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



Jamba Juice: Now In Handy-Dandy Plastic Bottles!

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Jamba Juice makes its foray into the grocery aisle with a celebratory ad by Publicis/NY and production firm Stardust. In "Fruit Pixels," a bouquet of berries spring out of a Jamba smoothie bottle and shape-shift into a swinging schoolgirl, a swimmer, a volleyball player and the Jamba Juice logo before slipping back into the bottle, now neatly capped.

Tagline: "Live fruitfully." Hrrrm. The Ting Tings, which sing Fruit Machine in the background, could've given you guys somethin' better than that.

Off-topic, I love how personified energy can be used to promote both hip surgery and fruity beverages.



Bionic Pizzazz Brought to Hip/Knee Surgery

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This year at the Olympics, performance-enhancing athletic gear were all the rage. Four years from now, will it be highly-advanced hips and knees?

"Smith & Nephew introduces the next generation of joint replacements: highly-advanced hips and knees engineered to meet the needs of your high-performance life."

The ad, designed to make active human beings look like fluid ribbons of energy, was produced by Psyop for Ogilvy/NY. I like how it breathes life into an industry normally associated with near-immobile geriatrics ("I've fallen and I can't get up!"). But It also brought Touch of Gray to mind. Sexy grays, bionic hip surgery: looks like advertising's in midlife-crisis mode.

by Angela Natividad    Sep- 3-08    
Topic: Brands, Commercials, Television










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