This ad works on a couple of levels. First, and quite obviously, it states simply the name of the advertiser and provides a URL to the advertiser's site. Second, it ever so perfectly winks at the likely reaction many will have to the ad with their attention drawn not to anything mobile but to a couple of things global bulging outward threatening to escape their tenuous confines.
OK so here it is. And it's nowhere near as good as the Kevin Federline version. Yes, it's the Sanjaya Malakar version of the ongoing "you're a has been" Nationwide Insurance ad campaign. In the Malakar version, Sanjaya travels to India to seek advice from the Gurucci (sp?). Hmm. Is that like some sort of inside joke? A mashup up Guru and Gucci?
Anyway, the Gurucci's advice couldn't be more perfect. When Sanjaya asks what the most important thing is in life, Gurucci replies, "A good retirement plan...and a hair cut."
Photographer: Jessica, can you unsnap one more button for me?
Jessica: Like this?
P: Yea. Now put your left hand on the bale of hay...
J: What's a bale of hay?
P: Uh...it's that rectangular, straw-like thing...
J: Rectang...oh...like that square thing?
P: No, the rec...never mind. Yea, the square thing.
J: Like this?
P: Yea. Now lean left, sit up straight and stick your chest out.
J: You want to see my boobs?
P: Well, yes....uh...sorry...I mean no. I mean I...yea...no...just some cleavage.
J: Is this good?
P: Just a little bit more?
J: But the next button might pop open..wouldn't that be too much boob?
P: Girl, there's no such thing as too much boob...except this is an ad...not a Playboy shoot.
J: They're 34D, you know
"Everyone has something to reveal. They just need to be unbuttoned," Levi's croons, crowning its "Unbuttoned" campaign for the classic 501 jeans with "spoonfuls of soul and swagger" (I just love that line). On personal subsites, three artists -- Estelle, Nikka Costa and Wale -- describe why they became musicians and pass on a free track for users to download.
Each MP3 has a different sound, but they all feel big and breezy. (Slightly off-topic, isn't it nice to see so many companies share downloadable ear candy? It's like trick-or-treating, except with iTunes instead of a pillowcase.)
Music isn't all Levi's is baring. Other celebs with something to share include the adorable Jamie Bestwick, who's giving away a free BMX video, and there's a Perez Hilton giveaway coming in September. (They gave us the link, but it's still doorknob-dead.) What Perez is giving away I'm sure I don't know, considering his two cents always come free.
- It's the best of this year's Plaid Nation tour! Diggin' the chick who says plaid is God's favorite color.
- Anna Kournikova's still around. I like how her Maxim bio reads, "Before simply being superhot, Anna was a superhot tennis player." Put "simply being superhot" on your resume next time you get shafted, then see who throws sponsorship money at you.
- Naked guy runs across America.
- Last Visa "Go World" spot by TBWA/Chiat/Day. Michael Phelps: he keeps going and going and going and going...
- Check out Google minus Google. Running a search without getting results from YouTube, Blogger, or Knol feels sort of ... fresh.
Ever since the movie Empire Records, Liv Tyler (and that not so unknown actress by the name of Renee Zellweger) have served those in need of eye candy quite well. In movies. On the red carpet. And in ads.
Last week, Gap broke a new campaign featuring, among others, Liv Tyler. You can check out all the photoshoot goodness here. She's still looking good.
One-time babykiller Gary Oldman is
back on the hunt -- this time, for glory. Following in the footsteps of Rosario Dawson and Neil Patrick Harris, the actor is starring in his own web series, The Gloryhunter.
UPDATE: Looks like Oldman's not in The Gloryhunter after all. (We never got to see it; Silverlight is not our friend.)
Oldman appears in an ad for ITV's live football (that is, soccer) programming. See ad.
So weird seeing Oldman kick soccer balls around after trying to off Natalie Portman in a bathroom. Guess that's the way of things.
- Diggin' these Beijing Olympics-based efforts for Mini Cooper and Samsung. Well, the Samsung one might have confused me if I saw it in person, but the Mini rickshaw thing is pretty dope.
- Should Starbucks engage in latte art? American coffee snobs, a subculture Starbucks helped create, would probably argue yes -- if it's at all serious about maintaining luxury cachet. (Which I increasingly doubt it is.)
- More Michael Phelps ads by Visa. PS -- Phelps scored a perfect eight gold medals in the Olympics this summer. It's so exciting, I'm starting to get spam about it.
- So I guess Verizon is not that into disco.
- Rainbow tribe daddy Brad Pitt is launching a body wash in partnership with Kiehl's. The product will cost $16.50 market, he'll appear in no ads, and 100 percent of profits will go to JPF Eco Systems, a green charity he and Kiehl's started together. How sweeeeet.
To honor the legacy of John Lennon, Ben & Jerry's have launched Imagine Whirled Peace, an ice cream flavor loaded with toffee cookies and fudge peace signs.
Upload shots of yourself in a peace mosaic at the Imagine subsite. (You know, like the song. Note Lennon specs on twitchy cow.) The ice cream company also partnered with The Lennon Estate and Peace One Day to host a bed-in, nodding to Lennon and Yoko Ono's lavishly-covered bed-in for peace -- a golden opportunity to lie around all day, preach peace, and play King and Queen Meet Lowly Serfs with scandalized reporters and photographers.
More here about how Ben & Jerry's poaches the Baby Boomers by canonizing idols with frozen treats. Frankly though, I've always been the Phish Food kind.
On Visa's behalf, Morgan Freeman congratulates US Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps "on having won more gold medals than anybody EVAR." The ad started airing hours after Phelps exceeded his own expectations of winning eight gold medals -- seizing his 10th on Tuesday. (He is now up to 11.)
Don't tell me they didn't have this bad-boy lying in wait, because I seriously doubt Freeman looked up from his gardening or whatever to go, "Oh! Phelps delivered the goods, I think I'll put together another sepia montage and say 'Good job' all over the world."
A recent Nielsen Online buzz tracking study found Phelps is the most-discussed Olympian athlete online. And on TV last night, I found out Phelps' wingspan is 6'7" -- THREE INCHES WIDER than he is tall. Also, his feet bend 15 degrees more than the average swimmer, making them more flippery or something.
UPDATE: Everyone seems to think I hate this ad. I don't. I think it was crafty of Visa to have it on the pipeline, I think it was a lovely way to fist-bump Phelps, and I think the campaign as a whole is a positive step away from the mediocre "Life Takes Visa" stuff we've been seeing. There. Please feel free to untwist your underpants.