Sanjaya Gets Good Advice From Nationwide Insurance

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OK so here it is. And it's nowhere near as good as the Kevin Federline version. Yes, it's the Sanjaya Malakar version of the ongoing "you're a has been" Nationwide Insurance ad campaign. In the Malakar version, Sanjaya travels to India to seek advice from the Gurucci (sp?). Hmm. Is that like some sort of inside joke? A mashup up Guru and Gucci?

Anyway, the Gurucci's advice couldn't be more perfect. When Sanjaya asks what the most important thing is in life, Gurucci replies, "A good retirement plan...and a hair cut."

by Steve Hall    Aug-21-08    
Topic: Bad, Celebrity, Commercials



Put a Little Zappos in Your Day!

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This Zappos spot, where a smiling courier hand-delivers a little bit of happy to customers in a small neighborhood, is infectiously charming.

I like how it brings the brand offline and makes it feel down-home and local: it's your friendly online shoe conglomerate! This approach would ring disingenuous for most internet giants, but Zappos has a coupla things going for it:

1) Getting a package in the mail gives people warm tinglies.

2) Its service really is just that good. The first time I placed an order with Zappos, the shoes didn't fit, and they sent a replacement pair even before I returned the old ones. "Just drop them in the mailbox whenever you can," the rep said (I could hear him smiling!), and boy did that feel nice. Cartwheel-nice, even.

Read more about Zappos' ad efforts riiiiiiiight here.

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



Plaid Reminisces, Anna Makes a Comeback, Google Minus Google

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- It's the best of this year's Plaid Nation tour! Diggin' the chick who says plaid is God's favorite color.

- Anna Kournikova's still around. I like how her Maxim bio reads, "Before simply being superhot, Anna was a superhot tennis player." Put "simply being superhot" on your resume next time you get shafted, then see who throws sponsorship money at you.

- Naked guy runs across America.

- Last Visa "Go World" spot by TBWA/Chiat/Day. Michael Phelps: he keeps going and going and going and going...

- Check out Google minus Google. Running a search without getting results from YouTube, Blogger, or Knol feels sort of ... fresh.



Berry-Stained Stoli Invades the States from Mother Russia

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Imagine if the Coke Happiness Factory got hijacked by dancing Reds that prefer fruity vodka to sugar water. You're probably picturing "Airship," the latest spot for Stoli Blakberi, put together by Publicis/London and production company Stink/Psyop. Music by Prokofiev.

Part of what keeps me drinking Stoli is unwavering affection for its advertising. On TV or in print, it's always got the same feel: over-the-top, cartoony, propagandistic. Disney's "It's a Small World After All" meets the hoarse ballads and frosty grit of Moscow.

Stoli is a proud, heavy-handed romantic, and taking a swig is like surrendering to history: the beautifying dizziness, concrete on your lips, bile in your throat. It's a suffering, and a brand, baptized in nostalgia.

by Angela Natividad    Aug-19-08    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Commercials, Good, Online, Television



Lots of Words, and Something About a Pony.

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The other day I was complaining -- or was it more like bitching? -- about how all car ads seem pretty much the same. (If not "the same," then "zealously derivative.") Then Organic busts out with this really weird ad for the Chrysler Town & Country.

It's all words. The narrator's telling this bizarre story, then the words appear in front of you, so you get this tiring but riveting experience of seeing and hearing crunchy nouns like "pocket pony" and "crabapples" at the same time. (Don't ask, just watch.)

more »

by Angela Natividad    Aug-19-08    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Commercials, Online, Strange



I Won't Buy a Chevy, but Indentured Servitude Sounds Nice

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Here's that Chevy Traverse ad that keeps playing during the Olympics. I sat through it twice yesterday and didn't really get the correlation between Shirtless Man Lovingly Laundering and Chevy Traverse with Folding Seats.

Twitter's not keen on it either.

Fortunately, there's YouTube. Scroll down to the comments. Past all the complaining about double standards and whatnot, someone explains that both the man and the Traverse are "beautiful, useful, and everything you ever wanted ... and them [sic] some."

Ohhhhh. Suddenly the tagline makes sense.

by Angela Natividad    Aug-19-08    
Topic: Brands, Commercials, Strange, Television



That's Not a Backpack, It's Ambrose's Co-Pilot

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For client Little Debbie, Marcos Ambrose joins forces with a talking koala. They're so cute together, it's oddly gratifying to see them draw housewives' attention at the supermarket or co-pilot a race while koala eats Zebra Cakes.

"I thought you only ate eucalyptus leaves?" Ambrose demands, slightly miffed, right before he peels out onto the track.

Collective awwwwwwwww. Don't you just want to rub their tummies and feed them a Devil Square?

The spots went live in tandem with racing season. So far Ambrose isn't doing too terribly, no thanks to his choice of snack food, but a talking marsupial riding shotgun (think of the crumbs!) probably keeps things interesting.

See more of their routine on Little Debbie's Miles of Smiles website, put together by Luckie & Co., which also did the creative.

by Angela Natividad    Aug-19-08    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Commercials, Good, Sponsorship, Television, Video



Volkswagen's Got Some Extra Back

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And unlike other cars, which wave their ostentatious extras in your face, you can't even see the excess tooshums. Because you know why? It's made up of service, so says the tagline: "The extra Volkswagen part on every Volkswagen. Volkswagen service."

Nice repetition of brand name!

By production firm Czar, NL and DDB for Volkswagen.

by Angela Natividad    Aug-18-08    
Topic: Commercials, Online, Television, Video



Newsflash! Commercial Explodes During Live Broadcast

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Like full on spam, this email screamed, "Catastrophe hits live during the broadcast of a Direct Insurance commercial." After quickly checking Twitter (what? that's where all the news is these days, people) to make sure there was no actual catastrophe, it became apparent this was yet another ploy for publicity.

The release continued, "During a live broadcast of the Israeli 'American Idol' show, a Direct Insurance commercial for catastrophe coverage burnt up before the eyes of avid viewers. After burning, a simple slide appeared: We apologize for the technical difficulties but catastrophes can happen to anyone".

more »

by Steve Hall    Aug-17-08    
Topic: Campaigns, Commercials, Strange



Nissan Flirts with the Mold, but Fails to Break It

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This new spot for Nissan (:30 and :60) immediately piqued interest: one car circulates a vinyl album. Interesting retro tones punctuate the background. The camera pans out, revealing many vehicles circulating many vinyls. It's an image that brings Warhol to mind.

What's going on? What'll happen next? Will Nissan pull a Dell?

Nah. One jalapeno-red maverick races off its track (cut to big Nissan logo!), encouraging others to do the same. (A vaguely familiar idea. Got a quote for me, Mazda?) They briefly fall in line, a tactic car advertisers seem to love, then park with a screech in haphazard fashion.

The 350Z, arguably Nissan's sexiest model, pulls abruptly into the foreground. The tagline follows: "Escape the pattern. Nissan."

Bleh.

more »

by Angela Natividad    Aug-15-08    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Commercials, Magazine, Poster, Television








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