Chivas' Chivalrous Chivalry Leaves Us Wanting More


Euro RSCG is out with a new commercial for Chivas Regal. The agency was asked to "strengthen Chivas Regal's premium positioning in mature and emerging markets by giving it a strong and distinctive point of view."

The spot opens on a man trudging his way to work on a cloudy day in a sea of lemming-like people. He's clearly questioning his purpose in life as as he voiceover intones, "Millions of people. Everyone out for themselves. Can this really be the only way? No." And with that, the man turns and goes his own way.

The spot then toasts life with words and phrases such as gallantry, doing the right thing, giving a damn, straight talk, freedom, true meaning of wealth, the brave and "a code of behavior that sets certain men apart from all others."

And, finally, "Here's to us." Live With Chivalry.

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by Steve Hall    Dec- 1-08    
Topic: Commercials, Creative Commentary

What's that Underfoot? ...No, Not a Bell.


"We're opening more lanes than ever ... to make Christmas shopping easier!"

Given what happened at its Long Island location, I think it's sorta weird that WalMart's still airing this ad. I saw it at least eight times this weekend -- and each time, without fail, it brought to mind the Black Friday Death Trample.

In it, lights from open aisles flicker to the tune of Carol of the Bells, which always struck me as a semi-creepy song anyway. (Don't make me explain why.) But now it also rings with the heavy panting of crazed, slightly overweight bargain hunters, indelible red splatters ... and the cracking of bones.

The spot first aired during the 2007 holiday season. Co-workers claim a woman was trampled then too, but that's cool because she was "a repeat stampede faker, from what I read," one dutifully disclosed.

WalMart, what good are extra checkouts without an orderly entering and exiting process? Stampedes don't organize themselves.

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by Angela Natividad    Dec- 1-08    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Commercials, Promotions, Strange, Television

Adidas House Party A Celebrity Hipster-Fest


Everyone loves a good house party, right? Especially one with lots of good music, dancing, (drug-induced?) finger painting, pixie dust, fireworks, gambling and celebrities. So if this all came together and Russell Simmons, DMC (nice guy), Ilie Nastase, David Beckham, Kevin Garnett, Young Jeezy, Katy Perry, Estelle, Ting Tings, Missy Elliott, Jeremy Scott, Kazuki, Dynamo, Ryukyudisko, Afra, Method Man, Redman, Mark Gonzales showed up, it'd be the perfect party, right?

Sadly, it's just an ego-fueled, self-indulgent, hipsteresque celebu-fest akin to, oh, say, the recent AgencySpy party (kidding, Matt. Seriously!) masquerading as an Adidas commercial. And if this weren't enough, there's a two minute version of the commercial coming out after the New Year.

by Steve Hall    Dec- 1-08    
Topic: Campaigns, Celebrity, Commercials

Throw Your White in the Air Like LeBron!


For his signature sneaker the Zoom LeBron VI, "Chalk" lovingly exploits LeBron James' habit of throwing talcum powder into the air before each game. Watch as others follow suit -- with contagiously patriotic reverence -- to the slightly narcotic Candyman by Cornershop.

The spot aired on Thanksgiving day and features cameos by Greg Oden, LaMarcus Aldridge, Brandon Roy, Daniel Gibson, Anderson Varejao, J.J. Hicks and Lil' Wayne. By Cohn & Wolfe in tandem with Wieden & Kennedy/Portland.

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Just Imagine if 'The Network' Could Clone You.


It's common during the holidays to wish you could be many places at once: everywhere you're obligated to be, and everywhere you actually want to be. So instead of promoting the girth of its network, Vodafone claims it'll let you make the most of now.

In this ad, a guy on an iPhone traipses casually around town, doing everything he wants to, and ends up at the door of a booty call. (Well, I guess it could also be his sister.) Anyway, as he walks, he's joined by clones that have done still more.

Expect the song, Because I Do by Katie Sutherland, to stick with you awhile.

