Mini Rickshaws, Verizon Hates Disco, Brad Pitt Works Up a Lather

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- 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.



World Peace Finally Gets Just Desserts

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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.

by Angela Natividad    Aug-15-08    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Celebrity, Online, Packaging, Strange



Visa Gives Michael Phelps its Brandtastic Congrats

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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.

by Angela Natividad    Aug-14-08    
Topic: Celebrity, Commercials, Good, Sponsorship, Television



Yo, Bitch! Britney is Back! And she's Looking Good!

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Britney Spears used to be cute. Britney Spears used to be adorable. Britney Spears used to be the hottest thing in the planet. The came K-fed. Then came baby. Then came Bald Britney. Then came the MTV Video Music Awards debacle. Then came....two commercial featuring an adorably cutre Britney Spears promoting this years MTV VMAs? Wait? What?

Yes. It seems our adorable cutie is back. And if she's going to remain adorably cute then what's not to love? Do we really want to fester in her trashy life or do we want to go back to worshiping her for being the hottest pop start on the planet? Wait. Don't answer that for fear you've all been adversely affected by the last five years of blogloid "journalism."

See the spots here and here.

by Steve Hall    Aug-13-08    
Topic: Celebrity, Good, Video



Tylenol Wants You to Feel Better Fast.

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Got a problem? What you need is a NASCAR driver who knows nothing about you and talks in metaphors. Try not to go racing out to buy Tylenol all at once.

Bravo, except not, to Deutsch/NY.

by Angela Natividad    Aug-12-08    
Topic: Bad, Brands, Campaigns, Celebrity, Online, Sponsorship



If the Olympics Can't Unite Mankind, What Will?

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The Olympics has a way of bringing the sap out in advertisers.

Visa's "Go World" campaign, no exception, trots Olympian trivia out to American viewers while convincing us these anecdotes aren't just important; they're a source of pride, a means to connect with the world by way of titanic achievement against insurmountable physical odds.

All this to win the synchronized high-dive? Yeah. See spots...

more »

by Angela Natividad    Aug-12-08    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Celebrity, Commercials, Events, Good, Television



In a Way, Isn't Paris Hilton Already Leading the Free World?

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In this Funny or Die exclusive, Paris Hilton responds to a recent McCain ad comparing Barack Obama to Britney Spears and herself.

I'm diggin' how Paris -- who announces her plans to run for President (and tap Rihanna for Veep) -- never mentions McCain by name. She only ever calls him "that wrinkly, white-haired guy" and "white-haired dude."

She also proposes an energy plan, which McCain campaign Spokesman Tucker Bounds called "obviously" better than Obama's. Way to take the higher ground, Paid Lackey of White-Haired Dude.

more »

by Angela Natividad    Aug-11-08    
Topic: Celebrity, Good, Political, Spoofs



Bottle Art Won't Make You Cooler. But If You're Already on a Modding-Spree, It Can't Hurt.

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When last we reviewed Mountain Dew's Green Label Art project, its trussed-up bottles were gleaning inspiration from mean tattoos and revisiting their hillbilly roots with artist Peat Wollaeger.

The bottle art in Green Label Art Volume 2 is slicker and more computer-graphicksy. There's also a batch of new proteges on call, including Mike Sutfin, who's done artwork for Dungeons & Dragons and skate brands like DC; and Mark Smith, CD at Jordan (yes, THE Jordan) Brand.

Smith's bottle design, Happy Heads, almost matches my Macbook Gelaskin (now with matching iPhone skins!). Beverage + tech coordination = total identification with the idle style aristocracy. Modding every item in your Muji bag may not send you to heaven, but it will distinguish you from the other cafe/cubicle cogs that also use Macs, own iPhones and drink cold beverages. And getting a foot in front of them is about as close to heaven as you can get if you're alive, agnostic, overpaid and insecure.

View galleries and artist videos, or create your own bottle art at the website (tutorial here).



Because Gold Can't Be Seized without Pain. Or Something.

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To supplement its "Impossible is Nothing" spots for the Beijing Olympics, Adidas busts out with a slightly retro set of prints titled "Gold is Not a Given."

Each piece features an Olympic athlete, training in Beijing six months before the game "in sub-zero temperatures." There's also some Nike-esque pontificating on the meaning of "gold." An example from the ad at left (featuring Haile Gebrselassie):

Gold is more than a colour. It's a dream to keep chasing. It's a dream to keep you going. It's a dream that sometimes gets put on hold. Gold is never a given.

Also see:

o Tyson Gay -- Gold can be lost in a flash. (1, 2)
o Allyson Felix -- Gold is not into predictions. (1, 2)
o Veronica Campbell-Brown -- Gold makes you wait. (1, 2)
o Jeremy Wariner -- Gold is the language of fastest. (1, 2)
o Yelena Isinbayeva -- Gold doesn't play favourites. (1, 2)

Totally different style from the Chinese ads, but in keeping with the grit-and-glory feel. Put together by Amsterdam (180\TBWA).

by Angela Natividad    Aug-11-08    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Celebrity, Events, Magazine



Hitler Tweets, Kanye Popped, Montauk Monster Demystified

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- It's another raging Hitler appropriation. This one's called "The Rise and Fall of Twitter." Given that we've had similar spittle-fits over Twitter's goddamn down time, it's pretty funny, actually.

- Some nights you just need to pop a Kanye into your glass.

- Lack of bear at Black Bear Diner.

- So I guess the Montauk Monster is a guerrilla effort for an indie movie called Splinterheads.

- British carrier TalkTalk is trying to help fight autism with a campaign called The Forever Story. Alongside the common man, authors like Nick Hornby will contribute to a story that's supposed to go on forever. For every contribution, TalkTalk will donate 1 pound (the currency) to a charity called Treehouse.










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