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



Amalgamated Rips 'Virtual Drinking Buddy' Off 'Wrath of Cannes' Winner

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You may remember Robbie Wenger. He won the grand prize at Wrath of Cannes -- yeah, that was him licking the statue -- for Virtual Drinking Buddy, a subsite he created for The Knot.

The theme behind Virtual Drinking Buddy was "never be alone again," and toward that end it provided a classy old boozehound that drinks at your side and occasionally even insults you -- just like a real friend.

more »

by Angela Natividad    Sep- 3-08    
Topic: Agencies, Brands, Campaigns, Commercials, Online, Television, Worst



Dye Wand Brings Ex-Summer-of-Lovers Their Summer of Life

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"The generation that swore it would never get old -- didn't. Welcome to the summer of life."

Just for Men has decided to target the Confident Male Boomer, a man so sexy he need not fear his graying head of hair. (Bitch, please! He rocked Woodstock AND he surfs!)

The only question is, is the gray in all the right places? Fret no longer about nature's crude hand; get ahold of Touch of Gray, the only hair dye that lets you "keep a little" salt in that mostly-peppery mane.

That guitar riff sure does set the stage, plus the narrator's got us PUMPED. And the closing guffaw, "Never trust anybody over 90!", coupled with those bad-ass peace signs, won some high-larious backlash on YouTube.

by Angela Natividad    Sep- 2-08    
Topic: Bad, Commercials, Television



Don't Look Now, But I Think that Cow is Judging You.

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Some people have been known to buy the cheese endorsed by happy cows. Considering cheese is, like, the fruit of their loins, I guess that makes sense. But can cows also be trusted to select your next car?

Fiat thinks so. In the Dutch spot above, a cow moos off a VW Golf and a Ford Focus, but desperately bellows "Bravooo!" (listen closely!) when one happens to idle by. Tagline: "Uitgesproken," which means something like "distinct" or "pronounced."

Adverblog says the spot hasn't yet hit TVs; it's currently only circulating the 'net. I think it's goofy, and not in a good way. But once it hits TVs, maybe it'll prove a success by merit of its lean-in factor. (You know, when listeners lean in and go, "Wait, what?")

by Angela Natividad    Sep- 1-08    
Topic: Brands, Commercials, Online, Strange



DoubleMint: The Official Gum of Candy Ravers!

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Just when you thought the jingle was dead, Wrigley's broadcasts this catchy rewrite of Chris Brown's Forever for DoubleMint. Doesn't it make you wanna dust off the pink wig and bust out with some liquid?

But that's window trimmings; DoubleMint's also improved its value add. In addition to chew factor, it apparently also:

- doubles as a hacky sack!
- leaves a comet trail!
- comes in slimmer, sexier packaging!

And here we were thinking the brand was a one-trick pony.

by Angela Natividad    Sep- 1-08    
Topic: Brands, Celebrity, Commercials, Television



Minnesota Residents Alter Lifestyle in Preparation For Republican Convention

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Following Denver's Obamamania at the Democratic National Convention in Denver, the Twin Cities are preparing for their own slice of mania by urging area resident to properly welcome the Republican party. Quite often when big events come to a city, be it the Olympics, a major trade show, a Presidential visit or, yes, a Presidential convention, a city likes to put it's best foot forward to properly welcome its guests. Sometimes that includes bending a city's - even life's - realities to properly accommodate as this UnConvention commercial depicts.

Just as China rolled out the red carpet for the world the last few of weeks, Minnesota residents are ready to welcome the Republican party with open arms even if it means slightly altering their lifestyle for a few days or so.

by Steve Hall    Sep- 1-08    
Topic: Commercials, Political



Idiotic Levi's Commercial Ignores Innate Appreciation of Beauty

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This Cutwater-created commercial for Levi's is stupid. Yes, it's not polite to stare and objectify by either sex but come on! We are all human. We are all sexually attracted to one another. It's natural. It's innate. It's normal. Just admiring the beauty of another human doesn't mean we are all lecherous sex maniacs deserving of a body slam. Sometimes it's just nice to look at and appreciate pretty things. It isn't always about dirty thoughts

And by the way, the pretty things who get looked at, male or female (which, by the way, that stupid PC ending in the commercial is just stupid), shouldn't always assume the onlooker is out for anything more than the pleasure one derives from looking at a beautiful painting in a museum.

Cut the scrap, Cutwater. Your sunglasses idiocy was better than this!

by Steve Hall    Sep- 1-08    
Topic: Bad, Commercials, Creative Commentary, Opinion










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