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by Angela Natividad    Dec- 1-08    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Commercials, Television

No, Even Lexus Can't Top the Big-Wheel Memory


Every holiday season Lexus busts out with a campaign featuring some pearl-coloured vehicle with a bow on top. Far from perfect -- whose pursuit Lexus claims to champion -- it's mediocre and irritating. Like weathered nativity scenes.

Last night we thought we saw something different. The comfortingly low-fi "Big Wheel" bears the consistency of old home videos or a classic holiday movie. In it, a kid with a new plastic trike faces us and cries, "Stop! What are you doing? You can't top the big-wheel memory!"

We ruminate on our own '80s-era big wheels as he reprises us on its merits: the freedom! The wind in your hair!

Then there's an awkward cut. The kid is a man, and now he's facing a Lexus -- with a bow. And we're like, "Fuck, this could have been so much better."

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by Angela Natividad    Nov-25-08    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Commercials, Television

Gay Marriage Should Not Be Such A Big Deal


Is it really that difficult to let two people who love each other live their lives they way they choose? After all, what business do people have sticking their noses into the business of others? Is it really so hard to just live one's life and allow others to live theirs without judgment? If two people love each other, who are we to judge?

While a marriage between two male priest performed by a female priest may not yet be as innocuous as the next, Swedish fashion designer Bjorn Borg asks us to envision such a world.

Must we be so judgmental of others? Can't we just appreciate the happiness and love shared between two people? Is it really that difficult?

by Steve Hall    Nov-25-08    
Topic: Best, Brands, Commercials

Levi's Brings Us Back to the First Time


Levi's is Ad Land's Lolita: perennially young, sexually voracious.

"First Time," a spot for the "Live Unbuttoned" campaign, holds that reputation up nicely. In it, two beautiful adolescents stand face to face in the open air, unbuttoning their jeans.

"You've never done this before, right?" she asks.

"No," he murmurs.

"It's my thirty-fourth time." O_O

They volley around a few more cliches: I'm scared. Don't you trust me? Then, after the long unbutton -- what's Levi's got against zippers? -- nuddified boy and girl take hands and leap off a high dock: as good a metaphor for losing your innocence as any.

Pretty work by the would-be John Hugheses at BBH/London. Good media placement, too: I saw it last night during Heroes, which is positively bursting with hormonal tension.

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by Angela Natividad    Nov-25-08    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Commercials, Television

A Crowd-Pleaser that's Fun to Sing. Nice Thinking, TAG!


I don't think I could properly describe "Lips" even if I wanted to. It's an ad for Xbox game Lips, which is pretty much karaoke for the Guitar Hero generation. (The microphone's motion sensitive, and you can select songs from your own collection.)

Agency TAG enlisted Tom Kuntz to conceive a strolling pair of lips, singing Take on Me and going about his business. Then he walks into a house party and traipses creepily up the sleeve of a guy who, right on cue, belts out the chorus to A-HA's greatest hit.

I don't know if it's the lips' cheer that got to me, or the natural seratonin-explosion resulting from Take on Me, but this is an insanely infectious spot. We loves it.

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by Angela Natividad    Nov-24-08    
Topic: Best, Brands, Campaigns, Commercials, Games, Television

Goblet of Stella > Legacy, Glory, Pride.


Two brothers duke it out in a tandem bike competition pour papa in Stella Artois' "The Race." Hijinks ensue when they drive over a nail and their chances of winning are dramatically decreased.

Instead of trucking on, the boys furtively decide to lift their spirits at a nearby pub. As they wrap their lovin' fingers around two glasses of Stella, they look up at the pub wall and find papa -- right where they need him to be.

"Perfection has its price," Stella smugly reminds us.

A treat to watch, and in keeping the brand's high-brow sense of humour. By Lowe/London and Lowe Roche/Toronto. MPC/London conducted post-production. Props to Brentter for bringing it to our attention.

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by Angela Natividad    Nov-24-08    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Commercials, Good, Television

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