paper-based promotional mailers to agencies. Ha! Nothing like saying we love you and we hate you at the same time.
- Arnold is marrying traditional outdoor and Foursquare with a promotion that offers a chance to win a trip to next year's Mardis Gras for checking in during this year's Mardis Gras.
New work from Gotham, Jason Bateman's production studio DumbDumb and Ben Silverman's studio Electus for Denny's brings us Always Open, an online celebrity talk show of sorts. Hosted by comedy actor David Koechner, the series debuted today and has Bateman and Koechner exchanging some witty banter at a local Denny's.
Future episodes will feature Will Arnett, Sarah Silverman, Amy Poehler, Will Forte and - oh yes - Kristen Bell. The content of each three minute video will center around questions asked by Koechner of the various celebrities with the resulting videos distributed on College Humor, Denny's website, Bateman's DumbDumb, YouTube, Facebook and other platforms.
Right in line with the insanity that is the Charlie Sheen Saga, the Two and a Half Men star has hooked up with Celebu-tweet company Ad.ly and could earn a million dollars in his first year of sponsored tweets. Of course that's a drop in the bucket compared to what he currently earns but it never hurts to have a back up plan. Especially when you're Charlie Sheen.
As you may have heard, Sheen gained a million followers in the 25 hours and 17 minutes following his opening a Twitter account.
Global talent and licensing entity GreenLight released its Ad Gauge study which found a 500 percent increase in celebrity endorsement commercials during last night Academy Awards broadcast. About one quarter (24%) of this year's ads took the celebrity endorsement approach.
But if you're scratching your head wondering why that figure is so high and why you can't recall seeing many celebrities in the ads, Greenlight VP David Reeder informs, "Brands and Hollywood are back in bed after the recession, but they are going about it in noticeably simpler and more understated ways. With so many stars featured during the show itself, brands decided not to try to compete and focused on more subtle integrations like voiceovers and existing footage of celebs rather than bombastic endorsements."
We love how headlines scream, "Celebrity Bares All For Brand X," when, in fact, the celebrity hasn't bared anything at all and her private parts are quite well covered. Which, like every other celebu-shoot, is exactly how this Bulgari's Mon Jasmin Noir photoshoot with Kirsten Dunst went down.
Of course, the headline "Celebrity Drapes Cloth Over Boobs and Crotch For Brand X" doesn't carry nearly the desired punch.
- More super hot Megan Fox offering up her bootyliciousness for Emporio Armani.
- More CK One idiocy from Calvin Klein.
- Contiki is out with a Facebook competition offering trips to Italy, the Greek Islands and New Zealand.
- And, yea, here's the Gisele Bundchen ad in which her hotness is completely ignored by her husband in favor of what's on SKY HDTV.
- Saatchi LA has launched the third round of its Toyota Sponsafier challenge, a contest that allows NASCAR fans to design their own Sprint Cup car.