Despite what 'Mad Men' Would Have You Believe, Things Back Then Sucked.

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To promote its pension plan, AMF uses tact and a tongue-in-cheek tang to explore the actual merits of the good old days.

We were hooked from the first scene, where a kid with a dated haircut is stuck in the car with his chainsmoking parents. But the scenarios just kept getting better. Think life before Lisa! Think dinner pre-pizza.

The voiceover wraps with a niggling question: "Were the good old days really that good ... or do things get better and better all the time?" (We're really glad Forsman & Bodenfors resisted the temptation to license the Beatles.)

On-screen text: "Funds for the future. AMF Pension."

NICE!

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by Angela Natividad    Feb-23-09    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Commercials, Good, Television



Pro-Skaters Call Foul on BBDO Content Rip

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From the Adrants mailbag:

My skater friends have been sending me a link all day long that shows a blatant - and I mean blatant - BBDO rip off of a [Spike Jonze] directed skateboard video [...]. The original was from the most popular skate video in years, but obviously, someone's creative director hadn't seen it:

o Original, and far superior.

o The fraud.

The only way that is legit, would be if Spike did it himself... but quality-wise, it just doesn't stand up.

The ad labeled "the fraud" was put together by BBDO Mexico for Snickers, oddly enough. Pro-skaters Steve Berra and Eric Koston are so pissed about the Spike Jonze rip-off that they posted it on their blog and are trying to drum up some righteous rage.

More on this over at Agency Spy, which has a translation for the Mexican Snickers spot as well as comment from Berra.

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by Angela Natividad    Feb-20-09    
Topic: Agencies, Bad, Campaigns, Celebrity, Commercials



Army of Flight Attendants Tout Utility Company Benefits

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So...what do you do if you are a boring electric utility no one really cares about yet, for some reason, you still need to spend money on marketing? You go hire an army of women dressed like flight attendants and choreograph them Chinese Olympic Closing Ceremony-style in industrial situations which, somehow, is supposed to explain how great the utility is.

Oh, and before we forget, the utility in question is Holland's RWE and the agency behind the work is Amsterdam agency THEY.

by Steve Hall    Feb-20-09    
Topic: Commercials, Strange



Scion Whips Out Fresh Sample for xD

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Here's "Samples xD," the latest spot from Scion's fresh-out "Samples" effort. The latter launched in January and features car customizations mashed-up to the din of mixed beats.

From ATTIK CD Simon Needham: "These newest ads energetically combine actual owners' xBs, xDs and tCs with stock models in ways that convey the distinct personalities of Scion's vehicles and their owners - while also showing how their individuality ties them together."

Metaphor for life if we ever heard one. Sound design -- a mere window-shopper to Aphex Twin's Window Licker -- by Face the Music.

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by Angela Natividad    Feb-20-09    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Commercials, Television



NBA's Al Harrington Offers Up Animation For Kmart Kicks

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From George Parker's favorite agency, Draft/FCB, comes this recent commercial for Kmart which hypes the Al Harrington-designed $34.99 Protege sneaker. Working with Draft/FCB, production company Superfad did some live action and animation work that was designed to be "an authentic representation of their [the shoes] origin."

In the spot, we have Harrington shooting hoops. He then talks directly to the camera while holding out his hand on which several animations depicting the shoes origin, its price point, its features and its performance characteristics. dance about.

by Steve Hall    Feb-20-09    
Topic: Celebrity, Commercials, Good



Old Spice Cures Tony Stewart's Escalator Phobia

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In this cockle-warming story about a hyperventilating geek who now wears onesies and gets his pick of trophies (both metal and collagen-enhanced), Tony Stewart reinforces the power of Swagger.* The Old Spice product previously de-geeked Brian Urlacher and LL Cool J.

Actually, LL Cool J's still pretty square. Sometimes getting all muscly to stop being square will only make you squarer.

But we digress. What were we talking about? Oh yeah, the Swagger campaign. It's starting to feel a little less highlariously kitsch-tacular and more like Axe/Lynx. Which sucks because once upon a time, both brands were uniquely neat, and now they're almost exactly alike, except Old Spice is too red and Axe/Lynx is too potent.

Work by Wieden + Kennedy/Portland -- which succeeded, as always, in stimulating provocative discussion on YouTube.

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Baseball Classic Takes its Message to the Global Village

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There's something about watching people represent their countries in some sporting cause that makes you thirst to be represented yourself. That's the card ESPN plays in "My Team," a global marketing effort for the '09 World Baseball Classic ("March 5th to the 23rd!").

Famous faces in the ad, representing in their own tongues and everything, include Jorge Cantu, Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez and Ichiro Suzuki. We felt the compulsion to wave a flag, or at least one of those giant signs shaped like an index finger, and we don't even like baseball.

Produced by ESPN and agency DCode. The spot falls under the catchy slogan "National pastime. International stars," which went live on February 14. English/Spanish print, online, radio and outdoor executions will roll out after February 23.

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by Angela Natividad    Feb-20-09    
Topic: Commercials, Television



Is That An Animation Biting My Ass?

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Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, San Francisco is out with another Sprint NASCAR commercial and, thankfully, there are no short shorts in the one. This one's called Speedway and it hypes the NASCAR Sprint Series and the ability to watch it on your Sprint phone.

Having just caught Tom Cruise's Days of Thunder on cable recenlty, we can identify with the on-track mania depicted in this commercial. Though we're not entirely clear why Goodby decided to get MassMarket to visual effectify the spot into something resembling a video game. Oh alright, we'll agree it's far more interesting that just watching "regular" cars crash into each other and it does capture the take-no-prisoners competitive aspect of the sport.

by Steve Hall    Feb-20-09    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Commercials, Good



Ominous Helen Bamber Ads Highlight Abuse and Trafficking

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JWT Dubai recently created two spots for the Helen Bamber Foundation. In one, Vows, a couple stand before a priest as if you exchange vows. Vows are certainly exchange but they are not of the normal variety.

In another, Auction, a room full of seedy-looking rich people continue to outdo each other's bids for the auctioned item onstage...which turns out to be a child.

Both spots do a decent job of twisting your perceptions and creating a sense of suspense.

by Steve Hall    Feb-20-09    
Topic: Campaigns, Cause, Commercials, Good



Ibiza Targets the Skaters of Yesteryear

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"Skaters," an ad for the Seat Ibiza, features a beautiful cover of Forever Young that made us tuck a chin in our collective hand and sigh, because we were thinking about Freaks and Geeks and childhood in general. Vintage footage of kids on skateboards only fueled the cozy flames of nostalgia.

Then there was this awkward cut to a car. Everything changed: the feel of the ad, the imagery, the sounds. And then our souls, which were floating up somewhere above our heads, collapsed onto concrete.

We get what agency Atletico International, and production company Agosto, wanted to do: tie the Ibiza into youth and freedom, personify that spirit in a vehicle that in some ways is decidedly less whimsical. (Not much wind in your hair, no risk of elbow-scrapes.)

But it could have been done better.

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by Angela Natividad    Feb-19-09    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Commercials, Television










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