Because the Hard Knocks Are Sort of Like Psoriasis.

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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.

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by Angela Natividad    Nov-21-08    
Topic: Cause, Commercials, Good, Television



Feeling Lucky? Watch While Lotto Balls Decimate Your Fishbowl.

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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.)

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by Angela Natividad    Nov-21-08    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Commercials, Strange, Television



Mad Men Sell Cable, Doomsday Googled, Pizza Tongued

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    by Steve Hall    Nov-21-08    
    Topic: Cable, Commercials



    Legs Dance, Lingeries Lies, Photoshop Amputates

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    - 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?

    by Steve Hall    Nov-20-08    
    Topic: Commercials, Strange



    'Unworry' Brings 'Unclevers' Out of the Woodwork

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    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?

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    by Angela Natividad    Nov-20-08    
    Topic: Commercials, Strange, Television



    Crush, Dentsu Canada 'Visualize' Lexus IS F

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    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."

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    by Angela Natividad    Nov-20-08    
    Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Commercials, Television



    Even Australians Are Fat

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    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.

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    by Steve Hall    Nov-19-08    
    Topic: Commercials, Good



    Wait, So Will the Zune Make Common My Homie?

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    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.

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    by Angela Natividad    Nov-18-08    
    Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Celebrity, Commercials, Strange, Television



    Comcast, TiVo Grow Up and Get Hitched

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    To promote the fusion of Comcast DVR with TiVo, Biscuit Filmworks USA and Goodby, Silverstein & Partners give us "Separated at Birth."

    It's a love story about a pair of TVs that part at the assembly line and serve two people in two different ways. In the end, the owners -- which start out as kids -- grow up and get together. Just like their favourite TV services.

    Almost too cute to stand. The split ad format keeps eyes bouncing back and forth, and a simple narrative prevents captive audiences from snapping out of it. We'll even be willing to ignore the fact that TiVo hasn't been around long enough to have served any twenty-something from her budding days as a grade school control freak.

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    by Angela Natividad    Nov-18-08    
    Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Commercials, Good, Television



    Coke and Santa Are Ready For Christmas

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    That Coke Christmas commercial which was teased last week is out in full form. And, like the teaser, it captures all the magic and mystery of Christmas. Like we said before, not much else to say. Well, just that there's a nice cover of Elvis' Can't Help Falling In Love With You in the commercial. Watch and enjoy.

    by Steve Hall    Nov-17-08    
    Topic: Brands, Commercials, Good










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