AmEx Uses Member Successes to Ignite Future Ones

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American Express has this program called Members Project, which funds worthy ventures with $2.5 million. (Members vote to decide who gets the money.) Read all about it.

To promote the program, AmEx used footage from previous ads to produce a montage of famous cardholders like John Cleese, Martin Scorsese, Robert DeNiro, Ellen Degeneres and Jim Henson.

Their achievements are presented as the fruit of childlike desires. Scorsese's "project," for example, was to "tell unforgettable stories"; Degeneres wanted to "encourage people to dance to their own tune." The premise is, these people changed the world with their passion. Got a dream? Maybe you can change it too.

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by Angela Natividad    Sep- 7-08    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Celebrity, Commercials, Television



Don't Just Be a Man; Be a Pretty Smart Shopper.

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Dual body wash and moisturizer isn't really a new idea. (Companies like Dove beat that horse dead years ago.) Bringing bang to an old combo, Wieden + Kennedy enlist a centaur for Old Spice Double Impact. He's half man ... and half provider.

More importantly, he's actually got YouTube users talking about Old Spice. Will they buy the stuff? Hard to say. But hey, if a centaur doesn't turn this trick, Doogie Howser, M.D. definitely will.

by Angela Natividad    Sep- 7-08    
Topic: Best, Brands, Campaigns, Commercials, Online, Strange, Television



Mrs. Butterworth Plays Wingman to Geico Customer

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Think only experienced TV spokespeople wield influence? Yeah, Geico agrees. So to supplement the tale of an apparently ordinary customer, it ensured success with an old-school icon: Mrs. Butterworth. (You know, the maternal maple syrup bottle.)

I love how she tosses in that random "hot pancakes" reference. Good stuff by The Martin Agency.

by Angela Natividad    Sep- 7-08    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Commercials, Good, Trends and Culture



IBM Loosens Tie, Courts Granola-Chewing Tree Huggers

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Commercials for IBM's "Go Green" campaign are all over my daytime TV. In the ones I've seen, corporate suits debate the merits of implementing energy-efficient policies. Once they opt to "go green" (usually for financial reasons), a cartoon forest -- complete with cheerful chirping wildlife and a high-pitched chorus -- blossoms around them. The message is that companies going green, whatever the reason, can change the environment for the better.

Style-wise, the effort mirrors a current Truth campaign where reality is also shattered by musical kitsch and doe-eyed cartoons. (Both are liable to make jaded cubicle cogs long for a vatful of hot smoking Dip.)

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by Angela Natividad    Sep- 7-08    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Commercials, Television



Tiddy Bear Creates Need For Dicky Bear Companion

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Who doesn't like a bit of Friday fun? Not that this necessarily counts as fun as opposed to the late night direct response television idiocy it is but, here, we are presented with Tiddy Bear. Yes, Tiddy Bear. It's exactly what it sounds like; a bear to place on your tits. Why? So that the seat belt in your car doesn't give you that annoying separation so often experienced when the shoulder strap creates a canyon between the left and right breast.

One wonders if there's a corresponding Dicky Bear for the guys to help keep their packages from sliding out the bottom of their shorts while enjoying the Tiddy Bear-wearing woman sitting next to them in the car.

by Steve Hall    Sep- 5-08    
Topic: Commercials, Strange



Dear HSBC: Cinematic Scope Doesn't Compensate for Bad Service

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This is HSBC's "Lumberjack" by JWT/London/NYC and production company Gorgeous. At first watch it's like Swiss Family Robinson meets Lord of the Flies, except everybody's grown up and cops ruin all the fun.

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by Angela Natividad    Sep- 5-08    
Topic: Brands, Commercials, Online, Television



Bill Gates Divulges Microsoft's 'Moist, Chewy' Future ... to Seinfeld?

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In the first ad released by Crispin Porter+Bogusky for Microsoft, Bill Gates and Jerry Seinfeld meet serendipitously at Shoe Circus, a Payless ShoeSource-type store. Seinfeld helps him pick out shoes. Made of pleather. Significant glances are exchanged, immigrants gawk, and churros are shared.

Thus ingratiated with one of the world's richest (and thriftiest?) men, Seinfeld poses the question we'd all ask, given the chance (and a serious case of munchies): "Are they ever gonna come up with something that'll make our computers moist and chewy like cake so we can eat 'em while we're working?"

Gates gives Seinfeld a subtle but sassy little ass-shake to denote "yes."

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German Doc Pitches Virgin OnD to Rack-Challenged Spice Girl

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Aptly called "Melony B." Watch 'til the end -- there's a candy surprise.

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by Angela Natividad    Sep- 4-08    
Topic: Celebrity, Commercials, Strange, Television



Discover Isn't Fooling Anyone by Helping Them 'Spend Smarter'

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Sort of like a politician making rosy promises but forgetting to spell out the details, this new Martin Agency-created commercial for Discover Card which acknowledges the fact we get carried away with all the cool stuff in this world and how that can stress us out because of the resulting debt, promises to help people "spend smarter" versus spend more.

It's all very feel good with images of people having a great time with their families and friends but, like many political speeches, one is left with a feeling of emptiness and curiosity after the high has subsided. OK, Discover, just how exactly does a company that exists solely because people spend money avoid being accused of smoke and mirrors-fueled shenanigans by telling people to spend less? Huh? Huh? Do tell.

by Steve Hall    Sep- 4-08    
Topic: Commercials



Meetup Says 'Unplug Your Friends'

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For those of us who live our lives online with a collection of Twitter, Facebook, Pownce, Flickr, Second Life and Linked In accounts, this new Unplug Your Friends effort from Meetup says we need to overcome out addition to the screen and rejoin the real world. A commercial in which a closeted geek discovers there's a world beyond his collection of screens and online friends supports the effort.

It's trippy and surreal but it makes a powerful point. There's a world out there that isn't digital and it can be a very friendly place. The creative comes from freelance CD team of Julie Lamb and Phil Gable. Curious Pictures in New York produced the work which was directed by former agency creative-turned animation director Rohitash Rao.

by Steve Hall    Sep- 4-08    
Topic: Commercials, Good, Social










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