A few years ago we met a farmer who lost his wife to Lou Gehrig's disease. The process was short but painful: it hit her all of a sudden, and took her in a matter of months.
He ended up publishing their story under the title When the Music Stopped. When we asked why he chose it, he explained that Lou Gehrig's -- or Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) -- functions by depriving you first of the muscles you use most. It spreads rapidly to the rest of your body, and finally ends in death. His wife was a piano player; in her case, things began falling apart when she could no longer play.
Imagine it: the slow dismantling of your life, beginning with the loss of your smallest, dearest pleasures. It's a terrible thing to hear, and a worse thing to experience first- or second-hand.
That's the crux of "Head and Shoulders," a powerful ad released by the ALS Society of Canada. Put together by Lowe Roche to the playful, active tune of "head and shoulders, knees and toes," it makes you privy to a father and his family as their universe spirals into painful stillness ... along with him.
As the economy struggles out of the hinterlands of recession and Just General Suckiness, Volkwagen takes advantage of the French's irresistible inclination to remind the world it knew better all along.
Witness while a group of compulsive junk bond junkies try ridding themselves of their nasty addiction. Think AA, except with tailored suits instead of flannel.
Our favourite is "Exorcist," possibly because purging unregulated capitalism is the closest we'll ever come to watching a businessman give birth: "SUBPRIME! Dol-LARRRRR..."
While convincing people to travel in groups - ie. on the bus - probably wouldn't go over too well in America what with our automotive obsessions and all but Duval Guillaume, for Flemish transportation company De Lijn, hopes to convince the Belgian Dutch otherwise.
The agency, like many others, employed the use of cute cuddly animals to make their point. In one commercial, a firefly realizes many lights are better than one and in another, a group of penguins foil a killer whale's attempt at having breakfast.
Boy do we have a spot for you. Nescafe's "More Beans, More Taste" features "over one tonne of beans," shooting into the air a la the Bellagio Fountains, to the tune of "Che interminabile audirivieni" from comic opera Don Pasquale.
The weird thing is, for something with all that going on, it just kinda falls flat. Maybe it's because watching dancing water isn't that fun in the first place, and is really only marginally so in person. Or maybe it's because it's Nescafe.
Not completely sure what to make of this one. For pizza franchise Mr. Jim's, AdWise put together this weird ad where founder Mr. Jim goes head-to-head with "Doughby," his dough-making robot.
In the space of :30 they start randomly arguing about whether it's dough, or "the toppings and the crust!", that makes a pizza great.
But given that crust is composed of dough, and the company slogan is "It's the crust!", I guess Doughby wins. Or both win. Or maybe it doesn't matter, and we should all hit Pizza Hut for some stuffed-crust action, because that's really more our speed.
Two days ago we mentioned Radiohead was donating one of its songs to a homeless shelter. Last night we got the footage.
The song is Videotape from In Rainbows, but the ad itself is called "House of Cards" -- the name of another In Rainbows track. Only the melody is used, adding an urgent tempo to a panning shot of a city, where a number of homes and skyscrapers are composed of cards that slowly begin to plummet.
So, ya know, you're strolling down the beach like one of those idiots with a metal detector - which is just an excuse to ogle sunbathers in bikinis - and suddenly you see a dude decked out in ski wear sliding up the beach. Huh? Then one falls out of the sky and lands on your head. Huh?
Yes. Mammoth Mountain just got closer thanks to the addition of one hour flights from Los Angeles. From bikinis to moguls in one hour flat. Not bad at all.
Yes, the Super Bowl is Over. Yes, all those Doritos ads seem to have garnered all the love they'd hoped to achieve. And, yes, there are still a lot of consumer-generated Crash the Super Bowl commercials floating around. Here's one from Lavirale which makes fun for former President Bush's relationship with pretzels.
It's pretty clear why this one wasn't chosen for Super Bowl airing. Or why it's not even listed as a contender on the Doritos Crash the Super Bowl site.
The Ad Store just sent us a plethora of new Zappos spots for spring/summer and fall/winter 2009.
"Step into Zappos" picks up where "Put a Little Zappos in Your Day!" left off. The latter featured a chipper delivery guy bringing sunshine and rainbows to a neighborhood; these spots riff off the glee infusion you get when you finally open that package.
Underpants-clad customers are pictured either standing in a Zappos box or walking into one. Putting on their best Vanna Whites for the camera, they either reveal their purchases or lift the box over themselves -- at which point they are suddenly transformed into fully-dressed Citizens of Society.
The new Kia Soul is so compelling you will want to look deeper. And to depict this in the most obvious way possible, Publicis/Toronto came up with "Peer Into a Soul."
Each spot tackles the concept with a different film genre, a gimmick meant to appeal to people who want something more from their car marketers.
The campaign DP is Robert Yeoman, who worked on The Royal Tenenbaums, Life Aquatic and The Squid and the Whale, so we naturally expected the pieces to ooze some sub-normal slice-of-lifishness -- like that feeling you get when a joke's been told but was so subtle you didn't laugh, and now all the hipsters know you Do Not Belong.
The humor here isn't quite that sublime (and for good reason -- they're car ads, after all), but the choice of music definitely oozes Yeoman.