You've probably seen ads for Cisco's "The Human Network" campaign, which tries making the possibilities of Web 2.0 seem accessible to ordinary business people. (What, there are still execs out there that don't video-conference?)
Phase two of the effort uses the banality of airline travel to demonstrate how the so-called "human network" makes it unnecessary to leap time zones for work. In "The Save More Travel Less Effect," an array of business people perform the airline safety procedure you hear every time you get on a plane. They do a nice job of seeming alternately bored, frustrated or severe.
In this spot, a deserted baggage belt rotates slowly as the frustrations of travel flash across the screen: jetlag, wake-up calls, expense reports, lost luggage, etc. As the words go by faster, the music picks up: this is a life you can leave behind!, the ad seems to shout. Three cheers for the human network!
Encouraged -- but apparently not inspired -- by the success of its talking stain Super Bowl spot, Tide to Go solicited users for their own talking stain ads earlier this year.
YouTube's emceemiko won that contest. His spot -- where a rapping stain mocks an interview candidate -- appeared during the Desperate Housewives premier. The low-budget feel made it instantly recognizable as CGM, but the rap was surprisingly good -- even relatable! -- so I guess sometimes it pays to ask Main Street to do Mad Ave's job.
Part of doing Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years "properly" is reflecting on how they've been done before, a cultural habit that primes everybody for Memory Lane. That's why the holidays are a perfect time to bang out some pop culture nostalgia, wrap a tagline around it and call it an ad.
Under year-old slogan "The Magic of Macy's" (JWT/NY), Macy's cashes in on these sentiments by leveraging its long brand history. Check out this patchwork quilt of "Macy's" mentions in movies and shows like Charlie Brown, Family Guy, Seinfeld, I Love Lucy and Miracle on 34th Street (which I watched every Christmas as a kid!), among others.
Came across this ad for the Tantra Chair earlier today. (NSFW, unless your boss is into artistic nudity.) Under the tagline "For the sensually sophisticated," the spot starts out with rave reviews and flashes dramatic imagery of a woman lying across the chair in sexually suggestive positions.
Neato. But where would one put a Tantra Chair -- between the recliner and the yoga ball? (It's not exactly a stashable copy of Joy of Sex.) I guess if worst came to worst, you could always wipe it down and tell the kids it's one of those newfangled video game chairs.
Pop your number in at White Castle's Crave is Calling campaign site to get random food-related calls on your phone at odd hours. It's kinda like having an aimless 17-year-old friend with the munchies.
Work by JWT. Users can also shoot the end of a Crave ad -- typical food porn-type stuff -- and upload them onto YouTube. So far only one submission has been made this whole summer, so either the campaign sucks or the copyright Nazis strike again.
Here's a :60 spot that'll flash you back to Schoolhouse Rock. It's called "A Little Change Will Do Us Good," released for Gulf Power by agency Luckie & Co. Animation by Z Animation/Dagnabit out of Atlanta. (Don't worry, there's nothing remotely Sheryl Crow-ish about it.)
The ad encourages citizens to save energy while demonstrating how Gulf Power is doing its part. Supporting efforts include print, outdoor and subsite ChangeWillDoUsGood.com, though that doesn't seem to be working right now. The ad campaign debuts Monday, so I'm positive the site'll be up by then.
Simple, G-rated, retro -- and consistent across media. Good stuff.
UPDATE: The folk at Luckie & Co. say the site will be up by tomorrow, fingers crossed.
"Red Alert 3 Remix," a promotional video for EA's Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3, is the fruit of a partnership between DraftFCB and remix artist CB Shaw. The latter interspersed offbeat Hollywood icons with references to 'net memes and gaming footage -- all to the tune of Hell March, the track used in the opening sequence to the first Red Alert. Good way to draw legacy gamers back into the hype, though many will probably feel alienated by the invasion of Planet Hollywood.
But the line-up is pop culture genius. Jenny McCarthy, Gemma Atkinson, George Takei, Jonathan Pryce, Andrew Divoff, Peter Stormare, Tim Curry, JK Simmons, Kelly Hu, Autumn Reeser, and Ivana Milicevic have all been enlisted as characters in the game.
European mobile carrier Orange has this pay-as-you-go program that lets users define their own reward system. To promote it, Fallon/London tapped Reuben Sutherland of Joyrider, who came up with "Grabber."
In the spot above, transparent orange balloons, shaped like random animals, float enchantedly up toward the skylight of a factory building. (This setting was labeled "timeless," which I guess is true, given that we never quite run out of deserted warehouses.)
- T-Mobile debuts first Google Android phone, thereby changing face of mobile forever, etc., etc.
- Wieden and Starbucks break up.
- Wrigley sells advergaming goldmine Candystand to Funtank. No word on why the service, which CEO James Baker of Funtank called "great viral marketing," was sold. Maybe it was just time to cash in.
- Biggie Smalls hits the big screen. "Too bad we're not in middle school anymore," says a twenty-something colleague. "I'm imagining the tears ... and the hugging."
Here's an extended version of the American Express Travel ad that aired during the Emmy Pre-Show. In it, Martin Scorsese gives Tina Fey the hard sell on Boca Raton. It's the kind of thing we might characterize as funny, even if we didn't really watch it, just because it involves an awkward timeshare situation and Scorsese prattling -- almost, it seems, without end.
"There's a possibility of nine days -- not consecutive -- near the end of August, beginning of September." I like how he asks her to make the check out to "Cash."
By Ogilvy for American Express.
Take note, CP+B: In the realm of advertising, Scorsese's like the Seinfeld for a live-in-HD, less corny generation. His AmEx work aside, see what he did for Freixenet last year. (Seinfeld occasionally still does work for AmEx too, but it's all got a datedness to it.)