It's always a little difficult to gauge the quality of advertising from other countries, but "Don't Disturb the Ones Working" -- an ad for the Norwegian Association of the Blind -- really threw us for one.
In it, a handful of perplexed service workers are interrupted mid-job by clueless passersby, which either pay them infantile compliments ("Aww, what a cutie!") or try getting them to do tricks. For example, one game-faced dad pulls out a round squidgy ball and tries making a bus driver play catch.
In an all out effort to accost, uh, make the public aware of its new logo and celebrate the "next generation's" apparent positive outlook for the coming year, Pepsi has unleashed itself upon Times Square with a week-long promotional extravaganza.
This past weekend, Pepsi, with street teams and a Times Square billboard takeover, featured its new Refresh Everything message of hope, optimism and a world made perfect through the rose colored glasses of advertising. A new television commercial, Wordplay, also made its debut.
On Christmas day, One Laptop Per Child brought back the voice (if not the body) of Yoko Ono's beloved John Lennon.
OLPC's mission is to bring cheap, sturdy laptops to the world's poorest children. So paint your sympathetic face on as a freshly conviction-laden (if nasal) Lennon compares giving a child a laptop to the vision he shared through his music. At the end, the Walrus himself appears, piped in from the great beyond through a kid computer with Shrek ears.
Negroponte ought to learn from his profitable peers. Resuscitating a dead guy -- particularly one whose yearning for peace has been used to sell everything from diapers to ice cream -- never works in your favor, no matter how noble the intentions. In fact, it's about as disturbing as watching a demented technophile play puppeteer with a decomposing marionette.
With help from production firm Dictionary Films, Leo Burnett launched a TV spot for "Food Shouldn't Be a Luxury," an effort to encourage locals to donate supplies to the Greater Chicago Food Depository.
The ad's put together like a generic perfume ad, with occasional flashes of a boiling pot and some random pasta fondling. We seriously winced when the model sexily purred "Spaghetti" in her fake Kate Moss-for-Eternity voice, but it got the point across: Okay, okay! Food shouldn't be a luxury.
Make a donation or volunteer time at Every1Can.org. Unlike the prints (see first link), the spot doesn't invite users to text donations over. Not sure if that means the texting thing didn't pan out, or if Leo Burnett just doesn't think people keep phones nearby while watching TV.
Crispin's global conquest project for Burger King, where it scours the world in pursuit of "Whopper Virgins," is in full swing. Idle TV-trawling exposed us to taste test teasers in both Thai and Transylvanian villages.
This holiday season, Alltel reprises last year's concept -- vintage animation -- to push the superiority of its My Circle unlimited free calling plan. The ad features the carrier's Nick Nayloresque mascot Chad, yukking it up with Santa about how some people just don't get the meaning of Christmas.
And like last year, Alltel's effort falls in the shadow of Apple, which also pinned the old hero vs. villain dirge to an animated backdrop. Unlike the chill scruffy Mac, however, the guffawing greased-up Chad rings a lot less likable.
Production work by Bent Image Lab, agency Santo.
In yet another TD Bank ad featuring Regis and Kelly, Abraham Lincoln shares his (angsty, angsty!) feelings about being the face of the mostly-worthless penny.
Kelly -- who lacks the social delicacies to perceive this might be a dangerous topic -- seizes this opportunity to tell the audience that TD Bank loves pennies so much, "they'll count them and convert them to dollars for free."
Reminding us yet again that it's the best thing to ever happen to December, Target launched a swingy, charmed-life kinda ad for its Holiday Gift Finder.
In it, a postmodern Santa in a snowed-in aluminum tower locates the perfect gifts for Wifey, Child, Token Ethnic Friend and Skeptical Mother-in-Law, right from his laptop. Each present is beautifully wrapped and received with an acceptable degree of gratitude.
"That's Christmas wrapped!" quips an endorphin-soaked voiceover.
Because why ask over-obvious leading questions like "What do you want?" when you can pop psychographic data into a form, then peruse a list of age-appropriate products? Wow. Gifting is now as easy as advertising on Facebook.
We'd totally use the service, too, if FirstBank hadn't already handled our gift issues.
Scale Back Alabama is a yearly campaign to encourage state inhabitants to shake off some love handles. Those that register for the program, which is free, are encouraged to lose 10 pounds in 10 weeks -- which isn't improbable to do in a healthy way, provided you have resources and encouragement.
This year, Alabamans are getting a little help from Roger Shultz, a finalist from The Biggest Loser. To promote the effort, Luckie Underground -- the basement-confined baby brother of Luckie & Co. -- launched "Gettin' in Shape," a playful PSA with its own YouTube channel.
Witness while a very large dude dressed like the Heart of Dixie pumps iron and selects fruit with conviction, all under the peppy direction of Shultz.
See that victory dance at the top of the library steps? That could be you, my friend.
If only every house was this nice and every kid this cute. Wait, what? this is advertising. Of course every house is perfect and every kid a cutie. Especially if it's...a Walmart commercial? Hmm...maybe it's because everything at Walmart is so cheap everyone can actually afford to have a nice house.
The cute kids? Not sure Walmart has much control the cuteness of its customer's offspring. That power comes from, yes, an ad agency...where all kids are cute and perfect and where every slice of life tastes perfect.
Created by The Martin Agency, the spot, Christmas Morning, is airing this week. And for even more of the perfect life, check out the Stock Up on Joy, a microsite the agency created for Walmart and Coke.
Life. Is. Perfect.