Men Don't Always Want Their Equipment to be Bigger

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There isn't much that skeeves a guy out more than alluding to testicular injury and that's the nut this PSA from the Government of Ontario cracks. Calling attention to the apparent return of Mumps, the PSA highlights the isolation required when Mumps is detected and some of the weighty symptoms that con come with the disease.

by Steve Hall    Feb- 9-09    
Topic: Cause, Commercials, Strange



HR Block Does Oddvertising Thing.

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Because really, three cyclopses and a wheelbarrow of cash should be all it takes to convince you H&R Block is the tax refund brand of choice.

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by Angela Natividad    Feb- 9-09    
Topic: Brands, Commercials, Promotions, Strange, Television



Allstate's Past Makes Prime Ad Opp

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Here's something we didn't know: Allstate was founded in 1931 and has weathered nine recessions.

Taking advantage of this illustrious history in "Back to Basics," baritone spokesman Dennis Haysbert tells dollar-skittish viewers that recession is a cure for frenzied overindulgence. Now is the time to have meals at home, that kind of thing. Later it all ties back into Allstate's "in good hands" tagline.

Work by Leo Burnett and production firm GARTNER.

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by Angela Natividad    Feb- 9-09    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Commercials, Television



Healthcare Provider Offers Help to Those Injured In Super Bowl Ads

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Now this is good. Massachusetts health insurer Fallon Community Health Plan took advantage of Super Bowl advertising "violence" using it to hype their health coverage. With simple type on a white background, Newburyport agency Mechanica recounts the 14 commercials and 31 people who, after their appearance in a super Bowl commercial, may need to see a doctor. The ad concludes with "We just hope they all have good health coverage."

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by Steve Hall    Feb- 7-09    
Topic: Commercials, Good, Super Bowl 2009



Because Penguins Fans Are Just Loyal Like That.

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Cenergy/East Aurora recently put together "In the Game," a triage of spots for the Pitsburgh Penguins. Each depicts a Penguin fan testifying to the degree of his/her loyalty in random, occasionally inappropriate places.

Once in awhile the characters toss in a statement meant to make them relatable to tech users, like "I will sign off Facebook!" and "I will ask complete strangers to check their PDAs!"

Each breathily concludes, "...because no matter where I am, I'm in the game." Around this time you're supposed to be so into the Penguins that you wanna buy tickets, so a cinematic voiceover invites you to visit pittsburghpenguins.com.

We're not convinced sports fandom is really an impulse-buy kinda thing. And the fans are so ordinary that the incentive to follow them into Penguinsville is totally lost. Probably would've been a better campaign if the camera eye focused on the unique merits of the team and players; less so on three forgettable groupies.

Ads below.

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by Angela Natividad    Feb- 6-09    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Commercials, Television



Wellington Zoo Offers Climactic Valentine's Day

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Unless you want the rest of your co-workers to think your having a bit of afternoon delight in your cubicle, you might want to turn the volume down or wear earphones before viewing this climactic commercial from Wellington Zoo courtesy of Saatchi & Saatchi.

The blissful exuberance is all to promote Valentine's Day at the zoo which has put together a 17-plus night out including gourmet treats, a live band and, of course the animals. There's no word on whether or not the animals will "perform" during the festivities.

by Steve Hall    Feb- 5-09    
Topic: Commercials, Good, Racy, Video



ESPN's 'Homophobic Fist Kiss' Lays Fist Bump to Rest

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Ah...the fist bump. That manly expression of...well, who the fuck knows? The whole fist bump thing is stupid, awkward and dumb. And has become even more so since Agency.com's Subway video.

It has nothing to do with homophobia, as some have dubbed it when called a "fist kiss" in this Shaquille O'Neal and Mike Breen ESPN commercial, rather everything to do with some men's odd desire to appear "yo, dude" cool or something. It's just dumb.

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by Steve Hall    Feb- 5-09    
Topic: Cause, Celebrity, Commercials, Opinion



'Look at that Detailing. That is a Sweet Ride, Right There.'

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Last week we reviewed a St. Lukes ad for IKEA's PAX wardrobe, which wordlessly depicted women being jostled about in an ongoing quest for safe haven.

In response, zig sent us its take on PAX. "Garagetalk" airs in Canada and was adapted in Germany. The vibe's completely different, but it still ties PAX to women and our apparently insatiable need for ambient shoe space.

Easing a friend into her PAXed-out closet with a casual "Welcome to the Jane-zone" (wince!), one chick shows off her wardrobe space with the attitude men adopt over modded "bachelor" garages. In case you miss the cues, concluding text wryly reads, "Men have the garage. Women have the PAX wardrobe."

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by Angela Natividad    Feb- 5-09    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Commercials, Packaging, Television



Sean Penn Rolls Out the Money For Hungry Children

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With a supremely effective visual, this PSA for the United Nations World Food Program in which Sean Penn illustrates how, comparatively speaking, cheap it would be to feed every hungry school child for a year makes a powerful statement.

With the Wall Street plan costing $700 billing, the Iraq war costing $600 billion and the European stimulus plan costing $200 billion euros, the $3 billion dollars needed to feed hungry children for a year seems quite affordable.

by Steve Hall    Feb- 4-09    
Topic: Cause, Celebrity, Commercials, Good



Western Union Delivers World Peace With Floating Yellow Blobs

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Don't you love those commercials that paint the world as a place in perfect harmony? Where everyone is happy? Where children play together happily? Where everyone is optimistic?

While it always seems to be asking too much, that didn't stop Publicis Hong Kong from creating this feel-good Western Union commercial in which floating blobs of yellow form the word "yes" reaffirming that, yes, life does move forward and people are saying yes to a brighter future.

Oh, and Western Union is there to help that happiness happen.

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