The holidays -- shopping, senile relatives, stuffing with raisins and endless variations on the nativity -- aren't for everyone. This Leo Burnett ad for McDonald's depicts just such a guy.
The scene: charades by the Christmas tree with extended family. After an over-obvious movie mime (chest-pounding, monkey noises) that wins him "Brokeback Mountain...?", he acts out the first two words of The Great Escape, then leaps into a secret tunnel that looks like it's been dug with gravy spoons. Off to McD's he goes.
The UK-based ad promotes McDonald's "festive menu," which launches Wednesday. A spokesperson told the Guardian it's "strictly a turkey-free zone" to give customers "a haven to escape from some of the stressful Christmas activities, like shopping."
Guess that makes sense. Nothing soothes the consumption-distressed soul like chicken ... McNuggets.
Memorable moments from 41 ads, nicely choreographed to the tune of One Spring Away. Yeah, the gorilla's in there, plus bits from Sony's Bravia spots and Gap's Khaki Swing.
Steve is jealous because, in less sober times, we've bounced this same idea back and forth: "Hey, what if we mashed up a bunch of ads to, like ... a song...?"
But it takes a fine hand to elevate advertising -- coolly thrashed by jaded pundits -- to the soft-focused realm of scrapbook-worthy human experience. The Band From does it better than we could have.
For United Way, Publicis/Toronto gives us "Youth" and "Homelessness." Each introduces you to someone in dire straits: a homeless guy in his alley, staring despondently at passers-by; and a nervy new gangbanger.
Both look markedly stressed. Then each grabs hold of some part of themselves -- the homeless guy his torn jacket, the street kid his head -- and suddenly their skin peels off.*
Within the homeless man lies a clean-cut Joe with a uniform on. He steps easily out of his poverty-ridden skin -- kinda like the crazy sorceress whose ugliness "melted away" at the beginning of Disney's Beauty and the Beast -- and joins the sea of active, busy people on the streets.
Same deal with the kid. He grabs his head, peels off his hoodie-ensconced bad-ass self, and reemerges in -- lo! -- a baby blue soccer uniform.
"What you're really giving is a way out," each spot concludes, referring slyly to the donation you are now morally obligated to make.
I like the idea of being able to shake off your past and join the sunshiny stat-quo. But if the spots are appealing, it's because they oversimplify a taxing inner journey that can take years -- and plenty of sorrows -- to complete. Well, that's advertising for you.
Or your aquarium, as the case may be. And while those winning numbers fall out of the sky, why not stick the dinette set under them? Fickle Fortune will buy you a new one. Someday.
By Colle+McVoy for the Minnesota State Lottery. The latter hosts a Daily Drawing show every night, which C+M helped reformat: instead of floating ping pong balls with lotto numbers, "viewers now get plummeting cast iron balls."
Who signed off on that idea?
Anyway, the spots linked above are two of 50 (probably equally disjointed) ads shot for the accompanying campaign. So if you're Minne-soootan, expect to see plenty of variants through '09. (Sorry.)
- This...has nothing to do with anything. Call it a commercial break from all the...uh...commercials when through at you every day.
- And that video still of a woman in sexy lingerie? Just a tad misleading?
- Stranger tactics have been used to sell things but paint ball guns for...a coffee maker?
- Seriously. How the hell do you make a Photoshop error as obvious is this?
Riffing on some vague notion that Australia isn't sophisticated enough to conceive of "exotic" naturally-grown foods or handbags worth more than cars, the NRMA's "Unworry" ad invites simple Aussies to "uncomplicate, unstress and" -- naturally -- "unworry."
"We we once dubbed the Clever country, now I'm afraid we're the Un-clever country," whines the guy that sent this to us. "Our poor schooling has finally shown it's head in the workforce and is being broadcast without a comment."
...Was that supposed to be a joke?
Provided with little more than an audio file of the Lexus IS F on the go, production company Crush was asked to visualize what the sound would look like. This is the result of that.
Pretty, and effective in its lack of language. I especially like the smoke circles. Last few scenes cut briefly to the car, the logo, the slogan: "The pursuit of perfection." Clean.
And infinitely more coherent than "F is everything you thought we weren't."
It seems America isn't the only place with an obesity problem. It was thought Asian women don't have breasts. Now they do. It was once thought America was the only place where guts hung over the belt line. Now that's not the case. Whether it's America foisting its eating habits on the rest of the world or whether its other countries accomplishing obesity all on their own, Australia has joined the club and is out with an anti-obesity effort from the country's Department of Health.
It's not immediately clear what's going on in this spot for Microsoft's Zune, featuring Common and Afrika Bambaataa. In it, a girl puts Common's Universal Mind Control on the spin. She gives props for it, then Common and Afrika Bambaataa leap out of a cloud of images and start sparring over it.
At first the whole thing rang like a poorer rendition of HP's "Hands" campaign, which does a good job of connecting the essence of a celebrity to the machine he's using.