Allstate's Past Makes Prime Ad Opp


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


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.


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

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


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


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'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.'


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


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


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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'Behind every detail ... there's a detail.'


In "House of Cards," Lexus showcases its buttery engine and vibration absorbing capabilities with not one but many houses -- and towers and turrets and a single Parthenon -- of cards.

The mini-monuments are built over and around a jet-black Lexus, with final flourishes added by a concentric figure in jeans and wavy hair -- the kind of guy you'd expect might know something about cardplay -- just to prove the work is legitimately fragile.

As the narrator sets the stage ("What happens when you take one of the smoothest engines anywhere ... and add 88 separate measures to absorb vibrations?"), the engine starts, underscoring the punchline: "Absolutely nothing."

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by Angela Natividad    Feb- 3-09    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Commercials, Television

See (Almost) All the Super Bowl Commercials Before They Air


Yes. Yes. We have them all for you. Well, almost all and, to be clear, it's not really us that has them for you just pretend it it is, OK? Courtesy of Cast TV, most of what you'll see Sunday during the Super Bowl can be seen right here right now. Yes, some are teasers and all the Anheiser-Busch spots are missing but, hey, it's a pretty good collection.

Our favorite? The Doritos Power of Crunch commercial.

by Steve Hall    Jan-30-09    
Topic: Commercials, Super Bowl 2009

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